The 84th annual NFL Draft was held from April 25 to April 27. For many teams, the draft is an extremely important time of year because the team is looking to improve its roster. 254 players were drafted by NFL teams, and each selection held a certain significance. A certain pick, like Cam Newton in 2011, could help change a franchise’s direction and help them win games, and possibly even a championship. These are, in my opinion, the most important first-round draft picks in the 2019 NFL Draft:
1st Overall Selection: QB Kyler Murray
This selection, in my opinion, was a poor selection for the Cardinals because they already had Josh Rosen. I think that it was ill-advised of Arizona to draft a quarterback with its number-one pick because they should have given Rosen more time to develop, especially since he was the tenth overall pick in the 2018 overall draft. The Cardinals traded him for the 62nd pick in this year’s draft. By making this trade, the Cardinals effectively lost 52 picks in value. It also had only been his first year in the NFL and the Cardinals had a new head coach, Steve Wilks, who was fired after the season. The team’s offense didn’t perform up to par, which was reflected in not only Rosen’s stats, but in the performance of the team’s star running back, David Johnson. In the 2016-2017 NFL season, Johnson ranked seventh in rush yards, but ranked twenty-third this past season. It would have been better for Arizona to invest in the defensive field in this draft, as its defense ranked 26th in points allowed last year, allowing 26.6 points per game.
4th Overall Selection: DE Clelin Ferrell
This draft pick came as a surprise to nearly everyone. The Oakland Raiders drafted Ferrell, 2018 Hendricks award winner and Clemson defensive end. It seemed like a bad selection at first because Ferrell wasn’t projected to be drafted until later in the first-round, but once you look at his stats, it is understandable why Oakland drafted him. Many thought that the Raiders would draft a running back, as they had no star running back after the 2018-2019 season. But after the Raiders traded Khalil Mack last year, its defensive line began to look bare, and the team desperately needed some help. The team ranked last in the league in sacks last year, with only 13, compared to Ferrell’s 11.5 sacks at Clemson by himself last year. Ferrell lead the ACC in tackles for a loss (17) and sacks (11.5) last year, which sounds very similar to Mack’s past NFL season when he recorded 12.5 sacks and 37 tackles. In my opinion, this draft pick was better than most people think because of how bare Oakland’s defensive line was.
6th Overall Selection: QB Daniel Jones
I think that this draft selection was important because the Giants could have easily drafted a better quarterback. One possibility was to choosing Dwayne Haskins, quarterback from Ohio State, sixth overall and then drafting a defensive linemen later. It was obvious that the Giants needed new defensive linemen after ranking thirtieth in the NFL in sacks last season. Choosing Haskins would have been a better decision for the Giants because Haskins threw one less interception than Jones while throwing 28 more touchdowns last year. The Giants then could have still chosen defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence 17th overall, but had a better quarterback. I don’t believe that Daniel Jones was worth a sixth overall pick.
25th Overall Selection: Marquise Brown
I think that picking the notoriously fast wide receiver in Brown was a great pick by the Ravens. Brown had 75 receptions this past season for a total of 1318 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Ravens ranked 22nd in the NFL for total passing yards last year with 3,558 and since they added skillful receiver to its core, they will be able to improve its offense and have a better chance of competing in the playoffs. I also believe that adding that wide receiver that will make the defense back off of him so the defense does not get beat deep. This, in turn, will give Lamar Jackson more room to run, which is currently an important part of the Ravens’ offense. Overall, this pick seemed great for the Ravens, helping the team beef up its offense.
Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is behind us, the NFL community can reflect on the picks and decide which teams won the draft, and which teams could have made better decisions. These first-round draft picks often are the decider of how well a team drafted and that is a decider on how good the team will be in the future. Therefore, making good selections and decisions during draft days is imperative to the success of an NFL team.