AFC

2019 NFL Draft: 1st Round Winners, Losers and Sleepers

The 2019 National Football League Draft kicked off Thursday night in Nashville as the first 32 picks found their new homes.

Teams like the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders had multiple picks. While others didn’t even have a first-round selection.

Below are the best picks, the worst picks, and the highest potential sleeper picks from day one of the draft.

WINNER: San Francisco 49ers, DE Nick Bosa 

With the number two pick in the draft, San Francisco got the most talented player in the draft Nick Bosa.

On top of that, Nick Bosa joins his brother Joey and father John as only the second family with three first-round selections. The other being the Manning family.

However back to the 49ers. This pick gives them a cornerstone athlete off the edge who should make an immediate impact for the team.

Adding Nick Bosa across from Dee Ford as well as the other talent the 49ers’ defense possess, and this was the home run pick teams are supposed to have in the top five picks.

LOSER: Oakland Raiders, DE Clelin Ferrell

Contrary to their Northern California counterparts, the Oakland Raiders didn’t hit a home run.

Did they get a solid player with a solid floor? They sure did.

But there is no excusing passing on Devin White, Josh Allen or even Ed Oliver at this pick.

The Raiders desperately need a pass rush and a speedy linebacker and passed on both at this spot. However, after reports of Oakland sending home all their scouts this week, fans and witnesses can’t be too surprised.

If it weren’t for Oakland having two more late first round picks, the evening would have been considered an epic disaster.

SLEEPER: Detroit Lions, TE T.J. Hockenson

T.J. Hockenson is the first tight end to be taken in the top ten since Eric Ebron was taken by the Lions in 2014. Ebron, for what it’s worth, just broke out for a career year of 13 touchdowns with the Colts in 2018.

Anyways, this is a great pick for Detroit. While many people expected the Lions to trade back with no obvious picks for them, they pulled the trigger on the top tight end prospect.

Unfair to Hockenson, the new Lion has drawn Gronkowski like comparisons. However, all rookies get extreme comparisons out of the draft.

T.J.’s ability to both run down the field and block in the run game serves as the perfect combination for an elite tight end.

It is still hard to justify a tight end in the top 10, but a couple of years from now Detroit may have a top three tight end on their hands.

WINNER: Washington Redskins, QB Dwayne Haskins

With the 15th pick, the Redskins may have found their franchise quarterback in the New Jersey native Dwayne Haskins.

Haskins broke all kinds of Big 10 records in his one season starting for Ohio State. He threw for nearly 5,000 yards along with 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.

While he isn’t the most fleet of foot, he has a strong arm and very solid pocket awareness as well as good size.

The icing on the cake is the fact that he gets to play his home town team New York Giants twice a year, after coming out publicly saying he would love to be selected by them.

Now things get interesting as Haskins should be expected to compete for the starting job against Case Keenum right away.

LOSER: New York Giants, QB Daniel Jones

Just like the Oakland Raiders, the Giants had a prime opportunity to make a home run selection with both Ed Oliver and Josh Allen available.

For a team desperate for an improved pass rush, Josh Allen would have been the best pick here. However, Daniel Jones caused an uproar amongst New York fans and football analysts everywhere.

For a guy who was expected to be available at pick #17, the Giants did not want to risk losing their desired quarterback.

While Jones doesn’t have the strongest arm, he is extremely accurate and has good mobility for his 6-foot-5 stature.

Jones isn’t a bad prospect and is sure to be a fine player with some development and mentorship from Eli Manning. However, the Giants could’ve got Jones at 17 while addressing one of their many other needs.

SLEEPER: Minnesota Vikings, C Garrett Bradbury

For a team that wants to run the ball and thrive off play-action passing, offensive line is a must. Unfortunately, last year proved to be a disappointment in that department for the Vikings.

After bringing in two new guards, Minnesota acquired the best interior lineman in the draft in Bradbury.

While offensive lineman are never a flashy pick, they are sometimes the right pick. This was the perfect pick.

This will help the Vikings get back on track towards what they want to do: restoring their run-first identity.

On top of that, protecting Kirk Cousins on the interior will give him a cleaner pocket to bounce back from his first season in Minnesota.

WINNER: Baltimore Ravens, WR Marquise Brown

Baltimore is entering a new era with elite offensive weapons after adding Marquise Brown to their offense.

Marquise, the cousin of Antonio Brown, came into the draft as the top-ranked receiving prospect.

While Brown is a slightly smaller receiver who may face initial troubles at the line of scrimmage, his wheels are his calling card.

Combine Brown’s breakaway speed as well as deep threat ability with Lamar Jackson’s ability to extend plays, and Baltimore has a dangerous duo in their laps.

This pick gave Baltimore exactly what they needed to complement their run-heavy scheme.

LOSER: New York Giants, DT Dexter Lawrence

Giants fans were already on edge after their pick at six. Tensions rose even higher after Dave Gettleman added Lawrence to the team.

Again, like Jones, Lawrence is a great player who has a legitimate future, just not at that pick.

Unlike Jones, Lawrence joins a crowded defensive tackle group with B.J. Hill and Dalvin Tomlinson. For a team that likes to run a 3-4 defense, too many defensive tackles can be hard to spread around playing time.

With a few pass rushers still on the board, this pick raises even more questions. If it weren’t for the Giants taking DeAndre Baker at pick 30, New York would’ve been even further questioned for ignoring all corners at the pick.

The Giants missed two golden opportunities to address positions of need. Finding yourself in the loser spot twice in one round is never good.

SLEEPER: Oakland Raiders, RB Josh Jacobs

After Marshawn Lynch retired, the Raiders found themselves with a huge hole in the backfield. In steps, the draft’s top-ranked running back and the problem seems to be taken care of.

Jacobs is a multi-dimensional running back who can be used effectively in multiple aspects.

Like today’s star running backs, not only can he break tackles and run the ball effectively, but he can be spread out and used as an effective receiving option.

After missing on their first selection earlier in the round, Oakland came back and grabbed themselves a dynamic offensive player.

The running back will give both coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr new weapons to play with.

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