The 2019 NFL Draft is officially underway. While the draft is still 7 rounds to the conclusion, the first round did not disappoint. The anticipation for the draft to begin is unmatched and it has lived up to the hype so far.
There have been surprises throughout the entire first round, even starting at pick #1. Depending on who you ask. There have also been big-time players who fell creating teams to get big-time steals. With that said, I will highlight both the biggest surprises and best steals of the first round draft picks.
Biggest Draft Surprises
Oakland Raiders select Clelin Ferrell with the 4th overall pick.
Before the draft started, the Raiders were rumored to make a big “surprise” on day 1 of the draft, and well they did just that. Nobody, myself included, saw this pick coming. The Raiders needed a defensive end, but the Raiders also held the 24th and 27th overall picks with many believing Ferrell would still be available by then.
To say this pick was a stretch is valid. Ferrell, however, was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year last season but was rated well below many defensive linemen taken ahead of him.
The Raiders are notorious for selecting first round busts, and while Ferrell is not a bust (he hasn’t even played a game yet). Many Raider fans should feel very hesitant with this pick.
New York Giants select Daniel Jones, with the 6th overall pick.
The assumption the Giants would take a quarterback with this pick was high. However, the quarterback was up in the air. The Giants never seemed sold on Dwayne Haskins, and that proved to be the case Thursday night. The rumors of Daniel Jones and the Giants interests started just a couple days before the draft and the Giants did what many think will be a mistake.
Jones graded behind not only Haskins and Kyler Murray, who was taken first overall to the Arizona Cardinals, a surprise to some, but Missouri’s quarterback Drew Lock as well. He was pegged to be a low first to mid second round pick and ended up going 6th overall. The Giants believed they got their new quarterback of the future, but to many, myself included, remain skeptical about this pick.
Biggest Draft Steals
Jacksonville Jaguars select Josh Allen, with the 7th overall pick.
Big surprises come with a big reward for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars thought there was no way Josh Allen would fall to them at the 7th pick, but they were wrong. After the Raiders surprised us all and passed on Allen to take Ferrell with the 4th overall pick.
The Giants then had the perfect opportunity to bulk up their defensive line as they decided to take Jones. Now this will be questioned greatly, as the Jaguars had no second thoughts of letting Allen past them. Allen, who was the 3rd rated defensive lineman in the draft joins an already strong Jaguar front. The Jaguars should be more than pleased with their first-day selection.
Washington Redskins select Dwayne Haskins, with the 15th overall pick.
One of the biggest stories entering day 1 of the NFL draft was whether the Redskins would indeed trade up to select Dwayne Haskins. Well, they got Haskins without having to trade up. Haskins, in my eyes, was the best quarterback of the draft class and was shockingly taken behind 2 other quarterbacks.
The Redskins were eyeing Haskins the whole time. After the Broncos and Dolphins passed on him at 10 and 13 respectively, they knew they would have their man. The Redskins got the steal of the draft in my eyes and should finally feel they have a plan going forward beyond Alex Smith.