New York Giants

2019 NFL Draft: Biggest winners, losers from weekend in Nashville


2019 NFL Draft: Biggest winners, losers from weekend in Nashville

After an offseason of hype, the 2019 NFL Draft is over. 

The Arizona Cardinals removed the "presumptive" tag from No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, allowing the 49ers to draft edge rusher Nick Bosa at No. 2. The Raiders entered the draft with more first-round picks than anyone else, and still managed to turn heads with their first selection. 

But now that the dust has settled, which teams had a weekend to remember in Nashville? And who, like plenty of bachelor-and-bachelorette party-goers in the city, had one they wanted to forget? 

Here are the winners and losers from this year's draft. 

Loser: New York Giants

Forgive us for repeating ourselves. If you squint closely, Duke quarterback Daniel Jones does kind of look like Eli Manning. Plus, he learned under David Cutcliffe, who recruited Eli to Ole Miss and groomed Peyton Manning at Tennessee.

But even if Jones wouldn't have been there when the G-Men picked in the spot acquired in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, they almost surely could have traded back a little farther, considering Dwayne Haskins slipped to NFC East rival Washington at No. 15.

The draft is all about maximizing value, and although Giants general manager Dave Gettleman was able to trade back into the first round, the full-scale rebuild he's undergoing probably could have used some extra picks for moving back or the alternative to Jones at No. 6.

Winner: Washington

Washington drafted the better quarterback prospect than its division rival, and didn't have to move up to do it. That'd be a win no matter how the rest of the draft looked, but Washington also reportedly scooped the Raiders by trading up to select Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat to bolster its pass rush. 

Couple those first-rounders with strong value in Stanford running back Bryce Love (No. 112 overall) and bringing in one of Haskins' favorite targets, Terry McLaurin, and you have the makings of a strong draft.

Were the last three days in Nashville considered "Opposite Weekend," or are we seeing a changing of fortunes in the NFC East? 

Loser: New Orleans Saints

The Saints are Going For It, but having just five picks in the draft -- and not owning a first-rounder for the first time since 2012 -- could sting down the line if QB Drew Brees can't continue to fend off Father Time into his 40s.

There's also the matter of losing in the most heartbreaking way possible in January's NFC Championship game. New Orleans remains loaded and in position to make another run at a Super Bowl, but if there ever was a time to show off a shiny new first-round pick, wouldn't getting the taste of a missed pass-interference call out of its mouths qualify? 

[RELATED: How writers graded 49ers' eight picks in 2019 NFL Draft]

Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

Surprises forced their hand a bit at the top of the draft, but in a good way. Jones' selection at No. 6 and the Raiders picking Clemson edge rusher Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 allowed the Jaguars to scoop up Kentucky star Josh Allen at No. 7 overall. 

Jacksonville also was able to snag Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor in the second round at No. 35 overall, despite projections he could be a first-round pick. Drafting Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew in the sixth round was another example of the Jaguars letting the draft board fall to them, rather than trying to dictate it themselves. 

Loser: Quarterbacks

Lately, it seems QB-needy NFL teams can talk themselves into any draft class into being good enough. That wasn't exactly the case this year. 

Murray, Jones and Haskins were the only quarterbacks selected in the first round. As ESPN's Kevin Seifert noted, this was just the second time since 2004 that no team made a first-round trade to draft a QB. 

Some of that surely has to do with Haskins sliding, as Washington didn't feel the need to trade up. Still, given all the talk about teams Taking For Tua [Tagovailoa] or having a Losing Season For [Washington QB Jacob] Eason, it's clear that the teams picking felt the same away about this crop of signal-callers that many pundits did. 

NFL Draft 2019: Biggest winners, losers from Round 1 full of surprises

NFL Draft 2019: Biggest winners, losers from Round 1 full of surprises

The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, and it didn't take long for it to create quite a stir.

Kyler Murray went No. 1 overall to the Cardinals as expected. Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams followed to the 49ers and Jets, respectively.

And that's when things started getting a little wonky.

With all 32 first-round picks now completed, here's a look at the three biggest winners and losers from the first day of the draft:



The Jets reportedly had interest in trading down, but stayed at No. 3, and had arguably the best player in the entire draft fall into their laps. Quinnen Williams will be a plug-and-play staple on their defensive line, and he sure looks like a perennial All-Pro. Sometimes the best move is the one you don't make.


Speaking of benefitting from inaction, Washington got its quarterback and didn't have to give up anything for him. Washington had been rumored to be interested in trading for a QB, but with Dwayne Haskins falling to their pick at No. 15, that will no longer be happening. Haskins was widely regarded as the second-best signal caller in the draft. If he's able to wrangle the starting job, the Ohio State product could be the odds-on favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Additionally, trading into the end of the first round to select speed rusher Montez Sweat (who ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the combine but dropped due to reported health concerns) at No. 26 was well worth the risk.

Teams that need wide receivers and defensive backs

The draft is quite deep in both positions, and considering how pass-happy the league has become, it was a bit of a surprise to see only two receivers and only three defensive backs (two of which were safeties) go in the first round. Former Ole Miss receivers A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf didn't hear their names called, nor did cornerbacks Greedy Williams, Byron Murphy, and Rock Ya-Sin.

Expect several of those names to go early in the second round on Day 2, where the 49ers or Raiders could be ready to pounce.


New York Giants

Last year, the Giants passed on QBs Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen and Josh Allen and drafted a running back second overall. Even with Saquon Barkley's Offensive Rookie of the Year performance, New York won only five games with eroding statue Eli Manning behind center, and that appears to be the plan yet again. Daniel Jones played under David Cutcliffe at Duke, and there's no doubt Cutcliffe's cozy relationship with the Manning family had plenty to do with the Giants selecting Jones with the No. 6 pick.

It seemed like a reach at the time, particularly with Haskins still on the board and the Giants also holding the No. 17 overall selection. Given how atrocious Manning was last season, it might not be long until Jones is thrown into the fire.

A prediction? It won't look pretty, and New York will be drafting in the top-six again a year from now.

Oakland Raiders

Mike Mayock should send Giants GM David Gettleman a gift basket. The stink of the Giants' reach for Jones drowned out the groans of Raiders fans dumbfounded by Oakland's selection of defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick. Ferrell is a quality player and certainly a first-round talent, but top-five is quite a stretch. Mayock himself thought Ferrell would be a trade-down possibility, and yet, with superior pass rushers like Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, and Rashan Gary still on the board, the Raiders stood pat and took Ferrell. 

It's possible there were no trade offers to Oakland's liking, but their failure to find one may say more about Mayock's relative inexperience in his new position and doesn't exactly inspire a ton of confidence in an extremely important draft for him and Jon Gruden.

That said, Josh Jacobs looks like a fitting replacement for Marshawn Lynch, and Johnathan Abram sure can lay the wood.

Josh Rosen, Kyler Murray and the Cardinals 

Rosen, the same guy who has had five different offensive coordinators in four years (since his freshman year at UCLA), got one season behind the worst offensive line in football before his franchise gave up on him. Thus is life in the NFL.

After spending the No. 10 overall pick on Rosen a year ago, new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury selected Murray No. 1 overall Thursday, and it's hard to imagine a scenario where all of this works out well for Arizona.

If the Cardinals keep Rosen, the dynamic in that quarterback room will be interesting, to say the least. If the Cardinals trade Rosen, they'll likely get pennies on the dollar in return. Nearly every team that entered the draft with a lingering quarterback need (New York, Washington) drafted one, and the one that didn't (Miami) doesn't seem like a fit to offer the kind of return Arizona is holding out for.

If the Cardinals were so sure about Murray being their quarterback of the future, they would have been much better off dealing Rosen before the market dried up.

NFL rumors: Giants, Dolphins most active in Josh Rosen trade talks

NFL rumors: Giants, Dolphins most active in Josh Rosen trade talks

If the Cardinals do indeed turn to quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to run Kliff Kingsbury's offense, it would presumably put an end to Josh Rosen's career in Arizona.

So, who makes sense as a trade partner for the Cardinals and their current quarterback? With the draft only a few days away, ESPN's Todd McShay has heard two teams have surfaced the most in trade discussions: the Giants and Dolphins. 

The Giants could have chosen Rosen with the No. 2 pick in the draft last year but opted for running back Saquon Barkley. In this scenario, however, they could have a young nucleus of Rosen and Barkley on offense while possibly having Eli Manning for one last season under center. 

Miami is an interesting case as well. The Dolphins signed veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick on a two-year contract this offseason, though he's much more of a career backup. Rosen could learn from Fitzpatrick and then take over the offense.

The Dolphins could also be targeting a quarterback in next year's draft like Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon's Justin Herbert. 

There's also the chance that the Cardinals simply hold onto Rosen, and select a top defensive prospect like Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams with the No. 1 pick. Arizona has received "trade feelers" for the No. 1 pick, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, and the team will meet in the next day or so to finalize plans going into Thursday's draft. 

[RELATED: Pundits agree on who 49ers should pick at No. 2]

The price for the 49ers' No. 2 pick would certainly go up if the Cardinals passed on Murray. San Francisco could then move back in the draft and net two first-round picks this year

Even if the 49ers move back from No. 2, they could find the pass rusher and offensive weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo they desire.

While the 49ers are set at quarterback, their whole draft will be affected by what the Cardinals decide to do with their QB.

We shall see ...