Day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books and we learned plenty from the events that unfolded Saturday during Round 4-7.
The Arizona Cardinals are doing everything they can to make Kyler Murray’s NFL adventure a success. So are the Baltimore Ravens for Lamar Jackson. Meanwhile, Dave Gettleman continued his old-school approach in Day 3 of the draft.
These are among the top takeaways from the final rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Cardinals will soon be flying high
In addition to the big obvious move at the top of the draft taking Kyler Murray, the Cardinals went hard after weapons for the young dual-threat quarterback. They selected speedster Andy Isabella in the second round and then followed that up with a tremendous value pick atop Round 4 drafting receiver Hakeem Butler. A third receiver — potential big-play machine Keesean Johnson — was selected in the sixth round.
The offense should soon be among the most entertaining in the NFL. But they weren’t solely focused on that in Day 3. The selection of Alabama safety Deionte Thompson in Round 5 could prove to be a steal. Paired with second-round cornerback Byron Murphy, he could give Arizona two impact defenders in 2019.
Maybe Mike Mayock is good at this
The decision to draft Clelin Ferrell with the fourth-overall pick was one we’re not excited about. But the rest of Oakland’s draft this year was darn impressive.
On Day 3, Mayock brought in an edge rusher in Maxx Crosby out of Eastern Michigan who could one day turn into a star. Then he added another raw recruit with star potential in Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson and found tremendous value selecting LSU tight end Foster Moreau and Clemson slot specialist Hunter Renfrow. Not bad, Mayock. Not bad at all.
Baltimore going all-in on Lamar Era
General manager Eric DeCosta and the Ravens brass is clearly committed to giving Lamar Jackson every chance to succeed. Drafting deep threats Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin in the first three rounds was proof enough. Then on Day 3, they kept at it.
The decision to draft running back Justice Hill in the fourth round was a bit surprising considering Baltimore already has Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram to tote the rock. A big-play back who averaged 5.6 yards per touch at Oklahoma State, Hill brings an added element in that he has some wheels. The Ravens now have some very explosive pieces on offense that should spark Jackson’s production in a major way.
NFL teams see Tyree Jackson as a huge project
Before the draft, we boldly predicted that Jackson would be a second-round pick. He’s a physical marvel who has a size-speed-arm-strength combination right out of the “Madden” create-a-player feature.
Not only was Jackson not selected in the second round, he wasn’t even drafted. This is stunning considering he was seen by many as diamond in the rough who has a real chance to become a star. Clearly, NFL scouts and front-office people viewed Jackson’s raw talent as much more of a project that the media did.
Seattle continues late-round master class
The Seattle Seahawks made another first-round selection I hated, but as usual they made up for it with some amazing moves on Day 3. A team that has consistently found late-round prospects who become stars, Seattle appears to have done it again during the 2019 NFL Draft.
Gary Jennings Jr. out of West Virginia is a deep threat who can turn any play into six points. He may even be better suited to thrive in Seattle’s offense than D.K. Metcalf, drafted at the end of Round 2. Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven is undersized but finds himself in the perfect spot on a Seahawks defense with big bodies up front that eat space. He’ll fly to the ball. Running back Travis Homer, selected at the end of Round 6, could be one of the best coming out of college this year.
Dave Gettleman trying to turn back the clock
The New York Giants have won two Super Bowls during the Eli Manning era. Both times, they featured a dominant defense. General manager Dave Gettleman is clearly trying to recapture the glory. New York had 10 total selections in the 2019 NFL Draft. Only three of them were used to draft offensive players.
Quite aside from the awful selection of Daniel Jones at No. 6, it’s hard to defend Gettleman’s draft. Sure, New York needed defensive players after ranking 24th in total offense and 23rd in scoring defense last year. But in today’s NFL, offense is king. Gettleman appears determined to turn back the clock — in more ways than one.
Washington offense could be dangerous in 2020
Despite panic among Washington’s fan base following rumors that Daniel Snyder was taking over the draft in the first round, the Redskins had an amazing draft overall. Following the strong selections in the first round, Washington had a strong Day 3 as well.
The selection of Bryce Love was somewhat surprising as he is coming off an ACL tear and was expected by some to fall much further. But he and Derrius Guice will give this offense a tremendous 1-2 punch in the future. After selecting Love in the fourth round, Washington added a duo of offensive linemen for depth and brought in a talented receiver in Kelvin Harmon out of North Carolina State.
This is how you set up a young quarterback for success. Dwayne Haskins should be a happy guy.
Browns building a monster
Having already loaded up on offensive talent in free agency and the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, Browns general manager John Dorsey focused on defense during the draft. His work in the first two days was strong, and it was more of the same on Day 3.
Adding to the haul of Greedy Williams and Sione Takitaki, Dorsey drafted underrated safety Sheldrick Redwine and Bama linebacker Mack Wilson in the fourth and fifth rounds. This is a team that came into the draft without any glaring needs and some budding Super Bowl aspirations. Now expectations have been raised even higher.
Bill Belichick keeps mining for hidden treasure
Even with his record of success, Belichick continues to blow us away every year. Already having done an outstanding job the first two days, the legendary coach continued to show his mastery on Day 3 with some very savvy selections.
Despite some awful games at Auburn, Jarrett Stidham could be a perfect understudy to Tom Brady. He showed promise at Baylor and will be under no pressure right away in New England. Landing a potential successor at the end of the fourth round is beautiful.
One round later, the Patriots landed one of the most intriguing defensive tackles of the draft. A former five-star recruit who flamed out at Auburn, Maryland’s Byron Cowart still has the potential to develop into a star.