It never seems to fail that the clock ticks on and Training Camps start opening, while yours truly is still plugging along trying to manufacture 32 team Draft reviews. This edition is going to cover multiple teams, in less than detailed pick-by-pick analysis.
For those of you who may express anger and frustration if your team is included here, I apologize for the abridged reviews. However, before you get too angry, I would remind you that you were all encouraged to email us to ask for your favorite team’s review. The teams that follow today had no one who contacted us asking for their favorite team. Please speak up next year. I am always happy to oblige regular visitors to our site.
BRONCOS Draft Review
Of course, we must mention the pre-Draft trade for JOE FLACCO here, then we throw in the drafting of DREW LOCK/QB/MISSOURI. The message seems clear that GM JOHN ELWAY is going all-in to fix his QB position for now, and years to come. LOCK, taken in Round 2 with a Pick acquired from CINCINNATI, has pro-level talent, but has played in so many offensive schemes under 4 Offensive Coordinator’s in his college career, that he needs time to improve his fundamentals. The hope is that FLACCO can lead the team for a year or two, while the coaching staff cleans up LOCK’s weak points, so that he can take over for a decade or so. NOAH FANT/TE/IOWA, their first round Pick should earn lots of playing time right away. He needs work with his blocking, but he is ready to go as a receiver. Second Pick DALTON RISNER/OL/KANSAS STATE is not an elite athlete, but is smart and fundamentally sound. He should earn a starting spot as a Rookie, but the question is whether it is out at OT, or on the Interior OL. Two pass rush weapons should help their aggressive defensive style, under Defensive Coordinator ED DONATELL. DRE’MONT JONES/DT/OHIO STATE is a quick, penetrating DT who will wreak havoc shooting gaps on the interior. Meanwhile, JUSTIN HOLLINS/OB/OREGON is an excellent athlete, who just needs some grooming to help the dynamic duo of MILLER and CHUBB generate pass rush pressure. Not sure what to say about 6th Rounder, JUWANN WINFREE/WR/COLORADO. His resume’ is pretty thin because of constant injury issues in his college career. Some nice athletes here, but RISNER and FANT may be the only guys to help much in 2019.
FALCONS Draft Review
GM THOMAS DIMITROFF wasted no time in demonstrating what his priority was in this Draft. In an effort to protect MATT RYAN better, and bolster the running game, he drafted tough guy CHRIS LINDSTROM/OG/B.C. with Pick 14. He was selected higher than I expected him to go, (PP#41), but he fits the mold of the kind of tough guy that HC DAN QUINN wanted. He then traded back into Round 1 at Pick 31, in a trade with the RAMS, and secured KALEB McGARY/OT/WASHINGTON, who also has a rep as a tough guy. It looks they will be the right side of that OL by September. The next priority for DIMITROFF was getting some depth for his CB group. First, they went after KENDALL SHEFFIELD/OHIO STATE with his 4.40/40 speed. He will be a coaching challenge by their secondary coaches in the short term. Their 5th Round CB selection may be more ready to play soon, because of lack of experience and hesitancy to support against the run. JORDAN MILLER/WASHINGTON has nice size, (6’1/186), with big hands, (9 5/8″), and long arms, (32 7/8″). With their second Round 4 Pick, they selected developmental DL JOHN COMINSKY/CHARLESTON, a converted QB, who played well during Senior Bowl activities. He may be able to play outside, given his 4.70/40 speed that he flashed at the Combine. RB QADREE OLLISON had a tough time battling injuries and coaching changes at PITT, but won ACC Rookie of the Year back in 2015. If he can stay healthier as a pro, he could help fill the gap at RB left by the loss of TAVON COLEMAN in Free Agency. As with most teams, DIMITROFF rolled the dice in Round 7, selecting a relative unknown, MARCUS GREEN/RB/LOUISIANA-MONROE. He’s 5’8/185, who ran a 4.39/40 at his Pro Day. He was selected as a versatile weapon that can be used at RB, his college position of WR, and may also provide a productive option in kick returns, as well. If their first two OL Picks pan out, this will look better in time than it did upon first blush.
BENGALS Draft Review
Quite often, the BENGALS come up short at Draft time, even though it is often NOT their fault. This year is a good example, again. They didn’t even get past OTA’s before they lost 1st Rounder JONAH WILLIAMS/OT/ALABAMA, who was already slotted as starter, to a season ending injury. They also seem to have a nasty habit of taking players a round or two above their prospect ranking. In Round 2, they took DREW SAMPLE/TE/WASHINGTON, who they hope will eventually replace TYLER EIFERT, who has gotten expensive and seems to be an annual injury victim. They took SAMPLE at Pick 52, while I had him ranked at 138. His blocking may be more helpful to them than his receiving ability, at least early on. The team waited until Day 3, Round 4, to grab yet another potential ANDY DALTON replacement in RYAN FINLEY/QB/NC STATE. QB Coach ALEX VAN PELT will be charged primarily with improving FINLEY’s decision making and mechanics in 2019. One of the most productive RB’s in college football came to them in Round 6, in the form of slightly undersized TRAYVEON WILLIAMS/RB/ TEXAS A&M (5’8/206), who exploded for over 2,000-yards of running/receiving yards last season. He has great field vision and creates his own yards, once out into the open field. His questionable ball security will be sorely tested as a pro. An even more promising RB, though one plagued with injuries at OKLAHOMA, is RODNEY ANDERSON, who was also tabbed in Round 6. He is now pretty much of an unknown, because of injury concerns, but has big time potential.The BENGALS got some other good athletes with their Picks, but with JONAH already gone, it looks like another Draft that will fail to produce immediate impact players for them… per usual.
JETS Draft Review
Some people would say that this is the Draft that got MIKE MACCAGNAN fired from his GM job. I am not quite sure that this was even close to being the main cause, but then again, the general public blowback was far from enthusiastic from JETS fans. To be honest though, it feels to yours truly like ADAM GASE would more likely be the guy who got in CHRIS JOHNSON’s ear to force Mike out. The team only had 6 Picks when all the dust settled, and 4 of them went for Defense. The team can’t be dissed for grabbing QUINNEN WILLIAMS/DT/ALABAMA with the 3rd Pick. This man should anchor the middle of their DL, as well as sliding outside to confuse things once in a while. He’s quick on his feet, and off the snap of the ball. Hr is also quite strong. He’s an immediate starter, and will be impactful from Game 1 and on. Their 2nd Pick in Round 3 may be a bit more questionable in JACHAI POLITE, primarily an EDGE RUSHER from FLORIDA. POLITE had a banner season for the GATORS in 2018 with 17.5 TFL, including 11 sacks. However, he needs to learn a “position” to play full-time, and that may take a while. He also had miserable post-season testing, and trouble with the interview process. It’s likely boom or bust with this guy. Both of their next two picks, CHUMA EDOGA/OL/SOUTHERN CAL and TREVON WESCO/TE/FB/WEST VIRGINIA are big guys who came on in their final season in college. BLAKE CASHMAN/LB/MINNESOTA is just an old-fashioned, hard-nosed defender. He had 104 Tackles in the Big Ten last season, and showed some aptitude for coverage. He could be a top Special Teamer, which may be the top skill for their final Pick, BLESSUAN AUSTIN/CB/RUTGERS. In the final analysis, I am guessing that this group certainly did nothing to save MACCAGNAN’s job.
BUCCANEERS Draft Review
The coaching regime is new with BRUCE ARIANS coming out of retirement, but ownership and GM JASON LICHT are still hand-in-glove running the franchise operation. That is not a compliment. LICHT has had some hits in his Draft efforts, but not in keeping some continuity on the roster. From what I saw from their play last season, two of their biggest needs in the Draft included RB and OL help. So, their response was to draft from neither position group to help out Mr. WINSTON, who may be on his last legs in TAMPA, unless he and ARIANS give a command performance with the Offense. After an outstanding pick with DEVIN WHITE/LB/LSU at number 5, their next 3 Picks were for DB’s, which is pretty much what they did last year. That’s 6 DB’s in the last two Drafts combined, and to add insult to injury, I only had one of their 3 DB Picks in my Top 100, and that was down at 85. In another sad Draft tradition, the team selected a K… again. MATT GAY displayed a booming leg, with good accuracy at UTAH. He also looked solid at the Shrine venue, which is held just across the bay from TAMPA. ANTHONY NELSON/DE/IOWA may be a solid selection to help beef up their DL. He’s not an elite pass-rusher but plays both the run/pass in a steady manner. He may be essential with the neck injury to Jason Pierre-Paul. One of their most useful picks may turn out to be the little guy taken in Round 6, SCOTT MILLER/WR/BOWLING GREEN. MILLER is tiny at 5’9/175, but is quick as a hiccup. He ran in the low 4.3-range at his Pro Day, and is quicker than he is fast. He may emerge right away as the replacement for ADAM HUMPHRIES, (VFA loss), in the slot. Overall, a mediocre Draft group may not affect them a whole lot because ARIANS has a reputation, (well earned, IMO), for preferring to redshirt his Rookies. How about another 10-loss season in the Bay Area folks?!