Believe it or not, we’re less than a month away from the 2019 NFL Draft. Time flies when you’re having fun, or in my case, grinding tape and evaluating prospects. I’ll grind away on what I think a player can do, and inevitably he won’t go to that team. But that’s what makes this fun!
More often than not, something that all of us evaluators like to do is run through a mock draft. Those are always fun, but they can get repetitive. How many times can we really run through Kyler Murray or Quinnen Williams as the top pick of the 2019 NFL Draft? It’s exhausting at times, so I’ve thought of a new idea. It’s similar to a mock draft, but it expands through the entire 2019 NFL Draft.
This idea stems from opening day in baseball. Whether you’re a Yankees fan or a Cubs fan, it doesn’t matter, there are players on your team that you may or may not want on the roster. When we get to football season, the same thing is going to happen.
It doesn’t matter if your football team has five picks or 12 in the NFL Draft. There is one player that can help contribute for years to come. More often than not, it happens. But who are they? They’re not always the first pick; it varies. In this exercise, I want to provide one player that your team NEEDS by the time we get to kickoff for the regular season. (Yes, this will be in multiple parts. First up, the NFC!)
New York Giants – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida (6th Pick)
Could you imagine if the Giants are able to trade for Josh Rosen? They have 12 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and if they can put a package together to trade away Odell Beckham Jr., then they can get a package together for Rosen. We’ve all talked about the warts with this quarterback class, and if we don’t love it, then why should the Giants? They should unequivocally not force their hand. Either way, I don’t see the Giants drafting a quarterback with the sixth pick. Could they consider an edge rusher? Absolutely, but to be honest, they should go with an offensive tackle. But this isn’t about being right. This is about being realistic.
Jawaan Taylor (RT 65) shows patience and let's the DE come to him. Once he's got him in the right spot – inside hand stab and turn out. pic.twitter.com/k7qLM0Ol0w
— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) January 10, 2019
Though they have Nate Solder on the left side, they need to make sure they’re good opposite him. The Cowboys just added Robert Quinn and have continued to find ways to help their pass rush. The Eagles have Jim Schwartz, and he could make a tree bend towards the quarterback faster than Jaylon Ferguson. As for Jawaan Taylor, he’d help with protecting Eli Manning for another season and the development of Saquon Barkley. It’s clear they’re focused on establishing the run, and Taylor can help with that. He’s got great grip strength and his footwork has been incredible. If he’s the starting right tackle when the season kicks off, then the Giants have plenty to be happy about with their offensive line.
Washington Redskins – Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama (46th Pick)
They cut Zack Brown and are really thin behind Mason Foster. In the first round, they can address their team with the best player available. Two options that always get floated around are wide receiver or quarterback, and those are serious options. When we get to the second round, it has to be a linebacker, especially if Wilson is on the board. Keep in mind that the Redskins have had a tendency of adding former Alabama players during the draft.
Can Mack Wilson continue to grow in his skills and gain success at the NFL level? pic.twitter.com/qtQ36LhL3G
— PFF College (@PFF_College) February 20, 2019
As for Wilson, he should have stayed another year at Alabama, but he opted to go to the 2019 NFL Draft. With that being said, he’ll go in the second round, not in the first. Does that mean he can’t play? He absolutely can play. He has to get better at processing, but he flashes consistent range and has some solid ball skills. Over the last two seasons, he has six interceptions and seven pass deflections. Pairing him with another linebacker will do wonders for his growth. The Redskins do also have Reuben Foster on their roster. If that gets sorted out, they’ll have a much better group of linebackers than originally predicted.
Philadelphia Eagles – Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia (53rd Pick)
The only things missing from Philadelphia right now are Bryce Harper actually doing well in the batter’s box and another Lombardi trophy. Earlier in the day, the Eagles traded for Jordan Howard and might have an answer to their running back woes. They still need a future left tackle, and Yodny Cajuste makes the most sense.
Any player can get selected before the spot I have them going. Right now, Cajuste is 39th on my big board, but with some of the injury concerns and limited ability in the draft process, he could fall down plenty of draft boards. Cajuste can mix up his post foot with his set foot, and at times, his pad level can get high while his hand placement slips outside. Overall, he has the traits that are desired in a future left tackle, and he’s consistent enough to start at the next level. With three picks in the top 60 of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Eagles could snag a starting linebacker, future left tackle, and best defensive player available.
Dallas Cowboys – Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State (58th Pick)
Originally, I had an edge rusher for the Cowboys, but after they acquired Robert Quinn, that need moves down the draft board. It doesn’t get erased completely, but for now, they can look at other positions with their first pick. When we get to the regular season and the Cowboys have Jones on their roster, it’s time to get excited or jealous. Maybe even mad.
Pairing Jones with this defensive line would give them one of the best units in football, if not the best unit. Jones has an incredible motor and displays solid burst and explosiveness off the LOS. His hands can become inconsistent and his block recognition could improve, and that would help change some of the sloppy results we see on the field from him. Overall, he’s an athletic interior defensive lineman that can play just about anywhere for the Cowboys.
If I read a single scouting report on Dre'Mont Jones and someone questions his motor or pursuit…we're going to have problems. pic.twitter.com/sllWnRaS5g
— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) November 8, 2018