Although there were several steals and hidden talents in nearly every round of the 2019 NFL Draft, this article will state which were the biggest steals overall in each round. These players were steals because they were either drafted later than expected, they were unknown to most teams, or just had a lack of film on them but are still high quality picks.
Round 1 didn’t have too many steals except for when the New York Giants passed on Dwayne Haskins. This allowed the Washington Redskins to snatch him at the 15th spot in the NFL Draft. This was a steal due to several mock drafts and experts saying Haskins was the best quarterback of the draft. Haskins was so highly rated that many mock drafts had the Redskins giving up several later round picks to move up to the 3rd overall pick in order to take Haskins.
What makes Haskins the best quarterback in this draft? Haskins is one of a few quarterbacks in this draft with high accuracy, high intelligence, and the ability to read a defense and go through his progressions.
In this clip, Haskins is in shotgun and steps to the left as the pocket is starting to crash on the right side. Instead of choosing one target and just firing, Haskins reads every option he has from left to right then finds his receiver down the middle of the field. Every NFL quarterback can do this but only a few like Haskins can do it every single play and throw off safeties and linebackers with his eyes.
Haskins at 15 is a steal and just the beginning of a great draft for the Redskins.
Round 2 goes to the Cleveland Browns after stealing Greedy Williams off the board. Williams was a projected mid-first rounder in most mock drafts. Most fans throughout the country were confused as to why it took a while for Williams to be taken off the board. However, the Browns finally took him in the second round. He will be a great corner next to the young Denzel Ward.
Williams is a 6’3″ cornerback with the ability to get up in your face and jam the receiver. His height comes side-by-side with his length and speed. Williams’ long arms and legs allow him to stick with receivers and break up many passes.
In the clip above, Williams is in press coverage. He stays patient and keeps his eyes locked on the receiver until the receiver turns his head to look for the ball. Williams notices and turns around. He then uses his body to box out the receiver and make the interception.
Williams was a first round talent that will coincide with Ward and the Browns for what can soon be the best corner duo in the league.
The New England Patriots stole the draft once again by taking Michigan defensive end Chase Winovich. Winovich is a great end that some experts believe can be better than his college teammate Rashan Gary. Winovich’s speed, explosiveness, and use of hands allow him to attack quarterbacks and ball carriers fairly quickly.
In the clip below, Winovich attacks the tackle’s inside foot then fights off his hands with a rip move and breaks free to open space. He attacks the quarterback with speed and makes a big sack.
This was not one occurrence but happened multiple times in each game. The Patriots will be looking at a possible future Pro-Bowler in the next few years with this third-round pick.
If you thought the Patriots were done then think again. The Patriots take Hjalte Froholdt, an offensive lineman from Denmark. Froholdt didn’t touch a football field until high school at IMG Academy.
IMG and Arkansas taught him well though. The Danish prospect is a fast pulling guard with some power and the willingness to never giving up.
In this play, Froholdt pulls from the left guard position. He is able to keep his running back from getting tackled in the pile up due to taking on two defenders at once. Froholdt didn’t have the strength to push both defenders back, but his willingness to take on the challenge was just enough. It allowed the running back to find a gap. Consistently doing his part is something the Patriots will capitalize on in the run game.
Froholdt may not be an instant starter, but he will find his way into the lineup and make an impact on the Patriots.
Cleveland Browns strike back as they pick up Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson in the fifth round of the draft. Wilson was a projected second or third-round pick. He didn’t hear his name called until Day 3, however. Wilson was high on the linebacker rankings, but he fell because of lack of playing time and small improvement last season.
However, Wilson still is a great player and loves to hit. Wilson will be a good addition to the Browns as he is a great run stopper and can break up passes in the middle of the field.
In this play, Wilson makes a good angle and shuts down the cutback lane. Wilson would end up making the tackle on this play as he flies down and makes a good wrap up tackle, limiting the gain on the play to just a couple of yards.
If Wilson can stay disciplined and begin to develop, he will be a wrecking force in the middle of the field.
Kelvin Harmon surprisingly dropped into the sixth round of the draft. He was finally acquired by the Redskins. Harmon was a third or fourth-round prospect that still fell a few rounds. However, the Redskins will be pleased to match him up with Haskins.
Harmon has a few great qualities that can help Haskins this upcoming season.
Harmon is an above average route runner with great deep balls skills. He possesses the power to size up and catch balls across the middle and in the red zone. In the above clip, Harmon hits a simple out and go which throws the defensive back off. This allows him to break free for a touchdown.
Harmon may not be a #1 receiver in Washington, but he can be more helpful for the rebuild process going on for the Redskins.
The Los Angeles Rams finished off the draft with the last steal. The Rams took Texas Tech linebacker Dakota Allen. Now you may be thinking that name sounds familiar. That’s because you may know him from Last Chance U.
Allen was Texas Tech’s leading tackler before he was charged with armed robbery and found himself in the JUCO lifestyle in East Mississippi. If this incident did not occur, Allen would have easily been a Day 2 pick with all of the talents he has built in him.
The lack of film and competition, however, caused him to barely be drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. Allen, though, is a very fast linebacker with great tackling and intelligence.
His intelligence shows here as Allen follows the quarterback’s eyes and reads the pass coming to the left. Allen plants his foot and attacks the ball, completing the interception. His zone coverage knowledge allowed him to be in position the whole time as he does not get eager and jumps out of his zone.
Allen will most likely begin his NFL career on special teams. Don’t count him out in a year or two, however, when the Rams need to call up some young linebackers.