2019 NFL Draft: Worst picks from each round

From Kyler Murray to Caleb Wilson, the draft weekend was action packed with exciting selections and mind-numbing decisions. After taking some time to process all 256 choices, I’ve come up with my list of the worst picks from each round.

Round One

Daniel Jones, QB New York Giants (6)

The whole league is playing chess while David Gettleman tries to win a game of snakes and ladders when it came to the 2019 NFL Draft.

The New York Giants need a quarterback of the future. That much is clear. Eli Manning is at the end of his career, and he’s been on life support for a few years now. But why, for the love of Odell Beckham, is Jones the prospect you stake your reputation on?

I get that he looks the part. I understand he has fantastic athleticism. However, Jones lacks the velocity to succeed in the deep passing game, doesn’t have the quick trigger and natural accuracy to succeed in the short passing game, and is exceptionally lethargically and robotic in nearly all his movements. When a QB’s best asset isn’t even a trait, just that he worked with a good QB developer, you know things probably aren’t great.

Josh Allen was a pick I was highly critical of last year, but even that makes 1000 times more sense than this. At least he’s got a ridiculous arm and top-level upside. Jones may have a relatively high floor, but his ceiling is essentially that of a Ryan Tannehill. He might be relatively competent in a west-coast system, but if you want him to move the needle for a franchise, you’re likely to be extremely disappointed. I’m rooting for Jones to prove me wrong, but from all accounts, this looks like a disastrous choice.

Dexter Lawrence, DL New York Giants (17)

New York strikes again, this time taking a severely devalued position way too high in the first round. The bigger problem is Lawrence isn’t Saquon Barkley.

A 320-pound nose tackle from Clemson, Lawrence is a behemoth of a man who’s only started to grow into his large frame. It’s easy to get excited about his run stuffing ability and lane clogging potential. However, like the majority of men his size, Lawrence struggles as a rusher, and in a league so centered around internal pressure, that’s a significant issue. The truth of the matter is that you can find any big guy to take up space in the middle of a defense. Lawrence does it better than the majority, but it’s an easily replaceable role.

The worst part of the selection is that just a few months earlier, the Giants traded arguably the best nose tackle in the league, Damon Harrison, for a measly fifth-round pick. Since then, New York has admitted the position is non-essential, only to take a player with a maximum ceiling of Harrison in round one. It makes no sense.

Round Two

Greg Little, OL Carolina Panthers (37)

The second-round is the time to take developmental tackles. It’s not the time to trade a third-round pick and move up only ten spots to take one. I’m not a big Little fan, but I understand the pick. The need is massive, and he’s got legitimate starter upside, but they passed on Jawaan Taylor and Cody Ford and got fleeced by Seattle in the trade up. If I were Carolina I’d want a mulligan.

Max Scharping, OT Houston Texans (55)

Much like Carolina, there’s no problem taking a developmental tackle at this spot. But Max Scharping isn’t just “developmental.” He’s rawer than blue steak. A lumbering presence who struggled at the Senior Bowl, Scharping, despite Houston’s gaping hole on the offensive line, doesn’t make sense here. The value is nothing short of awful, and the Texans took Tytus Howard, another “upside” type tackle in round one. Double dipping at the same position on athletic, yet flawed, prospects feels both confusing and unnecessary.

Drew Sample, TE Cincinnati Bengals (52)

Thankfully this was just a small sample of Cincinnati’s draft because if it was indicative of all seven rounds, I might need Thanos to come and snap his fingers again.

Sample is a decent player. He has solid athleticism, is a great blocker, and was severely underutilized at Washington. But he has virtually no production, plays a devalued position, doesn’t have tape good enough to warrant a selection this high, and was taken over superior players with similar styles.

Yes, Sample was underrated before the draft. That’s part of the reason this pick was such a shock. He’s even comparable to Seahawk TE Will Dissly, another former Husky, in a lot of ways. Dissly, however, was taken at his appropriate value, two rounds later. And that’s ultimately the problem I have with this selection: not the player, but the cost.

Round Three

Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE Baltimore Ravens (85)

Some people might think this pick should be in the “best bargain” list. Most will say it has no business being here. Let me try and do my best to prove that Ferguson was the worst pick of the 3rd Round.

There’s no denying that the Louisiana Tech pass rusher put up ridiculous production throughout his time with the Bulldogs. The Senior posted 17.5 sacks last year and has the all-time collegiate record for career sacks. If we’re looking at only production, he should be a top-ten pick. Unfortunately, scouting is so much more than a box score. College football production doesn’t always equate to NFL success, particularly at the EDGE position. If you don’t believe me, check the record books. All-time sack leaders Ja’Von Rolland-Jones and Hau’oli Kikaha are tearing up the pros as we speak.

Ultimately, if his traits matched his on-field numbers, I’d have no qualms about this pick, but for Ferguson, that’s far from the truth. Lacking next level traits, struggling severely at the Senior Bowl, and posting mind-blowingly bad athletic scores, show that he doesn’t have starter potential. There’s no point in taking a depth piece this early.

Quincy Williams, DB / LB Jacksonville Jaguars (98)

Quincy Williams is Quinnen Williams’ brother. Being related to the best player in the 2019 NFL Draft gives him massive street credit, but besides bloodlines, this pick didn’t make sense.

Jacksonville had an exceptional first two rounds of the draft, getting prime value in each, and I expected that to continue in round three. Some high-caliber linebackers were available, such as Mack Wilson and Blake Cashman. Instead, they opted for Williams, a small school and relatively unheard of player. His selection even stumped the NFL Network crew, who didn’t have any film of him to show during the draft.

I actually liked Quincy as a late sleeper or undrafted free agent, but this pick just screamed reach from every angle. Even his college coach was shocked. Ultimately this just seemed like Jacksonville was drafting against itself, and Williams would have still been available much later.

Round Four

Mitch Wishnowsky, P San Francisco 49ers (110)

Taking a Punter in the fourth round of the draft is always going to catch some severe backlash. Now Wishnowsky is a really good one, but the value on this selection is mediocre at best. Ultimately this selection reminds me a lot of when Seattle took Michael Dickson last year. Dickson was a pro-bowl punter right off the bat. Unfortunately, Dickson was taken in the fifth round, and Wishnowsky isn’t as good as the former Longhorn, which makes this a lot worse pick on the surface. I’m hoping Wishnowsky proves me wrong and he very well could, but the positional value and options left on the board make this a very iffy choice.

Round Five

Zach Gentry TE Pittsburgh Steelers (141)

I don’t get this pick. If you’re going to be drafting a tight end, you need at least one of two things, blocking or catching. Gentry provides neither. With hips stiffer than cardboard, Gentry’s sub-par coordination and mediocre athleticism make him pedestrian as a receiver. Meanwhile, due to his height, Gentry struggles with leverage and balance in the run game. So basically, he is a camp body with a Big ten background. Yes, he’s 6’7”, but you’re banking on him being a size mismatch at this point. At least go for a height/weight/speed guy with some upside. This was a bad draft pick by Pittsburgh

Round Six

Trace McSorley QB Baltimore Ravens (197)

I’m going to try and stay reasonable with this one. McSorley is an incredible athlete and high character player. The Nittany Lion QB’s dual-threat capabilities seem to fit the Lamar Jackson mold and McSorley will be his direct back-up. The only problem is he can’t throw a football. Look, that may be harsh, but McSorley doesn’t have what it takes to succeed as a pro passer. Maybe he can try and convert back to Safety. Perhaps he can dabble as a receiver. But it’s pretty simple, a player in drastic need of a position switch isn’t worth a draft pick.

Round Seven

Kerrith Whyte RB Chicago Bears (222)

By the time Round seven of the draft rolls around, there are no “bad” selections. After all, the main issues with draft selections aren’t usually players themselves, but rather the value associated with them. You really can’t make a bad pick this late. For the purpose of this article, I had to choose one. I’m sorry, Whyte, but I went with you.

Truth be told, I didn’t do much work on Whyte throughout the pre-draft process. He played behind Devin Singletary at a relatively small school, so you can understand why. I both thought he should, and would, go undrafted. After spending some time after the draft to develop my opinion, I maintain that sentiment, especially with superior runners like James Williams and Bruce Anderson on the board. For those reasons, the former Florida Atlantic running back makes this list.

Conclusion

It’s admittedly useless to start criticizing selections before they’ve played a professional football snap. After all, so much more than just college film and testing goes into this. However, it’s the off-season, and no off-season is complete without getting worked up over the draft. Ultimately, if this list even got you the slightest bit angry, I’ve done my job.

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