With the 2019 NFL Draft complete, opinions are swirling surrounding various team’s selections and what it means for their teams. Join guest writer Max Hillman as he recaps what the Bills and Dolphins selections, and how it sets them up going into the 2019 season.
#9: Ed Oliver – DT – Houston; #38: Cody Ford – T – Oklahoma; #74: Devin Singletary – RB – Florida Atlantic; #96: Dawson Knox – TE – Ole Miss; #147: Vosean Joseph – LB – Florida; #181: Jaquan Johnson – S – Miami; #225: Darryl Johnson Jr – OLB – North Carolina A+T; #227: Tommy Sweeney – TE – Boston College
With an abundance of picks that they have accumulated through various trades in recent seasons, the Bills had a very successful draft, with many analysts even declaring them one of the winners of the draft process.
A Story of the steals
Ed Oliver, one of the top prospects fell to the Bills, due to surprise picks by the Giants and Raiders (A topic for another time!). As a result, this was the best case scenario for Buffalo as many teams wanted to trade for their pick. Now the defence goes from scary to spine chilling. Oliver is a sure starter after Kyle Williams’ recent retirement. In addition, Oliver has said ”If I can do half as much as what Kyle Williams accomplished I’ll be happy”. He’s already becoming a fan favourite in Upstate New York!
Buffalo’s luck doubled when Cody Ford, a first-round prospect by many fell to them in the second round. Having blocked for consecutive Heisman winners, Ford has shown he can protect the QB like a seasoned veteran. With Buffalo hoping he provides the same wall for Allen, allowing him to showcase his ‘rocket arm’ even further.
Running away with it
Despite now having two veteran RBs plus International Player Pathway’s Christian Wade on the roster. The Bills needed youth and energy, which they will get from Singletary. Who had a great college career and will be learning from some good veterans. He has already emphasised his willingness to play Special Teams for as long as it takes, showing his hunger to out on the field.
Two Ends in sight
Tight Ends Dawson Knox (3rd round) and Tommy Sweeney (7th round) will fight for game time. Tight End was a position the Bills very much needed to address in the draft. Missing out on first rounders, Hockenson and Fant, Buffalo picked Knox out of Ole Miss in the late 3rd round. Sweeney was a later choice but if he impresses in mini camp or on the practice squad he could become a fine player. One of these two will be replacing Charles Clay who was picked up by the Cardinals during the offseason.
Extra defensive talent
Buffalo avoided complete irrelevancy last season because of their stellar defence. Joseph, Johnson and Johnson help add to that by providing effective depth and competition for spaces. They will ply their trade perhaps on the practice squad or on special teams. C
Overall, it was a relatively lucky draft for the Bills. They have picked up players that could become stars, leaving their fans excited for the future. With hopefully a return back to the playoffs, not too far away.
#13: Christian Wilkins – DT – Clemson; #78: Michael Deiter – OL – Wisconsin; #151 – Andrew Van Ginkel – LB – Wisconsin; #202 – Isaiah Prince – T – Ohio State; #233 – Chandler Cox – RB – Auburn; #234 – Myles Gaskin – RB – Washington
The Dolphins had a relatively successful draft, with some of their picks being slated to make instant impacts. However, it was their trading away of picks that brought their franchise into the headlines over the draft weekend.
The Cardinals selected Kyler Murray at number 1 overall, sending the league into a frenzy. Where will their 10th overall QB choice from only a year ago play in the NFL? It was announced that Josh Rosen will be playing for the Miami Dolphins. They managed to get him for the cheap price of a 2nd rounder and a 2020 5th. It’s low risk for the Dolphins, not giving up lots to a get player of his calibre and it doesn’t bind them if they want to select a QB in future.
Josh Rosen is an interesting case, a top prospect out of college who was seemingly hard done by in Arizona. He played poorly last season, coupled with a woeful O-Line and with a lack of offensive weapons; It looked inevitable that he would leave for greener pastures. It will be intriguing to watch his development, as he now competes with bearded veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting QB job. Now three of the five 1st round QBs from 2018 play in the same division. The Cardinals take an $8.2 million cap hit for the 2019 season. While the Dolphins have a starting Quarterback, they seemingly won the trade.
National Champion in the AFC East
Namely Christian Wilkins was one of the reasons Clemson’s Defensive Line was so imperative last season. As he became a national champion for the second time. Miami now has a player whose energy and explosiveness will be vital to improving a defence which ranked 27th in points allowed in 2018. Additionally, his draft celebration with Roger Goodell provided one of the highlights of the draft, with Goodell even currently using the picture as his Twitter AVI.
A Pair of Wisconsin Wonders
O-Lineman Deiter and LB Van Ginkel both come into the league out of the same college. The former Badgers, provide talent that if utilised correctly can make a big difference. They got a good pick in Deiter who was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and earned second-team All-American honours in 2018. Van Ginkel will prove to be a valuable asset for any team. Moreover, Isaiah Prince also adds helpful depth to an O-Line that was terrible in 2018. In the future, we will see whether he shows improvement or Rosen and Fitzpatrick hit the turf just as frequently as before.
Back to back RBs
In the 7th round, Miami curiously selected back to back RB’s. Cox out of Auburn played 52 games with 41 starts in college catching 26 passes and scoring four touchdowns. Gaskin was the first freshman in University of Washington history to reach 1,000 rushing yards, Gaskin proved his ability as a runner. In addition, he also averaged more than 15 touchdowns a season for all four years at Washington. Now the Dolphins have some weapons, they can work with to improve on their offence. Especially if they attempt a full rebuild as suggested by some analysts.
Overall, in a draft overshadowed by the Rosen trade; the Dolphins made some selections that could help shift the tide of the franchise. Furthermore, they hope that Rosen can display his top 10 overall talent for them.