First-Round Pick: Tytus Howard-Offensive Tackle-Alabama State
Best Pick: Tytus Howard
The Houston Texans were one of the few teams that entered the 2019 National Football League Draft without glaring needs, and because of that they were able to stock pile depth on both sides of the football. Two of Houston’s first three picks were used on offensive lineman as the team wants to make sure that they keep quarterback Deshaun Watson protected.
At 6’6″, 308 lbs., former Alabama State offensive lineman Tytus Howard is a mountain of a man who should start from his first day with the club. Houston surprised many observers when they selected Howard in the first round, but their head coach Bill O’Brien loved his athleticism and felt that he was too good to pass on. The same could be said about former Northern Illinois Huskies offensive tackle Max Scharping whom the Texans selected in the second as he and Howard have the potential to develop into being the franchise’s bookend tackles for years to come.
This is one of those draft classes that won’t jump off of the paper to the casual fan, but each player fits the mode of what O’Brien wants which is the most important thing.
First-Round Pick: N/A
Best Pick: Round Two-Parris Campbell-Wide Receiver-Ohio State
The Indianapolis Colts came into the 2019 National Football League Draft with the mindset to stock pile draft picks in order to have more draft capital. The Colts already had additional draft picks due to a trade last year with the New York Jets, and they were able to obtain more selections as the Washington Redskins wanted to have an additional first-round pick this year. But whereas the Colts lacked a first-round selection, they would look for value in the later rounds.
Due to various trades the Colts would have three, second-round picks last weekend with all of them falling under the category of “low risk, high reward” with former Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Parris Campbell having the most upside. Last year Campbell was the go-to guy for an Ohio State offense that was one of the most explosive in college football, and now he’ll have the opportunity to catch passes from one of the best in the business in Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.
The Colts didn’t focus as much as they needed to in order to put more skill players, but instead opted to make one of the better defenses in the National Football League in 2018 even more athletic for 2019.
Former TCU Horned Frogs outside linebacker Ben Banogu was one of four linebackers selected by Indianapolis last weekend. Banogu was a second-round pick by the Colts who is a versatile player who can be used either as a defensive end in a 4-3 system, or a stand-up outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Make no mistake about it that the Colts selected Banogu for his ability to rush the quarterback as you can never have enough quality edge rushers in the NFL.
This wasn’t a flashy draft by the Colts as they went more for substance as they are seeking to get back to the playoffs for a second consecutive year and do some damage.
First-Round Pick: Jeffery Simmons-Defensive Tackle-Mississippi State
Best Pick: Round Tw0-A.J. Brown-Wide Receiver-Ole Miss
The Tennessee Titans not only hosted the National Football League Draft for the first time in franchise history, but they also spent a good portion of the proceedings watching some teams take overvalued players and make reaches which allowed them to get immense value with some of their selections.
Under head coach Mike Vrabel, the Titans are looking to be one of the more athletic teams in 2019 which was their focus at the NFL Draft.
The first round would see the Titans select former Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons who can be very disruptive to an opposing offense due to his physical ability as well as him being able to line up in multiple positions. As a player, Vrabel won three Super Bowl Titles with the New England Patriots who’ve focused on finding value players that can do multiple things, and he found a chip off the old block in Mr. Simmons.
Last year the Titans were 29th in the NFL in passing and that part of their offense got a jolt when the team selected former Ole Miss Rebels wide receiver A.J. Brown in the second round. Brown is a physical receiver that is a good route runner, while also being able to play multiple receiver positions which will endear him to Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.
The Titans improved their offense, but failed to bolster their pass rush which is something that could come back to haunt them during the 2019 NFL season.
First-Round Pick: Josh Allen-Defensive End/Outside Linebacker-Kentucky
Best Pick: Round Two-Jawaan Taylor-Offensive Tackle-Florida
In taking a look at the 2019 National Football League of the Jacksonville Jaguars, it had the hand prints of the team’s executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin all over it. During Coughlin’s time as a head coach in the National Football League, he had a “ask no quarter, give no quarter” mindset as his teams were always tougher than their opponents. One of the best ways to improve the toughness of a team is to get better in the trenches which is what they did over the weekend.
I expected the Jags to go for offense early on at the draft, but when former Kentucky Wildcats defensive end/outside linebacker Josh Allen fell to them with the seventh overall pick, his skills were too good to pass on. Allen was arguably the best pass rusher available in this year’s draft as he comes to the NFL as the reigning Southeastern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. At 6’5″, Allen plays with tremendous lean, and he knows how to utilize his speed as Jacksonville will look to improve after they were tied for 22nd in sacks last season.
Jacksonville would get another steal in the second round when they selected former Florida Gators offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor with the third pick of the round. Taylor had the talent to be selected much earlier than he was, but there was mad scramble for teams to take edge rushers and defensive tackles which led to him falling out of the first round completely. But even though that Taylor was overlooked, that does mean that he cannot play.
Taylor was a three-year starter at Florida, but more importantly he is a road grader. The Jags will put an emphasis on running the football this, and Coughlin loves to have offensive lineman that play with a mean streak.
Another sleeper for the Jaguars could be their fifth-round selection in former Temple Owls running back Ryquell Armstead. Coughlin has always had an affection for the running back position; especially the bruising runners like Armstead. Former Jaguars first-round pick Leonard Fournette found himself in hot water with Coughlin and head coach Doug Marrone last season, and maybe the arrival of Armstead could light a fire under him.
The Jags did get tougher in the trenches, but they failed to find impact players at the skills positions which will hinder the performance of their offense, and the team’s new franchise quarterback Nick Foles.