This article contains opinion.
Every year following any sport’s draft, there are players who make teams go back and say, “if only we knew what would happen.”
In each round, there is usually a star player. With that being said, who will emerge as the draft steals from the 2019 NFL Draft?
Let’s go round by round.
First Round: DE Montez Sweat 26th overall, Redskins
For experts, this was not a surprise Sweat fell this far. Sweat was diagnosed with a heart problem, which he then was told should not affect him. Either way, it forced teams to take him off the board because of the uncertainty.
He stands in at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds. Sweat has above average speed at the defensive end position, running a 4.41 40-yard dash.
The pick was spot on as the Redskins could add to the 46 sacks they had last season. Offensive lineman won’t be able to sleep knowing they have to deal with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Sweat on Sunday.
Second Round: WR D.K. Metcalf 64th overall, Seahawks
I am not sure what the story is with this pick.
Metcalf was projected to be a first-round pick by every expert, and he fell to the last pick of the second round. He was the eighth wide receiver taken.
Now that Doug Baldwin is retiring, the Seahawks find a replacement that is very similar in skill set.
He was the second best wideout on his team last season, but he is fast and explosive. I would give him two years to develop into the No. 1 wide receiver he was meant to become.
Third Round: CB Justin Layne
83rd overall, Steelers
This was another player I was shocked to fall into the third round.
Many teams this day and age look for bigger and physical cornerbacks. Standing in at 6-foot-2 and 192 pounds, Layne also ran a 4.5 40-yard dash. He is physical at the line and is an average tackler.
The big issue that he may have is the separation at the line. Many receivers are fast and could burn Layne.
The Steelers needed a corner coming into the draft, and Layne could act as a plug-and-play player to potentially be the third corner on the depth chart.
Fourth Round: WR Riley Ridley 126th overall, Bears
The fourth round was fun to watch. There were a handful of players that could have easily been my pick. I give honorable mentions to Bryce Love (112th pick) and Benny Snell (122nd pick).
Ridley is the younger brother of Calvin Ridley of the Falcons. The brothers are very similar in size and ability. Riley is just a little slower and did not nearly have the same production in college.
Ridley is a fantastic pick since Da Bears best wideout is Allen Robinson. He will serve as in the slot or as the No. 2 this season.
Fifth Round: CB Amani Oruwariye 146th overall, Lions
Oruwariye is another corner that is excellent in press coverage. He is a bigger corner at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.
The Lions needed a third cornerback, and now, they may have found it.
He also fits head coach Matt Patricia’s scheme. Oruwariye is going to take two to three years to develop, but if he works on his man-to-man game, this could be an excellent pick for Detroit.
Sixth Round: T Olisaemeka Udoh 193rd overall, Vikings
The plan for the Vikings was simple: protect Kirk Cousins. They drafted offensive line heavy, and it should work out.
Their sixth rounder, Udoh, is a player that could be boom or bust. He has the size of a lineman, but is he good enough? He will take a small jump after playing at the Division I-AA Elon University.
If Udoh could develop a better pass-blocking skill set, then he could be great. He will need a couple years to improve, though.
Seventh Round: LB Dakota Allen 251st overall, Rams
Allen has had an incredible story. If you watched “Last Chance U” on Netflix, you will remember him from season two.
I could write an entire article on his story, but I’ll sum it up quickly. He went to Texas Tech and was wrongfully accused of a crime. He got kicked out and went to East Mississippi Community College for a season.
Allen was welcomed back to Texas Tech and is now drafted.
Allen has heart, and when he knows he is the underdog, he explodes with production. He is one of the most liked players anyone will meet and has an entire fanbase by his side.
Good luck to Allen, and hopefully he proves more people wrong. I can’t wait to follow his progress on and off the field.