2019 AFC Draft Grades

By: Steve Johnson

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Traded 22 to Eagles for 25, 127,197. Marquise Brown (1.25), Traded 102, 191, and 193 to Vikings for 93. Jaylon Ferguson (3.22), Miles Boykin (3.30), Justice Hill (4.11), Ben Powers (4.21), Iman Lewis-Marshall (4.25), Daylon Mack (5.22), Trace Mcsorley (6.25)

The Ravens gained a lot of value, adding five players in day two, despite not having a 2nd Round pick. They got much faster on offense, trading back in the first round to get Marquise Brown, and using one of their three 4th Round picks to take RB Justice Hill. WR Miles Boykin has the potential to play opposite of Marquise Brown long term. Adding Ben Powers helped booster their interior line. With losing Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith this offseason, edge was obviously a need, so they added Jaylon Ferguson with their 2nd pick.

Grade: B+

Cincinnati Bengals

Jonah Williams (1.11). Traded 42 to Broncos for 52, 125, and 182. Drew Sample (2.20). Germaine Pratt (3.9). Traded 110 and 182 to 49ers for 104. Ryan Finley (4.2). Renell Wren (4.23). Traded 149 and 213 to Cowboys for 136. Michael Jordan (4.34). Trayveon Williams (6.9). Rodney Anderson (6.39). Jordan Brown (7.9)

Adding Jonah Williams immediately helps their OL, regardless of if he plays inside or outside. I thought Drew Sample was drafted a little early, especially in a rather deep class. Germaine Pratt should be given the opportunity to contribute right away at LB and on Special Teams. Is Ryan Finley the heir apparent to Andy Dalton? Probably not, but he has spot starter and good backup potential. Renell Wren is a Bengal type of DL. I like what they did in the 6th, drafting back to back Running Backs, that both show some upside to spell Joe Mixon long term.

Grade: C

Cleveland Browns

Traded 17, 95, Kevin Zeitler, and Jabrill Peppers to Giants for Odell Beckham Jr and Olivier Vernon. Traded 49, 144 to Colts for 46. Greedy Williams (2.14). Sione Takitaki (3.17). Sheldrick Redwine (4.17). Mack Wilson (5.17). Austin Seibert (5.32). Drew Forbes (6.17). Donnie Lewis (7.7)

You have to consider the trade for Odell Beckham when analyzing what the Browns did in the draft. I think the Browns won that trade, and had a really good draft. Trading up to get Greedy Williams in the 2nd round was a steal. They continued to address the defense, selecting Takitaki in the 3rd round, who is a very intriguing prospect who brings versatility to the defense. Redwine and Wilson add depth to the defense, who could eventually end up as starters. The 5th round is a little early for kicker in my opinion, but Seibert was arguably the best in the draft.

Grade: A-

Pittsburgh Steelers

Traded Antonio Brown to Radiers for 66 and 141. Traded 20, 52 and 2020 3rd to Denver for 10. Devin Bush (1.10). Diontae Johnson (3.2). Justin Layne (3.20). Benny Snell (4.20). Zach Gentry (5.3). Sutton Smith (6.2). Isaiah Buggs (6.20). Ulysees Gilbert (6.35). Derwin Gray (7.5).

When you look at the Antonio Brown trade just by the numbers, it’s hard to like it. With that being said, it was such a bad situation, and Brown might be literally crazy, I think the return wasn’t that bad. Making that trade, allowed them to trade up for Devin Bush, who is an absolute stud and is as “Steeler LB” as it gets. It’s hard to question the Steelers drafting Diontae Johnson, as their history with WRs is more than impressive. He should contribute right away opposite JuJu. Justin Layne adds depth in the secondary, and should also contribute right away. I think there were better backs available when they drafted Benny Snell, but the Gentry pick adds a potential starter down the line on offense. Sutton Smith is versatile but limited with size. Buggs and Gray, also could be potential starters and fit what they like to do.

Grade: B+

AFC South

Houston Texans

Tytus Howard (1.23). Lonnie Johnson (2.22). Max Scharping (2.23). Kahale Warring (3.23). Charles Omenihu (5.23). Xavier Crawford (6.23). Cullen Gillaspia (7.6)

The Texans needed to go into the draft addressing their offensive line. When the Eagles moved up in front of them to take the best tackle on the board, they stayed put and took Tytus Howard. Two picks later, they took Max Scharping, who should push for a starting job either inside or outside. Lonnie Johnson is long and athletic, and will play right away in the secondary. Adding another weapon for Watson in Kahale Warring, who has limited football experience but is an excellent athlete, was big. Charles Omenihu was a solid value pick, and could be used in a various of ways.

Grade: B-

Indianapolis Colts

Traded 26 to Washington for 46 and a 2020 2nd. Traded 46 to Cleveland for 49 and 144. Traded 129 and 135 to Raiders for 109. Traded Hassan Ridgeway to Eagles for 246. Rock Ya-Sin (2.2). Ben Banogu (2.17). Parris Campbell (2.27). Bobby Okereke (3.26). Khari Willis (4.7). Marvell Tell (5.6). E.J. Speed (5.26). Gerri Green (6.27). Jackson Barton (7.26). Jason Patterson (7.32).

The Colts draft was all about value, as they traded back twice in the first 50 picks. They drafted four guys that should contribute right away in day two, as well as gaining what could be a valuable 2nd round pick from Washington in 2020. Rock Ya-Sin could have easily been a first round pick, and should be used in a various of ways on defense from the start. Frank Reich will surely find a way to use Campbell right away, getting him some manufactured touches.

Grade: B+

Jacksonville Jaguars

Traded 38 and 109 to Oakland for 35, 140 and 235. Traded 236 for a 2020 6th. Josh Allen (1.7). Jawaan Taylor (2.3). Josh Oliver (3.5). Quincy Williams (3.35). Ryquell Armstead (5.2). Gardner Minshew (6.5). Dontavius Russell (7.21)

The Jaguars stayed put and took the best player available, in Edge Rusher Josh Allen. Trading up 3 spots in the 2nd round, to select Jawaan Taylor, a player that some had as a first round pick. Josh Oliver adds upside at the tight end position, who could start right away. Ryquell Armstead is a good safety valve in case Fournette doesn’t work out.

Grade: A-

Tennessee Titans

Traded 121 and 157 to Jets for 116 and 168. Jeffery Simmons (1.19). A.J. Brown (2.19). Nate Davis (3.19). Amani Hooker (4.14). D’Andre Walker (5.30). David Long (6.16)

The Titans took a risk worth taking, when they selected Jeffery Simmons at 19. He was injured in the pre draft process, and could have easily been a top 10 pick if healthy. A.J. Brown is NFL ready and will immediately give Marcus Mariota another weapon, in a huge year for him. Nate Davis provides interior depth and will be given every opportunity to start right away. The Titans really won on day three, as they drafted 3 potential starters on defense. LB David Long may be the steal of the draft.

Grade: A

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Traded 40 and 158 to Oakland for 38. Ed Oliver (1.9), Cody Ford (2.6). Devin Singletary (3.11). Dawson Knox (3.33). Vosean Joseph (5.9). Jaquan Johnson (6.8). Darryl Johnson (7.11). Thomas Sweeney (7.14)

The Bills were ecstatic about Ed Oliver falling to them at 9. He’s going to be the guy everyone is talking about in 5 years, as either a steal or a reach. Cody Ford, who many thought would be a first round pick, ended up falling to 38 . He’ll be able to start right away, and has the versatility to play in multiple positions along the line. I like Devin Singletary, but I think there were better value picks later on. Dawson Knox and Vosean Joseph are both raw, but provide playmaking upside.

Grade: B

Miami Dolphins

Traded 48, 116 to Saints for 62, 202, and 2020 2nd. Traded 62 and 2020 5th to Arizona for Josh Rosen. Christian Wilkins (1.13). Michael Deiter (3.15). Andrew Van ginkel (5.13). Isaiah Prince (6.30). Chandler Cox (7.19). Myles Gaskin (7.20)

Christian Wilkins at 13, is a little early for me, but he is a guy that can be the face of your franchise and a great locker room guy, especially for a team in rebuilding mode. Looking at what the Dolphins did, they basically traded a 2nd and 4th for a 2020 2nd and Josh Rosen. The need for QB was obvious, whether he’s their guy of the future or not is to be determined, but they will have ammo in 2020 to make a move if Rosen doesn’t work out. They took back to back Wisconsin Badgers, addressing interior line depth in Deiter and LB in Van ginkel. Overall I think this was a move for 2020, outside of Wilkins I’m not sure what helps them this season.

Grade: C

New England Patriots

Traded 56, 101 to Rams for 45. Traded 162 and 2020 4th to Chicago for 87. Traded 134 and 243 to Rams for 162 and 167. Traded 162 and 239 to Vikings for 159. Traded 167 and 246 to Eagles for 163. N’Keal Harry (1.32). Joejuan Williams (2.13). Chase Winovich (3.14). Damien Harris (3.24). Yodny Cajuste (3.38). Hjalte Froholdt (4.16). Jarrett Stidham (4.31). Byron Cowart (5.21). Jacob Bailey (5.25). Kendarius Webster (7.38).

The Patriots were in need of some size that could provide some mismatches on the outside, so they took N’Keal Harry. The rest of their draft, was typical Patriot way, making a number of trades. They gave up a 3rd round pick to move up for Joejuan Williams, who will be used in a variety of ways on defense from the start. They were able to get another 3rd from Chicago, to go with their 2, and took pass rushing help in Winovich, a versatile power back in Harris, and some offensive line help in Cajuste. I really like Cajuste and Froholdt, who both have starter qualities in them. Is Stidham the heir apparent to Tom Brady? We’ll see. He has all the tools, but was extremely inconsistent, although Auburns offense was somewhat to blame.

Grade: A

New York Jets

Traded 93 and 217 to Vikings for 92. Traded 105 to Saints for 116 and 168. Traded 116 and 168 to Titans for 121 and 157. Quinnen Williams (1.3). Jachai Polite (3.4). Chuma Edoga (3.29). Trevon Wesco (4.19). Blake Cashman (5.19). Blessuan Austin (6.24)

The Jets took the best player available in Quinnen Williams. Pairing him with Leonard Williams, gives them the chance at having a dominant front for years to come. With their first 3rd round pick, they took the chance on Jachai Polite. Polite looked like a totally different player in the draft process than he did in 2018 as a Gator. At the position they selected him, and with an obvious need of edge talent, it was worth the risk, expect Gregg Williams to get everything he can from him. They traded up one pick to select a potential starting tackle, in Edoga, to help protect their franchise QB. All 3 of their day 3 picks have starter potential, but all provide immediate special teams ability.

Grade: B-

AFC West

Denver Broncos

Traded 113 to Baltimore for Joe Flacco. Traded 10 to Steelers for 20, 52 and 2020 3rd. Traded 52, 125, 182 to Cincinnati for 42. Traded 148 to 49ers for 212 and Dekoda Watson. Traded 212 and 237 to Panthers for 187. Noah Fant (1.20). Dalton Risner (2.9). Drew Lock (2.10). Dre’Mont Jones (3.8). Justin Hollins (5.18). Juwann Winfree (6.15)

Although a little early in my eyes, the Broncos improved at a position of need. Fant is a playmaker that should start right away and improve their offense, as well as providing a security blanket for a young QB. Taking Dalton Risner in the 2nd, also surrounds the young QB with some toughness up front. Of course the young QB I’m referring to is Drew Lock, who they used their other 2nd rounder on. He has the arm strength and physical tools to be the franchise QB Elway has been searching for since Mannings retirement. Jones and Hollins adds depth at two positions of need on defense, and Winfree has the physical traits to be groomed into a decent option outside.

Grade: B

Kansas City Chiefs

Traded Dee Ford to 49ers for a 2020 2nd. Traded 29, 92, and a 2020 2nd to Seahawks for Frank Clark and 84. Traded 61 and 167 to Rams for 56. Mecole Hardman (2.24). Juan Thornhill (2.31). Khalen Saunders (3.21). Rashad Fenton (6.29). Darwin Thompson (6.42). Nick Allegretti (7.2)

The Chiefs got really unlucky, losing one young star, in Kareem Hunt, and potentially losing another, in Tyreek Hill, to off the field issues. The acquired Frank Clark from the Seahawks for basically a first and 2020 2nd (which they received for trading Dee Ford). They’ll do the best they can replacing their young offensive studs, by first trading up for Mecole Hardman, and taking Darwin Thompson in the 6th. Although neither are pro ready, both could be thrown into the mix to learn on the fly. The Chiefs had to get better on defense, Juan Thornhill should play right away, and Khalen Saunders should also make an impact. The Chiefs did the best they could, with what they had this year.

Grade: B-

Los Angeles Chargers

Jerry Tillery (1.28). Nasir Adderley (2.27). Trey Pipkins (3.28). Drue Tranquill (4.28). Easton Stick (5.28). Emeke Egbule (6.28). Cortez Broughton (7.28)

Jerry Tillery was one of the most underrated players in this years draft, and getting him at 28 is great value. He will start immediately and help solidify a really good front 4. Adding Nasir Adderley to play center field, as a compliment to Derwin James playing more in the box was one of the true steals of the draft. Pipkins and Tranquill both have starter ability, and could start right away. The 5th round is a little early for Easton Stick.

Grade: B

Oakland Raiders

Traded Khalil Mack, 2020 2nd and conditional 2020 5th to Chicago for 24, 196, 2020 first and 2020 3rd. Traded Amari Cooper to Cowboys for 27. Traded 66 and 141 to Steelers for Antonio Brown. Traded 35, 140, 235 to the Jaguars for 38, 109. Traded 38 to Bills for 40 and 158. Traded 109 to Colts for 129 and 135. Traded 135 to Falcons for 137 and 230. Clelin Ferrell (1.4), Josh Jacobs (1.24), Johnathan Abram (1.27). Trayvon Mullen (2.8). Maxx Crosby (4.4). Isaiah Johnson (4.27). Foster Moreau (4.35). Hunter Renfrow (5.11). Quinton Bell (7.16)

The Raiders were involved in a lot of trades prior to the draft. Trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, and then acquiring Antonio Brown. Obviously you have to take those trades into account when analyzing the Raiders. Although AB is a complete diva, giving up what they got was good value, and a new environment should be what he needs. Although he has a very high floor, 4th overall is a price too high for Clelin Ferrell. I like the pick of Josh Jacobs, as he was the clear cut #1 back, especially in a position of need. 27 is also too early for Johnathan Abram as there were better players on the board, including at his position. Mullen should contribute right away, at a position they struggled at in 2018. Johnson and Moreau are good value picks that may surprise some people. Renfrow should contribute right away if used correctly out of the slot.

Grade: B