NFL Draft 2019: Winners and Losers


Kyler Murray was the top prize in the NFL Draft on Thursday night, the must-see quarterback landing in the desert as the No. 1 pick of the Arizona Cardinals

The rest of first round unfolded with a few surprises at the top -- looking at you, Raiders and Giants -- a few blank looks during a run on linemen in the teens, and a flurry of trades in the 20s.

Though the final analysis can't be completed until these players get onto NFL fields -- and even then it will take a few years to know who got it right -- it's not too soon to judge who's smiling and who's shaking their heads after the top 32 picks.

A quick look at the winners and losers of Round 1:

Winners: Kyler Murray, Kliff Kingsbury and the Arizona Cardinals' Q rating

Yeah, Murray picking football over baseball was probably the right call. Kingsbury, the rookie coach, gets his QB to prove he's the offensive genius he's cracked up to be. And the Cardinals matter now; if Murray lives up to the hype, they'll play their way into prime TV slots. 

Loser: Josh Rosen

The Cardinals' incumbent quarterback heads into NFL purgatory, pending a potential trade. Too bad a couple of the more attractive long-term destinations, the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, also drafted their QBs of the future...

Winner: Clelin Ferrell

Unless you're a devoted draftnik, you might be asking: Who? The Oakland Raiders brain trust of Jon Gruden, GM Mike Mayock and none of their scouts tapped the Clemson defensive end as the No. 4 pick and their belated answer to trading away Khalil Mack. The Raiders rounded out their first-round haul with running back Josh Jacobs and safety Johnathan Abram.

Losers: Giants fans 

They were baffled in the Big Apple after the Giants used the No. 6 pick on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, whom many had projected as a Day 2 pick, to become the heir to Eli Manning. Later selections of a pair of defensive players, Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence and Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker, did little to improve opinions of the Dave Gettleman regime. (Conversely, winners: the tabloids.)

Winners: Dan Synder's Washington Redskins

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was the first choice of the owner -- and the Redskins didn't even need to budge from No. 15 to get him. Instead, they used picks to trade back into the first round and get hyper-athletic defensive end Montez Sweat at No. 26.

Winners: New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Buffalo Bills

They didn't trade, they didn't overthink it. They just used their top-10 picks on really good front-seven defensive players with star potential: Quinnen Williams to the Jets at No. 3, Josh Allen to the Jags to No. 7, Ed Oliver to the Bills at No. 9.

Loser: Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers went defense with both of their picks: Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary at No. 12 and Maryland safety Darnell Savage at No. 21 (moving up from No. 30). That means no immediate help on the offensive side of the ball in Rodgers' first year working with Matt LaFleur. Meanwhile, Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan, the Houston Texans' Deshaun Watson and the Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz will be grateful for first-round upgrades on the offensive line. 

Winners: Iowa tight ends

The Detroit Lions selected T.J. Hockenson at No. 8, and the Denver Broncos scooped up his teammate and position-mate Noah Fant at No. 20.

Losers: D.K. Metcalf, Greedy Williams, Drew Lock

This trio slipped out of the first round after some lofty projections leading up to the draft. Now they'll have to sweat until Friday's Round 2.