How well did the Giants and Jets use their top 2019 draft pick?

Seen here is the NFL draft logo featuring logos from the two New York City teams, who each had a top six pick in this years draft.

Photo Credit: Photo via Zac Kaye

Seen here is the NFL draft logo featuring logos from the two New York City teams, who each had a top six pick in this years draft.

By: Zachary Kaye, Reporter/Editor

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On Thursday, April 25, both New York football teams had the opportunity to select one of the first six players off of the board in the 2019 NFL draft in Nashville, Tennessee.

Jets

The Jets, who were able to win only four games last year, found themselves picking third. While they have a lot of holes to fill on their team, they are in desperate need of some help on the defensive side of the ball. Last season, they ranked 25th in the league in total defense, giving up 27.6 points per game. With the Cardinals picking first and selecting Heisman trophy winner Kyler Murray, and the 49ers selecting defensive end Nick Bosa second, they were leaving the Jets with a ton of talent to pick from.

There was no talk of picking a quarterback, as they took one last year with the third pick, Sam Darnold. Darnold was not incredible in his first season, but he was able to show flashes of his potential. Taking a defensive player was the obvious choice, and the rest of the first round was definitely able to show that. The Jets ended up going with defensive tackle Quinnen Williams from Alabama. Williams was someone that many thought could be the first pick, so the Jets felt like they got a steal. He was dominant in college, and even won the Outland Award in 2018. That award goes to the best interior lineman in all of college football. Some of the past winners are now NFL stars like Aaron Donald (LA Rams), and Ndamukong Suh (LA Rams).

Williams could provide the spark that the Jets defensive line needs. With no one in the past three seasons getting over seven sacks, Williams should be an immediate upgrade for them. At Alabama last season, Williams was able to rack up eight sacks and twenty tackles for loss. The Jets need this type of production from Williams to carry over. As a team last season, they were 26th best in allowing rush yards per game. They were giving up just over 126 yards per game to opposing backs last season.

Standing at 6 foot 4, and weighing just over 300 pounds, Williams is a dominant figure. Unlike many “college stars,” Williams should be able to transition right into the NFL’s style of play. He is extremely athletic and fast for his size, running a 4.87 40-yard dash. Not only that but he is just as strong, if not stronger than most of the guys at his position. I do believe that the Jets are going to be very happy with how good he will end up being. Especially in a time when their team is on the rise. After just signing All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell, the Jets are looking to turn themselves around.

Giants

Like the Jets, the New York Giants did not have a very successful 2018 season. They finished last in the NFC East, with a very poor record of 5-11. Even after the recent hiring of new coach Pat Shurmur, and drafting the rookie of the year, Saquon Barkley, second overall in last year’s draft, the Giants were unable to put everything together (I wrote a whole different article about their struggles, if you want to check that out).

From a poor offensive line, to a struggling secondary, to an aging quarterback, the Giants had some problems to address. Picking sixth overall gave them the perfect opportunity to do so. With two more defensive players selected, the odds of the Giants picking a quarterback slowly started going up. There were some great options available, including Ohio State Quarterback Dwayne Haskins, a Heisman finalist last year. Haskins was able to break the Big Ten single season passing yards record, throwing for 4,831 yards. Along with this, he was also able to sling fifty touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Many saw him as the clear-cut number two quarterback prospect, but the Giants had their eye on someone else.

The Giants went with Duke three-year starter Daniel Jones. While nobody was doubting Jones’ talent, few saw him going this early in the draft, but the Giants fell in love with not only his skill set, but his character and his overall attitude. Jones got better each of his years at Duke, and was able to throw for 2,674 yards over his senior season. Along with that, he threw twenty-two total touchdowns and only nine interceptions.

While these stats are very impressive, its hard not to see the huge difference between his numbers and Haskins. Also, for what it’s worth, Haskins played in a much better conference, the Big Ten, which is ranked as the second best conference in all of college football. However, the ACC, where Jones played with the Blue Devils, was ranked fifth, or last in terms of the Power 5 (the five main conferences in college football).

Jones does have nice size at the quarterback position, standing at 6 foot 5 and weighing 220 pounds. This gives him enough height to see over the heads of the lineman and enough overall size to take a hit and be mobile when need be. The Giants especially liked the fact that Jones’ coach at Duke is the same man who was able to coach both Eli Manning at Ole Miss and Peyton Manning at Tennessee. David Cutliffe is his name, and he was the head coach at Ole Miss when Eli was there and the offensive coordinator at Tennessee during Peyton’s tenure.

Overall, the Giants need a spark, and they’re hoping Jones can give them one, even if it’s not right away. Along with Jones, they were able to add two more first round draft picks to their roster. They went with Dexter Lawrence, an interior lineman from Clemson at the 17th pick. To close out the first round for them, they went defense again, selecting Deandre Baker from Georgia. Baker was the 30th pick in the draft, and left the Giants were feeling good after Day 1. On a team with a lot of open spots, we should definitely be seeing all three of these young men competing for playing time this upcoming season.

 

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