The New York Giants sent shockwaves throughout the NFL when they traded superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Through his first 50 career games played, Beckham Jr. set the record for most receptions (337) and ranks second in receiving yards and 100-receiving yard games. The Giants, however, set themselves up nicely for the 2019 NFL Draft with two top-20 picks.
New York Giants fans are not the only fanbase excited for the first night of the NFL Draft; the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers join the Giants as the only three teams with multiple first round picks. All three teams had a sub-.500 record during the 2018 season and all three teams will continue to look for major upgrades this offseason.
New York Giants
Key 2019 offseason moves:
- Traded WR Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for OL Kevin Zeitler, S Jabrill Peppers, and a first-round pick
- Resigned WR Sterling Shepard
Biggest needs: QB, LB, CB
6. LB Devin White, LSU
The 2019 NFL Draft Class is defense-heavy. Names such as Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver may lead the discussion as the stars of this draft, but Devin White will have the most immediate impact for his team this coming season. His leadership qualities from his time spent at LSU make him a no-brainer top-ten pick. The Giants have many needs this offseason, but the leadership of an inside linebacker would be a great start at rebuilding.
17. QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger and the Giants front office will have to find a replacement at some point. Haskins has a powerful arm, but his draft stock fell for many after impressive pro-days by Kyler Murray and Drew Lock. The quarterback selection this year may not be viewed as great, but for a team with multiple first-round picks, taking a risk on a quarterback early will not be as detrimental in the long-run.
Key 2019 offseason moves:
- Acquired WR Antonio Brown via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers
- Signed S Lamarcus Joyner and LB Brandon Marshall
- Released OL Donald Penn
Biggest needs: CB, DL, OL, RB
4. DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Oakland Raiders traded away star-defensive lineman Khalil Mack. In his first four seasons, Mack was elected to two First-team All-Pro teams and won NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. Many were reasonably left scratching their heads after the trade. This left a huge hole to fill, but this pick gives head coach Jon Gruden and the Raiders a chance to fill it. Williams boasted an impressive final season with eight sacks and 19.5 tackles-for-loss at interior lineman and his draft stock has been on the rise since.
24. CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia
The Raiders finished dead-last in pass defense last season. If they want to prevent a repeat performance, they need to stock up on a defensive back or two in this year’s draft. The 2019 defensive back draft class is top-heavy; players like Greedy Williams from LSU and Byron Murphy from Washington may not be available this late in the first round. However, Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award for the best defensive back in the country at the end of 2018. At 24th overall, he could be a steal in the late-first round.
27. OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State
With the release of veteran offensive lineman Donald Penn, Oakland needs to make a selection that will help their struggling offensive line protect Derek Carr and improve their rushing attack. Risner scored a 6.03 at the NFL Combine which projects him to become an instant starter. The Raiders will need someone like Risner to open up the passing game for newcomer Antonio Brown.
Green Bay Packers
Key 2019 offseason moves:
- Signed S Adrian Amos, LB Preston Smith, OL Billy Turner
- Released LB Nick Perry and WR Randall Cobb
Biggest needs: RB, OL, DL
12. OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Green Bay tied for third with the Jacksonville Jaguars for sacks allowed at 53. In a recent interview with ESPN Milwaukee, Aaron Rodgers revealed that he played the entire 2018 season after suffering tibial plateau fracture and a sprained MCL in his left knee during their first game against the Chicago Bears. This came only a season after suffering a broken collarbone injury during the 2017 regular season. The point is simple: the Packers must protect Rodgers. After loading up on defense this offseason, Green Bay can afford to spend their first pick on helping protect Rodgers from sustaining another injury. Ford could be the first offensive lineman taken in 2019.
30. RB Damien Harris, Alabama
The Packers should do what they seemingly have refused to do in years past: find a running game for Aaron Rodgers. Before being traded to the Baltimore Ravens mid-season last October, Ty Montgomery was a wide receiver-turned-running back in Green Bay. While Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams have been adequate at the position since 2017, the Packers need to find a solid, long-term solution at running back. Harris bolstered the talented running back core at Alabama, rushing for over 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns during his collegiate career. If he falls to Green Bay at 30, he should be an easy first-round choice.