I will state right off that some of you – heck, probably most of you – will disagree with the college players I am about to list as the Best and Worst picks of the recent NFL Draft. Everyone has an opinion and these players on this list are the ones I think deserve to be listed as such.
Nine of the players I pick for either list are players selected by my favorite team. That is because I really do not have a favorite professional football team anymore. I used to be a Minnesota Vikings fan and later a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Joe Kapp and Terry Bradshaw have long left the league and The Bus has departed the terminal. Now, I just watch the NFL Red Zone on Sundays during professional football season – if I watch at all. If we could transport ourselves back in time to the days of Carl Eller, Alan Page, Mean Joe Green, L.C. Greenwood, Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier, Mick Tingelhoff, Karl Kassulke, Paul Krause, Jim Marshall, Gary Larsen, Gene Washington, Ron Yary, Ray Mansfield, Dwight White, Jack Ham, Andy Russell, Mel Blount, Mike Wagner, Roy Gerela, Jack Lambert, Lynn Swain and John Stallworth, I would stare at the games until the television melted. I am sorry that I got a little carried away there. Man, those were the kind of guys that made the NFL great and a lot more interesting to watch than today’s players.
Now, back to the subject of this week’s column – the best and worst players selected in the recent NFL Draft.
First place on the “Worst” list has to go hands down to the New York Giants selection of Duke Quarterback Daniel Jones. When this one was announced, most Giants fans in Nashville cheered wildly as the cameras for the television networks panned them in the crowd of what looked to be 200,000 people. The Giants fans who were not being shown on national television were sitting around scratching their heads. Daniel Jones? Really? Most of the so-called experts had this guy as a possible third round selection and here he was being picked by the Giants with the No. 6 overall selection in the first round of the draft. Teams that were looking to draft a quarterback in this year’s draft all exhaled with a sigh of relief when this pick was made. In truth, the options for picking up a quarterback who could fill a team’s needs for the long term were slim at best. Everyone should have picked someone else in the first round to better their teams and waited for next year when the pickings will be much better.
Okay, so this next guy was picked in the fifth round – who cares. It was still a bad move by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to select Utah kicker Matt Gay when the team has so many other needs to fill. I would probably have bet my house that Gay would have been available after the draft as a free agent. If you wanted to waste a pick, why not waste the pick in the seventh round? This is the second time in the past four drafts that Tampa Bay has selected a kicker. The last one, Roberto Aguayo made 22 of 31 field goal attempts before being re-leased by the team and has not played in the NFL since.
The third and last of the “Worst” that I will mention here is Murray State linebacker Quincy Williams who was taken by the Jacksonville Jaguars. What? Did the Jags think this was Quinnen Williams? He is actually the No. 3 pick overall from Alabama’s brother – unknown brother except for Jacksonville. He was not in the Top 300 players or Top 600 for that matter that the experts studied before the draft. He was not invited to any combines and his school did not even have a pro day. Maybe I should have listed this selection as No. 1 on the “Worst” list.
Leading of my list of the “Best” selections in the 2019 NFL Draft, I give the honor to the Cleveland Browns selection of LSU defensive back Greedy Williams with their first pick of the night which came in the second round. How Williams went without being drafted throughout the first round is a head-scratcher for me. This is a guy who may transition into the best man-on-man coverage cornerback in the NFL. As a senior at LSU, Williams allowed only 36.5 percent of targets he was covering to be completed.
The Carolina Panthers’ selection of West Virginia quarterback Will Grier in the third round is No. 2 on my list of the “Best.” Grier has something every team looks for in a quarterback – accuracy. In fact, Grier had the best numbers for accuracy among the quarterbacks availa-ble for selection this year. He had only 5.5 percent of his throws within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage were seen as not being able to be caught.
My last pick for the “Best” list is Mississippi State wide receiver D.K. Metcalf by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round – the very last pick of the second round. Russell Wilson is walking on clouds knowing Metcalf will be one of the biggest threats in the NFL next season when it comes to the long catch. Metcalf ran a 4.33 in the 40 yard dash at the NFL combine and has a 40.5-inch vertical. He has great size at 6-3, 238 pounds and could play wide or in the slot if needed. Expect Wilson to go deep on any play when Metcalf is on the field.
There you have my selections for the Best and Worst picks of the 2019 NFL Draft. Only the future will tell if I made the right decisions or not.
Mark Clark is a local sports writer for
The Citizen of East Alabama.