Losing teams hope this year’s class will be the answer
The Santa Clara
May 2, 2019
The NFL Draft is a chance for young gifted football players to celebrate as if they are old time Hall of Fame greats. This year’s draft—held in Nashville, Ten. from April 25-27— shattered previous attendance records with more than 600,000 fans watching live, making it the mostwatched and highest-rated draft in history.
“The 2019 NFL Draft was a tremendous continuation of the celebration of the NFL’s 100th season and an opportunity to welcome the next generation of stars,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement following the event.
More than 250 players were inked by all 32 teams over the course of three days.
Perhaps this year’s most compelling story came from No. 1 pick Kyler Murray by the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals—who hired 39 year-old Kliff Kingsbury in January as their new head coach—held the unfortunate title of the league’s worst offensive team last season. Kingsbury, already facing mounting pressure to turn the team around, saw his opportunity in Murray, a player he’d been recruiting since the quarterback was in high school.
Moments after the decision, Arizona’s former quarterback and first-round pick, Josh Rosen, sat in utter disbelief.
Despite being a highly touted prospect, Rosen failed to produce results for the Cardinals last year. He had only three victories in 13 starts and was ranked among the worst three quarterbacks for the 2018 season. For now, it seems Kingsbury may have made the right call trading Rosen to the Miami Dolphins.
“My heart really didn’t believe it was going to happen until a couple minutes before it happened,” Rosen told reporters two nights later. “Common sense sort of kicked in then, but my heart didn’t want to believe it.”
The Cardinals were the first team to choose quarterbacks in back-to-back first rounds since the early 80s. Rosen fans may be disappointed to see him go, but Murray—who chose football after being picked No. 9 overall in the MLB draft last June—has no shortage of potential.
In local news, several players from universities in the Bay Area were drafted. Even though no Stanford players were picked in the first round, one was selected in each of the following five.
Senior wide receiver J.J. ArcegaWhiteside was the first Cardinal to fly from the nest, drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the 2018 team captain and had a sensational season, tying a 41-year-old school record held by Stanford’s wide receiver James Lofton for touchdowns in a single season with 14. Stanford’s wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy said the Eagles are getting a player who will contribute to the organization both athletically and “even more so as a person.”
Other Stanford players to reach the big leagues are linebacker Bobby Okereke (to the Indianapolis Colts), running back Bryce Love (Washington Redskins), punter Jake Bailey (New England Patriots) and tight end Kaden Smith (San Francisco 49ers).
While it may seem early to rank each team with new football season months away, several analysts from NFL.com and Bleacher Report have already provided opinions on which teams are looking the best after the draft.
Surprise, surprise: The New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints are ranked at the number one and two spots, respectively, according to Bleacher Report.
Both teams have lost notable players, such as former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and former Saints running back Mark Ingram. But both teams acquired new blood on Draft Day and look just as promising as last year. And as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”
The two teams that ironically fall at the bottom of most ranking predictions are Rosen’s current team, the Miami Dolphins and his team of just two weeks ago, the Arizona Cardinals.
Despite Rosen’s disastrous season last year, the Dolphins are looking to rebuild the team around him. The same goes for the Cardinals— and while Murray provides hope for the Arizona fanbase, it is going to take time for the team to climb back from the cellar.
With the draft over, we now have a sense of what each NFL team will look like come autumn. Until the first kick-off on Sept. 5, it’s anyone’s game. And every fan can dream their team will finally dethrone the New England Patriots.
Contact Lacey Yahnke at lyahnke@ scu.edu or call (408) 554-4852.