The dust has settled, and one round’s worth of picks are in. Some football fans on hand in Nashville went home happy Thursday night, some were indifferent, and a select few were surely left completely dumbfounded. On a night of great optimism, there is always a fair amount of likely busts and mind-bogglingly bad picks. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the five worst first-round draft picks from the 2019 NFL Draft.
5. T.J. Hockenson: No. 8, Lions
This isn’t a knock on TJ Hockenson so much as it is on the Detroit Lions. Perhaps Matt Patricia was so enamored of Rob Gronkowski during his time in New England that he felt compelled to seek out the next great tight end in the league. The issue here is that the Lions used the eighth overall pick on the Iowa product; in the grand scheme of things, they had far more pressing needs in areas like secondary than they did at tight end.
4. Clelin Ferrell: No. 4, Raiders
There’s no denying that Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell is a first-round talent, but Gruden and Mike Mayock (“Gruyock” if you’re one of the cool kids) choosing him with the No. 4 overall pick was a massive blunder, especially with a slam-dunk talent like Josh Allen still on the board. Ferrell does fill a need for the Raiders, but they simply could have done far better with that high of a selection. The Raiders would have been better off using one of their later first-round picks on Ferrell if they were so keen on grabbing him.
3. Jeffery Simmons: No. 19, Titans
There was a reason Jeffery Simmons wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine. The Mississippi State defensive lineman was arrested for assault back in 2016 when video surfaced depicting him hitting a woman. Choosing Simmons with the 19th overall pick was a massive risk for the Titans, and it certainly isn’t a good look for them or the NFL– especially at a draft in their own city. Simmons is already on thin ice before his career has begun.
2. Darnell Savage Jr.: No. 21, Packers
If the Packers wanted to appease Aaron Rodgers last night, then they certainly did a poor job of it. Late in the first round, Green Bay chose to forgo picking a wide receiver like D.K. Metcalf or A.J. Brown with the 21st pick and instead added to the secondary, which quite frankly wasn’t that terrible last year. With Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson both out of the picture, the only real threat Rodgers has after last night is Davante Adams. They’ve got real work still to do here.
1. Daniel Jones: No. 6, Giants
The New York Giants inexplicably chose not only to pass on Dwayne Haskins, but to select an unspectacular Duke quarterback over him, Daniel Jones. Jones was barely projected to sneak into the first round according to most experts, let alone the top 10. A handful of draft boards had him behind Drew Lock, who remains available heading into Round 2. There’s fumbling the draft, and then there’s this pick. He’s going to have to ride the bench for at least a year, and even then, he may still turn out to be a complete bust. Just a major, major head-scratcher for Dave Gettleman’s front office at No. 6.