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Quinnen Williams + Thoughts on the 2019 NFL Draft’s 1st Round
04.25.19
I was nervous. Mock draft after mock draft had the Jets taking Josh Allen. The logic was simple — these analysts identified DE / EDGE as their biggest position of need and Josh Allen as the most likely player at that position still available at #4 (after Bosa). Some late supposed interest in Ed Oliver — because of his high ceiling and Gregg Williams being interested. 
 
But to me, and this has been true for a long time, Quinnen Williams was the prize. He’s massive, super high football IQ, can get pressure up the middle (which I prefer over the edge), and very technically proficient. Also was very productive at Alabama. Only real knock is he only did it for one year, but I don’t think that was a serious concern of anybody’s. 
 
This breakdown by Samuel Gold (phenomenal YouTube channel) says it all. [link]
 
Maccagnan, at least with 1st round picks, generally gets players where the consensus is, “That’s a really good player.” Leonard Williams. Jamal Adams. Sam Darnold. Now Quinnen Williams. There are certainly other areas one can quibble / find fault with Maccagnan’s picks — but high 1st round draft picks is not really one of them. 
 
OTHER THOUGHTS
1. My good friend and Raider devotee, Gavin, is understandably upset about Clelin Ferrell at #4. I thought Ed Oliver would’ve been a reasonable pick here. I wasn’t super enamored with Josh Allen — I think he’s a nice prospect, but not at that high of a pick. When I watched tape of Ferrell earlier, and this was when he was projected in the 20s probably, I think I sort of liked him at least in the ballpark of Allen, maybe a smidge better. But there’s obviously a lot of psychological anchoring from early mock drafts. I feel like if this was the MLB draft (where you can’t trade your pick) — people would be fine with this pick. But everyone sort of seems to think you can just move down 5 spots and get 2 2nd round picks or something. Sometimes you can, often you can’t. I suspect they liked Ferrell, tried to trade down (and probably were cognizant of how they were killed for the small haul they got last year when they traded down and the Cardinals traded up for Rosen) — and when they didn’t find a deal they liked, they just took Ferrell. It was a surprise for sure though.
 
2. I didn’t dig into Daniel Jones so I have no opinion about him. However, I am fine with the Giants not trading down or picking someone else at #6 and waiting until #17. If you think he’s your QB of the future, don’t get too cute with it. His impact will simply be too great. If you’re not sure or there’s a bunch of players you’d be happy with — sure, trade down. But with QB — and this QB in particular, I’m sure they zeroed in on him and it wasn’t, Jones or Haskins or… Lock? They liked Jones, so they picked him.
 
3. I liked the tape on Jonah Williams but I was definitely concerned about his size / maybe strength. Technically he seemed great, but he seemed to just get overwhelmed by size sometime. Chris Simms made a very strong argument that he’s a very good guard, and not a tackle — and that seems about right to me. Maybe he can play tackle, but that was my main worry in evaluating him.
 
4. I like Haskins at #15. I definitely have worries about Haskins, but at #15, that’s really good value and a reasonable risk. 
 
5. Denver's trade of #10 to Pitt (for #20, #52, and a 2020 3rd) is the exact type of trade I think everyone assumes one can make. Drop 10 spots and get a 2nd and a 3rd. Done! I just think these clear wins are less readily available. Ted Nguyen made a strong argument that he likes Devin Bush a shade over Devin White because he’s afraid Devin White can get overwhelmed by size. (similar concern to Roquan Smith last year but the right situation can help keep those types of players clean) 
 
6. Colts make another nice trade back. #26 (which became Montez Sweat) in exchange for #46 and 2020 2nd. I don’t hate this trade for Washington because Sweat was a player that a lot of people liked much higher, and I’m sure that was part of Washington’s calculation — that they’re trading 2 2nd round picks for, say, a top 15 player. But overall, this type of patient, roll it over strategy, which the Pats also obviously practice, just eventually results in more draft capital than almost everyone else, every year.
 
7. The Colts obviously were the team last year that traded #3 to the Jets and dropped to #6 (and got the amazing Quenton Nelson) and got THREE 2nd round picks in exchange. But credit to Maccagnan. He had to move up to get in position to get one of the three QBs (Baker, Darnold, Rosen) but he made sure to hold onto the Jets' 2019 1st round pick, which the Colts undoubtedly tried to get. That pick, of course, became Quinnen Williams. Win / win -- but good negotiating on both sides.

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