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When the NFL Draft rolls around every team executive, player and fan can’t wait to see what their franchise comes up with. By the time it’s over, the separation from happy to angry is well documented and many times its fans versus executives. It’s hit or miss whether you can please everybody and chances are you won’t.
Then there’s the guys your fans wanted the organization to draft versus the guy the organization drafted. The perennial screams of “what the heck are you doing?” never fail whenever a guy gets picked where the fans wanted another player. The 2019 draft didn’t disappoint in that regard and there were a few selections that stuck out.
A Giant Commitment:
The New York Giants and the Washington Redskins have played against each other 172 times throughout the years and the rivalry just got amped up a bit. With the sixth pick in round one the big blue fans thought the team would draft Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Instead the Giants hierarchy drafted Daniel Jones out of Duke University.
The social media backlash from the fans reached immense levels of anger and vitriol and it got worse. 11 picks later the hated division rival Redskins would take Haskins to complete the circle of bad vibes.
Haskins was nothing short of amazing in his lone year as the starter at Ohio State. He completed 70.0% of his passes for 4,831 yards and a Big Ten conference record 50 touchdown passes. He has a strong arm and can stand strong in the pocket when delivering the ball.
Jones finished his junior season at Duke completing 60.5% of his passes for 2,674 with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He shows a great awareness, is able to identify the defensive matchups pre-snap and moves well in the pocket.
Now the two young quarterbacks will always be linked at the hip. Whether or not Jones or Haskins develop into top flight starters remains to be seen. If it’s Haskins and not Jones that progresses, then the Giants will have a yearly reminder of what they let get away. If Jones ends up being the real deal then the Giants come out looking like geniuses.
A Cardinal Decision:
The Arizona Cardinals received the number one pick in this year’s draft and drafted Oklahoma quarterback Kyle Murray. This seems like a no-brainer considering Murray was the highest rated quarterback and a consensus top pick. The funny thing is the Arizona Cardinals drafted quarterback Josh Rosen in the first round of the 2018 draft.
In a rather stunning move the Miami Dolphins swam in during round two of the draft and traded the 62nd pick for Rosen. Stunning because Miami was in position to draft a top rated signal caller in both rounds one and two.
Murray was a player Arizona couldn’t pass up. The Heisman trophy winner threw for 4,361 yards, rushed for 1,001 yards and scored 54 combined touchdowns. His play making ability is just what the “new NFL” offense is looking for. Regardless of his small 5′ 10″ frame, Murray can deliver the ball with enough velocity and plenty of accuracy.
Josh Rosen was less than stellar in his rookie season in Arizona but the Dolphins feel like they might’ve gotten a steal. Rosen started 13 games, completing 55.2% of his passes for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He came out of UCLA wielding a strong arm with a nice tight spiral and great accuracy.
Questions about his leadership and over intangibles aside, Rosen didn’t have a great chance to showcase his skills as a rookie. A porous offensive line and a last place rushing attack did not provide the greatest of help for a player in year one. To avoid the same kind of results, the Dolphins will have to upgrade their own offensive line and acquire some more skill position players to flank Rosen.
If Murray becomes the real deal in the NFL, then Arizona can feel a sense of real accomplishment in their decision. The Dolphins feel like they had nothing to lose by acquiring Rosen and the potential upside could be enormous.
If they all pan out then the comparisons will be never ending until the day they hang it up. These quarterbacks and teams will have years to compare notes on who came out on top.
These sets of players will forever be linked, their play will be talked about synonymously with one another. Whether it’s division rivals or different sides of the country you won’t hear one name without a little mention of the other. The decisions have already been made and these teams will live or die by them.