Cue the classic Smashmouth song… If you’re reading this article, it’s either because you love to hate one of the three teams I’m writing about, or, you’re a fan of one of these teams and you’re ready to defend them ’till the end. Either way, I’m glad you’ve stumbled across my page as I’m going to trash talk each of these franchises. Before I start though, I want you to keep in mind that just because a team stunk it up in the Draft, doesn’t guarantee they’ll be terrible next season. In fact, we’ve seen a handful of teams receive a poor Draft grade afterwards, then those players actually turn into something special for that franchise. We never know what’s a good or bad decision in sports until we’ve given them some time to play out. Who knows, in a few years from now, we may look back and view these as legendary draft selections… But for now, I’m going to rip the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and the Houston Texans apart. So sit back and enjoy the ride (unless you’re a fan of these teams).
Green Bay Packers
First and foremost, the Green Bay Packers is one of the oldest/historic franchises in the history of football. They’re the only team that’s literally owned by the residents of the city, and they’ve done a VERY good job of almost always staying relevant in the always changing NFL. Last year, the Pack-Attack made it all the way to the NFC Championship game before being blown out by the 49ers. The Packers had a fantastic season, in which we saw Aaron Rogers do Aaron Rogers things, Aaron Jones was finally let loose, and the Green Bay defense came to play. Despite everything that went right, they still had some weaknesses, as Green Bay had a mediocre WR group (which didn’t seem to bother Rogers all that much) and their defensive line was small. Game in and game out we watched their opponents bully the Packers D-line, which made it hard for them to stop the run. So heading into the Draft, the clear holes that needed to be filled were D-line, and weapons for Rogers to throw the ball to.
By the time the Packers made their first pick, there were a TON of Packers’ fans out there upset with the selection. With the 26th pick overall, the Green Bay Packers took QB Jordan Love out of Utah State. I did not like this selection… I LOVED it. It makes complete sense why Green Bay took a QB in the first round. Rogers is 36, which means he’s nearing the end of his career. Green Bay did the same thing in 2005 when they selected Aaron Rogers to eventually replace Brett Favre. If Jordan Love is developed correctly and given proper coaching, this is a draft pick that will pay off for Green Bay for at least the next decade. People seem to forget that the Draft is for future success, and get caught up in the team succeeding now.
This article is about the losers of the Draft, so let’s get to it. After taking Jordan Love, Green Bay still (desperately) needs pass catching help. I’ve said it time and time again, this year’s WR class was the deepest we’ve seen in a long time, and the Packers need help at WR. This was a perfect opportunity to find high end talent for Aaron Rogers to throw the ball to in order for the team to maintain success while he’s still on the roster. So Green Bay went into the Draft and did not select a single WR. In fact, they selected only one pass catcher, TE Josiah Deguara in the 3rd round (I didn’t know who he was until he was drafted). There’s still some free agents left for the packers to sign so they could still find some cheap WR depth before the start of training camp. But considering how close the team was to going to the Super Bowl, and the main complaint Rogers had was he didn’t have enough guys to throw to? You’d think Green Bay would want to give the Franchise QB as many weapons as possible.
On the defensive side of the ball, Green Bay needed to bulk up in size, and there were a couple big guys available to help the defense. The Packers didn’t select a single D-lineman until the 7th round, where they took DE Jonathan Garvin out of Miami. He’s a big guy, standing at 6’4″ and weighing 263 lbs, but the Packers selected a guy that rushes off the edge, rather than a guy to push back against opposing offensive lines. The Packers needed to get big, bully type players on the d-line, and they didn’t add that to the roster. Plus they lost Blake Martinez in free agency, so expect the Packers to have a rough time stopping the run in 2020.
As for Green Bay’s outlook for next year, I’d still say they’re the favorites to win the NFC North. The Bears have a nice roster, but who knows what’s going on with that QB situation? And the Lions had a nice Draft, but they’re clearly rebuilding and their HC is on the hot seat. The only team I see giving Green Bay fits are the Minnesota Vikings. The Purple People Eaters have had a very nice offseason, and they’re re-loading to make the playoffs again. It’s going to be a tight race between the two franchises for the NFC North, but Green Bay should still be viewed as the favorite to win that division.
New England Patriots
Before I start, I just want to say, it feels a little weird placing the Patriots onto a losers list, as they haven’t done much losing in the past 20 years. But if I’m being completely honest, it feels pretty good seeing New England on a list like this one, especially since the Patriots typically crush every draft they’ve conducted. But there was something different about the 2020 Draft that I felt was rather odd for the Patriots to do. Offense is clearly the weakest part of the team right now, and Bill Belichick and company didn’t acquire all that much offensive talent.
Looking at the Patriots roster before the Draft started, it’s important to note that they already have a good offensive line set up, as well as a good RB group. What they lack is pass catchers, and the QB position. So it’s not like the Patriots are far off from having a strong roster. Also factor in they had one of the top defenses last year, and look to repeat dominance again, which helps set New England up for success in 2020. So considering the small amount of needs the Patriots had going into the Draft, I felt they were going to address their two biggest needs, which were WRs and a new QB.
The Pats entered the Draft with a ton of QB rumors swirling around them. People thought they’d trade up for one of the top prospects, while others thought they’d wait and draft someone in the 2nd-4th rounds. Instead, the Pats didn’t select a single QB. Afterwards, Belichick was interviewed and stated that not drafting a QB “wasn’t by design.” Even if that’s true, I still don’t know what the benefit is of telling everybody that not taking a QB in the Draft was an accident. It doesn’t make Belichick look smart, or cunning. If anything, it made Belichick and the Patriots front office look like they didn’t really have a game plan heading into the Draft, which is something we’re just not used to witnessing.
New England’s BIGGEST need was WR, as last year, many argued that the reason for Brady’s struggles was the lack of talent around him. It’s true, the Patriots didn’t have the strongest pass catchers in the league, as the Patriots had the 5th most dropped passes last year with 24. Right now they have Jarrett Stidham under Center, and they didn’t even draft him new weapons to throw the ball to. Instead the Pats took two TEs in the 3rd round. I mean, I get it, TE is also a big need for the Pats offense, but the two guys they selected are mediocre in the pass game, and it’s likely Dalton Keene will mainly pla as a FB.
The Patriot’s Draft was confusing at best, as this was an opportunity for them to build a nice offense for Stidham, or any QB in the future for that matter, as we still don’t know what Stidham is capable of. They added depth to their already stacked defense, depth to their already good o-line, some questionable TE’s, and a Kicker in the 5th round. In turn, they ignored the QB situation, and didn’t add any help to a very week WR group.
At the moment, there are still some nice talent left in the free agency pool, and who knows, maybe the Patriots have a trick up their sleeves to do some ridiculous trade that immediately improves the offense. Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are both available options at QB, and could be nice destinations for both veteran players. But going into the 2020 season, it’s going to be difficult for the 6-time Super Bowl Champs to make the playoffs. The Buffalo Bills are a stacked team right now, and they had an amazing draft that could help them go over the top. Considering how good Buffalo looks right now, along with the other great acquisitions made from other teams in the AFC, I don’t see the Patriots making the playoffs next year. But with Bill Belichick still as the HC, you can never count them out.
As a die hard Tennessee Titans fan, it gives me so much pleasure to place one of our rivals on this list. I hope Bill O’Brien is the GM/HC for Houston for the next 20 years, as he has done nothing but diminish their draft stock in exchange for lesser players. The Texans only had 5 total picks out of the 7 rounds of the Draft. This is just terrible for a franchise that is only a few key pieces away from being lethal. All of this started right before the start of the 2019 season, when O’Brien traded away Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks. Clowney is one of the most prolific dominant forces on defense in the entire league. A guy who HAS to be double teamed on every down because of his freakish athletic abilities. After trading away Clowney, the Texans received a 2020 3rd round pick, Barkevious Mingo (who now plays for the Bears), and Jacob Martin (WHO??)… That was it. That’s all they got in that deal. Additionally, around the same time, the Texans traded for LT Laremy Tusnil from Miami. Bill O’Brien GAVE the Dolphins their first round picks (yeah, plural) in 2020 AND 2021, a second round pick in 2021, and two low level players. The Texans essentially gave Miami two years worth of future selections, which the Dolphins have already taken advantage of in the 2020 Draft.
All of that trading happened at the beginning of the 2019 season, and you’d think that the Texans would have tried to make a move to gain more 1st round picks in the years to come. What happened instead, was Houston reached an agreement with the Arizona Cardinals before the start of this years Draft. Bill O’Brien dished away Superstar WR DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals, receiving a 2020 2nd round selection, RB David Johnson (an aging RB), and a 4th round pick in 2021… THAT WAS IT!! The Texans couldn’t even get back a 1st round selection after trading away arguably the best WR in football. That’s three trades in a row that looked like Bill O’Brien was held at gun point and forced into accepting, but the sad part is, he instigated these trades on his own.
So now we’re at the 2020 NFL Draft, and the Texans have some blaring holes to fill. Last year, the Texans gave up 49 sacks, 8th most in the league last season. So obviously the o-line should have been addressed. Additionally, they allowed the 4th most passing yards, and the 8th most rushing yards. Even though the Texans won the AFC South and made the playoffs last year, they had one of the worst offensive lines in the league, coupled with one of the worst defenses in the league.
With their first pick of the Draft, the Texans selected Ross Blacklock, a Defensive Tackle that I actually think was a good pick, especially with when they drafted him. He’ll be adding some much needed depth to their d-line. However, after the 2nd round, Bill O’Brien made some questionable decisions through the rest of the Draft. None of the guys they selected were on any “top lists” or even any “sleeper lists” that I could see anywhere. They failed to add help to their weak offensive line AND they took away his favorite target. Deshaun Watson is a phenomenal QB, and is capable of putting the team on his back. He still has massive potential to be even better than we’ve seen him play so far. But by making his weapons around him weaker, and with no added help to the o-line, it’s likely going to be another year of the young QB getting repeatedly sacked.
Now, despite losing Clowney, and Hopkins, and having little to no Draft picks next offseason, the Texans still have a decent roster for next year. They have a lot of speed at the WR position, and you’re always going to have a chance to win when you have JJ Watt in your starting lineup. However, the AFC South has been getting stronger every year, as the Colts had a fantastic Draft and think they now have the right QB to do some damage, while the Tennessee Titans are coming from a season going all the way to the AFC Championship, and have done a great job reloading for next year too. It’s going to be a tight race between these 3 teams again, but I have the Texans as the 3rd best team in the AFC South.
I’m Just Confused is All
Now there was one team that made some interesting decisions, and I was going to put them in this article at first, however, by the time the Draft ended, they actually fared pretty well considering how awful their 1st two selections were. I’m of course talking about, the Philadelphia Eagles.
CLEARLY the Eagles needed help in the WR department, and they took advantage of the WR class available this year. However, they decided to Draft Jalen Reagor. Now, don’t get me wrong, he’s a good WR, and brings a lot to the table for Philly. But the fact he was selected in the 1st round was a reach by the Eagles. When they selected him, there were a handful of other WRs I felt were better selections, as Reagor was projected everywhere as a 2nd round talent. In fact, I felt the Eagles could have addressed a different need, then take Reagor in the 2nd round… Which brings me to their 2nd selection of the Draft.
Now, I love Jalen Hurts, so don’t think I’m trashing him. He’s the one player I was looking forward to see where/when he would be selected, as there has been so many positive and negative things said about him. I actually think he’s a great player with high potential. But the Eagles had just paid Carson Wentz a fat contract of $128 million over 4 years. After paying that much to a player, you’d think it would make more sense to build around him, and give him what he needs to be successful. But taking a QB that high after paying your QB that much just does nothing but raise questions. Like, “why did you pay Wentz that much money just to pick up another QB?” or, “is Wentz on the hot seat?” and others like,”are you planning to use Hurts as an utility guy like Taysom Hill? Do you plan to use Hurts as a trading tool?” There’s so many other questions to ask, but the fact is, we won’t be getting any answers from the Eagles front office about it any time soon.