When it comes to the 2019 NFL Draft, you've probably read about the, and you've assuredly checked in with Pete Prisco to see your favorite team's class. Now it's time to look specifically at all the trades made over the course of the three-day draft to separate the master negotiators from the marks.
The process is completely, not-at-all scientific: I look at the value of each pick involved in a trade, based up on a draft value chart created by Rich Hill at Pats Pulpit that estimates the values of picks based upon trades that have actually happened in recent years (I used the 2018 study; apologies if I missed a more recent version). That provides a base score for whether a team over- or underpaid.
I then look at the asset they targeted in the deal -- and here it's important to note that we're grading the team that either moved up for a pick that was on the clock at the time, or that added a veteran in a deal that involved picks yet to come -- and use my subjective opinion on whether the acquiring team landed a prospect that wouldn't have been there at their previous pick, and whether the targeted prospect made sense as someone who could have an impact.
Confused? Probably. It boils down to this: I graded every team that felt the need to make a trade in the draft to go get someone. Then I ranked them from worst to best. Let's get started.
40. Josh Rosen finds a new home
Depending on how you want to score this, this is either the best (for the Dolphins) or worst (for the Cardinals) trade in the draft. The Cardinals landed a package worth about the 60th pick in this year's draft for a quarterback they took at 10th overall. Not only that, a year ago I ranked their move up for Rosen. What a difference a year makes.
There's zero downside for the Dolphins in this move, while the Cardinals opted to sell a potential franchise quarterback at pennies to a dollar a year after trading him. And there's no guarantee the guy they're going with instead (Kyler Murray) is any better than Rosen would have been. This one's an easy winner of the worst trade of the 2019 draft award.
39. Rams add Gurley insurance
- Rams get No. 70 (RB Henderson)
- Buccaneers get No. 94, 99
I'm not surprised the Rams would want to bring in a plan B at the running back position after Todd Gurley dealt with injuries at the end of last year. I'm just surprised how big a price they paid to do it. They lost the value of the No. 167 pick to make the move, and I'm not sure about overpaying that much to go get running backs in this era of the NFL. I like Darrell Henderson as a prospect, but after bringing back Malcolm Brown, I think the Rams would have been smarter just keeping their pair of late third-round picks and going a different route at running back.
38. Rams, Patriots make another deal
- Rams get No. 97 (OT Evans), 162
- Patriots get No. 101, 133
The Rams initially got No. 101 by moving down in the second round in a deal with the Patriots, then got impatient once the end of Round 3 drew near and traded it back to the Patriots to move up a few spots for tackle Bobby Evans. The problem isn't just the four-pick jump wasn't worth falling back 29 picks in the rest of the deal, but that the Patriots at No. 101 took a tackle that could very well be better than Evans in Yodny Cajuste.
37. Colts pay big price for safety
- Colts get No. 109 (S Willis)
- Raiders get No. 129, 135
If the Colts wanted to make a move up in the fourth round for a safety, it should have been for Amani Hooker, who went a few picks later. I don't think Khari Willis was worth taking at No. 129 if they had stayed put, but if he was their guy, I wouldn't have minded taking him there. But I certainly wouldn't have sacrificed an additional pick to get him.
36. Panthers leap for O-line help
- Panthers get No. 37 (OT Little)
- Seahawks get No. 47, 77
This qualifies as one of the biggest overpays in the entire draft, with the Panthers losing the value of the 121st pick in the deal. And the guy that had to go get was Greg Little, a first-round talent to some but not someone I'm moving 10 spots to get with Cody Ford and Dalton Risner on the board. Even if the Panthers couldn't wait on Little specifically, they should have made a better deal -- no other trade in that part of the draft was anywhere near as lopsided against the team moving up.
35. Patriots move up for a ... punter?
- Patriots get No. 163 (P Bailey)
- Eagles get No. 167, 246
This isn't terrible value as far as pick swaps go, but what are you doing moving up four spots to get a punter, especially one in a pretty blah class for the position? I get that the Patriots have so many picks to burn that losing that seventh-rounder isn't that big of a deal, but I just don't see the need to move up for a specific punter in the first place.
34. Seahawks find a linebacker
- Seahawks get No. 88 (LB Barton), 209
- Vikings get No. 92, 159
The Seahawks spent the early portion of the draft trading down and amassing picks, but this is one deal they felt they had to make to move up and get their guy. But I'm not sure why -- Cody Barton is a bit of a reach in the third round, and I think you risk missing out on him by staying at No. 92 rather than trading 50 spots back with a later pick.
33. Bills move up for tight end
- Bills get No. 96 (TE Knox)
- Redskins get No. 112, 131
I like the player the Bills went up to get and he fills a need, but this was a big overpay, equivalent to a pick around No. 178. I would have liked to see Buffalo get a pick back in this deal, or give up a later pick than No. 141. Worst case, you don't land Dawson Knox but instead get a different tight end (like Foster Moreau) in Round 4 and still have another pick to use helping elsewhere on the roster.
32. Falcons make a move for corner help
- Falcons get No. 111 (CB Sheffield)
- Lions get No. 117, 186
The Falcons reached a bit on their first pick at No. 14 overall, then looked like they spent the rest of the draft trying to make up for it, moving up multiple times. This was my least favorite of their moves, as it wasn't good value and I don't think Kendall Sheffield was head and shoulders better than the other available options at the position (Amani Oruwariye, for instance, who went one round later).
31. Patriots hop up in Round 2
- Patriots get No. 45 (CB J.Williams)
- Rams get No. 56, 101
You can throw this in my face when Joejuan Williams is a star, but this was a rare overpay for the Patriots, as they shouldn't have had to give up a second Day 2 pick to make such a modest move up. Plus, it's arguable whether they got the top corner on the board -- many people's No. 1 corner in the class, Greedy Williams, went one pick later. If Greedy is great and Joejuan isn't, this move looks much worse.
30. Bengals make Day 3 trade for QB
- Bengals get No. 104 (QB Finley)
- 49ers get No. 110, 183
A little bit of an overpay here, and I'm not sure trading extra picks to go get the right backup QB is a wise move. Now, if new caoch Zac Taylor thinks Ryan Finley can be a starter in the offense he wants to run and he's right, this will end up being a great move. But if Finley maxes out as a QB2 like many believe he will, I don't like the trade.
29. Broncos add veteran linebacker
- Broncos get LB Watson, No. 212
- 49ers get No. 148
I like getting a solid player in Dekoda Watson to help the depth of the defense, but this was a massive trade back in order to land him. This values Watson, who has one year left on his deal at $1.55 million, worth the 160th pick. The fifth round was a good spot for linebackers this year, and I would have rather rolled the dice with one of them than make this trade for Watson.
28. Seattle swaps 2020 pick for WR
- Seahawks get No. 236 (WR Ursua)
- Jaguars get 2020 6th
I'm fine with this from a value perspective, but the reason the Seahawks made a bunch of trades down the board this year was because they started draft week with only four picks (and added an extra one in the Frank Clark deal). Now they're dealing from next year's capital for a guy that could have been a priority free agent for them? I'd rather just keep the 2020 pick.
27. Patriots target D-line help
- Patriots get No. 159 (DL Cowart)
- Vikings get No. 162, 239
Not great value for the Patriots in only moving up a couple spots here, but if Byron Cowart pays off then the price paid is negligible. There were plenty of players of similar value available and I didn't really see him as a standout, must-have guy where the Pats got him, which is why this one ranks so low.
26. Falcons land sleeper DE
- Falcons get No. 135 (DE Cominsky)
- Raiders get No. 137, 230
This is similar to the Patriots trade above, but I'm a little more bullish on John Cominsky and I give the small-schooler a better shot at making an impact on a barren depth chart in Atlanta. I could also see the Cowboys wanting him at No. 136 (they ended up trading out of the pick), so this was probably a smart move for Atlanta all in all.
25. Ravens target athletic receiver
- Ravens get No. 93 (WR Boykin)
- Vikings get No. 102, 191, 193
Don't love the value here, especially trading three picks to make this move and with a deep receiver class leaving guys like Hakeem Butler and Riley Ridley still on the board. But Miles Boykin blew the doors off his athletic testing and his upside is massive. I think the Ravens could have afforded to wait but I do like the prospect they got.
24. Jets climb one spot for Edoga
- Jets get No. 92 (OT Edoga)
- Vikings get No. 93, 217
The Vikings spent the third round trading back over and over again, and here they only had to move one spot back to get a solid pick late on Day 3. I don't think the value was there, but if they really thought the Vikings were taking Chuma Edoga, I like the move to go get him. He fills a clear need for the team and I can see him playing sooner rather than later for the Jets.
23. Broncos grab a receiver
- Broncos get No. 187 (WR Winfree)
- Panthers get No. 212, 237
I think this was a reach for the prospect, as I'm not sure Juwann Winfree is going to stick on the roster. But the reason this deal doesn't rank lower is that the Broncos got really good value in this trade, especially considering some of the others moves made a little before this pick.
22. Chiefs land Tyreek Hill insurance
- Chiefs get No. 56 (WR Hardman)
- Rams get No. 61, 167
Clearly this pick was made with the potential absence of Tyreek Hill due to off-field issues in mind, as Mecole Hardman can be a similar type of game-breaking weapon, albeit without Hill's ceiling. But I think it was a reach to take him in the second round. This trade would rank much lower, but I think the price paid was great value for the Chiefs so it's hard to knock it too much.
21. Raiders make a move for WR help
- Raiders get No. 149 (WR Renfrow)
- Cowboys get No. 158, 218
The Raiders have spent their offseason remaking the weapons Derek Carr will have at his disposal, and the Raiders decided Hunter Renfrow had to be their slot guy for the offense. I think a few better options were on the board (Kelvin Harmon isn't a traditional small slot guy but he went much later), which is why this doesn't rank higher despite being a relatively fair deal.
20. Vikings move up for guard
- Vikings get No. 114 (G Samia)
- Seahawks get No. 120, 204
Everything about this deal was solid for the Vikings. They paid just about fair value in the move up, they addressed a position of need with the pick, and they got a guy at good value in Dru Samia. I can see him emerging quickly as a starter for a Vikings team that has to do a better job with protection, and he should have been on the radar for multiple teams between No. 114 and 120.
19. Bengals like Mike in deal
- Bengals get No. 136 (OL Jordan)
- Cowboys get No. 149, 213
Just like the Vikings deal above, this was a solid move all round for the Bengals. Michael Jordan can fill a need on the interior of the line, and they actually got him for a better price in the move up the board. He might even be better than Dru Samia, who the Vikings landed, despite going at a later point in the draft.
18. Giants can't wait on corner
- Giants get No. 30 (CB Baker)
- Seahawks get No. 37, 132, 142
The Giants got trashed for how they handled Round 1, but I actually think this was a pretty solid move value wise. They didn't overpay at all, especially when you consider they'll get a fifth-year option on Deandre Baker with the move. I'm just not sure if he should have been the only corner selected in Round 1. Make this pick Byron Murphy or Greedy Williams and it looks even better.
17. Rams jump for D-line help
- Rams get No. 134 (DT Gaines), 243
- Patriots get No. 162, 167
Good value here for the Rams thanks to getting that extra pick back in the deal, and Greg Gaines is a solid prospect who can help offset the loss of Ndamukong Suh to free agency. After they missed out on the top D-line talent in Round 1 and decided to trade back, Gaines was a solid fall-back option who didn't come at a prohibitive price.
16. Lions jump as Vikings start falling back
- Lions get No. 81 (S Harris)
- Vikings get No. 88, 204
The great part of this deal for the Lions was the price, as they came out on top by the equivalent of about the No. 196 pick despite being the team to move up. I think Will Harris might have been a bit of a reach, but let's talk instead about the Vikings, who made this the first of four trades down in the third round, going from No. 81 to 88 to 92 to 93 to 102. Just make a pick already.
15. Steelers go get Devin Bush
- Steelers get No. 10 (LB Bush)
- Broncos get No. 20, 52, 2020 3rd
I wanted to put this deal higher, because I love the Steelers getting aggressive to go get one of the two impact linebackers in this draft. But the simple fact is that they overpaid to make the move, losing out on an early fourth-round pick in value. The Broncos clearly had them over a barrel and made a great deal here, but you can only knock the Steelers so much when Devin Bush is the prize.
14. Eagles land veteran D-lineman
- Eagles get DT Ridgeway
- Colts get No. 246
There were surprisingly few trades for veteran players during the three-day draft, and while I think the Broncos overpaid to get their guy, the Eagles gave up virtually nothing to land a solid rotational defensive tackle in Hassan Ridgeway. In fact, No. 246 was the pick they got from the Patriots, who had to have that punter, and the Eagles still got value in Clayton Thorson after they moved back. And the extra draft pick from the deal also gets them Ridgeway. That's how you do it.
13. Bears can't wait on running back
- Bears get No. 73 (RB Montgomery), 205
- Patriots get No. 87, 162, 2020 4th
The Bears were clearly looking to upgrade the running back position, doing plenty of work on those prospects in the run up to the draft. Some feel David Montgomery was the second-best back in the class, so it made sense to the Bears to make the move as there was a run on the position in the third round. And they didn't even have to overpay to get him. Nice job on this deal.
12. Seahawks stop Metcalf's slide
- Seahawks get No. 64 (WR Metcalf)
- Patriots get No. 77, 118
This wasn't good value at all in terms of the draft capital Seattle gave up, losing about the value of the 195th pick here. But D.K. Metcalf had no business being on the board at the end of Round 2, so in that sense it was well worth the overpay to get up and snag him at No. 64. The top receiver on many people's boards, Metcalf was the ninth player selected at his position. That matters, and I can't ding the Seahawks too much on what they gave up.
11. Browns get Greedy
- Browns get No. 46 (CB G.Williams)
- Colts get No. 49, 144
Like the Seahawks trade above, the Browns overpaid to move up for the prospect they wanted. And like the trade above, I don't really care that they did. Greedy Williams was the top corner on plenty of draft boards and someone I'm sure most felt would be a first-round pick. When he got within three picks of the Browns, they couldn't wait any longer, and it's easy to understand why. I would have paid a little extra to make the move as well.
10. Bills stop Ford's fall
- Bills get No. 38 (OT Ford)
- Raiders get No. 40, 158
This overpay wasn't nearly as bad as the ones for D.K. Metcalf and Greedy Williams, and considering the Cody Ford fills a big need for the Bills on the offensive line and that he should have also been a first-round pick, it's worth paying a little more than they should have to go get him. If you want to rank any of the last three trades higher despite the pick value not being there, I wouldn't mind at all.
9. Falcons trade back into first
- Falcons get No. 31 (OT McGary), 203
- Rams get No. 45, 79
While Kaleb McGary wasn't as big of a steal as the three players we just mentioned, the Falcons got him for a steal rather than overpaying in the deal, and that's before you factor in landing the fifth-year option. It would have been better if an impact defensive lineman had been there to grab, but the Falcons deserve credit for the value of this trade anyway.
8. Titans leap for safety
- Ttans get No. 116 (S Hooker), 168
- Jets get No. 121, 157
The Titans made this move at a good price, as it only cost them a small move back later in the draft to jump five spots for a safety in Amani Hooker who could have gone a round earlier. He could have easily been taken in that five-pick wait until No. 121 -- the Browns in fact nabbed a safety of their own during that stretch. The Titans got a player that shouldn't have been available at a price that was fair to tilted in their favor. That's what makes a great deal.
7. Saints can't wait any longer to pick
- Saints get No. 48 (OL McCoy), 116
- Dolphins get No. 62, 202, 2020 2nd
The Saints benefited here from the Dolphins wanting to give the Cardinals a lower second-round pick for Josh Rosen for some reason. Sacrificing their second-round pick is tough, but between the move up and the fourth-rounder they also landed, they actually came out well in the black when it comes to pick value. And Erik McCoy was a sleeper to go in Round 1, so the prospect they moved up to get was a good value pick as well.
6. Packers jump for first safety
- Packers get No. 21 (S Savage)
- Seahawks get No. 30, 114, 118
The buzz leading up to draft day was that Darnell Savage had emerged as a first-round pick on some boards, but it was still a bit shocking to see him as the first safety chosen, in a trade up no less. I didn't love giving up multiple fourth-rounders, but the value is actually really good on the Packers' end, as a nine-pick jump in the first should have been more expensive.
5. Saints stop CGJ's slide
- Saints get No. 105 (DB Gardner-Johnson)
- Jets get No. 116, 168
This is a decent value for the Saints, maybe a small overpay, but I don't know what Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was doing available on Day 3 in the first place. His versatility to play either corner or safety should have had teams targeting him in Round 2, and I love the Saints got aggressive in order to land him at No. 105.
4. Jaguars target sliding tackle
- Jaguars get No. 35 (OT Taylor), 140, 235
- Raiders get No. 38, 109
We're in the range now where you could make any of the final four trades No. 1 and I wouldn't put up too much of a fight. Many experts matched Jawaan Taylor to the Jaguars at No. 7, but they passed on him when Josh Allen fell further than expected. Imagine their surprise when Taylor was still on the board to open Day 2. The Jaguars wisely struck a deal to go get him and paid almost exactly fair value in the deal.
3. Eagles jump Texans for left tackle
- Eagles get No. 22 (OT Dillard)
- Ravens get No. 25, 127, 197
The Eagles probably slightly overpaid here, and giving up three picks is tough. But even though this involved a shorter move up the board than the Packers-Seahawks trade above, it was a monumental move up in terms of quality of the prospect acquired in Andre Dillard, who can take over as the team's franchise left tackle pretty quickly. And there was zero chance he was getting by Houston at No. 23, so the Eagles had to make this deal to get him, yet didn't have to break the bank like the Steelers did to go get Devin Bush. Love this deal for the Eagles.
2. Broncos land QB of the future
- Broncos get No. 42 (QB Lock)
- Bengals get No. 52, 125, 182
Another 3-for-1 pick swap that can be tough to stomach, but in this case it landed the Broncos a potential franchise quarterback. Many projected Drew Lock to go the Broncos at No. 10 overall; instead they traded back to No. 20, where they took Noah Fant. Then they went with an offensive line prospect they had their eye on in Dalton Risner and finally used the extra second-rounder acquired from the Steelers to make a move for Lock. Fantastic job moving around the board by John Elway and his team, and Lock is the type of guy who can pay major dividends on this draft slot if he hits.
1. Redskins add extra first-round talent
- Redskins get No. 26 (OLB Sweat)
- Colts get No. 46, 2020 2nd
From a value perspective, this is the best deal of the draft, as it should have cost Washington more to move up 20 picks and back into the first round. That's not a major knock on the Colts -- they obviously missed out on the guy they were eyeing at No. 26 and decided that Redskins pick could end up being high next year. But Washington spends to go get a prospect they could have drafted at No. 15 without many people having a gripe, especially when it was reported Montez Sweat's medical issues were a little overblown.
Sweat was a home-run pick at No. 26, and the Redskins paid a bargain-bin price to get up to that spot and get him. That's what makes this the best trade of the 2019 NFL Draft.