A Void to Fill

After the departure of disgruntled wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, the New York Giants will have a huge positional hole to fill on offense, while the new-look Browns can use the 2019 NFL Draft to address other needs.

With the NFL Draft happening April 25, each NFL team will have the opportunity to bolster its roster with new, young faces. From teams with top five picks to teams with first round draft positions, every team will nonetheless look to fill positional holes on both sides of the ball ahead of the 2019-2020 season. For fans and analysts, though, three teams will have the most at stake as draft night gets closer.


Cleveland Browns:

The Cleveland Browns are everyone’s favorite sleeper pick heading into this season. The Browns already made a huge leap last season, finishing at a respectable 7-8-1, which is even more impressive considering the fact that they went 0-16 the season before. Much of the Brown’s recent success and redemption can be attributed to the play of their young stars. Baker Mayfield, who was selected first overall by Cleveland in last year’s draft, is the answer at quarterback that the Browns have been looking for. With his wide array of weapons on offense, including wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry and tight end David Njoku, Mayfield should have no problem continuing his offensive success heading into this season.

In the 2019 Draft, the Browns now have the luxury of filling holes at other positions rather than searching for another quarterback. Cleveland will most likely aim to bolster its pass rush and offensive line in an effort to balance both units and make a run for the AFC North title this season.

New England Patriots:

The defending Super Bowl champions obviously have enough pieces to win championships with their current roster. That being said, Tom Brady is getting older, and there is plenty of speculation regarding the duration of the rest of his career. In November of 2017, the Patriots traded away their quarterback insurance policy to the San Francisco 49ers in Jimmy Garoppolo. This year’s draft could serve as a perfect way for New England to find its quarterback of the future.

The Patriots should also use this draft to try and find some younger pieces on defense. Though the unit was solid throughout last season, it is no secret that many of those players are on the back ends of their careers, so the Patriots will have to start looking for replacements down the road.


New York Giants:

A team with a less optimistic outlook for the coming season, the Giants will need to have a successful draft this year.

Losing Odell Beckham Jr. and safety Landon Collins, coupled with the fact that quarterback Eli Manning will most likely retire within the next couple years, means that the Giants must capitalize on their opportunities to rebuild what is left of their roster.

Though they probably will not contend for a playoff spot this season, the Giants still need to make the right draft picks if they want to win in the near future.

Contact Ethan Marchetti at emarchetti@colgate.edu.

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