2019 NFL Draft And Which Teams Became Tougher

In the days when the NFL appears to be trending more towards a flag football league than the old smash mouth football the desire for tough football players still reigns.

Iconic image of Y.A. Tittle from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. At 38 years old, Tittle played through his final season in the NFL with a cracked sternum and concussion.

“We want rough guys, we want tough guys.” – John Harbaugh (Ravens head coach)

“You have to have a mental toughness about you to play the position here in New York. Or to play the position anywhere. ” – Dave Gettlleman (Giants GM)

“Generally speaking, we want to add tough football players,” – Freddie Kitchens (Browns head coach)

Allow me to digress for a moment. I support the changes to make the game safer. If the NFL and all football organizations fail to do so the game of football will suffer. If parents will not let their children play football, though it may not make the game extinct, it will decrease the source pool and thus decrease quality of player the game attracts. Digression finished and back to tough players.

So how did the teams do in regard to drafting tough football players.  This is of course highly subjective. Who are the “tough” players and how is that determined. I came up with a list of “tough” players limiting it to five players for each position. I looked for players that give 110% on every play. They play with intensity – like their “hair was in fire”. Playing thru injury was also accounted for.  While production was not a main criteria it was taken into account when there were a lot of close choices. After all how “tough” is the player if he fails to obtain 1st down on 3rd and short, or if a pass rusher does not get sacks.

Here is a film of one of my choices, tight end Drew Sample, blocking. It is like the scene from The Blind Side.

Here are the results of number of “tough” players drafted by team arranged by divisions.

AFC East # Players NFC East # Players
NWE 3 NYG 2
NYJ 3 DAL 2
BUF 2 WAS 1
MIA 1 PHI 0
AFC North # Players NFC North # Players
CIN 3 MIN 3
BAL 2 CHI 2
PIT 2 DET 2
CLE 0 GB 1
AFC South # Players NFC South # Players
JAX 2 ATL 2
IND 1 TB 2
TEN 1 CAR 0
HOU 0 NO 0
AFC West # Players NFC West # Players
LAC 4 SEA 4
OAK 4 ARI 3
DEN 3 LAR 2
KAN 0 SF 2

Here are the “tough” players by position. The order for positions do not imply any degree of toughness.

Pos Player Team   Pos Player Team
QB Brett Rypien DEN DT Quinnen Williams NYJ
QB Daniel Jones NYG DT Jeffery Simmons TEN
QB Easton Stick LAC DT Ed Oliver BUF
QB Gardner Minshew JAX DT Daniel Wise DAL
QB Trace McSorley BAL DT Cortez Broughton LAC
RB Josh Jacobs OAK Edge Nick Bosa SF
RB Benny Snell PIT Edge Clelin Ferrell OAK
RB Trayveon Williams CIN Edge Chase Winovich NWE
RB Alexander Mattison MIN Edge Zach Allen ARI
RB David Montgomery CHI Edge Josh Allen JAX
FB Chandler Cox MIA LB Cody Barton SEA
FB George Aston DEN LB Drue Tranquill LAC
FB Winston Dimel SEA LB Blake Cashman NYJ
FB Britton Abbott LB Devin Bush PIT
FB Trevon Wesco NYJ LB Devin White TB
TE TJ Hockenson DET CB Rock Ya Sin IND
TE Foster Moreau OAK CB Byron Murphy ARI
TE Isaac Nauta DET CB Kris Boyd MIN
TE Andrew Beck NWE CB Deandre Baker NYG
TE Drew Sample CIN CB Michael Jackson DAL
WR Kelvin Harmon WAS SF Tyalor Rapp LAR
WR Stanley Morgan CIN SF Nasir Adderley LAC
WR Deebo Samuel SF SF Darnell Savage GB
WR Calvin Ridley CHI SF Jonathan Abram OAK
WR Garry Jennings SEA SF Mike Edwards TB
OT Dalton Risner DEN
OT Cody Ford BUF
OT Kaleb McGary ATL
OT David Edwards LAR
OT Yodny Cajuste NWE
IOL Chris Lindstrom ATL
IOL Ben Powers BAL
IOL Dru Samia MIN
IOL Lamont Gaillard ARI
IOL Phil Haynes SEA

Here are the players arranged by team

Pos Player Team
IOL Lamont Gaillard ARI
Edge Zach Allen ARI
CB Byron Murphy ARI
OT Kaleb McGary ATL
IOL Chris Lindstrom ATL
QB Trace McSorley BAL
IOL Ben Powers BAL
OT Cody Ford BUF
DT Ed Oliver BUF
RB David Montgomery CHI
WR Calvin Ridley CHI
RB Trayveon Williams CIN
TE Drew Sample CIN
WR Stanley Morgan CIN
DT Daniel Wise DAL
CB Michael Jackson DAL
QB Brett Rypien DEN
FB George Aston DEN
OT Dalton Risner DEN
TE TJ Hockenson DET
TE Isaac Nauta DET
SF Darnell Savage GB
CB Rock Ya Sin IND
QB Gardner Minshew JAX
Edge Josh Allen JAX
QB Easton Stick LAC
DT Cortez Broughton LAC
LB Drue Tranquill LAC
SF Nasir Adderley LAC
OT David Edwards LAR
SF Tyalor Rapp LAR
FB Chandler Cox MIA
RB Alexander Mattison MIN
IOL Dru Samia MIN
CB Kris Boyd MIN
TE Andrew Beck NWE
OT Yodny Cajuste NWE
Edge Chase Winovich NWE
QB Daniel Jones NYG
CB Deandre Baker NYG
FB Trevon Wesco NYJ
DT Quinnen Williams NYJ
LB Blake Cashman NYJ
RB Josh Jacobs OAK
TE Foster Moreau OAK
Edge Clelin Ferrell OAK
SF Jonathan Abram OAK
RB Benny Snell PIT
LB Devin Bush PIT
FB Winston Dimel SEA
WR Garry Jennings SEA
IOL Phil Haynes SEA
LB Cody Barton SEA
WR Deebo Samuel SF
Edge Nick Bosa SF
LB Devin White TB
SF Mike Edwards TB
DT Jeffery Simmons TEN
WR Kelvin Harmon WAS

A couple of observances regarding drafting tough players

  • The West divisions got a lot tougher
  • Bills are tougher on both their lines.
  • Bears and Bengals added a lot of tough offensive weapons.
  • Broncos and Vikings should be tougher running the ball
  • Lions are all in on tough tight ends
  • Chargers have toughened their defense
  • The AFC East should be tougher and more competitive
  • Jon Gruden and Pete Carroll want to bring back smash mouth football.

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