2019 NFL Draft

Eight NFL Draft Picks Remain Unsigned

With training camp on the horizon, there are still eight unsigned NFL draft picks left, as shown in PFR’s tracker: So far, 244 of this year’s 254 selections have inked their deals.

Here’s the complete breakdown, sorted by round:

First Round (5)

Second Round (1)

Third Round (1)

Seventh Round (1)

As expected, the first round (five) leads the way in stragglers. It’s also worth noting that four of the five remaining unsigned first-round picks are repped by CAA: Bosa, White, Jones, and Burns. Last July, CAA had five of the seven unsigned players in the top 10, so it’s clear that the power agency is driving a hard bargain over key issues such as offset language.

The Broncos seemed to have a logjam earlier this week when Drew Lock (No. 42) overall pushed for a quarterback premium while guard Dalton Risner (No. 41 overall) refused to take less money than the player drafted behind him. They slashed this list from 11 to nine by agreeing to terms with their second-rounders on back-to-back days.

Cutting, meanwhile, is now allowed to defer his military service while he plays professional football, so a deal should be signed any day now.

Extra Points: 2020 NFL Draft, Gronk, T-Rich

The wide receiver crop in the 2019 NFL draft left much to be desired, but it’s a different story in 2020, as Kalyn Kahler of The MMQB writes. This year, there was not a receiver chosen until No. 25 overall when the Ravens took Marquise Brown. This year, there are several players with high-end potential.

On the surface it looks as though there are much better route runners with legit gas in this class,” one scout told Kahler. “Not just big jump-ball guys. There could be several Calvin Ridley-types, which could play multiple roles in offenses, increasing their value.”

Among 2020’s top WRs is Alabama junior Jerry Jeudy, who boasts impressive route running despite being undersized at 6’1″ and 192 pounds. Last year, Jeudy reeled in 14 touchdowns and dropped just four of his 72 catchable balls.

Others to watch: Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr., TCU’s Jalen Reagor, Oklahoma’s Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace, and Clemson’s Tee Higgins.

As you gear up way, way too early for the 2020 NFL Draft, here’s more from around the league:

  • The NFL and the NFLPA are set to meet on Monday-Wednesday to discuss a new CBA and Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that the players are interested in creating shorter rookie deals for incoming players. Currently, draft picks are signed to four-year contracts, with teams holding fifth-year options for first-round picks. With shorter rookie deals, players would be able to reach free agency at an earlier date and earn market-value deals sooner.
  • Take this with a grain of driveway salt, but as Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports writes, a recent interaction captured between former Patriots star Rob Gronkowski and Drew Brees has conspiracy theorists (and amateur lip readers) buzzing. Gronk, some say, told the Saints quarterback that he is “coming back [to football].” For now, we’re assuming that the tight end is staying retired, especially since he has slimmed down considerably since the Super Bowl.
  • Running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Connor Cook are participating in the XFL’s “Summer Showcase” in St. Louis on Saturday, as Michael David Smith of PFT writes. T-Rich, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft, is apparently still focused on getting back to the NFL. Last year, he led the AAF with 12 touchdowns before the league went belly-up. Cook, meanwhile, was never able to do much in the NFL despite some buzz heading into the 2016 draft.
  • CAA, one of the most powerful agencies in the NFL, is driving a hard bargain for rookies, Mike Florio of PFT writes. This year, four of the five remaining unsigned first-round picks are repped by CAA. And, last July, five of seven unsigned players in the top 10 were repped by CAA. As of this writing, the following first-rounders are unsigned: 49ers defensive end Joey Bosa (No. 2; represented by CAA), Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (No. 3; represented by Nicole Lynn of Young Money APAA Sports), Bucs linebacker Devin White (No. 5; CAA), Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (No. 6; CAA), and Panthers linebacker Brian Burns (No. 16; CAA).

11 NFL Draft Picks Remain Unsigned

Roughly 4% of this year’s draft picks have yet to sign their rookie contracts, as shown in PFR’s tracker. So far, 243 of this year’s 254 selections have inked their deals.

Here’s the complete breakdown, sorted by round:

First Round (5)

Second Round (3)

Third Round (2)

Seventh Round (1)

As expected, the first round (five) leads the way in stragglers. First-round picks tend to have the most leverage, which means agents will often haggle on issues such as offset language. Cutting, meanwhile, is now allowed to defer his military service while he plays professional football.

Only 16 Draft Picks Remain Unsigned

Roughly 7% of this year’s draft picks have yet to sign their rookie contracts, as shown in PFR’s tracker. So far, 238 of this year’s 254 selections have inked their deals.

Here’s the complete breakdown, sorted by round:

First Round (6)

Second Round (3)

Third Round (5)

Sixth Round (1)

Seventh Round (1)

Unsurprisingly, the first round (6) and third round (5) still lead the way in stragglers. First-round picks tend to have the most leverage, which means agents will often haggle on issues such as offset language. Third-round negotiations also tend to drag since there is wiggle room when it comes to their base salaries.

As an unsigned seventh-round pick, Cutting’s situation is an unusual one. The Air Force product has signed an “injury protection agreement” instead of his rookie contract, giving the academy time to render a final decision on whether he can play in 2019. Depending on how things shake out, Cutting may have to leave the team for two years to fulfill his service requirements.

26 NFL Draft Picks Remain Unsigned

Roughly 10% of this year’s draft picks have yet to sign their rookie contracts, as shown in PFR’s tracker. So far, 228 of this year’s 254 selections have inked their deals.

Here’s the complete breakdown, sorted by round:

First Round (10)

Second Round (5)

Third Round (9)

Sixth Round (1)

Seventh Round (1)

As expected, the first round (10) and third round (9) lead the way in stragglers. First-round picks tend to have the most leverage, which means agents will often haggle on issues such as offset language. Third-round negotiations also tend to drag since there is wiggle room when it comes to base salaries.201

8 NFL Teams Have Wrapped Up Their Draft Classes

Roughly one-quarter of the NFL’s teams have signed every player in their draft class, as shown in PFR’s tracker. The front offices of the following clubs have a little bit less on their plate as mandatory minicamps get underway:

  • Cardinals
  • Falcons
  • Browns
  • Lions
  • Chiefs
  • Saints
  • Eagles
  • Steelers

While the league’s rookie slotting system has been criticized by some, there’s no denying that it has streamlined the signing process for the incoming class. Prominent first-round picks like Joey Bosa and Marcus Mariota have squabbled with teams over offset language in recent years and the third round lacks some structure due to flexibility in base salary, but, on the whole, rookies have been quicker to put pen to paper in recent years.

We’ll likely see several more teams wrap up their draft classes before the week is through. The Bills, Bengals, Cowboys, Packers, Texans, Colts, Dolphins, Vikings, Patriots, Seahawks, Titans, and Redskins each have just one straggler remaining. Unsurprisingly, most of those unsigned players are third-rounders. The Vikings are a notable exception – seventh-round pick Austin Cutting is waiting to find out whether the Air Force will permit him to play instead of immediately fulfilling his two-year service requirement.

Patriots Sign Chase Winovich

The Patriots’ draft class is nearly sewn up. On Monday, the Pats signed third-round defensive end Chase Winovich, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s a four-year deal worth $3.83MM with a signing bonus of roughly $997K. 

With Winovich inked, third-round running back Damien Harris stands as the Patriots’ only unsigned draft pick, as shown by PFR’s tracker:

Winovich began his career at Michigan as a tight end, but shifted to the other side of the ball for his junior season. He immediately found success, racking up five sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss in 2016. He only improved from there, notching 8.5 sacks and 19 TFL in ’17. His stat sheet wasn’t as gaudy last season, but he still managed five sacks on the year and while flashing strong technique.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

200 NFL Draft Picks Have Signed

When Bengals fourth-round quarterback Ryan Finley inked his rookie deal on Thursday, he became the 200th member of the 2019 NFL Draft class to do so. With that, we have only 54 unsigned picks, meaning that nearly 79% of this year’s picks are officially under contract.

[RELATED: 2019 NFL Draft Results By Team]

Unsurprisingly, most of the remaining stragglers are third-round picks. Third round negotiations tend to drag since there is wiggle room when it comes to base salaries. In fact, only ten of this year’s 31 third-rounders have signed as of this writing: Cardinals defensive end Zach Allen, Bills running back Devin Singletary, Panthers quarterback Will Grier, Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki, Jaguars tight end Josh Oliver, Vikings running back Alexander Mattison, Patriots tackle Yodny Cajuste, Jets linebacker Jachai Polite, Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson, and 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd.

We also have 12 unsigned players in the first-round, which also doesn’t come as a shock. First round picks tend to have the most leverage, which means that agents will often haggle on issues such as offset language. Half of those unsigned first-rounders come from the Raiders and Giants, who have three first-round picks each. It’s possible that the agents for each player are playing a bit of a waiting game to see how the team’s other first-round picks fare when it comes to offsets.

Jets Draft Led To Mike Maccagnan’s Firing?

While disagreements about the free agency cost of Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley came up in the wake of the Jets breaking up their newly formed Mike MaccagnanAdam Gase decision-making duo, the team’s draft appears to have played a bigger role.

The Jets’ pre-draft process did not consist of much input from Gase, with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reporting Maccagnan did not want his new head coach affecting his scouts’ views on prospects. Gase then remained quiet during the Jets’ draft-related meetings and was not a factor in the team’s decision-making on draft night.

It pissed Adam off,” a Jets source told Mehta of Maccagnan limiting his input before the draft. “Mike didn’t want him to speak up too much. It’s a weird philosophy.”

While Mehta adds Maccagnan used this strategy with Todd Bowles as well, Gase took his discontent to another level. The new Jets HC, who “badly” wanted to make recommendations on the types of players he wanted for his system, voiced frustration to many in league circles and prior to the draft moved his seat in the team’s war room — which was captured on video for the networks airing the event — away from camera view.

Draft weekend did not feature any Gase objections to Maccagnan’s picks and scant input from what Mehta refers to as a “detached” coach. This marked Maccagnan’s fifth and final draft with the Jets.

(Gase) literally took his seat and moved it,” a Jets staffer in the war room informed Mehta. “That was extreme.”

The Jets, who currently have Gase in the interim GM role, have taken understandable heat due to the timing of this firing. Some members of the franchise’s brain trust would have given the go-ahead for CEO Christopher Johnson to fire Maccagnan in January, when Bowles was axed, but Johnson was leery of his ability to conduct simultaneous searches for a new coach and a new GM, Mehta reports. However, the awkwardness in the Jets’ draft room looks to have pushed the relatively new decision-maker to break up the Maccagnan-Gase duo.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Attempted To Trade Up For OL

With their first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bengals addressed the offensive line by taking Alabama product Jonah Williams at No. 11. They attempted to do the same by trading up in the second round when a handful of projected first-round offensive linemen slipped, but nothing came to fruition, Bengals.com writer Geoff Hobson writes.

According to Hobson, the team couldn’t make a deal to draft Jawaan Taylor, Cody Ford or Greg Little, all of whom went in the first six picks of the second round, because it coveted its fourth-round picks.

“They tried trading up in the second round for one of those first-round offensive lineman that slid. But they were also adamant. They coveted one of those guys, but they were holding on to their fourth-rounder. And later their fifth. They came into the draft believing the fourth round was where they could make some hay,” Hobson writes.

Cincinnati ended up with three picks in the fourth round, and used those selections on NC State quarterback Ryan Finley, Arizona State defensive tackle Renell Wren and Ohio State guard Michael Jordan.

Without making that move, the Bengals offensive line projects to feature Williams at right tackle, with Cordy Glenn on the opposite side, Clint Boling and John Miller at guard, and 2018 first-round pick Billy Price at center.