5 teams that can't afford to make mistakes at 2019 NFL Draft
Icon Sportswire / Getty

A lot is riding on the draft, which runs from Thursday to Saturday. The futures of NFL franchises will turn based on the decisions made inside 32 war rooms.

Some teams, however, have more riding on this year's draft than others. Here are five teams that must get their selections right this week:

New York Giants

Dave Gettleman insists he has a plan. With three selections within the first 37 picks of this draft, that plan must begin paying dividends.

The Giants own two first-round picks thanks to the trade of Odell Beckham to Cleveland. The deal caught Giants supporters by surprise and left the second-year general manager with many questions to answer.

Gettleman asked for trust and patience, something New York fan bases aren't known to have in abundance. If the Giants come away with pieces that will expedite their rebuild, it should put a stop to the incessant bashing in the New York tabloids - for the weekend, at least.

Dallas Cowboys

Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport / Getty

No, the Cowboys do not own a first-round pick, but the draft isn't any less important to them.

Dallas traded its first-round pick to acquire receiver Amari Cooper last season, but the Cowboys still own one second- and third-round pick, two fourth-round selections, and a fifth- and seventh-rounder. They need to nail as many of them as possible.

The Cowboys already have $60 million in 2020 cap space tied up in DeMarcus Lawrence, Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and Travis Frederick. With offensive stars Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Cooper due lucrative multi-year contracts of their own, that number could reach north of $100 million.

With so much of the salary cap already accounted for, the Cowboys will have to flush out the roster with cheap, productive players.

Dallas hit on its first three picks in the 2018 draft (Leighton Vander Esch, Connor Williams, Michael Gallup). That trend will have to continue if the Cowboys are to have the necessary support for their headliners.

Oakland Raiders

This draft will likely determine whether Jon Gruden's 10-year, $100-million deal with the Raiders is a success or not.

With three first-round picks, he and new GM Mike Mayock will go about rebuilding the Raiders as they see fit.

If they can make the right moves, the team could find itself on the ascent just in time for its move to Las Vegas. A poor draft could set the franchise back for years. The Raiders picked JaMarcus Russell first overall in 2007 and didn't have a winning record again until 2016.

Gruden recently cautioned Mayock: "Don't mess it up, dude." The Raiders can't afford to.

Green Bay Packers

Stacy Revere / Getty Images Sport / Getty

With Aaron Rodgers entering his 15th season and his late 30s, the Packers went for it this offseason, breaking from the norm by signing expensive free agents Za'Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos.

The Pack can continue to move with that urgency by using their two first-round picks on prospects who can contribute right away.

As long as Rodgers is leading the way, the Packers would be wise to put all their resources into surrounding him with adequate talent. In that respect, every draft carries great importance, but never so much as this year with the team carrying the 12th and 30th overall selections.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins are one of the few teams in this year's draft that still need a quarterback. Sure, they have Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, and Case Keenum all under contract, but Smith's future is uncertain due to a broken leg, McCoy has a year left and is recovering from a broken leg of his own, and Keenum is under contract only for 2019.

With Smith's $94-million contract on the books, the club can't afford a veteran solution.

It's imperative, then, that the Redskins find the quarterback of their future. They own the 15th pick and could move up to get their guy if need be.

Comments
5 teams that can't afford to make mistakes at 2019 NFL Draft
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox