Breaking down each 2019 offensive NFL Draft pick from a fantasy perspective.
These words featuring straight analysis first appeared on our partner site Rotoballer.com. The immature GIF draft grades are all ours. We’ve also included some analysis from our last mock, which is relevant because our man Dillon Josephsen nailed four of these picks, got another one on the right team, and had the position correct on two more.
No. 1: Cardinals Take Quarterback Kyler Murray
Murray is the most athletic signal-caller in this year’s draft, as he was also a first-round pick in baseball last June. The knock on him is he might be too small to succeed at the next level, especially with Arizona’s offensive line being one of the worst in the NFL. Murray will be an excellent draft choice in keeper leagues, but he might struggle for consistency in redraft leagues, although head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense should fit him very well.
What we’ve already said: “Josh Rosen is a fine quarterback, but an immobile one. Kyler has every tool you want in a star quarterback and will thrive in an Air-Raid offense.”
No. 6: Giants Take Quarterback Daniel Jones
We knew that the Giants would be looking for Eli Manning’s successor in this draft, we just weren’t sure that they’d go with a QB with their first of two picks in the first round. He’ll sit and learn behind Manning in his first year and could see some starts eventually, depending on how Manning looks. Jones will have a ton of dynasty appeal, but don’t expect him to give you much in redraft leagues in his rookie season.
What we’ve already said (had him going to Giants with their second pick, making this pick even more batshit crazy): “I hardly consider Jones a top-5 quarterback and considering what guys you will pass on to take him here, it would definitely not be an ideal move. Quarterback is the most important position in football and throwing darts on one in the mid first round who will carry a very low cap hit in regards to the position for the first 5 years of his contract is beneficial. Missing on a quarterback is just as bad as rolling Eli Manning out there every week. Prove you have a long term plan.”
No. 8: Lions Take Tight End T.J. Hockenson
He becomes only the fourth tight end in history to go in the top 10 picks. The Lions also selected Eric Ebron in the top 10 picks just a few years ago, but they saw him post a big season with the Colts in 2018. Detroit could really use some production at the position to help quarterback Matthew Stafford. Hockenson should be the clear top pass-catching rookie tight end. He has big upside, but be careful not to overvalue him in redraft leagues. Not only can Hockenson catch passes, but he’s also an excellent blocker.
What we said in our mock: “Lions fans still think about the failure of Eric Ebron but he was not even close to the prospect that T.J. Hockenson is. Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn are familiar with a recently retired tight end who could contribute as a receiver and was a menacing blocker. Comparing Hockenson to Gronk is ignorant but it makes a lot of sense.”
No. 15: Redskins Take Quarterback Dwayne Haskins
The Redskins wanted to potentially move up into the top 10 to take Haskins, but they didn’t even have to move at all to get him. Some teams didn’t even have a first-round grade on Haskins, so there is some bust potential, but the ‘Skins don’t mind gambling on him. They traded for Case Keenum in the offseason, but he’s not the long-term answer and Alex Smith (leg) may never play in the NFL again. Haskins may wind up making starts in 2019, but don’t count on it. He can do it all in the pocket and has great accuracy and touch. He’ll be a popular pick in dynasty drafts.
What we said in our mock: “Quarterback is a desperate need for this team. They have to be just as tired as their fans are of watching middling quarterback come in year after year. This is the time they’ll prove to their fans that they are committed to the idea of a long term answer at the position. Whether or not any of these prospects are that answer is another conversation completely.”
No. 20: Broncos Take Tight End Noah Fant
Fant is the second tight end from Iowa taken in the first round, which is a first in NFL history. He is an exceptional all-around athlete and should immediately become the top pass-catching option at tight end for quarterback Joe Flacco in 2019. Flacco notably likes to use his tight ends as well, so Fant could come into some redraft value in his rookie season for the Broncos. Fant had 18 touchdowns for Iowa the last two seasons combined. He will help Denver’s passing offense stretch the middle of the field.
What we’ve already said: “Fant is a hyper-athletic tight end who compares to Vernon Davis. It may take him a few years to develop into what he will be but that won’t derail Gruden and Mayock from pulling the trigger.”
No. 24: Raiders Take Running Back Josh Jacobs
He’s a finisher with the rock in his hand but doesn’t have a ton of breakaway speed. Jacobs is more of a north/south runner and is willing to block in all situations. He has great instincts and should be a big part of Oakland’s backfield in 2019, as they lost Marshawn Lynch to retirement. Jacobs should have value in single-season formats this season, but the upside might be limited initially depending on how the Raiders utilize him.
What we’ve already said: “Josh Jacobs lacks the production profile and athletic profile of an elite NFL running back prospect. The NFL works in trends and a year after Saquon Barkley happened “running back-needy” teams like the Raiders will take him. This class has no impressive 3-down running back. I still expect the Raiders to take one early.”
No. 25: Ravens Take Wide Receiver Marquise Brown
Hollywood Brown is cousins with Antonio Brown and has blazing speed. However, he’s dealing with a Lisfranc foot injury and it’s unknown if he’ll be ready for training camp. Brown is electric with the ball in his hand and fits a huge need for a Ravens team that desperately needs production from their receiving corps. But on a run-first team, how will Brown fare, especially in his rookie season? Brown has tantalizing upside in the long term, but we wouldn’t expect a whole lot right away. He could get off to a slow start if his foot injury causes him to miss out on development this summer.
What we’ve already said: “This is one of the worst landing spots for a receiver in this class but it is the most wide receiver needy team in the league. The Ravens have a young quarterback in Lamar Jackson, a commitment to the run game and an abundance of tight ends on their roster … Marquise Brown is an outlier in this draft. Smaller than Desean Jackson but the film grinders love watching his game. Brown has had the opportunity of playing with back to back (potentially) first overall pick quarterbacks in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. His offseason injury prevented him from athletic testing so we have to assume his speed.”
No. 32: Patriots Take Wide Receiver N’keal Harry
It’s no secret that the Patriots need wide receiver help with Josh Gordon suspended and tight end Rob Gronkowski retiring. Chris Hogan also left in free agency. Harry checks a lot of boxes and works hard at his craft. It’s not easy to pick up New England’s offense, so Harry will have his work cut out for him and will need to develop chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, but he could be a sneaky late-round flier in redraft leagues.