Grading Every NFL Team's 2019 Draft Haul
Typically, you need multiple seasons to evaluate an NFL draft class. Some rookies miss their entire first year because of injury. Others play sparingly as they transition between college and the pros. A player may unexpectedly regress or progress after one season.
Still, you can take an initial snapshot of the most recent draft class and highlight some of the early bloomers and question marks.
How can we assess a draft class after one season?
Production is the biggest factor. Obviously, it's harder to find a starting-caliber player in the middle-to-late rounds than the opening night of the draft. Teams that flip Day 3 picks into Day 1 contributors deserve praise for finding unheralded gems. Finally, we'll measure a club's hit rate. Did the front office acquire three solid players out of a small group of six or a large class of 10?
Because of unpredictable ups and downs at the beginning of a player's career, the grades below won't heavily emphasize forecasts for next season and beyond. Keep Baker Mayfield's step back and Lamar Jackson's leap forward in mind for reasoning on that aspect.
Using the criteria above, let's take a look at the 2019 draft class for all 32 teams and grade each group.
2019 Class: QB Kyler Murray (No. 1 overall), CB Byron Murphy (No. 33 overall), WR Andy Isabella (No. 62 overall), DE Zach Allen (No. 65 overall), WR Hakeem Butler (No. 103 overall), S Deionte Thompson (No. 139 overall), WR KeeSean Johnson (No. 174 overall), C Lamont Gaillard (No. 179 overall), OT Joshua Miles (No. 248 overall), DE Michael Dogbe (No. 249 overall), TE Caleb Wilson (No. 254 overall)
The Arizona Cardinals made a controversial decision leading up to the 2019 draft, selecting quarterback Kyler Murray and trading predecessor Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins.
General manager Steve Keim changed course and went with who he thought would take this franchise to another level at a quicker pace. Right now, the Cardinals look like they could make strides with their dynamic signal-caller under center.
Murray became the third rookie to eclipse 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in a season. Rosen probably wouldn't have reached those numbers since he's not a mobile quarterback. In today's league, a dual-threat signal-caller seems preferable over a stationary pocket passer. Arizona justifiably hopped on the new wave.
The Cardinals would've probably liked to see more production out of their three rookie wide receivers. Hakeem Butler landed on season-ending injured reserve with a dislocated finger. KeeSean Johnson had a strong offseason but faded during the regular season. Andy Isabella showcased his speed on a long touchdown but only recorded 189 total yards along with that lone score.
Cornerback Byron Murphy flashed his ability to play inside and outside. The coaching staff will look to stick him in the slot going forward. According to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, the Washington product has played well outside his comfort zone, per Kyle Odegard of the team's official website.
"He's been playing, really, out of position, which has been good for him," Kingsbury said. "He's had to grow up a bunch and face some ups and downs, and I think it'll pay dividends down the road."
Murphy led the Cardinals in pass breakups (10). He snagged an interception and finished third on the team in tackles (78).
Overall, Arizona has bright spots on both sides of the ball.
2019 Class: OG Chris Lindstrom (No. 14 overall), OT Kaleb McGary (No. 31 overall), CB Kendall Sheffield (No. 111 overall), DE John Cominsky (No. 135 overall), RB Qadree Ollison (No. 152 overall), CB Jordan Miller (No. 172 overall), WR Marcus Green (No. 203 overall)
The Atlanta Falcons targeted help for the offensive line early in the 2019 draft. Guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary provided few signs of promise for the future. The former missed 11 games because of a broken foot, and the latter allowed nine sacks, per STATS (via the Washington Post).
Lindstrom and McGary could become solid cogs on the offensive line, but we didn't see that during their rookie terms, though the former had a few solid outings once he returned to action.
Kendall Sheffield boosts the overall grade. Starting Week 6, he opened contests with the first unit on the perimeter. He logged 43 tackles, three pass breakups and a forced fumble in 16 games. The Ohio State product may round out a solid trio at cornerback with Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver.
Perhaps defensive end John Cominsky sees more snaps if Vic Beasley Jr. signs elsewhere in free agency. The rookie showed flashes, registering 11 tackles, a half-sack and two pass breakups in 10 contests.
The Falcons class doesn't have a standout performer, but the group has a ton of potential.
2019 Class: WR Marquise Brown (No. 25 overall), DE Jaylon Ferguson (No. 85 overall), WR Miles Boykin (No. 93 overall), RB Justice Hill (No. 113 overall), OG Ben Power (No. 123 overall), CB Iman Marshall (No. 127 overall), DT Daylon Mack (No. 160 overall), QB Trace McSorley (No. 197 overall)
Marquise Brown battled nicks and bruises throughout the season. For the most part, he landed on the injury report leading up to game day, but he played in 14 contests. The Oklahoma product took the field for 51 percent of offensive snaps and made his presence felt between the white lines.
Brown finished second on the team in catches (46), yards (584) and touchdown receptions (seven). He underwent surgery for a Lisfranc fracture during the offseason, which may explain why the 22-year-old didn't have many explosive plays.
Fellow wideout Miles Boykin didn't have comparable production to Brown, notching 13 receptions for 198 yards and three scores. On the other hand, 10 of his catches went for first downs, which indicates his ability to move the chains.
Running back Justice Hill saw action as a change-of-pace tailback. He's a threat to break away for a big gain on any given down. The Oklahoma State product scored rushing touchdowns in the last two regular-season games.
Edge-rusher Jaylon Ferguson didn't fill the Ravens' pass-rushing void with big numbers, though his 2.5 sacks show he has some potential to develop into a solid starter.
2019 Class: DT Ed Oliver (No. 9 overall), OT Cody Ford (No. 38 overall), RB Devin Singletary (No. 74 overall), TE Dawson Knox (No. 96 overall), LB Vosean Joseph (No. 147 overall), CB Jaquan Johnson (No. 181 overall), DE Darryl Johnson (No. 225 overall), TE Tommy Sweeney (No. 228 overall)
The Buffalo Bills hit on their top four picks—all of them either started the majority of games this season or made significant contributions.
Ed Oliver displayed his pass-rushing prowess with five sacks on the interior. He started slow but came on strong in Weeks 11 to 13, recording four sacks. The Houston product plays in a rotational role, yet he's shown the ability to line up on all three downs.
Cody Ford helped strengthen the offensive line with his solid pass blocking at right tackle. He only allowed 3.5 sacks in 15 starts, per STATS.
The Bills traded LeSean McCoy to the Kansas City Chiefs. Eventually, Frank Gore yielded the featured position to Devin Singletary while T.J. Yeldon served as a low-volume backup. The Florida Atlantic product listed fifth in yards from scrimmage (969) among all rookies.
Dawson Knox hasn't posted big numbers. With that said, in addition to two touchdowns, he's second in receiving yards (388) among rookie tight ends. He likely saw more playing time earlier than expected because Tyler Kroft broke his foot in the offseason. Regardless, the Ole Miss product looks like a solid playmaker.
2019 Class: EDGE Brian Burns (No. 16 overall), OT Greg Little (No. 37 overall), QB Will Grier (No. 100 overall), EDGE Christian Miller (No. 115 overall), RB Jordan Scarlett (No. 154 overall), OT Dennis Daley (No. 212 overall), WR Terry Godwin (No. 237 overall)
Brian Burns salvaged the grade for the Carolina Panthers' 2019 class. Despite a self-inflicted wrist injury, he finished with 7.5 sacks, which ranks fourth among rookie defenders. The Florida State product showed his athleticism and fluidity as a closer off the edge, which speaks to why he came off the board in the first round.
If the Panthers don't retain Mario Addison, look for Burns to lead the defense in sacks for the coming years.
The offensive line had a revolving door at left tackle. Along with fifth-year veteran Daryl Williams, Greg Little and Dennis Daley attempted to fill the void. Neither rookie sustained success in the starting role.
Little battled lingering effects from a concussion and an ankle injury during the season. Daley surrendered seven sacks in 14 contests, per STATS.
As quarterback Cam Newton recovered from foot surgery because of a Lisfranc injury, Will Grier had a shot to show his potential after the coaching staff benched Kyle Allen. The West Virginia product threw zero touchdowns and four interceptions in two games.
Grier may have another opportunity to claim the starting job if the Panthers trade Newton. For now, he seems destined for a backup role.
2019 Class: RB David Montgomery (No. 73 overall), WR Riley Ridley (No. 126 overall), CB Duke Shelley (No. 205 overall), RB Kerrith Whyte (No. 222 overall), CB Stephen Denmark (No. 238 overall)
David Montgomery is the only rookie to show promise in this class. It took him some time to hit his stride behind the Chicago Bears offensive line, which ranked 29th in run blocking, per Football Outsiders.
In addition to 889 rushing yards, Montgomery caught 25 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown. The Bears must improve their front line in order to optimize the rookie ball-carrier's potential.
In 2020, the Bears should pair quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with a stronger ground attack to keep the offense rolling downfield. Montgomery can produce a large chunk of the yardage, but he needs wider running lanes.
Because of Trubisky's regression, we didn't see the Bears' wide receiver corps flourish under innovative offensive play-caller and head coach Matt Nagy. As a result, Riley Ridley only dressed for five games and listed as a healthy scratch for most of the year.
2019 Class: OT Jonah Williams (No. 11 overall), TE Drew Sample (No. 52 overall), LB Germaine Pratt (No. 72 overall), QB Ryan Finley (No. 104 overall), DT Renell Wren (No. 125 overall), OG Michael Jordan (No. 136 overall), RB Trayveon Williams (No. 182 overall), LB Deshaun Davis (No. 210 overall), RB Rodney Anderson (No. 211 overall), CB Jordan Brown (No. 223 overall)
Jonah Williams' season-ending shoulder injury dealt a major blow to the offensive line. He didn't play a snap during the 2019 campaign. His absence leaves us uncertain about his career outlook.
We quickly found out Ryan Finley wouldn't take over for Andy Dalton under center. In three starts, the rookie threw for 474 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while completing just 47.1 percent of his pass attempts. The Cincinnati Bengals won't pass on Joe Burrow to develop Finley.
With some good coaching, Michael Jordan may develop into a serviceable starter at left guard. While he didn't provide much of a push for the ground attack, the Ohio State product only allowed 3.5 sacks in 13 outings, per STATS.
Germaine Pratt stood out most in this class. The Bengals felt comfortable releasing Preston Brown and increasing the rookie linebacker's defensive snaps. He finished with 72 tackles, four for loss. The North Carolina State product didn't show his pass coverage skills as a former safety, though.
2019 Class: CB Greedy Williams (No. 46 overall), LB Sione Takitaki (No. 80 overall), S Sheldrick Redwine (No. 119 overall), LB Mack Wilson (No. 155 overall), K Austin Seibert (No. 170 overall), OT Drew Forbes (No. 189 overall), CB Donnie Lewis Jr. (No. 221 overall)
The Cleveland Browns' rookie class seems to have multiple serviceable contributors with one player who stood out above the rest.
If Joe Schobert signs elsewhere in free agency, Mack Wilson should see an uptick in defensive snaps. He's the star of last year's group, logging the second-most tackles (81) on the team with seven pass breakups and an interception. The Alabama product exceeded expectations as a fifth-round pick.
The Browns seem to have a long-term solution at kicker with fellow fifth-rounder Austin Seibert. He converted on 25 of 29 field-goal attempts, though the Oklahoma product missed five extra-point tries.
Sheldrick Redwine started throughout December. He could see more playing time if he produces in pass coverage and Damarious Randall signs with a new team during free agency.
Greedy Williams' lackluster rookie campaign lowers the grade. The LSU product missed four contests with a hamstring injury and only logged two pass breakups in coverage. The 6'2", 185-pound cover man needs to do more to lock down the spot opposite Denzel Ward.
2019 Class: DT Trysten Hill (No. 58 overall), OG Connor McGovern (No. 90 overall), RB Tony Pollard (No. 128 overall), CB Michael Jackson (No. 158 overall), DE Joe Jackson (No. 165 overall), S Donovan Wilson (No. 213 overall), RB Mike Weber (No. 218 overall), DE Jalen Jelks (No. 241 overall)
The Dallas Cowboys didn't see much from their 2019 class. Backup running back Tony Pollard provided the most spark in this group. But with Ezekiel Elliott signed through the 2026 campaign, the rookie ball-carrier has a low production ceiling.
Whenever Elliott is unable to suit up, Pollard could step into a featured role and produce solid numbers. In Week 15, he ran for 131 yards and a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams. Going forward, look for him to carve out a bigger pass-catching role. The Memphis product hauled in 15 receptions for 107 yards and score this year.
Trysten Hill, the Cowboys' first draft pick, didn't move the needle—largely because of the depth across the defensive line. He played 121 snaps on defense, which doesn't provide much to evaluate or use in a short-term career projection.
Connor McGovern landed on injured reserve with a strained pectoral muscle, hindering his potential to serve as a solid asset on the interior of the offensive line.
2019 Class: TE Noah Fant (No. 20 overall), OG Dalton Risner (No. 41 overall), QB Drew Lock (No. 42 overall), DT Dre'Mont Jones (No. 71 overall), LB Justin Hollins (No. 156 overall), WR Juwann Winfree (No. 187 overall)
The Denver Broncos had several rookie hits this season. President of team operations and general manager John Elway tabbed quarterback Drew Lock the starter for 2020. The youngster seems like a potential long-term solution under center.
Lock opened the year on injured reserve with a thumb injury. He started every game in December and helped lead his team to a 4-1 record. The Missouri product logged 1,020 passing yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions while completing 64.1 percent of his attempts.
Dalton Risner performed at the level of starting-caliber player, creating space for the ball-carriers between the tackles. According to STATS, he only allowed 2.5 sacks in 16 starts.
Lock will also have a big-bodied target at tight end in Noah Fant, who led all first-year players at his position in receptions (40) and yards (562). The Iowa product should serve as the No. 2 pass-catching option in the aerial attack behind wide receiver Courtland Sutton.
The Broncos may feel comfortable allowing interior defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and Adam Gotsis to walk during free agency because Dre'Mont Jones had some bright moments late in the year. In Week 13, he picked off Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. Three weeks later, the Ohio State product registered five tackles, two for loss and 2.5 sacks against the Detroit Lions.
2019 Class: TE T.J. Hockenson (No. 8 overall), LB Jahlani Tavai (No. 43 overall), S Will Harris (No. 81 overall), DE Austin Bryant (No. 117 overall), CB Amani Oruwariye (No. 146 overall), WR Travis Fulgham (No. 184 overall), RB Ty Johnson (No. 186 overall), TE Isaac Nauta (No. 224 overall), DE P.J. Johnson (No. 229 overall)
T.J. Hockenson had an explosive start to the 2019 campaign, hauling in six receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals in the season opener. He peaked in the first week, though, falling short of 57 receiving yards in each of his following 11 outings. After Week 13, the Iowa product landed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.
In fairness to Hockenson, his pass-catching numbers had a much lower ceiling as undrafted rookie quarterback David Blough took over for Matthew Stafford, who missed eight games with back and hip ailments.
Still, as the No. 8 overall pick, Hockenson's rookie term started out with so much promise and ended with a soft thud.
Jahlani Tavai's ability to play in space bodes well for the Lions defense. He's equipped to play on all three downs with a variety of responsibilities. The 23-year-old recorded 57 tackles, five for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups and an interception.
The Lions may call on Amani Oruwariye's ball-tracking skills to patch up a pass defense that allowed the most yards in 2019. In a modest role, playing 19 percent of the defensive snaps, he snagged two interceptions and broke up three passes.
Safety Will Harris took the field for 58 percent of the defensive snaps and had some impact plays, notching 36 tackles, three pass breakups and a sack. He and Oruwariye could make the biggest strides in their sophomore seasons.
Green Bay Packers
2019 Class: DE Rashan Gary (No. 12 overall), S Darnell Savage (No. 21 overall), OG Elgton Jenkins (No. 44 overall), TE Jace Sternberger (No. 75 overall), DT Kingsley Keke (No. 150 overall), CB Ka'dar Hollman (No. 185 overall), RB Dexter Williams (No. 194 overall), LB Ty Summer (No. 226 overall)
The Green Bay Packers didn't reap much return from their first pick, Rashan Gary (21 tackles and two sacks), but general manager Brian Gutekunst acquired a pair of quality rookie starters with the two selections after the defensive lineman.
The Packers lacked speed and playmaking ability in the secondary. Darnell Savage provided help in both areas. He covered ground in coverage, logging 55 tackles, five pass breakups and two interceptions. The Maryland product opened the season as a Week 1 starter, and the only games he didn't start were the two he missed with an ankle injury.
Alongside Adrian Amos, Savage provides the ball-tracking skills needed to limit big plays on the back end.
On the other side of the ball, Elgton Jenkins claimed the left guard spot after Lane Taylor went down with a biceps injury two weeks into the season. According to NFL Next Gen Stats (via ESPN Analytics), the rookie interior lineman had a top-10 pass-blocking win rate (95 percent). He became a key factor in keeping quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright.
Green Bay's class doesn't have widespread production, but two quality starters in Year 1 sounds like a good start.
2019 Class: OT Tytus Howard (No. 23 overall), CB Lonnie Johnson (No. 54 overall), OG Max Scharping (No. 55 overall), TE Kahale Warring (No. 86 overall), DE Charles Omenihu (No. 161 overall), CB Xavier Crawford (No. 195 overall), RB Cullen Gillaspia (No. 220 overall)
Over the last couple of years, quarterback Deshaun Watson had to create magic behind a shaky offensive line that ranked 27th or worse in pass protection since 2017, per Football Outsiders. That didn't change this year. Yet the previous regime, with former general manager Brian Gaine calling the shots, may have added two solid assets to the trenches.
Max Scharping primarily played offensive tackle at Northern Illinois. He made the transition to left guard and allowed just three sacks in 16 contests, which included 14 starts, per STATS.
Tytus Howard spent most of his eight games at right tackle, surrendering 2.5 sacks, per STATS. His season ended on injured reserve because of a torn MCL.
If Scharping and Howard continue to progress, Watson should have more time in the pocket going forward. The rookie offensive linemen also contributed to the Texans' ninth-ranked ground attack with solid run blocking.
Lonnie Johnson started six of Houston's first eight games but lost some snaps to Gareon Conley, who joined the team via trade from Oakland, and Bradley Roby when he recovered from a hamstring injury. Still, the rookie cover man used his length to break up seven passes while playing 49 percent of defensive snaps.
Charles Omenihu didn't start in any of his 14 appearances. As a reserve, he logged 13 tackles, two for loss, three sacks, two pass breakups and two forced fumbles. The Texas product could take a huge leap with an expanded role next season.
The Texans have the assets to solidify their offensive line and two defenders with decent upside.
2019 Class: CB Rock Ya-Sin (No. 34 overall), DE Ben Banogu (No. 49 overall), WR Parris Campbell (No. 59 overall), LB Bobby Okereke (No. 89 overall), S Khari Willis (No. 109 overall), DB Marvell Tell (No. 144 overall), LB E.J. Speed (No. 164 overall), DE Gerri Green (No. 199 overall), OT Jackson Barton (No. 240 overall), C Javon Patterson (No. 246 overall)
Multiple rookies on the defensive side of the ball will probably claim starting jobs from this class. Rock Ya-Sin has already done so at cornerback. He opened 13 out of 15 outings with the first unit, logging 61 tackles, five pass breakups and an interception. The Temple product should become a fixture at the position.
Bobby Okereke and Khari Willis started eight and nine games, respectively. The former brings athleticism to the front seven, while the latter made stops with clean tackling on the back end.
Ben Banogu will need more time to develop in a rotational role on the defensive line, but the coaching staff saw a little bit of his ability to rush the passer. He finished with 2.5 sacks.
If Parris Campbell didn't suffer multiple injuries (an abdominal ailment, fractured hand and broken foot), he would've boosted the overall grade. The wideout recorded 18 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown with a 75 percent catch rate. We didn't see enough of him, though—he missed nine games.
2019 Class: DE Josh Allen (No. 7 overall), OT Jawaan Taylor (No. 35 overall), TE Josh Oliver (No. 69 overall), LB Quincy Williams (No. 98 overall), RB Ryquell Armstead (No. 140 overall), QB Gardner Minshew II (No. 178 overall), DT Dontavious Russell (No. 235 overall)
Believe it or not, the Jacksonville Jaguars may have their quarterback of the future in this class. Sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew II outperformed first-year signal-callers selected ahead of him, and he's not afraid to tell you about it.
Minshew took over after Nick Foles broke his collarbone in the season opener. Although the veteran reclaimed his job midway through the season, he lost it to the rookie after three starts.
Down the stretch, Minshew's magic faded a bit, but he still helped lead the Jaguars to wins—something Foles didn't accomplish as a starter.
The Jaguars have a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate in Josh Allen. He led his team and all rookies in sacks (10.5). Because of his immediate production, Jacksonville may be able to let Yannick Ngakoue walk in free agency and still maintain a solid pass rush.
Quincy Williams had a decent rookie term, though he didn't have many impact plays, logging 48 tackles, two for loss, in 11 games.
Jawaan Taylor's lapses in pass protection knock the Jaguars' draft grade down a notch. He started all 16 contests, allowing 9.5 sacks, per STATS. For the sake of the quarterback, the Florida product must show progress next season.
Kansas City Chiefs
2019 Class: WR Mecole Hardman (No. 56 overall), S Juan Thornhill (No. 63 overall), DT Khalen Saunders (No. 84 overall), CB Rashad Fenton (No. 201 overall), RB Darwin Thompson (No. 214 overall), OG Nick Allegretti (No. 216 overall)
The Kansas City Chiefs didn't have a first-round pick because of the Frank Clark trade, but the front office acquired a pair of immediate contributors in the second round.
Mecole Hardman's big-play ability stands out. He led the team in yards per reception (20.7) and finished second in touchdowns (six). The Georgia product's special teams contributions (27 kick returns for 704 yards and a touchdown) helped him earn a Pro Bowl invite as a rookie, which sounds a lot like fellow wideout Tyreek Hill's career start.
Last offseason, the Chiefs aimed to improve the secondary. Juan Thornhill provided the ball-tracking skills he flashed at Virginia, registering five pass breakups and three interceptions in 16 games. Unfortunately for him and Kansas City's pass coverage, he tore his ACL in the regular-season finale.
Darwin Thompson could develop into a change-of-pace tailback. In exhibition action, he logged 12 carries for 60 yards. The Chiefs' crowded backfield didn't allow him to shine in the regular season.
Los Angeles Chargers
2019 Class: DT Jerry Tillery (No. 28 overall), S Nasir Adderley (No. 60 overall), OT Trey Pipkins (No. 91 overall), LB Drue Tranquill (No. 130 overall), QB Easton Stick (No. 166 overall), LB Emeke Egbule (No. 200 overall), DT Cortez Broughton (No. 242 overall)
Drue Tranquill outperformed his rookie teammates, but that's not saying much. He showed signs of being a solid run-and-hit linebacker, using his quickness to make stops. The Notre Dame product tied for second in solo tackles (50) among Chargers defenders.
General manager Tom Telesco didn't have a lot of return from his top three draft picks. Nasir Adderley spent most of the season on the sideline with a hamstring injury. Trey Pipkins didn't crack the starting lineup until Week 11 as an asset for depth across the offensive line. He's unlikely to make a consistent impact as long as left tackle Russell Okung remains on the roster.
Jerry Tillery suited up for 15 games in mostly a backup capacity. He didn't show much leverage in run defense and found himself out of position to finish plays. As an athletic big man, the 6'6", 295-pounder was expected to bolster the pass rush. He logged two sacks.
Los Angeles Rams
2019 Class: S Taylor Rapp (No. 61 overall), RB Darrell Henderson (No. 70 overall), CB David Long (No. 79 overall), OT Bobby Evans (No. 97 overall), DT Greg Gaines (No. 134 overall), OG David Edwards (No. 169 overall), S Nick Scott (No. 243 overall), LB Dakota Allen (No. 251 overall)
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey wasn't too happy about Taylor Rapp's blown assignment in Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers, but the rookie had many bright moments this season.
In three outings, Rapp recorded 10 or more tackles, illustrating his tendency to be around the action. He also demonstrated his coverage ability, tallying eight pass breakups and two interceptions—one returned for a touchdown. The Washington product has a lot to learn but seems like a solid complement to John Johnson at safety.
The Rams may have found starting offensive linemen in the third and fifth rounds of last year's draft.
Bobby Evans took over for Rob Havenstein, who dealt with a meniscus injury, and fared well at right tackle. If the front office moves on from Andrew Whitworth, who's an impending free agent, the coaching staff can experiment with the Oklahoma product at left tackle, where he lined up for his junior collegiate term.
David Edwards manned both guard spots—mostly the right side—and should have a chance to claim a starting job with both positions in flux. He opened the last 10 games of the season as a first-stringer.
At times, the ground attack sputtered because of instability on the interior of the offensive line, so it's no surprise Darrell Henderson's numbers look modest (39 rushes for 147 yards). That's not ideal for a Day 2 pick expected to spell Todd Gurley II.
2019 Class: DT Christian Wilkins (No. 13 overall), OG Michael Deiter (No. 78 overall), LB Andrew Van Ginkel (No. 151 overall), OT Isaiah Prince (No. 202 overall), RB Chandler Cox (No. 233 overall), RB Myles Gaskin (No. 234 overall)
Despite defensive tackle Christian Wilkins' big-man touchdown, we can argue undrafted cornerback Nik Needham was the team's top rookie.
However, Wilkins proved he's a solid presence on the interior. When a defender consistently clogs running lanes for stops, he's not celebrated like pass-rushing defensive tackles, but the Dolphins have a quality first-rounder in the Clemson product.
Michael Deiter took his lumps as a rookie guard. Opposing defensive tackles overpowered him in the trenches. He gave up 7.5 sacks, per STATS.
After the Dolphins traded Kenyan Drake, Myles Gaskin may have been the best running back on the roster. He didn't see much action until late in the season once the league suspended Mark Walton for substance abuse and personal conduct violations. Also, Kalen Ballage landed on injured reserve with a leg injury after Week 13.
Aside from Wilkins, the Dolphins' draft class left much to be desired, though that should've been expected with limited supporting talent across the roster for a rebuilding squad.
2019 Class: C Garrett Bradbury (No. 18 overall), TE Irv Smith Jr. (No. 50 overall), RB Alexander Mattison (No. 102 overall), OG Dru Samia (No. 114 overall), LB Cameron Smith (No. 162 overall), DT Armon Watts (No. 190 overall), S Marcus Epps (No. 191 overall), OT Oli Udoh (No. 193 overall), CB Kris Boyd (No. 217 overall), RB Dillon Mitchell (No. 239 overall), WR Olabisi Johnson (No. 247 overall), LS Austin Cutting (No. 250 overall)
The Minnesota Vikings have one of the bigger 2019 classes, so the overall production compensates for the modest output from the early-round selections.
Garrett Bradbury started all 16 games. Despite the Vikings' vast improvements across the offensive line, he struggled in pass protection, per Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus. According to STATS, the North Carolina State product committed seven penalties and allowed 3.5 sacks.
Irv Smith Jr. and Alexander Mattison served in reserve roles for most of the year, but they're both solid offensive assets. The former logged 36 catches for 311 yards and two touchdowns, and 17 of those receptions went for first downs. The latter spelled running back Dalvin Cook in the team's sixth-ranked ground attack, rushing for 462 yards and a score on 4.6 yards per carry.
Wide receiver Olabisi Johnson emerged as the surprise performer in this draft batch. He started a handful of games down the stretch while Adam Thielen nursed a hamstring injury. The seventh-rounder logged 31 catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
The Vikings don't have a breakout rookie in this class. On the other hand, team brass found quality depth at several positions.
New England Patriots
2019 Class: WR N'Keal Harry (No. 32 overall), CB Joejuan Williams (No. 45 overall), DE Chase Winovich (No. 77 overall), RB Damien Harris (No. 87 overall), OT Yodny Cajuste (No. 101 overall), OG Hjalte Froholdt (No. 118 overall), QB Jarrett Stidham (No. 133 overall), DT Byron Cowart (No. 159 overall), P Jake Bailey (No. 163 overall), CB Ken Webster (No. 252 overall)
Other than Chase Winovich, the New England Patriots' 2019 class came out flat.
Winovich stood out above the rest with 5.5 sacks and his effort on special teams, which led to a touchdown on a blocked punt in Week 6 against the New York Giants. Still, as a reserve defensive end, he had limited impact. The Michigan product didn't have more than two tackles in any game this season.
Wideout N'Keal Harry started the year on injured reserve because of a groin injury. He didn't eclipse 30 receiving yards in a single contest.
Third-rounders Yodny Cajuste and Damien Harris battled injuries as well. The former didn't play a snap as he recovered from surgery on his quadriceps. The latter only appeared in two games and suffered from a hamstring ailment in the second half of the year.
If the punting game excites you, Jake Bailey may give a little bump to this draft haul. He pinned 36 kicks inside the 20-yard line, which is huge for field positioning, especially with a top-notch defense.
The Patriots are still a veteran-led team, and many of their young talents and rookies lagged behind.
New Orleans Saints
2019 Class: C Erik McCoy (No. 48 overall), DB C.J. Gardner-Johnson (No. 105 overall), S Saquan Hampton (No. 177 overall), TE Alize Mack (No. 231 overall), LB Kaden Elliss (No. 244 overall)
The New Orleans Saints had a small draft class, which leaves little margin for error. Team brass hit on its first two selections on each side of the ball.
The offensive line made a smooth transition from All-Pro center Max Unger, who retired after the 2018 season, to rookie Erik McCoy.
McCoy didn't perform at an All-Pro level, but he's a high-quality addition. The Texas A&M product didn't allow a sack in 16 starts, per STATS.
The Saints signed Nick Easton as veteran insurance at center, but he played at left guard to fill in for Andrus Peat, who broke his arm. McCoy played all his snaps at the pivot, which is a testament to his solid play.
Defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson suited up for 16 games, which included seven starts as a chess piece in the secondary. He lined up in the slot and center field and stepped into the box to supplement the run defense. The Florida product recorded 46 tackles, six for loss, eight pass breakups and an interception, making his presence felt all over the field.
The Saints had a playoff-caliber roster and just needed spot upgrades. McCoy and Gardner-Johnson provided stability and versatility, respectively, on their sides of the ball.
New York Giants
2019 Class: QB Daniel Jones (No. 6 overall), DT Dexter Lawrence (No. 17 overall), CB DeAndre Baker (No. 30 overall), EDGE Oshane Ximines (No. 95 overall), CB Julian Love (No. 108 overall), LB Ryan Connelly (No. 143 overall), WR Darius Slayton (No. 171 overall), CB Corey Ballentine (No. 180 overall), OT George Asafo-Adjei (No. 232 overall), DT Chris Slayton (No. 245 overall)
Like most rookies, Daniel Jones played well against lesser competition and struggled when facing quality opponents. Nonetheless, his strong performances give the New York Giants hope for the future.
Jones threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 61.9 percent of his passes. He also ran for 279 yards and two scores. The Duke product must address his ball-security issues, which also plagued him at the collegiate level. The 22-year-old fumbled 18 times (most in the league) and lost 11 of them.
Still, Jones seems like a viable starting quarterback. He went through his reads, distributed the ball to multiple pass-catchers and used his mobility to compensate for poor perimeter pass protection.
Going into the 2019 campaign, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman traded wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns for safety Jabrill Peppers plus draft capital (a first- and third-rounder). Those picks turned into Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines—two solid assets within the front seven.
At 6'4", 342 pounds, Lawrence can play the run or pressure the quarterback. In addition to 38 tackles, he had 2.5 sacks and 15 pressures. Ximines started to flash as a pass-rusher late in the year. The Old Dominion product had a two-sack performance against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14.
Initially, DeAndre Baker seemed in over his head as a starting boundary cornerback, but he battled through early difficulties in coverage and finished on a strong note. For 2019, the rookie cover man listed second on the team in pass breakups (eight) behind Janoris Jenkins (14), who was waived in December.
Gettleman earns a grade boost with his Day 3 hit at wide receiver. Darius Slayton uplifted the group while Golden Tate served a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs and Sterling Shepard dealt with lingering issues from a concussion. The fifth-rounder finished as the team leader in receiving yards (740) and touchdowns (eight).
New York Jets
2019 Class: DT Quinnen Williams (No. 3 overall), DE Jachai Polite (No. 68 overall), OT Chuma Edoga (No. 92 overall), TE Trevon Wesco (No. 121 overall), LB Blake Cashman (No. 157 overall), CB Blessuan Austin (No. 196 overall)
Quinnen Williams has served as a solid interior defender against the run. However, at No. 3 overall, the New York Jets need more than a gap-stuffer, especially since the Alabama product wreaked havoc as a pass-rusher in his last collegiate term.
Williams logged 2.5 sacks and 11 quarterback pressures. That's decent for a first-year interior defender but a little underwhelming for a top-three selection.
Gang Green didn't see solid returns out of their third-round picks. General manager Joe Douglas took over for Mike Maccagnan and waived Jachai Polite because of his lackadaisical habits. Chuma Edoga made eight starts at right tackle and allowed six sacks, per STATS.
Blake Cashman and Blessuan Austin had shining moments, but each appeared in just seven contests. The former won't start with C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson ahead on the depth chart. The latter hasn't done enough to put himself in a front-running position to start at cornerback.
2019 Class: DE Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 overall), RB Josh Jacobs (No. 24 overall), S Johnathan Abram (No. 27 overall), CB Trayvon Mullen (No. 40 overall), DE Maxx Crosby (No. 106 overall), CB Isaiah Johnson (No. 129 overall), TE Foster Moreau (No. 137 overall), WR Hunter Renfrow (No. 149 overall), DE Quinton Bell (No. 230 overall)
In his first year as an NFL general manager, Mike Mayock hit the ball out of the park with a home run draft class that yielded production from top selections and fifth-rounders alike. On an unfortunate note, first-rounder Johnathan Abram only played one game because the Mississippi State product tore his labrum in the season opener.
The Oakland Raiders have a workhorse running back in Josh Jacobs, who finished eighth in rushing (1,150). He became the centerpiece of the offense, logging 242 carries.
Midway through the season, Trayvon Mullen took over for starting cornerback Gareon Conley, who the Raiders traded to the Texans. He excelled, logging a team-leading 10 pass breakups with an interception. The Clemson product is primed to open 2020 as the lead cover man in the secondary.
Maxx Crosby broke out as the biggest surprise in this class. He's a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate who finished second among first-year players in sacks (10) and put together a stellar four-sack performance against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11.
Because of the failed Antonio Brown experiment and Tyrell Williams' battle with plantar fasciitis for most of the season, Hunter Renfrow saw a lot of opportunities in the passing game. He hauled in 49 catches for 605 yards and four touchdowns.
Renfrow missed three games with a punctured lung and bruised rib, but he stood out as the most reliable wide receiver on the Raiders' depth chart this season.
Quarterback Derek Carr also found a solid red-zone threat in tight end Foster Moreau, who caught five touchdown passes.
There are mixed reviews on first-rounder Clelin Ferrell because of his modest sack count (4.5). Nonetheless, he proved to be a solid strong-side defensive end capable of setting the edge and dropping back to break up passes (five) in shallow zones.
2019 Class: OT Andre Dillard (No. 22 overall), RB Miles Sanders (No. 53 overall), WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (No. 57 overall), DE Shareef Miller (No. 138 overall), QB Clayton Thorson (No. 167 overall)
Miles Sanders is the shining star of this draft class. He shared the rushing workload with Jordan Howard for most of the season and emerged as the featured ball-carrier when the veteran missed six games with a shoulder injury down the stretch.
The Eagles found their lead running back in Sanders, a second-rounder out of Penn State. If healthy, he should have a strong sophomore campaign.
With left tackle Jason Peters on the roster, the team didn't expect Andre Dillard to start right away. He made four starts to compensate for injury and allowed six sacks, per STATS. He has room to grow but suffered early lapses in pass protection.
Despite the absences of wideouts DeSean Jackson, Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery throughout the term, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside didn't leave his mark, logging 10 receptions for 169 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles have potential starters in Dillard and Arcega-Whiteside, but other than Sanders, this class is low on tangible production.
2019 Class: LB Devin Bush (No. 10 overall), WR Diontae Johnson (No. 66 overall), CB Justin Layne (No. 83 overall), RB Benny Snell Jr. (No. 122 overall), TE Zach Gentry (No. 141 overall), DE Sutton Smith (No. 175 overall), DT Isaiah Buggs (No. 192 overall), LB Ulysees Gilbert (No. 207 overall), OT Derwin Gray (No. 219 overall)
General manager Kevin Colbert's decision to trade up for linebacker Devin Bush seems like a shrewd move.
At 5'11", 234 pounds, Bush isn't a thumper. He fits the mold of a modern linebacker who covers ground laterally with the speed to come downhill and disrupt plays in the backfield. The Michigan product logged a team-leading 72 solo tackles, along with nine tackles for loss, four pass breakups and two interceptions.
Bush doesn't have coverage skills comparable to Ryan Shazier, who's recovering from a spinal injury. That said, he fills the Steelers' void at inside linebacker with athleticism.
With all eyes on JuJu Smith-Schuster in his rise from No. 2 to No. 1 wide receiver, Diontae Johnson led the team in receptions (59). He was the only Steelers pass-catcher to eclipse 50 catches, which is notable as Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges handled most of the snaps in place of injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Going forward, Johnson should have a firm hold on one of the top three wide receiver spots. He's also an occasional threat to take handoffs for big gains out of the backfield.
Benny Snell Jr. took on a significant role as James Conner battled a nagging shoulder injury. Although the rookie running back averaged just 3.9 yards per rush attempt, he proved himself as a physical ball-carrier capable of taking on a portion of the workload. The Kentucky product recorded 108 rush attempts for 426 yards and two scores.
San Francisco 49ers
2019 Class: DE Nick Bosa (No. 2 overall), WR Deebo Samuel (No. 36 overall), WR Jalen Hurd (No. 67 overall), P Mitch Wishnowsky (No. 110 overall), LB Dre Greenlaw (No. 148 overall), TE Kaden Smith (No. 176 overall), OT Justin Skule (No. 183 overall), CB Tim Harris (No. 198 overall)
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch found contributors for all three phases of the game.
The 49ers had an easy decision with the No. 2 overall pick. Lynch had to bolster the defense's pocket pressure off the edge. He accomplished that with Nick Bosa.
Bosa could win Defensive Rookie of the Year with 47 tackles, 16 for loss, nine sacks, 45 quarterback pressures, two pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble. He's everything you'd want in a top rookie pass-rusher.
Despite his fifth-round draft status, Dre Greenlaw helped stabilize the 49ers' front seven after Kwon Alexander tore his pectoral muscle in Week 9. The Arkansas product filled in admirably, registering 87 tackles, three for loss, two pass deflections, a sack and an interception in 16 contests, which included 11 starts.
Deebo Samuel looks like a running back after receptions, so it's no surprise head coach Kyle Shanahan used him as a ball-carrier in addition to his pass-catching duties. He led 49ers wideouts in receiving yards (802) and listed second on the team in yards from scrimmage (961).
In the fourth round, Lynch picked up a serviceable punter in Mitch Wishnowsky, who averaged 44.9 yards per attempt.
2019 Class: DE L.J. Collier (No. 29 overall), S Marquise Blair (No. 47 overall), WR DK Metcalf (No. 64 overall), LB Cody Barton (No. 88 overall), WR Gary Jennings (No. 120 overall), OG Phil Haynes (No. 124 overall), S Ugo Amadi (No. 132 overall), LB Ben Burr-Kirven (No. 142 overall), RB Travis Homer (No. 204 overall), DT Demarcus Christmas (No. 209 overall), WR John Ursua (No. 236 overall)
The Seattle Seahawks have a deep class but not much to show for all the talent they acquired during last year's draft.
DK Metcalf led the group with a steady role in the aerial attack, logging 58 catches for 900 yards and seven touchdowns. He quickly moved into the No. 2 spot behind wideout Tyler Lockett on the depth chart. The Ole Miss product stands with A.J. Brown, Terry McLaurin and Deebo Samuel as one of the most impressive rookies at the position.
Metcalf had a huge role in the Seahawks' wild-card playoff win over the Eagles, logging seven receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown. Because of his impact, Seattle doesn't have to rely solely on Lockett and the ground attack. Quarterback Russell Wilson has a viable secondary pass-catching target.
We'll have to highlight potential more than production for the rest of the Seahawks' rookies.
Marquise Blair didn't do enough with 230 defensive snaps to leave an impression either. The Utah product recorded 25 tackles, one pass breakup and two forced fumbles. The same could be said for Cody Barton, who suited up for all 16 contests in primarily a backup linebacker role (17 tackles and one pass breakup).
The Seahawks selected Gary Jennings in the fourth round and waived him after the team claimed Josh Gordon off waivers. Gordon was later suspended indefinitely for violating league policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.
Running back Travis Homer saw an increase in workload for the final regular-season game with Chris Carson (hip), Rashaad Penny (torn ACL) and C.J. Prosise (broken arm) all on injured reserve. He posted decent numbers, registering 92 yards from scrimmage. Nevertheless, the Miami product will likely revert to the third wheel in the backfield when Carson and Penny are healthy.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2019 Class: LB Devin White (No. 5 overall), CB Sean Murphy-Bunting (No. 39 overall), CB Jamel Dean (No. 94 overall), S Mike Edwards (No. 99 overall), DE Anthony Nelson (No. 107 overall), K Matt Gay (No. 145 overall), WR Scott Miller (No. 208 overall), DT Terry Beckner (No. 215 overall)
Looking at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' numbers on paper, you'd probably think about adding another batch of players on defense. The club gave up the fourth-most points this season. Yet a deep dive into the collective production from their rookies shows a different picture.
Devin White provides the athleticism, quickness and field awareness to play middle linebacker in the modern league. He's an instinctive defender who finds the ball and plays with anticipation. The LSU product recorded 91 tackles, three pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and an interception.
The Buccaneers should be pleased with Sean Murphy-Bunting and Jamel Dean in the secondary. The former led the team in interceptions (three), and the latter tied for fourth leaguewide in pass breakups (17).
Coming out of Auburn, Dean had some durability concerns. He suited up for 13 contests this season. If he avoids the injury bug, the 6'1", 206-pound cover man could earn some Pro Bowl invites in the coming years.
Mike Edwards had a less impressive year than Murphy-Bunting and Dean, but he presented a solid presence at safety. The Kentucky product broke up six passes and came downhill on three tackles for loss and a sack.
Matt Gay started the season strong but struggled late, converting only three of eight field-goal attempts from Week 15 through 17. If he uses the offseason to clear his mind, the 25-year-old place-kicker should bounce back in 2020.
2019 Class: DT Jeffery Simmons (No. 19 overall), WR A.J. Brown (No. 51 overall), OG Nate Davis (No. 82 overall), S Amani Hooker (No. 116 overall), LB D'Andre Walker (No. 168 overall), LB David Long (No. 188 overall)
Last February, Jeffery Simmons tore his ACL. Because of the recovery timetable, he seemed destined to spend his rookie campaign on injured reserve. The Mississippi State product gained clearance to play in Week 7, logging four solo tackles, two for loss, and a sack in his pro debut.
For the season, Simmons recorded 32 tackles, four for loss, two sacks and a pass breakup. In nine games, which included seven starts, he provided the Titans defensive line with size (6'4", 301 lbs) against the run and an extra kick to the interior pass rush.
A.J. Brown benefited most from the quarterback switch between Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill. In the second half of the season, he blossomed into a big-play threat who's tough to break down after the catch. The Ole Miss product could win Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns.
In Week 5, Nate Davis took over the starting right guard position. For most of the regular season, he struggled to stand his ground, allowing four sacks, per STATS.
The Titans hit on their selections at the top of the draft. Davis still has a lot to prove, and the Day 3 selections have been largely negligible.
2019 Class: QB Dwayne Haskins (No. 15 overall), EDGE Montez Sweat (No. 26 overall), WR Terry McLaurin (No. 76 overall), RB Bryce Love (No. 112 overall), OG Wes Martin (No. 131 overall), OG Ross Pierschbacher (No. 153 overall), LB Cole Holcomb (No. 173 overall), WR Kelvin Harmon (No. 206 overall), CB Jimmy Moreland (No. 227 overall), DE Jordan Brailford (No. 253 overall)
When a team drafts a quarterback, it's important to see glimpses of potential from the commander in the huddle. Dwayne Haskins had a slow start and went through a coaching change, but he threw for four touchdowns and zero interceptions in his last two outings against division opponents.
Haskins missed Week 17 with a high ankle sprain. He finished with seven touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 58.6 percent completion rate. That isn't great, but the arrow points up because of his most recent performances.
Montez Sweat, Terry McLaurin and Cole Holcomb are the cream of the crop in this class. All of them held prominent roles throughout the term.
Sweat listed second on the team in sacks (seven). After playing 64 percent of defensive snaps as a rookie, he'll probably build on those numbers with a bigger role next season.
Despite the instability at quarterback, McLaurin had three games with 100-plus yards—two with Case Keenum under center and one paired with Haskins. He's a third-rounder but looks like the No. 1 wide receiver in Washington.
At linebacker, Holcomb doesn't grab headlines, though he logged the second-most solo tackles (70) among Redskins defenders with six takedowns for loss. The North Carolina product didn't rack up the flashy stats like sacks and interceptions but added stability and solid tackling to the second level of the defense.
The Redskins have multiple quality contributors from Day 1 to 3. Still, it would be wise to hedge bets on Haskins. He needs to show a little more in his sophomore campaign.