Another NFL Draft has come and gone. This is the time of year most dynasty leaguers absolutely love. For redraft folk, however, fantasy impacts can be glossed over. There will be so much information and unfortunate injuries (RIP Isaiah Crowell) that will happen between now and August; changing everyone’s draft boards. What names that were called in Nashville will impact your upcoming leagues? Here is an early look at 2019 rookies that will be relevant for your drafts.
N’Keal Harry – WR, NE
The Patriots haven’t drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 1996 and Bill Belichick has admitted to having trouble evaluating collegiate receivers. So why should you even be considering the prospect out of Arizona State University? For starters, Harry has one of the best production profiles amongst the 2019 rookies and did so beginning as a freshman. He was utilized as an outside receiver, in the slot, and even on handoffs. Most importantly, just take a look at New England’s depth chart. They have Julian Edelman and then…Phillip Dorsett? What’s left of Demaryius Thomas? Potentially Josh Gordon? Harry should have no trouble finding the field early and contributing.
Josh Jacobs – RB, OAK
Another first-round selection, Josh Jacobs was drafted to the Oakland Raiders at pick 24 and immediately went atop the depth chart. Jacobs’ running style fits the Raiders’ team attitude perfectly. The Alabama product also has a three-down skill set, so he satisfies the pass-catching requirement for PPR leagues. I put together my thoughts on Jacobs as a prospect here.
Miles Sanders – RB, PHI
Speaking of three-down skill sets, Miles Sanders is here to put an end to that committee nonsense in Philadelphia. The Eagles have used a committee approach in recent years because they haven’t had one back capable of contributing on all three downs. Sanders produced well at Penn State behind a very meh offensive line. He now gets to run behind a very good line and in Doug Pederson’s offense. Here is my break down on Sanders.
David Montgomery – RB, CHI
I’ll be straight-forward here. Montgomery is my favorite running back amongst the 2019 rookies. He lands in Chicago where they just traded Jordan Howard, who leaves 250 carries up for grabs. His ceiling will be capped due to Tarik Cohen’s passing game usage, but Montgomery is much better at that aspect than Howard was. Similar to Sanders, Montgomery will see an upgrade in both offensive line and scheme with the Bears. We have the “They traded up for him!” narrative at play here to boot. I also have a profile completed on Monty you can check out as well.
Mecole Hardman – WR, KC
The Kansas City Chiefs traded up to grab what is seemingly Tyreek Hill’s replacement. While Georgia’s rushing attack was highly productive, their passing offense left a little to be desired. Hardman’s 543 receiving yards in 2018 ranked second for the Bulldogs. So why did the Chiefs trade up for him? Oh yeah, because he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Combine. If Andy Reid and company are making moves to draft you, and you’ll be catching balls from that Patrick Mahomes guy, I’m interested. Hardman wasn’t a household name, so he could be one of the 2019 rookies that slips by your league-mates.
Names to Monitor
Arizona’s offense – The Cardinals are going all-in on new Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury and his college-style spread Air Raid system. With Kingsbury came three offensive rookies including number one overall pick Kyler Murray and three wide receivers in Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson. Murray will most definitely have fantasy value, but who the recipients of those points remain to be determined.
Justice Hill – The Baltimore Ravens are still going to be a run-first offense, although Lamar Jackson will certainly see an uptick in passing attempts. Hill provides the Ravens with a speed component that the other running backs lack.
Noah Fant – The athletic freak of a tight end was selected in the first round to Denver, who also traded for Joe Flacco during the offseason. Rookie tight ends typically don’t have a fantasy impact but Flacco’s attraction to tight ends may give Fant an opportunity to buck that trend. Plus, we all know that tight end tends to be a fantasy wasteland out of the top handful of players.
Darrell Henderson – If you watched any of the NFL playoffs, you don’t need to hear me talk about the uneasiness of drafting Todd Gurley this year. The Rams didn’t do anything to quell that uneasiness either, as they were another team that traded up to snag a running back. Depending on what reports we get over the next couple months, Henderson will either be a late-round zero RB target, or a high-priced insurance policy.