The NFL Draft has come and gone, and all 254 draft selections are prepared to make their new teams better with their efforts and talents. Like every NFL Draft, there were numerous great picks, some head scratching selections and many brilliant steals and sleepers selected on the second and third day. I’ll tell you which player I think will have the best rookie season, which player I think will not have a stellar first season (and potentially have a short-lived NFL career) and which team I believe improved the most in this year’s draft.
Starting with my “boom,” I will start by saying I was toying with awarding this honor to New England Patriots WR N’Keal Harry (formerly an Arizona State Sun Devil). However, after much consideration, prayer and even some meditation, I’ve decided to declare that my 2019 NFL Rookie Boom will be Washington Redskins RB Bryce Love, formerly of Stanford University. Love was the Heisman runner-up in 2017 and has been slept on by many. He was selected at Pick 112 in the fourth round, which was an absolute steal for the Redskins.
Pairing him with fellow rookie, QB Dwayne Haskins (formerly an Ohio State Buckeye) will perhaps give the Redskins’ offense the jolt it needs to truly contend for an NFC East Title, with the likes of the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Love will likely begin the season second or third on the Redskins’ RB depth chart behind Adrian Peterson and possibly Chris Thompson. Peterson is aging and Thompson doesn’t have a fraction of the upside that Love does, so look for him to move up the depth chart as the season progresses and potentially be featured back in Washington for years to come.
My bust pick is fairly obvious – if you follow the NFL at all, you’ll know exactly where I’m going. The New York Giants’ selection at Pick 6 overall, former Duke QB Daniel Jones, is my NFL Rookie Bust for 2019. Let’s take a look at his final season at Duke. Jones threw for 2,674 yards in 11 games with 22 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Respectable numbers, but respectable enough to be picked against other elite QBs in the draft, such as Drew Lock (Iowa) or Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State)?
Just for giggles, here are Haskins’ stats from 2018. In 14 games, Haskins threw for 4,831 yards, 50 TDs and 8 interceptions. You mean to tell me that New York passed up on THAT guy and took some kid from Duke? I’m rooting for Jones, I honestly am – the pressure has to be insane in the Big Apple. To be honest, I think Eli Manning is done, so Jones may get in the spotlight earlier than anticipated. If he performs as he did at Duke without expanding his ceiling, he will easily be the biggest bust in this year’s draft.
Now, for the team who I thought had the best draft. Washington and Arizona both had tremendous drafts and filled a lot of team needs, but there was one team in particular that I believe stocked their pantry with players who can keep them on top for a long period of time. This team is none other than the defending Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots. As I said earlier, I loved the N’Keal Harry pick at the end of the first round – he will be an elite and elusive target that Tom Brady can confidently throw to throughout games. The Pats also picked up CB Joejuan Williams out of Vanderbilt and DE Chase Winovich out of Michigan.
Some other notable picks for the Pats include Damien Harris (RB, Alabama) and Jarrett Stidham (QB, Auburn).
I am very excited about the upcoming season and am looking forward to watching all NFL rookies play for their new teams. I hope your team drafted well and that they have nothing but success this season.