1. Kyler Murray, QB Arizona Cardinals
Just one year after drafting Josh Rosen, the Cardinals took another quarterback. Murray will have plenty of weapons to grow with in Arizona, including three rookie wide receivers (Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson), Christian Kirk, and David Johnson. The team also has the legendary Larry Fitzgerald under contract for one more year.
2. N’Keal Harry, WR New England Patriots
This isn’t necessarily a selection based on Harry’s skill, but he’s walking into an ideal situation on a team that has the greatest quarterback in league history, an established receiver in Julian Edelman, a well-decorated veteran in Demaryius Thomas, and a solid run game led by Sony Michel. With Rob Gronkowski retiring, the 6-2, 228 lbs Harry might become Brady’s go-to redzone target.
3. Parris Campbell, WR Indianapolis Colts
Besides T.Y. Hilton, the Colts don’t really have a solidified wide receiver. The team did add Devin Funchess this offseason, but he’s a very different style of player than Campbell, who relies more on speed than size. Campbell ran the third fastest 40-yard time at the combine this year, finishing with an unofficial time of 4.31 seconds. In his senior season at Ohio St., Campbell caught 90 passes for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns. He could be a huge asset to the Colts if he brings that all-around production to the pro level.
4. Deebo Samuel, WR San Francisco 49ers
Samuel never put up a 1,000-yard season at South Carolina, but he’s walking into a favorable situation. The 49ers currently have Marquise Goodwin, Jordan Matthews, Dante Pettis, and rookie Jalen Hurd in the receiving room. It’s not a bad group depth-wise, but the team lacks a standout receiver. Essentially, the role of star receiver is up for the taking and Samuel is walking in at preciously the right time. The 49ers seem like they will be an exciting team in 2019, but I guess this pick and the team’s whole season will come down to how well Jimmy Garoppolo plays.
5. Josh Jacobs, RB Oakland Raiders
The Raiders completely redid their receiving corps over the offseason. The team added Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and rookie Hunter Renfrow. The team also added defensive talent that could end up helping the offense out in 2019. I’m still not convinced the offensive line will be up to the task though. Last year’s first round pick, Kolton Miller was a disaster last season and shouldn’t have been drafted as high as he was. Then there’s the Trent Brown signing at left tackle. How many Patriots offensive linemen have been good after leaving New England? Did the Raiders not learn from Nate Solder in New York? Oh well, Jacobs is a good player regardless and, in a year where there aren’t going to be many great rookie runners, I think he’ll have a chance to shine behind a resurgent Derek Carr.
Next Best- T.J. Hockenson, TE Detroit Lions
Hockenson was the best tight end prospect in the draft, which is why he was taken in the top ten picks. At 6-5, 251 lbs, the Iowa product has a great natural build, athleticism, and is set to walk right into the starting position in Detroit. The only reason he isn’t higher on the list is that we saw how the Lions screwed up with Eric Ebron, an equally athletic and talented player.
Dwayne Haskins certainly didn’t seem happy about falling to 15th in the draft. With a chip on his shoulder, Haskins will be targeting the New York Giants as his first victims no doubt. However, while I do believe Haskins will replace Case Keenum at some point this season, I don’t think he’ll play enough games to be in the OROY conversation.
Noah Fant is also set to make an impact, but he’s playing with Joe Flacco in Denver and Flacco hasn’t done much for tight ends throughout his career. While Fant lit up the combine with ridiculous numbers, that won’t help him excel with Flacco. Granted, Flacco did have a good connection with Dennis Pitta in Baltimore for a few years, but no Ravens tight end made the Pro Bowl during the Flacco-era.
There were a lot of wide receivers taken this year and I wouldn’t be shocked if some of the ones I didn’t name on this list end up competing for the OROY award. Marquise Brown was the first receiver taken, but he’s paired with a suspect passer in Lamar Jackson. A.J. Brown went to the Titans, but I’m not convinced both him and Corey Davis can share the stage since Marcus Mariota isn’t a high-volume passer. Mecole Hardman in Kansas City, Diontae Johnson in Pittsburgh, D.K. Metcalf in Seattle, and Riley Ridley in Chicago could all also put up big numbers this year.