The 2019 NFL Draft is just under three months away and teams are already putting up draft boards with their biggest needs. The 2019 NFL Draft is loaded, and I mean LOADED with premier defensive talent. With the NFL becoming a “who can score 30 points first” type of game, young defensive talent will set balance to the game. However, there are a couple of young men on the offensive side of the ball that are showing great promise and can make an instant impact on the field for their respective teams. There is no Saquon Barkley or Odell Beckham Jr. like talent in this draft that scouts have seen, but this is one of the deeper offensive groups that has been around lately in the NFL Draft. This list that I am about to give is not in order, but these are five upcoming rookies that I expect to have instant impact in their first year.
Side Note: I do not think any of the quarterbacks in the 2019 Draft are worthy of a spot on this list. Yes, I understand quarterback is the most important position in football, but I am not a fan of Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, Drew Lock, Will Grier, or Daniel Jones. We can discuss that in another article.
Noah Fant is the best tight end in an absolutely loaded tight end class. Scouts are saying this tight end group is better than the 2017 class that included O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, and David Njoku. Noah Fant is a wide receiver in a tight end body. He is not as lean or fast as Evan Engram, but he is bigger and stronger and still has the wheels to run away from corners and safeties. He runs a wide receiver route tree and has strong hands at the point of contact. He has no limits as a receiver, and is an explosive athlete. He has the ability to run by you, through you, and even jump over you. He does tend to get shoved around while in-line blocking by some bigger defensive players but that is something teams will look past. Fant should be the first tight end off the board and if he goes to a team that has no tight end in front of him on the depth chart, such as the Seahawks, then he can turn in an Evan Engram like rookie year.
Marquise Brown is the clone of DeSean Jackson. Say what you want about Jackson, but one thing is undeniable, his speed accounts for a lot of defensive attention. Marquise Brown is coming off a great year in the Oklahoma system. He is a burner that is incredible after the catch and has a full complement of routes. There are some worries about his height, 5’10 and his weight, 160 soaking wet. Those measurables have scouts second guessing his durability, especially after John Ross ruined the credibility of speedsters playing wide receiver. However, once scouts see Brown run, someone will take him off the board with the idea he will take the top off of defenses. If he can stay healthy, Brown will put up some long touchdown catches in his rookie year.
One of my personal favorite offensive players in the draft. Jacobs had a breakout game in the CFB Semi-Final against Oklahoma. Truth is, he was sort of a change of pace back behind battering ram Damien Harris all season. Scouts love Jacobs and it’s because what he did with his touches. He put up 1346 rushing yards, while averaging 6.0 yards a carry. He is also a great receiver out of the backfield, catching 43 passes for 500 yards and 4 scores in his first 38 games. His skill set reminds scouts of Alvin Kamara. He is a do it all back. He won’t put up any eye popping numbers at the combine, but the dude is a baller. If he can land himself a starting gig, say the Oakland Raiders, he is going to put up over 1300 yards from scrimmage, and you can take that to the bank.
One of the most physically gifted wide receivers that the draft has seen over the past couple of years. D.K. Metcalf is an exceptional athlete who has the tools to be a top tier NFL wide receiver. He stands at 6”3 and has rare wheels at his size. Not saying he is Julio Jones, but the dude looks and runs like Julio. He is a true three level receiver that can win at all points on the field. He has smooth routes and strong hands. He can play more true to his size on 50-50 balls, but other than that he is a great talent. The one major knock on Metcalf is his brief collegiate playing career and injury history. When on the field, he has shown elite tools, which is why he will most likely be the first receiver taken, but an 2018 season ending neck injury has some teams worried. If he can bounce back from the injury, there is no doubt that he can be a game changing wide receiver. Look for a team like the Browns to draft him at pick 17 and use him as a true elite “x” wide out.
Lastly on this list, is David Montgomery. He perhaps has the highest floor of any offensive player in the 2019 draft. He is a great athlete and has put together elite stats during his time at Iowa State. His best professional comparison is the more explosive version of James Connor. Like Connor, Montgomery displays an insane sense of balance. He is built like a wrecking ball and with a low center of gravity, he sheds off tackles like nothing. He won’t burn the 40 yard dash, but he has enough speed and acceleration to burst through running lanes and outrun defenders when he gets to the outside. He has good receiving chops as well, so if he gets drafted to the right team, he will be an every down work horse. Depending on the team and playing time, David Montgomery has a chance to become an elite NFL runner very early in his career.