Written by Ryan Lippert
With the 2019 regular season in the past and the playoffs in full swing, it’s time to take a look back on this year’s rookie class. As has been the case in recent years, there were several rookies that played a huge role for their respective teams. This class has a chance to be special with multiple players with star potential on both sides of the ball. With that being said, let’s start by taking a look at who made the cut for my 2019 NFL All-Rookie Team on the offensive side of the ball.
Quarterback: Kyler Murray (Arizona Cardinals)
After seeing what he was able to do in his rookie campaign, it appears that the Arizona Cardinals knew what they were doing when they selected Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Although their record didn’t exactly reflect it, Murray had an impressive first season as the Cardinals’ starting quarterback. He finished the season with 3,722 yards, 20 passing touchdowns, and twelve interceptions. Murray also displayed his dual-threat ability, rushing for 544 yards and four touchdowns. With Murray and this young Cardinals receiving core, this offense could be very exciting in the years to come.
Preseason Pick: Murray
Honorable Mention: Daniel Jones (New York Giants)
Running Back: Josh Jacobs (Oakland Raiders)
Just as I expected coming into this season, Josh Jacobs carried the load for this Raiders offense this season. In fact, I’d be willing to say that he was one of the biggest reasons that they even came close to making the playoffs. Jacobs had a dominant rookie season, finishing third in the league in rushing. He finished with 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns on 242 carries. I have a huge feeling that the best has yet to come for Jacobs.
Preseason Pick: Jacobs
Honorable Mention: Miles Sanders (Philadelphia Eagles)
Wide Receivers: A.J. Brown (Tennessee Titans), Terry McLaurin (Washington Redskins)
As we all witnessed, the Tennessee Titans surprised the league this season, making the late run to make the playoffs, followed by upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the Wild Card round. While their running game has been outstanding with Derrick Henry, a big part of their success has been the connection between Ryan Tannehill and rookie A.J. Brown. Brown came on strong during the second half of the season for the Titans, finishing with 52 receptions for 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns.
While his team didn’t have the same type of success, Terry McLaurin was another wide receiver that had a huge year this season. McLaurin served as one of the only true bright spots in the Redskins’ offense, finishing the season with 58 receptions for 919 yards and seven touchdowns. Hopefully for McLaurin, the Redskins will develop Dwayne Haskins better this offseason or find some type of answer at quarterback.
Preseason Picks: D.K. Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks), N’Keal Harry (New England Patriots)
Honorable Mention: Metcalf, Marquise Brown (Baltimore Ravens)
Tight End: Noah Fant (Denver Broncos)
Although there were several highly touted tight ends in this year’s draft class, this rookie class wasn’t extremely productive at the position. However, I have to pick someone and Noah Fant led the rookie tight ends in every statistical category. Fant was up and down in production but still served as a key target in Denver’s passing attack throughout the season. He finished with 40 receptions for 562 yards and three touchdowns. If Drew Lock can become the franchise quarterback the Broncos need, I believe Fant can still grow into a very dangerous player in this league.
Preseason Pick: T.J. Hockenson (Detroit Lions)
Honorable Mention: Irv Smith Jr. (Minnesota Vikings)
Center: Garrett Bradbury (Minnesota Vikings)
Coming into this season, I had high expectations for Bradbury as I had him as one of my top ranked interior offensive linemen in this class. While I believe he could still work on his pass protection, Bradbury has lived up to his expectations so far. He started every game for the Vikings and was the center piece of an offensive line that paved the way for running back Dalvin Cook to finish the season tenth in rushing with 1,135 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Preseason Pick: Bradbury
Honorable Mention: Erik McCoy (New Orleans Saints)
Offensive Guards: Elgton Jenkins (Green Bay Packers), Dalton Risner (Denver Broncos)
Jenkins was a player that I had listed at center at the beginning of the season but made the transition to guard. He got his first start in week three against the Broncos and didn’t look back. Jenkins has started every game since and is a key piece in this Packers offensive line. This line paved the way for running back Aaron Jones to have a breakout season, finishing 12th in the league in rushing with 1,084 yards and 16 touchdowns.
At the other guard spot on this team, I have Risner who is a player, like Bradbury, that I had high hopes for and a high draft grade for coming into this season. Risner came in and made an immediate impact on Denver’s offensive line, starting in every game for the Broncos. Although they failed to make much noise this season, this offensive line still helped establish a solid run game as Phillip Lindsay finished 15th in the league in rushing with 1,011 yards and seven touchdowns.
Preseason Picks: Risner, Chris Lindstrom (Atlanta Falcons)
Honorable Mention: Lindstrom, Michael Deiter (Miami Dolphins)
Offensive Tackles: Jawaan Taylor (Jacksonville Jaguars), Tytus Howard (Houston Texans)
Jawaan Taylor was touted as one of the top offensive tackles in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, he surprisingly fell to the second round. Luckily for the Jaguars, Taylor has proved the teams that passed on him wrong so far and has been one of the steals of the draft. Taylor made an immediate impact on this Jaguars offensive line, starting in all 16 games at right tackle. Whoever the Jaguars quarterback of the future is, whether it be Gardner Minshew, Nick Foles, or someone else, they will feel comfortable with Taylor protecting them.
Tytus Howard is another player that had a sort of surprising landing spot in the draft. However, his was a good surprise as he was picked higher than expected at the 23rd overall pick. Fortunately for Houston, it seems like they knew what they were doing. Howard earned a starting spot at right tackle and started in all eight games that he played in. When he was in that spot, him and Laremy Tunsil were arguably one of the better tackle tandems in the league, keeping quarterback Deshaun Watson on his feet.
Unfortunately, Howard was placed on the Injured Reserve following Week 12 of the regular season due to an MCL injury that he suffered earlier in the season. Hopefully Howard can come back healthy and stronger than ever next season to continue a successful NFL career.
Preseason Picks: Taylor, Jonah Williams (Cincinnati Bengals)
Honorable Mention: Cody Ford (Buffalo Bills), Kaleb McGary (Atlanta Falcons)