Written by Ryan Lippert
Looking back at the 2019 NFL Draft, the class of rookies on the offensive side of the ball wasn’t as loaded as past years. However, there are still plenty of rookies to be excited about heading into this season. With that, here are the rookies that I see standing out and being in the running for the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Kyler Murray, QB (Arizona): For me, the number one pick in the draft has to be on this list. The Cardinals obviously saw a lot in Murray as they were willing to trade last year’s first-round selection, Josh Rosen, to make room for him. Murray will add some much-needed excitement to this Cardinals offense, posing a threat with both his arm and on the ground. It also helps that he has a ton of weapons around him like Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Isabella, Christian Kirk, and Hakeem Butler. Along with those targets, hopefully, David Johnson can become his old self again. If this Arizona offensive line can give him some protection, his numbers could be huge.
Josh Jacobs, RB (Oakland): The next big name on this list is the best running back in this draft class. Jacobs was the only running back selected in the first round and looks to be a great fit in Oakland. The Raiders don’t have any running backs on the roster that stand out as a reliable option. Because of this, Jacobs will be the RB1 from Week One and should see a heavy workload this season as they look to balance out their offense. I see Jacobs leading all rookies this year in rushing yards and possibly touchdowns as well.
David Montgomery, RB (Chicago): I almost included Montgomery as a sleeper but I love his fit in Chicago and have huge expectations for him this season. In the draft process, I had Montgomery as my RB2 in this class and thought he was actually very close behind Jacobs for the top spot. He will share the backfield with Tarik Cohen, but I see him taking over the Jordan Howard role and eventually getting the most carries between him and Cohen. His ability both as a runner and pass catcher will also make him a great option in fantasy leagues.
D.K. Metcalf, WR (Seattle): This pick may be an unpopular one as this award is usually won by a quarterback or running back. Also, there are a lot of people who aren’t quite sold on Metcalf. However, I am not one of those people. I strongly believe Metcalf was one of the steals of the draft when he fell to the Seahawks at the very last pick of the second round. His undeniable size and speed will make him a matchup nightmare in the league, especially in the deep passing game. With the departure of Doug Baldwin, I see Metcalf eventually becoming Russell Wilson’s top target this season. If he becomes that early, I believe he could be a serious candidate for this award.
Miles Sanders, RB (Philadelphia): Sanders is a tricky player to make projections on as he is in a very crowded Eagles backfield. Philadelphia will likely use a running back by committee with him, Jordan Howard, and Corey Clement. I see Howard coming in and being the starter but I strongly believe that Sanders will be the RB2 and still see a ton of carries. If he lives up to his potential, Sanders could easily overtake the starter job from Howard and become the guy for the Eagles, who have been shifting around pieces in this backfield for the past few seasons.
Dwayne Haskins, QB (Washington): If he were in another situation, I would definitely include Haskins as a frontrunner for this award. Heading into the draft, I believed Haskins deserved to be the second quarterback taken. However, the New York Giants had other ridiculous plans in mind. After the Giants took Daniel Jones, Haskins fell right into the lap of their division rival in Washington. The only issue is that Haskins will be in a three-way battle for the starting job between him, Case Keenum, and Colt McCoy. I honestly don’t expect him to be the Week One starter, but I believe that the Redskins will turn to Haskins at some point this season. If they do it sooner rather than later, he will be a top contender.
Although there will probably be other names that come into the conversation, I believe this race will come down to two players: Kyler Murray and Josh Jacobs. I believe that Jacobs will have an outstanding rookie season, leading the rookie class in rushing and making fantasy football owners very happy. However, if my vote counted, I’m casting it for Murray. His ability as both a passer and a runner are just too impressive to ignore. As long as his offensive line can help keep him healthy, Murray should be due for a very impressive rookie season.