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NFL Draft 2019 - Round 1 Projections


The NFL Draft is finally upon us and it is the unofficial start to the fantasy football season. The owners that are consistently among the tops in their leagues year in and year out do their homework on the players that are entering the league. Knowing the landing spots of the top offensive players and how it affects not only theirs but others fantasy values can give you a leg up on the rest of your league. With each new class comes a variety of values to factor in as you prepare for your own drafts. Will there be that rookie running back coming into the league that immediately changes the landscape (Saquon Barkley) or will these players be a mix of mid to late round targets that could pay off towards the end of the season? Questions like these are what many of us have as we enter the NFL Draft.

As for the 2019 draft, the talent in this year's class may not be the best that we have seen in recent memory, but there will be some value to be had in seasonal leagues. The true depth of this year's rookies is on the defensive side of the ball, which is where a large number of players selected in the first round will play. But as far as the offensive players go, the fact that there are no players that stand out among the rest is a detriment to their values. Why reach for a receiver in the first round if you can get a similar player a round or two later? That is what we may see with the first round especially. Will there be a player selected in the first round that can carry you to a fantasy title in 2019? Not likely. But what you may see are players that can contribute in spurts early on as they round into form as the year progresses.

Before we take a look at my projections in this mock draft, I have to preface it by saying that I have not factored in any trades that are bound to happen on draft night. Like I stated on my podcast this week, if I could predict the trades between two teams and the picks swapped I could be a rich man. So with that out of the way, let's jump into this year's first round and analysis on players that may be factors in fantasy for 2019 and beyond.

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Round 1 Mock

 

Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

Right off the top, we have the much-talked-about pick of Murray to the Cardinals. Despite the reports out there, I see this team going with the quarterback that can come in and be a better fit in Kliff Kingsbury's offensive scheme.

2019 Value- Mid-range QB2 with value as a matchup play later in the season.

Dynasty Value- Potential QB1 that comps in a similar fashion to Russell Wilson. May take a couple of years to bloom as the team figures out how to deploy him.

 

Drew Lock, Denver Broncos

Seems to be the destined spot for Lock as the Broncos have been the most involved in his scouting.

2019 Value- Little to no value on Lock in redraft leagues this season unless an injury occurs to Joe Flacco.

Dynasty Value- Hard to see Lock ever developing past a high-end QB2. Has potential with a young nucleus of receivers to grow with but may be hampered by the scheme in Denver.

 

Dwayne Haskins, Cincinnati Bengals

A potential surprise pick for Haskins here. But I like the potential of him staying state and possibly being the starter for this team as early as 2020 once Andy Dalton is let go and the team rebuilds.

2019 Value- Similar to Lock, Haskins may not see much of the field this season as he sits and learns behind a veteran.

Dynasty Value- A comparison that I like with Haskins is Byron Leftwich. Largely immobile but very accurate if given space. If given a good supporting cast, Haskins could see seasons in which he finishes as a low-end QB1.

 

Noah Fant, Green Bay Packers

Fant fits a need for the Packers as they could potentially let go of aging Jimmy Graham. But with new HC Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers there is a pattern of largely ignoring the position. This pick is a better football move than a fantasy move.

2019 Value- He could fit into the large group at the position of low-end TE1/high-end TE2 guys. Will have weeks where he is usable based on matchups, but disappears in others. More intriguing as a best ball draft pick or a DFS player that a seasonal player.

Dynasty Value- The potential is there for Fant to become a Jordan Reed type in the league. But the Packers must do a better job of utilizing the position.

 

D.K. Metcalf, Washington Redskins

Another move that I am not a fan of if it comes to fruition. I currently do not have Metcalf among the top receivers in this class, but the upside may be too much for the Redskins to pass on here.

2019 Value- I also see Metcalf as being a great pick in best ball leagues. He could have a week going for two scores but follow it up with three games in a row with three or fewer catches. I would potentially project him to be in the WR4 range in this is the landing spot.

Dynasty Value- This is dependent on the future of the quarterback position for the Redskins. Once they improve in that area, Metcalf's value in the next few years could jump up to WR2 range.

 

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

In what may be the most laughable pick of the first round, the Giants grab and hope for their QB of the future. I'm not a fan of Jones nor do I think projects out well in the NFL. The case could be made that he had no help in college, but he never progressed in his skills and has only prototypical size in his favor.

2019 Value- Jones will not be worth naming in seasonal leagues as he will be planted firmly on the bench for the Giants.

Dynasty Value- Even as a dynasty prospect, Jones projects out as no more than a low-end QB2. Who's to say that David Gettleman and this front office don't decide to hang onto Eli Manning for another couple of years. Killing any hope for Jones.

 

Marquise Brown, Baltimore Ravens

Brown fits an obvious need for a Ravens team that is devoid of talent at the receiver position. But this pick will be the ultimate boom or bust based on the offense in place and progression of Lamar Jackson as a passer.

2019 Value- Another player that I like more for best ball leagues than actual redraft. He's a homerun player with a limited route tree and currently fighting off a foot injury. Add that to the fact that Jackson and the Ravens will look to keep the ball on the ground for a majority of games and you have a receiver with a limited ceiling. Brown is no more than a bench player based on this landing spot that will flash on a few occasions.

Dynasty Value- This all depends on Jackson's progression. If the passing offense continues to be limited, so will be the value of Brown long term. Also, who will he be at the next level? Can he be Tyler Lockett with his long speed and abilities down the field, or will he be the oft-injured John Ross? Over the next few years, I see Brown as a guy that bounces between WR3 and WR4 range as a fantasy asset.

 

Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders

The only running back I have going in the first round goes to a team with a need at the position. With word coming out of Oakland that Gruden likens Jacob's skillset to Charlie Garner, this could be a nice match if the landing spot holds.

2019 Value- If Jacobs can stay on the field and see a decent workload week to week, he has the ability to be a high-end RB2 in PPR formats. But the detriment to his value will be the fact that the team will be playing from behind quite a bit. I like the landing spot, but if the workload is inconsistent so will Jacobs be in your starting lineups.

Dynasty Value- He has the chance to be a top overall pick in rookie drafts if this pick holds. Could be a player that comes in and is a factor from day one. Like I said, he has RB2 upside as early as this year but certainly will become an RB1 at some point based on usage.

 

N'Keal Harry, Seattle Seahawks

The receiver that tops my positional rankings, Harry could be a solid pickup for a Seahawks team that may be looking to replace Doug Baldwin (status uncertain due to mounting injuries). This team needs a receiver that is an all-around talent that is not relegated to a small route tree. Harry is just that as he can run any route and is a beast with the ball in his hands.

2019 Value- His value in seasonal leagues truly depends on where the team is at with Baldwin. If he is again in and out of the lineup, Harry could see consistent value as a WR3 as Tyler Lockett likely assumes most of the scoring potential with Harry being the better PPR player.

Dynasty Value- His potential long-term is through the roof. But can the Seahawks offense support that? There may be times where he scores like a WR1, but I see his value as more of a WR2 throughout his career in fantasy.

 

T.J. Hockenson, New England Patriots

As I said in my podcast this week, this feels like the inevitable landing spot for Hockenson. Will he be there at pick 32? Possibly not. But I see the Patriots being aggressive in their desire to replace Rob Gronkowski. He is the ideal fit for the team and would rise up draft boards immediately if he lands here.

2019 Value- Hockenson would be viewed as a TE1 from day one if he becomes a Patriot. But with Brady nearing the end of his stellar career, is the finish as a TE1 a lock? Maybe not. But with the position being very muddied already, Hockenson will have the inside track and potential value to finish the season inside the Top 10.

Dynasty Value- With comparisons to Travis Kelce, it is hard to imagine that he will not be a TE1 for many seasons to come and will be a high pick in rookie drafts.

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