I wanted to make our NFL Draft Diamonds All-Rookie Team from the 2019 NFL Draft, and I thought I would only be right to do this and explain why we feel the player deserves the notch. Some of these were hard to pick, but let’s go over the team and have some fun with it.
Quarterback – Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars – I am not here to take anything away from Kyler Murray, he played lights out, but when you look at the stats Murray finished with 3,722 yards passing on 542 pass attempts. He played in every game, while Gardner Minshew came in to replace an injured Nick Foles and then had to replace him again in the middle of the year. He threw for 3,271 yards on 470 pass attempts. He also had 21 touchdowns to six interceptions, while Murray had 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. To me, Gardner is the winner.
Running back – Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders – Jacbos finished third in the NFL with 1,150 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns. He was an awesome back and is going to have a bright future in Las Vegas with the Raiders. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry this year and that is impressive. Devin Singletary from the Bills had a great year but Josh Jacobs took over!
Wide Receivers – A.J. Brown Tennessee Titans, D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks and Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins – Brown went over 1000 yards and finished with 8 touchdowns. He is the guy who really cranked it up at the end of the season. Metcalf was solid all year going for 900 and 7 touchdowns and McLaurin was super impressive for the Redskins hitting 919 yards and 7 touchdowns as well.
Tight End – Noah Fant, Denver Broncos – Fant became a top target for Drew Lock when Lock took over. He finished the season with 40 receptions and 562 yards with three touchdowns. While you could make the case for Irv Smith Jr. of the Minnesota Vikings or Dawson Knox of the Buffalo Bills, I think Fant is the winner of this spot.
Offensive Line – Erik McCoy, C, New Orleans Saints, Elgton Jenkins OG, Green Bay Packers, Dalton Risner OG, Denver Broncos, Jawaan Taylor OT, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tytus Howard, OT, Houston Texans. This was not easy to do, as there have been others who have shined, but overall I think these were the best players at their respectful positions. Risner is going to be a stud, and I love McCoy for the Saints.
Defensive Ends – Josh Allen, Jacksonville Jaguars and Maxx Crosby, Oakland Raiders – Can you really debate with either one of these guys? I mean really they played better than any other players at their position. Crosby was given the nod because he was not a top 10 pick. He finished with 10 sacks and 47 tackles. I will offend some but who cares, this is facts and people just do not want to see the truth. If I could pick a couple more I would pick Nick Bosa, San Francisco 49ers, Brian Burns from Carolina Panthers and Chase Winovich from the Patriots. The most unsung was definitely Crosby! He was a steal for the Raiders.
Defensive Tackle – Ed Oliver, Buffalo Bills and Dexter Lawrence, New York Giants – Oliver came on late but finished the year with 5 sacks as a rookie. Lawrence the huge nose tackle had a great year too. I could have added Christian Wilkins from the Dolphins or Jeffery Simmons from the Tennessee Titans in this list as well. He too was pretty impressive.
Linebackers – Devin Bush, Pittsburgh Steelers, Devin White, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Dre Greenlaw, San Francisco 49ers – Bush finished with 109 tackles, Dre Greenlaw finished with 92 tackles and Devin White finished with 91. I am leaving off Cole Holcomb from the Redskins, I am not hating on him, but the other guys on my list had other stats besides tackles. Holcomb was a great player and if I could have four he would be my fourth for sure.
Cornerbacks – Sean Murphy-Bunting, Buccaneers and Jamel Dean, Buccaneers – Yep, by the end of the year these two kids were not playing like rookies. I know there were some others who could have made the list like Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from the Saints but these two kids replaced Vernon Hargreaves and took over the secondary in the second half of the season. Great picks by the Buccaneers.
Safeties – Taylor Rapp, Los Angeles Rams and Juan Thornhill, Kansas City Chiefs – It sucks that Thornhill was hurt but both he and Rapp were super impressive this year. I love both of the players and feel both are going to help their teams for years to come.
Special Teams – Jamie Gillian, P, Clevleand Browns – The small school punter named the Scottish Hammer was a dog this year. He was by far the best rookie punter. Jake Bailey of the Patriots would fight him for the top spot but he is a small schooler, so sorry Jake maybe next time.
Special Teams – Joey Slye, K, Carolina Panthers – Panthers rookie did a great job at coming in and hitting long shots. He can hit a deep field goal and has proved it this year. He is going to be a good kicker for years to come. He can replace Graham Gano with no problem.
Special Teams – Deonte Harris, KR/PR, New Orleans Saints and Mecole Hardman, Kansas City Chiefs – This was a tough one because many want to give the trophy to Mecole Hardman so I am going to give them a dual win. Deonte Harris from Assumption was a beast this year. Many did not even know who he was coming out of school so for him to be on the list, it is exciting to see.