The Path of Least Resistance: Best Rookie Landing Spots – The QBs
The draft is over, and most of our favorite prospects are on their respective teams. However, not every top tier player landed in an ideal situation and not every middling prospect is bound for a backup role. These are my best bets for first year fantasy production at the Quarterback position in the 2019 NFL season.
Kyler Murray, Cardinals: The presumed starter in Week 1, despite new coach Kliff Kingsbury’s assertion that he’s “very excited” about Brett Hundley, Murray is an easy choice for the premier rookie QB prospect entering the 2019 season. Not only is he at the top of the depth chart, but he’s got a load of exciting toys to play with in Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler, and KeeSean Johnson, in addition to the existing crew of Christian Kirk, Larry Fitzgerald, and David Johnson. Arizona is hoping for the second coming of Russell Wilson in Murray, a player that can devastate you with his arm or break your resolve with the ability to move the chains with his legs, and he may not be far off. Kingsbury’s QB friendly system will give him every opportunity to thrive, and he’s going to be allowed to fail and learn – I don’t care what anyone says, Brett Hundley is NOT a threat. The elephant in the room is Murray’s 5’10” height, but we’re seeing such measurements play a smaller and smaller role in today’s NFL with guys like the aforementioned Wilson and Drew Brees(barely 6’0″) excelling on a regular basis. Murray going to go fast in dynasty formats, but others may exercise caution in standard leagues. I’m fine taking him as early as you want, though we rarely advise taking a QB before the 10th round.
Dwayne Haskins, Redskins: Haskins doesn’t have as straight a path to relevancy as Murray, but he’s seemingly light-years ahead of the rest of the pack or rookie QBs. Case Keenum and Colt McCoy are currently ahead of him on the depth-chart, but I think everyone who matters has seen enough of them to know that neither one is the answer in Washington. The Redskins used the no.15 pick on Haskins, which is an immediate indicator that they view him as much more than a backup, and they’ve been loudly noncommittal on Keenum as the de facto starter, even though they just brought him in under a +7 million contract. Haskins doesn’t offer as much upside as Murray, as he’s not much of a runner, which is almost a prerequisite for elite QBs these days. His weapons are not nearly as sexy either, with Paul Richardson and former teammate Terry McLaughlin serving as his highest upside options right now – Don’t be surprised if Washington makes a move to pickup someone who could potentially serve as a No.1 WR. By the way, Chris Thompson could end up being his best friend if Haskins gets thrown to the wolves sooner than later, so don’t sleep on him.
Daniel Jones, Giants: I almost put Drew Lock in this position instead, but there are a couple factors that give Jones the edge in my opinion. The first of these is Jones’ no.6 draft pick to Lock’s 42nd. The Giants are already feeling pressure to replace a slumping Eli Manning under center, and using such an early pick on a QB just exacerbates the situation – even though GM Dave Gettleman is continually reiterating Manning’s starter status. Also, I feel like the Broncos are going to give Joe Flacco a longer leash than Eli, as they only recently brought him in, and he’ll have a bigger learning curve with the Denver offense in comparison to Manning, who has been crashing and burning with an offense that was arguably better last year. It’s true that Saquon Barkley serves as a sweet perfume to cover Manning’s stench, but the Giants may also be wary of wasting Barkley’s freshest years with a QB who is on the decline.
Jones is no lock to be a stud, one unnamed team even asked him to workout at tight end because they weren’t sold on him as a QB, and he wasn’t terribly efficient at Duke – though much of the onus fell on his lackluster supporting cast. He’s got size and speed though – he picked up 17 rushing TDs during his time at Duke, and he’s got decent touch on his throws – if not the most power behind them. Don’t be surprised if the G-men give Jones the go-ahead if Manning flounders early.