With the NBA Finals and atrocity that was the end of the Stanley Cup Final in the rear view mirror, it’s time for all pathetic sports nerds to come together and acknowledge the first NFL Sunday is just 12 weeks from today. Fantasy football owners/GM’s help prepare yourself for your upcoming draft as we look at the most coveted stars heading into 2019. Here’s the projected first three rounds of the 2019 draft.
Round 1: First overall pick~ Ezekiel Elliott~ Dallas Cowboys
This do-it-all running back has the talent and offensive support system around him to put up monster numbers again in 2019.
Second overall pick~ Saquon Barkley~ New York Giants
Barkley is an absolute freak of nature and generational running back talent. He’s got the slippery shiftiness of Barry Sanders, but weighs an imposing 235 pounds. Playing alongside the skeleton of Eli Manning again this year is the only thing keeping Barkley out of the top spot.
Third overall pick~ Alvin Kamara~ New Orleans Saints
The breakout star from Tennessee is quite possibly the best route runner and pass catcher among running backs in the NFL. With his former backfield mate Mark Ingram moving on to Baltimore, it’s now the airhead enthusiasts show completely at that position.
Fourth overall pick~ Christian McCaffrey~ Carolina Panthers
Don’t let the choir boy turned accountant-like facial appearance of Christian McCaffrey fool you. “Run CMC” is a flat out beast, showing it on a consistent basis last season in his second year.
Fifth overall pick~ Melvin Gordon~ Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are loaded with talent on both sides of the all. Expect the fantasy points to pile up for their premier tailback whose right near the top of that talent pool of players.
Sixth overall pick~ DeAndre Hopkins Houston Texans
The first receiver off the board is one of the best skilled position players in football. “Nuk” Hopkins literally catches everything thrown his way. Expect more monster games with another year of familiarity with his young QB Deshaun Watson.
Seventh overall pick~ Todd Gurley~ Los Angeles Rams
A healthy Todd Gurley in a Sean McVay offense that gets Cooper Kupp back from injury this year is a serious force to be reckoned with.
Eighth overall pick~ David Johnson~ Arizona Cardinals
Some recent injury concerns and playing behind a bottom tier offensive line in Arizona is the only thing keeping this elite running back talent out of a top five selection.
Ninth overall pick~ Julio Jones~ Atlanta Falcons
There are so many tremendous receivers in the NFL today. But it’s really hard to argue against this guy being the cream of the receiver crop for some time now.
Tenth overall pick~ James Connor~ Pittsburgh Steelers
Running behind one of the best offensive lines in football, if “Big Ben” lives up to his name expect plenty of things to open up and a whole lot of production for Connor.
Round 2: First pick~ Eleventh overall~ Le’Veon Bell~ New York Jets
From a current Steeler running back to former Steeler running back. The Jets have a lot of growing to do as an offense, but Le’Veon will put up numbers in Adam Gase’s offense now out from under the franchise tag cloud of doubt in Pittsburgh.
Second pick~ Twelfth overall~ Michael Thomas~ New Orleans Saints
The man’s Twitter and Instagram handle reads “Can’t Guard Mike”. Nope, you really can’t. The former Ohio State standout and nephew of former big time receiver Keyshawn Johnson catches nearly everything his all time great QB Drew Brees gives to him. He caught a staggering 85% of balls he was targeted on last year.
Third pick~ Thirteenth overall~ Joe Mixon~ Cincinnati Bengals
Mixon has cleaned up his act after a senseless off the field mistake while in college. He quietly had one of the best years among running backs in 2018. Playing for Cincy made it harder for this young budding star steal a lot of headlines a year ago.
Fourth pick~ Fourteenth overall~ Davante Adams~ Green Bay Packers
A great receiver whose only going to keep ascending, catching passes from that bad man named Aaron Rodgers? Oh yes, there will be many fantasy points collected for one Davante Adams.
Fifth pick~ Fifteenth overall~ Odell Beckham Jr~ Cleveland Browns
There’s probably no player I’m looking forward to watching more in 2019 than this guy. Beckham Jr, another all world receiver talent will begin his tenure with Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns. They’re in some uncharted territory as a franchise, carrying lofty expectations into this season. It’ll be must see TV in the “Dawg Pound”.
Sixth pick~ Sixteenth overall~ Antonio Brown~ Oakland Raiders
What can Brown do for the Black & Silver? Not a whole lot in terms of producing W’s just yet, as this is a rebuilding roster. But “AB” is a remarkable individual talent and he’ll show out as the new face of the Oakland soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders organization.
Seventh pick~ Seventeenth overall~ Keenan Allen~ Los Angeles Chargers
Some poor injury luck has kept this guy sidelined a fair amount earlier in his career. However, in recent seasons Allen has managed to stay healthy and when he’s right he’s a dominant wide out for “Philly Rives”.
Eighth pick~ Eighteenth overall~ Travis Kelce~ Kansas City Chiefs
You’re splitting hairs picking the Philadelphia Eagles Zach Ertz or this guy Travis Kelce as the best tight end in football. For fantasy purposes, Kelce is the first tight end off my board due to the extreme wealth of talent he has around him that starts with the reigning MVP Pat Mahomes at QB.
Ninth pick~ Nineteenth overall~ Juju Smith-Schuster~ Pittsburgh Steelers
With Antonio Brown out of the picture it’s time for social media enthusiast Smith-Schuster to take his spot as the number one receiver in Pittsburgh. He’s a big time play maker with a lot to prove, expect big things.
Tenth pick~ Twentieth overall~ Nick Chubb~ Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns have weapons everywhere you look on the offensive side of the ball. Second year back Nick Chubb, who enjoyed a very successful rookie year, will be the featured back in what is sure to be an explosive offense.
Round 3: First pick~ Twenty first overall~ Mike Evans~ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans is still young and a huge target and therefore a serious threat at receiver. If his QB Jameis Winston was a better decision maker he’d be higher up in this mock draft.
Second pick~ Twenty second overall~ Zach Ertz~ Philadelphia Eagles
The aforementioned Zach Ertz is a sure handed security blanket for Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles offense. He’s got tremendous value as one of the rare elite fantasy tight ends available.
Third pick~ Twenty third overall~ Adam Thielen~ Minnesota Vikings
Yes, the corny commonly used pun among fantasy owners “are you Thielen it?” is very nauseating. So is the narrative constantly beat over our head about his rise coming from Minnesota State, not sought out at all as he came up in the NFL. But hey, the guy can really play. He was able to have 100+ yard receiving games on the regular last year.
Fourth pick~ Twenty fourth overall~ AJ Green~ Cincinnati Bengals
Another Bengals star who is sadly lost in the shuffle and forgotten about how far too often due to the utter mediocrity of the organization he plays for. With a serious roster and coaching upgrade around him AJ would be a surefire second rounder in this draft.
Fifth pick~ Twenty fifth overall~ Devonta Freeman~ Atlanta Falcons
Freeman is lightning waiting to strike with the ball in his hands. He’s a dynamic play maker in a well oiled machine of an offense that is the Atlanta Falcons. A recipe for success for Freeman.
Sixth pick~ Twenty sixth overall~ Aaron Jones~ Green Bay Packers
The Packers season was filled with turmoil and drama stemming from a rift between franchise QB Aaron Rodgers and former head coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy is now gone, and running back Aaron Jones was one of Green Bay’s bright spots among that turmoil last season.
Seventh pick~ Twenty seventh overall~ T.Y Hilton~ Indianapolis Colts
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard has set his team up for great success moving forward. QB Andrew Luck’s favorite target once again is the always dangerous T.Y Hilton. The Colts will be putting serious points up, expect Hilton to be at the forefront of it.
Eighth pick~ Twenty eighth overall~ Amari Cooper~ Dallas Cowboys
The former fourth overall pick of the 2014 NFL draft unlocked a lot for Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense last season. His supreme route running ability and more consistent hands as of late make him a tough cover for any corner.
Ninth pick~ Twenty ninth overall~ Stefon Diggs~ Minnesota Vikings
The “Minnesota Miracle” recipient Stefon Diggs is a stud. He and the aforementioned Thielen were the best one-two punch as a wide out tandem one year ago.
Tenth pick~ Thirtieth overall~ Jarvis Landry~ Cleveland Browns
With all due respect to Diggs and Thielan, there may be a new top one-two punch at receiver this season. Long time friends and former teammates at LSU OBJ and Jarvis Landry are teaming up once again in Cleveland. Last year as the number one Landry had a pretty disappointing season given his expectations. With the attention OBJ brings along with the other offensive weapons, the field will open up nicely for Landry. He’ll bounce back this year for sure.