It can be tough to make a big impact as a first-year pro, but there are some NFL rookies in 2019 that have the potential to become instant stars.
Some are just great fits for their new teams and could carve out an immediate role as a go-to starter, while others are simply dominant in their own right. These 10 NFL rookies have a real chance to make the Pro Bowl in 2019.
Quinnen Williams, defensive tackle, New York Jets
Selected third overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, this former Alabama star has a chance to make an immediate impact on New York’s defense. He was a veritable wrecking ball last year for the Crimson Tide and showed incredible athleticism during the pre-draft process. Playing in between Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson, Quinnen Williams will thrive as a rookie in defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ aggressive scheme.
Josh Jacobs, running back, Oakland Raiders
Raiders general manager Mike Mayock absolutely gushed over Josh Jacobs’ pro potential after Oakland selected him with the 27th overall pick of the draft. A player who was utilized sparsely at Alabama, he brings fresh legs to the NFL and will be utilized as a three-down back for the Raiders. Jacobs is a powerhouse who punishes defenders at every opportunity available to him. Not only will he be a fan favorite, but he could have a huge season as a rookie playing in Oakland’s now-dangerous offense.
Ed Oliver, defensive tackle, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo features an imposing defensive front heading into 2019. Former Houston star Ed Oliver will be paired with second-year pro Harrison Phillips inside, while Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy collapse the pocket from the edge. Each of these four are formidable in their own right. Oliver should absolutely feast, utilizing his superior quickness to beat centers and guards off the ball en route to the quarterback. One of the best defensive tackles we’ve seen in years, he has All-Pro potential.
Miles Sanders, running back, Philadelphia Eagles
Philly is going to be fun to watch this season, and former Penn State running back Miles Sanders will be a big part of that. The Eagles also have Jordan Howard and a bunch of other guys fighting for a roster spot. Yet Sanders’ ability to explode for big gains on the ground, along with his pass-catching skills, makes him the most potent weapon in the backfield. He should carve out a significant role and contribute heavily as a rookie.
Nick Bosa, defensive end, San Francisco 49ers
Arguably the best defensive player in the draft, Nick Bosa was selected No. 2 overall. It seems like the only thing that can stop him from winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award is an injury. That’s a reasonable concern, too, given the fact he is currently out, likely until training camp, with a hamstring injury. If he can stey healthy, however, Bosa has a chance to immediately become a league superstar playing on one of the most dangerous defensive fronts in the NFL.
Parris Campbell, wide receiver, Indianapolis Colts
Speed is a highly coveted asset in today’s NFL, and Parris Campbell has plenty of it. He exploded onto the national scene last year at Ohio State, hauling in 90 passes for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns. Now set to play with Andrew Luck and Frank Reich — an offensive mastermind who excels at scheming players open — Campbell has a chance to be even better as a pro than he was in college.
Devin Bush, linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
As a draft prospect, Devin Bush wasn’t my favorite inside linebacker. Yet when it comes what we should expect this year, the former Michigan star has a chance to shine playing in Pittsburgh’s 3-4 scheme. The Steelers finally found a player who has the speed and quickness to fill the huge void left by Ryan Shazier. He’ll start immediately, and coaches and players have been impressed by what he brings to the table. Fans should expect big things from this young playmaker.
Noah Fant, tight end, Denver Broncos
This former Iowa star is an absolutely perfect fit for what the Broncos are doing offensively in 2019. Starting quarterback Joe Flacco has typically relied heavily on his tight ends and has the big arm to take advantage of Fant’s elite speed. Consistency has been the weakness in Fant’s game in the past, and he will have to work hard to improve. Yet in terms of raw talent, this rookie has the skills to pay the bills.
Montez Sweat, outside linebacker, Washington Redskins
Training camp is still weeks away, yet Montez Sweat is already drawing comparisons to a future Hall of Famer. No pressure, kid. The former Mississippi State star features a rare combination of length and speed to the NFL, and his combine performance was legendary. Sweat will immediately start for Washington, taking over for Preston Smith on the edge. Paired with underrated star Ryan Kerrigan, he could easily hit double-digit sacks as a rookie.
Kyler Murray, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray is going to take his fair share of lumps as a rookie. That’s a given. Yet the Heisman winner also has a chance to lead one of the most exciting offenses in the NFL. He’ll be comfortable in Kliff Kingsbury’s scheme, which will almost exclusively feature the shotgun formation and aims to run 90-95 plays per game. Given the intriguing talent that will surround this rookie, Murray should have a huge campaign.