While T.J. Hockenson may very well go on to have an impressive career, his rookie season was somewhat modest. This was no surprise, as first-year tight ends rarely light up the stat sheet, but the Lions can feel confident that they grabbed a solid all-around player near the top of the 2019 Draft.
However, some of Hockenson’s classmates wasted no time impressing. Quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Gardner Minshew took over for bad offenses from 2018 and looked very smooth at the helm. While Murray has a slightly clearer path going forward due to the amount of draft capital spent on him, Minshew made a name for himself and will surely see more time as a starter going forward, whether that happens immediately or a little down the road.
Some skill position players really stood out as well this year. Raiders running back Josh Jacobs easily justified his first-round selection and was ready for the heavy workload. Wide receivers A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf came on extremely strong down the stretch and seemingly grabbed headline after headline. Both receivers will be arguably the leading threat for their quarterbacks during the Divisional Round this weekend.
Today’s Question of the Day is:
Who is your vote for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year?
My answer: Despite missing a few games, it looks like the answer has to be Jacobs. The Oakland workhorse tallied 242 carries for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns, and he also was involved a little in the passing game. The Raiders were not afraid to lean heavily on him despite his rookie status, and he quickly became the focal point of the offense.
Drafting running backs early on is always a controversial topic and there are plenty of good arguments against it, but regardless of how Jacobs ended up with the team, his numbers speak for themselves. Defenses will certainly look to scheme against him next season, but that might not even stop the tackle-breaking machine.
Of course, Lions fans need no reminder of how good Jacobs is. The running back accumulated 120 yards on 28 carries against Detroit while finding the end zone twice. This more or less served as the beginning of the end for the Lions, kicking off the nine-game losing streak to close out the year.