If we take a look back at last season, some things will stay the same. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will be the leading favorite, while Tom Brady and the defending champion Buccaneers are right behind.
However, there are plenty of new faces that will be putting on a new helmet this season. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable NFL trades and draft picks that could have an immediate impact on their new team.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Los Angeles
Matthew Stafford has only played for the Detroit Lions. He had some great years in Detroit, but he never had the success he wanted. It hurt that Calvin Johnson chose to take an early retirement, leaving Stafford with minimal weapons.
On the other hand, Sean McVay received the Rams head coaching job in 2017. He made the playoffs in his first season and won the NFL Coach of the Year. The following year, the team made it to the Super Bowl, but lost to the New England Patriots and only scored three points.
Since then, there have been offensive problems in Los Angeles. It was time to make a change at quarterback. So, the team traded Jared Goff to the Lions for Stafford.
This may be Stafford’s best chance to win a Super Bowl so far in his career. It will be neat to see how he slides into his role with LA. He finally has a great team around him. Time to take advantage of it.
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville
Going into the NFL Draft, there was no debate on who was going to be the top pick. Scouts have believed that Trevor Lawrence has all of the talent to succeed at the professional level.
Watching him at Clemson was always impressive. This man hasn’t lost a regular-season game since middle school. But that streak is likely to end in Jacksonville.
Not many quarterbacks have the skills to start coming out of college. Lawrence is one of few.
I think it’s helpful that Urban Meyer is also starting his first year. With a lot of college experience, Meyer could be just the guy for this job.
Julio Jones, WR, Tennessee
If you are going to list the top three receivers in the NFL, you can’t leave out Julio Jones. Of course, that is if he is healthy. The Alabama star entered the league in 2011 and has averaged over 100 yards per game in five seasons.
He had success in Atlanta, coming just short of a Super Bowl win. Matt Ryan had weapons, but Jones was ready to leave.
Several teams were in the running for Jones, but he ultimately ended up with the Titans. Tennessee already made the playoffs last season, winning 11 games during the season.
He will get to line up on the opposite side of AJ Brown, who is a dominant WR in his own right.
Carson Wentz, QB, Indianapolis
The Colts drafted Andrew Luck in 2012, and the team was terrible. They had to spend some time building an offensive line and put some talent around Luck. But in 2018, at the age of 29, Luck decided to retire.
They finally had all of the pieces to make a postseason run, but now had quarterback problems. Jacoby Brissett and Phillip Rivers were both average but didn’t bring enough to get the job done.
They went out and got Carson Wentz, who was in the MVP conversation in 2018. Then, it’s been a downhill ride in Philadelphia ever since. As the team looks to Jalen Hurts to turn it around, Wentz heads to Indianapolis.
I believe this team has the talent to make a huge impact this season. But it will really come down to the efficiency of Wentz.
Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta
We just discussed Jones leaving Atlanta, so the team needed to find someone to help out the offense. Scouts and fans had their eyes on Kyle Pitts for his career at the University of Florida.
He is a big tight end that can have success in his rookie season. He was plenty good enough to leave Florida after his junior year when he recorded 770 yards and eight touchdowns in only eight games.
There aren’t many rookies that will start on fantasy teams, but he is one. Pitts can move right into an offense that will love to throw him the ball.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, they need a lot more than Pitts to be back where they were years ago.
JJ Watt, DE, Arizona
JJ Watt got out of Houston just in time. With the collapse of the Texans, it was time for Watt to move on with his career. He has made a huge impact in Houston, both on and off the field, making for a big NFL news headline when he wanted out.
It seems like the Watt sweepstakes was between several teams. In the end, he chose to go to Arizona to play for the Cardinals. This is going to be such a fun team to watch.
Let’s see if he can stay healthy and have an impact over the next couple of years. He isn’t getting any younger, but the team he joined has plenty of youth.
Mac Jones, QB, New England
When Tom Brady went to Tampa Bay, it left Bill Belichick without a quarterback. The initial plan was Cam Newton, who had some impressive years in Carolina. It came as a huge surprise when he was cut from the roster.
That left Mac Jones, former Alabama quarterback who will start for the New England Patriots in his first season. Some fans think that this could be a bounce-back year for the Patriots. Jones had an impressive preseason, but the regular season is a different animal.
There aren’t many names that jump off the depth chart. But we know what Belichick is capable of. He might have more pressure to win than Jones.