NFL fans are quick to judge team moves, especially first-round draft picks. With the salary cap and constant roster change, it is important to hit on those picks for cheap production on the field.
While first-round picks are expected to make an impact right away, some struggle to adjust in their rookie year. Many players have more success in year two, most notably Lamar Jackson, who won NFL MVP in 2019.
Here are a few first-round picks from last year’s draft who could have more success in year two.
Dwayne Haskins – Washington Redskins
Haskins was unable to win the job in Washington out of camp, and only saw the field after the firing of Jay Gruden, who didn’t even want to draft him in the first place, according to Les Carpenter of the Washington Post.
With Ron Rivera as coach and the Trent Williams saga over, Haskins should be able to settle in and find some consistency in his second season.
Jeffery Simmons – Tennessee Titans
Simmons was considered a potential top-10 pick in the 2019 draft before an ACL injury months before the draft. Tennessee grabbed him at 19, and he was actually able to play the second half of the season.
In nine games, Simmons played well, posting 32 tackles and two sacks. He will now have a complete offseason of workouts, a bigger role with the departure of Jurrell Casey, and a knee that is 100 percent.
Jerry Tillery – Los Angeles Chargers
Tillery was selected at 28 overall and was expected to make an immediate impact on the Chargers defensive line in 2019. That was not the case, however, as Tillery struggled in his rookie season, logging only 17 tackles and two sacks.
Tillery was coming off of an offseason shoulder injury, which may have impacted his play. Similar to Simmons, a full offseason of workouts and full health may pave the way for a breakout year.
N’Keal Harry – New England Patriots
Harry’s rookie season was shortened by injuries, and even when he returned, he wasn’t much of a threat. He only tallied 12 receptions and 105 yards in seven games.
With Tom Brady gone, Harry has an opportunity to build chemistry with fourth-round QB Jarrett Stidham and should see a lot more targets in 2020. Harry will try to get back to his college production, around the 1,000 yard mark.