Last week we kicked off a preview of the top 25 players potentially available in the impending 2019 NFL free agency and today we’re back with part two of the five-part series.
In this post, we’ll be going over players 20-16 on the list.
20. CB Bradley Roby
Every team is looking for cornerbacks because there is no such thing as having too many good cover men. As such, young defensive backs who can start on the outside are more valuable than ever. Bradley Roby is exactly that and should draw a lot of attention during free agency.
During his first four seasons in the NFL, Roby showed nice progression as the Broncos’ third corner and helped make Denver’s defense one of the best defenses in football. The trade of Aqib Talib this offseason didn’t help Roby’s stock, as he’s struggled in the first half of 2018 in his first action as a starter.
Despite the early season struggles, Roby has rebounded and will likely cash in on the high demand.
19. DE Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah
After signing his $17.143M franchise tag this offseason, the Detroit Lions hoped that Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah would continue to be a leader on the defensive line and thrive under new head coach Matt Patricia. Unfortunately, Ziggy spent much of his 2018 season being featured on the injury report until he was placed on injured reserve back on December 11th. While a solid 2018 campaign could have landed Ansah a huge contract with the Lions, it’s now likely that he’ll have to test the waters in the 2019 NFL free agency.
Originally drafted by the Lions in the 1st Round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Ansah will be 30 by the time the 2019 NFL season starts. During his five seasons in Detroit, Ziggy has tallied up 48 sacks and 219 tackles in 80 games/73 starts.
With the 2019 draft setting up to be a great year for the defensive line and pass-rushers galore set to hit the market, defensive coordinators around the league should be licking their lips.
18. C Matt Paradis
There aren’t a lot of options available at center, so the Broncos’ Matt Paradis is going to be a highly pursued target. For teams in need, Paradis is an underappreciated and reliable option with 48 starts over the last three seasons.
Since he was drafted in 2014, Paradis has had a couple of pretty serious injuries including a broken leg in 2018 but he’s one of the best centers in the NFL. Teams are very willing to make a major investment when it comes to centers and a player of Paradis’ caliber will certainly fetch a king’s ransom.
17. S Tyrann Mathieu
The 2019 NFL free agency is loaded with talented safeties. Tyrann Mathieu is the first of five safeties that are included in the list, but teams are also likely to consider options not included on the list such as Adrian Amos, Ricardo Allen, Jimmie Ward, and Quandre Diggs
One of the most versatile and tough defenders in the NFL, the Honey Badger seems to have found a perfect new home in Houston. However, if the Texans want to keep him in Houston they’ll need to ink a multiyear deal and increase his yearly pay rate. According to ESPN, Mathieu has recorded 66 solo tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and seven passes defended through14 games this season.
Mathieu is just as good as the safeties that’ll appear higher in the list, but he’s only been able to suit up for a full season once in his career.
16. DT Ndamukong Suh
Ndamukong Suh will be 32 years old at the start of the 2019 season. The Rams signed Suh to a one-year contract worth $14 million this offseason and his presence has made a difference on Aaron Donald’s sack production which currently sits at 16.5 sacks for the season (the highest season total of his career).
Suh still should demand attention as a game-changer along the defensive front. In 14 games with the Rams, he has recorded 34 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Although at this point in his career, Suh’s name and past-production help elevate him when compared to other players.
Suh has been a great rental for the Rams but he might be playing for a bigger contract than they are capable of giving. If the Rams opt to let him walk, Suh could land elsewhere as a partner to another penetrating defensive tackle.
That’ll do it for part two of the 2019 NFL free agency preview. If you missed the part one, you give it a read by clicking the link below: