With only a handful of free agents left on the market that can feasibly fill starting roles and only the supplemental draft to go, 2019 rosters are realistically set across the league. With that in mind, it’s time to rank which offseason additions are likely to have the biggest impact on their new teams this season. This is a ranking of the incremental impact compared to the 2018 season of each addition, not simply the best players added. For example, Earl Thomas is arguably the top safety in the NFL when healthy, but the improvement he represents over a talented safety like Eric Weddle isn’t enough for Thomas to make this list.
With that in mind, let’s get to the rankings.
We don’t know exactly what kind of playing shape Bell is going to be in after a year off but assuming he’s the same guy we saw in 2018, he’s deserving of a spot on this list. While his ability as a runner doesn’t move the needle much, Bell could be Sam Darnold’s best friend if he's utilized creatively by Adam Gase. Bell’s mismatch ability to split wide and dictate defenses is a trait only a handful of running backs across the league possess. The reason Bell winds up at only 10 on this list though is that Gase had a similarly skilled back last season in Kenyan Drake, and he only ended up splitting him out of the backfield on 14.5% of his snaps.
Even with injuries taking their toll once again, Houston was back at the top of his game down the stretch last season. He averaged four pressures a game over the last nine games of the season and was only cut because of a bloated cap hit in Kansas City. His 89.1 pass-rushing grade crushes the Colts' top edge from last season (Kemoko Turay, 67.3).
We all saw how valuable the inside linebacker position is in Pittsburgh’s scheme after Ryan Shazier was lost at the end of the 2017 season. They’re asked to cover a ton of ground in coverage while also being a key cog in blitz packages. No one on the Steelers' roster could come close to replacing Shazier’s ability in both, but Bush has the traits to do so. His 85.4 pass-rushing grade and 87.7 coverage grade from last year along with 4.4s speed will fit in nicely.
Yet another addition that has as much to do with what the roster looked like in 2018 as it does with the caliber of player. The Packers were forced to flip cornerback Tramon Williams to safety because of how dire their situation was. Josh Jones (61.7 overall grade), Jermaine Whitehead (56.5) and Kentrell Brice (51.0) all filled the role miserably at times, but that position will now be Amos’ in 2019. Amos hasn’t earned a grade close to that low at any point in his career and is coming off back-to-back seasons of 80.0-plus grades.