This article is part of our NFL Barometer series.
The conclusion of the 2018 regular season presents an ideal opportunity to examine which players finished the campaign on either a sharp rise or decline. This season, an outstanding rookie class that frequently delivered on the hype leaves us with a plethora of appealing options to pore over. Naturally, the fantasy realm is a year-round operation, so it's never too early to begin prospecting for next summer's drafts. With that in mind, let's take a closer look at who raised or hurt their 2019 stock with their performances during the just-concluded season.
Sam Darnold, Jets: Darnold was thrust into the starting quarterback job from Day 1. The baptism by fire naturally had its share of rocky moments, but it concluded the way one would hope under those types of circumstances – with Darnold showing marked improvement and seemingly headed in the right direction. The 2018 first-round pick remained interception-free over his final three games, and he threw just one pick overall across four contests after returning from a three-game absence due to a foot injury. Conversely, he'd being guilty of 14 interceptions over the first nine outings of the campaign. Additionally, Darnold displayed improved accuracy as the season wound down, posting a completion rate of better than 63.0 percent in three of his final four games, after only accomplishing the feat in three of his first nine NFL contests. Darnold showed particularly encouraging rapport with speedster Robby Anderson in the latter portion of the season,