The 2019 NFL Draft will be remembered for a historic defensive line class, with the likes of blue chip prospects such as Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, along with defensive tackles Quinnen Williams of Alabama and Ed Oliver of Houston. In fact, it’s rare to see such depth at both positions but especially at edge rusher, where 16 players made the top 100. It’s also a strong year on the perimeter as 16 cornerbacks and 15 wide outs also made the cut, two positions that have been somewhat overshadowed due to the dominating presence of the men up front on defense. Those three positions are projected to make up nearly 50% of the first three rounds. So where will the other positions of strength emerge from?
Every NFL team will tell you that they can use an upgrade on the offensive line, the overall play around the league has dipped at the position due to the influx of spread/up-tempo offenses across the college landscape and lack of coaching the fundamentals. In all, 16 offensive linemen have been ranked inside the top 100, including seven offensive tackles. While just six safeties made the initial 100, this position offers a lot of versatility and variety. Expect a run on safeties somewhere in the middle rounds and don’t be surprised to see safeties dominate day three early of the draft early and often.
At quarterback, Oklahoma mini-sharpshooter Kyle Murray has stolen most of the hype leading up to Nashville, where he is expected to be announced as the number one overall selection by the Arizona Cardinals. That pick should start a ripple effect on quarterback musical chairs that could see Josh Rosen switch teams. The New York Giants (No.6), Denver Broncos (No.10), Cincinnati Bengals (No.11), Miami Dolphins (No.13) and Washington Redskins (No.15) have all been rumored to be interested in obtaining a new franchise quarterback. How the dominoes fall remains to be seen but Ohio State one-year super wonder Dwayne Haskins, Missouri four-year starter Drew Lock and David Cutcliffe disciple Daniel Jones out of Duke are all expected to be in the first round mix. Other signal-callers worth keeping an eye on are Will Grier of West Virginia, Jarrett Stidham of Auburn and Tyree Jackson of Buffalo who remains extremely raw but also possesses the greatest ceiling and strongest arm of any gunslinger in this year’s class.
Get ready for the next generation of playmakers, as there are several exciting prospects at the skill positions. Iowa is expected to make history with both T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant projected to be taken in round one, the first time in NFL history that two teammates from the same school would be selected in the first round at tight end. Two others expected to make their mark at the next level include Irv Smith Jr. of Alabama who profiles as a Jordan Reed type and Trevon Wesco, the 270-pound monster truck who exploded onto the NFL radar as a senior after being a relatively unknown entering the year.
It has been challenging for NFL teams to project how wide receivers translate to the NFL, as we have seen numerous first round busts over the past decade. This year’s class is no different. The biggest deep threat in this year’s crop remains Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, cousin of Antonio Brown (Raiders) and a DeSean Jackson (Eagles) clone. Then you have the big-bodied mismatches such as N’Keal Harry of Arizona State, Hakeem Butler of Iowa State and Kelvin Harmon of North Carolina State. If it’s route runners you’re seeking, search no further than Deebo Samuel of South Carolina and Riley Ridley of Georgia. Speedsters such as Ohio State burner Parris Campbell and UMass track star Andy Isabella are also expected to hear their names called early. Lastly but certainly not least, teammates A.J. Brown and D.K. Metcalf of Mississippi bring the same kind of star power as Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry had coming out of LSU. The talented tandem could potentially both be first round bound.
What makes the 2019 NFL Draft unique is the talented pool of players who will be available during the middle rounds of the draft. There are approximately 20 solidified first round prospects, after that, it’s anyone’s guess. The group of players ranked in the 20-to-80 range differ vastly on big boards around the league, which will make for plenty of intrigue on day two. Stories will be told, trades will unfold but the draft never gets old!
*If you would like to dive deeper into the 2019 NFL Draft be sure to grab our draft guide, HERE!
NICK BOSA – DE – Ohio State
BRIAN BURNS—DE—Florida State
DWAYNE HASKINS—QB—Ohio State
DEVIN WHITE – ILB – LSU
MONTEZ SWEAT—DE—Mississippi State
ANDRE DILLARD—OT—Washington State
JEFFERY SIMMONS—DT—Mississippi State
CHRIS LINDSTROM—OG—Boston College
JERRY TILLERY—DT—Notre Dame
N’KEAL HARRY, WR, Arizona State
HAKEEM BUTLER—WR—Iowa State
GARRETT BRADBURY—C—NC State
JULIAN LOVE—CB—Notre Dame
DEEBO SAMUEL—WR—South Carolina
KELVIN HARMON—WR—NC State
JOHNATHAN ABRAM—FS—Mississippi State
JAYLON FERGUSON—DE—Louisiana Tech
ERIK MCCOY—C—Texas A&M
TERRY MCLAURIN—WR—Ohio State
PARRIS CAMPBELL—WR—Ohio State
ELGTON JENKINS—C`—Mississippi State
CONNOR MCGOVERN—OG—Penn State
WLL GRIER—QB—West Virginia
DALTON RISNER—C—Kansas State
MILES SANDERS—RB—Penn State
ZACH ALLEN—DE—Boston College
TYTUS HOWARD—OT—Alabama State
MILES BOYKIN—WR—Notre Dame
JUSTIN LAYNE—CB—Michigan State
DRE’MONT JONES—DT—Ohio State
SEAN BUNTING—CB—Central Michigan
OSHANE XIMINES—DE—Old Dominion
JACE STERNBERGER—TE—Texas A&M
GERMAINE PRATT—ILB—North Carolina State
MICHAEL JORDAN—OG—Ohio State
TREVON WESCO—TE—West Virginia
AMANI ORUNWARIYE—CB—Penn State
DAVID MONTGOMERY—RB—Iowa State
100.KHALEN SAUNDERS—DT—Western Illinois