Top 2019 NFL Draft Prospects 2.0

With this year’s NFL Combine over, here are the updated positional rankings for the 2019 draft prospects.

Quarterback

Former Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson
Photo Credit: buffalonews.com
  1. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
  2. Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.
  3. Tyree Jackson, Washington St.
  4. Drew Lock, Missouri
  5. Ryan Finley, N.C. State

*Honorable Mentions: Daniel Jones, Duke & Jarrett Stidham, Auburn

The top three stays the same, even though Lock arguably had the best overall QB performance at the combine. Lock is better than Jackson as of now, but  if there’s an NFL coach out there patient enough to work with Jackson, he’s going to be a major problem in the league. Jackson seems to be developing nice as he’s been training with former QB Jordan Palmer along with Lock and Stidham. Overall though, this quarterback class isn’t looking as bad as it once was. Finley used the senior bowl and combine to improve his draft stock, and one interesting note is that he threw 339 passes without an interception in his junior season, second best at N.C. State behind Russell Wilson’s FBS record of 379. Jones and Stidham are honorable mentions because Jones had a pretty good combine even though he had some throws that weren’t great, and Stidham is a QB who’s had a rocky college career, starting off at Baylor then ending at Auburn, but he shows good potential.

Running Backs

  1. Josh Jacobs, Alabama
  2. Darrell Henderson, Memphis
  3. Miles Sanders, Penn St.
  4. Justice Hill, Oklahoma St.
  5. Mike Weber, Ohio St.

*Honorable Mention: Bryce Love, Stanford

A running back’s 40 time, or any player’s time, shouldn’t impact their draft stock, but when there was so much expectation for fast numbers, it was bit of a disappointment. On the other hand, multiple running backs helped improve their draft stock, and Sanders had the best day overall out of the group. His tape is good but many scouts wanted to see how good his athleticism would be and he exceeded expectations. The top three running backs are all worth a first round pick. Hill and Weber have been looking great but may need to add a few more pounds to be deemed a true three-down back by NFL coaches. Love would likely be the top RB of this class if he didn’t tear his ACL in his last college game.

Wide Receiver

  1. D.K. Metcalf, Mississipi
  2. A.J. Brown, Mississippi
  3. Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
  4. Emanuel Hall, Missouri
  5. Hakeem Butler, Iowa St.

*Honorable Mention: Kelvin Harmon, N.C. State

This wide receiver class is very talented and deep, so it was tough making this list outside the top three. This class has every type of receiver a coach could think of, whether it’s a speedster, a possession receiver, a big jump-ball target, etc. Hall’s 40 yard dash of a 4.39 was no fluke, as he played that fast at Missouri and was 2nd in the nation for yards per reception with 24.8 his junior year. He would’ve ranked 2nd in the FBS his senior year with 22.4 yards per catch if he stayed healthy enough to qualify, but suffered a groin injury. Butler stands at nearly 6’6 with good speed, and has been training with Calvin Johnson who should help him use that athleticism to his advantage. The cousin of basketball stars Aaron and Andrew Harison, ranked top ten nationally in both receiving yards with 1318 yards, and yards per reception with 22 in 2018. There’s so many receivers that could’ve received honorable mentions or been in the top five list, however, when you watch Ryan Finley you can’t help but notice Harmon and he should be a steal in the mid to late rounds.

Tight End

  1. Noah Fant, Iowa
  2. Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
  3. T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
  4. Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
  5. Josh Oliver, San Jose St.

*Honorable Mention: Kahale Warring, San Diego St.

This group of tight ends could end up being as talented, if not greater, than the 2017 tight end draft class which included players such as O.J. Howard, George Kittle, David Njoku, Evan Engram, and others. The top three for this year are still in their own tier, but the other two still had very two productive final seasons and Oliver had some of the biggest hands and arm length at the combine. Warring is someone who wasn’t as productive as the top five, but had the best combine out of the entire class while he only has played football since his senior year of high school.

Offensive Lineman

  1. Jawaan Taylor, Florida
  2. Jonah Williams, Alabama
  3. Cody Ford, Oklahoma
  4. Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
  5. Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

*Honorable Mention: Garrett Bradbury, N.C. State

There’s not much depth in each individual offensive lineman position, but the when you group the entire o-line class together as a whole, there are some great top tier options to choose from in the early rounds of the draft. Taylor seems like the most complete tackle in the draft, along with Williams. Ford and Lindstrom both have performed well on the inside and outside. McCoy greatly improved his draft stock with his impressive combine, including having the best 40 yard dash at 4.89. Bradbury may be tagged “too small” by scouts, but the former tight end destroyed the combine, and can be a great center or guard.

 

Defensive Lineman

Former Ohio St. DE Nick Bosa
Photo Credit: USA Today
  1. Nick Bosa, Ohio St.
  2. Quinnen Williams, Alabama
  3. Rashan Gary, Michigan
  4. Ed Oliver, Houston
  5. Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame

*Honorable Mentions: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson; Anthony Nelson, Iowa; Charles Omenihu, Texas

The top five of this highly-skilled group stays the same besides Williams switching spots with Gary. Ferrell, who had 11.5 sacks in his final season, deserves to be on this list too, but there’s just so many talented defensive lineman in this draft. Nelson and Omenihu are two players that are going to need some time to develop, but they’ve shown signs of promise with Nelson having 13.5 tackles for loss along with 9.5 sacks, Omenihu with 18 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks, respectively in their final seasons.

Linebacker

  1. Devin White, LSU
  2. Josh Allen, Kentucky
  3. Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
  4. Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech
  5. Brian Burns. Florida St.

*Honorable Mentions: Jachai Polite, Florida & Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington

This whole group and more could possibly end up being drafted in the first round. Ferguson seems to be the forgotten edge player in this group, as he was dis-invited from the combine but still led the nation in sacks with 17.5. Polite fell out the top five with having poor combine workouts along with combine interviews that reportedly didn’t go well. Burr-Kirven was a animal for Washington, stuffing the stat sheet, such as leading the country with 176 tackles and ranked third in the nation with 94 solo tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, six pass breakups, four forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries in his final season.

Cornerback

  1. Greedy Williams, LSU
  2. DeAndre Baker, Georgia
  3. Julian Love, Notre Dame
  4. Amani Oruwariye, Penn St.
  5. Byron Murphy, Washington

*Honorable Mention: Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

There are some promising looking corners in this group, but it’s not that deep. Regardless, they are great corners including Baker who allowed no touchdowns since 2017, and Love who had the second most pass breakups in the FBS with 20 in 2017. Oruwariye improved his draft stock with his combine performance and could end up being the best corner out this group. Joejuan Williams didn’t run a fast 40, but he’s 6’4” at 211 lbs, and had a great final season with 61 tackles, four interceptions and 14 pass breakups.

Safety

Fresno St. Safety Mike Bell
Photo Credit: fresnobee.com
  1. Jonathan Abram, Mississippi St.
  2. Juan Thornhill, Virginia
  3. Mike Bell, Fresno St.
  4. Nasir Adderley, Delaware
  5. Taylor Rapp, Washington

*Honorable Mention: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

Everyone on this list stayed the same except Rapp, who worked his way into the last spot and Gardner-Johnson who earned honorable mention. Rapp has been gaining a lot of popularity since his 2018 season which included 59 tackles, five sacks, and three fumble recoveries. Gardner-Johnson helped improve his draft stock after a solid combine performance. He had 71 tackles with nine for loss, three sacks, and a team-high of four interceptions in his last season. This group has talent along with versatility all over.

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