The 2019 NFL Draft takes place on Apr. 25-27 in Nashville Tennessee. Here is a preview of each position and the top players in each of them.
As always, the quarterback position has been highly debated this year. Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray seems to be the front runner at this position. He is a very talented player but his height is often questioned by scouts. Murray is usually projected to go to the Arizona Cardinals with the number one pick. If the Cardinals decide to draft someone else, Murray could fall out of the top 10. Missouri’s Drew Lock, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Duke’s Daniel Jones are the other three quarterbacks that may go in the first round. Lock’s draft status has been rising as of late and Haskins has been falling, but both are expected to be mid-first round picks. Jones is usually projected to be a late first round to early second round pick.
Alabama’s Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris lead this year’s running back class. This class seems to be one of the weakest in recent years. Jacobs is projected to go in the late first round to early second round and Harris is usually projected as a second to third round pick. Iowa State’s David Montgomery is projected to go in the second to third round as well.
This year’s wide receiver class is very strong with a lot of players who are very similar and often debated about who is the best. The receiver that made the biggest splash at the NFL combine was Ole Miss’ D.K. Metcalf. He is projected to go early to mid first round. South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel, Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown and Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown are also receivers who have late first round to early second round projections. The sleeper pick of the draft is Baylor’s Hakeem Butler. The 6’5” 227 lb. receiver is usually projected to go in the second to third round, but don’t be surprised if he goes in the first. In a class of smaller receivers, Butler really stands out in the group as a unique talent.
Tight ends are another really strong group in this year’s draft. This class is led by Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. Hockenson is projected to go in the top 10 and is usually drafted by the Bills, Lions or Packers in most mock drafts. Fant is a Nebraska product from Omaha South High School. He has mid first round projections and some analysts even have him going higher than Hockenson in their mock drafts. Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. is the third Tight End in the draft. He goes late in the first round in most mock drafts to the Patriots or even drops into the early second round.
Florida’s offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor highlights the offensive line class this year. He is projected to go to Jacksonville with the number seven pick. Washington State’s Andre Dillard, Alabama’s Jonah Williams, Washington’s Kaleb McGary and Ole Miss’ Greg Little all are projected to go in the first round as well at the offensive tackle position. The only projected first-round offensive guard is Oklahoma’s Cody Ford and the only projected first-round center is North Carolina State’s Garrett Bradbury.
There are many talented defensive linemen in this year’s draft class. Alabama’s Quinnen Williams is also rumored to be the number one overall pick, but he goes in the top ten in most mock drafts. Houston’s Ed Oliver is projected to go in the top ten and is often compared to Aaron Donald who plays for the Rams. Michigan’s Rashan Gary and Clemson’s Christian Wilkins are both all over the draft board at this position. These two are projected to go anywhere from early first round to early second round. Outside of the top two, scouts vary on what they think of the rest of the defensive linemen.
The edge position may be the most talented position in this year’s draft. The top two players at this position will most likely go in the top three picks of this year’s draft. These players are Nick Bosa from Ohio State and Josh Allen from Kentucky. Bosa is projected in mock drafts to go with the first pick to the Cardinals and Allen usually follows with the second pick to the 49ers. If a mock draft doesn’t have the Cardinals taking Bosa then he falls to the 49ers and Allen falls to the Jets. Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat is another projected early first-round pick as well. Other projected first round to early second round picks include Florida State’s Brian Burns, Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell and Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson.
This year’s linebacker class is highlighted by LSU’s Devin White and Michigan’s Devin Bush. In most mock drafts, White goes to the Buccaneers with the fifth pick and Bush usually goes from mid to late first round. These are the only two linebackers in this class with first-round grades so don’t be surprised if some teams reach in order to get top tier linebacker talent.
LSU also provides this year’s top cornerback in Greedy Williams. He is often projected to go mid to late first round. The other top-tier cornerback is Washington’s Byron Murphy. Murphy is usually projected to be a late first-round pick after Williams gets taken. Early second round projected talents include Georgia’s Deandre Baker and Temple’s Rock Ya-Sin. At the safety position, Washington’s Taylor Rapp and Mississippi State’s Jonathan Abram are projected to be late first to early second round picks.
This year’s class is very solid at the defensive line, edge, tight end and wide receiver positions. Any team that is in a need for one of these positions will have many different top-tier options to choose from. It is very unusual for there to be so much uncertainty at the number one pick this time of year. Many mock drafts vary in their opinions of who the Cardinals are going to take. This year’s draft is surely going to be an interesting one with so much uncertainty around it and will surely keep NFL fans entertained.