2019 NFL Draft: Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams lead top 20 rankings
The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft has passed, and now we have a clearer picture of what this 2019 draft class will look like. Three underclassmen from our last big board chose to return to school: Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and Alabama defensive end Raekwon Davis. Here’s how the latest top 20 prospects shake out in their absence.
1. NICK BOSA, DE, OHIO STATE
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 265 pounds
He was the best player in college football before he injured his core muscle, and that injury hasn’t changed the way evaluators see his trajectory into the pros.
2. QUINNEN WILLIAMS, DL, ALABAMA
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 295 pounds
Williams wasn’t even a starter last year, and now he’s going pro after a season as one of the most dominant defensive players in college football.
3. RASHAN GARY, DL, MICHIGAN
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 280 pounds
Gary is a raw player, but many expect that at 280 pounds he could run around a 4.6 40 at the combine—and that’s enough to make NFL teams think that, with a little refinement, he could be a solid defensive centerpiece.
4. ED OLIVER, DT, HOUSTON
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 290 pounds
Oliver’s size will no doubt create questions ahead of the draft. But coming into the 2018 season, Oliver looked like a strong possibility to go atop the draft, maybe even in front of Bosa. But as scouts have studied him, there have been more questions than answers—there’s a feeling that Oliver would not easily fit every team.
5. DEVIN WHITE, STACK LB, LSU
Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 240 pounds
He’s not as instinctive as Roquan Smith and may not be quite the college player Smith was, but his athletic traits are superior to Smith’s. Many see White as a potential Pro Bowler as a middle linebacker.
6. JEFFERY SIMMONS, DT, MISSISSIPPI STATE
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 300 pounds
Simmons assaulted a woman in high school, and that will be a big part of his draft story. The other side of it? The staff in Starkville swears by him, and he has developed into an elite player.
7. JOSH ALLEN, OLB/DE, KENTUCKY
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 255 pounds
Allen is a good example of a player who benefitted big-time from staying in school. Allen has grown into the kind of linebacker who can play both on and off the line of scrimmage and (like Tremaine Edmunds last year); teams will have to figure out just what he is as a pro.
8. GREEDY WILLIAMS, CB, LSU
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 185 pounds
Williams is tall and talented, which would make him a fit for Seattle-style defenses. But he’s also not the most physical corner; there will probably be varying opinions on him.
9. CLELIN FERRELL, DE, CLEMSON
Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 265 pounds
He’s not outrageously talented, but he has good enough physical traits. Ferrell is just a really good player with great instincts as a pass rusher.
10. DEANDRE BAKER, CB, GEORGIA
Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 185 pounds
Like Greedy, Baker is not for everyone, but for different reasons. He’s tough, and savvy, and a ballhawk who will likely be ready to play right away. The drawback? He’s short.
11. CHRISTIAN WILKINS, DT, CLEMSON
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 315 pounds
Wilkins is an athletic freak who some evaluators believe could actually pitch in on offense, too (he plays some goal-line tailback—not fullback, tailback). Most questions on him involve how he plays the run, but he can certainly wreak havoc in the passing game.
12. DWAYNE HASKINS, QB, OHIO STATE
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 220 pounds
Though Haskins had just one season as a starter, he has the talent and physical tools to be the first quarterback taken in the draft. He’s got the build, the arm strength and the accuracy, and he put up some ridiculous stats this season at Ohio State: 50 passing touchdowns, just eight interceptions, more than 4,800 passing yards and a 70% completion rate.
13. JONAH WILLIAMS, OT, ALABAMA
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 300 pounds
It’s still unclear as to what position Williams will play in the pros—he’s a college left tackle who might project to right tackle or inside. Whether Williams can man the left side or not, there will be a place for him in the league.
14. DRE’MONT JONES, DT, OHIO STATE
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 290 pounds
A classic 3-technique with a ton of upside, Jones plays his tail off and has his best football ahead of him. He should evolve into a disruptive force on someone’s defensive line pretty quickly.
15. DEXTER LAWRENCE, DT, CLEMSON
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 350 pounds
Lawrence is probably the best run defender in the draft, and an absolute mountain of a man. So why is he so far down the list, despite being on the national radar since his true freshman season? The feeling is that might be all he is—and, as such, maybe a two-down player. Lawrence failed a drug test that kept him out of Clemson’s run to the College Football Playoff National Title, but that doesn’t concern NFL scouts. Scouts said they need more information about the situation but considering Lawrence’s clean history, and that the banned substance was ostarine, and not a street drug, the suspension shouldn’t affect Lawrence’s draft stock.
16. GREG LITTLE, OT, OLE MISS
Height: 6′ 6″ | Weight: 320 pounds
A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Little is a giant who looks like he was put on earth to play left tackle. His tape, to those high expectations, is more up and down than scouts would like. But the supply/demand dynamic for linemen in the NFL will help Little big-time.
17. DEVIN BUSH, STACK LB, MICHIGAN
Height: 5′ 11″ | Weight: 230 pounds
Bush’s performance, motor, leadership, athleticism … none of that is questioned. If he was bigger, we might be putting him in the same category as Devin White, as a three-down linebacker. As it is, he’s listed at 5′ 11″ and 230 pounds, and the suspicion is he’s smaller than that.
18. NOAH FANT, TE, IOWA
Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 240 pounds
If teams picked players solely on talent, Fant would be a slam-dunk first-round pick. But he clashed some with coaches, and hasn’t always been the most enthusiastic blocker.
19. JACHAI POLITE, DE/OLB, FLORIDA
Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 242 pounds
Polite is an explosive presence coming off the edge, and he has a lot of upside to continue improving his technique in the league. In 13 games for Florida, Polite led the nation with six forced fumbles, had 11 sacks (eighth in the country), and 17.5 tackles for loss.
20. TRAYVON MULLEN, CB, CLEMSON
Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 195 pounds
The Clemson junior reinforced what scouts already knew about him with a defensive MVP performance against Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship game. Six tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one interception. Mullen has the size and speed to be developed into a top-flight corner.
Question or comment? Email us at email@example.com.
Article written by Kalyn Kahler #SportsIllustrated
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