Over the past five years, I’ve made it an annual tradition to compile my big board and share it with the loyal readers of Mile High Report. This year is no different and I’m excited to unveil my Top 100 list for all of you. These final rankings amalgamate several different factors:
- My perceived value of the player. This is based on tape, as well as medical and character concerns. I also make use of what I call LTI (length to impact), which is the time I believe it will take a given prospect to contribute. It’s not an exact science at all and simply a projection based method of analysis. When it’s all said and done, the rankings portray where I would feel comfortable selecting a particular prospect.
- League-wide and analyst perceived value. Where do analysts feel these players will go? Who is on the rise and who is falling back? What leaks from reporters with respect to teams have come out and are they trustworthy? Moreover, utilizing research on what teams value position wise based on recent trends and historical draft tendencies.
Everyone has there own methods of analysis. Many of you have reached out and asked me how I go about this, which is why I thought I’d share the aforementioned. In over ten years of studying prospects, I’ve found there is no perfect way to go about it. You will likely have more misses than hits, but it’s always great to consider why you missed. Without further adieu, here is my Top 100 prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Tier 1 Players
Prospects with a tier one grade are who I consider to be blue-chip players that can transform the franchise that selects them and eventually become one of the best league-wide at their respective positions. Future All-Pro and perennial Pro-Bowlers.
1. Quinnen Williams, DT — Alabama
Hailing from a university that has produced top-tier talent for ages, Williams is the next in line to represent the Crimson Tide at the next level. This past year he seized a starting role and took college football by storm by amassing 8 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss. At just 21 years of age Williams, the sky is the limit for Williams who possesses what it takes to become a transcendent force anchoring the middle of any defense in the league.
2. Josh Allen, EDGE — Kentucky
One of the SEC’s most feared defenders, Allen made the jump scouts hoped for this past season and took home a handful of prestigious awards after racking up 21.5 tackles for loss, 17 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles. Defensive coordinators will fall in love with his premier athletic traits and unique abilities. He is a proven, versatile prospect who excelled defending the run, rushing the passer, and dropping into coverage that will become an elite difference-maker for the franchise who is fortunate enough to draft him.
3. Nick Bosa, EDGE — Ohio State
A future All-Pro and perennial Pro-Bowl talent with NFL bloodlines, Bosa checks most all the boxes on a scouting report. His size and length can’t be taught. Those physical traits coupled with his gridiron toughness gives him the chance to become one a dominant defender. Bosa projects well in either a three or four man front and should be a high-performing fixture in the defensive trenches for years to come.
4. Ed Oliver, DL — Houston
Oliver may be undersized, but his effort and and play on the field are worthy of incredible praise. He still has a ways to go as a run defender, but his ability to slash and shoot through gaps is unparalleled in this class. He wins off the snap routinely and that bodes well for his future professional endeavors. I have no doubts Oliver will prove to be a nightmare for opposing offensive lineman and demonstrate why he is a top player in this year’s class.
5. T.J. Hockenson, TE — Iowa
It’s not often where a tight end catapults this high in any final rankings, but Hockenson truly is a special prospect He is smooth and savvy as a receiver, but also a force as a blocker in the run game. Arguably one of the most well-rounded prospects in this class, Hockenson has the ability to be one of the best tight ends of his era. He reminds me a lot of Jason Witten.
T.J. Hockenson's passer rating of 139.1 led the B1G this season. He caught 49 passes, averaged 7.3 yards after the catch per reception and forced 8 missed tackles. pic.twitter.com/k4x29kiMnI— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 21, 2019
6. Dwayne Haskins, QB — Ohio State
Haskins will most certainly take his lumps as a rookie, but his one year as a starter with the Buckeyes was nothing short of phenomenal. A student of the game, Haskins has sought out the tutelage of multiple current and former players to take talents to the next level. That’s what I really love that about him — his desire to get better. He has incredible arm talent and the ability to make any throw asked of him. Nevertheless, he is a pure pocket passer with limited mobility which will require a standout offensive line to maximize his abilities. If he can navigate the mental rigors of the game and become better at reading d, Haskins has the tools to be a Top 5 quarterback in the league.
7. Christian Wilkins, DT — Clemson
A consistent producer and leader for Clemson’s defensive line over the past for years, Wilkins is a high-character prospect with an incredible background story. If you want evidence as to how he can take over a game, look no further than his National Championship performance last season. I like him most as a three technique in a four-man front where his quickness off the snap can be maximized.
8. Devin White, LB — LSU
White’s three-down ability and uncanny athleticism have earned him the honor of being one of Broncos Country’s most desired prospects in this year’s draft. Unfortunately, he will be off the board a handful of picks earlier than when the Broncos are on the clock. White is a sure-fire starter as a rookie, but needs to improve upon his mental processing and block shedding to realize his full potential.
Tier 2 Players
Prospects with a tier two grade are first round graded talents whose skills will allow them contribute immediately, be starters as rookies and long-time players in the league.
9. Andre Dillard, OT — Washington State
Dillard has experienced a huge jump up the boards since the beginning of the draft process. He is an athletic offensive tackle with great movement skills and is a natural knee bender. While he needs to add more strength to his core and show more power in the run game, Dillard’s has the potential to be a great left tackle.
10. Brian Burns, EDGE — Florida State
Pound for pound, Florida State pass rushing phenom Brian Burns might be the most athletic prospect in this years draft. The Seminoles were horrendous this past season, but Burns was a bright spot posting 15.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. You can’t teach his size and length, but you certainly can get him in a strength and conditioning program to add muscle and mass to his frame. If he can get stronger at the point of attack and work on his technique, he will be a week-in-week out terror of the edge for tackles to handle.
11. Jeffrey Simmons, DL — Mississippi State
Had Simmons not suffered an ACL tear, he would absolutely be in my Tier 1 category of prospects and a Top 5 player overall. In my opinion, he had some of the most dominant tape out of any defensive lineman over the past several years. Simmons can play inside or out in any scheme and be a force for years to come. He won’t be ready to play this year (making him an exception to my tier description above), but I won’t be surprised if a team drafts him very high. At the end of the day, his talent and potential will outweigh his medical concern.
12. Devin Bush, LB — Michigan
White is my number one linebacker in this year’s class, but Bush isn’t too far off. In fact, I believe Bush has far better instincts and has shown to be more fundamentally sound with respect to his assignments. Bush gives it his all on every play and I love his juice and ability to blitz the quarterback. He is the real deal and should be a stalwart player for the next decade manning the inside of a defense. Don’t be surprised if he ends up being who the Broncos select in the first round.
13. Kyler Murray, QB — Oklahoma
Murray’s ranking this high is more about his perceived league value as opposed to that of my own. He makes some miraculous plays, but concerns about his dedication to football and becoming the best player he can be are legitimate. I take him breaking off his plans to play professional baseball quite seriously and there are teams out there who simply don’t know if they can trust him. That being said, all it takes is for one team to believe in him and it already sounds like he has a believer in Kliff Kingsbury down in Arizona. I expect him to make a lot of wow plays as a rookie, but he has a lot of work to do. Boom or bust — there won’t be an in between for Murray.
14. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE — Clemson
Ferrell’s athleticism is only average when compared to other edge prospects in this class, but he is a well-rounded defensive end who will net your franchise around ten sacks a season. He wins with his power and strength at the point of attack. Most of all, he is a high-motor player with impeccable effort. His best fit is as a defensive end in a four man front.
15. Josh Jacobs, RB — Alabama
The running back position may be getting devalued due to the way the game is changing, but Jacobs is a prospect who will make waves as a rookie. He has good size, balance, vision, and power and can contribute as a receiver in the passing game. Jacobs lacks the get away gear most scouts covet, but makes the most out of every opportunity that comes his way.
16. Noah Fant, TE — Iowa
If you desire a move tight end who can be an absolute mismatch in the receiving game, Fant should definitely be high on your radar. His combination of athleticism, size, and overall catch radius will make him a dream target in the red zone. He is also great accumulating yardage after the catch — which is just another plus mark for his scouting report. He is a work in progress as a blocker, but teams aren’t drafting him to block — they are drafting him high to take their offense to the next level.
17. Deandre Baker, CB — Georgia
Baker didn’t impress at the combine after running a 4.52 and allegedly interviewing poorly, but I’m far more enamored with the fact that he allowed only one touchdown in four years with the Bulldogs. I’ll trust the tape with him and that’s the main reason why I have Baker with a first-round grade and my highest rated defensive back. He can play press man coverage and does well reading and anticipating from zone. Baker brings it every play and I love the fire and passion he shows on the field. Moreover, he is a willing tackler in run defense and reminds me a bit of Antoine Winfield.
18. Jonah Williams, OL — Alabama
Some analysts don’t believe Williams can stick at offensive tackle, but I’m one of those who thinks he can. He might not be the top-flight athlete scouts covet, though his technical prowess and attention to detail make up for it. He will probably never be an elite player, but one who will make a handful of Pro Bowl’s and help anchor an offensive line for years to come.
19. Jawaan Taylor, OT — Florida
Taylor is a prospect who does everything fairly well, but doesn’t stand out remarkably in any particular category. His best fit is at right tackle where he can use his power to his advantage and bolster a franchise’s running game. He starts from Day 1, but he might struggle against speedy edge rushers until he improves his kick slide and hand technique.
20. Garrett Bradbury, C — North Carolina State
One of my darkhorse picks for the Broncos in the first round if they opt to trade down, Bradbury would be an instant starter for the franchise at the center position. He was a standout performer for the Wolfpack and had a great combine. I like the fact he has played on both side of the trenches (former defensive end), understands leverage, and his ability to get to the second-level with ease. I envision him as a ten-year starter who can bolster an offensive line unit immediately upon being drafted.
21. Byron Murphy, CB — Washington
Murphy isn’t going to blow you away with his measurements, but he has what I call ‘Shakira hips’ and has the ability to swivel and stick to receivers in coverage. I think he is a fantastic fit for Vic Fangio’s defense, love his versatility and the way he breaks on the ball. Outside of lack of size, his lack of experience may drop him a bit in the draft — as well as the fact that highly-touted defensive backs from his program haven’t performed as expected upon entering the pros.
22. Montez Sweat, EDGE — Mississippi State
Sweat’s athletic performance at the combine was absolutely sensational and he has one of the better get-off’s in this year’s edge class, but there are two major issues teams will face with him. First and foremost, they will heavily consider his heart issue. Secondly, due diligence checking into his character (kicked out of Michigan State). He is a first-round talent for sure, but those two red flags will cause him to slide on draft day.
23. Drew Lock, QB — Missouri
Lock boasts the best arm in this year’s class, but his struggles diagnosing pressure are a huge red flag. While I think he can play as a rookie in a pinch and be moderately successful, I think he would be better suited to spend a year learning the ropes before being thrown into the fire. His deep ball accuracy is tops in this class and his highlight reels are full of incredible throws that make your jaw drop. He is great on the move, but his pocket presence and mechanics (especially footwork) need to improve or he may end up being just another guy at the position.
24. Greedy Williams, CB — LSU
Teams coveting length, athleticism and press man coverage ability are going to have Williams rated higher than most and I have little doubts he is the top corner on a handful of team’s boards. However, a lot of his tape is feast or famine and Williams doesn’t show much interest with respect to the run game. If he gets it all to click he can be a shut down corner in the league, but his attention to detail is lacking and I wish he would play with more physicality for a prospect of his size.
25. Marquise Brown, WR — Oklahoma
An electrifying playmaker who is a threat to score any time he touches the ball, Brown is easily one of the most explosive offensive weapons in this year’s draft. I love his ability to get separation whether he lines up outside or in the slot. Press corners struggle to stick with his quickness, while zone and off-man corners can be blown away by his speed. He is only ranked this low due to his lis franc surgery at the beginning of the year.
26. Dalton Risner, OL — Kansas State
Risner is one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s draft and is capable of playing either guard spots, center and right tackle. A four-year starter for the Wildcats, Risner wins with his technique and grit in the trenches. With the league being desperate for quality lineman, a prospect with Risner’s ability and flexibility will be valued highly on draft day. I don’t think he falls to the Broncos’ second round selection, but wouldn’t be surprised if they make a move from that spot back into first to acquire him.
27. Dexter Lawrence, DT — Clemson
Teams in pursuit of a immovable object to fortify the interior of their defensive line will be in love with Lawrence’s overall potential. For a man his size, he shows quick feet and burst off the snap. He won’t ever be a huge pass rushing threat in the league, but will be an elite run defender.
28. Nasir Adderley, S — Delaware
Adderley is the definition of a ball-hawking defensive back. He has great athleticism and four years of starting experience on his resume. In his earlier years with the Blue Hens, he played cornerback but has been a lynch-pin at safety the past several years. Teams will value his versatility and fundamentals. He is a Day 1 starter at free safety and should have no problems intercepting passes and making plays on the field with his range.
29. D.K. Metcalf, WR — Ole Miss
There is no question Metcalf is extremely talented and has speed to burn, but his lateral quickness and agility numbers at the combine were shockingly bad. Teams in need of a vertical threat down the field would love to have him, but his route-running leaves a lot to be desired. He makes up for that with creativity after the catch, though his neck injury from two years ago do bring up residual long-term concerns with health moving forward.
30. Cody Ford, OT — Oklahoma
Ford is a versatile offensive line prospect who played left guard, left tackle and right tackle during his career with the Sooners. He has great athleticism for his size and should be a instant starter at right tackle. Downgraded due to missing most of his 2016 season with a fractured fibula, but if his medicals checked out OK he will go higher than this slot.
31. Jerry Tillery, DL — Notre Dame
Tillery has the flexibility to play inside or outside depending on the front, but questions with consistency linger over his overall draft status. He had some monster games (Stanford), but absolutely vanished in others. However, Tillery played the last half of the season with a torn labrum so he gets bonus points for toughness — a trait defensive line coaches will certainly love about him.
32. Rock Ya-Sin, CB — Temple
Strong and physical corner who is extremely consistent and doesn’t give up big plays. A riser throughout the process, Ya-Sin will likely sneak into the first round due to the aforementioned. However, he only has one quality season at the FBS-level which may cause struggles early on as a rookie.
Despite only one year at the Division 1 level, Rock Ya-Sin proved he can ball with anyone and is headed to the NFL. pic.twitter.com/Ug2qfsrNS8— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 20, 2019
Tier 3 Players
Prospects with a tier three grade are what I consider second round material and should see extensive time starting as rookies.
33. Rashan Gary, EDGE - Michigan
34. N’Keal Harry, WR — Arizona State
35. Irv Smith Jr., TE — Alabama
36. Darnell Savage Jr., DB — Maryland
37. Daniel Jones, QB — Duke
38. Chris Lindstrom, OL — Boston College
39. A.J. Brown, WR — Ole Miss
40. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S — Florida
41. Deebo Samuel, WR — South Carolina
42. Johnathan Abram, S — Mississippi State
43. Joejuan Williams, CB — Vanderbilt
44. Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE — Louisiana Tech
45. Dre’Mont Jones, DT — Ohio State
46. Hakeem Butler, WR — Iowa State
47. Erik McCoy, C — Texas A&M
48. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR — Stanford
49. Taylor Rapp, S — Washington
50. Trysten Hill, DT — Central Florida
51. Juan Thornhill, DB — Virginia Tech
52. Riley Ridley, WR — Georgia
53. Yodny Cajuste, OT — West Virgnia
54. Tytus Howard, OT — Alabama State
55. Justin Layne, CB — Michigan State
56. Trayvon Mullen, CB — Clemson
57. L.J. Collier, EDGE — TCU
58. Greg Little, OT — Ole Miss
59. Zach Allen, DE — Boston College
60. Amani Hooker, S — Iowa
61. Chase Winovich, EDGE — Michigan
62. Jahlani Tavai, LB — Hawaii
63. Parris Campbell, WR — Ohio State
64. Kelvin Harmon, WR — NC State
Tier 4 Players
Prospects with a tier four grade are worthy of consideration in the third round. They may not start immediately, but have high-quality traits that will eventually allow them to blossom into starters.
65. Jarrett Stidham, QB — Auburn
66. Jachai Polite, EDGE — Florida
67. Deionte Thompson, S — Alabama
68. Amani Oruwariye, CB — Penn State
69. Elgton Jenkins, C — Mississippi State
70. Sean Bunting, CB — Central Michigan
71. David Montgomery, RB Iowa State
72. Terry McLaurin, WR — Ohio State
73. Joe Jackson, DE — Miami
74. Josh Oliver, TE — San Jose State
75. Germaine Pratt, LB — NC State
76. Anthony Nelson, DE — Iowa
77. Oshane Ximines, EDGE — Old Dominion
78. Mack Wilson, LB - Alabama
79. Khalen Saunders, DT — Western Illinois
80. Isaiah Johnson, CB — Houston
81. Andy Isabella, WR — Massachusetts
82. Dawson Knox, TE — Ole Miss
83. Nate Davis, OG — Charlotte
84. Darrell Henderson, RB — Memphis
85. Bobby Okereke, LB — Stanford
86. Blake Cashman, LB — Minnesota
87. Miles Sanders, RB — Penn State
88. Damien Harris, RB — Alabama
89. Drew Samia, OG — Oklahoma
90. Ryan Finley, QB — North Carolina State
91. Miles Boykin, WR - Notre Dame
92. D’Andre Walker, EDGE — Georgia
93. Max Scharping, OT — Northern Illinois
94. Connor McGovern, OG — Penn State
95. Ben Banogu, EDGE — TCU
96. Isaiah Buggs, DE — Alabama
97. Jace Sternberger, TE — Texas A&M
98. Mecole Hardman, WR — Georgia
99. Will Grier, QB — West Virginia
100. Devin Singletary, RB — Florida Atlantic