The Ringer's 2019 NFL
Draft Guide

with Scouting Reports by Danny Kelly

No Credits

Welcome to The Ringer’s 2019 NFL Draft Guide. Consider this your hub for all things draft-related leading up to the first round on April 25. It’ll include prospect rankings, scouting reports, mock drafts, and much more—and best of all, we will be updating it regularly with new analysis that takes all of the latest developments into account.

At launch, the guide features Danny Kelly’s Big Board, highlighting the 32 players he’s highest on coming out of college football season. Shortly before the combine, each of his scouting reports will expand, and his first of many mock drafts will drop soon after. In March, we’ll roll out our breakdown of each franchise’s biggest roster holes. And we’ll publish commentary from NFL writers Robert Mays, Kevin Clark, Rodger Sherman, Riley McAtee, and Danny Heifetz along the way.

Who will the Cardinals take at no. 1? Whose stock will rise and fall? Which future All-Pros are flying under the radar? Check back often to see where things stand. Draft season is officially on the clock.

   
Big Board by Danny Kelly Updated 1.24
Mock Draft Coming in February
Team Needs Coming in March
All Draft Coverage Updated 1.24
Nick Bosa
1

Nick Bosa

Edge Rusher

Ohio State, junior

  • TKLS 14
  • TFL 6
  • Sacks 4
Height/Weight6'4'', 263
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Complete skill set

Packs power, explosiveness, and agility into a prototype pass rusher’s frame; he might just have more upside than his older brother.

Shades Of: Joey Bosa
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Quinnen Williams
2

Quinnen Williams

Interior Defensive Lineman

Alabama, redshirt sophomore

  • TKLS 71
  • TFL 19.5
  • Sacks 8
Height/Weight6'4'', 295
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Pocket-destroying proficiency

Slippery interior menace who combines physicality, burst, and violent hands to discard blocks and get into the backfield.

Shades Of: Gerald McCoy
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Jonah Williams
3

Jonah Williams

Tackle

Alabama, junior

  • GMS 15
  • STRTS 15
Height/Weight6'5'', 301
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Technical prowess

Smooth operator who combines strong hands with great footwork; could dominate at either tackle or guard.

Shades Of: Jake Matthews, Jack Conklin
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Ed Oliver
4

Ed Oliver

Interior Defensive Lineman

Houston, junior

  • TKLS 54
  • TFL 14.5
  • Sacks 3
Height/Weight6'3'', 292
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Extraordinary athleticism

Wrecking ball of a big man who spent his college career bowling through double-teams.

Shades Of: Millionaire’s Larry Ogunjobi
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Brian Burns
5

Brian Burns

Edge Rusher

Florida State, junior

  • TKLS 52
  • TFL 15.5
  • Sacks 10
Height/Weight6'5'', 235
Age20
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Speed off the edge

Effortless explosiveness and springy agility give him immense upside, but he’ll need to bulk up in the pros.

Shades Of: Polished Randy Gregory
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Clelin Ferrell
6

Clelin Ferrell

Edge Rusher

Clemson, redshirt junior

  • TKLS 54
  • TFL 19.5
  • Sacks 11.5
Height/Weight6'4'', 265
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Lives in opposing backfields

Productive, three-down edge presence with length, power, and a Pro Bowl–caliber getoff.

Shades Of: Long Cliff Avril
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Byron Murphy
7

Byron Murphy

Cornerback

Washington, redshirt sophomore

  • TKLS 58
  • INTS 4
  • PBU 13
Height/Weight5'11'', 182
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Instincts in coverage

Savvy coverage defender with nimble feet, easy agility, and terrific ball skills.

Shades Of: Kyle Fuller, Kendall Fuller
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Josh Allen
8

Josh Allen

Edge Rusher

Kentucky, senior

  • TKLS 88
  • TFL 21.5
  • Sacks 17
Height/Weight6'5'', 260
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Physical playmaking

Incredibly productive pass rusher with a mix of size, length, power, and quickness.

Shades Of: Bradley Chubb, Jamie Collins
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Jachai Polite
9

Jachai Polite

Edge Rusher

Florida, junior

  • TKLS 45
  • TFL 17.5
  • Sacks 11
Height/Weight6'2'', 242
Age20
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Explosiveness and flexibility

Boasts a sudden first step and plenty of athleticism to go with a budding repertoire of pass-rushing moves.

Shades Of: Melvin Ingram, Bruce Irvin
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D.K. Metcalf
10

D.K. Metcalf

Wide Receiver

Ole Miss, redshirt sophomore

  • YDS 569
  • YPR 21.88
  • TDS 5
  • REC 26
  • 20+ 9
Height/Weight6'4'', 230
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Infinite upside

Has the size, speed, and hands to become unguardable downfield, but medicals will be crucial—he missed much of 2018 with a neck injury.

Shades Of: Josh Gordon
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Should NFL Teams
Tank for
Tua &
Trevor?
Should NFL Teams Tank for Tua and Trevor?

The two most pro-ready quarterbacks from college football last season are not in the 2019 NFL draft.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is the best QB prospect I’ve ever seen. There is never a point during any play when he believes he cannot throw a touchdown—and over time, I’ve come to learn that with his outrageous arm, rare vision, and excellent mobility, he’s capable of just that. Despite being a risk-taker, he didn’t throw an interception until he already had 26 touchdown passes in the 2018 campaign. And he had the poise to win a national championship as a true freshman. There’s just one problem for NFL teams: He isn’t eligible to join the league until after his junior season, so they’ll have to wait to draft him until 2020 at the earliest.

To some scouts, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence (who beat Tagovailoa’s Alabama team in January’s national title game) is the best quarterback prospect they’ve ever seen. He has prototypical size, a stronger arm than Tagovailoa, and oh yeah—the poise to win a national championship as a true freshman. There’s just one problem for NFL teams: He isn’t eligible to join the league until after his junior season, so they’ll have to wait to draft him until 2021 at the earliest.

Quarterbacks are more polished at younger ages than they’ve ever been, and Tagovailoa and Lawrence are the leaders of this trend. They appeared ready for the NFL from the moment they stepped on campus, and as more QBs like them come along, we’ll likely see a wave of pushback against the age restriction that prevents prospects from becoming draft-eligible until they’re three years removed from high school. If both players were eligible now, Tagovailoa and Lawrence would almost certainly be the no. 1 and no. 2 picks in this year’s draft. (Probably Lawrence first, then Tagovailoa.)

Allowing teams to draft freshmen would change the shape of the draft. With less time to evaluate players, there would be even wilder swings and misses than we’re used to. But Lawrence and Tagovailoa would be worth it. That’s great news for fans of teams that were actually good in 2018: The most important tanking opportunities of the decade lie ahead.

Jeffery Simmons
11

Jeffery Simmons

Interior Defensive Lineman

Mississippi State, junior

  • TKLS 63
  • TFL 17
  • Sacks 2
Height/Weight6'4'', 300
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Quickness and power

Tremendously athletic interior force who can win with quickness, power, or both.

Shades Of: Fletcher Cox
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Cody Ford
12

Cody Ford

Tackle

Oklahoma, redshirt junior

  • GMS 14
  • STRTS 14
  • Sk ALL 2
Height/Weight6'4'', 338
Age22
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: People-moving mass

Built like a refrigerator but moves with surprising ease; has the versatility to play guard or tackle at the next level.

Shades Of: Cordy Glenn
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Devin White
13

Devin White

Linebacker

LSU, junior

  • TKLS 123
  • TFL 12
  • Sacks 3
Height/Weight6'1'', 240
Age20
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Hair-on-fire playing style

Athletic sideline-to-sideline linebacker who plays with a berserker’s tenacity.

Shades Of: Danny Trevathan, Jarrad Davis
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Kelvin Harmon
14

Kelvin Harmon

Wide Receiver

NC State, junior

  • YDS 1186
  • YPR 14.64
  • TDS 7
  • REC 81
  • 20+ 14
Height/Weight6'3'', 214
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Dependability in traffic

Looks and plays like a prototype “X” receiver given his size, physicality, and ability to come down with contested catches.

Shades Of: Michael Thomas, Allen Robinson
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Deandre Baker
15

Deandre Baker

Cornerback

Georgia, senior

  • TKLS 40
  • INTS 2
  • PBU 10
Height/Weight5'11, 185
Age22
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Shutdown coverage

Physical, sticky coverage defender who rarely gives up a big play.

Shades Of: Josh Norman
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Greedy Williams
16

Greedy Williams

Cornerback

LSU, redshirt sophomore

  • TKLS 33
  • INTS 2
  • PBU 9
Height/Weight6'3'', 182
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Imposing outside presence

Scrappy, long-limbed cover corner who has great instincts and the ability to turn and locate the ball in the air.

Shades Of: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
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Dwayne Haskins
17

Dwayne Haskins

Quarterback

Ohio State, redshirt sophomore

  • YDS 4831
  • YPA 9.1
  • TDS 50
  • INTS 8
  • RTG 174.1
Height/Weight6'3'', 220
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Pinpoint accuracy

Pocket passer who combines size and arm talent with quality decision-making, but who has to prove he can excel when pressured.

Shades Of: Medium-sized Ben Roethlisberger, Nick Foles
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Kyler Murray
18

Kyler Murray

Quarterback

Oklahoma, redshirt junior

  • YDS 4361
  • YPA 11.6
  • TDS 42
  • INTS 7
  • RTG 199.2
Height/Weight5'10'', 195
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Video-game skill set

His diminutive size is the biggest question mark in this draft, but he’s got the playmaking talent, arm strength, and speed to become a superstar.

Shades Of: Pint-sized Michael Vick
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Andre Dillard
19

Andre Dillard

Tackle

Washington State, redshirt senior

  • GMS 13
  • STRTS 13
  • Sk ALL 1
Height/Weight6'5'', 306
Age23
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Blindside pass-blocking

Easily neutralizes pass rushers with light feet, impressive balance, and top-tier mirroring skills.

Shades Of: Joe Staley
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Hakeem Butler
20

Hakeem Butler

Wide Receiver

Iowa State, redshirt junior

  • YDS 1318
  • YPR 21.97
  • TDS 9
  • REC 60
  • 20+ 25
Height/Weight6'6'', 225
Age22
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Deep speed for days

Combines the catch radius of a condor with the speed to take the top off a defense; makes hay after the catch.

Shades Of: Sidney Rice with afterburners, Martavis Bryant
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How Did We Get
Here with Kyler
Murray?
How Did We Get Here With Kyler Murray?

I cannot believe that we’ve gotten to this point with Kyler Murray. I’d already given up on the idea of ever seeing him play football again. His lone season as Oklahoma’s starting quarterback was one of the greatest introductions to the sport that a player has ever made, and it also felt like one of the great farewell tours. It’s rare and beautiful for a first-year starter to win the Heisman Trophy; it’s rarer and more poignant for that guy to be someone who has already committed to a career in another sport. The Oakland A’s nabbed Murray ninth overall in the 2018 MLB draft, guaranteeing him millions of dollars to give up life as an undersized QB to become one of the centerpieces of the franchise’s outfield plan. Murray’s future was set.

Until he made clear that he is better at playing quarterback than he ever will be at anything else, that is. Murray just put together the second-most efficient passing season in college football history, and was even more impressive as a runner. I’ve never seen anybody else change directions at high speeds the way he does. I cannot stress this enough: In baseball, players almost never change directions. They are required, by rule, to run counterclockwise around a diamond. Football is the sport for Kyler.

For the life of me, I’ll never understand why the A’s drafted Murray and then let him play football for the Sooners. They ran the risk of injury, for one, and also the risk of this—Murray emerging as a superstar in the other sport and never coming back to baseball. The A’s let Murray realize his football destiny. Even if he doesn’t pan out in the NFL, I’ll be forever grateful for their mistake.

N'Keal Harry
21

N'Keal Harry

Wide Receiver

Arizona State, junior

  • YDS 1088
  • YPR 14.9
  • TDS 9
  • REC 73
  • 20+ 19
Height/Weight6'4'', 213
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Size and fearlessness

He simply won’t be beat at the catch point, even if he lacks twitchy speed.

Shades Of: Juju Smith-Schuster, Alshon Jeffery
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Dre'Mont Jones
22

Dre'Mont Jones

Interior Defensive Lineman

Ohio State, redshirt junior

  • TKLS 43
  • TFL 13
  • Sacks 8.5
Height/Weight6'3'', 286
Age22
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Uncommon athleticism

Nickel pass rusher with the first-step burst and movement skills of an NBA power forward.

Shades Of: Malik Jackson
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Montez Sweat
23

Montez Sweat

Edge Rusher

Mississippi State, senior

  • TKLS 53
  • TFL 14
  • Sacks 11.5
Height/Weight6'6'', 245
Age22
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Mister Fantastic wingspan

High-cut defensive end who knows how to use his length and explosiveness to beat blocks.

Shades Of: Thick Arden Key, Danielle Hunter
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Christian Wilkins
24

Christian Wilkins

Interior Defensive Lineman

Clemson, senior

  • TKLS 50
  • TFL 15
  • Sacks 6
Height/Weight6'4'', 300
Age23
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Relentless motor

Athletic, versatile, and disruptive big man who can play all three downs and is always around the ball.

Shades Of: Vernon Butler
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Dexter Lawrence
25

Dexter Lawrence

Interior Defensive Lineman

Clemson, junior

  • TKLS 37
  • TFL 7.5
  • Sacks 1.5
Height/Weight6'4'', 350
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Size and more size

Mountainous run-stopper with loads of pass-rushing upside; possesses an extremely rare blend of bulk and quickness.

Shades Of: Light-footed D.J. Reader
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Deionte Thompson
26

Deionte Thompson

Safety

Alabama, redshirt junior

  • TKLS 78
  • INTS 2
  • PBU 6
Height/Weight6'2'', 196
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Plug-and-play versatility

Sinewy, long-limbed safety who has the skill set to line up and cover from multiple spots in the secondary.

Shades Of: Long Damontae Kazee
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Dalton Risner
27

Dalton Risner

Guard

Kansas State, senior

  • GMS 12
  • STRTS 12
Height/Weight6'5'', 308
Age23
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Rugged reliability

Barrel-chested blocker who plays with remarkable consistency; offers positional versatility at the next level.

Shades Of: Joel Bitonio
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Yodny Cajuste
28

Yodny Cajuste

Tackle

West Virginia, redshirt senior

  • GMS 11
  • STRTS 11
Height/Weight6'5'', 321
Age22
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Ballerina feet

Has great size, vines for arms, a strong punch, and light feet.

Shades Of: Duane Brown
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Noah Fant
29

Noah Fant

Tight End

Iowa, junior

  • YDS 519
  • YPR 13.31
  • TDS 7
  • REC 39
  • 20+ 8
Height/Weight6'5'', 241
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Mismatch creation

Athletically gifted tight end whose speed poses problems for linebackers and size causes headaches for defensive backs.

Shades Of: Jordan Reed
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Jerry Tillery
30

Jerry Tillery

Interior Defensive Lineman

Notre Dame, senior

  • TKLS 30
  • TFL 10.5
  • Sacks 8
Height/Weight6'7'', 305
Age22
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Length and power

Potential to be unstoppable from the interior, but needs to develop more consistency.

Shades Of: Stephon Tuitt
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T.J. Hockenson
31

T.J. Hockenson

Tight End

Iowa, redshirt sophomore

  • YDS 760
  • YPR 15.51
  • TDS 6
  • REC 49
  • 20+ 16
Height/Weight6'5'', 250
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: True “Y” tight end

Throwback tight end who blocks like a lineman and catches like a receiver.

Shades Of: George Kittle
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Marquise Brown
32

Marquise Brown

Wide Receiver

Oklahoma, junior

  • YDS 1318
  • YPR 17.57
  • TDS 10
  • REC 75
  • 20+ 20
Height/Weight5'10'', 168
Age21
Main Selling PointMain Selling Point: Speed to burn

Speed merchant who can take the top off a defense and rack up yards after the catch; Antonio Brown’s cousin.

Shades Of: DeSean Jackson, Marquise Goodwin
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There are no running backs among the top 32 in our initial 2019 Big Board. Confused? Read this.
Measurement data and player statistics via cfbstats.com, school bios, and Senior Bowl player profiles.