As we roll toward the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine — now less than two weeks away! — we thought it was time to take a look at what the biggest voices in #DraftTwitter are saying about the first round, which is a little more than two months away.
It’s the third time we’ve checked out draft experts’ picks heading into the 2019 selection meeting. Our first look was published in our Friday Wrap in July, followed by an update just before Thanksgiving, also posted in our weekly Friday Wrap. Here’s a look at the complete composite grid from July (sorry, it’s a pay link), and here’s the grid from November.
As usual, we surveyed seven major draft experts, all of them (except one) posted in the first or second week of February: Tony Pauline at Draft Analyst (Feb. 4); Pro Football Focus (we used their most recent mock, written Feb. 5 by Mike Renner, though normally we use Steve Palazzolo’s work); Dane Brugler at The Athletic (Feb. 5); Mike Miller at Bleacher Report (Feb. 4); ESPN’s Todd McShay (Feb. 7); Sports Illustrated (normally we use Albert Breer, though their most recent work was published Jan. 29 by Kalyn Kahler); and Walter Football (Feb. 13).
Obviously, surveying Draft Twitter doesn’t give you specific answers about who’s going where, but it’s an interesting look not only at the top players as the media sees them rising and falling, but it’s also fascinating to look at the various experts and see who’s most accurate and which ones are willing to go farthest out on a limb.
Anyway, based on our grid, a few thoughts.
- It’s interesting how little the field of possible first-rounders has shrunk since November, while at the same time seeing a number of players dropped and picked up simultaneously.
- For example, at least one of the seven services rated 55 players as first-rounders in November, while today, it’s just 52 players. On the other hand, 15 players who got first-round acclaim last fall — Stanford WO J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Wisconsin OC Tyler Bladasz, Auburn DT Derrick Brown, Notre Dame IB Te’Von Coney, Alabama DE Raekwon Davis, Auburn DC Jamel Dean, Alabama DC Trevon Diggs, West Virginia QB Will Grier, Oregon QB Justin Herbert, Oregon OB Jalen Jelks, Buffalo WO Anthony Johnson, Missouri TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger, Georgia OB D’Andre Walker and Michigan DE Chase Winovich — no longer show up in any of the seven mocks. Of course, Bladasz, Brown, Davis, Diggs, Herbert and Okwuegbunam all stayed in school, but apparently the needle is pointing down for the other seven.
- Among the 12 players they claim now look like first-rounders are Delaware DC Nasir Adderley, West Virginia OT Yodny Cajuste, Washington St. OT Andre Dillard, Louisiana Tech DE Jaylon Ferguson, Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson, Alabama OH Josh Jacobs, Mississippi WO D.K. Metcalf, Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray, South Carolina WO Deebo Samuel, Vanderbilt DC Joejuan Williams, Miami (FL) DT Gerald Willis and Old Dominion DE Oshane Ximines.
- There’s not a lot of variation on the first-round quarterbacks. All seven services see Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins as a first-rounder and the first QB off the board, and all agree that Murray is a first-rounder, though Sports Illustrated sees him going at No. 27 and Matt Miller at Bleacher Report has him going highest (No. 7). Only ESPN’s Todd McShay sees neither Duke’s Daniel Jones or Missouri’s Drew Lock as a first-rounder.
We’ll have plenty more in today’s Friday Wrap. If you read our blog, you should read our Wrap, as well. Go here to register.