2019 NFL Draft Big Board: Big rise for Notre Dame prospects in post-combine Top 100
Two Notre Dame prospects received a big draft-stock boost after their combine workouts
When evaluating draft prospects, film matters more than anything else, but the combine definitely carries weight.
Yes, some players are faster, slower, more twitchy, less twitchy, stronger, weaker etc. on film than in Indianapolis, yet combine workouts factor into my grading system.
With a full week to input combine performances into each prospects' grade, you will notice many changes in my Big Board.
Oh, and I think it's important to define my Big Board, because there's no concrete definition. To some, it's just a list of the best players. I like to add positional value to my grades, as I'm essentially acting as the GM of at team starting from scratch. For example, it'd be extraordinarily hard for a running back to land near the top of my Big Board. I had Saquon Barkley at No. 7 overall last year, and even that felt too high despite him being on the same tier as Ezekiel Elliot as the best running back prospect I've ever scouted.
(Note: These rankings are based on my personal evaluations of the 2019 draft class, not necessarily an indication of where these prospects are expected to be drafted.)
With that (hopefully) cleared up, here's a look at my up-to-date top 100.
1. Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
2. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
3. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
4. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
5. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
6. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
7. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
8. Christian Wilkins. DT, Clemson
9. Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
10. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Monster jump for Jerry Tillery who rocked his combine workout. I questioned his athleticism on film, but the Notre Dame star proved to be in the upper echelon of athletes for the defensive tackle position. At nearly 6-foot-7 and just under 300 pounds, he's a uniquely sized interior defensive lineman but has heavy, active hands, is strong against the run, and will consistently push the pocket.
Regarding Jeffery Simmons at No. 5 overall while he's nursing a torn ACL, I realized it was basically pointless to really ding him for an injury unlikely to impact him that far into his NFL career. He's just about as well-rounded as Quinnen Williams and has multiple dominant years on his resume in the SEC.
11. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
12. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
13. Zach Allen, EDGE/DL, Boston College
14. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
15. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
16. Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington
17. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
18. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
19. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
20. Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Similar to his Notre Dame teammate, I wasn't expecting a big combine from Julian Love. I was wrong. While he didn't blaze in the 40-yard dash (4.54), he had a 36-inch vertical, and a lightning fast 6.82 in the three-cone drill. I'm a huge fan of plus athletes at the cornerback position with major production in college. That's Love. He's an instant starter.
Bit of a bump for Montez Sweat too, who doesn't exactly play to his 7.00 three-cone time around the corner but will threaten tackles with his first step, length, and speed-to-power capabilities at the next level.
21. Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
22. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
23. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
24. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
25. Devin White, LB, LSU
26. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
27. Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
28. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
29. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
30. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Burns quietly had a big combine, and most of that came when he weighed in at 249. However, some were expecting it to slow him down in the timed drills. It didn't. He ran 4.53, had a huge 129-inch broad jump, a 36-inch vertical, and ran the vital three-cone drill in 7.01 seconds.
Huge rise for Thornhill because of how his combine translates to the field. He's the best center field safety in this class and has elite explosiveness, as evidenced by his 44-inch vertical, 4.42 time in the 40, and 141-inch broad jump.
31. Devin Bush Jr., LB, Michigan
32. Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
33. Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
34. Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
35. Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
36. Oshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Dominion
37. Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
38. Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
39. Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
40. Anthony Nelson, EDGE, Iowa
Kelvin Harmon sinks out of Round 1 after a rather disappointing combine effort. I do think he's a "faster on the field" player and checks all the boxes when it comes to ball skills, body control, and size.
Justin Layne, the feisty cornerback from Michigan State, skyrocketed up my board. He measured in just under 6-2, has long 33-inch arms, and 4.50 speed. He also had a broad jump in the 97th percentile, and a 6.90 time in the three cone. He looks like a No. 1 cornerback at the next level who has the size, length, and athleticism combination to match up with big wideouts on the perimeter.
Another riser in this group ... Iowa edge rusher Anthony Nelson. Truly one of the most polished outside pass rushers when it comes to using his hands to defeat blocks and set a sturdy edge, Nelson arguably had the most impressive combine performance at his position beyond Sweat. He needs to get stronger at the NFL level. His athleticism and position-specific skills are top-notch.
41. Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
42. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
43. Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky
44. Terronne Prescod, OG, NC State
45. Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma
46. Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
47. Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
48. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
49. Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
50. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Amani Hooker is the riser in this group, another Hawkeye who tested better than expected. What's fascinating about him as a prospect is that he already plays a step ahead of everyone else because of his speedy processing of what's happening around him.
After the week in Indianapolis, we now know he's a plus athlete for the safety spot. His 40, broad jump, vertical, and three cone were all at the 70th percentile or above.
51. Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
52. C. Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
53. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
54. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
55. Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
56. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
57. Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon
58. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
59. Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
60. Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo
Yes, I'm much lower on Haskins than basically everyone else. Here's why he scares me. He's a one-year starter who was rarely pressured at Ohio State and when he was, his feet and accuracy often failed him. Also, a relatively large chunk of Haskins' record-breaking production came after the catch thanks to a ridiculously fast assembly of skill-position players.
After a down week at the Senior Bowl, Kris Boyd rebounded at the combine with a strong showing. He's not the longest outside corner on Earth with arms under 31 inches. But he has good athleticism to play there and the requisite twitch and explosiveness to slide down into the slot.
61. Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State
62. Charles Omenihu, EDGE/DL, Texas
63. Andy Isabella, WR, UMass
64. Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami
65. Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
66. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
67. Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
68. David Long, CB, Michigan
69. Ryan Finley, QB, NC State
70. Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State
Michigan's David Long received the largest post-combine bump of anyone in this section. He is a stifling man-to-man cornerback with nickel cornerback size. If he were a little taller or longer he'd be in the first-round conversation. Seriously. He ran 4.45 in the 40 then had a three-cone time in the 97th percentile at his position and a short-shuttle time in the 89th percentile.
Also, I really like Bradbury as a prospect. He had a great workout in Indianapolis. I'm just really worried about his lack of strength and anchoring power early in his career.
71. Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
72. Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois
73. Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson.
74. Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
75. L.J. Collier, EDGE, TCU
76. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
77. Jakobi Meyers, WR, NC State
78. Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
79. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
80. Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
Alabama edge rusher Christian Miller has some of the best hand work -- especially his straight arm -- in this class, and he displayed elite explosiveness at the combine with a vertical jump in the 93rd percentile and a broad jump in the 67th percentile. Beyond that, he has impossibly long arms just over 35-inches.
TCU's outside pass rusher L.J. Collier moved down after his combine. However, he is a unique prospect at just over 6-2, over 280 pounds with tentacle-like 34-inch arms.
81. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State
82. Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
83. Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
84. Carl Granderson, EDGE, Wyoming
85. Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech
86. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
87. Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon
88. Antoine Wesley, WR, Texas Tech
89. Stanley Morgan, WR, Nebraska
90. Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
Michigan's Chase Winovich is good with his hands and proved to have above-average athletic traits to win on the edge at the next level.
Wyoming's Carl Granderson disappointed in the agility drills but is someone I believe taps into every ounce of his talent with high energy and active hands on the edge. Blake Cashman, the linebacker from Minnesota, has starting-caliber physical traits and you won't see him out of position very often.
91. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
92. Lamont Gaillard, C, Georgia
93. Mike Bell, S, Fresno State
94. Beau Benzschawel, OG, Wisconsin
95. Andrew Wingard, S, Wyoming
96. Terry Beckner Jr., DT, Missouri
97. Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan
98. Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo
99. Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M
100. Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State
As for Alabama running back Josh Jacobs, who didn't work out in Indianapolis, I see a good, Day 2 back. I don't see a first-round with consensus first ball-carrier off the board skills.
Crosby is the riser here after showing top-end bend and explosiveness at the combine. He has room to grow into his nearly 6-5 frame and flashed quality hand work over the past two seasons. I can see him ultimately outplaying his draft position.
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