2019 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings: Wide receiver class looks like the best in a while
The 2019 draft class of WRs is loaded, featuring a lot of big, No. 1 receiver types like JJ Arcega-Whiteside
It's time for wide receivers to pull up a chair at the NFL's "premium position" table with quarterbacks, edge-rushers and offensive tackles.
Heading into Week 13, teams have collectively dropped back to pass on 59.2 percent of the offensive plays. While watching an NFL game, it's impossible not to see how valuable receivers have become.
After a few average-at-best receiver draft classes, we're in for an outstanding one in 2019, perfectly aligning with the league's seismic shift to pass-happiness. And most of the top wideout prospects are 6-foot-1 or above.
Here's my updated Top 20 prospects list.
1. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa's top spot is still safe.
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2. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Williams was tested against a deep Auburn front in the Iron Bowl, but he more than held his own on the edge. To cap what's been a stellar junior season, Williams will face D'Andre Walker and Co. in Atlanta on Saturday. Georgia will represent the most difficult matchup for Alabama's blocking unit this season.
3. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Williams didn't play poorly against Texas A&M. Not at all. But his pass interference on the two-point conversion with the game tied at 72 (!) led to the eventual game-winner for the Aggies. Williams makes coverage look effortless out there.
Somewhat surprisingly, Oliver returned to the field for Houston but didn't have a major impact in the team's loss to Memphis. He's still one of the most inherent talented defensive line prospects to enter the league in a long time.
5. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Baker wasn't tested much against Georgia Tech but did register a tackle for loss against the Bulldog's triple-option rival. Baker's stock could really fluctuate over the next two games for Georgia. He has a colossal matchup against Jerry Jeudy in the SEC championship game this weekend.
6. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Another game, another sack for Williams, the defensive prospect who's experienced the biggest rise up draft boards during the season. He's going to have his hands full against Georgia's interior offensive line in the SEC title game ... but based on his body of work this season, I think Williams will be up for the challenge.
7. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
It took a while for Harry to get going against Arizona, and he ended the come from behind win with four grabs for 55 yards. He's already declared for the draft ... so will he play in Arizona State's bowl game? Hmmmm.
8. Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Ferrell checks all the physical boxes. And he looks like a plus athlete. I've just cooled on him a bit as the season has progressed because he can stay glued to blocks at times. It's as if he can't win with his length and explosiveness alone, he has trouble producing, especially against better competition. Huge tests ahead.
9. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Egg Bowl was ugly for Ole Miss but Brown did manage four receptions for 61 yards. His team's five-game losing streak to end the season means there won't be a bowl game for Ole Miss, so we're done seeing Brown on the football field in college. He's still the best YAC wideout among the big-bodied pass-catchers in this class.
10. Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Risner's about as boring as it gets to watch on the offensive line ... which is as big of a complement as it gets for an offensive line prospect. Boring = excellence. As someone who loves watching trench battles, I've thoroughly enjoyed watching Risner every week. His anchor, quick, balanced footwork, and mean streak are fantastic. He'll lock down the right side of an NFL offensive line next season.
11. Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Harmon had only three snags for 54 yards in the surprisingly tightly contested game against North Carolina, but he finished the regular season with over 1,000 yards, six touchdowns, and a yards-per-catch average near 15. At 6-3 and 215, he's a smooth athlete and has tremendous body control. Harmon has strong hands too.
12. Zach Allen, EDGE/DL, Boston College
Allen has had better games than the one he had against Syracuse, and he left the game with an injury. At 6-5 and nearly 290 pounds with plus athleticism and an array of counter moves, Allen provides the rare versatility to win on the edge or inside.
13. Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Once again, Wilkins was the best player of the famed Clemson defensive line duo on Saturday, and he tallied a sack and a tackle for loss along with a handful of pressures. Wilkins has done exactly what he needed to do upon returning to the Tigers for his senior season. He's eclipsed his tackle for loss and sack figures from his breakout sophomore campaign, and looks as spry off the ball as ever.
14. Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington
BBK had only 10 tackles in the Apple Cup but did record his second interception of the season (on a bad decision by Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew). He's the premier off-ball linebacker in this class thanks to speed, twitchiness, keen awareness, block-shedding skills, and coverage ability.
15. Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Jones had trouble creating separation off blocks against Michigan and didn't register any tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He was held out of the stat book besides two tackles. His athleticism and refined hand use often serve him well. Of late, his hands have been active but not necessarily effective.
16. Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Based on the level of competition, Allen had a relatively quiet evening in the rivalry blowout win over Louisville. He leaned heavily on his stellar inside crossover move and his sack came on a rush in which utilized it. His versatility, size, and explosiveness are his greatest attributes as an edge-defender.
17. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
I love the way Tillery attacks with his hands on just about every snap. He's quick to identify the type of blocks coming at him, and his powerful and fluid hand work help to either keep blockers off him or dispatch them quickly if they've already made contact. You do not want to feel his club move if you're an offensive lineman. Tillery had a strong effort against USC, especially getting after JT Daniels.
18. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
The last time we saw JAWs, he was leaving the game against Washington with an ankle injury after recording just one catch for 11 yards. He proved his worth as the best rebounding pass-catcher in college football with three high-point touchdowns in the high-scoring affair against UCLA. There is a lot of Mike Evans to Arcega-Whiteside's game.
19. Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Simmons was borderline unblockable in the Egg Bowl, and he ended the game with one sack and two tackles for loss ... although it felt like was generating a pressure every other snap. He worked well in the run game too. It was the most active (and efficient) I've noticed his hand work all season. Simmons packs plenty of power too.
20. Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
When you face a bad offensive line as an edge-rusher, you have to take advantage. And Polite did exactly that against Florida State on Saturday. He finished the game with 2.5 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He's not an every-down player just yet and needs to add more power to his game. But his burst/bend combination and arsenal of pass-rushing moves make him an intriguing prospect.
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State, Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma, Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama, Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss, Drew Lock, QB, Missouri, Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson, Devin White, LB, LSU, Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo, Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia, Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State, Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame, T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin
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