Top 5 most ready prospects coming out of the 2019 NFL Draft

NFL Draft logo. Courtesy of http://flurrysports.org/full-2019-nfl-draft-order/.

NFL Draft logo. Courtesy of http://flurrysports.org/full-2019-nfl-draft-order/.

Benji Grossman and A.J. Perfetto

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It’s the most stressful three days of an NFL prospect’s life. Potential draftees spend hours staring at the TV, praying for a call from one of the 32 NFL franchises informing them that they’ve made it to the big leagues. Fans young and old gather around hoping that their team selects the next Tom Brady, Todd Gurley or Odell Beckham Jr. It’s the annual NFL Draft. From April 25-27, the dreams of 254 college kids will come true, and this year surely won’t disappoint. With dozens of supremely talented prospects, many have potential to become superstars. Here are five top recruits from the 2019 class to look out for from the opinions of two Courier Staff Writers, Benji Grossman and AJ Perfetto. We’ll be looking at the five prospects we think are the most NFL-ready as evident from their college career, combine stats and NFL-required skills.

Benji:

  1. DK Metcalf (WR)

DK Metcalf. Courtesy of http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2019/apr/16/dk-metcalf/.

He’s a 6’4”, 230 lb athletic freak out of Ole’ Miss that has tons of NFL potential. Although his college numbers are incredibly underwhelming, it’s mostly due to a neck injury he sustained last October. Amidst this however, Metcalf has unbelievable potential as long as a team is willing to let him develop and grow his receiving skills. Undoubtedly putting up the most impressive combine numbers complete with a 4.33 second 40-yard dash, 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench, a 40.5 inch vert and a 134 inch broad jump, Metcalf has an athletic prowess that comes once in a generation. Although his catching skills and route-running need to improve in order for him to really shine in the NFL, he has all the tools to do so. Additionally, with coaching from an NFL staff, Metcalf could easily become a physical, Andre Johnson-esque talent (both have almost the exact same height/weight). He most-likely won’t be a top-10 pick, but his explosiveness and athleticism make him hard to pass up.

  1. Devin White (LB)

Devin White. Courtesy of https://www.news4jax.com/sports/nfl/jaguars/making-the-pick-at-no-7-lb-devin-white.

Probably a top three linebacker in the draft, Devin White has the strength, speed and mind to make him a great pick for any team. The All-American had 123 tackles in his junior season at Louisiana State University (LSU), and ran an impressive 4.42 second 40-yard dash at the combine. A standout in one of the toughest conferences in sports (SEC), White led the Tiger defense to a Fiesta Bowl victory last season against the University of Central Florida. He’s an extremely physical player who possesses great reflexes, especially when defending against the run. However, White’s greatest asset is something totally unteachable: his coachability. White has shown impressive growth throughout his college career, and is a total student of the game. His coachability makes him an asset to any team, and his willingness to keep learning the game is important for a long career. Don’t be surprised if he falls below the 10th pick, but he’ll for sure be one of the top three linebackers drafted.

  1. Josh Allen (LB)

Josh Allen. Courtesy of https://www.montclairlocal.news/2019/04/24/montclair-football-josh-allen-2019-nfl-draft/.

Preface: Josh Allen is easily a top five pick. Allen has all the potential to become a pro-bowler and beyond. With hard to come by speed and size, boasting a 6’5”, 262 pound frame and a blazing 4.63 40-yard dash, Allen’s stature alone makes him a definite asset. The 2018 Southeastern Athletic Conference (SEC) Defensive Player of the Year had a mind-numbing 17 sacks and four forced fumbles last season at The University of Kentucky. He plays great in both coverage and when rushing the passer, making him one of the most versatile defensive talents in the 2019 class. Allen could provide a much-needed spark for a team like the Oakland Raiders (who have the fourth pick) or the New York Jets (third pick). Although it’s very probable that the Jets will take him third overall, Allen could also easily thrive in the Jon Gruden/Paul Guenther system in Oakland.

  1. Kyler Murray (QB)

Kyler Murrray. Courtesy of .https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/draft/2019/04/24/nfl-mock-draft-2019-kyler-murray-cardinals/3544445002/.

Undoubtedly the best quarterback and possibly the most versatile offensive playmaker in the 2019 draft class, the 2018 Heisman Trophy Winner is a true dual-threat quarterback who has a lightning-quick release, and an immense ability to thrive under pressure. Going further, what sets Murray apart from other quarterbacks in his class is his mental toughness. This is a must-have for any NFL quarterback, being the leader of an offense and figurehead of a team, and Murray’s composure and toughness “up there” totally sets him apart. Not once during his junior season did Murray get rattled, and he continuously plays better under pressure, an unteachable attribute for high-level quarterbacks. Last season, Murray threw for a total of 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns, as well as running for over a thousand yards, leading the Oklahoma Sooners to a 12-2 season and a College Football Playoff appearance. While Murray will be the shortest starting quarterback in the NFL, standing at only 5’10”, it’s likely that the Arizona Cardinals will take him first overall.

  1. Nick Bosa (DE)

Nick Bosa. Courtesy of chttps://saturdaytradition.com/ohio-state-football/nfl-draft-expert-matt-miller-i-think-nick-bosa-is-maxed-out/.

The Ohio State standout and brother to current San Diego Charger and fellow Buckeye, Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa shows very similar levels of potential and draft-hype to his brother. At 6’4” and 266 lbs, Nick runs an impressive 4.79 sec 40-yard dash and has incredible strength. His NFL scouting report literally says, “sawed-off frame with Venice Beach musculation throughout… Never skips leg day at the gym.” Bosa shows superb skills in defending against the run, as his block-eating and disengaging abilities strike fear in any offensive lineman who comes in contact with him. Bosa is great at reading offenses and getting his nose to the ball, much like the player that he’s compared to on his official combine scouting profile, 3-time Pro Bowler Michael Bennett. Don’t be surprised if Bosa is a 49er on Thursday, as San Francisco has the second overall pick. This not only would likely make him the first defensive player drafted, but he’ll be just a few hours up the I-5 from his older brother in San Diego.

A.J.:

  1. Josh Allen (Linebacker)

Josh Allen. Courtesy of https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/psu/2018/12/15/Kentucky-linebacker-Josh-Allen-is-headed-to-the-NFL-but-not-soon-enough-for-Penn-State/stories/201812150050.

While Benji has Allen listed at three I believe he still has stuff to work on. Allen has had an amazing several years at the University of Kentucky as a linebacker/ edge. He has put up phenomenal numbers for Kentucky and himself as well. With a 4.63 sec. 40-yard dash and a 4.23 second 20-yard shuttle shows how explosive he is off the snap of the ball and his agility. Allen is ranked second this year in sacks just .5 away from first in all college football with 17 sacks on the year. He is already projected as a top 10 draft pick but with his resume I can see him moving into the top 5. His best fit would be with either the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets and even possibly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Allen is a First-team Associated Press All-American and first-team All-SEC pick led the Wildcats with 88 tackles in 13 games. He is a beast, and he has some work cut out for him but he can make an impact for any team in the NFL.

  1. T.J. Hockenson (Tight End)

T.J. Hockenson. Courtesy of https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/nfl-draft-2019-comparisons-for-the-drafts-top-tight-ends-including-noah-fant-and-t-j-hockenson/.

This TE for Iowa is the number one ranked TE in the draft. Many people say Hockenson is ranked with the likes of Jason Witten, one of the best TE the league has seen. Hockenson has an average 40-yard dash at 4.7 seconds, with an amazing vertical jump of 37.5 in. His stats this past year are pretty good for a TE in playing college football with 49 receptions for 760 yards and 6 touchdowns. Being 6-foot-5 and weighing 251-pounds is an almost perfect body type for a TE, compared to arguably some of the greatest TE’s in the league like Zach Ertz, Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce. Any team would benefit from picking this man up. Hockenson is most definitely a first rounder and I would not be surprised if we see him go in the top 10.

 

  1. Quinnen Williams (Defensive Line)

Quinnen Williams. Courtesy of https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2019/01/05/quinnen-williams-alabama-afterthought-now-set-nfl-stardom/2493213002/.

This 6-3, 300-pounds Defensive Lineman for the University of Alabama is going to be a huge problem for the NFL offensives. His blazing 4.83 sec 40-yard dash shows how quick he can move from the front line to the back field and that that is one of the most important aspects of being a lineman. Every year we see these unfair athletes come out of the SEC and Alabama in particular, but Williams is no one to joke around with. He has so much strength that he can rip apart any offense you put him in front of and he will make his way into the back field. He has also racked up 45 solo tackles and picked up and additional 26 assists. His hands and feet move so fast, which is why he was the key to Alabama’s amazing run stopping defence. A lot of people see Williams as becoming a top seven pick in the draft and he one of the best chances in the draft to become a pro bowler and help bring his team’s defence to the top of the league.

  1. Nick Bosa (Defensive End)

Nick Bosa. Courtesy of https://wfan.radio.com/articles/jets-could-trade-down-draft-if-nick-bosa-gone.

I believe that both Benji’s and my top two players could easily be in either position. Nick Bosa for me is overrated but not too much. We are talking about a kid who missed pretty much his past season due to an injury. However, with Bosa’s three games he played this year with the Ohio State University Buckeyes he was responsible for 11 solo tackles four sacks and one forced fumble. If he isn’t the definition of a monster I don’t know what the definition would be. Standing at 6-foot-4 263-pounds and having a 4.79 sec 40-yard dash time and 29 reps for bench press shows his pure strength and quickness. With him missing 75% of the season he is still ranked at the very top of everyone’s list for best available. With what we have seen by Bosa I see no way he doesn’t become a better Bosa compared to his NFL brother Joey Bosa (Also from OSU). Nick Bosa has the potential to become defensive player of the year and to become a pro bowler for several years.

  1.  Kyler Murray (Quarterback)

Kyler Murray. Courtesy of https://www.crimsonandcreammachine.com/2019/3/13/18263852/oklahoma-football-pro-day-2019-recap-kyler-murray-throwing-nfl-draft.

Now with the list coming to an end there is no doubt in my mind that the 2018 Heisman award winner and Oklahoma University QB Kyler Murray. This guy is an amazing athlete not just for football. First off Murray was drafted by the Oakland Athletics to go play baseball but decided that he wanted to continue his football career and stay with football. Murray is the best QB you can ask for, he can play in the pocket, he has speed, and he is the best playmaker in the draft. While Murray is amazing he has one downfall and that is his height. At 5-10 he is the shortest QB in the NFL but that doesn’t affect him at all. It will be surprising if the Arizona Cardinals don’t pick him with the first overall pick of the draft, but if they don’t he will definitely be a top three draft pick.

Of course we will not know who gets picked when, until April 25 at 8 p.m. when the 2019 NFL draft will begin. Will we see the next first round mega-bust like Tim Couch? Or could a diamond in the rough drafted in sixth round like Tom Brady have his fate sealed this weekend? What we do know is that all the players who are eligible are the cream of the crop, and every single one is crossing their fingers, hoping that Roger Goodell calls out their name.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Top 5 most ready prospects coming out of the 2019 NFL Draft”

  1. Nihal Goli on April 26th, 2019 10:28 am

    I agree, great list you guys!

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