2019 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Scouting Combine Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2019

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) warms up, before the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The NFL scouting combine is one of the most important events of the pre-draft process. While no prospect should be selected based purely on what he accomplished at the Underwear Olympics, top prospects can cement themselves in Indianapolis.

Take former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley's 2018 performance for example. Barkley was unquestionably the top running-back prospect in the draft class, but his ridiculous 4.4-second 40 at 233 pounds—along with a 41-inch vertical and 29 bench-press reps—essentially ensured he would be one of the first players off the board.

With the 2019 combine upon us—players begin reporting on Tuesday—we're likely to see a few top guys cement themselves, while some will see their stocks to rise and fall. Where do the elite prospects sit? Let's take a look.

Here is an updated first-round mock, followed by some of the latest draft-related news.

              

2019 NFL Mock Draft Round 1

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

3. New York Jets: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

9. Buffalo Bills: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

12. Green Bay Packers: Devin White, LB, LSU

13. Miami Dolphins: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

14. Atlanta Falcons: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

15. Washington Redskins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

16. Carolina Panthers: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi

17. Cleveland Browns: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

18. Minnesota Vikings: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

19. Tennessee Titans: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

21. Seattle Seahawks: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

22. Baltimore Ravens: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

23. Houston Texans: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia 

26. Indianapolis Colts: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

31. Los Angeles Rams: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

               

Thompson Won't Work Out at Combine

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 03:  Deionte Thompson #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after the LSU Tigers missed a second half field goal at Tiger Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alabama won the game 29-0. (Photo by Gregory Shamu
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Unfortunately, not every draft hopeful gets to showcase his skills at the scouting combine. Former Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and former Oklahoma receiver Marquise Brown are among potential first-round picks who won't be able to work out.

Simmons was not invited because of a past assault arrest and also tore his ACL while preparing for pre-draft workouts. Brown underwent Lisfranc surgery in January.

It appears that former Alabama safety Deionte Thompson, another possible first-rounder, will be joining Simmons and Brown on the absentee list. According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, Thompson recently underwent wrist surgery:

The good news is that the surgery isn't expected to affect Thompson long term. The downside is that he won't be able to audition alongside other top safety prospects in front of all 32 teams.

                    

Uninvited Players Will Get to Interview

Simmons wasn't the only player to not receive an invite to the combine because of a past transgression. Louisiana Tech edge-rusher Jaylon Ferguson, another potential first-rounder, and Colorado State wide receiver Preston Williams were also not given invitations.

The combine has a policy against inviting players who have past issues of violence.

However, it seems that the decision-makers have decided to tweak the rules a bit in order to make things easier on NFL teams interested in said prospects. According to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero, Simmons, Ferguson and Williams will be allowed to participate in "limited" interviews and medical evaluations:

This is a move that benefits both the players and their potential employers, and it's one that makes a lot of sense. Teams will want answers about past incidents, as well as knowledge of the prospects' states of health. Barring the players from the combine would mean a team would have to schedule a private meeting with each player to accomplish this.

Participating in workouts and drills is still off the table for these prospects.

                    

Murray Still Selling Football Commitment

Oklahoma product and reigning Heisman winner Kyler Murray insists that he's committed to playing football over baseball—despite the fact that he was a first-round pick in the MLB draft for the Oakland Athletics.

Murray is selling his football commitment to both the NFL and to Oakland.

"I mean, they can hold out all the hope they want to," Murray said of the A's, per Jake Trotter of ESPN.com. "I'm going to play football."

The problem with Murray's commitment to football is that it may ring hollow for some NFL teams. Murray seems to want to prove he's a franchise-caliber quarterback, but he's also unsure of how much he will participate in the combine. He says that the Athletics are just holding out hope, but they do remain a backup plan if Murray doesn't like the situation in which he finds himself after the draft.

There will be no shortage of teams wanting to speak with Murray at the combine.

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