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
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:
Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero
NFL clubs received a memo today that the three players barred from participating in drills or testing at the scouting combine (Jeffery Simmons, Jaylon Ferguson and Preston Williams) will now be allowed to participate in limited interviews Wednesday in addition to medical evals.
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.