NFL Mock Draft 2019: Stock Watch and Predictions for Combine's Top Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 4, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 03: Defensive lineman Montez Sweat of Mississippi State runs the 40-yard dash during day four of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The testing results from the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine gave us a good look at which prospects are skyrocketing up draft boards or plummeting down them. 

A few projected first-round picks reinforced their draft status with impressive numbers from the most important drills, while others suffered from poor numbers and not-so-great off-the-field interviews. 

Based off the results from the combine and feedback from experts and NFL personnel, the projections for the first round shifted a bit. 

The draft board will continue to experience shake-ups ahead of the first round on April 25, but thanks to the combine, we have a clearer idea of where most prospects will land. 


2019 NFL 1st-Round Mock Draft

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

2. San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, LB, Kentucky

4. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

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

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

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

8. Detroit Lions: Devin White, LB, LSU 

9. Buffalo Bills: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

10. Denver Broncos: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston 

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

12. Green Bay Packers: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

13. Miami Dolphins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

14. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

15. Washington Redskins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri 

16. Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

17. Cleveland Browns: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

18. Minnesota Vikings: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

19. Tennessee Titans: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

21. Seattle Seahawks: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

22. Baltimore Ravens: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

23. Houston Texans: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

26. Indianapolis Colts: Jachai Polite, DE, Florida

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

31. Los Angeles Rams: Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech 

32. New England Patriots: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa 


Stock Watch

Montez Sweat 

Few players have improved their draft stock more since the end of the college football season than Mississippi State defensive end Montez Sweat.

Sweat turned heads with his 4.41-second 40-yard dash time at the combine, which was faster than some high-profile skill-position players have recorded.

For context, Sweat ran 0.12 seconds faster than Jadeveon Clowney, who was selected with the No. 1 overall pick in 2014, per SEC Network: 

SEC Network @SECNetwork

4️⃣.4️⃣1️⃣🔥 @HailStateFB's Montez Sweat just broke @clownejd's NFL Combine record! https://t.co/xjTsQZyXD7

Sweat's 40 time was better than the numbers Tarik Cohen and Odell Beckham Jr. posted at their respective combines, per ESPN Stats & Info: 

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Mississippi State's Montez Sweat just posted a 4.41 (!) official 40-time. He's also: - 6'5 3/4" - 260 lbs And ran a faster 40 than: - Tarik Cohen (4.42 at 179 lbs) - OBJ (4.43 at 198 lbs) It's the fastest 40-time since 2006 by any player at least 6'5" & 260 lbs. https://t.co/zSwDlK7EzC

But that wasn't the only drill in which Sweat impressed, as The Athletic's Dane Brugler noted his remarkable three-cone drill time: 

Dane Brugler @dpbrugler

Montez Sweat continues to kill the Combine 7.00 3-Cone Time Context: The average among the top-30 NFL edge rushers is 7.14

The interest in Sweat should continue to grow as the draft gets closer, and it's not out of the question for him to skyrocket into the top five. 

Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen are still the consensus top three players in the draft class in the eyes of some experts, including Albert Breer of The MMQB

But Sweat could come quickly off the board once Bosa, Williams and Allen are selected. With the Oakland Raiders looking for an impact pass-rusher, he could be chosen as high as No. 4.

Sweat recorded 8.5 sacks last season at Mississippi State, and he recorded 10.5 sacks the year before. 

The need for a proven pass-rusher to fill the void left by the Khalil Mack trade and Sweat's combine numbers could make him too hard to pass up for the Raiders, who can fill other needs with their two other first-round picks.


D.K. Metcalf

The market for wide receivers got a bit more intriguing over the last week, as Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf put up ridiculous numbers in Indianapolis. 

Metcalf's 4.33 time in the 40-yard dash, 27 bench-press reps and 40.5-inch vertical jump were among the best numbers in each category for wide receivers, as Fox Sports NFL pointed out: 


Remember the name D.K. Metcalf come April 👀 The @OleMissFB WR put on a show at the combine! https://t.co/zOxc1iYEmc

Metcalf has to be considered as a top-10 pick by teams in need of wide receivers. 

The team to watch for Metcalf is the Buffalo Bills, who need to bolster their receiving corps for Josh Allen's second year under center.

In order to feel confident with the selection of Metcalf, the Bills need to do a ton of research to make sure he'll be more of an Amari Cooper than a Kevin White as a top-10 receiver. 

Cooper and Mike Evans are among the success stories of wide receivers chosen in the top 10 over the last five years, but there have been a few busts as well, like White and John Ross. 

But if the Bills are certain Metcalf will build a connection with Allen for years to come, he has to be the pick instead of waiting until the later rounds to select a wide receiver. 


Jachai Polite

Jachai Polite's draft stock is going in the opposite direction of Sweat and Metcalf after his far-from-impressive showing in Indianapolis. 

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller noted the bad impression the Florida defensive end left on multiple scouts, as he didn't test or interview well. Polite made some interesting comments when discussing his meetings with teams in public, as he stated a few franchises bashed him. 

The Green Bay Packers were one of the teams that came under fire from Polite, as Zach Heilprin of 96.7 FM in Madison, Wisconsin, pointed out: 

Zach Heilprin @ZachHeilprin

The full exchange with Florida's Jachai Polite when he was asked about his meeting with the #Packers. https://t.co/OD49VbAx8x

As the Draft Network's Jon Ledyard noted, Polite may not have received unique treatment from teams and is just reacting to the interview process more negatively than others: 

Jon Ledyard @LedyardNFLDraft

This is the third Combine I’ve been too. I’ve never heard a player say a team has bashed him or been overly negative to him in interviews. I don’t think teams changed that up with Jachai Polite. I think we’re seeing his response compared to others going through same process.

The Florida product has first-round talent, and which was on display during his final college season. However, Polite may have damaged his potential of going high in the first round. Keep an eye on some playoff teams, like Indianapolis, willing to take a risk on the defensive end because they can bring him into a strong locker room. 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.