NFL Mock Draft 2019: Predictions, Analysis for Combine Stars and Top Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2019

Mississippi WR D.K. Metcalf
Mississippi WR D.K. MetcalfMichael Conroy/Associated Press

The 2019 NFL draft is now just over a month away. While the collective football world has been following this year's crop of incoming prospects for months now, the amount of buzz and speculation surrounding the draft will ramp up in the coming weeks.

This final push toward the draft really began in early March at the NFL Scouting Combine, where several prospects made names for themselves.

Here, we'll check in on some of the biggest standouts of the scouting combine and examine how their draft stocks have fared in recent weeks. First, though, we have an updated Round 1 mock.


2019 NFL Mock Draft Round 1

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

4. Oakland Raiders: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

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

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

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

8. Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

9. Buffalo Bills: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

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

13. Miami Dolphins: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

14. Atlanta Falcons: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

15. Washington Redskins: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

16. Carolina Panthers: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

17. New York Giants (from Cleveland): Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

18. Minnesota Vikings: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama

19. Tennessee Titans: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

21. Seattle Seahawks: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

22. Baltimore Ravens: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

23. Houston Texans: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

26. Indianapolis Colts: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

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

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

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

31. Los Angeles Rams: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

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


D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

Mississippi wide receiver has the build of a linebacker and the speed of an elite wide receiver. After running the 40-yard dash in just 4.33 seconds at the combine—while also measuring in at 6'3" and 228 pounds and putting up 27 reps on the bench press—Metcalf grabbed the attention of NFL decision-makers.

While Metcalf had some tremendous combine numbers, his slow three-cone time likely left teams with a question mark over his ability to translate his athleticism into production:

Michael Giardi @MikeGiardi

From NFL research, Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf left scouts scratching their heads after recording the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.33) among all players to weigh 225+ pounds while also posting a 3-cone time (7.38) slower than 208 quarterbacks who have run the drill since 2003.

There's a difference between track speed and football speed. Metcalf can run fast in a straight line, but if he cannot move fluidly in and out of breaks, he's going to struggle to be a complete receiver at the NFL level.

Metcalf's stock remains high, but that could change at Mississippi's pro day on March 29. Teams are going to want Metcalf to show better movement in drills like the three-cone and the short shuttle. If he again struggles or doesn't participate in these events, it will be difficult for him to remain in the conversation for the best receiver prospect in the draft.


Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

If you found Metcalf's combination of size and speed surprising, then the numbers Mississippi State's Montez Sweat brings to the table are downright ludicrous. The hulking 6'6", 260-pound pass-rusher clocked a blazing 4.41-second 40 at the combine. 

NFL teams love seeing numbers like this for a pass-rusher. A player as quick as Sweat is going to reach the quarterback more often than not once he's beaten his blocker. Sweat did it 11.5 times in 2018 and 22.5 times over the last two seasons.

Sweat's stock remains high, even though he was diagnosed with a minor heart condition at the combine. As NFL Media's Ian Rapoport pointed out, the condition wasn't serious enough to prevent Sweat from working out.

"In the past, combine doctors have prevented players from participating because of health concerns, including sending one player home this year," Rapoport wrote. "Ultimately, the combine deemed his condition low-risk and cleared Sweat to participate."

The combine medical staff wasn't too concerned with Sweat's condition, and neither are NFL teams, according to NFL Media's Gil Brandt:

Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt

I talked to decision-makers for several NFL teams and all said they'd pass @HailStateFB pass rusher Montez Sweat on a physical. In fact, I've been told he won't even be called back to Indy for a medical re-check. Great news for one of the top defenders in this draft.

It's unlikely that the condition will cause Sweat's stock to drop before the draft. Mississippi State's pro day is scheduled for March 27.


Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

While reigning Heisman winner Kyler Murray didn't set the world on fire at the combine—in fact, he didn't even work out—he did generate some draft momentum by measuring in at just over 5'10" and 207 pounds. Those numbers were significant because they were similar to Russell Wilson's measurements at the combine (5'11", 204 lbs) in 2012. 

Wilson, of course, has had no trouble succeeding in the NFL at his size, and Murray's measurements seem to have cemented him as a high first-round pick—almost as if being a half-inch shorter would mean certain failure.

While Murray didn't work out at the combine, he underwent a throwing session at Oklahoma's pro day, and that's only added to his draft stock.

"Evaluators in attendance said Murray impressed the audience at the school's indoor fieldhouse with about 70 throws in which he displayed excellent ball placement to all levels of the field, and both left and right," Jenny Vrentas of the MMQB wrote.

The debate on whether Murray is the best quarterback in this class—and whether the Arizona Cardinals should give up on 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen and grab him at No. 1—will likely continue up until draft day. However, Murray has done nothing to send his stock sliding since hoisting the Heisman a few months ago.