2019 NFL Mock Draft: Projections for Event's Fastest-Rising Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2019

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 22:  Devin White #40 of the LSU Tigers returns a fumble during the first half against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

It's amazing just how quickly an NFL prospect can go from a draft afterthought to a surefire first-round pick.

Last year, for example, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield was barely considered a borderline first-rounder because of his modest six-foot stature, but after he wowed in interviews and on whiteboards, he worked his way up to being the No. 1 overall pick.

Something similar is currently going on with fellow Oklahoma product Kyler Murray. Though just 5'10", he has weaved his way through the process to go from potential first-rounder to possible target for the Arizona Cardinals at No. 1.

Murray isn't the only prospect rapidly rising heading into the draft, though. Here, we'll examine some of the others, along with an updated first-round 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: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

8. Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

9. Buffalo Bills: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

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: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

17. New York Giants (from Cleveland): Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

18. Minnesota Vikings: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama

19. Tennessee Titans: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

21. Seattle Seahawks: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

22. Baltimore Ravens: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

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): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

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): Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

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

32. New England Patriots: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia


Devin White, LB, LSU

LSU linebacker Devin White came into the draft process with some hype because of his statistical production and some solid game tape. He amassed 123 tackles in 2018 alone, to go with 12.0 tackles for a loss, 3.0 sacks and five passes defended.

However, the 21-year-old's stock started to take off after he rocked the NFL combine. He measured in at a solid 6'0" and 237 pounds while also running a ridiculous 4.42-second 40, recording a 39.5-inch vertical and repping out 22 on the bench press.

Even former LSU star and current Cardinals cornerback ace Patrick Peterson was impressed:

Patrick Peterson /P2 @P2

WOOWW @DevinWhite__40 STATEMENT MADE. THAT BOI CAN GEAUX!! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

NFL teams have been so impressed by White's rise that he might even be in the conversation to go within the first few picks of the draft, a spot not usually reserved for inside linebackers.

Greg Auman @gregauman

Asked specifically about LSU's Devin White and whether a linebacker can go as high as No. 5, Bruce Arians actually mentioned another LB prospect first: "Devin Bush, Devin White, I mean, these guys are special. Then you look at those outside guys, it's an unbelievable group."

White and Michigan's Devin Bush may be riding the wave of momentum started by off-ball linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Darius Leonard last season, but White is certainly adding to it through the draft process.


T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Tight end T.J. Hockenson of Iowa looks on during day three of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson wasn't getting a ton of draft buzz in early January. In fact, he was even being overshadowed by teammate Noah Fant, who was then widely regarded as the top tight end in this class.

This was largely due to the fact Hockenson was an underclassman. Once he declared for the draft, his stock started to skyrocket.

"Iowa's John Mackey Award winner, T.J. Hockenson, has emerged as the best in this class," Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller wrote in early February. "Hockenson has it all."

The 21-year-old's stock has only continued to climb since then. He ran a 4.7-second 40 at the combine, which seems a bit slow until you consider he's a 6'5", 250-pound tight end.

Hockenson has gone from potential first-rounder to possible top-10 selection in a matter of months. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. even has him going to the Denver Broncos at 10 in his latest mock.


Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State

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

Mississippi State edge-rusher Montez Sweat first started gaining steam during the Senior Bowl. He dominated in practices and forced NFL scouts to take notice.

"I projected him for the late teens in Round 1 coming into this week, but that might be too low for him," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote of the 22-year-old.

He then took to the combine and really started turning heads. He ran a blazing 4.41-second 40, which is impressive for a 6'6", 260-pound edge-rusher.

It's worth noting Sweat isn't just a workout warrior—he flashes on game film and produced 22.0 sacks over the last two seasons—but his workouts do have him rising fast.