2019 Draft: Final Positional Rankings, Edge Defender

The end of the road, my pals. We’ve made it. Another year, another group of prospects, and another panic-stricken couple weeks leading up the draft just hoping that this front office has it all together and can hit in the early-rounds.

Briefly, before we proceed, some housekeeping items. I’ve often commented on how the draft is a “process”. Thoughts, opinions, and players’ grades change as we move closer to the finish line. Below, you can reference where my head was at for the initial unveiling of my positional rankings, followed by my pre-Combine thoughts, to where I ultimately ended up. It’s useful when contextualizing a players value, I think. If they stayed highly-touted throughout the months, chances are, we have a good player on our hands.

Early top-10 positional rankings are here. Pre-Combine rankings (thread) can be found here.


Nick Bosa (Round 1) isn’t quite Joey Bosa-good, but he isn’t too far off, either. That’s about all you need to know from an impact-standpoint. One of three blue-chip talents available for 2019; a special player at a critical position.

Brian Burns (Round 1) seems polarizing enough. He’s a consensus Day 1 player at this point, but many still circle back around to his build and ability to transition at the next level given the weight (or lack thereof). I only saw an ascending player who improved each game, parlayed that into a strong Combine (seriously, a strong Combine), all while showcasing quite the tool kit of pass rush moves. You want to avoid comparing players entering the league to future, first-ballot Hall of Famers, but a high-end comparison for Burns given the movement skills could be Von Miller.

Montez Sweat (Round 1) checked the “good Combine” box as well. He was one of the bigger winners, regardless of position, vaulting himself into the top-10 conversation. He’s nearly a 2-sigma athlete (97th percentile) who NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compared to Danielle Hunter. He needs to utilize all his athleticism and power better and more consistently, but he’s dripping with upside and potential.


Rashan Gary (Round 1-2) dropped some jaws at the Combine, as was expected. What he’s able to do at 6-4, 277 is special. The former five-star and nation’s top recruit never had to answer questions about his athletic profile, but rather, his funny production at Michigan. For such a highly-touted game-changer, it just wasn’t there, or not nearly consistently enough. I read a Mario Edwards Jr. comparison and have been scared ever since. He’s going to go high because of the ceiling, and with the right staff, I think he can get there.

Jachai Polite (Round 2) legitimately has some of the best tape in this group, but has suffered the most self-inflicted wounds throughout the “process”. By all accounts, he bombed the Combine, notably the interviews, and double-down with his performance at his pro day where he looked out of shape. I won’t sit behind a keyboard and judge the character of someone I’ve never met (although that’s what Twitter is for), but I imagine it’s affected his stock and we’ll see that reflected with where he’s eventually selected. There will be a point where you can’t ignore the tape, and he’s too good to pass up (value). He’s done himself zero favors and burnt a ton of cash, I’m sure.


L.J. Collier (Round 4) is going to “shock” and go a lot earlier than I have him projected anyway. He’s a one-year starter who has the career numbers that go along with that and doesn’t have the eye-popping athleticism (the opposite of that, really) that an early-round investment normally requires. There are parts of his game that someone will bang the table for. Zierlein highlights his “aggressiveness” and “violent hands”. Someone will reach (and it’ll probably be my favorite team).

Jaylon Ferguson (Round 4-5) will be an interesting case study. He was receiving some Day 1 (Day 2 at worse) buzz earlier on, and living off pretty impressive film (level of competition was talked about, I’m sure). But then he tested. He’s an average athlete at best, but his alarmingly bad agility scores have completely torpedoed his stock for the most part. Testing should matter, at least in some capacity.

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