2019 Draft: Top-10 Positional Rankings

I have no idea where 2018 went.

We just rung in the new year, capped of Week 17 in the NFL, setting the stage for professional football playoffs, on top of being knee-deep in college bowl season.

Many of us are still recovering from the holidays, perhaps still entertaining family and friends, whatever the case my be. All that said, and most importantly (it’s the least important):

It’s draft season.

For many of us, our favorite Sunday squads have been a disappointment on some level this year. For a smaller group of us, we’ve been looking ahead to the draft prior to the mid-point of the season. For an even smaller group, this is an annual occurrence. It’s been frustrating and depressing but hope springs eternal in the world of lottery picks.

Here are some even earlier thoughts on the various position groups from a couple months back:

RB: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-running-backs/

CB: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-cornerbacks/

LB: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-linebackers/

WR: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-wide-receivers/

SAF: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-safeties/

EDGE: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-edge-defenders/

IDL: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-interior-defensive-linemen/

TE: https://www.raidersbeat.com/take-five-2019-tight-ends/

The cool thing about the draft and the “process” in general, to me, is how much it evolves.

You’ll see some of my early top 5’s looking completely different than what I’ve presented below, in my updated top 10’s. The best talent evaluators (or who I would consider reputable and successful at what they do) are so good at not getting stuck. Opinions changes. The process is a grind. Great talent evaluators are able to go back, rewatch, reevaluate, and formulate new thoughts and opinions confidently as needed.

Now, while this isn’t my full-time line of work and not something I consider myself “great” at, I still have an opinion that I’m willing and able to share and the burning desire to talk-up a handful of different running backs each and every offseason.

Welcome to the 2019 NFL Draft.

(heights and weights listed below via NFL Draft Scout unless otherwise noted)


1. Dwayne Haskins Jr., Ohio State; Redshirt Sophomore (6-2, 220)

2. Daniel Jones, Duke; Redshirt Junior (6-3, 220)

3. Will Grier, West Virginia; Redshirt Senior (6-1, 223)

4. Drew Lock, Missouri; Senior (6-2, 225)

5. Tyree Jackson, Buffalo; Redshirt Junior (6-5, 245)*

6. Gardner Minshew II, Washington State; Redshirt Senior (6-0, 220)

7. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn; Redshirt Junior (6-1, 215)

8. Ryan Finley, North Carolina State; Redshirt Senior (6-3, 212)

9. Easton Stick, North Dakota State; Redshirt Senior (6-3, 221)

10. Brett Rypien, Boise State; Senior (6-1, 203)

Evaluating the quarterback position is the worst. No position is more important to a team; if you need one, you need to keep swinging until you get a hit. Haskins is easily the QB1, assuming he declares, with Justin Herbert returning to school. Stidham has all the tools and has shown “flashes” (albeit few and far between) of an elite signal-caller. Expectations were very high at one point, and he fell short for the most part. Still, a team (or teams) will fall in love with the aforementioned tools. This happens almost annually.

*Update: Jackson is in the transfer portal. He will not declare. This quarterback class stinks.

Running Back

1. Damien Harris, Alabama; Senior (5-9, 215)

2. Joshua Jacobs, Alabama; Junior (5-9, 216)

3. David Montgomery, Iowa State; Junior (5-9, 216)

4. Darrell Henderson, Memphis; Junior (5-8, 200)

5. Miles Sanders, Pennsylvania State; Junior (5-11, 215)

6. Devin “Motor” Singletary, Florida Atlantic; Junior (5-8, 200)

7. Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M; Junior (5-9, 200)

8. Mike Weber Jr., Ohio State; Redshirt Junior (5-8, 215)

9. Elijah Holyfield, Georgia; Junior (5-9, 215)

10. Travis Homer, Miami, Florida; Junior (5-9, 205)

In what many consider a relatively “weak” running back group (compared to recent years), Harris feels even more undervalued and almost slept-on. All he did at Alabama, in the feared SEC conference, was rack up back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons averaging more than 7-yards per tote. Jacobs, the other undervalued and largely unknown (at this point) Alabama runner, could be the better pro. He’s a complete back, willing and able in pass protection with a sure set of hands in the passing game. Henderson absolutely stuffed the box scores this season. His balance stands out to me, in addition to the long-speed.

Wide Receiver

1. N’Keal Harry, Arizona State; Junior (6-3, 213)

2. DeKaylin “D.K.” Metcalf, Mississippi; Redshirt Junior (6-2, 230)

3. Hakeem Butler, Iowa State; Redshirt Junior (6-4, 225)

4. Tyler Johnson, Minnesota; Junior (6-0, 200)

5. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma; Junior (5-9, 168)

6. Emanuel Hall, Missouri; Senior (6-2, 195)

7. Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State; Junior (6-2, 214)

8. Bryan Edwards, South Carolina; Junior (6-2, 220)

9. JJ Arceaga-Whiteside, Stanford; Redshirt Junior (6-2, 225)

10. A.J. Brown, Mississippi; Junior (6-1, 230)

This year’s wide receiver class is what many have been waiting for for some time now (although we’re told that the league is down on this group’s prospects). I’m a big fan. There is plenty of talent at the top and depth throughout. Assuming Metcalf‘s recovery from his neck injury goes accordingly, he could contend for WR1 honors. Butler has stitched together a super-impressive campaign this season and put the big wideout back on the map. He’s a monster at the catch-point. Hall has the ideal build with what looks like legit 4.4-wheels. One of the premiere deep threats in this group.

Tight End

1. Noah Fant, Iowa; Junior (6-4, 241)

2. Kaden Smith, Stanford; Junior (6-5, 253)*

3. T.J. Hockenson, Iowa; Redshirt Sophomore (6-4, 250)

4. Dawson Knox, Mississippi; Junior (6-3, 257)

5. Irv Smith Jr., Alabama; Junior (6-3, 241)

6. Alizé Mack, Notre Dame; Redshirt Junior (6-4, 247)

7. Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M; Redshirt Junior (6-4, 250)

8. Isaac Nauta, Georgia; Junior (6-3, 240)

9. Mitchell Wilcox, South Florida; Redshirt Junior (6-4, 245)

10. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt; Redshirt Junior (6-3, 255)

2017 boasted one of the more intriguing (athletic) tight end classes in recent memory. I’m not sure how closely 2018’s offering will stack-up at the Combine, but talent-wise, they should be talked-up similarly. Fant could pace the group and take top athletic honors. He’s rumored to have a 42-inch vertical, amongst other weight room accolades. It’s lazy, but Smith will draw some Zach Ertz comparisons for reasons beyond the alma mater. Hockenson, while not the athlete that his teammate is, should not disappoint in that category and offers a more well-rounded game. Again, college aside, it’ll be easy to draw George Kittle-comparisons throughout the process.

*Height and weight per The Draft Network (not available via NFL Draft Scout at the time of this writing).

Offensive Linemen

1. Jonah Williams, Alabama; Junior (6-5, 301)

2. Cody Ford, Oklahoma; Redshirt Junior (6-3, 338)

3. Greg Little, Mississippi; Junior (6-5, 325)

4. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin; Redshirt Sophomore (6-1, 319)

5. Andre Dillard, Washington State; Redshirt Senior (6-5, 310)

6. Dalton Risner, Kansas State; Redshirt Senior (6-4, 308)

7. David Edwards, Wisconsin; Redshirt Junior (6-6, 305)

8. Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State; Redshirt Senior (6-2, 300)

9. Michael Deiter, Wisconsin; Redshirt Senior (6-4, 310)

10. Jawaan Taylor, Florida; Junior (6-4, 328)

Similar to Tom Cable, I’m not much for scouting offensive linemen. While their play is of the utmost importance, and a dominate prospect can absolutely change your offense’s fortunes, I can’t bring myself to watch more than a handful of players at the position each year. So, I’ll combine the top tackles and interior linemen in one concise top ten list. The top of that list starts with Williams out of Alabama. The former five-star and nation’s second highest rated OT for 2016 is now the consensus. Risner and Bradbury, respectively, can function all along the interior of the line, but both project at center most comfortably.

Edge Defender

1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State; Junior (6-3, 263)

2. Josh Allen, Kentucky; Senior (6-4, 258)

3. Montez Sweat, Mississppi State; Senior (6-5, 245)

4. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson; Redshirt Junior (6-4, 265)

5. Jachai Polite, Florida; Junior (6-1, 242)

6. Brian Burns, Florida State; Junior (6-4, 235)

7. Zach Allen, Boston College; Senior  (6-4, 285)

8. Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois; Redshirt Junior (5-11, 237)

9. Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion; Redshirt Senior (6-3, 255)

10. D’Andre Walker, Georgia; Senior (6-2, 245)

The younger Bosa is the best player in this year’s draft class as of this writing. Allen returned to school and made himself a boatload of money. Ferrell has been one of the more consistent pass rushers in the country, playing alongside what may be the most stacked defensive line. If Burns can build out his frame (or rather, if some NFL team believes that next step is doable), I think we see him rocket up boards given the raw ability and the position he plays.

Interior Defensive Line

1. Quinnen Williams, Alabama; Redshirt Sophomore (6-2, 295)

2. Ed Oliver, Houston; Junior (6-1, 292)

3. Rashan Gary, Michigan; Junior (6-4, 283)

4. Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State; Junior (6-2, 300)

5. Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame; Senior (6-5, 305)

6. Christian Wilkins, Clemson; Senior (6-3, 315)

7. Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State; Redshirt Junior (6-2, 286)

8. Dexter Lawrence, Clemson; Junior (6-3, 350)

9. Gerald Willis III, Miami, Florida; Redshirt Senior (6-3, 300)

10. Raekwon Davis, Alabama; Junior (6-6, 316)

What’s there to say about this group that hasn’t already been said? It’s the crown jewel of 2019, clearly. Williams is pushing Bosa as the best player in the class. He’s been unstoppable for nearly every single contest. Oliver is a freaky athlete for his size, and we’ve seen his game-breaking ability on display plenty of times. Gary was the country’s premiere recruit back in 2016. He stepped foot on campus and more or less lived up to those lofty expectations. He was banged up this season, so he may be an afterthought at the moment (that would be a mistake).


1. Devin White, Louisiana State; Junior (6-0, 240)

2. Devin Bush Jr., Michigan; Junior (5-11, 233)

3. Troy Dye, Oregon; Junior (6-2, 224)

4. Bobby Okereke, Stanford; Redshirt Senior (6-2, 234)

5. Germaine Pratt, North Carolina State; Redshirt Senior (6-2, 240)

6. Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington; Senior (5-11, 221)

7. Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame; Senior (5-11, 240)

8. Vosean Joseph, Florida; Junior (6-0, 226)

9. Joe Giles-Harris, Duke; Redshirt Junior (6-0, 240)

10. Joe Bachie Jr., Michigan State; Junior (6-1, 238)

White was once a running back recruit who was a standout athlete. Nowadays, he’s still the freaky, standout athlete, but playing linebacker. And excelling. Dye and Joseph are perfect fits and look like “today’s” linebackers; essentially rocked-up safeties who are able to fly around and hit everything that moves. Pratt‘s a converted safety himself. Burr-Kirven was stupid-productive, racking up 165 total tackles this season.


1. Andraez “Greedy” Williams, Louisiana State; Redshirt Sophomore (6-2, 185)

2. Byron Murphy III, Washington; Redshirt Sophomore (5-11, 182)

3. DeAndre Baker, Georgia; Senior (5-11, 185)

4. Trayvon Mullen, Clemson; Junior (6-1, 195)

5. Trevon Diggs, Alabama; Junior (6-1, 199)

6. Rock Ya-Sin, Temple; Senior (6-0, 190)

7. Kristian Fulton, Louisiana State; Junior (5-11, 192)

8. Amani Oruwariye, Pennsylvania State; Redshirt Senior (6-0, 203)

9. Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt; Junior (6-2, 208)

10. Julian Love, Notre Dame; Junior (5-10, 193)

The gap between Williams and Murphy isn’t all that wide. The latter is apart of what appears to be a defensive back factory out in Washington, having shipped a handful in recent years. Murphy graded out as PFF’s highest rated cornerback this season. The top of this year’s group is very talented. Baker is another PFF favorite, literally blanketing the SEC with 372 coverage snaps and not allowing a single score. Ya-Sin may be running away with the “best name vote” but his play should garner similar attention. He should get work in man coverage sooner rather than later on Sunday’s.


1. Deionte Thompson, Alabama; Redshirt Junior (6-1, 196)

2. Juan Thornhill, Virginia; Senior (6-0, 210)

3. Nasir Adderley, Delaware; Senior (5-11, 200)

4. Taylor Rapp, Washington; Junior (5-11, 200)

5. Darnell Savage Jr., Maryland; Senior (5-10, 200)

6. Brandon Jones, Texas; Junior (5-11, 205)

7. Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State; Senior (5-11, 215)

8. Marquise Blair, Utah; Senior (6-0, 195)

9. Mike Edwards, Kentucky; Redshirt Senior (5-11, 200)

10. Jacob Huff, Minnesota; Senior (5-9, 210)

Adderley is flying under the radar given his school’s FCS status, but make no mistakes, we have a player on our hands. He checks all the boxes from ball skills to range, and everything in between. Level of competition will be the only topic that gets revisited. Savage is a guy I’d play out of the box exclusively, allowing him to work downhill as often as possible. His ability and consistency as a tackler is second to none. Abram was the heart and soul of a Mississippi State defense that had a couple of NFL-bound pieces on it. The intangibles will keep his floor high, but on the field, he flies around with unparalleled intensity from start to finish.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive