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2019 NFL Draft Rankings 100-40

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Penn State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

4th-5th Round

100. L.J. Scott RB Michigan State - An ankle injury limited Scott to just five games last season, and he even considered redshirting before deciding to enter the draft. As a sophomore in 2016, Scott looked like an early-round player, posting 186 yards from scrimmage and a score against Michigan, and 236 yards and two TDs against Ohio State. He finished that season with 994 rushing yards and 147 receiving yards, and averaged 5.9 yards per touch. While Scott was never able to build on that, he’s still a big back who can contribute in the passing game, and at his best reminded me of Browns RB Kareem Hunt

99. Malik Carney LB North Carolina - Carney finished 2018 with 6 sacks and 5 (!) forced fumbles in eight games. He’s a little stiff and undersized to project as a starting-caliber edge rusher, but he should be able to contribute on special teams and as a situational pass rusher.

98. Jaylon Ferguson DE Louisiana Tech - The FBS’s all-time sack leader, Ferguson has had a regrettable draft season, first having his combine invitation revoked due to an off-field fight his freshman year, and then posting historically poor agility testing at his pro day. His best bet for long term success may be to continue adding bulk to his frame like Patriots lineman Michael Bennett did earlier in his career.

97. Max Scharping OT Northern Illinois - Scharping is heavy for a tackle at nearly 330 pounds, but he’s a fair athlete with good lower body strength. He’s a strong pass protector, but like many big guys, it’s a chore for him to change directions laterally, and that can leave him vulnerable to inside pass rush moves. Scharping may ultimately find success in moving inside to guard, like former Ohio State/Niners/Vikings/Cardinals lineman, Alex Boone.

96. Javon Patterson OL Ole Miss - A three-and-a-half year starter for the Rebels, Patterson has experience at both guard spots, and at center. In his toughest matchup of the season, the gutty senior lineman held his own against the vaunted Mississippi State D-line. Patterson offers good versatility off the bench or as a spot starter. He’s a similar prospect to former Cardinal and current Bear Ted Larsen.

95. Dre’Mont Jones 3T Ohio State - Jones posted career-highs with 8.5 sacks and 13 TFLs in 2018, but as a pro prospect he’s a ‘tweener who’s undersized for the interior, and lacks the length to play 5-Tech. His limitations as an edge rusher showed up in the Rose Bowl vs short-armed Washington tackle Kaleb McGary, who otherwise looked clumsy in pass protection. Jones was a very good college player, but he projects as a situational/rotational 3-Tech as a pro, which may limit his NFL appeal.

94. Anthony Ratliff-Williams WR North Carolina - ARW was a combine snub after forgoing his senior season. On the surface, his 2018 stats look disappointing, but he accounted for about 25% of the receiving yards in an abysmal UNC pass offense. Ratliff-Williams is a former high school QB who can play split end, flanker and slot receiver. He’s a strong runner and effective blocker, and his special teams experience will give him a key edge when it’s time for roster cut-downs this fall.

93. David Montgomery RB Iowa State - A darling of Pro Football Focus and the draftnik community, Montgomery draws praise for his ability to force missed tackles. His most ardent supporters will blame his low rushing average on poor O-line play, and while that was certainly a contributing factor, Montgomery middling speed and burst were as well. For his career, only 3.6% of his non-red zone carries resulted in a gain of 20 or more yards. That’s 38th out of 47 FBS RBs I sampled this year. This isn’t to say that Montgomery is awful. He’s a tough runner and productive receiver. But he’s more of a Corey Clement-type rotational back than an NFL starter.

92. Damarea Crockett RB Missouri - Another combine snub, Crockett probably surprised the NFL by declaring after nagging injuries tarnished his 2018 season. But he posted an impressive 4.5 40 at 225 pounds during his pro day workout. Crockett ran for 1062 yards and averaged 6.9 YPC as a freshman in the SEC in 2016. I think he can recapture some of that magic if he stays healthy. He reminds me of Isaiah Crowell, which wouldn’t be too shabby if he puts together a similar pro career.

91. Oshane Ximines DE Old Dominion - Ximines is a college sack master who finds success much the same way Nate Orchard did for Utah several years ago. Ximines relies on patience and strength, and when he doesn’t get home to the QB he’s good at timing his leaps to bat down passes at the line. But average speed and agility show up on tape, and probably limit him to a rotational role in the pros.

90. Byron Cowart DL Maryland - Cowart was Rivals’ top overall recruit in 2015, but never got his footing at Auburn. He transferred after logging just 1.5 TFLs in 25 games. As a senior at Maryland, he finally showed some glimpses, finishing the season with 3 sacks, 5 TFLs and 2 interceptions. Cowart, unlike Dre’Mont Jones, does have the length to play 5-Tech and the bulk to play inside on a more regular basis. That versatility will serve him well, but he’s still a bit of a project.

89. Tony Pollard WR Memphis - Pollard primarily lined up in the slot for the Tigers, but has the capacity to fill in at running back, and he’s one of the best special teams players in the draft. His 97-yard kickoff return for a TD in the Birmingham Bowl was the 7th of his career, and put him in a four-way tie for the FBS record. While kick returns are a dying art, Pollard’s experience in that facet of the game will serve him well as he tries to make a roster.

3rd-4th Round

88. Greg Little OT Ole Miss - Occasionally awkward looking, playing with too much forward lean, Little still doesn’t get beat often in pass protection. He does well to mirror his man, displays good timing with his hands, and can stay with inside moves. As a run blocker, Little is 50/50, but he’s a good enough pass blocker to hold onto and develop. I could see him winding up on the right side. If he slides due to poor athletic testing, Little will be a good value pick.

87. Mitch Hyatt OT Clemson - Like Little, Hyatt has been an effective pass protector, rarely beaten for a sack or penalized. Also like Little, Hyatt is an inconsistent run blocker with a tendency to lean in too much and get off balance. Hyatt gets the edge over Little because he’s a more agile guy who I think has a better chance of remaining at left tackle.

86. Rock Ya-Sin ZCB Temple - The “Z” here is for “zone,” as I think Ya-Sin is limited to a zone scheme. He doesn’t have the speed or hips that I want to see in man coverage. When the play is in front of him he looks strong and aggressive, and makes plays on the ball, but I’d worry about his recovery and deep ball tracking if he’s being asked to cover one-on-one downfield.

85. Blake Cashman LB Minnesota - Cashman is a tough guy who stays around the ball and can make tackles in space. Still, his outstanding athletic testing at the combine was a surprise to me. He turned into an every down player in college last season, and has the potential to be a three-down ‘backer in the pros. At very least he will be a core special teamer.

84. Miles Sanders RB Penn State - Sanders had enormous shoes to fill after Saquon Barkley departed for the NFL, and the former performed adequately in his lone season as a starter. Sanders proved to be athletic at the combine, but his game gives me pause. He’s not as decisive or powerful inside as I’d like to see, he falls in love with hurdling defenders, and his rocky pass protection will be a roadblock to playing time at the next level. I consider Sanders a work in progress.

83. Damien Harris RB Alabama - I get the feeling that Harris lulled draftniks to sleep with consistent productivity. He led the Tide in rushing each of the last three seasons, and he runs with a low pad level and forward lean that allows him to regularly pick up 4-5 yards or more behind a strong offensive line. Harris is a good receiver, and has improved his pass protection over the years. He’s not particularly fast or shifty, but he gets the job done. He reminds me a bit of Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon as a prospect.

82. Will Grier QB West Virginia - I seem to have wildly underestimated Baker Mayfield, who I graded as a Day 2 prospect. Grier might be the guy I thought Baker was. Grier is a little taller, and about the same caliber of athlete, but he doesn’t throw with the same velocity, accuracy or anticipation as Mayfield. Plus, Grier is actually more than a week older than last year’s number one pick, having turned 24 earlier this month. Grier will start NFL games, but the best comparison I could find for him was Kevin Kolb, so I don’t see him as a long term answer.

81. Deandre Baker CB Georgia - It’s easy to like Baker’s aggressive nature and ability to play the ball. He even measured up with adequate size and arm length. Baker’s technique, instincts and on-field attitude have mitigated his average speed and athleticism to this point, but I have concerns about how this will translate to man coverage vs NFL receivers.

80. Julian Love CB Notre Dame - I really like Love’s nose for the ball, but have serious reservations about his feet. He’s regularly flat-footed and slow to move his feet, or taking his first step in toward the line of scrimmage. It’s akin to a baseball player who’s new to playing outfield and instinctively freezing or stepping toward the infield on contact. Love shows enough speed and quickness in drills that I think he can develop, but he looks like a guy who needs some technique cleanup before he’s ready for a big role.

79. Bryce Love RB Stanford - If not for a December ACL injury, Love would be higher on my list. During his historic 2017 season, 13.3% of his non-red zone carries went for 20 yards or more. For his career that number is 10.2%, second only to Darrell Henderson in this class. That makes Love a Top Two breakaway threat in this draft, but it remains to be seen how he’ll recover from his surgery. I’d have to wait until the 3rd-4th round turn to roll the dice.

78. Terry McLaurin WR Ohio State - I thought I was high on “Touchdown” Terry until he caught fire after the Senior Bowl and combine. He even made his way into the first round of one of Mel Kiper’s mocks. McLaurin is a good-sized guy with deep speed, and is an incredible special teams player. But he also turns 24 in September, and even in his breakout season (35 REC 701 YDS 11 TD), finished third on the Buckeyes in receiving yards, and fourth in receptions. I already knew McLaurin would test well, so I’ve had him graded in this range for a long time. And it still feels like the right range.

77. Josh Jacobs RB Alabama - Analysis of Jacobs has been a draft analyst “heat check” culminating in Daniel Jeremiah’s half court prayer of ranking Jacobs as high as 5th overall. If Jacobs hits, it’s a great shot, but it’s far more likely to miss the backboard altogether. Jacobs is a fine player. He’s a slasher who attacks second level defenders, he’s a good receiver, and he provides special teams value. However, Jacobs is not the big play threat his lofty rankings would suggest. He had one carry go for more than 20 yards this season, and only three over the past two seasons. He’s just not particularly fast or elusive in the open field. But I’m told Jacobs “runs angry” and that’s important to scouts, so I fully expect him to be drafted much sooner than I would take him.

76. Alex Barnes RB Kansas State - Barnes is a patient runner with average speed, though I was pleasantly surprised to see him test well at the scouting combine. He’s not a creator, but he follows his blocks, takes what the defense gives him, and shows burst through the hole. Once he has a head of steam he’s a load to bring down. Barnes adds value as a receiver - he caught 20 balls for 194 yards last season - and is an adequate pass protector. He’s not a significantly better prospect than Jacobs, but I do believe he’s a better value.

75. Hakeem Butler WR Iowa State - In his final collegiate game, Butler ripped through Washington State’s secondary for big yards after the catch, and made a ridiculous one-handed catch. A high-end performance no doubt. However, the game also included a throw that sailed through Butler’s hands, and a play where he failed to screen off the defensive back and had his route jumped for an interception. In the Iowa game earlier in the year, Butler had trouble getting loose and wasn’t able to adjust to three catchable passes. It’s not that Butler has some great games and some weaker performances - every receiver does - it’s the snap-to-snap inconsistencies that give me so much trouble. I’m not sure Butler has the deep speed to overcome iffy hands like Will Fuller, and I’m not sure he has the body control to win contested catches and take advantage of his frame. It’s telling to me that Butler’s closest height/weight/athleticism comps are Marques Colston and Jon Baldwin. Quite the range of outcomes.

74. Charles Omenihu 5T Texas

73. Zach Allen 5T Boston College - I’m grouping these two together because they are similarly-built college ends who project as 5-Techs in the pros who can kick inside in sure passing situations. Omenihu and Allen are edge-setters with good length. Omenihu was better at getting to the QB last year, and Allen was better at swatting down passes at the line of scrimmage. These types of players are unexciting but necessary pieces of the puzzle in some schemes.

72. Rodney Anderson RB Oklahoma - Anderson is coming off a knee injury that wiped out his 2018 season - his third season-ending injury in four seasons at Oklahoma. He missed 2015 with a broken leg, and 2016 with a neck injury. He might be the biggest injury risk in the draft. When Anderson has played he’s been outstanding. He averaged 6.4 YPC on 200 career carries, and in 2017 he caught 17 passes for 281 yards and 5 scores. Even if injuries have sapped some of his burst, I think Anderson is at least comparable to new Bills RB T.J. Yeldon as a prospect.

71. Germaine Pratt LB North Carolina State - Pratt plays the game with an edge and is a strong run defender and wrap-up tackler. He’s got the speed to be effective on blitzes and in coverage down the field. Pratt is just a solid football player, with the athletic potential to be a three-down player, and at the very least he’ll be a core special teamer.

70. D’Andre Walker LB Georgia - Walker has missed much of the pre-draft process while recovering from a hernia surgery, but he appears to have the athleticism to play off the ball, and the length to be a situational pass rusher. I wish I had testing numbers because several Georgia players bombed that part of the evaluation this year, but I’ll trust my eyes on Walker in the 3rd or 4th round.

3rd Round

69. Dawson Knox TE Ole Miss - Somehow the ultra-athletic Knox failed to score a touchdown on 39 career college receptions, so if I’m trying to catch some George Kittle-type lighting in a bottle. But Kittle was a fifth round pick, so how early do I pull the trigger trying to duplicate that magic? Knox is a former quarterback who can really move, and he’s an improving blocker. I can rationalize the lack of production by acknowledging that he shared targets with A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Demarkus Lodge. Third round seems fair for a Knox, who’s closest height/weight/athleticism comp is former Broncos and Lions tight end Tony Scheffler.

68. Amani Hooker S Iowa - Hooker is one of a talented group of “box safeties” available this year, but he’s a little more hesitant and flat-footed in coverage than some of his classmates. I’m also not sold that Hooker plays as fast as his 40 time would indicate. Still, he plays hard, defends the run, and is effective in coverage in the flats and down the seam. He’s also one of the youngest players in the class this year, still almost two months shy of his 21st birthday.

67. Alize Mack TE Notre Dame - Despite lacking college production, Mack looks the part of an athletic receiving right end in the mold of former Golden Domer and current Bengal Tyler Eifert. But beyond his promise as a receiving threat, Mack is also an effective blocker who gets into position quickly in the run game and in pass protection.

66. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside WR Stanford - JJAW stood out as a “rebounder,” using his size to box out smaller defensive backs and become the ultimate college red zone receiver. I wasn’t initially sure how his game would translate, but along the way I recognized that Arcega-Whiteside was also a proficient route runner, with better speed than I had expected. I don’t think he’ll be able to dominate like he did in the PAC 12, but I like his potential to line up at all three receiver spots and create matchup problems along the way.

65. Preston Williams WR Colorado State - Williams entered a guilty plea to a harassment charge in 2017. This led to him being locked out of the scouting combine. Days after the combine wrapped up, Williams posted disappointing testing numbers at CSU’s pro day. But, while he’s probably off the board for a number of NFL teams, I am still confident that a motivated Williams is among the best split ends in this draft. In his lone season with the Rams, the Tennessee transfer caught 96 passes for 1345 yards and 14 TDs. Williams has impeccable body control and footwork along the sidelines, showing care to get both feet down in bounds. He can make contested receptions, pick up yards after the catch, and corral poorly thrown balls. I’m going out on a limb rating him this highly, but the reality is he will probably be available in the late rounds or undrafted free agency.

64. Justin Hollins LB Oregon - I’ve seen Hollins ranked elsewhere as an edge rusher, and while he shows flashes, I think his build, speed and coverage ability translates better to an off-the-ball role in the pros.

63. Jamal Davis DE Akron

62. Chase Winovich DE Michigan - Two ‘tweener edge players, Davis and Winovich both had outstanding combine weekends. But Davis weighed in under 245 pounds and Winovich lack ideal length for a defensive end, and both players will be 24-year old rookies. I see both guys getting work early as situational pass rushers, and possibly transitioning to a linebacker role down the road. This would be a similar plan to what the Browns are trying with 2018 draft pick Genard Avery.

61. Irv Smith Jr. TE Alabama - Smith has H-back/FB size, but good speed for a tight end. The successes of players like Trey Burton and Charles Clay in recent years opens the door for Smith to find a role, but his stature may be a deterrent for more than a few teams.

60. Cody Ford G Oklahoma - I know most analysts are a lot higher on Ford than I am but I have some reservations. He has heavy feet, and is slow to get outside and change directions against inside pass rush moves. I project him to guard, but then I see a player who’s lack of speed shows up when pulling or getting out to the second level. Ford is still a massive human who will engulf defenders in the run game, and who’s length makes up for some of his speed limitations in pass protection. Linemen have survived poor combine testing before - Orlando Brown just last year - but Brown was a 3rd round pick. And I don’t see the need to select a player with those question marks in the top 20 where Ford is showing up in mock drafts

59. Dexter Williams RB Notre Dame - Like Josh Jacobs and Rodney Anderson, Williams left college with fewer than 300 career carries to his name. As a senior for the Irish, Williams ran for 995, caught 16 passes and scored 13 TDs in just 9 games. But despite his success, he has off-field baggage that may push him down NFL draft boards. I’ve often seen Jacobs compared to Alvin Kamara, but from a height/weight/athleticism standpoint, Willliams is actually a closer match to the Saints star running back.

58. Mike Weber RB Ohio State - Weber is one of the fastest backs in the draft. He ran a 4.47 at the combine, and has posted sub-4.4 times on campus. Weber seemed poised for stardom after a 1000-yard freshman season, but battled nagging injuries each of the last two years. He’s also fumbled 10 times in his career. But his home run speed, soft hands as a receiver, and pass blocking ability make him worthy of 3rd or 4th round pick in a class of running backs who all have their warts.

57. Sean Bunting CB Central Michigan

56. Kendall Sheffield CB Ohio State - These are two of the fastest corners in the draft. Bunting has gained draftnik support as a Day Two pick, but I’m seemingly higher than most on Sheffield. I think both guys can play man and zone. Bunting is the weaker tackler, while Sheffield has to work on finding the ball in downfield coverage. A number of times in 2017 and 2018 Sheffield was in position to break up a pass or make a play for a pick, but suffered narrow defeat at the hands of a receiver who was actually looking at the ball. Both of these corners need polish, but they have athleticism to spare, and I like their potential.

55. Michael Jordan G Ohio State - For Jordan I wanted to focus more on 2017, when he started at right guard. He was miscast at center last season, as most 6’6” men would be. Jordan is a strong run blocker and effective pulling guard, but he has to be careful not to lean in too much and wind up on the ground. In pass protection, Jordan moves his feet well and uses his long arms effectively, but he could stand to get stronger in his anchor. I wonder if someone might draft him to play tackle, but it would be Jordan’s third position in as many years. He’s probably better off concentrating on playing guard where he’s familiar.

54. Andy Isabella WR UMASS - Isabella has legitimate 4.3 speed and is a prolific receiver who caught 229 passes and scored 32 touchdowns over the last three seasons. He was a draftnik favorite until he dropped some passes in the dreaded Senior Bowl practices, and his career statistics evaporated. Apparently NFL people are also concerned about the 5’9” Isabella’s “catch radius” now, as if they just found out he is short, or are surprised that a short guy doesn’t have long arms. I understand that Isabella is small, but I like the Brandin Cooks comparisons I’ve seen online. If Isabella becomes 75-80% of Cooks, he’ll be worth a mid-late Day Two pick.

53. Taylor Rapp S Washington - Rapp is a heat-seeking missile, always flying to the ball. I still think Rapp, who missed the Rose Bowl with a hip injury, was still dinged up or rusty when he ran a 4.75 40 at pro day, but I understand he’s not fast and he has to rely on instincts and good angles to be successful. Rapp won’t be a fit for every team, but he’s a good football player who will be able to carve out a role like Ravens safety Tony Jefferson.

52. Jace Sternberger TE Texas A&M - Kansas transfer Sternberger made the most of his one year in College Station, posting 49 catches for 836 yards and 10 TDs. An average combine performance took some shine off the apple, but Sternberger’s tape shows a player who can win contested balls and pick up yards after the catch, and he’s no slouch as a blocker. Athletically he compares to Seahawks tight end Nick Vannett, a 2016 3rd round pick. But Sternberger was more productive in one season than Vannett was in his entire college career.

51. Trysten Hill DL Central Florida

50. Renell Wren DL Arizona State - With these two linemen I’m projecting more production at the pro level. Wren played a lot of NT in the games I’ve seen, but he has the explosiveness to rush the passer as a 3-Tech, and the length to play 5-Tech. He’s so used to just trying to cave in the pocket, that he doesn’t always find the ball. He’s a really intriguing prospect if he’s put in a spot to play with his head up and cut loose as a playmaker, rather than facilitating others. Hill was in a similar spot at UCF, playing a lot of NT and funneling the action to others. Like Wren, he was solid in that role, but Hill’s athleticism suggests a player who could develop into an interior pass rush threat.

2nd-3rd Round

49. Drew Lock QB Missouri - Lock will be drafted in the 1st round Thursday, and I understand his appeal. He’s a confident passer with a big arm and above average athleticism. He has also improved his accuracy each of the last three seasons. The problem is, Lock’s accuracy is still spotty, and he doesn’t throw with the anticipation that would maximize his arm strength. He has also struggled against his best competition and in the red zone. Lock has drawn comparisons to Jay Cutler, but with his easy arm strength, engaged personality and tendency to throw off his back foot, I see more similarities to Derek Carr. Which means Lock is probably good enough to be an NFL starter, but one his team may be looking to replace within five years.

48. Jawaan Taylor OT Florida - Taylor missed all of his athletic testing while nursing an injury this draft season, so he’s a player who’s tape I have to trust. Taylor played RT for the Gators, and I think he’ll remain there as a pro. At least, that’s his best spot. He’s a big body who creates a fence in pass projection, and uses his length to compensate for any athletic limitations. Taylor’s flashes are very good. He’ll pancake a man in pass protection like he did against Georgia, or fire off the ball to cut off a blitzing LB like he did against Mississippi State. But Taylor’s still a bit lumbering, and doesn’t always look like he has good stamina. This is not a deep tackle class, so I expect that despite my concerns, Taylor will be drafted earlier than I have him rated here.

47. Juan Thornhill S Virginia - Thornhill has logged snaps all across the defensive backfield, from single high safety, to slot, to field and boundary cornerback. He has logged 13 INTs and 26 PBUs over the last three seasons, but while the numbers suggest a ballhawking center fielder, Thornhill is at his best near the box, with the play in front of him. Still, because of his versatility and athleticism, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get a look at corner initially.

46. Emanuel Hall WR Missouri - After a hot start to his senior season, Hall missed nearly two months while battling a leg injury and dealing with the unexpected death of his father. He still managed to finish the season with 37 catches for 828 yards and 6 TDs. Hall averaged 20.8 YPR on 97 catches, and is one of the premier deep threats in the class. He’s similar to D.J. Chark, who went 61st overall last year, and Hall has had a more productive college career. Hell almost certainly come off the board on Day Two.

45. Anthony Nelson DE Iowa - Nelson is an impressive combination of size and agility that will make him an excellent complimentary pass rusher on a four-man line. He plays with his head up and attacks with a variety of pass rush moves. He’s an effective edge-setter, and of course, plays with a high motor. With five or six edge defenders expected to go in the first round, Nelson may be an early second round target for a team that missed out the first time around the draft order.

44. Michael Deiter G Wisconsin

43. Connor McGovern G Penn State - Nothing fancy, just two strong, wrestler-style Big Ten guards. Deiter has experience at tackle, and is the better pass protector, while McGovern is two years younger and the better athlete. Both players will step in and start early in their NFL careers.

42. Erik McCoy G/C Texas A&M - McCoy plays with an aggressive streak and is strong at the point of attack. He does a nice job in pass protection and has no issues with lateral agility. I’m not concerned about change of direction if he going to remain at C, and I can tell he runs well when he firing out on second-level blocks. This is a strong class for interior linemen, and McCoy is one of the five best available.

41. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson S Florida - CGJ is another safety prospect who’s at his best closer to the line of scrimmage, but he also shows some range on tape. Gardner-Johnson plays hard and flies to the ball vs the run and the pass. He should be a starter early in his career.

40. David Long CB Michigan - A fluid athlete, Long is not afraid to take on bigger receivers in man coverage. However, he lacks ideal length to play outside in the NFL, so while I think he’s capable there, he’s probably ticketed for a good amount of slot duty. Regardless, he’ll play a lot of snaps right off the bat.