Each month, I aim to update my 2019 NFL Draft positional rankings. The draft process is fluid, always changing as more information becomes available. So be prepared: you'll get a set of updates to this list to kick off every month between now and next April.
Positional rankings can be fickle during the season. So much of what makes a draft assessment requires more information than what can be collected after just a few games. But it doesn't take more than a few weeks to see some deserving (and undeserving names) who need recognition.
You can read my full set of updated positional rankings below.
- Running Backs
- Wide Receivers
- Tight Ends
- Offensive Tackles
- Interior Offensive Line
- EDGE Defenders
- Interior Defensive Line
From here, allow me to introduce you to the September risers! Here is a brief breakdown of each of the 19 fresh faces out of the 110 ranked prospects to be ranked.
Haskins has been one of the most electric players in all of college football. His emergence as a passer has brought the Buckeyes offense to new heights thus far in 2018. Costello is a big armed passer who helped engineer the Cardinal comeback in Week 4 on the road vs. Oregon. He's still rough around the edges but I appreciate his upside.
Stidham simply doesn't move the needle for me, he's mechanical and does see the field of play particularly well. Francois is going to struggle to show exactly what he can be behind a terrible offensive line this season. His return from injury will get little clarity under these conditions.
Sanders is an absolute treat to watch pick his way through the box. He's nimble but also powerful, a great blend of thunder and lightning. Darrell Henderson is playing some historic football thus far in 2018. He's a powder keg who can take runs the distance any time he touches the ball. Snell has been a workhorse back who had excelled in shouldering the offensive load for the Wildcats. Snell is more than halfway to his third straight 1,000 yard rushing season.
Anderson is off the list after tearing his ACL. If he ultimately decides to declare anyway, he will be back (and back high on the list). Travis Homer got off to a modest start this season, but he's turned it on in the last two weeks. His removal is a byproduct of his peers simply showing more early on this season...he's still a good football player. The same can be said for Devin Singletary, although level of competition isn't helping his case either after struggling vs. Oklahoma.
Sills was a touchdown leader in 2017, but raw. He's starting to show he's understanding some of the finer points of the position early on this season. "Hollywood" Brown is explosive. His size will be a major variable in his draft status but his big play ability is undeniable. Vasher is a toolsy receiver who is starting to put his athletic gifts to good use.
Richards is injured for his third consecutive season, he hasn't played since the LSU season opener. Samuels' non-spectacular season is in part due to the infrastructure in the Gamecocks offense. But Samuel was tabbed as a big play prospect who simply hasn't made big plays. Johnson's game continues to be inconsistent. This was supposed to be a big year for the big bodied receiver, yet Johnson has had some drops and isn't taking the next step.
Smith is one of the primary beneficiaries of QB K.J. Costello's emergence. Smith is athletic and has a massive catch radius, the next in a line of very good Stanford TEs. Gentry is currently one of the Wolverine's leading receivers and as a listed 6-foot-8 has the ability to make an impact in the red zone.
Jerome Washington and C.J. Conrad's removal of the list is mainly centered around the emergence of others.
Say hello to: Calvin Anderson (Texas)
Say goodbye to: Trey Adams (Washington)
Anderson is a transfer from Rice, he was one of the most hotly recruited transfers in the country. He's a toolsy tackle who has strong athletic traits.
Adams has suffered his second consecutive season ending injury. This time it's a back issue that will shelve Adams for the entire 2018 season.
Interior Offensive Line
Say goodbye to: Max Scharping (Northern Illinois) and Alex Bars (Notre Dame)
Williams is pretty polished and I've appreciated his play to start the season. Hanson has a strong base and offers effective power on the interior.
Scharping is a player I'm considering at Tackle for the time being, so his eligibility in this group is null and void. Bars has not played poorly this season but in getting more looks at Williams and Hanson he's been bumped down for the time being.
Say hello to: Jachai Polite (Florida)
Say goodbye to: Jalen Jelks (Oregon)
Polite is a bendy, high motor pass rusher. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline has suggested that Polite is considering an early declaration at the end of the season...he has attractive traits.
Jelks is a promising player but a difficult projection, given his usage and exposure to a lot of interior rush reps. Is the scheme stunting his development?
Interior Defensive Line
Williams has been one of the best surprises of the 2018 season thus far. He's been unblockable on the interior and shows stunning mobility for a big guy. Willis declared himself to the nation on opening weekend when the Canes clashed with LSU. Willis has some off the field issues that will need to be vetted but he's a very gifted player between the lines.
Landers and Buggs have both played well this season, but the emergence of Williams and Willis has pushed them from the ranks of the top 10 defensive linemen.
Off Ball Linebackers
Say hello to: Bobby Okereke (Stanford)
Say goodbye to: Troy Dye (Oregon)
I've been impressed with Okereke, who is a splendid athlete and has shown up big against both USC and Oregon in September.
Troy Dye is still a bit of a work in progress, too many plays he is a touch too slow to process the action. I'd love to see him speed up his play clock throughout the season.
Say hello to: Byron Murphy (Washington)
Say goodbye to: David Long (Michigan)
Byron Murphy has played like one of the best cornerbacks in all of college football. Murphy has great ball skills in coverage and has already logged 8 pass break-ups this season.
David Long is a player I still like, but the top-10 slots for cornerbacks is a hotly contested group.
Say hello to: Jordan Fuller (Ohio State)
Say goodbye to: Khaleke Hudson (Michigan)
My primary gripe with Fuller in 2017 was he wasn't particularly aggressive. That has started to change this season. He's still selective as a hitter, but he's a heck of an athlete on the back end.
Hudson has bulked up in 2018 to a reported 220 pounds and currently projects as a linebacker.