On Tuesday here at The Draft Network, our senior analyst team of Joe Marino, Jon Ledyard, Trevor Sikkema and I released our individual Top 10 positional rankings for the start of the 2018 college season. Please bear in mind that these ratings will change. So, too, will my 2019 big board.
But with the opportunity to sit down filter through where I thought each position group stacked up, it made perfect sense to carve some additional time out to work through all the positions together.
Below is my personal preseason 2019 Big Board of my top 50 prospects eligible for this year's NFL Draft.
50. DeAndre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
Georgia's DeAndre Baker has a lot to like in his game. He's got good ball skills. He's active in addressing the football when targeted in coverage. But my apprehension is this: can he get better at his transitional quickness? Baker is a lot of things, but overly fast isn't one of them. He'll need to be crisp in his footwork to protect vertically.
49. Kendall Joseph, Linebacker, Clemson
Predominantly a coverage linebacker, Joseph looks to follow in the footsteps of Dorian O'Daniel as an undersized linebacker to be coveted in the draft. Joseph is slotted higher than O'Daniel thanks to excellent discipline and range.
48. Juan Thornhill, Safety, Virginia
A former cornerback, Thornhill looks to shine at safety in 2018. The Cavalier is a cerebral, smart player and his transition to a new position should help him hide some less than ideal movement skills for locking receivers down on the boundary.
47. Justice Hill, Running Back, Oklahoma State
Ever see lightning in a bottle? If not, just pop in some Justice Hill tape. Hill plays way over his listed weight of 185 pounds. That bit of spunk on contact is key to his game, as he puts defenders in a bind every time he's head up with them. Hill has the most explosive jump cuts in the nation.
46. Kris Boyd, Cornerback, Texas
Boyd is a wonderful tackler. He and Holton Hill (former Longhorn now with the Vikings) tackle better than most of the safeties we'll encounter in college football this season. Boyd has requisite size to play the boundary and is best man to man coverage.
45. Drew Lock, Quarterback, Missouri
Lock is a popular choice to be designated QB1. I like Lock. I think he's got a super arm. But his eyes tell a lot on a play by play basis. Lock doesn't work through the field with quickness and (wait for it...) locks (get it?) on to reads with much too high a frequency.
44. Jalen Jelks, EDGE Defender, Oregon
Jelks first caught my eye in the same game that N'Keal Harry did. He was impossible to miss with his constant penetration into the Sun Devil backfield that night. Jelks is miscast in the Oregon front, often spending his reps inside but don't let that deter you from his length and range.
43. Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
Goodness gracious, Deebo is electric. But I'm more concerned with what I don't know about Deebo vs. what I do: is he durable? I can't tell. Samuel has fought injuries throughout his career at South Carolina. Has that impacted his development? Will these be long term issues?
42. Anfernee Jennings, EDGE Defender, Alabama
Jennings reminds me of a bit more athletic version of Ryan Anderson, who is now with the Redskins after an accomplished career with the Tide. Heavy, heavy hands are his trademark and you have to like a guy that can beat up tackles on the edge.
41. Greg Little, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi
Little has so much upside. This is the type of tackle I used to get snookered by in drafts past. With Little's athletic gifts, he can be a physically dominant player. But in the meantime, I have big time apprehension that he's going to clean things up. 2018 needs to show progress in technique.
40. Dexter Lawrence, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
I'm willing to give Lawrence the benefit of the doubt when he says he played at less than 100% last year. He certainly didn't look like the freak athlete he was billed as. Will the real Dexter Lawrence please stand up in 2018?
39. Julian Love, Cornerback, Notre Dame
Love is a combative corner who shows admirable patience in off coverage. There, he forces receivers to declare their intent before getting into their body and stuffing up free runs into the secondary. I'd love to see more of that patience at the line of scrimmage instead in 2018.
38. Damien Harris, Running Back, Alabama
Harris is a physical, between the tackles rusher who punishes flat footed tacklers in the hole. Harris can be relied upon to always get available yardage, plus a few extra. Receiving skills can add some three down reps.
37. Anthony Nelson, EDGE Defender, Iowa
A base 4-3 end, Nelson doesn't quite bring the same upside of the top tier EDGE defenders. No matter. Nelson has heavy mitts that collapse tackles and brings more variety with his hands than one would expect in pass rushes.
36. Christian Wilkins, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
Wilkins, in my opinion, gets a bit of a bum rap. He's typically discussed as one of the the more overrated prospects in the country, but that's only the case if you were expecting a top three overall player. Wilkins was very good as a freshman, perhaps that has impacted his long term impression. But make no mistake, Wilkins gets into gaps well and is very fluid for his size.
35. Dawson Knox, Tight End, Mississippi
Knox is flying under the radar thanks to the three-headed receiving threat at Ole Miss, but that's alright. As a plus athlete, Knox is an athletic target with a ton of upside.
34. Dalton Risner, Offensive Line, Kansas State
Listen, Risner might be better served inside at guard. But I'm typically willing to let guys fail their way inside instead of pegging them prematurely. Risner plays with good cadence in his feet, allowing him to play balanced and under control up front.
33. David Montgomery, Running Back, Iowa State
I haven't seen a back with contact balance like Montgomery in a while. The guy is a human pinball, bouncing off of contact and sustaining movement. No, he isn't a home run hitter. But Montgomery is a capable receiving back as well who can beat you with some wiggle.
32. Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon
Herbert may be the most physically gifted quarterback in the class. He has mobility. Size. Arm strength. Some great placement skills. But most of quarterback is played between the ears. If Herbert can prove he transcends the Oregon spread, he'll be locked into a 1st-round projection.
31. Jaquan Johnson, Safety, Miami
My favorite thing about Johnson's tape is everything is done with intent. There are no lazy reps. Johnson's focus and execution pairs well with a well built frame, allowing him to play physical as a tackler and through traffic. He's a great asset in run support.
30. A.J. Brown, Wide Receiver, Mississippi
The Rebels' leading receiver last year is a likable athlete in his own regard. He's not a freak like Metcalf, but that's alright. Brown is creative after the catch and can make big plays happen with the ball in his hands. That said, I would love to see more consistency out of Brown, plus better performances against top competition.
29. N'Keal Harry, Wide Receiver, Arizona State
I'll never forget seeing Harry for the first time in Tempe last September. I was on the field for Arizona State's game against the Oregon Ducks and Harry made me do a triple take. "That is a wide receiver?!" Harry is a possession receiver who doesn't bring a lot of big play ability after the catch, but he's got a huge catch radius and is tough to run with due to his strength and persistence on route stems.
28. Rashard Lawrence, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana State
Stout at the point of attack, Lawrence has the kind of physical play you'd expect from a stereotypical SEC defensive lineman. Lawrence doesn't offer some of the same "dancing bear" qualities that make for nimble footed splash defenders inside, but that's okay.
27. Trey Adams, Offensive Tackle, Washington
Adams is rock solid in just about every way. Coming back from a knee injury from 2017, Adams' biggest test will be proving that he's the same guy we knew him to be when he last laced them up. Adams is a huge presence and naturally occupies a lot of space.
26. Devin White, Linebacker, Louisiana State
One of the darlings of the summer, Devin White's name has bubbled up boards across the country. He's fast, powerful and an explosive athlete. Yet White wasn't as decisive as some of his contemporaries and therefore he's a bit further down the board. White should still be a very good plug in starter at the NFL level.
25. Michael Jackson, Cornerback, Miami
At 6-foot-1, Jackson is a press-man corner who isn't necessarily the most universal player. But in the right system? Jackson is an attractive player who plays with his length well as a means of pinning routes into the sideline and stuffing up route releases.
24. Ahmmon Richards, Wide Receiver, Miami
No player on this list had a more disappointing season than Ahmmon Richards. After a delightful freshman season, Richards regressed in 2017. Fighting drops, his year never really got off the ground. But Richards has all of the physical tools to be a volume receiver. He's strong after the catch, snaps out of his breaks to separate and has made some spectacular catches in his time with the Hurricanes.
23. Montez Sweat, EDGE Defender, Mississippi State
Sweat was a big contributor for the Bulldogs defense last year and he certainly looks the part of a top prospect. Sweat carries his weight well and has effective challenges off of the edge. Adding some extra strength elements to his game could push him further up the board, but Sweat is a cerebral and technically sound defender who is a plus athlete.
22. Lavert Hill, Cornerback, Michigan
Hill provides wonderful tape, particularly at the catch point. Despite a sub-par amount of length, Hill is combative and feisty as the ball arrives. Hill is patient at the line of scrimmage and will effective play press man to turn and run with defenders before finding and challenging the ball.
21. David Edwards, Offensive Tackle, Wisconsin
Edwards, who is a former high school quarterback, is a right tackle who mauls the opposition up front. His length and size are key tools in his effective play in pass protection, as Edwards is still polishing up his pass sets and ensuring his feet keep him framed in front of pass rushers.
20. Rashan Gary, Defensive Line, Michigan
Rashan Gary can be so, so good. He's currently a bit in-between playing end and tackle, but that's fine. Gary plays with a motor unlike anything I've ever seen for a bigger dude. That, plus his athleticism, makes for enticing potential. But Gary needs to be more deliberate with his hands, especially if he's going to continue playing outside.
19. Levonta Taylor, Cornerback, Florida State
Tiny but twitchy, Taylor has got some excellent short area quickness and sweet feet. That suddenness comes in quite handy for Taylor, who will dart into the catch point and challenge the football. If there's a player cut from the same cloth and Denzel Ward in this class, it's probably Taylor.
18. Mack Wilson, Linebacker, Alabama
Color me stunned: Alabama has more than one high end defensive talent. Again. The lineage of Alabama linebackers is in good hands with Mack Wilson, who saved his best performance for last in 2017. Wilson showed every bit of his potential in the National Championship victory over Georgia, offering range, hitting power and quick decision making in the trenches.
17. Deionte Thompson, Safety, Alabama
Color me stunned: Alabama has some high end defensive talent. Again. Thompson has the range that will make eyes widen when checking the film and an aggressive style that is very fitting for an Alabama defender. Thompson is inexperienced, but will have a big role on the Crimson Tide's defense in 2018.
16. Amani Oruwariye, Cornerback, Penn State
Oruwariye has some silly movement skills and body control for a corner of his size. He's very closely rated to some of the other CBs behind him on the board but his size and length are a tiebreaker that pushes him up.
15. Paddy Fisher, Linebacker, Northwestern
Remember all those things about Leighton Vander Esch that resulted in his draft rise? Fisher has a lot of those same qualities in his game. That said, Fisher is a little stiffer in the hips. But he's also more instinctive and was a redshirt freshman last season. Fisher's game is filled with promise and his performance against Wisconsin last year was an excellent showcase.
14. Brian Lewerke, Quarterback, Michigan State
The search for QB1 has spanned the entire country. It started out west with Justin Herbert before swinging to the midwest and finding Drew Lock. Lewerke holds the keys to the car for me. With better consistency, Lewerke can translate great arm ability and slippery mobility into a top prospect title at the most important position in football.
13. Kelvin Harmon, Wide Receiver, North Carolina State
Harmon has downfield ability thanks to notable size and some wonderful ball skills. With quarterback Ryan Finley back under center, expect to see Harmon have a huge year in 2018 and reaffirm himself as a possible top-20 prospect.
12. Brian Burns, EDGE Defender, Florida State
Last year it was Harold Landry. This year's bursty, bendy EDGE rusher from the ACC is Brian Burns. Burns is lightning quick out of his stance and his ability to drop the inside shoulder makes him a handful to get hands on off the edge.
11. Tyler Biadasz, Center, Wisconsin
Who? Go watch his tape and come back to me, I beg you. Biadasz is a do it all presence in the middle and had awesome tape last year despite playing as a redshirt freshman. Biadasz has short area mobility and a very strong base, making him a diverse blocker who can fit multiple schemes.
10. Rodney Anderson, Running Back, Oklahoma
Size, speed, power, wiggle. Anderson has a little bit of it all. Physically, a back has to be quite the impressive specimen to earn a place in the top 10 of a set of rankings. Anderson has got the goods. Some will question his transition out of Oklahoma's spread offense, but that may just delay his transition to the league. But I doubt it will stop it.
9. Noah Fant, Tight End, Iowa
Fant is quite the mismatch. No, he doesn't have elite size or physicality in the box. But as a receiver, Fant is a massive headache for those linebackers and safeties assigned to covering him. Fant can jump to the moon and blaze vertically down the field, making him the next big play Tight End prospect.
8. Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
Williams is as steady as they come, as he's entering his third season as the Tide's starting Left Tackle. That experience has served him well. Williams is effective in his pass protection and has clean feet, allowing him to cover himself despite some less than ideal length and stay in close proximity to defenders.
7. D.K. Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Mississippi
Metcalf looks like he was built in a lab. I know what you're thinking and no, I'm not exaggerating. Metcalf is currently listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, and with that size comes rare explosiveness. No, Metcalf wasn't the highest producing receiver on the team. But he does have the best traits. For now, that gets him the top spot.
6. Greedy Williams, Cornerback, Louisiana State
I can't think of a better nickname for a cornerback with this level of ball skills. Williams is a lengthy corner who has excellent mobility and skills in man to man coverage. There's several boxes teams need checked to be a potential high draft pick at cornerback and Williams tabs them all entering 2018.
5. Jeffery Simmons, Defensive Tackle, Mississippi State
A former five-star prospect who has lived up to the hype, Simmons is a force on the inside who shows high aptitude in winning gaps. Simmons offers a powerful base and leg drive to reset the line of scrimmage, as well as multiple rush counters.
4. Raekwon Davis, Defensive Line, Alabama
Davis is an exciting prospect, folks. His blend of size, length and athletic ability do offer some parallels to what we saw out of DeForest Buckner coming out of Oregon a few years back (H/T to Joe Marino for that comparison). He'll need more polish as a pass rusher to optimize his angles and win more consistently but when Davis patterns and reads his pass rushes correctly he's darn near impossible.
3. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE Defender, Clemson
Ferrell was a player who first stood out in the 2016 National Championship, a victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide. And although Ferrell missed a good amount of that contest, it was apparent that this is a big time prospect. Ferrell reaffirmed that with very strong tape in 2017 and will look for a repeat performance after scorning the NFL last winter.
2. Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston
Oliver is really the only other player in contention for the top spot in accordance to many of our colleagues in Draft media. That's a fair proposition, given Oliver's dominant tape and finishing skills in the backfield.
1. Nick Bosa, EDGE Defender, Ohio State
The younger Bosa brother will rival his predecessor, Nick, when it's all said and done for the better Buckeye out of the two. Nick plays a high value position and although the numbers aren't eye-popping from a production standpoint, Nick's technical prowess and power on the field sure are.