This is new territory for me. In year's past, I had one and only one set of rankings - my final big board. But after an entire summer spent scouting the nation, I proudly present my preseason top 50.
With an entire season to play, this Board is likely to change significantly. But like my Mock Draft 1.0, it's a good starting point in learning who I believe the top prospects in 2019 class are.
Something to keep in mind with how I assembled this Board is that it gives the benefit of the doubt in projecting growth. There are some young players with limited experience that slot fairly high on this Board because I believe they can evolve based on traits but are far from finished products.
50. Tyree St. Louis, OT, Miami
St. Louis offers a blend of size, length and mobility while taking terrific pass set angles to frame rushers on an island that makes him an exciting pass blocker. He needs some technical work to maximize his play strength as a run blocker, but St. Louis could find himself a riser with a successful transition to left tackle in 2018.
49. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Moving from corner to safety in his senior season, Thornhill is set to fill the role previously played by Quin Blanding that led to playmaking productivity. Thornhill is long and physical with sharp processing skills that translate well to playing forward as a safety.
48. Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College
A four-year starter for the BC's highly prolific rushing attacks, Lindstrom is a powerful people-mover with a nasty mean streak. His anchor is powerful and his experience working at tackle should lend itself favorably as an interior pass protector. This is your Day 2 plug and play starter offensive line type prospect.
47. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
Arcega-Whiteside is a power-forward type receiver that illustrates physicality, ball skills and body control to win at the catch point. He isn't a burner but he dominates in the air with his alpha mentality. His long strides eat up turf and he is a nuanced route runner that knows how to sell his breaks and get open.
46. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
Harris is a no-nonsense runner that sees the field cleanly, hits gaps as the open and runs with balance and physicality. He doesn't wow with elusive traits but Harris is a natural runner that is capable of shouldering the load as a bell cow back.
45. Ricky Walker, DT, Virginia Tech
Walker doesn't get the same hype as other ACC defensive tackles but he's an excellent prospect in his own right. Walker is an explosive interior penetrator that showcases excellent play strength, hand technique and a hot motor. He racked up 41 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 2017 which was his first as a full-time starter. A big year is in store for this talented Hokie.
44. Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama
Jennings isn't overly explosive but his play strength and hand usage translate nicely to the NFL. A powerful edge-setter against the run, Jennings showcases a variety of counters to shed blocks and make plays near the line of scrimmage. If Jennings can drop some weight and become more sudden, it would make him a riser.
43. Zach Allen, DL, Boston College
Allen is a powerful dude at the point of attack while showcasing violent and aggressive hand usage. While I don't envision him consistently winning around the edge in the NFL due his lack of flexibility, he can be moved around to achieve favorable rush angles. He'd be a great option for a team that is multiple with the fronts it runs.
42. Trey Adams, OT, Washington
Adams is a massive blocker that mirrors surprisingly well in pass pro that combines with his length to make it difficult for rushers to get around him. He has enough power in the run game although his height makes it a challenge for him to maintain leverage and he isn't quite the people-move expected for his frame. Adams suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2017 so proving he can regain his form is critical.
41. Paddy Fisher, LB, Northwestern
Fisher had an outstanding season in 2017 as a redshirt freshman and could easily climb these rankings. Fisher has sharp processing skills, an unrelenting motor and a physical approach to the game. Fisher will need to become more consistent working off contact and finishing, but he plays the position like a rabid dog.
40. Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa
Nelson is a long, heavy-handed edge defender that lacks bend but knows how to soften rush angles to apply heat on the quarterback. He offers an array of counters and executes with urgency. He should be a quality NFL defensive lineman with little risk.
39. Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
Oruwariye offers exciting ball skills, length and physicality that should make him a quality press and zone option in the NFL. With that said, I want to see him more consistent jamming at the line of scrimmage and I have questions about his athletic ability. Entering 2018 as his first in a starting role, Oruwariye could be a riser.
38. Ben Banogu, EDGE, TCU
Banagu offers a balanced skill set. He has burst, bend and length to win as a pass rusher and fits the run well while showcasing the ability to shed blocks. I think he translates wonderfully to a stand up 3-4 OLB role. If he can develop more counters, Banagu has first round upside.
37. Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
Cajuste checks all the boxes required in terms of traits needed to win as a pass blocker in the NFL. He's long, athletic and fleet of foot with a strong anchor. He frames rushers well and knows how to keep them at the end of his reach. More power would be nice in the run game, but he is a great fit for zone schemes.
36. Michael Jackson, CB, Miami
Jackson is a physical corner who excels at the line of scrimmage in press and has upside in zone. He isn't the most fluid or athletic so he's a matchup-specific player in man coverage but he competes like an alpha at the catch point and as a tackler.
35. Devin White, LB, LSU
White is an urgent, rangy and physical linebacker that plays like his hair is on fire. He does have some mental processing and block shedding improvements that are needed, but he has considerable upside in a pursuit-style role and the athletic ability to win in space and coverage.
34. Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami
A big play threat, Richards has average nearly 20 yards per catch across his first two seasons. His ability to generate vertical push and track the football make him an exciting deep threat. With that said, he does need to become a more consistent finisher and showcase more physicality/technique in his release/the contact window.
33. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Brown is a physical receiver that does well to win at the catch point with an alpha mentality and challenge tacklers after the catch with power and elusiveness. He profiles nicely as a short-to-intermediate threat but his vertical receiving upside is minimal.
32. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Lawrence played hurt in 2017 which clearly impacted his ability to get off the ball and be explosive. Instead, he looked like a soft 340-pounder that lacked mobility. If Lawrence can find his 2016 form and build off that, he has a chance to ascend but that needs to be proven.
31. Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU
A five-star recruit, Lawrence's flashes are exciting. He is stout at the point of attack and plays with violent hands. With that said, he still hasn't put it all together as an impact defender which I believe stems from inconsistent processing skills and modest burst. 2018 could be a breakout year for Lawrence.
30. Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
Risner is as consistent and technically refined as they come. He is always square, fits his hands and secures his base while executing his assignments. He offers experience, position flexibility and should immediately become a quality NFL starter.
29. Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss
Part of the best arsenal of pass catchers in the nation, Knox hasn't had high level production yet, but his high level traits are apparent. He's an explosive mover who showcases the ability to win at all levels of the field and dominate at the catch point. He's raw but his highs are eye-popping. I expect him to be a household name by the end of the season.
28. Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami
Johnson isn't the biggest safety but he plays with tremendous urgency and fills the role of an enforcer playing forward. He flashes in man coverage and excels in split zones but needs to fine-tune his processing skills. He led the Canes in both tackles and interceptions in 2017.
27. N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Harry is a massive receiver that excels down the field with his outstanding ball tacking skills and ability to elevate for the ball. His wingspan and body control are impressive but he can stand to be more assertive with his size and physicality in the contact window.
26. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Samuel missed almost all of last season but his polish and playmaking upside is evident. He is a nuanced route runner that knows how to separate from coverage while also able to win above-the-rim in contested situations. His hands and ball skills are top notch while he's also prolific after the catch.
25. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Fant is a strong pass-catching tight end that has playmaking upside at every level of the field. In 2017, Fant averaged 16.5 yards per catch with 11 of his 20 receptions resulting in touchdowns. He has work to do as a blocker, but the effort is there.
24. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
Biadasz was a standout blocker as a redshirt freshman on arguably the best offensive line in the country in 2017, showcasing impressive mobility and power for his size. Projecting as an NFL starter, Biadasz is one of the best interior blockers in the 2019 class and should be even better as he gains experience.
23. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Wilkins may not be the prospect many have billed him to be but I think he can make an impact in the NFL as a penetrating three-technique where he can attack a single gap with his athletic ability and motor. He has enough pass rushing potential to be in the first round conversation.
22. DeMarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
Lodge is impressive - his fluidity, route-running and nuanced releases are exciting. He's a threat to win at every level of the field and is and explosive mover. The knock? He just doesn't finish consistently. He can become a highly productive NFL receiver if he develops consistency.
21. David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
For an NFL in need of far better offensive line play, Edwards is a quality prospect that should garner more attention. He's a road grader as a run blocker while showcasing good control, posture and balance in pass pro. Edwards is a converted tight end and his best football is still ahead of him.
20. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Herbert has supreme physical traits, emphatically checking the size, mobility and arm strength boxes. Where Herbert must show growth is in terms of mental processing and ball placement. Herbert sprays the football all over the field but working progressions and hitting his targets with consistency needs work.
19. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Thompson is my top safety in the class entering the season and he could still make a push to be ranked even higher. Thompson is physical playing forward but also has outstanding range to roam the secondary as a centerfielder. Become a more consistent processor is needed by Thompson has high level traits in all the critical areas.
18. Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan State
It would not surprise me to see Lewerke become a top five pick next April. He reminds me in so many ways of Mitch Trubisky in how he combines mobility with moments of accuracy to all levels of the field. He has some decisoin making blunders to clean up but his experience in a pro-style system, combined with his physical traits is the makings of an NFL franchise quarterback.
17. Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State
Harmon isn't a burner but he dominates at the catch point with exceptional ball skills and suction cups for hands. He is a true route salesman that knows how to create separation with nuanced technique in his release and stems. Harmon has No. 1 receiver upside.
16. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Lock has work to do to become a polished passer but his physical tools are exceptional and the growth he's displayed throughout his career to this point is encouraging. He has the arm talent to hit every throw and flashes the ability to hit throws with anticipation. Becoming more accurate and working his progressions more effectively is needed for him to take the next step in his development.
15. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
I don't think it's very close; Anderson is the top back in the class. He offers a blend of size, speed, power and elusive traits that project him as a feature back in the NFL. He's an exciting playmaker that is capable of anchoring and NFL rushing attack.
14. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
Wilson's game translates perfectly to what is needed to win on the second level in today's NFL. He is an explosive linebacker with sideline-to-sideline range, strong instincts in coverage and the physicality to work into the line of scrimmage. He's the next great Bama linebacker.
13. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
In his first taste of SEC action in 2017, Sweat racked up 10.5 sacks and is primed to be even better this season. Sweat showcases good vision when reading the set of his opponent, hand usage and a variety of counters to complement his hot motor. He needs to add play strength but he has the makings of an impact EDGE defender in the NFL.
12. Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State
Taylor was the No. 1 cornerback and consensus five-star recruit out of high school and we saw why last season during his first as a starter where he was dominant. Taylor has exceptional foot quickness, loose hips and excellent coverage instincts that allow him to thrive in man-to-man situations.
11. Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
Boyd has the makings of a shutdown corner in the NFL. He's long, athletic, physical and ultra competitive at the catch point. He's an alpha in everything he does, particularly when the ball is in the air and playing through contact. He tackles and offers upside in every technique.
10. Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Burns' pass rushing skill set translates perfectly to the NFL and he has considerable upside. His variety of moves is expansive while also illustrating precise footwork, fluidity, explosive burst and ideal length to win around the edge. Adding strength and mass is critical for Burns moving forward.
9. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
I probably don't have the Ole Miss receivers ranked how you'd expect but Metcalf has special traits. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, Metcalf has explosive burst and dominant play strength that make him difficult to cover. He features an outstanding above-the-rim game and a massive wingspan to win at the catch point. He’s run a limited route tree to this point but his foot and handwork alike in his release is exceptional. When it’s all said and done, Metcalf could become a top 10 pick next spring.
8. Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Gary offers versatility to work along the defensive front and has found success functioning as both and end and attacking on the inside. He has impressive burst, strength and tenacity to beat blocks but is still not a finished product which makes him all the more appealing given the impact he’s already making in the Big Ten. He has some freaky athletic moments on tape.
7. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Simmons is an exciting interior defensive line prospect that plays with an unrelenting motor, impressive play strength, nuanced tehcnique and the tenacity needed to beat blocks and make plays near the line of scrimmage. He's an ideal 4-3 three-technique where he can be used in an attacking role.
6. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Williams plays with exceptional footwork, technique and is a tenacious blocker. While he isn't overly long or nimble, he operates with tremendous balance and body control while doing well to square up his opponents. He is a scheme-versatile prospect that should be a fixture for his team's OL for years to come.
5. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Williams offers an exciting blend of quick feet, fluid hips, length and coverage instincts that should lead to him being a No. 1 corner in the NFL. He is blessed with impressive physical gifts and minor gripes with technical consistency and finishing reps are the only concerns.
4. Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
Think DeForest Buckner 2.0 here, folks. Davis is long, athletic and powerful which leads to him dictating reps and owning the line of scrimmage. He knows how to use his hands to control blockers and shed blocks. He is versatile and physically gifted.
3. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Ferrell has the makeup of a high first round selection with his nuanced pass rushing repertoire, polished hand technique and length. Racking up 30.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks over the last two seasons, Ferrell is primed to dominate the ACC again in 2018.
2. Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
These Bosa boys are damn good edge defenders. Showcasing advanced hand technique, a relentless motor, outstanding play strength, fluid mobility and suddenness, Bosa has the upside to become one of the NFL's best pass rushers. Oh, and he's an exceptional run defender. He's the total package.
1. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Oliver is a rare and special talent. His athletic ability and burst is special. His hand usage and power overwhelm opponents. His range and motor is otherworldly. His flexibility and agility don’t make sense for his size. Oliver has the upside to be the face of an NFL defense and become one of the top defensive playmakers in the NFL