Welcome To The 2019 NFL Draft

Photo: Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports

Welcome, fans of the 20 worst teams in the NFL. This is our sanctuary, and we desperately hope it also becomes yours. During the next four months, the future of your favorite football team will hang in the balance, and those of us here at The Draft Network are ready to guide you through it. Buckle up, check your harness, maybe strap on a helmet, because this ride promises to always be bumpy.

What does the next step look like for your favorite team? Well, as far as the draft is concerned, here's a good place to start. I broke down every position group in the class, looking at which units are deep and which units you might have to dip into early to get a quality player.

NOTE: An asterisk (*) denotes an underclassman that has not yet declared for the draft


Quarterbacks

Who Needs One: Jaguars, Dolphins

Who Might Need One: Bengals, Raiders, Giants, Broncos, Redskins

Top Round 1 Candidates (consensus, not my personal list): *Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State/Drew Lock, Missouri/*Daniel Jones, Duke

Keep an eye on: *Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Sleeper: Jordan Ta'amu, Ole Miss/Brett Rypien, Boise State

The Skinny: With Justin Herbert going back to school, the quarterback class got miserable fast. It'll get even worse if Haskins returns to Ohio State, as I can say with certainty there would be no passers with a first round grade on my board. Probably none with a second round grade to be honest.

An NFL team may fall in love with Lock's upside and Jones'...I honestly don't even know why he gets hype, but both are far from a sure thing. In short, if your team needs a quarterback in this class, you need to be praying Haskins declares. He has concerns, but he might be the best shot at a franchise guy in this class.

Running Backs

Who Needs One: No one, running backs don't matter. Ok, fine. Jets, Bills, Eagles

Who Might Need One: Chiefs, Bucs, Colts

Top Round 1 Candidates: None, really. *David Montgomery, Iowa State? He's probably the favorite.

Keep an eye on: *Joshua Jacobs, Alabama/Darrell Henderson, Memphis

Sleeper: Darwin Thompson, Utah State/*James Williams, Washington State

The Skinny: The running back class doesn't have an obvious Round 1 guy, and I highly doubt one sneaks into the Top 32 by April. Not many teams across the NFL are even in need of a running back, seeing as how you can basically plug in anyone and they'll produce if your scheme and offensive line are good.

Expect receiving backs to riddle the mid-rounds of the draft, starting in the second. That's great news for the five backs listed above, bad news for guys like Benny Snell, Damien Harris, Bryce Love and Karan Higdon.

Wide Receivers

Who Needs One: Basically every NFL team outside of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Chicago, the Rams and maybe the Chiefs or Giants.

Top Round 1 Candidates: D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss/N'Keal Harry, Arizona State/A.J. Brown, Ole Miss/*Marquise Brown, Oklahoma/*Riley Ridley, Georgia/Kelvin Harmon, N.C. State

Keep an eye on: Andy Isabella, UMASS/DaMarkus Lodge, Ole Miss

Sleeper: KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State/Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty

The Skinny: People said the wide receiver class isn't good? I don't know, man. It looks pretty good to me. Sure, some of these guys need development and a good scheme fit. There aren't three Calvin Johnsons in the class. It isn't the 2014 crop, or the 2020 group we'll have next year. But it's plenty good.

You've got your big-bodied guys in Harry, Harmon, Metcalf, Ridley and so many others. *Hakeem Butler and *Collin Johnson will compete in the skyscraper wide receiver olympics at the Combine. You've got big slots in A.J. Brown and speedsters in *Marquise Brown and Emanuel Hall. Lots of non-Power 5 receivers waiting to play and test their way up boards. There will be plenty of NFL impact from this wide receiver class, and the sweet spot might come in Round 2.

Tight Ends

Who Needs One: Patriots, Bills, Bengals, Texans, Jaguars, Broncos, Cowboys, Packers, Lions, Saints

Who Might Need One: Titans, Raiders, Panthers, Cardinals, Seahawks

Top Round 1 Candidates: Noah Fant, Iowa/*T.J. Hockenson, Iowa/

Keep an eye on: Dawson Knox, Ole Miss/*Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Sleeper: Mitchell Wilcox, South Florida/Josh Oliver, San Jose State

The Skinny: If your team needs a tight end, you couldn't have come to a better draft class. As long as the underclassmen continue to declare, this class will be loaded with premiere talent at the position. Fant and Knox should dominate the athletic testing, but Hockenson, Nauta, *Irv Smith, *Kaden Smith and *Jace Sternberger all stand to impress as well.

And if you're looking for smaller school guys, Wilcox, Oliver, Utah State's Dax Raymond, Texas State's Keenen Brown and others should catch your attention in the mid-rounds. We might see six or seven tight ends come off the board in the top 100 picks, with the sweet spot likely coming in Round 2, similar to wide receiver.

Offensive Line

Who Needs One: Again, probably easier to identify who doesn't need offensive line help. Basically every team could use it, but certainly the Steelers, Patriots, Saints, Cowboys, Chiefs and Colts need less help in the trenches than the rest of the league.

Top Round 1 Candidates: *Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama/*Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma/Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss/Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida/Yodny Cajuste, OT, WVU/Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State/Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C. State

Keep an eye on: Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina/Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State/Dru Samia, IOL, Oklahoma/*Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

Sleeper: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State/Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois

The Skinny: In a nutshell, the tackle class is promising and the interior offensive line class is weak. I'm not sure we'll see a first round pick on the interior offensive line, especially if Biadasz returns to Wisconsin as expected. Bradbury and Boston College's Chris Lindstrom have probably the best two shots at it of the prospects I've seen so far.

However, many of the tackles may kick inside as pros. Ford and Cajuste should both get shots at tackle, but their ceilings may be more quickly reached at offensive guard in the NFL. Risner will almost certainly transition inside, where he could be a very good player at the next level.

How dumb will the NFL be about Jonah Williams' arm length? Will they ignore major concerns with Little and Kaleb McGary's skill sets and take them both in Round 1? How high can Dillard rise given his traits and movement skills? Lots to watch for in this offensive tackle class.

Defensive breakdown on page two...

Interior Defensive Linemen

Who Needs One: Patriots, Bills, Dolphins, Browns, Colts, Titans, Chargers, Cowboys, Falcons, Panthers, Cardinals

Who Might Need One: Jets, Broncos, Chiefs, Lions, Saints, Seahawks, Rams

Top Round 1 Candidates: *Quinnen Williams, Alabama/Ed Oliver, Houston/Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State/Christian Wilkins, Clemson/*Dexter Lawrence, Clemson/*Derrick Brown, Auburn/Dre'Mont Jones, Ohio State

Keep an eye on: Charles Omenihu, Texas/Renell Wren, Arizona State

Sleeper: Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M/Chris Slayton, Syracuse

The Skinny: It's not an exaggeration to say that 15 interior defensive linemen could come off the board in the top 100 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft. It's that good of a class.

Sure, some of the big names like Lawrence and Jones may be getting a little too much hype, but the depth of prospects in this class is really impressive. You should be able to find solid starters well into the draft, especially at a position that seems to translate very well to the NFL.

The key will be prioritizing the defensive linemen who consistently make an impact on the opposing side of the line of scrimmage, which is why Williams and Oliver are still my picks to be the first two interior guys off the board.

Edge Defenders

Who Needs One: Again, who doesn't need one? Bengals, Texans, Chargers, Broncos and Saints probably have Edge as a lower priority than most teams.

Top Round 1 Candidates: Nick Bosa, Ohio State/Clelin Ferrell, Clemson/Josh Allen, Kentucky/*Jachai Polite, Florida/Brian Burns, Florida State/Montez Sweat, Mississippi State/Rashan Gary, Michigan

Keep an eye on: D'Andre Walker, Georgia/Christian Miller, Alabama

Sleeper: Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois/Wyatt Ray, Boston College

The Skinny: This is a good edge group with some real potential, but few players ready to dominate immediately in the NFL. Bosa is the best player in the class, and has the potential to be a top-tier edge at the next level. He should be the first pick in the draft to whoever ends up in the no. 1 spot in April.

After that, everyone has questions. Ferrell is the most pro-ready, but he appears to lack athleticism and ideal flexibility on tape. Gary might have to transition inside due to his unimpressive tape as a pass rusher off the edge, while Sweat is lacking the pass rush traits to win with speed and bend around the outside at a first round level.

Allen is the player most likely to go in the top ten along with Bosa, but he also will need further development as a pass rusher. I'm a big fan of Burns, but how he tests will be critical, especially if he weighs in around 235 or even 245. Weight-adjusted Combine results are important. Speaking of weight, Polite is pretty small for an edge. He may need some work on his body at the next level, but his burst, speed and bend are pretty impressive on tape.

Linebackers

Who Needs One: Bengals, Steelers, Rams, Cardinals, 49ers, Lions, Vikings, Eagles, Giants, Raiders, Patriots

Who Might Need One: Redskins, Chiefs, Colts, Ravens, Browns

Top Round 1 Candidates: *Devin White, LSU

Keep an eye on: *Joe Giles-Harris, Duke/*Troy Dye, Oregon

Sleeper: Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii/Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State

The Skinny: If Mack Wilson does indeed go back to school...look out. This might be the worst linebacker class in a long time. Some have put Devin Bush in Round 1, but I don't see the NFL caring for him in that range. White may be the only linebacker that even sniffs the first round, and I'm not even sure he's a lock. I'm praying a few small school guys emerge that I can get excited about in this class.

Cornerbacks

Who Needs One: Patriots, Bills, Steelers, Browns, Colts, Texans, Titans, Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Raiders, Giants, Lions, Bucs, Rams, Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals

Who Might Need One: Bengals, Redskins, Eagles, Saints

Top Round 1 Candidates: Greedy Williams, LSU/*Byron Murphy, Washington/Deandre Baker, Georgia

Keep an eye on: Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt/*Essang Bassey, Wake Forest

Sleeper: Brian Peavy, Iowa State/Duke Shelley, Kansas State

The Skinny: Three of the rumored top cornerbacks in the 2019 class - Levonta Taylor, Bryce Hall and Lavert Hill - have already opted to return to school, and LSU's Kristian Fulton is expected to follow suit. The class is full of big, long corners with potential, but athletic testing will be huge for several of these prospects.

Williams has a great chance to be the first cornerback off the board, but his tape still troubles me. Murphy was outstanding this past season, and should see his stock boost into Round 1 if he declares. Baker needs to run a great 40, but his 2018 tape showed big improvements from a year ago.

If you need a corner, and most NFL teams do, free agency might be the safer option. It doesn't look like a very pro-ready cornerback crop, and if your team does opt for the draft, you better take one early if you want him to start as a rookie.

Safeties

Who Needs One: 49ers, Panthers, Packers, Lions, Giants, Cowboys, Raiders, Chiefs, Steelers

Who Might Need One: Cardinals, Seahawks, Eagles, Chargers, Colts, Texans, Dolphins

Top Round 1 Candidates: *Deionte Thompson, Alabama/Nasir Adderley, Delaware

Keep an eye on: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State/Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

Sleeper: Ugo Amadi, Oregon/Darnell Savage, Maryland

The Skinny: Ya know what? The safety class is growing on me. If you're looking for single-high types, the pickings are slim. Thompson and Adderley are your best bets, and watch out for Utah's Marquise Blair as a developmental guy in that role. Juan Thornhill looks like an average athlete without great instincts, but he'll project to that spot as well. If *Brandon Jones declares, he could be great as a free safety if he could find some ball skills.

Then there are the smaller safeties who might be better off in the slot at the next level. Kentucky's Mike Edwards and Amadi are man coverage guys with some physical and athletic limitations, while Abram, Savage, and Washington's Taylor Rapp might be at their best around the line of scrimmage.

Gardner-Johnson has the size and athleticism to play everywhere, and could be the ideal chess piece in the NFL provided he can become more disciplined in coverage and as a tackler.

Summary

Breaking it down...

-QB, RB and LB class are pretty rough, but there will probably still be successful running backs found in rounds 2-7 because they don't matter.

-IDL is the best position group, but WR and TE are strong as well. EDGE is intriguing, possibly very good.

-The offensive line is working itself out. How many of these tackles should kick inside? Seeing many of them in Mobile should give us a great look.

-Cornerback probably ends up fairly weak, while the safety class might be better than first advertised, although it still depends on what you're looking for at the position.

Ready for four months of non-stop fun and pointless arguing? I know I am! And it starts today!