Yesterday, I released my top 200 Big Board ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft. One of my favorite yearly exercises upon the release of my personal big board is to see how it compares to the consensus rankings.
There are so many excellent NFL Draft analysts out there in the media, and no two people view a class entirely the same. When every analysts big board is averaged together, we get the “consensus” board among media members. Arif Hasan of The Athletic does the leg work behind building the consensus board. Check out Arif’s post right here, it’s an incredible reference before the start of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
There were a few prospects that immediately stuck out to me that my ranking was vastly different from the consensus, in either direction. These difference can come for a number of reasons: grading scale, perceived traits, or placing different value on upside. I detailed each prospect whose ranking was vastly different on my board compared to the consensus rankings.
Prospects that I am higher on than the consensus:
Consensus: #61 overall, #7 Cornerback
Kelly's Big Board: #25 overall, #2 Cornerback
What is not to like about Amani Oruwariye? With a great combination of size and athleticism, excellent ball skills and potential in his man coverage technique, I believe he has the highest ceiling among all cornerback prospects. He’s difficult to beat vertically because of his natural hips and long speed, and for that reason he can survive out on an island.
There isn’t a defensive scheme that Oruwariye doesn’t fit into, as his downhill click and close from zone looks is near elite levels. That scheme versatility limits any concerns about his potential landing spot. If he ends up in an ideal situation, he has CB1 upside by his second professional season.
Consensus: #165 overall, #13 Running Back
Kelly's Big Board: #62 overall, #4 Running Back
While Devine Ozigbo is a bit of a one-year wonder from a production standpoint, his natural fit in Scott Frost’s offense highlighted his pro traits. Ozigbo has an ideal running back frame at 5'11 and 220 pounds, with proper thickness and strength in his lower-half. What intrigues me about Ozigbo is the juice he has to get the edge on sweep plays, and natural ability to find creases in space despite his bulky frame. That combination bodes well for his projection as the feature back of a rushing offense, as he’s already proven able to carry a full workload.
While he has limited receiving production in college, he has serviceable traits in that area as well. I believe his well-rounded game is underrated, and an NFL team will struggle to keep him off the field.
Consensus: #164 overall, #22 Wide Receiver
Kelly's Big Board: #67 overall, #9 Wide Receiver
I’ve been high on Damarkus Lodge since the outset of the scouting process, and I’m banking on the traits I saw from his film. He’s a smooth athlete with flexibility, size and lateral explosiveness. Lodge can separate at the top of the route, consistently beat press coverage and is an acrobat in the air and along the boundary. While he didn’t athletically test as well as I expected, his game isn’t necessarily predicated upon athleticism.
I’m comfortable projecting Lodge as a WR2 for an NFL passing offense because of his complete game and the development as a pass catcher that he showed as a senior.
Other notable prospects that I am higher on than the consensus rankings:
Consensus: #80 overall, #10 Interior Defensive Lineman
Kelly's Big Board: #28 overall, #6 EDGE
This may come down to differences in projected role, as I view Omenihu as a hybrid defensive end who can kick inside on passing downs. I’ll put a premium on that versatility all day long.
Consensus: #180 overall, #28 Wide Receiver
Kelly's Big Board: #99 overall, #16 Wide Receiver
Meyers is a nuanced route runner who projects beautifully into a chain-moving possession role in the NFL. I’ll gladly value that in the top 100 prospects, 4.63s forty-time be damned.
Consensus: #255 overall, #21 Interior Offensive Lineman
Kelly's Big Board: #104 overall, #9 Interior Offensive Lineman
Bars didn’t play during the second-half last season due to injury, but had Day 2-level tape as a 32 game starter in his career. I’ll bank on him returning to form once healthy.
Consensus: #186 overall, #14 Tight End
Kelly's Big Board: #108 overall, #6 Tight End
Mack had an up and down career at Notre Dame, some of which resulted in him missing games due to suspension. Regardless, his splash plays have shown undeniable athletic upside.
Prospects I am lower on than the consensus:
Consensus: #28 overall, #3 Wide Receiver
Kelly's Big Board: #87 overall, #15 Wide Receiver
I realize how dynamic Marquise Brown can be on a football field, but I just have too many concerns about his overall game. Brown is undersized at just 166 pounds, and has nearly no length to speak of. Predictably, he struggles with any sort of contact from defensive backs. Whether in his stem or at the catch point, his lack of size is worrisome. Additionally, Brown had drop issues during his time at Oklahoma and is entering the NFL coming off of foot surgery.
While his speed can bust open big plays, there are other wide receivers in this class who aren't far off from him in that aspect. Players like Terry McLaurin, Mecole Hardman and Emanuel Hall can stretch the field like Brown, while offering more complete games or physical profiles. It's not that I view Brown as a bad prospect, I just think he's a bit more limited in his future role.
Consensus: #70 overall, #8 EDGE
Kelly's Big Board: Unranked (outside top 200), #23 EDGE
Ferguson is the all-time NCAA leader in career sacks, which should lead you to believe that he has excellent film. When scouting him, I thought he lacked bend around the edge and won almost strictly with power. I didn't see the same success using that method against more quality and pro-ready offensive tackles at the Senior Bowl, which raised questions with how he'll win at the next level.
Unfortunately for Ferguson, that's not even where his issues ended. At his pro day, he clocked a 8.08s three-cone drill and fell numerous times attempting to complete the exercise. That poor time suggests he lacks the agility to corner the edge track and get to the quarterback. I have a difficult time projecting where Ferguson will find success as a pass rusher, and I was never sold on his range as a run defender to begin with.
Consensus: #93 overall, #6 Running Back
Kelly's Big Board: #185 overall, #17 Running Back
Devin Singletary was an ultra-productive college running back and runs with an admirable toughness. Despite that, I have concerns over his projection to the next level. His game is mostly predicated on his contact balance, but he checked in at just 5'7 and 203 pounds. Generally, running backs that size are best suited for "change of pace" duties. Singletary clocked a 4.66s forty-yard dash and had only 6 receptions last season, so exactly which pace are we changing?
With limited size, agility and long speed, I find it difficult to project him as anything other than a borderline complimentary back. That's not a top 100 prospect in my eyes.
Other notable prospects that I am lower on than the consensus rankings:
Consensus: #74 overall, #11 Wide Receiver
Kelly's Big Board: #132 overall, #23 Wide Receiver
I have concerns over Isabella’s pro projection, as him limited size and catch radius will likely relegate him to slot duties. Even then, I’m not convinced with his ability to separate on horizontal routes against shiftier NFL defensive backs who will be tasked with covering him.
Consensus: #76 overall, #7 Offensive Tackle
Kelly's Big Board: #130 overall, #12 Offensive Tackle
I understand the lure of Howard, as he has an ideal size and athletic profile. Unfortunately, I think he’s currently too raw with his technique. His performance at the Senior Bowl didn’t convince me that he’ll hold up in pass protection against NFL-quality rushers.
Consensus: #56 overall, #4 Offensive Tackle
Kelly's Big Board: #138 overall, #14 Offensive Tackle
Similar to Howard, I understand the upside of Greg Little. Despite being a multi-year starter, I thought Little had numerous issues with his footwork that held back his progression.