Happy draft week, everyone!
The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off in three days—or four days, for Chicago Bears fans. Though the Bears don’t have a pick until No. 87, there is still a lot of intrigue surrounding what their plans might be this year. General manager Ryan Pace has made several great selections on the third day of the draft, but with all but one of his picks being in Rounds 4 or later this year, he will have to rely heavily on his ability to find late-round gems.
As a self-proclaimed draft nerd, I have been preparing for this weekend since last April, which is pretty sad. What isn’t sad, however, is the size of my draft board as a result of this work. From the Alabamas and Ohio States of the country to small schools like Lehigh, Elon and Slippery Rock, my board carries a diverse group of prospects from many different backgrounds.
With that slight flex out of the way, I present to you my top 200 prospects for this year’s NFL Draft.
2019 NFL Draft Top 200
|1||Nick Bosa||Ohio State||EDGE1|
|11||D.K. Metcalf||Ole Miss||WR1|
|15||Dalton Risner||Kansas State||iOL2|
|16||Garrett Bradbury||North Carolina State||iOL3|
|18||Julian Love||Notre Dame||CB3|
|19||N'Keal Harry||Arizona State||WR2|
|20||Jerry Tillery||Notre Dame||DL3|
|21||Montez Sweat||Mississippi State||EDGE5|
|22||Jeffery Simmons||Mississippi State||DL4|
|23||Brian Burns||Florida State||EDGE6|
|27||Hakeem Butler||Iowa State||WR3|
|29||Kelvin Harmon||North Carolina State||WR4|
|30||David Montgomery||Iowa State||RB2|
|36||A.J. Brown||Ole Miss||WR6|
|38||Miles Sanders||Penn State||RB3|
|40||Oshane Ximines||Old Dominion||EDGE7|
|41||Deebo Samuel||South Carolina||WR8|
|44||Dwayne Haskins||Ohio State||QB2|
|45||Darnell Savage Jr.||Maryland||SAF5|
|46||Erik McCoy||Texas A&M||iOL4|
|47||Connor McGovern||Penn State||iOL5|
|50||Kahale Warring||San Diego State||TE3|
|52||Amani Oruwariye||Penn State||CB5|
|53||Parris Campbell||Ohio State||WR9|
|55||Greg Little||Ole Miss||OT3|
|57||Irv Smith Jr.||Alabama||TE4|
|61||Dre’Mont Jones||Ohio State||DL8|
|62||Jace Sternberger||Texas A&M||TE5|
|63||Jaquan Johnson||Miami (FL)||SAF7|
|65||Khalen Saunders||Western Illinois||DL9|
|66||Chris Lindstrom||Boston College||iOL6|
|67||Andre Dillard||Washington State||OT4|
|70||Zach Allen||Boston College||DL10|
|71||Devin Singletary||Florida Atlantic||RB6|
|73||Joe Jackson||Miami (FL)||EDGE11|
|75||DaMarkus Lodge||Ole Miss||WR11|
|77||Bruce Anderson||North Dakota State||RB7|
|80||Marvell Tell III||USC||SAF9|
|81||Daylon Mack||Texas A&M||DL11|
|82||Yodny Cajuste||West Virginia||OT5|
|87||Te’Von Coney||Notre Dame||LB6|
|90||Terry McLaurin||Ohio State||WR14|
|93||Justice Hill||Oklahoma State||RB9|
|94||Michael Jordan||Ohio State||iOL9|
|95||Trayveon Williams||Texas A&M||RB10|
|97||Josh Oliver||San Jose State||TE6|
|99||Isaiah Prince||Ohio State||OT7|
|100||Dennis Daley||South Carolina||iOL10|
|101||Tytus Howard||Alabama State||OT8|
|102||Dawson Knox||Ole Miss||TE7|
|104||Justin Layne||Michigan State||CB8|
|107||Johnathan Abram||Mississippi State||SAF10|
|108||Elgton Jenkins||Mississippi State||iOL11|
|109||Stanley Morgan Jr.||Nebraska||WR17|
|110||Felton Davis III||Michigan State||WR18|
|114||James Williams||Washington State||RB12|
|117||Gerald Willis III||Miami (FL)||DL12|
|125||Michael Jackson||Miami (FL)||CB11|
|126||Ryan Finley||North Carolina State||QB6|
|127||Benny Snell Jr.||Kentucky||RB14|
|128||Terronne Prescod||North Carolina State||iOL14|
|129||Jordan Brailford||Oklahoma State||EDGE17|
|130||Dakota Allen||Texas Tech||LB10|
|131||Germaine Pratt||North Carolina State||LB11|
|134||Lukas Denis||Boston College||SAF11|
|135||Ricky Walker||Viginia Tech||DL15|
|136||Sean Bunting||Central Michigan||CB12|
|137||Jaylon Ferguson||Louisiana Tech||EDGE18|
|140||Dexter Williams||Notre Dame||RB15|
|142||David Sills V||West Virginia||WR21|
|143||Travis Fulgham||Old Dominion||WR22|
|146||Renell Wren||Arizona State||DL16|
|151||Antoine Wesley||Texas Tech||WR23|
|154||Shaq Calhoun||Mississippi State||iOL16|
|156||Sutton Smith||Northern Illinois||EDGE22|
|157||Phil Haynes||Wake Forest||iOL17|
|158||Jakobi Meyers||North Carolina State||WR24|
|159||Penny Hart||Georgia State||WR25|
|160||Brett Rypien||Boise State||QB7|
|161||Terrill Hanks||New Mexico State||LB13|
|162||Jamal Davis II||Akron||EDGE23|
|167||Travis Homer||Miami (FL)||RB18|
|171||Mike Bell||Fresno State||SAF13|
|172||Jalin Moore||Appalachian State||RB19|
|174||Darwin Thompson||Utah State||RB20|
|175||KeeSean Johnson||Fresno State||WR28|
|177||Mike Weber||Ohio State||RB21|
|180||Gardner Minshew II||Washington State||QB8|
|181||Gary Jennings Jr.||West Virginia||WR31|
|184||Will Grier||West Virginia||QB9|
|187||Xavier Crawford||Central Michigan||CB15|
|188||Dax Raymond||Utah State||TE9|
|190||Kendall Sheffield||Ohio State||CB16|
|191||Jordan Brown||South Dakota State||CB17|
|192||Miles Boykin||Notre Dame||WR33|
|193||Wyatt Ray||Boston College||EDGE24|
|194||Alize Mack||Notre Dame||TE10|
|197||Easton Stick||North Dakota State||QB10|
|199||Will Harris||Boston College||SAF15|
Defensive linemen galore
Edge rushers and interior defensive linemen take up 43 of the top 200 spots on my board, which checks out to roughly 22 percent. They also take up five of my top 10 spots, and 11 of my top 25 spots. Needless to say, this is a good year to need some beef up front.
The Bears won’t be able to select a pass rusher like Nick Bosa or Josh Allen, and they won’t be in the market to select a defensive linemen early this year, if at all. However, there are several edge rushers who could be available to be picked with one of their earlier selections. Oregon’s Justin Hollins, TCU’s Ben Banogu and Georgia’s D’Andre Walker jump out as athletic prospects with starter upside. If you’re looking for more polish than athleticism, then players like Oregon’s Jalen Jelks and TCU’S LJ Collier could be possibilities. Northern Illinois’ Sutton Smith and Akron’s Jamal Davis II are undersized, but athletic and productive rushers who could be valuable special teams players.
Aaron Lynch is back in the fold as a rotational pass rusher, but he’s only on a one-year deal, and Leonard Floyd is no guarantee to stick around in the long run. The remaining group at edge rusher—besides Khalil Mack, of course—has a combined one sack. For both immediate depth and long-term stability at the second-most important position in football, the Bears would be wise to consider drafting an edge rusher early.
Running back class is good, but not great
Fans of the draft have been spoiled in years past with the likes of Saquon Barkley, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley all being selected in the top 10 of their respective drafts. This year’s running back group doesn’t have any of those players, though Alabama’s Josh Jacobs does carry a first-round grade on my board. What this group does have, though, is depth: 24 running backs placed in my top 200.
The Bears have been linked to just about every draftable running back in this class, and they should have plenty of potential contributors to choose from in the third and fourth rounds. Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary, Texas A&M’s Trayveon Williams and, if he falls, Memphis’ Darrell Henderson fit the bill as potential third-round targets. If Chicago opts to address another position in the third round, then Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill, Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson and potentially the aforementioned Williams could be had in Round 4.
Despite a lack of top-end talent, this year’s group of running back prospects is heavy in talent on the second and third days of the draft, which bodes well for the Bears. They will be in great position to find great value with one of their earlier selections.
Deep receiving group
Wide receivers are among the most-drafted positions every year, which is no surprise, considering today’s NFL is a passing league and there are about five or six spots at the position on most teams’ 53-man rosters. What I found surprising, though, is how many good grades I gave out to receivers in this year’s draft class.
There are 16 wide receivers inside of my top 100 alone, as well as a whopping 33 in my top 200. From big-bodied, physical targets to smaller, shiftier wide outs, this class has a lot to like at receiver. The Bears are pretty well off at the position, as they have a steady trio in the starting lineup with Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller. With backups like Cordarrelle Patterson, Javon Wims and Marvin Hall in the fold, they have some pretty solid depth at the position, too.
If Chicago would be interested in adding some competition for Hall through the draft, then they would be wise to look for a smaller, more elusive receiver in the later rounds. This would compliment the size of Wims and the straight-line explosiveness of Patterson. Penny Hart from Georgia State would be an intriguing possibility, as would Toledo’s Diontae Johnson and Georgia’s Mecole Hardman, though the consensus opinion regarding the latter is higher than mine.
Secondary a primary in terms of depth
Though no safeties carry a first-round grade on my board this year, three cornerbacks managed to make the cut, and a total of 32 defensive backs made it into my top 200. There’s a chance that more will be selected in that span when the draft rolls around, but this year’s group has plenty of Day 3 talent.
Despite the additions of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Buster Skrine, defensive back remains one of the Bears’ biggest needs. They lack depth at the cornerback position, and long-term solutions at both nickelback and the press cornerback spot alongside Kyle Fuller are unclear. As far as press corners go, Michigan State’s Justin Layne and Houston’s Isaiah Johnson are raw, yet lengthy and athletic projects with high upside. Miami’s Michael Jackson serves as a more polished, albeit less athletic option, and Tim Harris from Virginia stands out as a deep sleeper with an injury history but fantastic measurables and testing numbers. While most of my nickelback prospects are either too high up for the Bears to draft or too low to make this list, Michigan’s David Long and Ohio State’s Kendall Sheffield stand out as possible draft picks.
As for safeties, the Bears will likely look more for strong safeties to complement Eddie Jackson’s rangy skill set. Amani Hooker from Iowa is an instinctive player who can hit hard and offer value in coverage, and Jaquan Johnson from Miami is a smaller, yet still physical safety prospect. Washington’s Taylor Rapp played free safety in college, but he could be a better fit as a strong safety at the next level, and he could be available due to his poor testing numbers. Rutgers’ Saquan Hampton and Boston College’s Will Harris could be late-round targets at the position, as well.