2019 NFL Draft: Position-by-position prospect scouting reports

The Patriots own 12 picks in the draft.

NFL Draft 2019 Nashville
The 2019 NFL Draft will be held in Nashville, Tennessee. The draft starts Thursday, April 25. –The Associated Press

It’s almost here, folks. That three-day event where NFL teams look to the college ranks to shape the future of their organizations. We speak, of course, of the 2019 NFL Draft, which begins with the first round on Thursday at 8 p.m. and will be televised on ABC. The second and third rounds will be held Friday, and the fourth through seventh rounds on Saturday.

The Patriots figure to be active, with 12 picks over seven rounds, including six of the top 101 picks.

If you’ve been locked in on the playoff runs of the Bruins and Celtics, or caught up in the first month of the Red Sox season, we’ve got you covered.

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Patriots beat writer Jim McBride broke down the prospects by position and has a look at some of the hopefuls looking to move on from the college ranks.

Click to jump to a position: DL | TE | QB | WR | RB | OL | LB | DB

 

Defensive linemen

PLAYER

POS.

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

*Nick Bosa

DE

Ohio State

6-4

266

4.79

1

If he’s healthy (he missed most of the season with a core muscle injury), he will be a terror off the edge for many years. He’s explosive and powerful and can also set the edge vs. the run.

*Quinnen Williams

DT

Alabama

6-3

303

4.83

1

Rare blend of instincts, size, and explosiveness. Hands are active and violent. Can get skinny and squeeze between defenders. Great motor.

*Dexter Lawrence

DT

Clemson

6-4

342

5.05

1

Remarkably light on his feet for a man his size. Can be a wrecking ball against the run. PED suspension could make some teams shy away.

*Ed Oliver

DT

Houston

6-2

287

4.75

1

Ridiculous package of athleticism and size. Built like a lineman but moves like a linebacker. There are red flags, however. He clashed with his coach and has had knee woes.

*Rashan Gary

DE

Michigan

6-4

277

4.58

1

Wonderfully athletic and explosive. Has the speed to beat tackles around the corner and the super strong hands to rag-doll tight ends.

Jerry Tillery

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DT

Notre Dame

6-6

295

4.93

1

Power-packed behemoth with the strength to anchor against the run and burst to shoot gaps and disrupt the backfield. If he falls to Round 2, somebody’s getting the steal of the draft.

Best of the rest: DTs: *Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi State (6-4, 301, N/A); Christian Wilkins, Clemson (6-3, 315, 5.04); *Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State (6-3, 281, 5.12); Gerald Willis III, Miami (6-2, 302, N/A); DEs: *Clelin Ferrell (6-4, 264, N/A); Charles Omenihu, Texas (6-5, 280, 4.92); Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (6-6, 260, 4.41); Zach Allen, Boston College (6-4, 281, 5.0); *Anthony Nelson (6-7, 271, 4.82).

*underclassman

Tight ends

PLAYER

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

*T.J. Hockenson

Iowa

6-5

251

4.7

1

The comparisons to Rob Gronkowski were inevitable because the kid can catch and block. He’s not Gronkowski, of course, but he’s going to make a name for himself.

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*Noah Fant

Iowa

6-4

249

4.5

1

A superb pass catcher with explosiveness, he has the tools to stretch and stress a defense. He’ll be a red zone nightmare. Needs to be more physical as an in-line blocker.

*Irv Smith Jr.

Alabama

6-2

242

4.63

1

An excellent athlete with speed and good balance, he burst onto the scene last year with 710 receiving yards and a Tide-record 7 TDs. A solid blocker, especially at the second level.

*Jace Sternberger

Texas A&M

6-4

251

4.75

2

A devil down the seam with excellent hands and athleticism. But is one year of solid production enough to convince teams he’s in it for the long haul? Needs to improve blocking.

*Kaden Smith

Stanford

6-5

255

4.93

2

A bit raw, but he has the athleticism and speed to attack defenses down the seam. Will need to improve his other routes and get stronger to contribute as an in-line blocker.

*Isaac Nauta

Georgia

6-3

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244

4.93

3

Gives strong effort and is effective as an in-line blocker. Plays faster than his disappointing Combine 40. Doesn’t have a huge catch radius and must refine his route running.

*Dawson Knox

Mississippi

6-4

254

n/a

3

An excellent athlete, this former high school quarterback flashes quick feet and good blocking, and has good open-field vision. Still refining his pass-catching skills.

Best of the rest: *Alize Mack, Notre Dame (6-4, 249, 4.7); *Caleb Wilson, UCLA (6-4, 240, 4.56); Tommy Sweeney, Boston College (6-4, 251, 4.83); Josh Oliver, San Jose State (6-4, 249, 4.63); Kahale Warring, San Diego State (6-5, 262, 4.67).

*underclassman

Quarterbacks

PLAYER

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

Kyler Murray

Oklahoma

5-10

207

n/a

1

An electric athlete with tremendous arm strength and accuracy. His skill set is a perfect fit for a lot of NFL offenses (especially the one Kliff Kingsbury runs in Arizona). Oh yeah, you may have heard he’s a wee bit short for the position. It doesn’t matter.

*Dwayne Haskins

Ohio State

6-3

231

5.04

1

The kid with the cannon arm completed 70 percent of his passes and threw 50 touchdowns. He makes super-smart decisions super-quickly and rarely gets rattled. He lacks elite athleticism, but his poise and savvy make up for it.

*Daniel Jones

Duke

6-5

221

4.81

1

Big and smart, he looks like he just walked out of the QB factory. A very poised and tough character who will hang in the pocket until the last second (sometimes too long). Will thrive in a short to midrange passing offense.

Drew Lock

Missouri

6-3

228

4.69

1

Maybe the biggest arm in this class. He can zip the piggy all over the yard. An underrated athlete who uses quick feet to sidestep the rush and buy extra time in the pocket. A bright red flag is that he’s never been asked to line up under center.

Will Grier

West Virginia

6-2

217

4.84

2

Tremendous production over the last two seasons (7,354 yards, 71 TDs). Excellent velocity on his fastball and a nice touch on the short stuff. Looked a little jittery in the pocket at times and is susceptible to the blitz, as he makes slow reads.

Ryan Finley

North Carolina St.

6-4

213

4.73

2-3

Big and smart (he earned a pair of master’s degrees after being granted a sixth year of eligibility), with plus arm strength. Lacks elite athleticism, but his feet are light enough to allow him to buy extra pocket time.

*Tyree Jackson

Buffalo

6-7

249

4.59

2-3

Humongous size and a humongous arm. Raw, and didn’t play against top-level competition, but has the physical and mental skills to develop into a solid NFL starter. If a team can be patient, there could be a huge payoff down the line.

Jarrett Stidham

Auburn

6-2

218

4.81

3-4

Tough and poised competitor with a very good arm. Another guy who will need some time but will make the most of his opportunity when it comes. Needs to be quicker with his reads and decisions.

Best of the rest: Brett Rypien, Boise State (6-1, 210, 4.91); Clayton Thorson, Northwestern (6-4, 220, n/a); Gardner Minshew, Washington State (6-0, 225, 4.97); Easton Stick, North Dakota State (6-1, 224, 4.62); Jordan Ta’amu, Mississippi (6-2, 221, 4.77)

*underclassman

Wide receivers

PLAYER

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

*N’Keal Harry

Arizona State

6-2

228

4.53

1

Flashy pass catcher with a flair for highlight-reel plays. Excellent athleticism and body control. More sudden than fast, and will fight for contested balls. Needs to become a better technical route runner.

*Marquise Brown

Oklahoma

5-9

166

n/a

1

Creates separation in a flash with quick moves and jetliner speed. If he’s not mugged at the line, he’ll accelerate through a defense and leave everyone in the dust. Antonio Brown’s cousin has small hands and a slender frame. Can he take NFL punishment?

*A.J. Brown

Mississippi

6-0

226

4.49

1

Versatile guy who can play inside and on the perimeter, and always appears to be open. Like a running back after the catch, with great open-field vision and moves. Could be a jet sweep demon. Will need to refine those downfield blocking skills.

*D.K. Metcalf

Mississippi

6-3

228

4.33

1

Freakish physical specimen with big muscles and playmaking ability. Great bloodlines, as he follows his father (Terry) and grandfather (Terrence) to the NFL. Teams will love his run-game blocking but he’ll have to improve as a route runner.

*Kelvin Harmon

North Carolina St.

6-2

221

4.60

2

Strong-handed player who can chuck cornerbacks and snag all the passes in his zip code. Has the savvy to use his body to shield defenders from the ball and is a more-than-willing blocker downfield. Doesn’t have game-breaking speed.

*Riley Ridley

Georgia

6-1

199

4.58

2

Not as big and thick as big brother Calvin, but a reliable possession receiver with great hands and deceptive after-the-catch quickness. While he won’t shy away from physicality, he will miss some obvious blocks.

Deebo Samuel

South Carolina

5-11

214

4.48

2-3

Explosive player who can string together multiple moves after the catch and leave defenders grasping (and gasping) for air. Figures to be a slot machine at NFL level. Has the speed and smarts to be a valuable special teamer. Was hurt a lot in college.

*Miles Boykin

Notre Dame

6-3

220

4.42

2-3

Keeps building momentum after a solid senior season and a spectacular Combine. Has the height, strength, and athleticism to box out corners, leaving them defenseless. Will need some coaching up to develop into a more reliable route runner.

Andy Isabella

UMass

5-8

188

4.31

2-3

Looks like a prototypical slot receiver, but this kid is exceptionally athletic and can line up anywhere. Randy Moss’s smaller protégé is very quick and flashes excellent acceleration and vision after the catch. He’s a willing blocker but his size limits him in that department.

Parris Campbell

Ohio State

5-11

205

4.31

2-3

Speedster steadily improved, going from 13 to 40 to 90 catches over three seasons. Former track star is still a little raw in his route-running but could make an immediate impact with screens and jet sweeps.

Best of the rest: *J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford (6-2, 225, n/a); *Hakeem Butler, Iowa State (6-5, 227, 4.48); *Antoine Wesley, Texas Tech (6-4, 206, n/a); Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska (6-0, 202, 4.53); Jalen Hurd, Baylor (6-4, 226, n/a); Hunter Renfrow, Clemson (5-10, 184, 4.59); *Mecole Hardman, Georgia (5-10, 187, 4.33); *Diontae Johnson, Toledo (5-10, 183, 4.53); *Preston Williams, Colorado State (6-4, 211, 4.59); *Darius Slayton, Auburn (6-1, 190, 4.39).

*underclassman

Running backs

PLAYER

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

Damien Harris

Alabama

5-10

216

4.57

2

A three-year starter, Harris fended off a lot of competition in Tuscaloosa and kept coming out on top. He has strength to be effective between tackles and surprising burst to corner, too.

*Josh Jacobs

Alabama

5-11

220

4.64

2

Speaking of competition in Crimson Tide land, here’s a jack-of-all-trades type who can run, catch, and pass protect. There’s plenty of tread left on the tires (he had just 299 career touches) but his upright style will leave him susceptible to some big jolts.

*Miles Sanders

Penn State

5-10

211

4.49

2-3

Some labeled him Saquon 2.0 because of the school ties and north-south running style. He’s not. But he’s darn good. Sanders hits the hole with ferocity and will dip his shoulder and drive defenders back. He has soft hands but has had fumbles issues.

Dexter Williams

Notre Dame

5-11

212

4.57

2-3

Can play the part of a bruiser but the man teammates call “Juice’’ has surprising burst to the hole and exceptional acceleration in the open field. He’s a fluid runner who piled up 995 rushing yards despite missing the first three games of 2018 because of disciplinary issues. Irish coach Brian Kelly said Williams has taken big strides in the maturity department.

*Darrell Henderson

Memphis

5-8

208

4.49

3

A little engine that could, Henderson possesses excellent vision and moves and will keep his pistons churning after first contact. He’s short but stocky and will deflect hits. Henderson lacks elite speed and he’ll have to improve his catching skills and pass protection. to be an every-down kind of guy.

*Trayveon Williams

Texas A&M

5-8

206

4.51

3

An electrifying runner with home-run ability, Williams sees the holes quickly and darts through them efficiently. He’ll bust through arm tackles and if he gets to the second level, blow him a kiss because he’s gone. Williams needs to become a better receiver and pass protector or he won’t see the light of day on third downs.

*David Montgomery

Iowa State

5-10

222

4.63

3-4

An instinctive and patient runner, Montgomery will pick his spots and set up defenders with subtle moves and quick bursts. He doesn’t have elite speed and won’t hit a ton of home runs. He’s a very good receiver and an exceptional blocker.

Best of the rest: Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma (5-9, 198, 4.40); Bryce Love, Stanford (5-8, 200, N/A); Mike Weber, Ohio State (5-9, 211, 4.47); *Justice Hill, Oklahoma State (5-9, 198, 4.40); *Elijah Holyfield, Georgia (5-10, 217, 4.78); Benny Snell, Kentucky (5-10, 224, 4.66); Myles Gaskin, Washington (5-9, 205, 4.58); *Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic (5-7, 203, 4.66); Jalin Moore, Appalachian State (5-10, 212, N/A); Ryquell Armstead, Temple (5-11, 220, 4.45).

* underclassmen

Offensive linemen

PLAYER

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

Andre Dillard, OT

Washington State

6-5

315

4.96

1

A tremendous athlete with great size, light feet, and excellent mirror skills. A late bloomer (he didn’t start playing football until eighth grade), he is a dogged and studious. Watching tape of Joe Thomas is a favorite hobby.

*Jonah Williams, OT

Alabama

6-4

302

5.12

1

Instinctive and deceptively quick, He rarely makes false steps or misses assignments. Another film room devotee, Williams will get to second level after disengaging from his block. He’s a tad light, so he could bump inside to guard.

*Jawaan Taylor, OT

Florida

6-5

312

n/a

1

Played both right and left tackle for the Gators and was often dominant in both spots. He’s a technically sound player with the lateral quickness to mirror pass rushers and the strength to shoo them away. Will have to watch his weight (he was once as high as 385) at the pro level.

*Greg Little, OT

Mississippi

6-5

310

5.33

1

A physical specimen with a great hand punch and an aggressive style. Little, who slides effortlessly, played in all 36 games during his college career and was All-SEC this past season. He has quick feet, but his weight (he’s been up to 340) will also need watching.

Kaleb McGary, OT

Washington

6-7

317

5.05

2

A true mountain of a man, McGary has awesome strength and decent athleticism. The four-year starter has the length to ward off speed rushers and the power to steamroll defenders in the run game. Was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and that may scare some teams.

Cody Ford, OG

Oklahoma

6-3

329

5.21

1

Played tackle and guard — and excelled at both — but projects inside as a pro. Has ideal blend of size, strength, and surliness. Has missed time with several injuries (including a broken leg) during his career, so durability is a question.

Chris Lindstrom, OG

Boston College

6-3

308

4.91

1

Played both right guard and right tackle; known for a nasty on-field disposition that should serve him well in this profession. He’s a mauler who will get to the second level consistently. Lacks ideal size and arm length.

Dru Samia, OG

Oklahoma

6-4

305

5.29

2

A savvy and smart athlete, Samia consistently gets under defenders’ pads and controls them. Relies more on instincts and presnap reads more than quickness and speed to get the job done.

*Ryan Bates, OG

Penn State

6-4

306

5.09

2

Did play one season at tackle but appears more comfortable at guard and that’s where he’ll make his bones. Has good quickness and strength to counter and mute inside pass rushers.

Beau Benzschawel

Wisconsin

6-6

309

5.24

2-3

A big, rugged mauler who can lock on and dominate defenders in the trenches. Has enough athleticism to pull and trap and get out and lead convoys on screen plays.

Best of the rest tackles: Chuma Edoga, USC (6-3, 308, 5.19); *David Edwards, Wisconsin (6-6, 308, 5.28); Yodney Cajuste, West Virginia (6-4, 312, N/A); Isaiah Prince, Ohio State (6-6, 305, 5.09); Tytus Howard, Alabama State (6-5, 322, 5.05).

Best of the rest guards: Martez Ivey, Florida (6-5, 315, N/A); Connor McGovern, Penn State (6-5, 308, N/A); Sua Opeta, Weber State (6-4, 301, 5.02); Michael Dieter, Wisconsin (6-5, 309, 5.23); Michael Jordan, Ohio State (6-5, 312, 5.27).

* underclassman

Linebackers

PLAYER

POS.

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

Josh Allen

OLB

Kentucky

6-5

262

4.63

1

Put on a lot of muscle for his senior year but it didn’t affect his lightning-quick first step or impressive closing burst. Needs to improve setting edge against the run.

*Jachai Polite

OLB

Florida

6-3

258

4.84

1

Possibly the best pure pass rusher in the draft. Nice array of moves (he can spin like a figure skater) and a nonstop engine. Probably will need to pack on some pounds.

*Devin White

ILB

LSU

6-0

237

4.42

1

Fluid and explosive athlete with excellent instincts and range. Makes violent tackles from sideline to sideline. A tad undersized but has an uncanny ability to sift through traffic without getting hung up.

*Devin Bush

ILB

Michigan

5-11

234

4.43

1

Outstanding read-and-react skills. A physical player who relishes punishing his opponent. Won’t miss many tackles. On the small side, but it hasn’t hampered him much yet. Twitchy and strong enough to cover tight ends.

*Brian Burns

OLB

Florida St.

6-4

249

4.53

1

Long and strong, he will get under blockers’ pads and drive them back. Slippery enough to prevent opponents from locking on and controlling him. Needs to get better at setting the edge vs. the run.

*Vosean Joseph

OLB

Florida

6-1

230

n/a

1

Relentless player who uses quickness, leverage, and violence to compensate for his comparative lack of size. An excellent blitzer, his speed will often catch pass blockers flat-footed. Needs to improve his pass-defense skills.

*Mack Wilson

ILB

Alabama

6-1

240

4.71

1

Well-chiseled and rangy heat-seeker. Smart and instinctive player who will slip blocks and land big hits on ball carriers. Overaggressive nature will cost him at times, but that won’t scare teams away.

D’Andre Walker

OLB

Georgia

6-2

251

n/a

1

Versatile player who is comfortable inside and out, smart, and strong. He can set the edge in the run game but also has big, powerful mitts that allow him to reroute tight ends before they get into their patterns.

Best of the rest: OLB Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State, (6-2, 242, 4.98); OLB Germaine Pratt, North Carolina State (6-2, 240, 4.57); OLB Chase Winovich, Michigan (6-3, 256, 4.59); ILB Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame (6-0, 244, 4.72); ILB Dru Tranquill, Notre Dame (6-2, 234, 4.57); OLB Gary Johnson, Texas (6-0, 226, 4.43); ILB Dakota Allen, Texas Tech (6-1, 232, 4.77); OLB Ben Banogu, TCU (6-3, 250, 4.62); Zach Allen, Boston College (6-4, 281, 4.80).

*underclassman

Defensive backs

CORNERBACKS

PLAYER

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

*Greedy Williams

LSU

6-2

185

4.37

1

Long and lean ballhawk has the suddenness and long arms to stay with and drape receivers of all shapes and sizes. Backpedals smoothly and breaks on the ball instinctively. Has the perfect name for his position.

Deandre Baker

Georgia

5-11

193

4.52

1

A tad undersized but compensates with excellent instincts and competitiveness. A supremely confident lad, he had 23 pass breakups and 7 interceptions in 36 career games in Athens.

*Byron Murphy

Washington

5-11

190

4.55

1

A superb athlete; as fluid as they come. Excellent mirror skills. Often arrives just in the nick of time to snatch passes or bat them away. Will deliver teeth-rattling hits when asked to play close to the line.

Rock Ya-Sin

Temple

6-0

192

4.51

1

Bound to become the most successful wrestling convert since Stephen Neal. A muscular athlete with quickness and good instincts. Aggressive when going after the ball or the ball carrier. Still a bit raw and will need some coaching up.

*Julian Love

Notre Dame

5-11

195

4.54

1-2

Athletic, aggressive, and instinctive. Showed steady improvement throughout his three years in South Bend. Smart enough to handle multiple duties, including switching coverages mid-play. A solid wrap-up tackler.

Best of the rest: *Trayvon Mullen, Clemson (6-1, 199, 4.46); Amani Oruwariye, Penn State (6-2, 205, 4.47); Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt (6-4, 211, 4.64); Lonnie Johnson Jr., Kentucky (6-2, 213, 4.52); *Jamel Dean, Auburn (6-1, 206, 4.30).

SAFETIES

PLAYER

SCHOOL

HT.

WT.

40

RD.

*Deionte Thompson

Alabama

6-1

195

n/a

1

Smart and strong player who can play both in coverage and near the box. The good news is there’s plenty in the tank after starting just one season. The bad news is he started just one season.

Nasir Adderley

Delaware

6-0

206

4.54

1

An explosive hitter who developed good cover skills from his time as a cornerback. Has the physical strength to be effective against the run and is also nimble enough to cover tight ends. Didn’t play against the highest level of competition.

Johnathan Abram

Mississippi St.

5-11

203

4.45

1-2

A well-chiseled thumper who looks more like a linebacker and could serve in a hybrid role at the NFL level. He can cover one-on-one underneath and will provide solid support over the top. Will be a bit overaggressive in pursuit at times.

Darnell Savage

Maryland

5-11

198

4.36

2

Who doesn’t like a football player named Savage? A rangy and athletic player, he has the quickness to serve as a nickel corner in some schemes. He’s a little small, comparatively speaking, but he loves to compete and loves to hit.

Juan Thornhill

Virginia

6-0

205

4.42

2

Versatility is this dude’s calling card. He can play cornerback, safety, and has even served as a hybrid linebacker at times. He’s a reliable player and tackler who is rarely out of place. Could be a special teams contributor immediately.

Best of the rest: *Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida (5-11, 210, 4.48); *Mike Bell, Fresno State (6-3, 210, 4.83); *Taylor Rapp, Washington (6-0, 208, N/A); Will Harris, Boston College (6-1, 207, 4.41); Marquise Blair, Utah (6-1, 195, 4.48); Sheldrick Redwine, Miami (6-0, 196, 4.44).

*underclassman