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Pre Combine Top 32 Big Board

Discussion in 'The Bill Nunn Draft Room' started by AskQuestionsLater, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

    Apr 21, 2016
    Hello there again fellow members of TheSteelersFans! AskQuestionsLater here to bring you my very first Top 32 Big Board for the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft. Considering the NFL Scouting Combine is less than 48 hours as of the time of this writing, the future of these NFL hopefuls might likely be decided within those days. Before I dive in any further for my Big Board, as always, a disclaimer;

    These written statements by the author do not reflect nor are shared opinions of members of TheSteelersFans Message Board, Staff Members and/or Site Administrator.

    Each NFL Draft features 32 players that truly stand out above the rest. Of those 32, 20 are better than them. For that matter, there usually is one player to truly rule them all as the de facto best player in the draft. This season is no different as there is a general consenus among who is the elite among the elite. To that and to figure out who is the best of the best vs. the best of the rest, let us venture forth into the Big Board. As always, I will have a post analysis. Unlike the previous content that has been posted on this forum by yours truly however, the post analysis will be split up into three groups; 1-10, 11-20 and 21-32. After that, I will have some final notes as to why certain prospects were rated either lower or higher than others. With that out of the way though, onto the Big Board. As always, please sit back, relax and enjoy the read! :)

    Top 32 Big Board (Pre-Combine):

    1.) Nick Bosa: Defensive End from Ohio State University

    2.) Ed Oliver: Defensive Tackle from the University of Houston

    3.) Quinnen Williams: Defensive Tackle from the University of Alabama

    4.) Brian Burns: Defensive End from Florida State University

    5.) Josh Allen: Linebacker From the University of Kentucky

    6.) Jonah Williams: Offensive Tackle from the University of Alabama

    7.) Clelin Ferrell: Defensive End from the University of Clemson

    8.) Christian Wilkins: Defensive Tackle from the University of Clemson

    9.) Devin White: Linebacker from Louisiana State University

    10.) Byron Murphy: Cornerback from the University of Washington

    11.) D.K. Metcalf: Wide Receiver from the University of Mississippi

    12.) Cody Ford: Offensive Tackle from from the University of Oklahoma

    13.) DeAndre Baker: Cornerback from the University of Georgia

    14.) Jawaan Taylor: Offensive Tackle from the University of Florida

    15.) Nasir Adderly: Safety from the University of Delaware

    16.) T.J. Hockenson: Tight End from the University of Iowa

    17.) Kelvin Harmon: Wide Receiver from North Carolina State University

    18.) Noah Fant: Tight End from the University of Iowa

    19.) Chauncey Gardner-Johnson: Defensive Back from the University of Florida

    20) Dalton Risner: Offensive Tackle from Kansas State University

    21.) RaShan Gary: Defensive Lineman from the University of Michigan

    22.) Deionte Thompson: Safety from the University of Alabama

    23.) David Edwards: Offensive Tackle from the University of Wisconsin

    24.) N'Keal Harry: Wide Receiver from Arizona State University

    25.) Greg Little: Offensive Tackle from the University of Mississippi

    26.) Jeremy Tillery: Defensive Lineman from the University of Notre Dame

    27.) Yodny Cajuste: Offensive Tackle from West Virgina University

    28.) Josh Jacobs: Running Back from the University of Alabama

    29.) Greedy Williams: Cornerback from Louisiana State University

    30.) Dwayne Haskins: Quarterback from Ohio State University

    31.) Jachai Polite: Defensive End from the University of Florida

    32.) Montez Sweat: Defensive End from Mississippi State University

    This completes all 32 prospects whom I believe are the best of the best. To now find out why, now it is time for the post analysis.

    Post Analysis:

    Let us begin with those who are simply a cut above the rest.

    1 to 10:

    It definitely comes to the shock of no one that Nick Bosa is the absolute cream of the crop of the 2019 NFL Draft Class. Size, speed, power and above avergae athleticism are more than enough to complement his transcendent hand usage and overall technique. I could go on and on about how great he is but his tape is more than enough. As for ever ongoing draftnik debate between Ed Oliver and Quinnen Williams, while Williams has the greater ceiling due to his age, Oliver is the greater talent and thus, the better player in my opinion. Both are day one starters but Quinnen seems to have a ceiling akin to a Fletcher Cox whereas Ed has a ceiling akin to an Aaron Donald. Unlike Oliver vs. Williams, I had elected to opt over Brian Burns over Josh Allen. Yes, Allen is the far more experienced player with greater degrees of versatility. That being said, Brian's potenial just might be the greatest among all his 2019 Classmates. His bend is unreal and his hand placememt is great given his age. Burns can easily come in and perform just as well for any team the same Allen can albeit I believe that, due to that ridiculous bend, Burns can do more in his rookie season. While Jawaan may have far greater athletic ability, Jonah Williams has more than enough strength to take on the likes of NFL pass rushers. Much like Bosa, his technique will often win him more battles than they would lose him. Ferrell and Wilkins were instrumental parts as to why Clemson became the first collegiate team to go 15-0 in over 100 years. Yes, Trevor Lawrence was a major reason as to why but without the likes of Ferrell and Wilkins, Clemson does not beat Alabama. Considering how much the linebacker position has changed, Devin White fits today's mold. While I would not rate him higher than say, Tremaine Edmunds or even Leighton Vander Esch, Devin White is still a day one impact player who has no physical limiations and can supercharge a defense. Bryon Murphy might fall under the same boat but I believe he has more potential than even the likes of Denzel Ward. Yes, Ward's C.O.D. and footwork are far beyond anything I have ever seen but I do not believe Murphy is that far behind. Add the fact he is a scheme transcendent player due to the coverages he played at Washington and, while not a cant miss corner, he is a great corner in his own right.

    Now that we have done those who are the best of the best, it is time to see those that are the best of the rest:


    While I do believe D.K. Metcalf is a special player, keep in mind he suffered a season ending neck injury back in 2018. This does not sound all that bad at first but there is little to no guarantee that this is unlikely to happen again. His catch point consistency is also troubling. That being said though, D.K. is the best Wide Receiver in the class. For Cody Ford, while some might say his best position might be playing right tackle or possibly even moving inside, regardless of where he plays, I believe he is a top flight offensive lineman. He is not the most athleitc like Jawaan nor the most technically proficient like Jonah but Cody has some of the best of both worlds. Add his tenacity in both the pass and run game and you have one of the most complete lineman in the draft. DeAndre Baker definitely has the stats to back up he is one of the best corners in the draft. However, while he has the stats, he does not possess the athletic capabilities like Byron. That being said, he just might be the stickest corner in the draft as he does not get beat nor fooled very often. His dedication and team player attitude are also bonuses given his position being dependent of circumstances. For Jawaan, he has the exact opposite issue of Jonah; his technique is good but not great. He does make up for it with one of the most athletic tackles in the class. Again though, atheltic ability can only carry you so much. Nasir is currently to what I remember Malik Hooker being although Malik had greater range overall. Either way that does not matter though as Nasir has elite playmaking potential as a Free Safety. Single high was his calling card and I believe he will only get better from here on out. T.J. Hockenson, in my opinion, is the most complete Tight End since O.J. Howard. Sure, Howard was a better athlete but that is really it in terms of their overall game. Unlike most of the prospects I have ranked 11 to 20, Hockenson really does not have a weakness that I could point out. Kelvin Harmon might not be the most explosive speed but what he lacks in explosion, he makes up for in toughness and violence. In terms of simply contesting catches, only N'Keal Harry did it better. What I liked most about Harmon that I do not about Harry though is his violent demeanor towards every aspect of his game. He plays angry 100% of the time and that is something even some of the games best receivers have issues dealing with. Noah Fant, in short, is a receiving Tight End. However, due to the rules, he is probably the biggest matchup problem in the draft. Too big, too quick and too fast for defensive backs?! There is a man in New England during his prime that belittled opposing defenses this way. Rounding out the versatile players would be Chauncey Gardner Johnson and Dalton Risner. I will explain their placement above some others later on. For now though, both to me are arguably two of the most versatile players in the draft. Furthermore, both players are scheme transcendent as well as neither have any sort or form of issue playing in whatever role they are in.

    Now that we have completed who is the best of the rest, it is time to find those on the proverbial outside looking in.


    RaShan Gary just might be the most athletic player in the draft. He is also the biggest boom or bust player as well. Again, much like Gardner-Johnson and Risner, more on him later. For now, too inconsistent to earn a spot within the top 20. Same goes for Deionte Thompson. His regression though, is what shocked me among the entire 2019 class. How could a player so great falter so bad at the end?! Looking back on the tape, his second half was ugly. Unlike Deionte, David Edwards really did not have any major glaring issues tape wise. The only major reason he is omitted from the top 20 is because he is not nearly as versatile as Dalton, as athletic as Jawaan or as technically proficient as Jonah. He is good... just not great. Much of the same can be said for N'Keal Harry. His athletic abilities are not great but his hands are the best in the class. However, the former reason is what keeps him out of the top 20. Generally speaking, receivers need to have great hands as a pre-requisite to even sniff the top 32 for me and much less the top 20. However, other aspects such as C.O.D., explosivness and speed are also necessities. Sadly, N'Keal does not possess any of those in great quantities like a D.K. or even Kelvin. Unlike N'Keal, Greg Little could potentially have the greatest athletic capabilities of any Offensive Lineman in the class. Unlike Jawaan though, Little does not get in due to Little's technique overall needing some assistance. Same goes for Jeremy although I question his tenacity and mean streak more so. The technique aspect for someone like Jeremy is a non issue. That "beast" I have been looking for though could be. Much like Greg Little, Yodny also has elite athletic traits but unlike Little, Yondy needs serious coaching to achieve his maximum potential. Josh Jacobs is the most complete Running Back of the class but he is not nearly as impressive as any of the prospects I have in the top 20. While Josh has plug and play ability, he does not have any game changing abilities unless put in the correct scheme. Unlike most prospects though, Greedy Williams has top 10 talent all day. The issue with him is desire. Some plays he looks like a slam dunk top 10 pick. Others he looks like a third round prospect. For Dwyane Haskins, he needs to sit out a year. Playing him out of the gates will spell disaster; rule changes being irrelevant. The final two that round out my list are more so about scheme than anything else. While it is true that most of the players, even those in the top 10 are scheme specific, they do not have the limitations of the final two. For Jachai, his is entirely dependant on where he goes. If he goes to a 3-4 team, he will have the capability to make some noise in his rookie season. If not, he is done for. Montez Sweat is more primed for a 4-3 role. While I do not doubt his motor and desire, his athletic limitations will put him at a major disadvantage.

    All 32 propsects have been either mentioned or discussed in the post analysis. It is now time for some final notes.

    Final Notes:

    Brian Burns over Josh Allen could stun some but not others. For me, Brian Burns really does not have any apparent weakenss sans his weight. Given the fact he is only 20 though, I doubt this would be much of an issue. While Josh Allen has the higher floor, Burns has a far greater ceiling. For Ed Oliver vs Quinenn Williams, it all comes down to impact as interior defensive lineman. Both are exceptional in this regard but Ed to me is the better player at causing havoc. Furthermore, while Quinenn is a monster in his own right and, this is unfair to him, not many teams had the firepower to take on the likes of Williams and Raekwon Davis simultaneously. Ed made plays all by himself.

    Regarding as to why the likes of Chauncey and Dalton were in the top 20, that answer is simple. To get into the top 20, to me, you need to be a "Day One Impact Player". Both Chauncey and Dalton can do that thanks in part to their versatility. Dare I say for both that they are the most versatile players in the draft. This goes doubly so for Chauncey as the league is favoring more defensive backs of his capabilities. As for Dalton, if teams like the Steelers and Patriots are any indication, having a multi role offensive lineman who can come in and play any of the five positions is critical; doubly so if a key member of the line goes down. Risner alleviates those concerns as he is technically sound and proficient in all five.

    To round out the 32, both Gary and Williams would scare me if I am an NFL GM. I am banking on my coaching to teach them the fundementals and basics as both are either top 10 to arguably top 5 talents depending on ones definition. Their issues stem from desire and consistency. Rather, they are way too consistently inconsistent to be trusted; Gary with his motor and Williams overall. Dwayne Haskins being picked in the top 10 will not shock nor surprise me but it will also amaze me as to how many times teams are going to place their faith in Quarterbacks who have as much experience as Haskins does. He is not a finished product by any means. Draft him at your own discretion.

    Okay everyone! Now with some glaring issues gone it is time to wrap things up!

    Closing Statements:

    This draft is going to be interesting. Something tells me we are going to see shades of 2013 where the likes of Quarterbacks are overdrafted because that position is the most difficult position to acquire and thus, the most coveted. Players like Drew Lock and Daniel Jones were omitted because none of them are as "Pro Ready" as Dwayne is but saying even he is would be pushing it. It is a shame Jeffery Simmons got hurt because he is a top 15 pick easily. Overall though, for the Steelers, this draft is critical. Furthermore, being in the top 20 means a project is unacceptable. Pittsburgh has to land a impact player for day one. Otherwise, it is going to be a long year.

    That all being said everyone, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed! Considering this was my very first Draft Big Board, I believe I did all right all things considered! I will have a post combine big board but do not expect to see that one for a while. I will be analyzing quite a bit terms of meshing together both tape and analytics. I can tell you all one thing though; this board will look different!

    What are your thoughts on this Big Board?! Who do you believe should have been added in?! Who should be removed all together?! Please leave your comments below as they always help me out!

    Until next time everyone, take care! Thank you again! Your support is always appreciated! :)

    Go Steelers! :herewego:
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  2. steelcityclash

    steelcityclash Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2018
    Fantastic job. You certainly put a lot of time into this and it shows.

    Just something to think about... Certain Intangibles like height, length will be sought after by all 32 teams for the cb position. It’s a invaluable measurable that all teams look for in their cb and will be used to help project whether they can play successfully on the outside or in the slot. In the case of Greedy Williams, IMO he is right up there with Byron Murphy. What he has over Murphy is height at 6’3” vs 5’11”. Even if you think Murphy’s skill set is better, For most teams having a cb that is close in talent but will be able to defend almost every tall receiver (especially in jump ball situations) significantly closes the gap between the two players.

    You currently have Murphy at 10, Williams at 29 and DeAndre Baker at 13. I just can’t get there with such a large gap. Lack of desire (which can be addressed) is a variable that shouldn’t drop someone that low IMO especially if lack of speed isn’t enough to knock Baker lower than 13.

    This is Totally my opinion and not meant to be a dig at all the work you put into this. Again great job.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  3. Steel_Elvis

    Steel_Elvis Staff Member Mod Team

    Nov 4, 2011
    I going to have to disagree with this statement. Perfect height/weight/speed prospects fail all the time at the NFL level. You can go back to the 1st round of any draft and find guys who fit the part physically but failed, or underwhelmed, at the NFL level for other reasons. I consider a lack of desire to be a huge red flag.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. turtle


    Jan 14, 2015
    Excellent work AQL!

    As to the height comparisons for CBs, it will be interesting to note the verticals for each guy, especially Murphy since he's shorter. But if he has a 4-5in better vert than someone taller, then factor in arm length and maybe it comes out the same.

    Am I reaching for an excuse because I want Murphy :lolol:

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