This section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2019 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.
By Charlie Campbell.
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2019 NFL Draft Stock Up
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Even though Murray did not work out at the combine, he interviewed well and put himself in position to go No. 1 overall this April. After the combine, Murray is the consensus first selection whether it is to Arizona or to another team that is trading up to the top spot. Murray's draft status has skyrocketed, and it would be surprising now if he does not go No. 1 in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Sweat made combine history by running a 4.41 40-yard dash, which set a record for a defensive lineman. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder is long and athletic, allowing him to fit as either a 4-3 or a 3-4 defensive end. Team sources have said that Sweat has some minor off-the-field issues, but after his combine workout, sources don't think he will get to the middle of the first round. They think late top-10 or early teens is where Sweat will come off the board.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Metcalf was the talk of the combine last Friday after the 6-foot-3, 228-pound receiver ripped off a devastating 40-yard time of 4.33 seconds. On top of showing an elite combination of size and speed, Metcalf did well in the field drills in catching the ball and his route-running was better than expected. After his phenomenal workout, Metcalf looks like a secure first-round pick despite coming off a season-ending neck injury and not having much development in his route-running in college.
Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Williams is one of the best prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft, which he proved again with his tremendous combine workout. Williams' 40 time of 4.83 seconds with a 10-yard split of 1.67 seconds is similar to what Aaron Donald did in 2014, except Williams is 20 pounds heavier than Donald was. The 6-foot-3, 303-pound Williams was superb in the bag drills, showing great feet, hands and explosion. He might be the No. 1-overall pick if it weren't for the quarterback-needy teams, but he showed a ton of talent and upside to be a potential defensive franchise player.
Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
In speaking with numerous team sources at the combine, they like Rapp a lot and believe he has a good shot to be the second safety drafted after Mississippi State's Johnathan Abram. They say Rapp has a good at shot being a late first-round or second-round pick. Team sources said that Rapp's combine interview was phenomenal.
"I think he'll go higher second [round], and possibly late [Round 1] because he is so clean and a top-character guy," said one NFC general manager. "He is one of the hardest working and smart players in the draft. Yes, he has some limited tools, but some team teams prefer safe picks in that range."
Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
It was widely known in the scouting community before the combine that Campbell was extremely fast and a superb athlete. He then put that on display in Indianapolis with a tremendous 40 time of 4.31 seconds. What was just as important for him was looking good in the field drills in catching passes because there are concerns about his hands. In speaking with a general manager after the wide receiver workout, they said Campbell was one of the most impressive players and really helped himself.
Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
The night after the running back prospects worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine, WalterFootball.com caught up with two NFL running back coaches - one from an AFC playoff team and one from a NFC playoff team. Independently, they both named the same three running backs as the players who impressed them during the field workout. Those three were Ohio State's Mike Weber, Penn State's Miles Sanders and Michigan State's L.J. Scott.
The 5-foot-10, 211-pound Sanders had a very fast 40 time of 4.49 seconds. The coaches also liked how he looked in the field work. Sanders showed athleticism and quick feet with cutting ability to go with his fast 40 time. After serving as the backup to Saquon Barkley early in his career, Sanders averaged 5.8 yards per carry as a senior for 1,274 yards with nine touchdowns. After his strong combine performance, Sanders could end up being a second-day pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State
Similar to Sanders, Weber went under the radar in college despite playing at a big-time program. Weber was a platoon back the past few years with J.K. Dobbins, but Weber was a tough runner who showed a combination of power and speed. At the combine, the well-built Weber (5-9, 211) ran a fast 40 at 4.47 seconds and also looked fluid in the field drills. He showed quick feet, balance, and receiving skills. Weber could end up being a steal pick with the skill set of a three-down starter.
L.J. Scott, RB, Michigan State
Scott's final season did not go as planned due to injuries, but he has good tape from earlier in his collegiate career that demonstrated size and quickness. Scott didn't run the 40-yard dash at the combine, but he looked good in the field drills and had coaches complimenting his skills as a receiver. Scott may not end up going on the first two days of the 2019 NFL Draft, but his combine workout could ensure that he gets drafted.
2019 NFL Draft Stock Down
Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Thornhill is an intriguing prospect who had an excellent 2018 season. He has hard to find free safety skills with the ability to cover downfield. At the combine, Thornhill did well in the workout with good jumps and a fast 40 time. However, team sources say that his interview was bad, leaving them very disappointed. Thornhill needs to interview much better during his pro day and on pre-draft visits.
Jachai Polite, DE, Florida
I surveyed five teams at the combine, and three said that Polite was on their board and not in danger of being dropped. One team told me that Polite is on life support with their draft board, and he is probably going to get taken off their board because of the character concerns. Another team said Polite was on their board, but was close to being dropped.
That was how Polite entered the combine, but things went poorly for him in Indianapolis. After a slow 40, he dropped out of the workout. Even if there is a good excuse for that, team sources said that Polite did not interview well and they have questions about his football I.Q. Sources say Polite is sliding even though they think from a talent perspective he is worthy of going in the No. 10-15 range of the 2019 NFL Draft.
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