2019 NFL Draft Underclassmen



A list of officially declared underclassmen for the 2019 NFL Draft. I also offer my opinion on whether or not each prospect made a wise move by leaving school early. I will not factor financial considerations in my analysis because most players need the money.

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Click here for a list of prospects returning to school
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Underclassmen Declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft:


Jan. 14

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

T.J. Hockenson is just a redshirt sophomore, but he stands a good chance of being chosen in the opening round this April. It makes sense for him to declare with one of the major tight end prospects going back to school, but it would've been nice to see him cement his first-round status with a strong 2019 campaign. It's unlikely that much scouting has been done on Hockenson, but this is a fine decision overall.

Grade for declaring: B



Kyler Murray, QB/WR, Oklahoma
Height: 5-9. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.37.
Projected Round (2019): 1-3.

Kyler Murray is two inches shorter than Russell Wilson, who fell to the third round because of his height. Murray is also 20 pounds lighter and can't really add on weight without losing some of his explosive scrambling ability. He'll get lots of passes batted at the line of scrimmage and may not be able to last an entire season because of his build. And those things aren't even what teams are most concerned about. I spoke to an NFC personnel man about Murray on Friday afternoon, and here's what he had to say:

"Murray should probably go on Day 2, but will probably go in the first round because he's a hot name," the personnel man said. "We assumed he was going into baseball because of Scott Boras, so no one wrote up any reports on him."

Murray's dedication to football is the big question mark. It would be foolish of any team to use a first-round pick on him, but I believe it will happen. There are plenty of incompetent teams in the NFL, and all it takes is just one to pull the trigger. As the personnel man said, Murray is a "hot name," so a foolish general manager will select him because of the hype.

Given that fact, I'm more optimistic about Murray's grade. Plus, Murray stands to make more money by declaring for the NFL Draft, so this is a positive from a financial perspective. If/when Murray fails in the NFL, he can just go back to baseball.

Grade for declaring: A



Devin White, LB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 236.
Projected 40 Time: 4.64.
Projected Round (2019): 1.

Devin White has been a mainstay of the top 15 picks of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft. He's currently eighth in my mock. Unless White bombs the combine or gets injured, he will have a good chance of being one of the first 10 players chosen this April.

Grade for declaring: A







Jan. 13

Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Height: 6-5. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2019): 1.

Clelin Ferrell should have declared a year ago; he was projected as a top-10 pick, yet he saw his stock drop in 2018. He wasn't as fast and explosive, which is why sources Charlie Campbell spoke to expect Ferrell to fall to the mid-to-late portion of the first round. Still, Ferrell is probably making the right choice. He could risk further regression or injury with another year at Clemson. He could also rebound and become a top-10 prospect again though, so this choice won't be able to earn an "A" grade.

Grade for declaring: B+



Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Height: 6-2. Weight: 196.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Deionte Thompson must not have taken an economics class at Alabama; otherwise, he would've recognized that he was selling way low on his draft stock. Thompson entered the 2018 season with a first-round outlook, but was horrible down the stretch. He was torched on numerous occasions in the playoffs, and teams took notice. Charlie Campbell spoke to sources who believe Thompson could fall to Day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft. Thompson should've returned to school.

Grade for declaring: F



Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 238.
Projected 40 Time: 4.79.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

Mack Wilson is a borderline first-round prospect. I don't think he could improve his draft stock very much by going back to school, so declaring for the draft will allow him to avoid potential injury and regression.

Grade for declaring: A




Jan. 12

Tony Pollard, WR/RB/KR, Memphis
Height: 5-11. Weight: 208.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Tony Pollard is a dynamic play-maker capable of going the distance any time he touches the ball. The problem is that he's not a polished receiver, nor is he built to shoulder a heavy workload. He'll likely be a gadget player on offense and a return specialist. He's a redshirt junior, so that's a plus. He should also test very well at the combine to emerge as an early third-day pick.

Grade for declaring: B



Saivion Smith, CB/S, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 191.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Saivion Smith is a true junior, but I think he's making the right decision by declaring. Though there's a chance he'll fall to Round 4, he's likely to be a second-day selection. He's also entering a draft class with a sub-par cornerback group, so that should help Smith go in the third round or earlier.

Grade for declaring: B







Jan. 11

Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 297.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2019): Top 25.

Jonah Williams is projected to be a top-25 pick, and there's a good chance he's the second offensive tackle off the board after Florida's Jawaan Taylor. Given his high draft status, Williams would've made a mistake to return to school and risk injury or regression.

Grade for declaring: A



Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 289.
Projected 40 Time: 4.89.
Projected Round (2019): Top 10.

This is an obvious no-brainer. Quinnen Williams is just a redshirt sophomore, but he's a top-three lock. He could very easily be the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Declaring early was a very easy choice.

Grade for declaring: A+




Jan. 10

Malik Gant, S, Marshall
Height: 6-2. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Malik Gant will probably be a third-day prospect, though there's an outside chance that he'll go undrafted. However, Gant is coming off a good season, so I don't know how much he could've improved his draft stock with another year at Marshall. He's a redshirt junior, so he'll be able to participate in a pre-draft all-star game.

Grade for declaring: B



Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Height: 5-10. Weight: 216.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

Josh Jacobs has a good chance to be a first-round pick. He's coming off a tremendous run late in the season. He plays a position that tends to suffer injuries more than the others. It would've been a huge mistake for him to go back to school, so this is an A+ decision.

Grade for declaring: A+



Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

This would've been the right decision in a vacuum, but it's even better in the wake of Albert Okwuegbunam returning to Missouri. Smith might just be the first tight end selected in the 2019 NFL Draft as a result. This is close to a no-brainer.

Grade for declaring: A



Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Jace Sternberger declared several days ago, but he's someone I missed. Sternberger is coming off a big year, so it makes sense for him to sell high on his draft stock. There's no guarantee that he'll be able to duplicate that in 2019, so I agree with his decision.

Grade for declaring: A-







Jan. 9

Miles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame
Height: 6-4. Weight: 228.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Miles Boykin is coming off a quality season, so I can see why he'd want to declare. The problem is that there are questions about his ability to separate. He has great size, but that potential liability is a concern. It'd be great if he could prove himself in pre-draft all-star games, but as a true junior, he won't be able to do that.

Grade for declaring: C-



Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma
Height: 6-5. Weight: 301.
Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Bobby Evans probably should've returned to school. Teams believe he'll be a third-day prospect, so another year at Oklahoma could've given him a better chance to go on Day 2. Still, Evans is a redshirt junior, so this decision isn't horrible.

Grade for declaring: C



P.J. Johnson, DT, Arizona
Height: 6-4. Weight: 335.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2019): 7-FA.

P.J. Johnson is unlikely to be drafted, but between junior college and his time at Arizona, he's spent lots of time in school. It's time for him to move on. I don't think he'd stand to gain anything with another year at school, so his decision to go to the pros makes sense.

Grade for declaring: C+



Tre Lamar, LB, Clemson
Height: 6-3. Weight: 243.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Tre Lamar is coming off a solid, but not great season. Team sources told Charlie Campbell that they like Lamar's upside, but he didn't quite live up to it in 2018. Still, Lamar should be a second-day selection, so his decision to declare is fine, though he could have improved his stock with another year at school. It's worth noting that Lamar is a true junior, so he won't have the chance to showcase himself in pre-draft all-star games.

Grade for declaring: B-





Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Height: 6-4. Weight: 350.
Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

Dexter Lawrence was considered a top-10 prospect, but he has gotten into some hot water by being suspended at the end of the 2018 season. Lawrence could have shown teams signs of maturity by returning to school for another year, but because he still has a chance to be a first-round prospect, his decision might be the correct one. He'll need to do well in the team interviews.

Grade for declaring: B



Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
Height: 6-1. Weight: 186.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2019): 3-4.

Trayvon Mullen was seen as a first- or second-round prospect entering the 2018 season. I currently have him in the third round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft. Teams sources told Charlie Campbell that they've been very disappointed with Mullen's play this year. Mullen's not even a redshirt junior, so he won't get to redeem himself in pre-draft all-star games. This seems like an awful decision. Mullen should have returned to school to rebuild his draft stock.

Grade for declaring: D







Jan. 8

Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
Height: 6-6. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Hakeem Butler is a late-round prospect. He has great size, but can't separate and will test poorly in all likelihood. However, he's a redshirt junior, so he's not hurt by declaring.

Grade for declaring: B



Lil'Jordan Humphrey, WR, Texas
Height: 6-4. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Lil'Jordan Humphrey was very productive in 2018, so you could argue that he's selling high on his draft stock. I can't hate this decision as a result. However, Humphrey has off-the-field issues, so going back to school would've shown a sign of maturity, which teams would've liked. Furthermore, Humphrey may find it difficult to be taken on the second day of the draft.

Grade for declaring: C



Anthony Nelson, DE/DT, Iowa
Height: 6-7. Weight: 271.
Projected 40 Time: 4.82.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Anthony Nelson is coming off a dominant season, logging 9.5 sacks. He's a redshirt junior, so it makes sense for him to sell high on his draft stock. There's a decent chance he could be taken on Day 2.

Grade for declaring: B+



Ryan Pulley, CB, Arkansas
Height: 5-11. Weight: 198.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Ryan Pulley has injury and off-the-field concerns. He should have gone to another school to show NFL teams that he can stay out of trouble and remain healthy. Coming out now is a mistake.

Grade for declaring: F




Jan. 7

Damarea Crockett, RB, Missouri
Height: 5-11. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

I'm usually in favor of running backs declaring for the NFL Draft, but this doesn't look like a good decision. Damarea Crockett is coming off a down year, and he was part of a committee. He projects as a late-round pick. Crockett should've returned to school and put together a great season before going to the pros.

Grade for declaring: C-



Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
Projected Round (2019): 1.

Dwayne Haskins has great potential and finished the year on a strong note, but I don't think he's ready for the NFL. He needed another year at school. However, returning would've put him at risk for regression and injury. Remember Cardale Jones? He could've been a first-round pick, but fell very far the following year because he didn't play nearly as well. Haskins could be taken first overall if a team trades up, so he's making the correct decision.

Grade for declaring: A



David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 219.
Projected 40 Time: 4.62.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

David Montgomery will likely be a third-day pick, though he has an outside shot of sneaking into the end of Day 2. Montgomery is coming off a great year and plays a position that tends to be fragile, so I certainly have no problems with him declaring for the draft.

Grade for declaring: B+



Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Height: 5-11. Weight: 182.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

Some publications believe Byron Murphy will be a top-15 pick, but Charlie Campbell's sources say that Murphy will be chosen closer to the second round. Murphy has a shot at the first frame if he can perform on a high level at the combine and interview well. I'm not crazy about this decision, as Murphy could've cemented top-15 status with a strong 2019 campaign in Washington, but he also could've regressed or gotten hurt, so I get why he's making the leap to the pros.

Grade for declaring: B+




Jan. 6

Hamp Cheevers, CB, Boston College
Height: 5-10. Weight: 180.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

It's an odd day when Derrick Brown returns to school, yet someone named Hamp Cheevers declares. Cheevers is a small cornerback (5-10, 180) with only one year of starting experience. He's also a real junior, so teams won't have much to go on. Cheevers played very well last year, but if he tests poorly at the combine, he might go undrafted. This seems like a foolish decision.

Grade for declaring: D



Amani Hooker, S/LB/CB, Iowa
Height: 5-11. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Amani Hooker is extremely versatile. In addition to safety, he can be used at cornerback and linebacker as well. Coaches will love this, and it should help Hooker be drafted earlier. With that in mind, it seems as though Hooker is making the right decision even though he's a true junior.

Grade for declaring: B+



Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo
Height: 6-7. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Tyree Jackson was told to return to school by the NFL Draft Advisory Committee, but he didn't listen. He might be making the right decision. This quarterback class is weak, and Jackson could ride the momentum of Lamar Jackson to help get drafted on Day 2. Jackson was a redshirt junior anyway, so it'll be great that he'll be able to play in the pre-draft all-star games.

Grade for declaring: A-



Dredrick Snelson, WR, Central Florida
Height: 6-0. Weight: 206.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Uhh... why? True juniors who are late-round prospects with medium levels of production should not declare for the NFL Draft. This is an "F" decision all the way.

Grade for declaring: F



James Williams, RB, Washington State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

James Williams is a tremendous receiver out of the backfield. He also happens to be a running back, which means that he should declare early if he can go in the first four rounds, which is definitely a possibility. Williams also happens to be a redshirt junior, so there's no downside with him declaring.

Grade for declaring: A




Jan. 5

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
Height: 6-3. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Described as one of Charlie Campbell's sources as a "poor man's Mike Evans," J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is projected as a solid second-day pick. I've had him in the second or third round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft. Even better, Arcega-Whiteside is a redshirt junior, so he could play in the Senior Bowl. This is a great decision on his part.

Grade for declaring: B+



Mecole Hardman, WR/KR, Georgia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 183.
Projected 40 Time: 4.33.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Outside of scoring touchdowns, which can be fluky, Mecole Hardman wasn't very productive in 2018 with just 30 catches in regular-season play. That said, Hardman has blazing speed and can double as a kick returner. He's someone who should've definitely returned to school, as he's not a finished product as a receiver. Fortunately for him, his ability to return kicks very well could allow him to sneak into the third round, though he's more likely to be chosen on Day 3 at some point.

Grade for declaring: C



Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Elijah Holyfield doesn't have much tape, as he played behind Sony Michael and Nick Chubb prior to 2018. Still, even though he doesn't have a lot of mileage, Holyfield is making the right decision by not risking injury. He has a shot to be chosen in the fourth or maybe even the third round.

Grade for declaring: B+



Michael Jordan, G/C, Ohio State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 312.
Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Michael Jordan stood to benefit from another year of school, as he's a somewhat raw, unfinished product with great potential. However, Ohio State is making a coaching change, so I can see why Jordan would want to declare. As it stands now, Jordan is a second-day prospect.

Grade for declaring: B+



Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
Height: 5-10. Weight: 189.
Projected 40 Time: 4.40.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Projected as a slot cornerback, Julian Love is a second-day prospect. He's a real junior, but his decision to declare makes sense, as there's a good chance he'll be chosen at some point in the second round. I don't think Love could've improved his stock much had he returned for his senior year.

Grade for declaring: A-



Isaac Nauta, TE, Georgia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 240.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

This doesn't seem like a smart decision. Isaac Nauta is a real junior, so he won't be eligible for pre-draft all-star games. He wasn't on anyone's radar, so scouts will be behind in watching film on him. Nauta isn't even talented enough to be a first- or second-day pick. Nauta could've improved his draft stock with Jake Fromm in 2019, but he decided to make a horrible choice for his career instead.

Grade for declaring: D



Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
Height: 6-1. Weight: 198.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

I had Riley Ridley going No. 23 overall in my 2020 NFL Mock Draft. This assumed he would return for 2019 and continue to develop as a receiver. As it stands now, Ridley is too raw to be chosen in the opening round. He's making a mistake by not returning to school, as emerging as a first-round pick would've been very realistic. There's still a chance Ridley goes in the second frame because of his upside, but he could just as easily slip into Day 3.

Grade for declaring: C




Jan. 4

Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Erik McCoy is definitely in contention to be the first center taken off the board. Even if he's not, he's still a possible second-round pick, as sources told Charlie Campbell that is where they expect McCoy to be chosen. With that in mind, this seems like a great move on McCoy's part, especially considering that he's a redshirt junior.

Grade for declaring: A



Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
Height: 5-9. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

This seems like a no-brainer. Trayveon Williams is coming off a tremendous year, so he's selling high on his draft stock. He plays a position that tends to see lots of players suffer injuries. He just lost his center to an early declaration. And he has a legitimate chance to be chosen on the second day of the draft, so why wouldn't he declare?

Grade for declaring: A+




Jan. 3

Ryan Bates, OT/G, Penn State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 301.
Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Ryan Bates can play guard and both tackle spots. His versatility could vault him into the early portion of Day 3. He's a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible for all the pre-draft all-star games, so this is a good decision.

Grade for declaring: B+



Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Height: 5-11. Weight: 160.
Projected 40 Time: 4.35.
Projected Round (2019): 1-3.

Marquise Brown is an explosive receiver capable of going the distance any time he touches the ball. He's a possible first-round prospect and a likely second-round target. Given Brown's draft status and the fact that his quarterback is leaving, Brown is absolutely correct in declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Grade for declaring: A



Tyrel Dodson, LB, Texas A&M
Height: 6-2. Weight: 242.
Projected 40 Time: 4.87.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Tyrel Dodson had a great 2017 campaign, but declined this past season. I don't like Dodson's decision to declare. He's selling low on his draft stock, as he could've cemented his second-day status with a strong senior year. Instead, he'll need a great combine to get into the third round.

Grade for declaring: C-



Cody Ford, G/OT, Oklahoma
Height: 6-5. Weight: 335.
Projected 40 Time: 5.28.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

Cody Ford played right tackle at Oklahoma, but will likely move to guard for the pros. That's perfectly fine, as Ford projects as the top interior lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft class and will likely be a first-round pick. He's making a good choice by declaring.

Grade for declaring: A



Zach Gentry, TE, Michigan
Height: 6-8. Weight: 262.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Zach Gentry has great size and could be a mismatch threat in the NFL. He needs to improve his blocking, but Gentry, if he tests well, could be chosen on Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft. He can participate in pre-draft all-star games, so he did the right thing by declaring, especially considering that he turns 23 in September.

Grade for declaring: A-



Kevin Givens, DT, Penn State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 285.
Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Kevin Givens was a productive pass rusher at Penn State, but he's undersized and thus will likely slip into the final rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. Givens can't control his height, and he's a redshirt junior, so it makes sense for him to declare. I don't think he could've improved his stock very much.

Grade for declaring: B



Trysten Hill, NT, Central Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 325.
Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Trysten Hill is a massive nose tackle who can clog running lanes. He's just a real junior, so given that he's projected to go in the early-to-middle portion of the third day of the 2019 NFL Draft, he should have returned to school.

Grade for declaring: C-



Joe Jackson, DE, Miami
Height: 6-5. Weight: 258.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Joe Jackson was seen as a solid second-round prospect entering the season, but he had a disappointing 2018 campaign. He was way too inconsistent, disappearing in some games. Jackson is selling low on his draft stock. He may have been better off returning to school, but I don't completely fault him for making the leap to the pros.

Grade for declaring: C



Vosean Joseph, LB, Florida
Height: 6-1. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Vosean Joseph, whom Charlie Campbell described as a "seek-and-destroy linebacker," is coming off a terrific year. He's correct in declaring, as he's selling high on his draft stock. Joseph is a very likely second-day pick, and he was unlikely to improve his draft stock next year.

Grade for declaring: A-



David Long, CB, Michigan
Height: 5-11. Weight: 187.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

David Long is coming off a solid season, but he's a likely third-day prospect. He could sneak into Round 3 with a strong combine. It would also help if he could prove himself in pre-draft all-star games, but Long won't have that opportunity because he's a real junior.

Grade for declaring: C



Connor McGovern, G/C, Penn State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 323.
Projected 40 Time: 5.31.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Connor McGovern is a true junior, but he's still making a good decision by declaring because he's projected to be a second-day pick. I've had him in Rounds 2-3 of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft for a while, and some think he's the best interior line prospect in this class. McGovern can play guard and center, which will help him get chosen earlier.

Grade for declaring: A



Shareef Miller, DE, Penn State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 256.
Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Shareef Miller, who has plenty of upside and potential to pack on muscle to his frame, is coming off the best season of his collegiate career. He rushed the passer very well, so it makes sense for him to sell high on his draft stock. This seems like a good decision, as Miller could be chosen early on Day 3.

Grade for declaring: B+



Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon
Height: 6-2. Weight: 189.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Dillon Mitchell has great size (6-2, 189) and athleticism, so all the metrics people will love him. However, he's not a very good player, so it'll be tough to justify a top-three-round pick on him. He needed to return to school. He's a real junior, and he was getting Justin Herbert back, so this decision is quite dubious. It'll also makes Herbert's decision to return to Oregon even worse.

Grade for declaring: D



Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
Height: 6-0. Weight: 207.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Taylor Rapp is a very probable second-day pick, and it's not out of the question that he could be chosen on Thursday night. Rapp is just a real junior, but he's coming off a great season, and I don't know if he could've improved his stock any more, so I like his decision to declare.

Grade for declaring: B+



Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Miles Sanders is a third-day prospect. However, he's making the correct decision by declaring for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, he's a running back, and players at that position aren't very durably. Second, Penn State lost several offensive linemen to the NFL. With worse blocking, Sanders' production likely would have dropped in 2019, so his draft stock could have declined.

Grade for declaring: B+



Jordan Scarlett, RB, Florida
Height: 5-10. Weight: 213.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

I'm usually all for running backs declaring early because players at that position suffer injuries frequently. However, I'm going to make an exception in this case. Jordan Scarlett got into trouble because of a credit card scam, causing him to miss all of 2017. I think returning to school would've shown maturity on his part, and it would've allowed him to improve his draft stock.

Grade for declaring: C-



Darius Slayton, WR, Auburn
Height: 6-1. Weight: 190.
Projected 40 Time: 4.38.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Darius Slayton was an inconsistent at Auburn. He needed another year in school to refine his game. However, his quarterback declared, so that's a reason for him to jump to the pros. He's also a redshirt junior, so he could prove himself in pre-draft all-star games.

Grade for declaring: B-




Jan. 1

Clifton Duck, CB, Appalachian State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 175.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Clifton Duck caught a ton of interceptions in his first two seasons at Appalachian State. Opponents learned to throw away from him this past season. Still, level of competition is a big issue, and Duck won't get to prove himself in pre-draft all-star games. A late-round prospect, Duck should have returned to school.

Grade for declaring: C



David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
Height: 6-7. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.44.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

David Edwards was seen as a possible first-round pick at one time, but he was awful in 2018. Edwards really struggled, and now it's not even a guarantee that he'll be a Day 2 pick. Edwards is buying low on his draft stock. He should've returned to school to rebuild his draft profile.

Grade for declaring: D




Dec. 31

Venzell Boulware, G, Miami
Height: 6-3. Weight: 306.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Venzell Boulware projects as a late-round pick. He's a redshirt junior, which is a plus because he'll be able to impress at pre-draft all-star games, but he stood to benefit by returning to school to improve his game. Boulware could've bolstered his stock by playing another year at Miami. Instead, he'll need to test well at the combine.

Grade for declaring: C



Joe Giles-Harris, ILB, Duke
Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Joe Giles-Harris is a smart, productive linebacker, but will probably test poorly athletically. Still, Giles-Harris is a redshirt junior, so it makes sense for him declare even though he should be a third-day pick.

Grade for declaring: B



Travis Homer, RB, Miami
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Travis Homer projects as a change-of-pace back for the NFL. I don't think he could've improved his draft stock with another season at Miami, so he's making the correct decision even though he's a true junior. Remember, Homer is a running back, so he'd have some major injury risk if he returned to school.

Grade for declaring: B+



Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Height: 6-5. Weight: 215.
Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
Projected Round (2019): Top-20 Picks.

There's an argument for Daniel Jones to return to school. He has some issues with his accuracy and mechanics that need to be fixed. I don't think he's ready to start Day 1. However, he has the potential, talent and size to be a top-10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, so he would've risked losing that distinction by returning to school and suffering either injury or regression. I feel compelled to give this decision an "A" grade.

Grade for declaring: A



David Long, LB, West Virginia
Height: 5-11. Weight: 221.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

David Long is a tough player with a great motor. He may not be very athletic, but he'll be a solid player on a team. At the very least, he'll be a quality special-teamer. Long was a redshirt sophomore and wasn't going to improve his stock very much, so this seems like the right choice.

Grade for declaring: B+



Jachai Polite, DE/OLB, Florida
Height: 6-2. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2019): Top-25 Picks.

Credit Charlie Campbell for reporting that Jachai Polite would declare for the 2019 NFL Draft several weeks ago. Polite is a talented player with plus athleticism, and he should be chosen in the top-25 picks. With a first-round projection, Polite would've been foolish to return to school.

Grade for declaring: A




Dec. 30

Josiah Tauaefa, ILB, Texas-San Antonio
Height: 6-1. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Josiah Tauaefa should probably be drafted, though he'll be taken in the middle or late on Day 3. Tauaefa injured his knee in 2017, but recovered well this past season. He's a redshirt junior, so it makes sense for him to declare at this moment.

Grade for declaring: B



Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Height: 6-5. Weight: 340.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2019): Top-20 Pick.

Sources Charlie Campbell has spoken to believe that Jawaan Taylor will be the first tackle chosen this April. I have him in the top 10 of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft. Given that Taylor would have to compete against very talented tackles in the 2020 NFL Draft - Tennessee's Trey Smith, Georgia's Andrew Thomas, Stanford's Walker Little - he was right to go into a draft with a weaker crop. This is great decision by Taylor.

Grade for declaring: A




Dec. 29

Mike Bell, S, Fresno State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Mike Bell is a likely early Day 3 pick, but it's not out of the question that he could sneak into the third frame. Bell, who has positive coverage skills, was a redshirt junior, so he's making a positive move by bolting to the pros because he can participate in the pre-draft all-star games.

Grade for declaring: B



Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 208.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Jamel Dean is a polarizing prospect. He's a very good player, but has athletic limitations. Poor testing at the combine could cause him to tumble into Day 3. However, Dean is declaring as a redshirt junior, so he could be invited to the Senior Bowl and impress in Mobile. I don't think Dean was going to improve his stock any further in Auburn, so I think this is the correct decision.

Grade for declaring: A



Alexander Mattison, RB, Boise State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 219.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Alexander Mattison is a likely third-day pick, but he could be chosen early on Saturday with good workouts. Given that, as well as his position, it's difficult to hate this choice. Teams will like Mattison's production as well as his receiving ability.

Grade for declaring: B



Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
Height: 6-3. Weight: 208.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 3-4.

Teams Charlie Campbell spoke to are intrigued with Joejuan Williams' size and quickness. I've had him slotted in the third round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft for quite some time, so I like this decision.

Grade for declaring: B+




Dec. 28

Jeff Allison, LB, Fresno State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 242.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2019): 7-FA.

It'll be difficult for Jeff Allison to get drafted. He won't be able to impress anyone at pre-draft all-star games, which is a problem because he wasn't on anyone's radar as a true junior. Unless Allison blows everyone at the combine, he'll be a UDFA, making this a very dubious decision.

Grade for declaring: F



Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State
Height: 6-6. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2019): 7-FA.

Kahale Warring was a walk-on at San Diego State who ended up catching 31 passes for 372 yards in 2018. Warring, a redshirt junior, spent four years in college, so it's fair for him to move on. Hopefully he'll get invited to a pre-draft all-star game because he'll need it, as he's not on anyone's radar as a draftable prospect.

Grade for declaring: B




Dec. 27

Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State
Height: 5-8. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.41.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Darwin Thompson has a chance to be chosen early on Day 3. He had a great season and figures to run a low 4.4 at the combine. He's a true junior, so he won't be able to play at a pre-draft all-star game, but he's a running back, so he's right to declare to avoid risking injury.

Grade for declaring: B+



Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo
Height: 5-11. Weight: 181.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

This is an extremely stupid decision. Diontae Johnson would've had a chance at a big senior campaign, yet will move on to the NFL despite not being on many radars. Johnson is a true junior, so he won't have a chance at any pre-draft all-star games, so if he disappoints at the combine, he could go undrafted.

Grade for declaring: F




Dec. 26

John Ursua, WR, Hawaii
Height: 5-9. Weight: 175.
Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

John Ursua doesn't seem like a draftable prospect, but I think it makes sense for him to declare. He's a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible for pre-draft all-star games, and he's also coming off his best season by far. It's not like Ursua would be more draftable next year, so he might as well avoid injury now and move on with his football life.

Grade for declaring: B




Dec. 24

Greg Dortch, WR, Wake Forest
Height: 5-9. Weight: 170.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Oh man. What the hell is happening here? Greg Dortch is someone we had listed in our 2020 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings as a Round 7-UDFA player. Dortch is just a redshirt sophomore, so he's making an absolutely terrible decision by declaring. He's on no one's radar, and he won't get to impress at any pre-draft all-star games. If he fails at the combine, he won't get drafted.

Grade for declaring: F




Dec. 22

Amani Bledsoe, DE/DT, Oklahoma
Height: 6-5. Weight: 287.
Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Amani Bledsoe apparently declared for the 2019 NFL Draft. He was suing the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility after being stripped of a season for a PED violation, yet accepted an invitation to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Bledsoe has apparently given up, which makes the most sense, as there was no point in battling a rich, crooked organization in litigation. Bledsoe is a late-round pick at best, but I like his decision to stop his legal battle against an impenetrable force.

Grade for declaring: B



Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss
Height: 6-4. Weight: 257.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

This doesn't seem like a smart decision. Dawson Knox was barely productive at Ole Miss. He's a terrific athlete who should post some nice numbers at the combine. He's going to need to because he doesn't have anything else going for him, and as a true junior, he won't be able to impress anyone at pre-draft all-star games.

Grade for declaring: D




Dec. 21

William Sweet, OT, North Carolina
Height: 6-6. Weight: 300.
Projected 40 Time: 5.18.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

William Sweet seems like a late-round prospect. He missed all of 2017 with an injury. He played well this year, but it would've been nice to see him have another injury-free campaign. At the same time, however, Sweet is a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible for pre-draft all-star games to impress teams.

Grade for declaring: C+




Dec. 20

Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 301.
Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
Projected Round (2019): Top-25.

Jeffery Simmons is a likely top-10 pick, so this is a no-brainer. Simmons is a real junior, but he doesn't need a pre-draft all-star game to showcase his talents because NFL teams are well aware of his talents. The only mistake Simmons is making is playing in a meaningless postseason exhibition game. Let's hope he doesn't suffer a devastating injury!

Grade for declaring: A+



Nate Herbig, G, Stanford
Height: 6-4. Weight: 350.
Projected 40 Time: 5.55.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Wow, what a poor decision. Offensive linemen are supposed to be smart, but Nate Herbig is making a stupid choice by bolting for the NFL Draft. He's a third-day prospect, and he's not even a redshirt junior, so he won't be able to impress teams until the combine. If he bombs the combine, he could be a late-round pick or a UDFA.

Grade for declaring: D



Edwin Alexander, DT, LSU
Height: 6-3. Weight: 339.
Projected 40 Time: 5.45.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Edwin Alexander missed some time with a knee injury in 2018. His decision to declare seems to be a mistake, as returning to school would give him a chance to prove that he can stay healthy for a whole year. He's also a real junior, so he won't be eligible for the Senior Bowl. Alexander could still sneak into Day 2, but he's likely to be taken early on Saturday.

Grade for declaring: C



Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan
Height: 5-11. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Devin Bush is just a real junior, but it sounds like he has a very good chance to be a second-round pick. He had an outstanding 2018 campaign, so I don't think he stood to gain anything by returning to school. He would've just risked injury by doing so.

Grade for declaring: A-



Andre James, OT, UCLA
Height: 6-5. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.24.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Andre James played both left and right tackle at UCLA, and he's had plenty of starting experience. He's a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible for pre-draft all-star games. Considering that James could be chosen on the second day of the draft, he made a good decision to declare, especially when considering that this is a pretty thin tackle class.

Grade for declaring: B+



Sutton Smith, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois
Height: 6-0. Weight: 237.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Sutton Smith was extremely productive in 2018. Given that he's a redshirt junior, there was no need for him to return to school to risk injury. Smith will get to showcase his talent in a pre-draft all-star game. With his great motor, he'll have a chance to sneak into the second day of the draft.

Grade for declaring: B+




Dec. 18

Maxx Crosby, DE, Eastern Michigan
Height: 6-4. Weight: 247.
Projected 40 Time: 4.80.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Maxx Crosby was very productive this past season and has a shot to reach the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He'll probably be chosen early on Day 3, yet this is still a fine declaration because Crosby is a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible to play in any pre-draft all-star games.

Grade for declaring: B+



Tyler Roemer, OT, San Diego State
Height: 6-7. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.18.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Tyler Roemer is a talented tackle who had a chance to be an early third-day pick. However, he's been suspended from school and thus has been forced to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. Roemer is just a redshirt sophomore, so he won't have a chance to showcase himself prior to the combine, if he's even invited. This seems like a poor decision. Roemer should've transferred to another school in order to prove to everyone that he can stay out of trouble. Roemer may go undrafted as a result of his decision-making.

Grade for declaring: F



Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 214.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Mike Weber split the workload at Ohio State, but he seems like he'll be a second-day prospect. Weber is a powerful back with some quickness, and he's entering a clss that doesn't have tons of running back talent. I'm sticking with my belief that any running back projected to go in the first four rounds should declare, so Weber is making a great decision.

Grade for declaring: A




Dec. 15

Quart'e Sapp, LB, Tennessee
Height: 6-1. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Quart'e Sapp has an injury history (torn ACL in 2016) and clashed with his coaching staff during the season. Sapp is a late-round prospect at best, and it's not like he's a redshirt junior, which would allow him to participate in pre-draft all-star games, so I really have to question this decision. This is a choice Sapp will likely regret in the near future.

Grade for declaring: F



Alex Barnes, RB, Kansas State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 227.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Alex Barnes is a tough runner who will need to show well at the combine to be chosen in the third round. That said, I'm all for running backs declaring if they're projected to be chosen in the first four rounds, and Barnes will go in that range, barring poor pre-draft workouts. There's also a coaching change at Kansas State, so it makes sense for Barnes to declare.

Grade for declaring: A-



Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 185.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

This is a confusing declaration. Justin Layne is an early Day 3 prospect at best. He's also a real junior, so he won't be able to showcase his talents in any all-star games. Layne has good tape and possesses nice size, but his speed is a concern. Unless he has an amazing combine, he'll be chosen in Round 4 or later.

Grade for declaring: D



Bennie Snell Jr., RB, Kentucky
Height: 5-11. Weight: 222.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

The reason I say running backs projected to be chosen in the first fur rounds should almost always declare is because players at the position are often fragile and can ruin their draft stock very easily with another year at school. Just look at Bryce Love, for example. Bennie Snell Jr. is not making the same mistake as Love. Snell is very likely to be a second-day pick, so he's making the correct choice.

Grade for declaring: A



Kerrith Whyte Jr., RB/KR, Florida Atlantic
Height: 5-10. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

This doesn't make any sense. Kerrith Whyte Jr. is a running back, but he's a late-round pick at best. He wasn't even a starter at Florida Atlantic. The only way he'll be drafted if teams see him as a dynamic return specialist. Otherwise, Whyte will be a UDFA. It would help if he could shine at pre-draft all-star games, but he's a real junior. Whyte should've returned to school.

Grade for declaring: F




Dec. 12

Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
Height: 5-9. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Darrell Henderson was extremely productive this past season, rushing for 1,909 yards and 22 touchdowns. He's still a likely third- or fourth-round pick, but that means he's making the correct decision by declaring. Henderson would be risking his health and draft stock by returning to school, as running backs are more fragile than the other positions.

Grade for declaring: A-



Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 272.
Projected 40 Time: 4.90.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

I've had Dre'Mont Jones in the first round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft consistently this fall. Sources Charlie Campbell has spoken to put Jones in the opening frame as well. Given that, Jones is making a good decision by entering the 2019 NFL Draft. It's possible that he could be chosen in the first 20 picks.

Grade for declaring: A



Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
Height: 5-7. Weight: 199.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Devin Singletary is a patient running back with good speed and vision. He projects as a Round 2-4 prospect. I always say that running backs projected to be chosen in the first four rounds should always declare early unless they can greatly improve their draft stock with another year at school. I don't think that's the case with Singletary, so he's making the right decision by entering the 2019 NFL Draft.

Grade for declaring: A-




Dec. 10

Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
Height: 6-6. Weight: 325.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2019): Top-25 Pick.

Greg "Mr. Reliable" Little is currently the favorite to be the second offensive tackle off the board, right behind Florida's Jawaan Taylor. Little is a likely top-25 pick, but because NFL teams are currently so desperate for offensive line help, we could see Little come off the board in the top 15. Thus, Mr. Reliable is making a great decision by declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Grade for declaring: A



Antoine Wesley, WR, Texas Tech
Height: 6-5. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Antoine Wesley has great size at 6-5, 200, and he was very productive at Texas Tech. However, there are questions about his route running, as well as the system in which he performed so well. There's a decent chance Wesley will be a second-day pick, but he's just a true junior, meaning he won't be able to impress teams at all-star games. This seems like a great decision on Wesley's part, though I can understand it because of the coaching change at Texas Tech.

Grade for declaring: B



Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Preston Williams was very productive at Colorado State, but he's a poor route runner and has to be considered a project. Williams should be a late-round pick. It's nice that he's eligible for pre-draft all-star games as a redshirt junior, but it would've been nice to see him return to school to improve his route running.

Grade for declaring: C




Dec. 7

Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA
Height: 6-4. Weight: 235.
Projected 40 Time: 4.69.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Caleb Wilson is coming off a great season, nearly accumulating 1,000 receiving yards, so he's making the right choice by declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft. Wilson is a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible to play in the Senior Bowl, which is important. He should be a second-day pick, and it's likely that he'll be chosen on Round 2. There's no reason for him to risk injury by returning to UCLA.

Grade for declaring: A-




Dec. 6

L.J. Scott, RB, Michigan State
Height: 6-0. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.60.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

L.J. Scott is a senior, but was given a medical redshirt, so he could've returned for another year. Scott is making the correct decision. Running backs projected to go in the first four rounds should declare unless they can greatly improve their draft stock. Scott, with a full, healthy season, could have a slight bump, but it's not worth the risk. If he decided to try another year at Michigan State and suffered through another injury-plagued season, he'd likely be jettisoned to the third day of the draft.

Grade for declaring: A-



Jovon Durante, WR, Florida Atlantic
Height: 6-0. Weight: 171.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Jovon Durante needs to bulk up, but he's a speedy receiver with some upside who should be a late-round pick. Durante is a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible for the East-West Shrine or Senior Bowl, so this declaration makes sense.

Grade for declaring: B+



Keenan Brown, TE, Texas State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Keenan Brown is a quick tight end who could be a nice target in the end zone for some team in the pros. He's a senior, but had one more year of eligibility remaining. He opted to go to the pros instead, which seems like a good choice. Brown turns 23 later this month, so waiting another year could have hurt him.

Grade for declaring: A-




Dec. 5

A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): Top 25 Pick.

This is an easy grade. A.J. Brown is not an elite receiver, but he's a second-tier draft prospect who should be chosen in the 11-25 range. He's almost certainly locked into the first round, making his decision a no-brainer.

Grade for declaring: A



Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
Height: 6-2. Weight: 210.
Projected 40 Time: 4.65.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Jarrett Stidham had been incredibly inconsistent throughout his career at Auburn. Team sources Charlie Campbell spoke to were hopeful that Stidham would return to school, but Stidham's camp disagreed, as he declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Stidham has a lot of work to do to convince teams that he's the quarterback who thrived at the end of the 2017 campaign; not the one who struggled throughout 2018. Stidham has a chance to be chosen in the second round, but could easily fall to the third or even fourth frame. Stidham should've returned to school.

Grade for declaring: D



Anthony Ratliff-Williams, WR, North Carolina
Height: 6-1. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Anthony Ratliff-Williams is a raw receiver who has good athleticism. He definitely possesses high upside, but he didn't look like he was ready for the pros this year, catching just 42 passes.

On the bright side, Ratliff-Williams is a redshirt junior, so he'll be eligible to play in the Shrine Game or Senior Bowl. That should help propel his draft stock, which appears to be in Round 4 right now.

Grade for declaring: C



Jazz Ferguson, WR, Northwestern State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 6-FA.

Jazz Ferguson once played for LSU, but he had to transfer to a 1-AA school because of a failed drug test. I would've liked to have seen Ferguson spend more time in school to show that he can stay out of trouble. Ferguson, however, will have to answer lots of questions about his previous troubles.

Grade for declaring: D




Dec. 4

Brian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 218.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Brian Burns hasn't made a good decision by going to the pros. NFL sources told Charlie Campbell that they wanted to see Burns return to school because they wanted to see him get stronger for the NFL. Burns is not nearly a finished product right now. He needs another year or two in order to be an every-down player in the NFL. Being in a professional strength-and-conditioning program should help him, but I fear Burns could struggle as a result of his lacking strength and could be deemed a bust because he's not ready.

Burns could be chosen early on Day 2 on his potential, but he's risking his NFL career by making an early declaration. He should've gone back to Florida State.

Grade for declaring: C-



Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 218.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Kelvin Harmon will need a good performance at the combine. He projects as a No. 2 receiver for the NFL, but appears to lack athleticism and separation ability. He can dispel those concerns in Indianapolis.

Harmon seems like a second-round pick in a best-case scenario. If he struggles at the combine, he could fall to early on Day 3. However, he's coming off a great season, so I don't blame him for bolting for the pros.

Grade for declaring: B+



Xavier Crawford, CB, Central Michigan
Height: 6-1. Weight: 180.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2019): 5-7.

Xavier Crawford looks to be a late-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, but that doesn't mean his decision to declare is a bad one. Crawford, a transfer from Oregon State, already graduated, so he had nothing to gain academically by returning to school. He also turns 23 soon, and as a fourth-year junior, he can play in the Senior Bowl if he's invited. Crawford will have opportunities to make a name for himself and improve his stock in the pre-draft process, so I like his choice.

Grade for declaring: B+



Jordan Brailford, DE/OLB, Oklahoma State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

Jordan Brailford figures to be a second-day selection as a 3-4 rush linebacker. He's coming off a big year with 16 tackles for loss and nine sacks, but enters a difficult draft class that will have tons of competition in the front seven.
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That said, Brailford seems to be making the correct decision. Brailford is a redshirt junior, so he'll be able to play in the Senior Bowl. He's also 23, so waiting another year could have hurt him.

Grade for declaring: A




Dec. 3

Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State
Height: 5-10. Weight: 185.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Any running back projected to be chosen in the first four rounds needs to declare unless they believe that they can seriously upgrade their draft stock with another season in school. This belief was affirmed when Bryce Love, a projected potential first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, returned to Stanford. This sabotaged his draft stock, and I'm now seeing speculation that he could fall to Day 3 because teams are concerned about his durability. No kidding!

Unless Justice Hill bombs the combine or gets hurt, he'll almost certainly be a day-two pick. This automatically makes this an "A" grade, as he could have hurt himself by spending another year at Oklahoma State.

Grade for declaring: A



Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Height: 6-2. Weight: 175.
Projected 40 Time: 4.48.
Projected Round (2019): Top 25 Picks.

Some consider Greedy Williams to be a top-10 prospect, but Charlie Campbell spoke to sources who called Williams overrated. Still, they expect Williams to be chosen in the opening round. I would guess Williams is chosen somewhere in the 15-25 range. If that's correct, this is obviously a great decision on his part. We've seen cornerback performance fluctuate from year to year, so Williams would've just risked regression had he returned to LSU.

Grade for declaring: A




Nov. 30

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Height: 6-3. Weight: 290.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2019): Top-25.

Ed Oliver announced that he will be skipping his sponsored postseason exhibition game to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft. This is a great move, as there's a history of players suffering gruesome injuries in these meaningless games. There was no reason for Oliver to sabotage his draft stock.

As for Oliver's decision to leave school, it's a no-brainer. He's almost certain to be a top-10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, so he would've been nuts to return to school, especially after clashing with the coaching staff.

Grade for declaring: A+



Dax Raymond, TE, Utah State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.83.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Dax Raymond isn't very athletic, but he was a tough, reliable receiver for Utah State. He'll probably be chosen early on Day 3, but he could sneak into the third round. Still, he's making a great decision to declare.

Raymond is 23, so he's getting a late start because he was on a 2-year mission. Thus, it makes sense for him to bolt for the NFL. What's great is that because Raymond has completed his schooling, he'll be eligible for the Senior Bowl, which should help his draft stock.

Grade for declaring: A



Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Height: 6-5. Weight: 241.
Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
Projected Round (2019): 1-3.

I've consistently had Noah Fant slotted in the second round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft, but he could definitely slide into the back end of the opening frame. The problem is that he'll have to compete with the superior Albert Okwuegbunan and Irv Smith Jr. for spots on Thursday night.

Still, it's not like three tight ends haven't been chosen in the first round before, and Fant's a good player. He'll almost certainly be a top-50 pick, provided he doesn't bomb at the combine or suffer an injury. This declaration makes sense.

Grade for declaring: B



Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
Height: 6-1. Weight: 181.
Projected 40 Time: 4.54.
Projected Round (2019): 3-5.

Sean Bunting is a lengthy cornerback at 6-1, 181 with great ball skills. He intercepted nine passes at Central Michigan and even returned a missed field goal for a touchdown. However, he's not very athletic, so he may have trouble testing at the combine. This could hurt his draft stock, though he'd still have a chance of being chosen on Day 2.

Central Michigan is a dumpster fire, so it's understandable why Bunting would declare. However, the fact that he won't have graduated by December will hurt him because he won't be eligible for the Senior Bowl. That makes this decision extremely dubious. There hasn't been much scouting done on Bunting, so he needs as many eyeballs on him as possible. The Senior Bowl would've been a great opportunity for him, so he'll need to lean heavily on the combine to bolster his draft stock.

Grade for declaring: C




Nov. 27

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
Height: 6-0. Weight: 207.
Projected 40 Time: 4.53.
Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is a sound tackler and plays the run well, but needed to improve his coverage skills. That liability will likely keep him out of the opening round of the 2019 NFL Draft. A case could've been made for Gardner-Johnson to return to school so he could bolster his coverage ability and emerge as a first-round prospect the following year.

That said, I don't think this is a bad decision, as Gardner-Johnson is likely to be selected in the second round. Avoiding injury and regression is also important, so I'd say he should get a "B" for this choice.

Grade for declaring: B




Nov. 26

N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 216.
Projected 40 Time: 4.57.
Projected Round (2019): 1-2.

I've seen N'Keal Harry in the top 10 of mock drafts, but he's likely to be chosen in the 25-40 range. Harry is talented receiver, but there are concerns that he's not explosive enough to be a No. 1 option. Sources Charlie Campbell spoke to graded Harry in the second round, comparing him to Devin Funchess and Laquon Treadwell.

Still, this is a weak receiver class, so Harry could be chosen toward the end of the opening frame. I'm not sure how much he could've improved his stock by returning to school, so I think he's making the right choice by declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Grade for declaring: B+



Rashan Gary, DE/DT, Michigan
Height: 6-5. Weight: 287.
Projected 40 Time: 5.00.
Projected Round (2019): Top-25.

Rashan Gary has been in and out of the top 10 in my 2019 NFL Mock Draft this fall. There's a good chance he'll be a top-15 pick, and barring injury, he's a lock for the top 25, so he's making a good decision. There was no point in returning to school and risking an injury.

Grade for declaring: A




Nov. 24

Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
Height: 6-1. Weight: 219.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

Rodney Anderson is a walking injury report. He's had so many injuries over the years that his combine medical check is the most important part of his pre-draft process. Anderson has first-round talent, but he'll likely fall to Day 3 because he can't be trusted to stay healthy. He should've returned to school in order to prove to teams that he can play a full season.

Grade for declaring: D



D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Height: 6-4. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.58.
Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

This seems like a huge mistake. D.K. Metcalf is a talented receiver who has the potential to be a first-round pick. The issue with him is his extensive injury history. Two of his three seasons at Ole Miss have been marred with injuries, including the 2018 campaign. Metcalf, as a result, could slip into the middle of the draft. He'll probably be chosen on Day 2 at some point, but he could fall to Saturday if teams aren't convinced that he can stay healthy. Metcalf should've returned to school to prove to teams that his medical issues are overblown.

Grade for declaring: D




Oct. 17

Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 265.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2019): Top-Five Pick.

Nick Bosa has gotten flak from some for abandoning his team, but this is nonsense. Bosa suffered an injury, so it would've been foolish for him to risk aggravating it. Bosa went to Ohio State just to become a football player. It would be no different if a journalism major received a full-time, high-paying offer from a major publication during the middle of his third year in school. Bosa's doing what's best for him, and no one should criticize him for it.

With that in mind, this is an A+ declaration. Bosa is a likely top-three prospect, and he could be the first-overall choice if the teams at the top don't need a quarterback and don't get good value for trading down. I currently have Bosa slotted second overall in my 2019 NFL Mock Draft.

Grade for declaring: A+





2019 NFL Draft Underclassmen Rumors:
  • Justin Herbert is leaning toward staying in school, according to Jason La Canfora. This could really hurt Herbert's draft stock. Not only will it give scouts more time to find flaws in his game, but I know for a fact that some NFL personnel will question his competitiveness. Plus, Herbert wouldn't be the favorite to go first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, as Tua Tagovailoa will be the likely top prospect there, as seen in my 2020 NFL Mock Draft.

  • L.J. Scott has received a medical redshirt, which could mean that he'll return to school next year.

  • Tony Pauline hears that Utah RB Zack Moses and Stanford TE Kaden will enter the 2019 NFL Draft.



    Major Prospects Going Back to School:
    Trey Adams, OT, Washington
    Height: 6-7. Weight: 316.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.25.
    Projected Round (2019): 2.

    Trey Adams has top-10 talent, but he would be a major risk as a first-round pick because of his lengthy injury history. He's making the right decision by returning to Washington, as he'll be able to prove that he can stay healthy next season. If he does that, he'll be back in first-round consideration.

    Grade for returning: A



    Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 322.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
    Projected Round (2019): Top-15 Pick.

    Really? You have unknown players declaring, yet Derrick Brown is going back to school? This seems like a foolish decision. Brown was a top-15 lock and a possible top-five selection. Instead, he's going back to school where he risks injury and regression. The only reason this isn't an "F" is because the 2020 NFL Draft class is weaker on the defensive line, so Brown won't have much competition. Still, this is a horrible move on his part.

    Grade for returning: D



    Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Florida
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 206.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.46.
    Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

    Once upon a time, I had Tyrie Cleveland in the opening round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft because of his explosive ability. Cleveland, however, has never lived up to expectations. He's doing the right thing by going back to school.

    Grade for returning: B+



    Raekwon Davis, DE/DT, Alabama
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 316.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.17.
    Projected Round (2019): Top 25.

    Raekwon Davis is making a horrible decision. The only thing that makes sense is if Davis believes he'll have a chance to go higher next year in a weaker defensive tackle class, but that still doesn't make this decision a correct one. Davis is risking top-25 draft status for nothing. He's not going to improve his draft stock; it can only get worse through regression and injury.

    Grade for returning: D



    Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 195.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
    Projected Round (2019): Top 25.

    This is an absolutely horrible decision. Trevon Diggs is coming off his best season in college, so he should be selling high on his draft stock. He doesn't stand to gain anything by returning to Alabama. If he gets torched at times next season, he could slip out of first-round consideration, which is something we've seen in the past with other cornerbacks (David Amerson, for example.)

    Grade for returning: F



    Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 224.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

    Troy Dye has been a constant presence in the second round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft, but I think it makes sense for him to return. Dye has the potential to move into first-round consideration for 2020. He was also a true junior, so he wouldn't have had an opportunity to play in a pre-draft all-star game.

    Grade for returning: B+



    Jake Hanson, C, Oregon
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 297.
    Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
    Projected Round (2019): 4-6.

    I had Jake Hanson pegged as a fifth-round prospect. Given that, as well as the fact that he wouldn't have been eligible for pre-draft all-star games as a true freshman, he's making the right decision by going back to school.

    Grade for returning: A+



    Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
    Height: 6-6. Weight: 225.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
    Projected Round (2019): 1.

    This is absolutely horrible for Justin Herbert's draft stock. Herbert was seen as potentially the best quarterback prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft, but that will not be the case in 2020 with Tua Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm set to declare. And that's even assuming that Herbert won't see a decline in his stock. NFL scouts will have another year to pick his film apart, and we've seen quarterback prospects take a huge hit to their stock for this reason. Herbert has seen this in his own conference, as Matt Barkley's status dropped three rounds because he went back to school for another season. Moreover, NFL personnel will question Herbert's competitiveness for not wanting to challenge himself. Fair or not, this will occur, so Herbert can expect to be selected lower in 2020 than he would be had he correctly declared for the 2019 NFL Draft. I can't believe Herbert made such a terribly poor decision.

    Grade for returning: F



    Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 220.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-3.

    Collin Johnson had a good year, so he easily could've declared for the draft without much criticism. He would've been pegged as a second-day prospect. However, he needs to work on his game, and he'll have the same quarterback throwing to him, so he's making the right decision by returning to school.

    Grade for returning: A



    Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
    Height: 6-5. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2019): Top 25.

    Albert Okwuegbunam was just a redshirt sophomore, but he was expected to be a top-25 pick. I actually had him going No. 11 overall to the Bengals. This seems like a foolish decision on Okwuegbunam's part, as he's going to risk injury and regression for no good reason.

    Grade for returning: F



    Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan
    Height: 6-2. Weight: 203.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
    Projected Round (2019): 2-4.

    Shea Patterson, once upon a time, was the No. 1 pick in my 2019 NFL Mock Draft. I cited his potential, especially with Jim Harbaugh coaching him. Patterson struggled in the first half of the season and quickly disappeared from my mock. However, he improved late in the year. Perhaps he'll parlay that into success in 2019. If so, he could re-enter first-round conversation in the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Grade for returning: A+



    Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State
    Height: 5-9. Weight: 170.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
    Projected Round (2019): 3-5.
    Levonta Taylor was someone I had in the opening round of my early mock drafts, but that changed because he's dealt with injuries this year. Taylor has really struggled as a result of not being able to stay healthy. His decision to return to school is correct, as Taylor can use the 2019 season as an opportunity to stay healthy and improve his draft stock.

    Grade for returning to school: A+



    Kenny Willekes, DE/OLB, Michigan State
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
    Projected Round (2019): 3-5.
    Kenny Willekes was a redshirt junior, so he definitely could have declared. However, I like this decision. Willekes could generate a big boost to his draft stock with another year at school, while the 2020 NFL Draft class will be weaker on the defensive line. The only downside here is the potential of injury.

    Grade for returning to school: A-



    LOADING COMMENTS...






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