There's No Consensus First-Round Receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft
Updated Feb. 27, 2019
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is underway in Indianapolis, and the offensive players will go through the combine process first. One of those offensive positions, receiver, is considered a weakness of this draft class. I spoke t sources at seven different teams, and they all agreed that there was not a true first-round wide receiver prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft.
A few team sources said there were around 20 players who currently have first-round grades in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they did not have a receiver in that group. That being said, most thought that a receiver would get selected on the opening night of the draft. Some players with consensus second-round grades are going to go in the opening frame by default, and landing the first receiver to get selected in the back half of the first round could be perceived as good value for some teams.
"I would think one receiver will go in the first round," said a director of college scouting. "Some team is going to see the value in that, maybe picking in the 20s, even though there is no consensus first-round receiver this year."
The receivers who were mentioned as the closest to being consensus first-round picks were Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf and Oklahoma's Marquise Brown. A couple of teams said they felt Metcalf was worthy of going late in the first, and likewise, a few teams said that about Brown. Brown has a serious foot injury, however, and that will hurt his chances of being chosen on Thursday night. An area scout who covers Oklahoma said he did not give Brown a first-round grade before the foot injury and graded him in Round 2. Others were more enthusiastic on Brown, but his foot injury will be a factor in where he's chosen.
Metcalf is excepted to be a workout warrior this week. The giant muscle-bound receiver is said to run very fast in the 40-yard dash and should produce some excellent numbers in the jumps. However, multiple team sources said they are concerned about Metcalf's route-running and the fact that he did not run the entire route tree in college. Metcalf needs show good route-running in the lead up to the draft, and also ease concerns that his large build is not going to keep him from being a fluid athlete running his routes.
Teams are down on Metcalf's teammate A.J. Brown. Speed concerns are plaguing his draft grade. Sources are very worried that Brown can't run well enough to get separation in the NFL. His 40 time at the combine is going to be massively important, but some team contacts say that word from Ole Miss was that Brown is very slow in the 40. Thus, teams are skeptical on Brown and that is pushing his grade lower.
While there is no consensus first-round receiver in this draft, Metcalf and Marquise Brown have the best shot at still going in the first round even though they don't carry true first-round grades across the league.