Top Candidates for 2019 NFL Draft No. 1 Overall Pick

Jay Pryce

Thursday, May 3, 2018 4:59 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 3, 2018 4:59 PM UTC

The betting market for which player will go first in the 2019 NFL Draft are far away, but bettors can certainly narrow down the pool now to ready their bankroll for opening odds. Here are the top candidates.

The 2018 NFL Draft wrapped up days ago, yet a glut of 2019 mock lists already fill the internet. Too soon? Well, yes and no. For one, we don’t even know the draft order or potential team needs yet. Prospects also can fall short of upcoming expectations, or suffer injuries. Nonetheless, the No. 1 overall pick tends to follow familiar patterns. Either a quarterback or lineman goes first. This has been the case since the Jets snatched wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson with the opening selection in 1996. Overall, 15 QBs, four DEs, and three OTs have come off the board first in the last 22 years.

What is clear with the 2019 draft class is that there is no true front-runner at quarterback. The top talent emanates in the trenches. Many of the NFL outfits expected to have a poor year, like the Browns, Jets, Bills, and Cardinals, each picked up a potential franchise player under center this past draft. If one ends up with the first pick in 2019, a lineman is almost guaranteed to go first overall. If the Giants, Bengals, or Dolphins sink to the bottom, look for another quarterback to top the list.

Talent in the Trenches

DE Nick Bosa (Ohio State)

Edge rushers are all the rage among NFL defenses, and Bosa, brother of former third overall pick Joey, is the top one in the draft. Nick, arguably the more athletic of the two, picked up 8.5 sacks and 16 tackles for a loss in 2017, despite not playing every snap due to Ohio State’s loaded defensive front. Odds are he’ll go first among all defensive prospects due to his pass-rushing prowess.

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Trying to Block Nick Bosa is next to impossible

— The Buckeye Nut (@TheBuckeyeNut) December 30, 2017

DT Ed Oliver (Houston)

At 6-foot-3, 290, Oliver possesses Joe Greene-like potential. The first five-star recruit to snub the Power Five, he can step right into a starting role and compete for a Pro Bowl spot. Oliver can both plug the line and get to the quarterback. He would be the first defensive tackle chosen first overall since the Bengals took Dan Wilkinson in 1994.

OT Jonah Williams (Alabama)

The top offensive tackle in the draft can play on either the left or the right side of the line. In his college career, he’s yielded just five sacks and four QB hits on 899 dropbacks.

OT Greg Little (Ole Miss)

Little is 6-foot-6, 325, and the most athletic of the top tackle prospects with light feet and superior agility. He surrendered just 14 total quarterback pressures on 500 pass-blocking attempts in 2017.

Cloudy QB Forecast

Justin Herbert (Oregon)

Herbert has desireable size (6-foot-6, 225), athleticism, and tools to be a star, but is not the finished product. A sneaky Heisman candidate (+3500), he’ll draw comparisons to Sam Darnold from this past draft as far as his strengths and weaknesses go. If Herbert puts it all together, watch out.

Drew Lock (Missouri)

Drew has been on the NFL radar for several years now due to his cannon for an arm. Mizzou is moving to a more complex, pro-style dropback offense in 2018, which should help ready him prepare for NFL defenses. If a team with the first pick is in need for a QB who can step in immediately, Lock will likely be the guy. Strong dark horse candidate.

Will Grier (West Virginia)

It is guaranteed Will Grier will put up video game numbers in 2018. He’s armed with arguably the best receiving corps in the nation, while playing in Dana Holgorsen’s modified Air-raid system. Grier can connect deep down the field, picking up 1,506 yards on long passes in 2017, which is a trendy trait scouts seek in the modern game.

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