Wondering how the resident draftniks here at Buffalo Rumblings are rating this year’s crop of NFL Draft prospects? Wonder no further! Here we have a top-20 list by Dan Lavoie and Andrew Griffin, who do the most draft analysis among our writing staff. Share your rankings, along with where you agree and disagree, in the comments below!
1. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
A total force on the defensive line, with incredible effort, technique, and the ability to handle one- or two-gap responsibilities. Has Muhammad Wilkerson’s upside.
2. Nick Bosa, ER, Ohio State
He has an awesome blend of power, speed, and bend, giving him tremendous upside for an edge rusher. I am a little concerned that he missed nearly the entire 2018 season with an injury, even though he recovered by the offseason.
3. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Arm strength, touch, anticipation, and enticing speed. Murray’s a Russell Wilson-Robert Griffin hybrid in my mind. His athletic gifts will make him dangerous even as a rookie, but he needs to develop his pocket presence.
4. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
I absolutely love athletic, disruptive defensive linemen. Oliver has the speed, strength, and burst to blow up any given play. His lack of size doesn’t bother me—every other trait stands out.
5. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The theme for most of this draft’s top group is “potential.” Taylor’s strength and balance are tremendous traits, and if his technique continues to come along this could be a dominant blocker. Even if he can’t master left tackle, he’s a valuable prospect in this draft.
6. Josh Allen, ER, Kentucky
Allen has so much potential to grow into his position. A 6’5” 260-lb pass rusher with his speed, who can drop into coverage, is rare. He made great strides as an edge rusher this season but still can develop his pass rush plan (and get better at finding the ball on plays).
7. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Tight end doesn’t usually end up in this part of the draft, but Hockenson belongs. NFL tight end depth, as a whole, is awful. Hockenson is a strong blocker who can play inline or in the slot, and he’s also an athletic receiver who led his team’s passing game as a redshirt sophomore this year. He could be a top-ten tight end by year three.
8. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Outside of Quinnen Williams, the surest bet I have on a ten-year starter in this class is his teammate Jonah. He has a tireless work ethic, excellent technique, and displayed success at multiple positions on the line. That makes him easy to bet on.
9. Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
I absolutely love how Burns combines his athletic traits (speed, bend) with a variety of pass rush moves. He’s one of the most disruptive defenders in this draft. I also don’t think his strength is as big a liability as others do. Even if it were, the NFL is a passing league—and that’s where Burns can dominate.
10. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
The best wideout in this draft is Hakeem Butler. He has the versatility to play outside or in the slot, while standing 6’5” 227 lbs. He’s impossible to tackle in space. He has a huge catch radius. His route-running acumen is impressive. He may not have elite agility, but he’s a future Plaxico Burress (or Mike Evans).
11. Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
There are great athletes who play tackle and then there are tackle who have elite athleticism. Dillard is the latter. While I’d like to see him build up his core strength, I have plenty of optimism for his long-term upside as a left tackle.
12. Devin White, LB, LSU
White has sideline-to-sideline speed, is surprisingly effective taking on blocks, and works tirelessly in pursuit. He needs to be better about not overrunning plays and taking himself out of position, but as a free-range WILL linebacker he could have an early impact for his team.
13. Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma
Ford has monstrous power, and he’s light on his feet despite standing 6’4” and 330 pounds. His intelligence and attitude are tremendous. He might be able to handle offensive tackle in the pros, which is a plus for his potential versatility.
14. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
I have to recognize Fant’s elite speed, burst, and agility, which gives him 1,000-yard potential despite his position. He needs to improve his catching technique, but his separation skills are outstanding, and his blocking’s not half bad. He has experience with a pro-style offense, so this isn’t your typical slot tweener tight end.
15. Devin Bush Jr, LB, Michigan
Bush flies around the field, hitting hard and blowing up plays from sideline to sideline. He’s small for a linebacker, and he has issues getting away from blockers once he’s engaged. A smart player, Bush can be used in a variety of ways for his team, and a creative defensive coordinator won’t just limit him to middle linebacker.
16. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The 5’11” 190 lb Murphy is fluid, explosive, and intelligent. he does an outstanding job playing the ball at the catch point (7 INTs and 20 PBUs in the past two years) and he’s very physical at the line of scrimmage. He might not fit every scheme with his 4.55 speed and 5’11” height, but I think he’s the highest upside corner in the draft.
17. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
In terms of talent, Simmons is a top five player in this class. However, a torn ACL drops him in my rankings, as does his past incident of striking a woman in a dispute. He’s been a clean prospect since that point, for what it’s worth.
18. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Brown, who looks to be fully recovered from his Lisfranc injury, is the best playmaker not named Kyler Murray in this draft (and coincidentally, they played on the same team). His speed is phenomenal, he’s equally agile, and he’s developed the pacing of his routes to create separation. He’s not great at contested catches, but this lightning-fast receiver shouldn’t be facing those situations anyway.
19. Montez Sweat, ER, Mississippi State
Sweat tested as an elite athlete for a defensive end, but I didn’t see all of that show up on the field. Regardless, he has a great combination of burst and strength that will make him a pocket-crushing force from the edge.
20. Garrett Bradbury, OC, N.C. State
Bradbury, a former tight end, ended up playing both left guard and center for the Wolfpack. He’s an outstanding mover in space with plenty of great blocking fundamentals. You don’t often find high-upside centers in the NFL Draft, but the 6’3” 306-lb Bradbury is one of them.
1. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Instinctual, technically refined and athletic, Williams has the look of a Pro Bowler at the 3-technique position.
2. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
He brings some injury concerns but, like his brother, baby Bosa is one of the more pro-ready edge rushers to come out of college.
3. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Oliver isn’t quite as polished as he should be coming out of Houston, but his talent and motor is more than enough to make him a top prospect.
4. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Physical at the point of attack, Taylor is a smash-mouth offensive tackle. Being best suited to the right tackle position doesn’t make him any less valuable.
5. Josh Allen, ER, Kentucky
Allen can ‘turn the corner’ better than any edge rusher in the class, but he can also drop into short zones. He looks like a great fit for any teams running a 3-4.
6. Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Teams would be smart to start Williams at left tackle. If that doesn’t work out, they won’t be disappointed because he could be a high quality guard or center as well.
7. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
I don’t givea care if Metcalf’s lack of agility doesn’t allow him to separate on certain routes. His ability to outrun, out-jump and out-physical corners at the line of scrimmage will give him plenty of space.
8. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
A new-age Russell Wilson, you can’t help but fall in love with Murray’s accuracy on the move and ability to improvise and scamper for 20 or 30 yards.
9. T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
A tight end coming out of college that can block and catch! Hockenson’s such a rarity that, despite neither trait being at an elite level, he gets pushed up the board.
10. Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
If Simmons didn’t tear his ACL, he’d definitely be a top ten pick. Although even with the injury he’s still a top ten player. He’s the most balanced first-round defensive tackle.
11. Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Coming from a pass-happy offense, Dillard has the movement skills to hold up in the NFL, even if he won’t help your run blocking much.
12. Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
At 6’5”, 249 pounds he may not have the strength to ever be a good run stopper, but his speed rush is more than enough to make up for it. Besides, the NFL is becoming more of a passing league every year.
13. Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Gary’s going to need a strong coach to get the most out of his raw athleticism. If he lands with one though, he could be a chess piece along the defensive line.
14. A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Inside, outside receiver, it doesn’t matter. Brown’s acceleration and ability to pop out of his breaks ensures he can work all areas of the field. There’s a JuJu Smith-Schuster comparison going around that I really like.
15. Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Unlike a guy slightly down this list, Bush has the instincts as well as the speed to be a top-tier linebacker. He’s not afraid to take on blocks either.
16. Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma
Excellent when on the move, Ford is destined to be a great zone-blocking guard. He ability to get out in front on screen plays should have teams like Atlanta and San Francisco drooling.
17. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
A physical cornerback with size, Williams game is built around beating up receivers at the line of scrimmage. He also has the recovery speed to keep up with faster wideouts. If he had better ball skills he’d be the complete package.
18. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
He showed poor long speed at the combine, but running alongside receivers won’t be Murphy’s game. In the NFL, he’ll be using his short-area quickness and burst in zone coverage.
19. Devin White, LB, LSU
There’s no denying White’s elite speed and tackling ability but his instincts deserve to be questioned. He might be better suited to a weak side linebacker role. One that allows him to just knife through linemen and makes tackles.
20. Montez Sweat, ER, Mississippi State
Sweat can turn speed into power very well, he just can’t bend like the other pass rushers in the class. Offensive tackles strong enough to absorb his bull rush will give him trouble. The recent injury concerns also don’t help his case.