Want to give the author direct feedback? Follow @DevonWithersTAH on Twitter for more insight.
After covering the five “safest” prospects of the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s time we cover those who around considered “risky” selections. This entails those who scouts and presumed experts have high on their draft boards, but may risk not meeting expectations.
5. EDGE Jachai Polite (Florida Stats: 78 tackles, 15 sacks, 8 FF)
As an all-state athlete within Daytona Beach’s Mainland High School, Jachai Polite stayed close to home and played for Florida for 3 seasons. As a sophomore, a shoulder injury ended Polite’s season early. Just before his junior campaign was set to begin, the Gators sat Polite in the opener due to “failure to meet the Gator standard”.
At the NFL Combine, Polite’s stock continued to decline. His 40-time of 4.84 seconds was the third-worst among edge defenders, and his 10-yard split time of 1.71 seconds didn’t help his case either. Combined with reportedly disappointing interviews, Polite is a risk for any team seeking a reliable asset from the middle rounds of the draft.
4. QB Kyler Murray (Oklahoma Stats: 5,406 passing yards, 50 TD, 14 INT)
Once viewed as a prospect more fit for baseball, Kyler Murray could go as high as the #1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. While his size (5’10”) has been mentioned far too many times, it’s still difficult to find past successful quarterbacks of his stature outside Drew Brees (6’0″), Russell Wilson (5’11”), and Doug Flutie (5’10”).
While Murray’s NFL Draft grade of 6.25 is the highest among quarterback prospects, there is an obscene amount of pressure on his plate to be great from the minute he touches the field. With only one full season of college football under his belt, front offices should note that Murray combined for 8 TD and 7 TD in his first 2 seasons between Texas A&M and Oklahoma.
3. CB Greedy Williams (LSU Stats: 71 tackles, 8 INT, 19 PD)
Noticed as a man-to-man asset to NFL scouts, Greedy Williams has the tools in order to become a problem for opposing quarterbacks. However, his production from the 2017 season is worrisome, and deep receiving threats may give Williams a difficult time.
Although his 2018 season was worthy of the attention he is currently receiving, scouts are beginning to question whether Williams can hold his own against physical receivers around the league. Projected as a first-round pick, one team will hold aspirations that Williams emerges as a CB1 over time.
2. WR DK Metcalf (Ole Miss Stats: 67 receptions, 1,228 receiving yards, 14 TD)
With an impressive combine at hand, DK Metcalf is projected as a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The four-star recruit was limited to 2 receptions in 2016 due to a broken foot, but they went for a combined 13 yards and 2 TD.
If we are going to nitpick and talk about Metcalf’s combine attributes, we need to disscuss his deficiences as well:
- 3-cone drill: 7.38 seconds (third-worst among receivers)
- Short shuttle: 4.50 seconds (fourth-worst among receivers)
While Metcalf has potential to succeed in the NFL, his combined history of foot and neck injuries are enough to warrant a red flag or two.
1. DE Rashan Gary (Michigan Stats: 119 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks)
As one of the most talked-about prospects in the college football, Rashan Gary felt pressure to succeed from the moment he committed to Michigan. However, outside of his 2017 season with 58 tackles and 11.5 sacks, where does Gary differentiate himself among the 2019 draft class?
Although the NFL Combine supported his draft stock, Rashan Gary is not worth a top 3-5 selection. Without the proper hand development and alternative tools necessary in today’s game as a pass-rusher, he may struggle in his first few seasons.
Featured Image: SF Chronicle