Updated ranking list: Kyler Murray & Nick Bosa at the top

December 17th, 2018 | Written by Rob Staton

Cody Ford has every opportunity to land in the top-15

We can all do with moving on from yesterday, so here’s an updated tier list. Several new names have been added today — including Cody Ford the left tackle at Oklahoma and Iowa tight end Noah Fant.

I re-watched three games to get an angle on Ford and was blown away by his footwork. He’s listed at 6-4 and 338lbs. Despite that, I couldn’t believe how easily he moved as a blindside blocker. He attacks pass rushers with a wonderful set, keeping balanced throughout and quickly getting into position. He never extends too far allowing the inside counter. His size and foot-speed make it incredibly difficult to find a way past him with a conventional 1v1 rush.

In the running game there were multiple examples where he squared up, kept his hands inside and plowed the defender backwards to create space. This is especially useful in the red zone where he often drove the LOS into scoring position on the left side of the line.

He doesn’t have conventional tackle size. We’ll need to see how he measures. In fairness he looks like a big guard — the type Seattle would love to plant at right guard in their current scheme. I don’t see this as much of an issue though. If anything it provides some security. You can try him at left tackle and if it doesn’t work, you’ll likely get a very useful interior lineman with a quality skill set.

I’m not sure I can recall a guy with this size moving with this quickness and balance to get into a pass-pro set. It’s a unique quality he has and in a down year for offensive linemen in round one — there’s no doubt at all Ford has a big opportunity to go in the top-15. Even if he doesn’t look like a conventional tackle and might find a long term home at guard.

Tier 1 — the top of the class

Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
Nick Bosa (DE, Ohio State)

There’s no reason to hold back. Kyler Murray might be the best draft eligible player for 2019. He’s an exceptional talent. He’s an accurate passer making a wide range of throws at different levels of the field. He’s a dynamic athlete capable of improvising and breaking off big gains as a runner. He’s one of the most exciting prospects I’ve studied since starting this blog in 2008. If I need a quarterback and I have the #1 pick this year (and he chooses the NFL over baseball) — I consider taking him first overall. That’s no knock on Nick Bosa either. He’s a complete pass rusher with the quickness, power and motor to be every bit as good as his brother Joey. With the Cardinals having the inside track on the #1 pick, Bosa appears likely to be the top selection.

Tier 2 — likely top-10 picks

Quinnen Williams (DT, Alabama)
Rashan Gary (DE, Michigan)
Dexter Lawrence (DT, Clemson)
Clelin Ferrell (DE, Clemson)
Christian Wilkins (DT, Clemson)
Ed Oliver (DT, Houston)
Raekwon Davis (DT, Alabama)

Quinnen Williams has been a dominant force for Alabama but there will be some mild concerns about his age (19) and the fact he’s a one-year wonder. Rashan Gary and Dexter Lawrence wowed High School recruiters and were the #1 and #2 top prospects in the country. One scout for Rivals called them the best defensive tackle duo he’d ever seen in one single class. They’ve long been destined for the pro’s and NFL scouts will love this pair. They will go early. Clelin Ferrell has ideal size and length and would be a high pick in any draft. Christian Wilkins is a phenomenal player with fantastic athleticism, prototype three-tech size, excellent character and technique. Ignore his critics. Ed Oliver is extremely dynamic but there will be some questions asked about his fit at the next level due to his lack of length and size. Raekwon Davis is a monster built like Calais Campbell.

Tier 3 — possible top-15 picks

Devin White (LB, LSU)
Jachai Polite (EDGE, Florida)
Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)
Cody Ford (T, Oklahoma)

Devin White was once considered the next Leonard Fournette. He was projected as a running back in High School, then he added a lot of bulk and lost some speed. Recruiters started to project him to full back, believe it or not. Then he slimmed down at LSU and became an elite college linebacker. Jachai Polite’s motor never stops. His effort is incredible. He lacks length and size but he’s extremely quick and aggressive as a pass rusher and has been productive despite facing a number of double teams in 2018. Derrick Brown is a complete defensive tackle. He controls the LOS, shows excellent discipline in the run game and makes an impact as a pass rusher too. Cody Ford looks like a guard but has the footwork and balance to play tackle.

Tier 4 — possible top-20 picks

Zach Allen (DE, Boston College)
Josh Allen (EDGE, Kentucky)
David Edwards (T, Wisconsin)

Zach Allen has been a force all season. He’s big and looks like an interior rusher but still wins with get-off, speed and his hand use and technique is on-point. The combine will be big for him but he has a legitimate chance to secure a place in the top-20. Josh Allen has been a consistently effective pass rusher all season. He’s probably best suited to playing as a pure 3-4 OLB in a scheme like Pittsburgh’s. Georgia had success running right at him and Vanderbilt’s tight end also handled him. Even so, he gets to the QB and makes plays. David Edwards is a pure right tackle but teams will like his attitude, consistency and toughness. We’ll see if he declares as a junior.

Tier 5 — Top-40 talent

D’Andre Walker (LB, Georgia)
Dre’Mont Jones (DT, Ohio State)
Byron Murphy (CB, Washington)
Marquise Brown (WR, Oklahoma)
Damien Harris (RB, Alabama)
Jerry Tillery (DT, Notre Dame)
Rodney Anderson (RB, Oklahoma)
Brian Burns (EDGE, Florida State)

We’ve been saying all season that D’Andre Walker is underrated and it took a big performance against Alabama to finally gain some recognition. Walker is very strong against the run despite his linebacker size. He’s capable of rushing the passer as a defensive end, dropping into space and he always plays with a high intensity. Dre’Mont Jones is slippery and quick and consistently finds his way into the backfield as a pass rusher. Byron Murphy flies to the ball-carrier and looks like a naturally gifted defensive back. He plays cornerback for Washington but I’d love to see him tried at free safety. Marquise Brown is sudden and a fantastic playmaker. He’s Antonio Brown’s cousin. Damien Harris is highly explosive and the complete running back. Jerry Tillery was recruited as a left tackle before switching to defense. He’s as big as Raekwon Davis and provides an alternative later in the top-40. Rodney Anderson will not go early due to injury concerns but in terms of pure talent — he’s right up there. Explosive, great size, tough. An excellent prospect who just needs to stay healthy. Brian Burns had a terrific year and could be listed higher but there are legitimate concerns about his weight (is he really playing in the 220’s?).

Tier 6 — best of the rest

Noah Fant (TE, Iowa)
Kaden Smith (TE, Stanford)
Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (CB/S, Florida)
Jaylon Ferguson (EDGE, Louisiana Tech)
Taylor Rapp (S, Washington)
Jeffery Simmons (DT, Mississippi State)

Noah Fant was under-utilised at Iowa but reportedly jumps a 42-inch vertical and runs a short shuttle of 3.95 seconds. If he manages that at the combine he’ll go in the top-45. Kaden Smith has great agility for his size and has a shot to develop into a complete tight end. Drew Lock could easily be the first quarterback taken and could’ve been a first rounder this year. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson switched to nickel corner from safety in 2018. He’s extremely physical and plays with personality and attitude. He can be boom-or-bust. Jaylon Ferguson had major production in 2018 but plays with raw technique. With a good combine, some teams will believe he’s worth selecting early to develop. Taylor Rapp is athletic with the ability to leave an impression and could be the first safety off the board. Jeffery Simmons didn’t have many splash plays this year but he regularly had to battle double teams and played well against the run.

Still intriguing

Gerald Willis II (DT, Miami)
Jabari Zuniga (EDGE, Florida)
Johnathan Abram (S, Mississippi State)
Christian Miller (LB, Alabama)
Steven Montez (QB, Colorado)
Austin Bryant (EDGE, Clemson)
Benny Snell Jr. (RB, Kentucky)

Gerald Willis will need to explain to teams a bizarre college career that started at Florida, appeared to be going way off the tracks and then ended with a fantastic year of production in Miami. He’s undersized and might be a specialist rusher but he plays with supreme agility and will test well in the short shuttle. Jabari Zuniga doesn’t get as much attention as Jachai Polite but he had a terrific 2018 season and is a good combine away from a big rise. Johnathan Abram is a playmaking safety but there are concerns about his athletic upside. A big combine performance could push him into the top-40. Christian Miller will test well and has developed into a more complete player in 2018. Steven Montez isn’t expected to declare for the draft but if he changes his mind could still provide an intriguing alternative to the big name quarterbacks. Austin Bryant is a pure pass rusher who will make plays in a rotation. Benny Snell ran with toughness and authority all year for Kentucky.

Overrated players (or players who might go earlier than they should)

Greedy Williams (CB, LSU)
Jonah Williams (G, Alabama)
Greg Little (T, Ole Miss)
Deionte Thompson (S, Alabama)
Deandre Baker (CB, Georgia)
Montez Sweat (EDGE, Mississippi State)
A.J. Brown (WR, Ole Miss)
N’Keal Harry (WR, Arizona State)
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR, Stanford)
D.K. Metcalf (WR, Ole Miss)
Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)

Greedy Williams will likely be the first cornerback off the board, possibly in the top-15. However, he still needs a lot of work and shares some of the same issues as Deandre Baker when tracking the ball in the air. Williams has the size and looks the part but might underwhelm at the next level. I think he’s overrated and generally projected too early. Jonah Williams plays left tackle at Alabama but is a pure guard, lacking the length and foot-speed to play outside. He’s best blocking head-on 1v1 and has limitations. I wouldn’t consider him a round one prospect, especially at tackle. Greg Little similarly looks a bit stiff handling the edge and might need to kick inside to guard.

Deionte Thompson is a long, lean safety. He isn’t rangy or particularly fast. He might run in the late 4.5’s or 4.6’s. He’s physical but I don’t understand the first round hype. The Seahawks could view him as a day-three corner convert based on his frame. Deandre Baker lacks size, struggles to track the ball and might not test particularly well at the combine. There are character flags lingering over Montez Sweat according to Tony Pauline and while he’s a capable college pass rusher, he’s very lean and his success might not translate to the next level. A.J. Brown competes for the ball in the air but how athletic is he? Is he just another Laquon Treadwell? N’Keal Harry wins plenty of contested catches and has YAC ability but struggles to separate. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is merely a useful redzone target and jump-ball specialist. He might be a day-three pick. D.K. Metcalf has a ton of potential. However, he has a serious neck injury. He’s declared to set the wheels in motion for a pro-career, rather than spend 2019 sitting out at Ole Miss. His long-term future is still a question mark. He likely just wants to get into the league. I doubt he’s expecting to be drafted early. Dwayne Haskins has talent and production. There were also a lot of easy throws to a long list of highly explosive and athletic playmakers. Personally, I think he’s a day two pick with some potential.

Players I’m still unsure about

Daniel Jones (QB, Duke)
Devin Bush (LB, Michigan)
Jawaan Taylor (T, Florida)

Daniel Jones has shown flashes of quality at Duke and could slip into the 20’s. I need to do more study before confirming that thought. Devin Bush is not bad player at all. However, there are some concerns and I don’t see a first round prospect. Bush was asked to be very aggressive by Michigan. He had two key roles — attack the LOS to try and make plays in the backfield and cover passes to the flat. That’s not his fault but it makes for a difficult evaluation. There wasn’t too much in the way of read-and-react, discipline vs the run and zone coverage. In one game I saw him attack the LOS leaving a simple outside cut for the running back to break off a big gain. He needed to be less aggressive and simply force the runner back inside. He has energy and speed but it’s hard to get a sense for how his game translates to the next level watching Michigan play. Todd McShay included Jawaan Taylor in the top-20 of his first mock draft. I haven’t studied Taylor and intend to in the coming days.

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47 Responses to “Updated ranking list: Kyler Murray & Nick Bosa at the top”

  1. Ishmael says:

    One thing I’ve been thinking about today, in light of Jarred Goff’s massive slump (1TD, 7INTs in his last three games) is that it’s time for the trade Wilson crowd to give it up. I’ve been part of that as well, but a quarterback who’s consistently around the top 5-10 at least gives you a chance every year. Even drafting at 1 (like the Rams did with Goff) is no guarantee you’ll get your guy. Wilson’s going to get paid an absolutely revolting amount of money, quite probably too much for a serious title-contending team to be built around him, but he’ll keep me sane on Sundays. If you ever feel bad about the Hawks and the dumb stuff Wilson occasionally does, just go watch that clip of Goff’s third-quarter interception: trips during his dropback, fumbles, gathers, then loses it trying to throw while stumbling around about to get completely drilled. It’d almost be butt-fumble famous by now if he played for a joke team like the Jets.

    My other Seahawks thoughts are that I just want speed at all levels, on both sides. I want to see some athletes out there. A guy like Calitro is doing his best, but there’s no way he should be getting the snaps he is. If Wright can’t get or stay healthy then it’s time to find a replacement, or at least someone to help shoulder that load. More speed up front, more speed on the back end, and more speed in the middle of the park. Can’t teach it.

    I haven’t seen much college football this year, so if anyone could give me a rundown of some properly rapid players I’d appreciate it.

    • McZ says:

      I don’t think the criticism on Calitro is fair. He is as good as any other second string LB, he had a good game last week, and had an unfortunate game this week. In 1st quarter, he was required to fill holes opened by Nortons blitz defense (and btw, Norton was thoroughly outcoached by Shanahan & pals).

      • TatupuTime says:

        100% agree on Wilson. He gives you a chance to win the Superbowl every year. Has never missed a game and even when he’s having a bad game seems to pull out a magic moment or 5.

        I continue to believe that a second linebacker to go with Wagner is the Seahawks no. 1 need heading into 2019. They are a much better defence when Kendricks played. Calitro is not good enough at this point in his career. If the Seahawks are going to compete with the Rams/Saints next year they are going to have to take on the jet sweeps and all the short throws/handoffs with movement that is currently in vogue.

        Norton is fine. This is Pete’s defence (whether is Gus/Quinn/Richard/Norton as DC). Shanahan is a great offensive coordinator/playcaller – he’s going to get his.

  2. FresnoHawk says:

    Rob what’s the difference in a Seahawk world view between LG & RG?

  3. j says:

    I wonder how teams, i.e. ownership would weigh a potential lawsuit by the Oakland A’s in evaluating Murray.

    Not only the potential monetary cost but also the bad press as well.

    Even if you have a scout talk with him about playing football, or a coach interview him to see if he was a good fit, etc. that could result in a lawsuit. Really you can’t even talk with him to determine if he is serious about playing football without interfering in the MLB contract. And if I’m the A’s, I’m suing anyone who even speaks to him about a professional career on the gridiron.

    Its not just an issue of teams not drafting him because of his contract with the A’s but also of teams not being able to properly evaluate him because of his contract with the A’s. If a team risks a 5MM+ lawsuit plus attorneys fees (on the conservative side) just to have him a part of their draft process, just to even conduct a pre-draft meeting with him, I think a lot of owners would veto that.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I highly doubt anyone will be sued if Murray decides to play football. He would simply pay back any money received and move on.

      • Eli says:

        I believe he’s referring to some of the information detailed in this article: https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/so-what-happens-if-kyler-murray-plays-football/

        I would guess that it is unlikely that any lawsuits are brought, but his agent Scott Boras and the Athletics do have a vested interest ($) in seeing him play baseball. I would think the A’s would be at least slightly miffed if they found out they ended up wasting a Top 10 draft pick and received absolutely zero return on their investment, given they can’t receive a compensatory pick at this point either. Then again I don’t think he will be drafted so it’s really all just hypothetical at this point also.

      • McZ says:

        Yeah, as if the best farm system in baseball supporting a team being dependent on playing moneyball wasn’t able to have Murray sign a contract with major abitration clauses. He has signed a contract prohibiting him from playing pro football, that’s a value in itself. So, they may solve this by some smart guys from Harvard, but it will be costly.

        Add to this the idea, that Boras may feel his reputation has been damaged by his client not fulfilling his obligations. Finally, the MLB cannot afford to let its contractual framework collapse.

        IMO, we are looking at north of $10m arbitration, with a ceiling as high as 30. Which has to be offset by Murrays chances to become a starting QB. His signing bonus must reflect that, and it must add a lot of money to become viable for Murray or put him into gamble territory.

        I still think it will happen. Because most uber-athletic prospects have failed or were a mere sideshow in the MLB. Bo Jackson being the prime example. Murray will sign a record guaranteed rookie contract which will open the floodgates ever further.

        From a Seattle standpoint, it will keep a major talent out of AL West.

    • Trevor says:

      Suing a player in order to get him to play for you before he even has an at bat does not seem like a good development scenario.

      Like meeting a hot girl then giving her a big rock which she accepts. During the engagement she decided she liked another guy more. She tries to give you the ring back and you both move on. Instead you sue her not to get the ring back but to force her to stay with you. Sounds really healthy and the start of a solid long term arrangement to me 🙂 Why would they ever do that?

  4. Morgan says:

    I know Carroll ‘couldn’t wait to see’ what Tedrick Thompson could do, and well, if you ask me it hasn’t looked very good.

    Earl seems to have burned his bridges, but the safety class looks weak at the top and really there are only a few guys that interest me in the mid-rounds. Do you think we mend fences with Earl? If not, what’s the plan? I can’t be the only one looking around the room nervously thinking about a future with Thompson at FS.

    • FresnoHawk says:

      ET made mistakes as a rookie. I like Tedric not concerned at all.

      • Morgan says:

        He doesn’t have the speed or athleticism of ET, and I don’t think he can play single-high. I wish I could share your confidence!

        • Volume12 says:

          He’s not Earl. That comp will never be fair. He also doesn’t look like an NFL starter. Can’t fill, can’t tackle (someone tell him he has upper appendages), looks clueless, gets his head bounced off the turf like a basketball every couple weeks. Bigger than Earl but you’d never know it.

          • Morgan says:

            Oh I totally agree, V12. But ET made our D work, and I don’t know what we do about that…other than just play a different defense. Is it just me or have we been playing a lot of Tampa 2?

            I guess I’m just wondering what Rob (and anyone else) thinks the plan may be going forward, and what DBs may be draftworthy for our system. I know Rob isn’t a huge Dieonte Thompson fan, but ‘Bama did have him play high and he seems to have a football speed that betrays his 40 time from SPARQ camp.

            • Rob Staton says:

              Two key points here…

              1. It’s overrated that ET made the defense tick. He’s an excellent player. But he played on a loaded defense with talent EVERYWHERE. DL, LB, DB. It ticked because it was loaded.

              2. Deionte Thompson didn’t play single high and doesn’t have anywhere near enough speed. He might run a 4.6.

  5. AlaskaHawk says:

    Rob = You have been turning out posts like crazy. Thanks for all the good reading material.

    Also wanted to send a shout out to Bennett who is now on the Eagles team, he had a good game last night.

  6. Donovan says:

    Three observations based on where the 24 players in the Top 5 Tiers come from (8 SEC, 5 ACC, 4 Big (all OKlahoma), 4 Big 10, 1 PAC 12, and 1 ND):

    1. Yikes, Pac 12. Sad.

    2. Oklahoma might just be able to compete with Bama and Clemson

    3. ND wouldn’t appear to be on the same talent level as the other 3 inthe playoffs

  7. Stevo says:

    A big new Ford for the Offensive line, to go with our big new Ford on our Defensive line. I like it.

  8. RossN says:

    Rob, where do you see Marquise Blair being taken? I thought he was incredibly impressive during the Pac12 championship game and would love for the Hawks to take him. Good coverage skills and extremely fast closing speed.

    Thanks and great job on SDB – it’s a daily stop for me.

  9. AlaskaHawk says:

    I haven’t seen this guy play – but if the Seahawks trade out of the first round, he could be an interesting pick in the second round.

    Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
    Height: 6-4. Weight: 284.
    Projected 40 Time: 4.85.
    Allen has totaled 61 tackles with seven sacks, seven passes batted, one forced fumble and 14.5 tackles for a loss on the year. He has played well for Boston College despite extra attention. Allen is a tough run defender and steadily puts pressure on the quarterback. He has good instincts, feel, and is a well-rounded player who has versatility for a 4-3 or 3-4 in the NFL.

    • Rob Staton says:

      I have him listed in this piece as a top-20 possibility.

    • H says:

      He’s fantastic, my personal favourite player in this class. If he doesnt get picked in the top 20 ill be shocked.

    • Matt says:

      Allen won’t get out of R1. He’s the prototypical safe DE pick that teams love. Will he be a 10+ sack guy? Probably not. Will he be a 6-8 sack guy who plays the run well and can swing inside on passing downs? You bet, and that’s very valuable.

  10. H says:

    You can tell Rob is having a fun time watching Kyler Murray play because he keeps writing articles highlighting different players on Oklahoma’s offence.

  11. Volume12 says:

    Wait. Did you just say Cody Ford is the type of O-lineman Seattle would love to add? Because I brought that up like a week or 2 ago and was dismissed.

    Not that I think there’s anyways he lasts that long. He’s just as good as former top 10 picks Trent Williams or Lane Johnon.

    • Trevor says:

      I remember you bringing him up. He would be a nice addition I just can’t see the Hawks going OL early this year. They have a solid group now and nice depth if they resign Fluker and Sweezy.

      I think Jemarco Jones will be this years OL pick with his injury redshirt.

      • McZ says:

        If you ask me, we should wait R5 and grab Lucas Niang out of TCU. Classic tackle frame, durable, minor technical deficiencies that should be coachable.

  12. Volume12 says:

    ‘Bama’s RB Josh Jacobs. He turns pro he might be the biggest riser in this class. NFL back written all over him.

    Kind of incredible that Quinnen Williams looks like a 16 year old, braces and all, yet still dominates the way he does.

  13. JimQ says:

    A junior EDGE that MAY declare for the draft but is currently ignored in most rankings that also was just recently listed as the number 10 Edge in the coming draft by Mel Kiper, Jr. Does Willekes have some potential as a mid to late round edge option for the Seahawks? See the Waldman link for scouting report and cut up videos. Apparently not a fast 40 guy, but excellent quickness in short areas and burst. See films. Willekes would seem to be a pretty good comp to the above listed Jabari Zuniga at a lesser cost in draft capital? I would think that with only 4 draft picks, the Seahawks will attempt to really “beat the bushes” looking for “value picks” for their positions of need & spend their few draft picks wisely, including small trade downs here and there to add picks.

    DE/EDGE-Kenny Willekes, (a Jr.) Michigan State, 6-4/260.
    -IF- he declares for the 2019 draft, could he be a potential mid to late round EDGE for the Seahawks?
    2018: 12-games, 76-tkls, 34-solo, 20.5-TFL, 8.0-sacks, 1-PBU, 12-QBH, , 1-FF, 1-FR
    https://mattwaldmanrsp.com/2018/11/29/scott-bischoffs-rsp-scouting-lens-de-kenny-willekes-michigan-state/

  14. millhouse-serbia says:

    The #Seahawks have signed RB Bo Scarbrough off Jacksonville’s practice squad. Former #Cowboys draft pick.

    Not good for Penny’s knee. 🙁

    • Rik says:

      Also placed Simmons on IR. So if Fluker can’t go on Sunday, Pocic will be working at RG. Or Hunt.
      Neither one fills me with any confidence.

    • AlaskaHawk says:

      I’m doing a happy dance as I’ve been wanting Bo Scarbrough on the Seahawks team, and now it’s happened. Here is hoping he will stick as a starter and contribute to the team. He is a big back at 228 and a powerful runner.

  15. charlietheunicorn says:

    The Seahawks added depth at running back Tuesday, signing rookie Bo Scarbrough off of Jacksonville’s practice squad. He replaces guard Jordan Simmons, who was placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury sustained in Sunday’s game at the San Francisco 49ers.

    I feel bad for Simmons. He actually looked pretty good, like he belonged, as a starting guard in the NFL. Injuries were always a concern with him, but at least he made it to the dance and got the play in several games. I’m not sure if he has a long term future in the NFL, but hopefully he gets another shot next season when he is healed up.

  16. Grayson says:

    Any thoughts on Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson as some targets for Seattle?

  17. RWIII says:

    Rob: I totally agree with you about the priority of front seven on defense. However, in your opinion is Tedric Thompson the long-term solution at free safety? If Thompson is the long term answer at FS. Then fine take a DL/LB. However, lets say PC/JS have questions about Thompson do you think they would entertain a FS with their 1st pick if their was a difference maker. Or would Seattle be happy with McDougald at FS and Delano Hill at SS?