Mel Kiper Jr.Football analystClose
- Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.
Welcome to the Big Board, Dwayne Haskins. The Ohio State first-year starter just lit up one of the best defenses in college football, and I had to put him in my ranking of the top 25 prospects in the 2019 NFL draft. Had to, even with just 12 career starts.
Also in my new Big Board? A pass-rusher jumps into the top five, and a wide receiver moves up after a huge performance.
A few notes before I get started, same as always:
These aren’t detailed scouting reports. I still have a lot of work to do on these prospects.
Height and weight are based on what we have from schools. We don’t get official numbers until the 2019 NFL combine.
Note: One asterisk denotes the player is a junior, and two asterisks denote the player is a redshirt sophomore in 2018.
1. Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State*
Height: 6-foot-4 | Weight: 263 pounds | Previously: 1
Bosa is done at Ohio State, and it’s the right decision. Think about it this way: Now Bosa’s next injury will come after he’s a multimillionaire, not before. I don’t expect the injury to affect his draft stock. He is an elite pass-rusher who is advanced for his age in his technique — you can probably thank his brother, Joey, and dad, John, both former first-round picks. He’ll finish his Buckeyes career with 17.5 sacks in two-plus seasons, most of which were in a loaded line rotation. Bosa has a chance to run the table as my No. 1 overall prospect from my first Big Board to my last.
2. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama**
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 289 | Previously: 2
Williams has been one of college football’s best players — not just defenders — this season. He dominated LSU with 2.5 sacks and 10 total tackles earlier this month, and he now has seven sacks and 16 tackles for loss on the season. He flew under the radar before the season because he played limited snaps in the Crimson Tide’s rotation in 2017, racking up 6.5 tackles for loss. When I wrote about Williams after the LSU game, I mentioned his ability to use his hands to disengage from blockers. He is so good at destroying double-teams. And remember, Williams hasn’t played much football — he has room to grow.