The 2019 NFL Draft is right around the corner with the festivities beginning on April 25. The Arizona Cardinals have the first pick in the draft and are most likely taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. Some prospects have risen in the rankings, while others have taken a tumble.
Here are 10 prospects that are flying under the radar.
10. Will Grier, QB West Virginia
Most potential first-round quarterbacks are not seen as underrated, but Grier is an exception. The West Virginia product did not wow scouts with his athletic testing at the combine and played in a conference with optional pass defense at times. He was also suspended for a year while at the University of Florida for testing positive for PEDs.
All those factors against him might make it hard for him to go in the first round, but Grier has as much talent as any quarterback in the draft. He can make all the throws and has good accuracy on the run. Grier could slip into the backend of the first round like Lamar Jackson did last year and he will be a steal for any team that takes him.
9. Tytus Howard, OT Alabama State
Before the scouting process even started, many people probably had no idea who Howard was. The offensive tackle prospect played his college football at Alabama State, an FCS school in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). The Hornets have only had one top-50 selection in program history and Howard should be the second this year.
He has great footwork and an NFL ready frame at 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds. His 34-inch arms also allow him to keep pass rushers from bull rushing him into the quarterback. Howard could be one of the best offensive linemen in this draft and will be a bargain for whatever team picks him in the second round.
8. Sheldrick Redwine, S Miami(Fl)
Most multi-year starters for a major program do not fly under the radar, but that is the case with Redwine. He started the last two seasons with the Hurricanes but did not receive as much recognition as teammate Jaquan Johnson. Redwine had a tremendous scouting combine as his 40-yard dash, 20-yard shuttle, and vertical jump were all among the top 10 for the position.
He started his career as a cornerback and will bring that versatility to the NFL. His size works against him as his 6-foot, 196-pound frame makes him look more like a cornerback than a safety. Redwine will provide an impact to whatever team he goes and could end up as one of the steals of the draft.
7. Hakeem Butler, WR Iowa State
Butler’s placement on this list could be a little perplexing, but he is not getting enough attention. The 6-foot-5 receiver has some of the best hands in the draft and has excellent body control in the air. Scouts were concerned on his explosiveness, but Butler assuaged those concerns with a 4.48 40-yard dash.
He may be the longest receiver in the NFL as he possesses over 35-inch arms and almost 11-inch hands. Butler will provide an instant impact in the red zone with just his size. He might not be the first receiver taken, but he will be among the best once all is said and done.
6. Rock Ya-Sin, CB Temple
Ya-Sin is an interesting case as he is all over mock drafts. Some experts see him as a potential first-round pick, while others have him outside the top 50 prospects. The Temple defensive back is one of the best corners in this draft, despite only one year of FBS experience.
Ya-Sin transferred from Presbyterian as the school cut football scholarships before the 2018 season. Temple was grateful to have him as Ya-Sin flashed great instincts, physicality, and ball skills. His ability to get stops in the run game makes him the most complete corner in the draft and will be a starter for years to come.
5. Gerald Willis III, DT Miami(Fl)
The second Hurricane on the list, Willis III was a nightmare for teams to handle in 2019. He was almost unblockable for Manny Diaz’s defense and named a second-team AP All-American in 2018. His combination of speed and power makes him an intriguing prospect, but his off-field issues have hurt his draft stock.
He was dismissed from the Florida program after his freshman season and took a year off from football in 2017. Willis III has the NFL bloodlines as Washington Redskins safety Landon Collins is his half-brother. If the right staff draft him, he could be one of the top defensive tackles to go in this draft.
4. Darrell Henderson, RB Memphis
The 2019 running back class is not highly regarded after three consecutive years of top-five selections. The lack of star power hurts the class, but Henderson is a potential gem in this class. The Memphis product finished second in the nation in rushing yards with 1,909.
He has the potential to be three-down back in the NFL as he has great hands out of the backfield. His pass-blocking could use some work, but he is shifty and dynamic in the open field. Henderson could slip into the third round, but he could provide an Alvin Kamara impact for the team that drafts him.
3. Julian Love, CB Notre Dame
Notre Dame players are rarely overlooked in the draft process, but Love is the exception to the rule. He does not possess a big frame and lacks the track speed to keep up with speedy receivers. Love also gambles on a lot of plays, which could lead to giving up big plays at the next level.
With that being said, his combination of ball skills and coverage is at the top of the draft. Love is one of the few playmakers on the perimeter in the 2019 Draft and should be an immediate starter in the NFL. He will be a steal for whatever team takes him in the draft.
2. Connor McGovern, OL Penn State
McGovern is one of the top offensive line prospects that people have not heard enough about. He started all three years at Penn State and played all around the offensive line. McGovern will be an interior offensive lineman in the NFL and has experience at center.
His feet are a little slow in pass protection, but he is adept at picking up coverages and creating lanes in the run game. McGovern does not possess Garrett Bradbury’s athleticism but has similar intangibles to the NC State product. The Penn State lineman will make any quarterback happy with his fundamental play up front.
1. Jace Sternberger, TE Texas A&M
This year’s tight end class is dominated by Iowa’s TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant. Their combination of size, speed, hands, and body control make them two of the best 20 prospects in the draft. While they are definite first round picks, Sternberger out of Texas A&M is another potential first-round pick at tight end.
He was a semifinalist for the Mackey Award and was a first-team AP All-American. Sternberger runs great routes and is a solid blocker in the run game. His upside is not as high as the Iowa tight ends, but Sternberger will be a solid NFL tight end for a decade.