Every year at this time, we tie a bow on another college football recruiting cycle the best way we know how – a Devy mock draft with only true freshmen. This year, we expanded the field to two rounds of 14 players. We approached this draft as if it were PPR and 1 QB.
1.01 Trey Sanders, RB, Alabama, 6-0 214lbs (@devywarehouse)
Sanders was ranked as the second-best RB in the nation according to 247Sports, picking Alabama over Florida, Florida State, and Georgia. He enters a loaded Crimson Tide backfield, but Sanders has the ability to be the best of the bunch. He possesses a good blend of speed, power, and pass-catching ability. Sanders has the body and skill set to become a workhorse back.
1.02 John Emery Jr, RB, LSU, 5-11 206lbs (@_codygarrett)
John Emery is widely considered one of the top 2 RB prospects in the 2019 class and was initially committed to Georgia before flipping to play for the LSU Tigers. Emery has good size that he blends with amazing speed, quickness, and balance. He will have to battle to see snaps early for the Tigers, but he has the talent and skill set to eventually be a dominant back.
1.03 Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State, 6-0, 185lbs (@allpurposescout)
It’s easy to fall for a three-sport athlete, but Wilson possesses some of the most advanced traits at the wide receiver position I’ve seen. First, he knows how to release off the line of scrimmage with good footwork, acceleration, and body mechanic manipulation. Second, his route breaks consist of the same mechanical manipulation with use of body fakes, lateral quickness and burst out of his breaks. Third, regardless of his size, he can win in contested catch and traffic situations due to his competitive toughness and strong hands. Last but definitely not least, he his intelligent within his movements. He has a good understanding of how to manipulate his opponent within his environment and create for himself to gain yards before and after contact. Overall, Wilson has the skill set to be a dynamic receiver at the collegiate and professional level and has the profile to be a potential WR1.
1.04 Joe Ngata, WR, Clemson, 6-3 205lbs (@pacificscouting)
It will be tough for Ngata to see early playing time for Clemson with the current WR depth. He possesses a terrific blend of size, speed, strength, and agility. He comes into college as one of the more refined WRs in his class with a great understanding of route running and the ability to win at the line of scrimmage. Ngata picked a terrific destination for WR relevance and should keep the trend of WRU going when his time comes.
1.05 Zach Charbonnet, RB, Michigan, 6-2 215lbs (@FranchiseKF)
Charbonnet was ranked as the fourth-best RB in the country, according to 247Sports. He elected to go to Michigan, and the recent departures of Karan Higdon and Chris Evans mean that he could have a potential breakout as a freshman in 2019. He’s got NFL feature back size and possesses a great blend of raw power and agility. Charbonnet had a solid pass-catching profile in high school and looks like the best running back that Michigan has landed in many years.
1.06 Theo Wease, WR, Oklahoma, 6-3 202lbs (@DFF_BMack)
Wease is a 5-star WR who signed with Oklahoma. It’s early, and hardly any of these guys are on campus, but he’s my WR1 in this class so I’m happy to get him here as the third WR off the board. Wease is quick off the ball, creates separation, and changes directions well. He will be a nightmare for Big12 corners in the red zone because of his length, jump balling timing, and ability to adjust his body in mid-air.
1.07 Frank Ladson, WR, Clemson, 6-3 190lbs (@DFF_Clayton)
Hailing from Dade County in Miami, Ladson fits the X-receiver mold of the several Clemson receiver recruits over the past few years. Tall, long, and fast. Ladson has an undeniably thin frame as he enters college, but the Clemson strength and nutrition program packed 15-20 pounds onto Tee Higgins frame over just a few summer months, and Ladson’s frame should afford him to do the same. Mostly a go-route WR at this stage, his best attributes are his excellent ball skills in terms of ball-tracking and adjusting to the football. Ladson isn’t a blazer, but has a long stride and deceptive speed. With added weight and an expansion of route concepts, look for Frank Ladson to continue the Tigers’ WRU mantra.
1.08 Jerrion Ealy, RB, Ole Miss, 5-10 200lbs (@devywarehouse)
Ealy was the third-ranked RB according to 247Sports, signing with Ole Miss over Clemson. Ealy has a short, stout frame that he uses to generate his power. The future Rebel has great explosion and balance that allows him to be one of the best RBs in his class. With a potential MLB future looming, Ealy has to decide between football and baseball.
1.09 Bru McCoy, WR, Texas, 6-2 205lbs (@_codygarrett)
Bru McCoy was initially committed to play at USC but after some coaching changes, McCoy will be taking his talents to the Texas Longhorns. McCoy is rated as the #1 athlete according to 247Sports. He has good size and is extremely explosive with excellent top end speed. He is very quick-twitched and is dangerous with the ball in his hands while adding in good ball tracking and ball skills. If McCoy is able to see the field this year, he can be a major contributor early for the Longhorns.
1.10 Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma 6-0 198lbs (@allpurposescout)
In a draft that lacks premier QB depth, I want the best one and I’m happy to take the Elite 11 MVP at 10th overall. It is yet to be determined whether Rattler will have a chance to start his freshman year, but I love the young weapons he will be surrounded with and the underrated athletism he possesses. For a kid who surpassed 11,000 passing yards in his high school career, I have no doubt we will see incredible production from Rattler on Saturdays.
1.11 Jadon Haselwood, WR, Oklahoma, 6-2 196lbs (@pacificscouting)
Haselwood is widely considered the top WR in the 2019 class by recruiting services. He has great length and top end speed. Haselwood steps into a program with good WR depth and will be battling for a spot to get on the field early with fellow freshman WR Theo Wease. He has a very smooth play style with terrific hands and shows the ability to win downfield with great ball skills.
1.12 Bo Nix, QB, Auburn, 6-1.5 207lbs (@FranchiseKF)
According to 247Sports, Bo Nix was the top-ranked dual-threat-QB in the incoming freshman class. He doesn’t have the prototypical NFL QB1 size nor top-shelf arm talent, but he has outstanding athleticism (4.60 40-yard-dash, 4.06 short shuttle, 31.5-inch vertical) and is a precise passer. The son of a coach, Nix displays great feel for the game and his ability to throw on the run and off-platform make him an excellent fit in Malzahn’s offense. The QB depth chart at Auburn is wide open in 2019, and Nix has the most ability of anyone on the roster. Similar to Jake Fromm at Georgia, he could be a three-year starter in the SEC that possesses a very high floor.
1.13 Dominick Blaylock, WR, Georgia, 6-1 195lbs (@DFF_BMack)
Even though he’s more athlete than technician right now, Georgia couldn’t have asked for a better replacement for Mecole Hardman. Blaylock is dangerous with a free release out of the slot. He’s a smooth route runner. He’s not afraid to work the middle of the field. He’s explosive, sudden, and creative after the catch.
1.14 Ryan Hilinski, QB, South Carolina, 6-4 237lbs (@DFF_Clayton)
The definition of a big-armed pocket passer, Ryan Hilinski should seamlessly transition into the Gamecocks’ starting QB position following Jake Bentley’s departure in 2019. As an 18-year-old, Hilinski can already throw out-routes from the far hash with ease. He has terrific overall arm talent as well, displayed by his ability to accurately throw off balance, on the run, and out of different arm slots as needed. Tends to throw off his back foot far too much, but that should be a habit that can be coached out of him at the collegiate level. Hilinski won’t fool anyone as a dual-threat, however, he has enough athleticism to shuffle his feet, maneuver around in the pocket and evade defenders. Hilinski is the potential pro QB everyone wanted Bentley to be.
2.01 Noah Cain, RB, Penn State, 5-10 208lbs (@DFF_Clayton)
Cain is a big-bodied back with good hands out of the backfield. He’s a bruising back that has the capability of being the lead man in a rushing attack and handling over 20 touches a game. His game lacks elite long speed but has enough to be able to gain chunk plays. Cain is one of two Penn State 4-star RB commits that will be competing with Ricky Slade for touches.
2.02 Eric Gray, RB, Tennessee, 5-9 194lbs (@DFF_BMack)
Gray finished his high school career as the second-most productive back the state of Tennessee has ever seen. He’s shown incredible durability over the last three and a half years. He didn’t miss a snap since after becoming eligible halfway through his freshman season. Built in the Alvin Kamara/Kareem Hunt mold, Gray is quicker than fast and runs with more elusiveness than power. He’s capable of doubling as a slot receiver if the Vols want to get him on the field early.
2.03 Wandale Robinson, RB/WR, Nebraska, 5-9 175lbs (@FranchiseKF)
Robinson being highly ranked for me was the result of a perfect storm that happened in 2018. Ty Hill dominated the NFL, Hollywood Brown is being mocked as a first-round prospect in the majority of mock drafts, and both Rondale Moore and Jaylen Waddle are two of my highest rated 2021 prospects. While Robinson lacks ideal size, he has elite athleticism (4.22 hand timed 40-yard, 4.27 SS, 35 inch vertical) and is tough as a $6 steak. His change of direction, ability to play multiple positions on offense, and landing spot at Nebraska have me very excited about his future.
2.04 Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State, 6-0 215lbs (pacificscouting)
Hall steps into a situation vacated by David Montgomery with a ton of production up for grabs. There’s no certainty that Hall will see a role early, but he looks like the most talented RB on their roster. He runs with a similar style to Kerryon Johnson. Hall shows good field vision, the ability to create with elusive cuts, a strong lower half, and decent top end speed. Being a natural pass catcher gives him a terrific ceiling.
2.05 Kyle Ford, WR, USC 6-2 212lbs (@allpurposescout)
Ford comes with an NFL-ready frame and the functional play strength to be competitive at the catch point. He plays with aggression in contested catch situations and isn’t fazed by contact in traffic, showing off his strong hands. He doesn’t have great long speed, but he displays physicality within his route with good use of hands to create separation and get open in the middle of the field. Ford might battle for playing time his freshman year and he suffered an ACL injury in high school, but he was extremely productive and is a dual-sport athlete playing baseball as well in high school. I like the upside he will bring once his opportunity presents itself at USC.
2.06 Cornelius Johnson, WR, Michigan, 6-2 195lbs (@_codygarrett)
Cornelius Johnson is a very underrated wideout committed to play for the Michigan Wolverines. Johnson is an extremely fluid athlete with a quick twitch and solid route running. He is very sure-handed and routinely makes highlight-reel catches. He is very aware of where he’s at on the field and does a great job of making plays along the sidelines. Michigan is chock-full of talent at receiver, so Johnson may not see the field immediately, but he has the talent to be a high-end contributor in the near future.
2.07 David Bell, WR, Purdue, 6-1 200lbs(@devywarehouse)
Bell was a top 20 WR according to 247Sports and a top 100 overall player. Bell joins Purdue as a polished WR giving him the opportunity to see playing time opposite of Rondale Moore early in his career. A smooth athlete who shows his hardwood skills on the football field, he has the potential to be a two-sport star for the Boilermakers.
2.08 Langston Anderson, WR, Oklahoma State, 6-2 195lbs (@DFF_Clayton)
Anderson is a freaky athlete with a boatload of potential. Prior to his senior year, he tested out with a 40” vertical along with a 4.52 40-yard dash, giving him an elite SPARQ score. Amongst WRs in his class, Anderson has as high of a ceiling as anybody. He has a pogo stick for legs and has great yards-after-the-catch ability. After some time in a college weight program, he truly can blossom with some added weight and strength.
2.09 George Pickens, WR, Auburn, 6-3 190lbs (@DFF_BMack)
Pickens, a 5-star WR, surprisingly flipped from Auburn to Georgia on National Signing Day. He understands how to use his big frame to his advantage at the catch point. He extends and catches the ball outside his frame. He has good ball skills and makes tough plays look easy. Needs to continue to improve as a route runner to add to the list of ways he can win. Pickens might not see a lot of action early because he is one of nearly 10 Georgia receivers fighting for targets and Georgia’s offensive game plan goes through their running backs.
2.10 Jordan Whittington, WR, Texas, 6-0 205lbs (@FranchiseKF)
In the 2018 Texas 4A State Championship, Jordan Whittington rushed for 334 yards, had 43 receiving yards, scored 6 touchdowns, made 11 tackles, and was named Offensive MVP, Defensive MVP, and State Champion. While he has a different build than former Texas WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey, he has a comparably diverse skill set that should lead to great production in Austin. Whittington will likely be an inside receiver for the ‘Horns but he has stated that his role could be similar to that of Alvin Kamara’s with the Saints. I love receivers that have the build and skills of running backs, like DJ Moore, Deebo Samuel, and Jordan Whittington.
2.11 Devonta Lee, WR, LSU, 6-2 212lbs (@pacificscouting)
Lee was a late favorite to land with Kentucky but ultimately decided to stay with his early projection to LSU. Although I’m not a big fan of where he landed, I am a fan of Lee’s game. He was a versatile athlete in HS, playing both sides of the ball, so there is always the possibility of a position switch in college. Lee at one point gave me a Bryan Edwards vibe with his ability to separate early in his routes and his aggressive mentality to attack the ball in the air. He has a thick build with a physical nature. There isn’t a clear-cut shot at playing time for Lee, but I liked him best of the remaining players.
2.12 Baylor Cupp, TE, Texas A&M 6-6 240lbs (@allpurposescout)
I love the situation Cupp enters into with the Aggies as he could immediately replace Jace Sternberger’s production as a freshman. Head coach Jimbo Fisher raved about Cupp during the recruiting process, talking up his size, power, and athleticism. Fisher also noted the 4.55 40-yard time, 10-6 broad jump and 36-inch vertical Cupp produced while at the Aggies camp. Those are stellar numbers for a tight end of his size. He fits the system perfectly and his ability as a pass catcher is excellent as well. I usually don’t draft tight ends, but I couldn’t pass up on the best one in this recruiting class that has a path to immediate production.
2.13 Jake Smith, WR, Texas, 6-1 189lbs (@_codygarrett)
Jake Smith is a “Swiss Army Knife” type of WR committed to play for the Texas Longhorns. Smith is a do-it-all type of player as he lines up all over the field from wideout to running back to kick/punt returner and even as their punter! Smith is a phenomenal athlete and a very sudden runner making him extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. Smith is also very explosive and great off the LOS making him tough to defend. With his wide range of skills, Smith could get some playing time early for the Longhorns and be a weapon they use in every facet of the game.
2.14 Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame, 5-10 200lbs (@devywarehouse)
Williams is a versatile athlete playing running back. There are plenty of ways he can see the field for the Irish. He’s extremely good in the passing game, and if necessary, he could be a slot receiver at the college level. Notre Dame recently hired Lance Taylor as its RB Coach; he previously coached at Stanford and helped develop Christian McCaffrey. Williams has similar skills to a McCaffrey with his abilities to produce as both a runner and receiver.
If you want to learn more about these players and the players they’ll be competing with for playing time, you can still order 2019 Devy Watch at a discount. Time is running out though. Click here to pre-order.