Exactly two weeks from today, the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine will be in full effect, and I can't wait.
As we've discussed, some of college football's top prospects will be in attendance at Lucas Oil Stadium, as they showcase their athletic gifts and football IQ in a string of drills and meetings.
In this week's edition of the Mock Draft Tracker, we've added a few more NFL analysts to our list, including ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper. There have been a few changes to the tracker, but Quinnen Williams remains the favorite for the Oakland Raiders to select.
|Publication||Projected Pick||Player||College||Last Updated|
|CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso)||No. 4||DE, Clelin Ferrell||Clemson||2/8/19|
|No. 24||TE, T.J. Hockenson||Iowa||2/8/19|
|No. 27||WR, A.J. Brown||Ole Miss||2/8/19|
|CBS Sports (Ryan Wilson)||No. 4||DT, Rashan Gary||Michigan||2/10/19|
|No. 24||LB, Devin Bush||Michigan||2/10/19|
|No. 27||CB, Lonnie Johnson||Kentucky||2/10/19|
|The Athletic (Dane Brugler)||No. 4||DE, Rashan Gary||Michigan||2/5/19|
|No. 24||TE, T.J. Hockenson||Iowa||2/5/19|
|No. 27||RB, Josh Jacobs||Alabama||2/5/19|
|Walter Football||No. 4||DE, Rashan Gary||Michigan||2/12/19|
|No. 24||CB, DeAndre Baker||Georgia||2/12/19|
|No. 27||S, Johnathan Abram||Mississippi State||2/12/19|
|SB Nation (Dan Kadar)||No. 4||DT, Quinnen Williams||Alabama||2/11/19|
|No. 24||EDGE, Brian Burns||Florida State||2/11/19|
|No. 27||WR, D.K. Metcalf||Ole Miss||2/11/19|
|NFL Network (Bucky Brooks)||No. 4||DE, Rashan Gary||Michigan||1/25/19|
|No. 24||WR, Kelvin Harmon||N.C. State||1/25/19|
|No. 27||DT, Jeffery Simmons||Mississippi State||1/25/19|
|NFL Network (Daniel Jeremiah)||No. 4||DT, Quinnen Williams||Alabama||1/23/19|
|No. 24||DE, Jaylon Ferguson||Louisiana Tech||1/23/19|
|No. 27||CB, Trayvon Mullen||Clemson||1/23/19|
|Bleacher Report (Matt Miller)||No. 4||DE, Rashan Gary||Michigan||2/4/19|
|No. 24||RB, Josh Jacobs||Alabama||2/4/19|
|No. 27||CB, Trayvon Mullen||Clemson||2/4/19|
|ESPN (Todd McShay)||No. 4||DT, Quinnen Williams||Alabama||2/7/19|
|No. 24||WR, A.J. Brown||Ole Miss||2/7/19|
|No. 27||RB, Josh Jacobs||Alabama||2/7/19|
|ESPN (Mel Kiper)||No. 4||CB, Greedy Williams||LSU||1/17/19|
|No. 24||WR, Marquise Brown||Oklahoma||1/17/19|
|No. 27||TE, Irv Smith Jr.||Alabama||1/17/19|
Last week, defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons out of Mississippi State was linked to the Raiders in a couple different mock drafts, and his draft stock was rising rapidly; however, that stopped Tuesday when ESPN Insider Adam Schefter tweeted that Simmons suffered a knee injury training, and it's expected to be a torn ACL.
We've covered the fact the Raiders need to address the defensive side of the ball in the draft - no question there - but an interesting pattern I'm beginning to see is the number of tight ends appearing in mock drafts.
Jared Cook had his best NFL season in 2018 and was selected to his first Pro Bowl and established himself as one of the premiere tight ends in the league last year. Cook is set to enter free agency on March 13 when the new league year officially begins, and while I hope No. 87 returns to the Silver and Black, the athletic pass catcher will likely have plenty of suitors. If it just so happens that Cook signs elsewhere, the Raiders will need to find Derek Carr a new security blanket to throw to on third down.
Mel Kiper has the team selecting tight end Irv Smith Jr. from Alabama with the No. 27 overall pick, while The Athletic's Dane Brugler and CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso have the Raiders drafting tight end T.J. Hockenson from Iowa. Their measurables and statistical outputs in 2018 are both eerily similar. Hockenson is 6-5, 250 pounds, and Smith is 6-4, 241 pounds; each had at least 700 yards receiving last season, and both hauled in at least six touchdowns.
Truthfully, I think there's more of a need at the wide receiver position, and depending on what Marshawn Lynch decides to do, the Raiders may focus their attention on a running back late in the first round.
I'm throwing around a lot of hypotheticals, but it comes with the territory when preparing for the NFL Draft. We'll have a better indication of what's to come once the Combine wraps up on March 4.
Take a look at which players NFL analysts are predicting the Raiders will select in round one of the 2019 NFL Draft.