football Edit

Programs that should load 2019 NFL Draft with top selections

The college football season is still months away and the NFL Draft is far off into the 2019 calendar, but certain teams have emerged as possibly having numerous first-round draft picks. Here is a look at five teams - and four others to watch - that could load up with top selections in the next NFL Draft.

MORE: These 10 players could be first-rounders in 2019 NFL Draft | Biggest surprise to see slide in 2018 draft

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team


Jonah Williams
Jonah Williams (AP Images)

It is no surprise the national champions and the best program in college football once again has a bunch of potential first-round draft picks. Offensive lineman Jonah Williams could be one of the best in college football. Defensive lineman Raekwon Davis is a 6-foot-7, 308-pounder who could emerge as one of the best at his position and NFL teams could easily fall in love with him.

The linebacker trio of Christian Miller, Anfernee Jennings and Terrell Lewis will be closely watched. Other names that have been mentioned as having first-round potential are RB Damien Harris and OL Ross Pierschbacher. The Crimson Tide are loaded with potential NFL first-rounders.

Farrell's take: This is no surprise, as Nick Saban continues to add talent year in and year out to his roster. Few teams can compete with Alabama on the field and off the field when it comes to pure talent, and we know the Tide will place at least one or two first-rounders in next year’s draft. Williams could be the top tackle taken.


Clelin Ferrell
Clelin Ferrell (AP Images)

Could it be possible that Clemson has four defensive linemen that could end up grading out as first-round selections? It sounds impossible, but that could be the case. Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant are all special players who should dominate the line of scrimmage for the Tigers this season, and they all have the ability to be considered first-round draft picks. Offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt and linebacker Tre Lamar are two others worth watching as Clemson makes another run at the national championship.

Farrell's take: Clemson could have the most first-rounders of any team next year, depending on how things shake out. At least two or three of the defensive linemen will grade out that way, and Hyatt has a chance, as well. This speaks to Dabo Swinney’s recruiting prowess as he has put himself in the same stratosphere as Saban and Urban Meyer when it comes to luring elite talent.


With a great season in Ann Arbor - and nothing less is expected - defensive lineman Rashan Gary could make a run at the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft. He’s that good, and he could be that special for the Wolverines. The biggest question mark is at quarterback, where Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson could take over, and if he has a spectacular season, might be one of the first QBs taken off the board. Linebacker Devin Bush and defensive lineman Chase Winovich are on the watch list, as well, since Michigan’s defense should be stacked.

Farrell's take: Patterson will be interesting, because if he has a great season you know he’ll be in the mix at the top of the draft. Gary is talented enough to be in the discussion at No. 1 overall and this group speaks to the efforts of Jim Harbaugh, who has taken Michigan recruiting to a new level at times.


Nick Bosa
Nick Bosa (AP Images)

Line play should be a strength for Ohio State this season, both offensively and defensively, and that could pay off leading into the NFL Draft. Nick Bosa could be one of the top players off the board, and Dre’Mont Jones is special as well. On the offensive line, Isaiah Prince and Michael Jordan could shoot up position rankings if they have dominant seasons. Running back Mike Weber could emerge even more, especially running behind a stout offensive line even as a second option to sophomore star J.K. Dobbins. And at receiver Parris Campbell is someone to watch.

Farrell's take: One thing we know is that Ohio State will have first-rounders and Bosa is a lock. Another thing we know? Urban Meyer will continue to recruit at the highest level possible at Ohio State. I continue to beat the drum for Meyer as the best head coaching recruiter in college football and I’m sticking by that. The big question is, where’s the first-round defensive back we’ve become accustomed to? Ohio State might miss a year in that regard.


A.J. Brown
A.J. Brown (AP Images)

The Rebels probably only have two first-round draft possibilities after next season, but both could be No. 1 at their positions. Offensive lineman Greg Little and wide receiver A.J. Brown could both be top 10 selections if they have good seasons in Oxford. While Ole Miss might not have the numbers of some other schools on this list, the Rebels could be one of the only schools in the country with two selections this early in the first round.

Farrell's take: Ole Miss makes the top five because I love - absolutely love - their top 1-2 punch of Little and Brown, who both could be top 10 picks. After placing three in Round 1 a few years ago, Little and Brown could keep Ole Miss very relevant in the first-round discussion. That will only help Matt Luke recruit more standouts to Oxford.


AUBURN draft analyst Lance Zierlein told WJOX this offseason that Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham could have been a late first-round pick in April’s NFL Draft if he came out early. That’s an impressive compliment, since the draft was so loaded at the position. With another year on The Plains, Stidham could be one of the first quarterbacks off the board. Defensive lineman Marlon Davidson is someone else to watch and Derrick Brown could end up being a first rounder before all is said and done.

Farrell's take: Stidham could end up being No. 1 off the board. You just don’t know at this stage, and Davidson is a freaky talent but it's Brown that I really like for long-term potential especially since he plays a position that is coveted. Gus Malzahn recruits very well, especially out of state, and the roster is always loaded with talent, so watch for others to emerge as well.


The Tigers know how to put players in the NFL, and while the numbers aren’t huge for next season, two defensive players could be drafted early with another great season in Baton Rouge. Linebacker Devin White had 133 tackles a season ago and he should be one of the top players at his position off the board. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Greedy Williams had seven interceptions last season. With another big season, he could be drafted early in the first round.

Farrell's take: As usual, defense rules the day (although running back and receiver haven’t been bad lately) for LSU as they continue to churn out elite defensive players. White is a freak and could be the top linebacker taken and Williams has such great ball skills and instincts he could sneak into Round 1, as well. As expected, LSU will have a talented roster.


Defensive lineman Joe Jackson has length and athleticism, and if he has a big season, the Hurricanes’ standout could definitely move up even higher on draft boards. He might be Miami’s only first-round selection, but receiver Ahmmon Richards and defensive back Michael Jackson have cases to be made, as well.

Farrell's take: It’s getting better and better in Miami when it comes to roster talent, and in a couple of years we could see numerous first-round picks from the 'Canes - like we used to see. Mark Richt has recruiting off the chain (no pun intended) and they are owning South Florida again.


The Badgers are loaded along the offensive line with Beau Benzschawel, Michael Deiter and David Edwards all having the possibility of being first-round draft picks. All three have high-level NFL potential and a good season blocking for Heisman contender RB Jonathan Taylor could move all three up even higher. Linebacker T.J. Edwards also has a chance at a first-round grade with a big season in Madison.

Farrell's take: A team that rarely gets credit for producing NFL players but constantly puts underrated prospects into the draft, Wisconsin once again has a loaded roster. Paul Chryst is an underrated recruiter and the perfect fit for the Badgers.