CNBNewsnet)(June 13, 2018)--Just a week or so after the NFL Draft of 2018 had concluded, a new NFL power rankings list came out from the official NFL website. This newer edition featured the Los Angeles Rams climbing up to the No. 2 position, ahead of Super Bowl contenders like New England Patriots. Much of that climb is attributed to the way the Rams added to their defense, something which the 2019 NFL Draft Class could help a number of teams with.
At WalterFootball.com website, they provide regular updates about the college prospects that scouts are keeping tabs on ahead of the next draft. Walter Football also provides their own mock drafts, with one for 2019 already in effect. The website has also mentioned that one area generating early buzz from scouts ahead of the 2019 NFL Draft is the defensive linemen class. That's good news after the 2018 NFL Draft resulted in just two defensive linemen getting drafted in the first round.
The 2019 class received an early boost in terms of its talent as Clemson defensive stars Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins both opted to return to play for the Tigers this season. That means they'll be among the available talent pool that NFL teams will look at for next April's draft.
Plenty of teams want to add better defensive players in the hopes of becoming a highly-praised defensive team within the NFL power rankings. According to the WalterFootball website, Three of the four teams that are amongst the top five on those power rankings were also ranked in the top four for total defense at the end of the 2018 NFL season.
The 2019 class of defensive players is said to include a number of players that have looked dominant ever since freshman season. As one NFC scout told WalterFootball, the defensive linemen and pass-rushers that are coming to the league in 2019 could be "legendary" once they've made their marks in the NFL. Among them will be Raekwon Davis, Nick Bosa, Dexter Lawrence, Rashaan Gary, Ed Oliver, Jalen Jelks, Montez Sweat, and Terrell Lewis. The scout also mentioned that trying to fit all of these players' names into mock drafts is going to give those analysts and websites creating them a lot of fun.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a team that the NFL website believes had a solid draft this past April. The team was ranked at No. 4 in the website's NFL power rankings following the draft, and just like the L.A. Rams, a lot has to do with the fact this team is amongst the best defensive squads in the league. It goes to show that teams that look towards establishing a strong defensive core can end up doing pretty well when it comes to their level of competition in today's NFL.
The Minnesota Vikings found themselves ranked at No. 5 on the NFL power rankings list. They're yet another contending team that has a great defense, much like the team sitting atop the rankings, the Philadelphia Eagles. That's why plenty of NFL teams will be chomping at the bits when it comes to the available defensive players that seem headed to the league for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Right now, Ed Oliver from Houston is considered the No. 2 pick in Walter Football's 2019 mock draft and he could end up with the Buffalo Bills. The website puts defensive end Nick Bosa from Ohio State as their third selection for the New York Jets, followed by defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence from Clemson possibly heading to the Indianapolis Colts. Those are just the first three defensive players the website has projected as selections out of many in the first round.
The 2018-19 NCAA football season has yet to get started but once it does, there will be plenty of time for scouts to really assess which players are worthy of top grades. While the NFC scout that spoke to Walter Football listed off a slew of players who could be part of a legendary draft class for defensive linemen, there's the potential for disappointment in the coming season. For the most part, it sounds like the early buzz is good, so that means soon it will be up to these players to show what they're capable of.