2019 NFL Draft: Ranking players who deserve first-round grade

With the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine and pro days in the books, teams are in the process of putting the finishing touches on their evaluations of this year's prospects. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to unveil my ranking of the players who, in my estimation, are worthy of a first-round grade. I did consult with NFL front office personnel in putting this list together, but I relied on my own study and research to make a final determination on where to slot the prospects.

Now, obviously, with 32 selections in Round 1, I haven't included enough players to fill every first-round slot, but that's not the goal of this piece. You can check out my most recent mock draft to see my projection for the draft's first 32 picks. These are the 31 prospects most deserving of that lofty first-round status, in my humble opinion.

To see every pick each team holds in the 2019 NFL Draft, click here.

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1

Nick Bosa, Edge

School: Ohio State | Year: Junior

He's all ball all the time, and he might be the best player in the draft. He's certainly No. 1 on my list.

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2

Josh Allen, Edge

School: Kentucky | Year: Senior

Got better every year in school and exploded with a 17-sack season in 2018. His best football is still ahead of him.

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3

Quinnen Williams, DT

School: Alabama | Year: Sophomore (RS)

The best "game wrecker" as an inside rusher in the draft. Emerged in a huge way during the 2018 season for the Crimson Tide.

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4

Devin White, LB

School: LSU | Year: Junior

Flies to the ball, and when he arrives, he makes the ball carrier regret accepting the assignment.

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5

Ed Oliver, DT

School: Houston | Year: Junior

Last year's consensus preseason selection for best DT in this draft class, Oliver's an intriguing mix of speed, quickness and power as an undersized player at the position.

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6

Christian Wilkins, DT

School: Clemson | Year: Senior

His movement skills make him a strong prospect as a DT. Won the National Football Foundation's coveted Campbell Trophy as the top student-athlete in CFB -- a.k.a. the academic Heisman.

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7

Montez Sweat, Edge

School: Mississippi State | Year: Senior

Followed up a wonderful career at Mississippi State with a phenomenal NFL Scouting Combine run of 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Gets to the passer and can play the run, too.

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8

Rashan Gary, Edge

School: Michigan | Year: Junior

People will have questions about his production at Michigan, but he offers a rare blend of size, strength, speed and versatility.

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9

Dwayne Haskins, QB

School: Ohio State | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Looks like the prototypical QB we sought for years in the NFL. Big arm and production in one season as a starter. There are questions about his pocket elusiveness.

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10

Kyler Murray, QB

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior (RS)

The most dynamic playmaker by far in this year's QB crop. A big play waiting to happen on every snap and the likely first overall pick (by the Cardinals, it appears).

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11

Noah Fant, TE

School: Iowa | Year: Junior

The best pure pass catcher at his position. Can really run at his size (6-foot-4, 249 pounds) and will block. My top-rated TE.

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12

T.J. Hockenson, TE

School: Iowa | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Many view him as the most complete TE in the class. He mauls people at the line of scrimmage as a blocker. Excellent receiver, too.

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13

Jeffery Simmons, DT

School: Mississippi State | Year: Junior

If he didn't have the ACL tear he suffered in February and some off-field concerns, he'd be firmly in the mix for a top-10 selection. He's a top-10 talent.

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14

Josh Jacobs, RB

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

Often was the third RB in Alabama's rotation, but he's the top back in this year's draft. Excellent explosiveness through the hole, with good hands as a pass catcher.

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15

Devin Bush, LB

School: Michigan | Year: Junior

Great genes (his dad was an NFL safety), with a good ability to diagnose and then explode to the point of attack.

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16

Jawaan Taylor, OT

School: Florida | Year: Junior

A mauler at right tackle in his career with the Gators.

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17

Marquise Brown, WR

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior

Had to play through injuries during his final college season, and it hindered him in the CFB playoff game vs. Alabama. Prior to that? Averaged over 18 yards per catch in two seasons at OU, scoring 17 TDs. He's expected to be ready for training camp as he recovers from offseason Lisfranc surgery.

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18

Andre Dillard, OT

School: Washington State | Year: Senior (RS)

Tremendous technician. Best pass-protecting OT in the draft.

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19

Jonah Williams, OL

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

Skilled competitor. Can certainly be a starter at OT, but I like him better as an OG.

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20

Clelin Ferrell, Edge

School: Clemson | Year: Junior (RS)

Rangy build, plays with leverage and punch. Add in a smart, effective pass rush, and you've got a top prospect.

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21

D.K. Metcalf, WR

School: Mississippi | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Very strong, with straight-line speed in the low 4.3s. He can run past, through and play over the top of DBs.

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22

Garrett Bradbury, C

School: N.C. State | Year: Senior (RS)

He'll be a plug-and-play guy at center for the team that drafts him. He's had an excellent postseason, starring at the Reese's Senior Bowl and the combine.

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23

Byron Murphy, CB

School: Washington | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Some may question his size (5-11, 190; added some good weight for his pre-draft workouts), and some see him strictly as an inside CB, but I'm crazy about his instincts and willingness to play against the run.

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24

Brian Burns, Edge

School: Florida State | Year: Junior

Has added some needed weight in the run-up to the draft, and will add more prior to the 2019 season. Often rushed off the edge like an OLB.

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25

Drew Lock, QB

School: Missouri | Year: Senior

The top-rated senior QB. A nice combination of arm talent and upside.

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26

Deandre Baker, CB

School: Georgia | Year: Senior

Demanded the opportunity to match up with the opposition's WR1 each week while at Georgia. Super competitive. Wants to contest every throw to the man he's covering.

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27

Greedy Williams, CB

School: LSU | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Plenty of length, speed to burn, with a nose for the ball. Built to take on today's big and tall NFL WRs.

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28

Cody Ford, OT

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior (RS)

Held down the right tackle spot with a flourish on the best overall O-line in CFB. Definitely can be an OT, but some may project him to kick inside to OG.

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29

Johnathan Abram, S

School: Mississippi State | Year: Senior

A tough safety who plays his best football inside the box.

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30

Irv Smith Jr., TE

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

A bit undersized, but a tremendous downfield threat and a willing blocker. Really emerged in 2018.

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31

Taylor Rapp, S

School: Washington | Year: Junior

I know teams will downgrade him based on his pro day 40-yard dash, but I love what I see on tape from Rapp. He's a first-rounder in my book.

Follow Charles Davis on Twitter @CFD22.