Each year, I find myself reaching an irrational level of excitement about the arrival of the NFL Scouting Combine (March 1-4 on NFL Network).
While some complain that the event takes a measure of athletic ability that doesn't always translate once the pads are on, I view it as a chance to get as many of the top prospects as possible in one place at the same time. Now, teams can't afford to use draft picks on unproductive players lacking competitive spirit and physicality, even if they test well in Indy -- their film and recommendations from coaches are still the keys to their evaluation. However, seeing the physical tools for each player in direct comparison to their peers is also part of the projection process -- one that should not be overlooked.
General managers, scouts and coaches also get a chance to talk to prospects during combine interviews and watch them interact with coaches on the field. The combine is a non-contact event, but league personnel will take away something about the competitiveness of each player based on his willingness to listen attentively and give full effort in the drills.
This mock draft is only one possible scenario for how things will play out once picks are being made in April, using the information we have heading into the combine. The 102 selections listed here take into account team needs at this very moment, as well as the talent of the prospects. Free agency, which begins on March 13, will obviously alter the outlook for each organization.
Bush's lack of size could keep him out of the first round -- though it shouldn't, as he'll be a strong player inside or outside at the next level.
If Ridley falls to the second round, he'll be a Michael Thomas-type value because his route-running skills and agility after the catch are second to none in this draft class.
Gardner is similar to Niners free agent Jimmie Ward, presenting the skills to play nickel or free safety.
McCoy will be a sturdy and steady presence for any quarterback the Giants go with in 2019 and beyond.
Ford will be a powerful guard for the Jaguars, moving the line of scrimmage with his size and strength.
Tampa Bay needs a young rush linebacker like Burns on the edge in pass-rush situations.
Even though Little played left tackle at Ole Miss, he could plug in on the right side for the Bills as a rookie.
Detroit adds a pass-breakup machine to a secondary that had just seven interceptions and gave up a passer rating of 102.7 in 2018.
Edwards could either be a backup in 2019 or step in right away if necessary.
Harry has as much to gain from a strong combine as any player in the class. Even if he doesn't run well, though, his size and strong hands should make him a regular threat at the next level.
Campbell stays in Ohio to use his speed and improving route-running skills for the Baker Mayfield-led offense.
[Harrison Smith](/player/harrisonsmith/2532948/profile) gets a running mate with a similar passion for the game. This could be a strong pair to lead the secondary for the next few years.
[Luke Stocker](/player/lukestocker/2495234/profile) could leave as a free agent and [Marcus Mariota](/player/marcusmariota/2552466/profile) needs as many talented receiving threats around him as possible.
[James Conner](/player/jamesconner/2557978/profile) did a great job for Pittsburgh in 2018, but Henderson would be a great complement in the backfield.
Youth comes to the Eagles' pass rush in Jackson, who can hold the edge and turn the corner to reach the quarterback.
Houston's cornerback situation is in flux due to several veteran free agents being on the market. Ya-Sin played just one year of major college football, but has the short memory and physicality to succeed in the NFL.
Wren's powerful arms and off-the-ball quickness will make him a regular contributor (or starter) for the Texans early on.
Finley's efficiency could make him a nice fit behind Tom Brady for the next couple of years (or more).
In 14 of the last 20 drafts, at least one team has selected two receivers in the first three rounds. The Eagles are a prime candidate to continue this trend if they don't address the position in free agency.
[Pierre Desir](/player/pierredesir/2543811/profile) will get top-dollar value as a free agent, so the [Colts](/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) may tap a second-round prospect to fill his shoes.