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.
If Josh Rosen really is head coach Kliff Kingsbury's guy at QB, then picking the best player in the draft makes sense here.
Not only is Allen a fantastic pass rusher, but he can move well in space to make plays against the run and in coverage.
Even though Gary had just 3.5 sacks for the Wolverines this past season, he will be a powerful asset for the Raiders on the edge.
The Jaguars tried the prototype prospect in Blake Bortles; now they take a strong-armed and athletic passer who will present big problems for opposing defenses.
Ferrell's length and motor give him a real chance to be an excellent three-down player at the next level.
Hockenson will be a welcome addition to Buffalo's offense as a safety valve for second-year quarterback
Josh Allen and a devastating blocker for the running game.
The Bengals' pass defense was poor in 2018, so the team needs a playmaker like Williams in the secondary.
The Falcons line up Williams at guard to help in pass pro and bring some balance to an offense that just ranked 27th in rushing yards.
Fourteen years after selecting Thomas Davis in the middle of the first round, Carolina finds his replacement in the rangy White.
Oliver's combine performance is key to his draft stock. If he is longer and bigger than expected, then he will go high. If not, he will end up a mid-first-round bargain for someone willing to trust the film more than than the tape measure.
Wilkins really should go higher, as he is an athletic player with scheme versatility -- and has the sort of positive character every team wants in a first-round pick. We'll see if a strong combine forces teams to ignore other roster needs to bring him in.
Antonio Brown](/player/antoniobrown/2508061/profile) has said goodbye to Steeler Nation. Marquise would be a nice fit, using his speed and quickness to elude defenders as Antonio did in Pittsburgh for nine years.
Assuming Earl Thomas does not return to Seattle in 2019, Abram steps in Day 1 as a leader and playmaker.
Free agency could raid Oakland's talent at cornerback. Baker brings consistency and competitive fire to the position.
The Eagles' receiving corps could look completely different in 2019 between the loss and gain of free agents -- and potentially picking up a young playmaker like Harmon.
GM Chris Ballard says his team must continue to improve up front. Lawrence will be tough to move from the middle of the Colts' D-line.
New Oakland GM Mike Mayock taps a hard-nosed player from his alma mater to bolster the offensive line.
New England exposed the right side of the Chargers' line in the Divisional Round. Risner is not massive, but he's tough to beat and could play multiple positions.
Murphy is slight, but is not afraid to mix it up with larger receivers and is a willing hitter.