It’s always fun to take a look at the previous NFL Draft class compared to the current one and see how they stack up. The following is a position-by-position look at how the 2018 and 2019 NFL Draft classes compare. Let’s be clear the following rankings from the 2018 and 2019 NFL Draft are pre-draft rankings. They are not how these players stack up currently, but how they stack up with their grades heading into the NFL Draft. The whole point of this is to see how the current class looks compared to what we saw in last years’ class. You’ll notice immediately some hits and misses from the 2018 class in my rankings, but remember you can never truly judge a player until they’ve played three seasons in the league.

*All of the rankings and categories are based off of the player’s pre-draft grades

Quarterbacks

Rank QB School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Josh Rosen UCLA 10th Matt Ryan
2 Sam Darnold USC 3rd Tony Romo
3 Baker Mayfield Oklahoma 1st Drew Brees
4 Kyler Murray Oklahoma TBD Russell Wilson
5 Lamar Jackson Louisville 32nd Michael Vick
6 Dwayne Haskins Ohio State TBD Matthew Stafford
7 Josh Allen Wyoming 7th Daunte Culpepper
8 Kyle Lauletta Richmond 108th Jimmy Garoppolo
9 Drew Lock Missouri TBD Jay Cutler
10 Brett Rypien Boise State TBD Kirk Cousins
Most Pro-Ready: Josh Rosen, UCLA
Cleanest Mechanics: Josh Rosen, UCLA
Biggest Arm: Josh Allen, Wyoming
Most Accurate: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Most Mobile: Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Best Poise: Sam Darnold, USC
Better Class: 2018 by miles and miles
  • Pretty clearly the 2018 QB class is far better than the 2019 class, but that’s no surprise. Last year was a rare group and we saw five QBs selected in the first-round, second most all-time and the most since 1999. All five of those QBs had their moments, but Baker Mayfield clearly stole the show reviving hope in Cleveland. Mayfield, Josh Rosen, and Sam Darnold would be QB1 in pretty much any NFL Draft class, that’s how good they are. If Lamar Jackson were in pretty much any other draft class, he would have been the second QB off the board at worst. This year Kyler Murray is the show stealer followed by Dwayne Haskins, but neither is the slam dunk QB prospect that Rosen, Mayfield, and Darnold were coming out. Guys like Drew Lock and Daniel Jones aren’t even close to the Josh Allen level for that matter.

Running Backs

Rank RB School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Saquon Barkley Penn State 2nd Marshall Faulk
2 Derrius Guice LSU 59th Marshawn Lynch
3 Josh Jacobs Alabama TBD Frank Gore
4 Ronald Jones II USC 38th LeSean McCoy
5 Sony Michel Georgia 31st Clinton Portis
6 Nick Chubb Georgia 35th Mark Ingram
7 Darrell Henderson Memphis TBD Jamaal Charles
8 David Montgomery Iowa State TBD Kareem Hunt
9 Rashaad Penny San Diego State 27th Thomas Jones
10 Rondey Anderson Oklahoma TBD David Johnson
Most Pro-Ready: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Most Elusive: Ronald Jones II, USC
Best Power: Derrius Guice, LSU
Best Receiver: Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Best Scatback: Nyheim Hines, North Carolina State
Better Class: 2018 by a lot
  • Surprisingly the 2019 RB class is relatively weak. After multiple big classes in a row there’s a drop-off this year. The 2018 class was loaded and led by arguably the best RB prospect of the century in Saquon Barkley. He obviously didn’t disappoint in his rookie season. Followed by him was Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones, Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb who all showed in college that have what it takes to be starting RBs in the league. The issue with the RB position in general is they grow on trees so it’s never really worth taking one early. This year Josh Jacobs is the only clear top dog and he might slip into the second-round while Darrell Henderson and David Montgomery are the only other backs from the 2019 class who might go in the second-round. The running backs in this year’s class are more role specific players versus last years’ class had multiple RB1 types.

Wide Receivers

Rank WR School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 DK Metcalf Ole Miss TBD Josh Gordon
2 Calvin Ridley Alabama 26th Stefon Diggs
3 N’Keal Harry Arizona State TBD JuJu Smith-Schuster
4 Deebo Samuel South Carolina TBD Golden Tate
5 Christian Kirk Texas A&M 47th Randall Cobb
6 Kelvin Harmon NC State TBD Michael Crabtree
7 DJ Moore Maryland 24th Pierre Garcon
8 Courtland Sutton SMU 40th Alshon Jeffery
9 DaMarkus Lodge Ole Miss TBD Davante Adams
10 Hollywood Brown Oklahoma TBD DeSean Jackson
Most Pro-Ready: Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Best Hands: Kelvin Harmon, NC State
Best Routes: DaMarkus Lodge, Ole Miss/Riley Ridley, Georgia/Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska
Best Slot: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
Best Deep Threat: DK Metcalf, Ole Miss/Hollywood Brown, Oklahoma
Best Red Zone Threat: DK Metcalf, Ole Miss
Better Class: 2019 easily
  • Outside of Calvin Ridley in the 2018 class there was no definite first-round WR and we ended up only seeing two go in the first-round. Well, there’s a chance only DK Metcalf goes in the first-round this year, but the difference between the 2018 and 2019 class is the sheer depth. Last year guys like Ridley, DJ Moore, Christian Kirk, Courtland Sutton, Dante Pettis, and Anthony Miller felt like the only clear Day 1 and 2 options. This year’s class has nearly 20 different WRs who could be selected in the first three rounds and it goes deep into Day 3 talent with over 40 draftable options. The top WR prospects from the 2018 class are high impact guys, but the group just doesn’t have the total depth of this year’s class. There’s a good chance at least one rookie receiver makes every NFL team from the 2019 class.

Tight Ends

Rank TE School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 TJ Hockenson Iowa TBD George Kittle
2 Noah Fant Iowa TBD Vernon Davis
3 Irv Smith Jr. Alabama TBD Delanie Walker
4 Dawson Knox Ole Miss TBD Heath Miller
5 Jace Sternberger Texas A&M TBD Zach Ertz
6 Hayden Hurst South Carolina 25th Hunter Henry
7 Dallas Goedert South Dakota State 49th Kellen Winslow Jr.
8 Kahale Warring San Diego State TBD Todd Heap
9 Mike Gesicki Penn State 42nd Jordan Cameron
10 Ian Thomas Indiana 101st Dallas Clark
Most Pro-Ready: TJ Hockenson, Iowa
Best Hands: TJ Hockenson, Iowa
Best Slot Tight End: Noah Fant, Iowa
Best Blocker: TJ Hockenson, Iowa
Best H-Back: Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
Better Class: 2019 and it ain’t close
  • Honestly this might be the largest talent gap from class to class other than the QBs. The 2018 tight end class was about as bad as it gets and the production matched that with the rookies. Nobody was overly exciting in the class and none ready to be impact players. This year however has some of the best talent we’ve seen for tight ends in a draft class. TJ Hockenson is a freak and top 10 player and college teammate Noah Fant will join him in the first-round. Irv Smith Jr., Dawson Knox Jace Sternberger, and Kahale Warring will all go on Day 2 and project as starting tight ends in the league. Just to double down on the 2019 class the depth dominates the 2018 group with over 20 tight ends who should make rosters. The 2019 class has star talent, starting talent, role players, and depth players.

Offensive Tackles

Rank OT School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Jonah Williams Alabama TBD Joe Staley
2 Connor Williams Texas 50th Joe Staley
3 Jawaan Taylor Florida TBD D’Brickashaw Ferguson
4 Cody Ford Oklahoma TBD Cordy Glenn
5 Mike McGlinchey Notre Dame 9th Taylor Decker
6 Dalton Risner Kansas State TBD Matt Light
7 Andre Dillard Washington State TBD Jordan Gross
8 Yodny Cajuste West Virginia TBD Levi Jones
9 David Edwards Wisconsin TBD Riley Reiff
10 Greg Little Ole Miss TBD Cam Robinson
Most Pro-Ready: Jonah Williams, Alabama
Best Pass Blocker: Andre Dillard, Washington State
Best Run Blocker: Jonah Williams, Alabama
Sweetest Feet: Andre Dillard, Washington State
Meanest SOB: Jonah Williams, Alabama
Better Class: 2019, obviously
  • Everybody knew the 2018 offensive tackle class was weak and that led to some interesting takes and interesting picks. Connor Williams was a debate point and slid to the second-round while Kolton Miller was way overdrafted at 15. Mike McGlinchey saved the group and looks like a long-term starter. The 2019 class on the other hand will have five guys go in the first-round and all of them should start right away. Not only is the first-round talent far better this year, but there’s more interesting Day 2 options to develop. A lot of the 2018 class was athletic projections while the 2019 class has safer options with more upside. Jonah Williams, Jawaan Taylor, Cody Ford, Dalton Risner, Andre Dillard, Yodny Cajuste, David Edwards, and Greg Little could end up starting as rookies while 2018 had just McGlinchey, Williams, Miller, Brian O’Neill, and Orlando Brown become starters.

Interior Offensive Linemen

Rank IOL School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Quenton Nelson Notre Dame 6th Steve Hutchinson
2 Garrett Bradbury NC State TBD Ryan Kalil
3 Isaiah Wynn Georgia 23rd Zack Martin
4 Will Hernandez UTEP 34th Mike Iupati
5 Billy Price Ohio State 21st Travis Frederick
6 Frank Ragnow Arkansas 20th Nick Mangold
7 James Daniels Iowa 39th Jason Kelce
8 Chris Lindstrom Boson College TBD Joel Bitonio
9 Erik McCoy Texas A&M TBD Mike Pouncey
10 Michael Deiter Wisconsin TBD Josh Sitton
Most Pro-Ready: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Best Guard: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Best Center: Garrett Bradbury, NC State
Best Pass Blocker: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Best Run Blocker: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Sweetest Feet: Garrett Bradbury, NC State
Meanest SOB: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Better Class: 2018 because Quenton Nelson scares me
  • It sure helps the 2018 class that Quenton Nelson is the best interior offensive line prospect of all-time and that’s not hyperbole. Nelson is everything any team could have hoped for in an offensive line prospect. The 2018 class also had Isaiah Wynn, Will Hernandez, Billy Price, Frank Ragnow, James Daniels, and Braden Smith who all looked like plug-and-play 10-year starters on tape. That’s about as strong as an IOL group as you can hope for. This year’s top guy is Garrett Bradbury who’s a top 10 player and can change an entire O-line is the way Nelson did, but to a lesser extent. After that there’s no first-round talent, but a handful of Day 2 guys who can start for a long-time. Chris Lindstrom, Erik McCoy, Michael Deiter, Elgton Jenkins, and Dru Samia will all be top 100 plug-and-play picks.

Interior Defensive Linemen

Rank IDL School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Quinnen Williams Alabama TBD Gerald McCoy
2 Ed Oliver Houston TBD Geno Atkins
3 Jeffery Simmons Mississippi State TBD Fletcher Cox
4 Jerry Tillery Notre Dame TBD Chris Jones
5 Christian Wilkins Clemson TBD Sheldon Richardson
6 Vita Vea Washington 12th Haloti Ngata
7 Maurice Hurst Michigan 140th Geno Atkins
8 Charles Omenihu Texas TBD DeForest Buckner
9 Taven Bryan Florida 29th Cameron Heyward
10 Dexter Lawrence Clemson TBD Linval Joseph
Most Pro-Ready: Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Best 1-Tech/Nose: Vita Vea, Washington
Best 3-Tech: Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Best 5-Tech: Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
Best Pass Rusher: Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Best Space Eater: Vita Vea, Washington
Most Athletic: Ed Oliver, Houston
Most Versatile: Ed Oliver, Houston
Better Class: 2019, it’s a rare group
  • With the 2018 IDL class there was nothing special. Vita Vea is an impressive nose tackle, but his position lacks value. Mo Hurst was a first-round talent, but the medical red flags were worrisome. After that Taven Bryan was a raw athlete and there wasn’t much depth. The 2019 class on the other hand is full to the brim with perfect IDLs for today’s game. Quinnen Williams is the best player in the draft. Ed Oliver and Jeffery Simmons are top five players. Jerry Tillery, Christian Wilkins, and Charles Omenihu should all end up in the first-round. They also have Dexter Lawrence who could go first-round and up to five other potential Day 2 picks. Overall the IDL class in 2018 was fine with some solid players, but the 2019 class has a chance to be legendary. Multiple All-Pro and Pro Bowl talents at one position in a class doesn’t happen often.

Edge Rushers

Rank EDGE School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Nick Bosa Ohio State TBD Joey Bosa
2 Bradley Chubb NC State 5th Michael Bennett
3 Harold Landry Boston College 41st Cameron Wake
4 Brian Burns Florida State TBD Jevon Kearse
5 Josh Allen Kentucky TBD Danielle Hunter
6 Jachai Polite Florida TBD Melvin Ingram
7 Clelin Ferrell Clemson TBD Jason Pierre-Paul
8 Montez Sweat Mississippi State TBD Ziggy Ansah
9 Chase Winovich Michigan TBD Chris Long
10 Rashan Gary Michigan TBD Adalius Thomas
Most Pro-Ready: Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Best 4-3 Defensive End: Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Best 3-4 Outside Linebacker: Harold Landry, Boston College
Best Pass Rusher: Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Best Run Defender: Bradley Chubb, NC State
Most Versatile: Josh Allen, Kentucky
Better Class: 2019, even though some of them are overrated
  • The 2018 class was pretty weak overall for edge rushers. Bradley Chubb was the sure thing at the top because of his perfectly well-rounded game. Followed by Chubb was Harold Landry who has a ton of talent, but the NFL liked less than the media. After that it was mainly just Marcus Davenport and project players. The 2019 class is completely different and with the IDLs it could be a scary talented rookie year for defensive linemen. Nick Bosa is in that upper echelon of edge talent and is the second best player in the class. After Bosa, Brian Burns, Josh Allen, Jachai Polite, Clelin Ferrell, and Motez Sweat are all top 25 talents on tape. At least three of them will go in the first-round along with Bosa and Rashan Gary. The depth in the class is awesome too, potentially double digit picks go between the second and fourth-rounds.

Linebackers

Rank LB School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Roquan Smith Georgia 8th Lavonte David
2 Tremaine Edmunds Virginia Tech 16th Brian Urlacher
3 Devin White LSU TBD Thomas Davis
4 Devin Bush Michigan TBD Myles Jack
5 Rashaan Evans Alabama 22nd Vontaze Burfict
6 Leighton Vander Esch Boise State 19th Rolando McClain
7 Blake Cashman Minnesota TBD Sean Lee
8 Mack Wilson Alabama TBD Jordan Hicks
9 Darius Leonard South Carolina State 36th Daryl Washington
10 Drue Tranquill Notre Dame TBD Alex Anzalone
Most Pro-Ready: Roquan Smith, Georgia
Best Weakside Linebacker: Devin White, LSU
Best Middle Linebacker: Roquan Smith, Georgia
Best Strongside Linebacker: Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
Most Violent: Roquan Smith, Georgia
Best Coverage: Roquan Smith, Georgia
Best Run Defender: Roquan Smith, Georgia
Best Pass Rusher: Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Better Class: 2018, had it all with top talent and depth
  • Not only did the 2018 LB class have a rare stud at the top in Roquan Smith, but it had potential studs at the top with him and tons of depth. Smith was a top 10 player and one of the cleanest LB prospects of the century. Tremaine Edmunds and Leighton Vander Esch were massive athletic freaks full of potential. Then, guys like Rashaan Evans, Darius Leonard, Josey Jewell, Genard Avery, Fred Warner, and Jerome Baker took this class to the next-level with more starting talent. The 2019 class is the Devin show with White and Bush leading the way. The issue is White is a risky upside pick and Bush isn’t in the Roquan Smith tier. After them it’s Blake Cashman and a lot of prospects with questions. This year’s LB class just isn’t great at the top or for depth and 2018 was stacked for both.

Cornerbacks

Rank CB School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Denzel Ward Ohio State 4th Marshon Lattimore
2 Jaire Alexander Louisville 18th Chris Harris Jr.
3 Byron Murphy Washington TBD Chris Harris Jr.
4 Josh Jackson Iowa 45th Marcus Peters
5 Mike Hughes UCF 30th AJ Bouye
6 Greedy Williams LSU TBD Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
7 Deandre Baker Georgia TBD Josh Norman
8 Rock Ya-Sin Temple TBD Joe Haden
9 Amani Oruwariye Penn State TBD Chris McAlister
10 Carlton Davis Auburn 63rd Aqib Talib
Most Pro-Ready: Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Best Man Coverage: Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Best Zone Coverage: Byron Murphy, Washington
Best Run Defender: Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Best Press Corner: Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Most Versatile: Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Better Class: 2018 because of the top-end talent
  • What sets the 2018 cornerback class apart from the 2019 class is the two corners at the top. Both Denzel Ward and Jaire Alexander are CB1 prospects in almost any draft class. They’re blue chip prospects while the 2019 class only has one first-round talent in Byron Murphy. Overall the 2019 class has better depth than the 2018 class with tons of early-second-round cornerbacks, but it’s hard to go against the Ward-Alexander duo. Josh Jackson, Mike Hughes, Carlton Davis, and Isaiah Oliver were all solid Day 2 types of prospects, but the class has a drop after that. The 2019 class has a lot of middle to late depth with as many as 14 different cornerbacks with a shot to go on Day 1/2. Greedy Williams, Deandre Baker, Rock Ya-Sin, Amani Oruwariye, and Justin Layne are all interesting prospects, but each has a concern. Ward and Alexander can be All-Pro.

Nickels

Rank NB School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Minkah Fitzpatrick Alabama 11th Charles Woodson
2 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Florida TBD Malcolm Jenkins
3 Donte Jackson LSU 55th Bradley Roby
4 Julian Love Notre Dame TBD Brent Grimes
5 DJ Reed Kansas State 142nd Brent Grimes
6 Amani Hooker Iowa TBD Desmond King
7 Sheldrick Redwine Miami TBD Damarious Randall
8 Dane Cruikshank Arizona 152nd Tyvon Branch
9 Ugo Amadi Oregon TBD Lardarius Web
10 Mike Edwards Kentucky TBD Kenny Vaccaro
Most Pro-Ready: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Best Man Coverage: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Best Zone Coverage: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Best Run Defender: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Most Versatile: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Better Class: 2018, so much depth and Minkah is everything
  • Thanks to Minkah Fitzpatrick the 2018 nickel class caught a lot of attention. Fitzpatrick was a top five player in the class and maybe the best true nickel prospect of all-time. But it wasn’t just Fitzpatrick, there was a crazy amount of depth. Overall 16 pure nickel prospects ended up either being drafted or making a roster. Fitz is the star, but there were double digit starting nickels coming from the 2018 class. With the 2019 class it’s top-heavier with little depth outside of the top six. After Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Julian Love, Amani Hooker, Sheldrick Redwine, Ugo Amadi, and Mike Edwards there’s a big drop and less than 10 will likely be drafted. Basically, having an All-Pro talent in Fitz and a ton of potential starters outranks the 2019 class having six capable starting nickels and three potential starters.

Safeties

Rank S School Draft Position Pro Comparison
1 Derwin James Florida State 17th Adrian Wilson
2 Justin Reid Stanford 68th Malcolm Jenkins
3 Nasir Adderley Delaware TBD Eric Weddle
4 Darnell Savage Jr. Maryland TBD Bob Sanders
5 Juan Thornhill Virginia TBD Byron Jones
6 Deionte Thompson Alabama TBD Reggie Nelson
7 Taylor Rapp Washington TBD Antoine Bethea
8 Johnathan Abram Mississippi State TBD Keanu Neal
9 Ronnie Harrison Alabama 93rd Keanu Neal
10 Kyzir White West Virginia 119th Deone Buccannon
Most Pro-Ready: Derwin James, Florida State
Best Free Safety: Nasir Adderley, Delaware
Best Strong Safety: Derwin James, Florida State
Biggest Hitter: Derwin James, Florida State
Best Man Coverage: Derwin James, Florida State
Best Zone Coverage: Derwin James, Florida State
Best Run Defender: Derwin James, Florida State
Most Versatile: Derwin James, Florida State
Better Class: 2019, more options on Day 2, but Derwin is a freak
  • It’s not often a safety as complete and dominant as Derwin James enters the NFL and he led the way with the 2018 class. After James the next guy was clearly Justin Reid, but nobody outside of those two was a top 40 talent. The class had solid depth with Ronnie Harrison, Kyzir White, Jessie Bates, Tarvarius Moore, and Jordan Whitehead, but overall it was pretty much the Derwin show. With the 2019 class there’s nobody on the level of James or Reid, but the talent of the top six in the class separates them. Nasir Adderley, Darnell Savage, Juan Thornhill, Deionte Thompson, Taylor Rapp, and Johnathan Abram are all top 60 players. All six of them should be gone by the start of the third-round and all should end up starters fairly quickly in the league. Nobody in 2019 is an All-Pro talent, but there’s many long-term starters.

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Author Details
Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.
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Vice President of Media | The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I’m Canadian as can be, other than the fact that I don’t care about hockey. I love football. The NFL is my life. I consider myself a football guy and I’d rather watch tape than anything else. I’m the Armchair NFL Draft analyst here. You can read my Armchair Scout columns and call me out for my draft misses. I’m also part of two podcasts at Armchair. Our NFL Draft podcast, 7 Rounds in Heaven, and the main NFL pod, Resting the Starters. I cheer for the Steelers, Raptors, Blue Jays, Oregon, and I guess the Leafs.

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