My first mock of the year is a reflection of the draft stock for top-100-level prospects after the all-star game circuit and before the NFL Scouting Combine (March 1-4 on NFL Network).
Teams will set their own draft boards before heading to the combine so that they attach values to players before the athletic testing begins. While the combine results are an important part of the evaluation process, establishing a grade for players based on their game tape is key, lest those fast 40-yard dashes supersede what we've seen from guys during their college careers.
The 95 selections listed here (the Giants used their third-round selection on former Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal in the 2018 supplemental draft) take into account team needs prior to free agency, as well as the talent of the prospects. Free agency, which begins on March 13, will obviously alter the outlook for team needs.
School: Mississippi | Year: Junior
Little needs a great combine to win over some scouts, but I think he'll eventually become a starting tackle.
School: Stanford | Year: Senior (RS)
Okereke is athletic and instinctual. The Raiders need to improve at the second level of their defense.
School: Iowa | Year: Junior (RS)
Nelson's size and hustle should allow him to flourish for the Niners.
School: West Virginia | Year: Senior (RS)
Jets OT Kelvin Beachum's cap number is $9.5 million in 2019 and there's not much depth behind him.
School: Alabama | Year: Senior
Leonard Fournette's had his issues, Carlos Hyde seems to be in decline and T.J. Yeldon's contract is expiring, so the Jags may need to find depth at the running back position.
School: Alabama State | Year: Senior (RS)
Tampa was willing to take small-schooler Ali Marpet four years ago and that has worked out, so maybe they'll give Howard a shot.
School: N.C. State | Year: Senior (RS)
Finley's efficiency could make him a nice fit behind Tom Brady for the next couple of years -- or more.
School: Stanford | Year: Junior (RS)
A strong combine could push Arcega-Whiteside up draft boards, but he'll be at least a strong WR2 no matter how his workout goes.
School: Oklahoma | Year: Senior
The Packers have not invested enough in their offensive line in recent years. Powers will start for them for a decade.
School: Alabama | Year: Junior (RS)
Thompson reminds me of former Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison, who went in the third round (to the Jaguars) last year. Washington has a need for a thumper in the secondary.
School: Florida Atlantic | Year: Junior
Singletary stays in South Florida to take over for impending free agent Frank Gore.
School: Clemson | Year: Senior
Hyatt is not the strongest or longest of tackles, but he was a reliable four-year starter at Clemson.
School: Florida | Year: Junior
With George Iloka due to hit free agency, Gardner-Johnson's a good combo safety worthy of a Day 2 (Rounds 2-3) selection.
School: USC | Year: Senior
Coty Sensabaugh is ticketed for free agency and a rejuvenated Joe Haden is in the last year of his deal. It's a good time to pick a corner.
School: Jacksonville State | Year: Senior (RS)
D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy are impending free agents, so why not bring in another guard with initials in his name? Oh, and Autry's also a brute on the line of scrimmage.
School: Ohio State | Year: Senior (RS)
McLaurin's always had speed, but a big Senior Bowl week showed that he might now be a reliable enough receiver to go in the top 100.
School: Washburn | Year: Senior (RS)
Ballentine's cover skills should allow him to find the field in sub packages.
School: Iowa | Year: Junior
Clayton Geathers played well in 2018 and could land a big free-agent deal, leaving an opening for Hooker.
School: Penn State | Year: Junior
The Jets need an upgrade in their running game and Sanders is just scratching the surface of his potential.
School: Charlotte | Year: Senior (RS)
A.J. Cann and Patrick Omameh have expiring deals. Davis' athleticism makes him worth a look here.
School: Michigan State | Year: Junior
GM John Dorsey adds depth at corner with E.J. and Phillip Gaines (not related) due to become free agents.