News & Analysis

Get to know the top prospects of the 2019 NFL Draft

By Austin Gayle
Apr 25, 2019

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In addition to the countless hours of grading, the months of non-stop tape review and the numerous discussions that culminated in PFF’s top 250 Big Board, PFF also sat down with some of the standouts of the 2019 draft class to get their insights on the process. Some of these prospects will hear their name called early on Thursday night; some may hear their names called a little later – but all gave persuasive answers about both the players they are right now and the type players they hope to become in the future.

From Kentucky’s Josh Allen to Notre Dame’s Drue Tranquill to Washington State’s Gardner Minshew – here, in one place, are all 30 interviews that we conducted with some of the NFL Draft’s top prospects.

CB Sean Bunting, Central Michigan


“Once you really buy into the film watch and buy into what you see and trust what you see, you can make a lot of plays on the ball,” Bunting said. “You can be more aggressive at times because you’ve already seen the play happen… It becomes repetitive in your head. You’ll already know what’s going to happen before it happens.” Read more…

OT Jonah Williams, Alabama


“I just don’t want to be put in a box,” Williams said. “I just don’t someone to say, ‘Oh, this guy is just a technician.’ I want to be a nasty [offensive] lineman. I want to play physical. I want to finish… I’m not like just some soft, cerebral guy that just thinks all the time.” Read more…

WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford


“You’re either going to win or lose, so it really just depends on how much you want it and how much effort you’re willing to put into going up and getting it.” Read more…

WR Miles Boykin, Notre Dame


“At this level and at the next level, of course, everybody is a good athlete,” Boykin said. “Everybody can run. Everybody is fast. Everybody is strong. There’s a reason why we’re here. It’s that mental element that separates people.” Read more…

C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M


“Knowing what the defensive linemen have to do on every single play and how you can counter that and really beat them is important,” McCoy said. “[Film] plays a huge factor in preparation, especially for the center position just because there’s a large mental aspect of it. You have to know what the defense wants to do before the play… And you’ve got to be able to tip it off and help your offensive line.” Read more…

DI Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame


“That’s something I bring to the table as a player. My pass-rush ability and being strong against the run. So that’s what makes me a complete defensive lineman, which I think I am.” Watch here…

LB Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame


“There are two things that go into it. One is your athleticism and your skill and the traits that you form on a day-to-day basis. And two it’s the pre-snap picture, how much can you consume before a play.” Watch here…

CB Justin Layne, Michigan State


“They’re going to see it next year,” Layne said in a March interview with Pro Football Focus. “They’re going to see it on the field… I want to prove I’m one of the best corners in this draft class. I mean, I feel like I don’t get respected, but I’ll get it soon enough.” Read more…

S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State


“My intensity and how I play,” Abram said in a March interview with Pro Football Focus when asked what teams like about his game, “setting the pace for the other guys. And everybody loves that I don’t turn away from contact.” Read more…

Edge Christian Miller, Alabama


“I think the hand combat is really important. It all starts with a good get-off; that’s one of the biggest things. But the hand combat helps me out a lot. I have violent hands, and I know how to use them really well.” Read more…

LB Ryan Connelly, Wisconsin


“[NFL teams] like how fast I play downhill and how quickly I appear to recognize things,” Connelly said in a March interview with Pro Football Focus. “So, I think that’s one of my strengths that most teams really like, that I can diagnose things quickly and react to the various plays that I see.” Read more…

G Dru Samia, Oklahoma


“They love the way I play, the physicality, the intensity,” Samia said. “They say I play the game the right way… Teams really like the intensity, the effort and the heart that I play with.” Read more…

RB Alex Barnes, Kansas State


“I think it’s something I’ve always done pretty naturally,” Barnes said of his patience. “Doing little things, being able to manipulate linebackers on their side of the line of scrimmage when I’m still on my side. I’m trying to find creases and get them to commit to the wrong gap… That comes from watching film and knowing your opponent.” Read more…

QB Gardner Minshew, Washington State


“At this point, I really don’t care where I get drafted or when I get drafted because I know I’m going to get drafted,” Minshew said in a March interview with Pro Football Focus. “My thing is I’m going to be the most ready when I get there.” Read more…

RB Miles Sanders, Penn State


“I feel like I’m the most complete running back in the draft,” Sanders said in a March interview with Pro Football Focus. “I have a natural running ability, vision, always able to make the first guy miss, ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and from the slot. I feel like I’ve shown an ability to pick up pass protection, too. I feel like I can do it all.” Read more…

Edge Chase Winovich, Michigan


“I think people just kind of labeled me or were worried that I was just this try-hard white guy or just a high-motor guy,” Winovich said in a March interview with Pro Football Focus. “I don’t understand why it has to be mutually exclusive. Having athletic ability and being able to fly around. I am that guy, but at the same time, I’m that guy that can run a sub-4.6 40 but do it every play. That rare combination is what, in my eyes, makes me special, what makes a difference on the football field.” Read more…

T Mitch Hyatt, Clemson


“I’ve shown that I can stop a speed to power rush, but I haven’t consistently shown that on tape. That was a big thing [NFL teams] were wondering about. And my overall strength.” Read more…

RB Darwin Thompson, Utah State


“I’m supposed to be the underdog,” Thompson said in a February interview with Pro Football Focus. “I’ve been like this all my life. I’ve never been handed anything. I’ve had to work for everything. I’ve had to prove my worth… It’s God’s plan. It’s another opportunity to prove my worth and inspire somebody else. Don’t let the doubters weigh you down.” Read more…

C Garrett Bradbury, NC State


“You have to have the versatility, especially when you’re playing offensive line,” Bradbury said. “I truly consider myself an interior offensive lineman. Whatever the team needs me to be, that’s what I’m going to be.” Read more…

RB Alexander Mattison, Boise State


“I’ve been evaluating film and trying to correct myself and critique myself,” Mattison said. “I’m trying to establish my own way of blocking that is both efficient and going to allow me to play for a long time.” Read more…

Edge Brian Burns, Florida State


“There are certain things I’m willing to do, not just from a field standpoint but also mentally on the film and whatnot, just to put myself ahead,” Burns said. “I just feel like if I keep working and keep grinding, everyone will else see what I see in my head.” Read more…

S Taylor Rapp, Washington


“I think I’m very versatile, the most versatile safety in this draft,” Rapp said in a February interview with Pro Football Focus. “I think I can do it all. I think I can play in the deep third. I can run the alley. I can tackle. I have a high football IQ. I can rush the passer. I can blitz. I can cover. I think I’m the full package. I can do everything.” Read more…

Edge Ben Banaogu, TCU


“The biggest thing that I would preach to other people about myself is that my ceiling is higher than most of the people in this draft, if not the highest,” Banogu said. “With all of the stuff that I lacked, I would say that I was still able to be as effective as most of the guys in this draft, if not better.” Read more…

Edge Zach Allen, Boston College


“You just got to put on the tape,” Allen said of his 2018 season. “I think you see me win a lot of different ways, whether it’s coming inside, beating them on the outside with power… I think my senior year tape really showed some versatility with my pass-rushing moves.” Read more…

CB Byron Murphy, Washington


“I think it all starts with my motivation,” Murphy said. “When I’m out there playing, I’ve got a brotherhood I’m playing for. I’ve got people watching me. I’ve got family that I’m trying to take care of. I also have a son. When I’m out there, I’m just thinking about all those types of things. I play with a lot of passion and a lot of heart, and it shows my love for the game… When I’m out there, I just try and be as physical as I can and show everyone what I can do.” Read more…

Edge Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan


“It’s definitely a mentality, and I love playing against the run,” Crosby said. “A lot of people kind of use my weight as an excuse for me to just be a pass-rusher, but I think if you turn on the tape and watch, I’m super violent at the point of attack and constantly playing in the backfield.” Read more…

WR Andy Isabella, Massachusetts


“That’s my goal,” Isabella said. “I love watching the big-play guys like Tyreek Hill, Tavon Auston, and Odell Beckham Jr… Guys that can just change the game. And that’s my goal. I want to be that player that can just change the game at any moment.” Read more…

WR Riley Ridley, Georgia


“Just to surprise people, get a couple of heads turned that didn’t really think I could do certain things,” Ridley said of his plan for the Combine. “Me knowing my ability, it’s a blessing to be able to go out and showcase what I can do.” Read more…

TE Keenen Brown, Texas State


“I just want [NFL teams] to see that I can do as well as other guys that played in the Power 5,” Brown said. “The only thing different was the school. So, I really feel like showcasing my talent will show them that it doesn’t matter what school I went to. I’m still going to put in the same work and be as good as I can.” Read more…

Edge Josh Allen, Kentucky


“It’s not a Josh Allen legacy,” Allen said of his illustrious UK career. “It’s a this-class legacy. I want people to look back at this class and say this class changed Kentucky program history.” Read more…

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