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Mel Kiper's way-too-early 2019 position rankings

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D-line dominates top NFL prospects for 2019 (0:59)

Take a look at the top prospects for next year's NFL draft, led by dominant defensive lineman like Clemson's Clelin Ferrell and Ohio State's Nick Bosa. (0:59)

You have the Big Board, but this is a chance to go deeper position by position as we look way ahead to the 2019 NFL draft class.

Once we get to late in the college football season, you'll see this list below as the best players at every position ranked regardless of class. Redshirt sophomores, juniors and seniors are all grouped together. But as I do every year in this early look, I break it out into underclassmen and seniors. The reason is simple: The seniors are at least guaranteed to be in the draft process based on eligibility, so I want to separate that group. The underclassmen could obviously choose to return and play more college football.

So here's an early look. Again, I have a lot of work to do on this class this summer and beyond, so expect to see many changes next time around.

Note: Asterisk denotes a third-year sophomore.


Quarterbacks

Seniors

1. Drew Lock, Missouri
2. Will Grier, West Virginia
3. Ryan Finley, NC State
4. Clayton Thorson, Northwestern
5. Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

Underclassmen

1. Justin Herbert, Oregon
2. Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
3. Shea Patterson, Michigan
4. Nathan Stanley, Iowa
5. Jake Bentley, South Carolina

Lock and Herbert are currently the two names here who would have first-round grades if they told us to hold the draft tomorrow. All of the seniors have at least first-round upside, and Stidham and Patterson will be particularly interesting to watch. Some evaluators think Stidham has a really high ceiling.