You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Top Stories

NFL Draft 2019: Kyler Murray and the 7 riskiest prospects on SN's big board

Sporting News logo Sporting News 4/24/2019 Vinnie Iyer
a close up of a person wearing a helmet © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

Welcome to the 2019 NFL Draft, to which boom-or-bust prospects are not immune. While all 32 teams are looking for high-reward players early and late, they also have to manage the level of risk that comes with each selection.

Sometimes when you go for the ceiling, the floor can come crashing down and crush professional value. Here are the seven riskiest players to take in '19, starting right at the top.

SN's NFL DRAFT HQ:

Iyer's mock draft | Top 100 big board | TV schedule

1. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

SN's big board ranking: No. 13 overall

This has nothing to do with Murray's less-than-prototypical size (5-10, 2017 pounds). He is a dynamic athlete and playmaker with natural elusiveness and accuracy. But even with his moxie and confidence, there are real questions about whether he can put it all together physically and mentally to live up to being the likely No. 1 overall pick. The uneasiness is big enough to match the excitement.

MORE: How passing on Kyler Murray would shake up the 2019 NFL Draft

2. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

SN's big board ranking: No. 14 overall

Haskins checks more of the traditional boxes than Murray, but just like Murray, there are questions about whether he flashed in a college offense with limited sample size on a high level. Although the arm, pocket presence and smarts make him look the part, the lacks of athleticism and experience aren't the most favorable missing elements. Like Murray, it will take much falling in place coaching- and personnel-wise around him to make him pay off as a high first-rounder.

MORE: Dwayne Haskins gives Bengals every reason to act now with QB

3. Rashan Gary, DT/DE, Michigan

SN's big board ranking: No. 4 overall

Gary is a borderline athletic freak (6-4, 277) so the concern has been why he wasn't more productive in college. The energy and effort didn't always match his physical talents. He's still being tabbed as a first-rounder because if he can get his fire lit, he can go from a flicker to a pass-rushing inferno.

4. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

SN's big board ranking: No. 31 overall

Make that three potential first-round quarterbacks on the riskiest list. Lock (6-4, 228 pounds) is a right-sized strong-armed and aggressive downfield passer. He can also hang tough in the pocket and unlike Murray and Haskins, is well seasoned on the field. The problem is, unlike Murray and Haskins, there's a lack of "it" factor, to the point he feels like he might peak at the Ryan Tannehill level.

NFL DRAFT: Biggest busts in draft history

5. D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

SN's big board ranking: No. 6 overall

Metcalf (6-3, 228 pounds) has no doubt shown he's a physical beast in terms of build, speed and quickness. So it comes down to whether he's more of a one trick gamebreaker with scary size, or whether he can polish his hands and route running to become a complete No. 1. Consider this kind of the opposite concern from former Ole Miss wideout Laquon Treadwell, who's on the verge of total busting with the Vikings.

6. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

SN's big board ranking: Not ranked

Take your pick between the torn ACL he suffered while working out or the disinvitation from the NFL Combine for an assault arrest tied to physical violence toward a woman. Some are still thinking Simmons' explosive on-field upside and Ndamukong Suh-qualities there at 6-4, 301 pounds can get him drafted in the first round, namely as the Rams' replacement for Suh at No. 31. But that's too high of a pick to invest in a player with multiple red flags.

7. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

SN's big board ranking: No. 33 overall

Fant (6-4, 249 pounds) is being mentioned in the same breath as former Hawkeyes teammate T.J. Hockenson as a surefire impact first-rounder. There's no doubt he's an extremely athletic and explosive downfield receiver for the position, but he'll need to do more dirty work running inside routes and blocking inline to stay on the field to catch passes in the NFL. He can let down as a luxury pick if not used well and probably needs to be selected as more of a complementary "move" player.

Related slideshow: Draft needs for each team (Provided by Yardbarker)

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Sporting News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon