The NFL announced the names of the 23 prospects who have accepted invitations to attend the 2019 Draft in Nashville, TN later this month.
Among them are three of the top four quarterback prospects, four offensive linemen, and eight defensive linemen and/or edge rushers.
Each year, there seems to be at least one prospect who accepts the invitation, expecting to be taken early, and wind up free-falling down the draft. Famously, Aaron Rodgers was subjected to such a public embarrassment in the 2005 Draft when the projected top 10 pick ended up waiting until the 24th-overall pick where he was selected to be Brett Favre’s successor.
While the selection worked out in the long run for Rodgers and the Packers, there is no doubt that the incident was rough to endure at the time.
Since that time, prospects have been removed from the public’s eye and sequestered to more private quarters, in the event of a unexpected free fall. And, more and more prospects are simply declining invitations (Dwayne Haskins this year, for instance).
With that in mind, who among the 23 attendees is most likely to experience the longest wait on draft day 2019?
3) Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Ranked as the No. 57 prospect by The Draft Network, Dillard is the lowest-ranked (non-quarterback) prospect to accept an invitation to Nashville.
This year does not seem to give the indication of being heavy on offensive linemen. Almost none of the top prospects (with a couple of notable exceptions in Jawaan Taylor and Jonah Williams) are tackles. Teams are unlikely to trade back in to the first round for an offensive tackle, making any run at the bottom of the round seem unlikely.
What’s more, this draft appears to be incredibly deep on defensive stars, and that likely pushes top offensive line prospects even further down the board. In the event that there is a mini-run on offensive linemen in the first round, Dillard is likely to be no higher than the fifth tackle taken – making it seem highly unlikely that he here’s his name called on Thursday.
Dillard and Co. should prepare to wait until sometime Friday to hear the Washington State prospect’s name called.