Who are Ole Miss’ top prospects for the 2019 NFL Draft?
Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, May 1, 2018
This year’s NFL Draft came and went with at least four Ole Miss players being selected for the third straight year. Can the Rebels keep that streak going in 2019?
Here’s a look at some of Ole Miss’ top prospects for next year’s draft (an asterisk indicates a draft-eligible underclassman).
WR A.J. Brown*
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Brown was mum about his future this spring, but barring a major injury, this fall will be the last in Oxford for the potential top-10 pick. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. already has Brown ranked as next year’s top draft-eligible wideout and the No. 4 overall prospect after Brown led the SEC in receptions (75), receiving yards (1,252) and touchdowns (11) last year as a sophomore. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Brown is a matchup nightmare for defenses with his combination of speed and physicality.
OT Greg Little*
Little joins Brown as the top-rated player at his position for next year’s draft, according to Kiper, and could join his teammate as a top-10 selection given he stays healthy. One of the jewels of Ole Miss’ 2016 recruiting class, Little has been the Rebel’s full-time left tackle since the end of his freshman season, morphing into arguably the SEC’s best offensive lineman with the kind of rare athleticism and footwork for a 6-6, 335-pounder — similar to former Ole Miss standout Laremy Tunsil — that makes him just as solid in pass protection as he is a run blocker.
CB Ken Webster
Webster has had an up-and-down career at Ole Miss mostly because of a serious knee injury that cost him nearly all of his junior season in 2016, but Webster was the Rebels’ best cover corner before the injury (11 pass breakups in 2015) and played 10 games last year despite not being 100 percent, finishing with 29 tackles and two pass breakups.
WalterFootball.com still ranks the 5-foot-11, 194-pound Webster as the No. 5 cornerback prospect for next year’s draft with a second- to third-round grade, but durability is an obvious concern. A healthy, productive final season would help alleviate some of that.
C/OT Sean Rawlings
Rawlings leads a veteran offensive line into the fall, and a healthy senior season could get him drafted. Rawlings, who’s started 26 games, began his career at tackle but transitioned to center full-time last season, so he has versatility working for him at 6-5 and 294 pounds. Ankle and back injuries were limiting at times last season and this spring for Rawlings, who’s ranked the No. 12 center prospect for next year by WalterFootball.
G Javon Patterson
Patterson jumped into the starting lineup midway through his freshman season and has since been a mainstay, entering his final season with 30 career starts. The All-SEC performer has ideal size for a guard at 6-3 and 314 pounds but has also shown versatility with a handful of starts at center.
Regardless where he plays, he’s physical at the point of attack and will likely hear his name called at some point next year given his talent, experience and durability in the SEC.
WR DaMarkus Lodge
Lodge had to wait his turn amid a deep and talented receiving corps in recent years, but he made the most of his first year as a full-time starter last season, hauling in 41 passes for 698 yards and seven scores. Consistency has plagued Lodge at times, but he’s got good size at 6-2 and 200 pounds and could rise up draft boards with another productive season.
WR DK Metcalf*
Metcalf will just be a third-year sophomore next season, but the local product is one to keep an eye on given his physical traits. Last season was Metcalf’s first full one at the college level after a broken foot sidelined him two games into his freshman year, but at 6-4 and 225 pounds, the former Oxford High standout already has the physique most NFL wideouts would kill for.
Metcalf had 39 catches for 646 yards and seven scores last season, and another one where he matches or exceeds those numbers could leave him with a decision to make about his future earlier than expected.