Updated May 14, 2018
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Every NFL draft has positions of strength and positions of weakness. The 2018 NFL Draft was known to be a weak year for edge-rushing talent, with only two defensive ends being selected in the first round. That is a shockingly low total for one of the most important positions for any NFL team. While the 2018 class was weak on the defensive line, it is well known the 2019 NFL Draft will be a different story.
That difference became evident when Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell and defensive tackle Christian Wilkins decided to return to Clemson rather than enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Aside from them, there were some other players who returned to school, and the 2019 class features some players who have dominated college football since their freshman years.
In keeping with a series looking ahead to 2019, I caught up with an advanced scout for an NFC team who has been working the year ahead this spring. NFL teams share those projection grades for preseason watch-lists. That scout was raving about the defensive line potential for next April.
"The defensive line and pass-rusher class has the potential to be talked about in legendary terms. Players like Nick Bosa, Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Rashaan Gary, Raekwon Davis, Ed Oliver, Zach Allen, Jeff Simmons, Jaylon Ferguson, Jalen Jelks, Derrick Brown, Brian Burns, Montez Sweat and Terrell Lewis are all guys who could end up with good grades. Crafting a first-round mock next year will be extremely fun for you.... Good luck trying to fit in most of those names if they all have big seasons!"
Of course during the college football season, there will be some breakout players who nobody is discussing right now. There also could be a some of the players in the group above who disappoint or get injured to have their first-round hopes dashed. However entering the 2018 college football season, it looks like the 2019 NFL Draft could feature an epic and historical class of defensive line talent.