The 2018 college football regular season has come to a close, and with this past weekend’s conference championship games a wrap, we move on to bowl season after the annual Army-Navy game. With approaching bowl games, we are also starting to get notable underclassmen declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Over the weekend, LSU cornerback Greedy Williams announced his plans to go pro. On Monday, Florida State defensive end Brian Burns announced he was turning pro. This comes as we are starting to hear a handful of draft prospects are going to sit out their bowl game to avoid an injury that will cost them next April.
Williams is a strong candidate to go in the top five picks. He is a finalist for the Thorpe Award and was a midseason All-American. Mel Kiper has him ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect on his big board, and his career passer rating against is 43.0, per Pro Football Focus. The 49ers currently hold the No. 1 overall pick, with edge rusher Nick Bosa seeming to be the likely candidate. However, they will be analyzing plenty of players in the coming offseason, and Williams is likely to be on their radar.
Burns finished the season with ten sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss. He stands a shade under 6’5 and is viewed as a hybrid edge rusher option. He is projected as a potential first round pick, albeit a little later in the round. The 49ers are going to have a high first round pick, but that also means a high second round pick. If they finish with the same record as the Oakland Raiders and get the nod for the No. 1 overall pick, they would then have the No. 2 pick of the second round — depending on if another team finishes tied with them.
College players have until January 14th to declare early for the 2019 NFL Draft. Top prospect Nick Bosa has not formally declared for the draft, but he signed with an agent, which forfeits his remaining eligibility. Bosa will be the main name on our radar, but there will be plenty of other talented players to track!