A crazy night in Nashville awaits
You've read all the mock drafts leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft, which will get started on Thursday night in Nashville. All of the prospects have been evaluated, interviewed, poked and prodded. At this point, we know exactly where everyone is going to end up and how this draft is going to shake out, right?
When it comes to outrageousness and surprise, few events in sports rival the NFL draft — particularly the first round. The 2019 NFL Draft will be no different, as we're already hearing the Arizona Cardinals flip-flopping and the Oakland Raiders denying rumors.
On Thursday, we'll watch as 32 teams draft, trade and jockey for position in an effort to change the fortunes of the franchises. Just know, like Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, you know nothing.
Outrageous Predictions for the 2019 NFL Draft
Five quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round
By my count, there are 10 teams who are either looking for an immediate answer at quarterback or looking for the heir apparent to a veteran already in place. I'll let you figure out who those 10 teams are. There are two quarterbacks currently on NFL rosters who have been rumored to be traded on draft night — Josh Rosen and Derek Carr. That still leave eight teams looking for an answer under center. When the quarterbacks start flying off the board, you'll see the desperation of certain franchises set in. Teams will reach and trade up to make sure they don't miss out on who they think will be the next face of their franchise.
Ed Oliver will be a top-5 pick
There was a point in 2018 where Oliver was the projected No. 1 overall pick in just about every mock draft out there. He only played in eight games this past season, but still put up solid numbers. Then, however, an argument with his head coach on the sideline over a coat seemed to sour scouts and draft analysts, subsequently lowering his stock in their eyes. I don't believe the NFL executives gave that sideline exchange much thought. Oliver is among the elite prospects in the 2019 class and will be drafted as such.
No running backs will be taken in the first round
The value of running backs has shot up in recent years, and the draft positions of the top backs in the past few drafts reflect that. There has been a total of eight running backs taken in the first round over the last four drafts. The 2019 NFL Draft, however, is pretty thin at the position when it comes to star power and game-changing players. The consensus top running back prospect in this year's draft is Alabama's Josh Jacobs. He did not demonstrate the ability to carry a full-time workload, nor did he display the ability to be a consistently dependable pass catcher. Don't expect him to go in round one.
The first five players drafted will be defensive players
The closer the draft gets, the less teams seem to like Kyler Murray as a top-10 pick. The next half dozen or so players on the board — from a talent standpoint — are all on the defensive side of the ball. It's a down year for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and offensive lineman. Teams are going to shoot for the best players available, and the best five players are all on the defensive side of the ball.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! SBNation and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA writing contest award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.