This weekend, countless college football prospects will be waiting by the phone to hear where their NFL careers will begin as the 2019 NFL Draft gets underway.
2019’s big celebration roots itself right here in middle Tennessee, with a big stage set up right on the riverfront and events going on through Broadway and around Downtown Nashville.
Williamson County has brought forth its number of NFL players over the years, including recent standouts like Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Eagles pass rusher Derek Barnett.
This year, four big league hopefuls will hope to hear their names read aloud as the newest pick in this year’s draft cycle.
Two hail from Centennial High School in Franklin, while one was stationed at CPA and another comes from Brentwood Academy (home of Ramsey and Barnett).
Here are this year’s WillCo prospects, all coming from the Southeastern Conference.
Centennial wide receiver Emanuel Hall (Missouri)
Hall, a 2015 Centennial High graduate who played his college football at Missouri, will be the first WillCo prospect off the board in this year’s draft pool. He’s a highly-touted deep threat who has visited with a good number of teams, including the hometown Tennessee Titans. His combine numbers were stellar, which will help him garner interest as early as the second round. Look for him to be drafted as early as the second round (Friday night) and at least by the fourth round (early Saturday).
Brentwood Academy tight end Dawson Knox (Ole Miss)
Knox played his high school career with BA as a quarterback before transitioning to tight end at the collegiate level with Ole Miss. NFL.com is quite bullish on Knox’s NFL potential, claiming he’s destined for an early pick and has a chance to become a starter at the position. His pro comparison is Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph. Lance Zierlein writes that Knox is an “outstanding combination of measurables and traits, but he’s much more moldable clay than game-ready prospect at this point.”
Centennial linebacker Tyrel Dodson (Texas A&M)
Dodson, a 2016 Cougars alum, will hope to hear his name called on Saturday, a projected late-round pick or undrafted free agent. He declares for the draft after his junior season, when he ranked third with the Aggies in tackles and won the team’s Defensive Playmaker Award. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein likes his chances to make an NFL roster as an inside linebacker and thinks he’ll go in either the sixth or seventh round.
CPA offensive lineman Paul Adams (Missouri)
A former Mr. Football winner, Adams played five seasons at Missouri and was a team captain for the Tigers. NFL.com projects he will be a late-round pick and may transition from his college position of tackle to guard at the pro level. At CPA, he was part of that school’s 2013 state runner-up team and doubled as a basketball player. Ingle Martin, his high school head coach who played professionally, said at the time of his signing of Adams, “great hands, a gentle heart, tremendous work ethic and someone who kept his composure as he grew into the role of a star athlete at CPA.”
Photos of Hall and Adams from Missouri Athletics, Knox from Ole Miss Athletics, Dodson from Texas A&M Athletics.