Dexter Lawrence is voted ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year
The dust has barely settled on the 2018 NFL draft, but it’s never too soon to look ahead to 2019.
CBSsports.com put out its first 2019 mock draft and there are several names with Triangle ties expected to go in the first round, including a pair of former high school teammates.
Here’s a look at the local players who could go early in next year's draft. The draft order was based on the 2018 draft.
No. 4 - Dexter Lawrence, Chicago Bears
Lawrence should be the first player with local ties off the board. The former Wake Forest-Rolesville star is expected to leave Clemson a year early and be one of four Tiger defensive linemen selected.
No. 11 - Bryce Love, Oakland Raiders
Wake Forest history might be made next spring when Love joins Lawrence, his former high school teammate, in the first round. Love, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy race last season, decided to return to Stanford for his senior year, but that means he could reunite with Lawrence in the NFL in 2019, giving the Cougars a pair of first round picks.
No. 13 - Kelvin Harmon, Arizona Cardinals
Harmon, a wide receiver from N.C. State, has the NFL body and finished with 993 yards receiving last season. He would be the first Wolfpack wide receiver drafted in the first round since Koren Robinson went No. 9 to Seattle in 2001.
No. 17 - Mark Gilbert, Carolina Panthers
The Duke cornerback is expected to skip his senior year. The Fayetteville native could be the first Blue Devils’ player drafted in three years.
No. 20 - Ryan Finley, Los Angeles Chargers
Finley, like Love, decided to return to school for another season. When he leaves N.C. State, Finley could be heading to the West Coast to join Wolfpack legend and Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers. Finley and Harmon would be the first N.C. State teammates drafted in the first round since 2006.
No. 31 - Joe Giles-Harris, Philadelphia Eagles
The Duke linebacker has developed into one of the top players at his position in the ACC. He and Gilbert would give the Blue Devils a historic feat of having two players drafted in the first round.