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Mel Kiper Names No. 1 Player In 2019 NFL Draft

A photo of the stage at the NFL Draft.

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A view of the NFL Draft theater prior to the start of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

The 2019 NFL Draft isn't for nearly a year, but it isn't too far to look ahead. There's a lot of talent projected to be on the board.

Defensive line looks like an especially strong position group. There are a number of tackles and ends expected to be early picks, including Ohio State's Nick Bosa, Michigan's Rashan Gary and Clemson's Dexter Lawrence.

Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver might be better than all of them, however. ranked Oliver the No. 1 player in college football for next year, and ESPN's Mel Kiper has him atop his early "Big Board."

Kiper's first edition of his 2019 Big Board came out this week. It features his top 25 players in the draft, regardless of position.

Oliver is at No. 1, just ahead of Bosa and Gary. Here's what Kiper had to say about the blue-chip DT.

From a production standpoint as a game-wrecker on the defensive interior, Oliver could get some Aaron Donald comps -- which ain't bad company. Oliver has 38.5 tackles for loss through two seasons, and he played at less than 100 percent for a stretch of 2017.

You can view Kiper's full Big Board here. It is behind a paywall.

The 2019 NFL Draft will be held April 25-27, 2019.

A host city has not been announced yet, but Nashville is reportedly a "leading candidate."