Browse the rest of the Zone Coverage Draft Guide.
TOP 40 PLAYERS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS NEEDS & TARGETS
POSITIONAL TOP 5 RANKINGS & VIDEO BREAKDOWNS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS DRAFT TRENDS
INMAN: NFC NORTH WORST CASE DRAFT SCENARIOS
SENIOR BOWL CENTRAL (PODCASTS, VIDEOS, ARTICLES)
After numerous versions over the past several months, below is Luke Inman’s official mock draft.
Catch up on his previous mocks as well:
It’s finally here. All the hard work, long nights and tape grinding add up to this. Never say never when it comes to even the surest things as there is always a big shock or two in the first 60 minutes.
Instead of taking wild stabs at random trade scenarios I lay out what I would do for all 32 teams. Put on your GM hat with me and buckle up.
1) Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Drafting another quarterback may feel like a tough pill to swallow now, but trust me when I say Kyler Murray has the goods Josh Rosen doesn’t. Rare movement and mobility along with a big play mentality and as natural of a thrower as you will find. If Kliff Kingsbury wants him, he’s going to have to select him here. Now, you get everything you can for Josh Rosen and stockpile your ammo to build a real team around the new face of your franchise.
Kyler Murray QB1. -CS pic.twitter.com/KEm9b34swu
— Scouts Elite NFL (@ScoutsEliteNFL) February 1, 2019
2) San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
While John Lynch is rumored to have the hots for Nick Bosa, if I’m truly drafting the best graded player for me it’s a no-brainer. While Bosa only played in three games in 2018 Williams flat out dominated anyone and everyone lined up in front of him. With the way the game is played now I’ll take better interior pressure over edge pressure every day of the week. The names speak for themselves with three of their now four first-round defensive linemen being drafted in the top 10. If the game is truly won and lost up front, this team has a fighter’s chance every Sunday.
3) New York Jets: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Baby Bosa may have missed most of 2018, but when healthy no one was better in the country. A squeaky clean prospect that has all the tools and talent to walk in and be an impact player his rookie season. All of a sudden, this defense has two young superstars in Bosa and Jamal Adams to build their nucleus around. Not to mention, a franchise quarterback. Tom Brady’s retirement can’t come soon enough for the AFC East.
Best player in the country, Nick Bosa, with the strip sack pic.twitter.com/4loUJ6H8sS
— Steve Palazzolo (@PFF_Steve) September 16, 2018
4) Oakland Raiders: Devin White, LB, LSU
If I’m Jon Gruden I’m already feeling the heat, but with three first-round picks to play with, we as a front office can do some serious damage. Starting with the number one linebacker in the class. A putrid 13 sacks in 2018 was so pathetic that we may want to continue adding inside the front-seven before night one is over. White is a pure three-down linebacker that is a constant playmaker you can constantly find near the ball. There’s only a few players that can help ease the pain of Khalil Mack — this is one of them.
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Ed Oliver is tempting. However, I’m here to build Bruce Arians a powerhouse offensive line to help maximize his playbook and offensive ingenuity right out the gate. Taylor is still flying up the boards after a monster 2018 campaign, offering massive size, strength and light feet for such a huge human. Now, Arians has one of the better units in the league to help protect whichever quarterback is in the huddle. The league has been starving for better offensive line play for years now, making a top prospect like Taylor that much more valuable. Get them now while you can, or forever hold your peace.
Look at Jawaan Taylor! pic.twitter.com/JG4jweDmwO
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 24, 2017
6) New York Giants: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Even with Taylor off the board, in a loaded class, we still get a pick of the litter. If the Giants are going to roll with Eli Manning they need to protect the pure pocket passer, helping maximize his talents. Williams plays nasty and will add a new attitude of power and physicality, helping aid both the run and pass almost instantly while possessing solid position flexibility inside or out. With the best offensive line class we’ve seen in years, I just can’t help myself, adding more power into his trenches. Dave Gettleman would agree. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Manning play with a clean pocket. No more excuses.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
A serious possibility to see Allen slip on draft night as the one-year wonder might spook out some teams early on. Too good to pass up here, however, and the Jaguars are running to the podium. Even with two Pro Bowlers, you don’t apologize for adding more young talent into your trenches. Sorry, I’m not sorry.
Kentucky Josh Allen is one of the most improved players in the country. pic.twitter.com/JDwTQ2JMFP
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) October 3, 2018
8) Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
With two third-rounders the Lions have the luxury to take the best player available. They’ve missed on countless early tight-ends, but no way I’m stopping now and missing out on one of the best prospects at the position we’ve seen in a decade.
Hockenson is arguably the safest player in the entire draft with polish in both the passing and blocking game. He’s as pro-ready as they come and has Pro Bowl player written all over him. Trust me when I say Hockensen has it all. Everything. In-line, out wide, blocking comparable to a tackle, hands like George Kittle and just an all-around tough guy.
Oh that n#39;s right, we have TJ Hockenson pic.twitter.com/sqAgsSrU2y
— Heavens Barstool (@HeavensHawkeye) January 1, 2019
9) Buffalo Bills: Brian Burns, EDGE, FSU
The Bills could go a plethora of directions from D.K. Metcalf to Ed Oliver to one of the many top-tier offensive tackles. At the end of the day, though, adding the player that has the highest potential is the play.
Burns has wild upside with exceptional acceleration, bend and athleticism. A huge combine winner possessing both freaky speed and strength traits, Burns will help strengthen their defensive line.
10) Denver Broncos: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
John Elway could go a plethora of directions here, including nabbing one of the top three quarterbacks for the future. However, I have to get my new head coach Vic Fangio some new toys. While Ed Oliver is enticing I don’t think we would maximize his value in the 3-4. Instead we go to the second level of the defense and add one of the most explosive playmakers in the draft. Bush flies around and packs a mean punch when making contact. He will team up with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb to form one of the most explosive front-sevens in all of football.
11) Cincinnati Bengals: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
I’m new head coach Zac Taylor, and I have an opportunity to make a much-needed splash for a lackluster franchise stuck in neutral. Drafting the local Ohio State college hero that threw 50 touchdown passes would be a cannonball type splash. Andy Dalton is my 2019 starter, helping show Haskins the ropes from the sidelines like every rookie passer should be doing.
An underrated part about Dwayne Haskins overall game is what he does pre-snap.
Frequently sets protections and understands where his outlet throws are to get himself out of trouble. pic.twitter.com/1tKAeE6uGj
— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) March 5, 2019
12) Green Bay Packers: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
No bigger need for this organization then getting their edge pressure back to help close out games. Luckily for them, this class is loaded with freaky edge players like Burns, Ferrell and Montez Sweat. After choosing not to participate in much at the combine, Ferrell is now being leapfrogged by some of his peers. All the better for the Packers, who sprint up to the podium stealing one of the best defensive ends in the country over the last two seasons.
Clelin Ferrell smoked Jonah Williams. Got damn. pic.twitter.com/w9e0BPmN6R
— Eric Robinson (@_Eric_Robinson) January 8, 2019
13) Miami Dolphins: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Instead of swinging on a weak quarterback class we build a young and talented core first. Oliver is a steal this late and could easily go in the top five picks as a bowling ball of knives piercing into your backfield should. When it comes to rebuilding, you start in the middle and work your way out. Oliver instantly makes everyone around him better. Gotta love screwing over the Falcons who are obsessed with Oliver, too (evil laugh).
14) Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
This team was plagued with injuries. Wilkins would join Grady Jarrett as a disruptive lineman in the middle of Dan Quinn’s high powered defense. There might not be a better player fit thus far than Wilkins wreaking havoc inside this front seven.
— Jared Feinberg (@JrodDraftScout) March 7, 2019
15) Washington Redskins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
With Alex Smith out the entire season and possibly beyond, this front office can only hope and pray one of the big three quarterbacks fall into their lap. Case Keenum will be a great bridge, but after throwing for 72 TDs the last two years in the SEC, Lock has a cannon for an arm and can make all the big boy throws in the NFL. This gives Jay Gruden more than enough to work with on a playoff ready roster that can now stay competitive in 2019, even with a rookie signal caller.
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) March 2, 2019
16) Carolina Panthers: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Panthers have two needs far higher than others at both defensive end and offensive line. Riverboat Ron lives and dies in the trenches, so a road grading mauler like Ford will be too good to pass up. With the Kalil brothers out the door, the Panthers find a way to get even better with one of the best and brightest in the entire country, after a dominating career for the Sooners.
Cody Ford’s feet are 🔥🔥…and he’s listed 346 pounds! This is dominance pic.twitter.com/hmfpClu1YQ
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 10, 2018
17) New York Giants: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Poof, did you see what I just did there? Completed the Giants offensive line while adding the number one target in the class. The last time Eli Manning had a surrounding cast this good, he brought home some serious hardware. At the very least this gives the Giants a fighter’s chance and a talented block to build around.
Ole Miss WR DK Metcalf – First play of his film that I’ve watched.. Release doesn’t seem to be an issue ✍️- pic.twitter.com/wCoDahtsX7
— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 29, 2018
18) Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C. State
Instead of getting cute the Vikings should pull the trigger on the nation’s number one center, who also happens to be a perfect fit in Gary Kubiak’s zone scheme. Bradbury showed off his athleticism (4.91 40) as well as his power (34 bench reps) at the combine, sealing off a flawless pre-draft process. The addition instantly makes the Vikings better in the trenches and helps protect their big investment Kirk Cousins stay upright and healthy.
19) Tennessee Titans: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Former Patriot Mike Vrabel knows defenses still win championships and will continue to bolster his unit with young and talented players with position flexibility. The front office hit big with Adoree Jackson and can do a complete overhaul with another physical presence like Gary, who ripped up combine week. Now the Titans have revitalized a major position of need for fresh legs while making everyone behind him (like Harold Landry) even better.
20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
While Noah Fant is tempting here, when I think Steelers I still think about that hard-nosed Mike Tomlin defense, first and foremost. After watching Bush and Gary get sniped right before us, selecting Murphy is still one heck of a consolation prize. From his aggressiveness to his confidence, Murphy will slide right into the black and yellow secondary, helping them close out and finish those tough AFC North battles.
21) Seattle Seahawks: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Adding a versatile chess piece in the secondary like Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson makes a ton of sense, but of the players remaining no one is higher on my board than Fant. A freaky combine (4.50 at 250 pounds) displayed just how well Fant can move and be a mismatch weapon in-line, out wide and even in the slot. Just imagine how fun Russell Wilson could be with a new young toy to like Fant to play with.
Noah Fant vs Jordan Fuller (Iowa/Ohio State 2017)
Fant’s a problem! pic.twitter.com/Mepm1Kv4Lt
— #Nobody Died (@ftbeard_17) March 2, 2019
22) Baltimore Ravens: Hollywood Brown, WR, Oklahoma
With a new offensive game plan in place based around Lamar Jackson and a run heavy read-option offense, the passing game just needs that one weapon to take the top off the defense when they start cheating. With his recent injury it may be looked at as a boom-or-bust play, but if it works we’re talking about the next Michael Vick-Desean Jackson combo.
23) Houston Texans: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
No question about it, the Texans need to go heavy on the offensive linemen early and often on draft weekend. Let’s grab one of the last top-tier tackles in Dillard before a big drop off. Dillard woke me up down at the Senior Bowl with an impressive week and has carried that momentum throughout the pre-draft process. It’s scary to think how good Watson could be with a stronger unit up front protecting, especially with the ultra athletic Dillard paving the way ahead of him.
No, the signing of Matt Kalil does nothing for me.
24) Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
After such an embarrassing 2018 performance by this defense I’m forced to add as much talent as possible and never look back. Sweat gets knocked for his recent shoulder injury and heart condition. However, when healthy plays just as big and physically as any of his other top peers. With a feisty and energetic burst off the edge, Sweat will instantly add a spark and help remold this once garbage defense.
25) Philadelphia Eagles: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
With no major pressing needs and two second-round picks in our back pocket the Eagles front office can go a plethora of directions here. However, after the departure of Michael Bennett, replacing him with a big talent like Tillery would help soften the blow and ease the transition of such a big loss.
26) Indianapolis Colts: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
I want to build the Colts a respectable defense, but with so many top tier defenders already off the board we can’t force the pick. Staying true to our board lands us with “Big Boy Butler” who wins with his massive size, build and body control. Andrew Luck has never had a monster receiving target that can pluck the ball at its highest point and win 50-50 balls. He does now. Watch out, world.
27) Oakland Raiders: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Lets face it, although they will be vastly more competitive in 2019, this is still likely going to be another rebuilding year for the Raiders in their last season in Oakland. Saying that, stealing one of the top three talents in the draft this late because of his ACL injury is no skin off my back. A healthy Simmons was projected in the top five picks as an unstoppable force in the middle that will instantly improve the play of everyone around him. Devin White, Montez Sweat, Simmons? Get me in the front office, Dolores!
28) L.A. Chargers: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
The Chargers don’t have many needs but right tackle is one of them. This team has invested a lot of early-round picks on the offensive line with minimal return value back. That stops now. Plug and play from day one as Risner is one of the most consistent prospects in a very good class. An NFL starting guard if you need him to be, but it’s right tackle where he thrives, making this the ideal scenario late in round one.
We know just how deadly Philip Rivers can be with a clean pocket, and Risner hasn’t given up a sack since Week 5 of 2017. Simply too good to pass up.
“Protect. Your. Pocket. Passers.” That’s a million dollar bumper sticker, too.
29) Seattle Seahawks: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, NB/S, Florida
The Seahawks don’t have more than two or three serious needs, but after letting Earl Thomas hit the streets another playmaking safety is quietly an option. Gardner-Johnson may be opposite in playing style as more of an in-the-box safety, but he was one of the most disruptive players in the country around the line of scrimmage.
Gardner-Johnson offers massive flexibility as one of the better nickel cornerback prospects all together. A scheme fit with his versatility and fast first gear, this kid will help fans quickly forget about Earl the Squirrel.
30) Green Bay Packers: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Having extra picks allows us to stay true to our board and add an explosive playmaker for Aaron Rodgers. With Randall Cobb’s departure inevitable, this offense has little to work with when it comes to explosive skill players outside of Davante Adams. Jacobs can turn from bruising back to a home run threat on any given play, forcing defenses to stay honest in the box and give Rodgers multiple throwing lanes in the passing game once again. For the first time in years, the Packers now have a true three-down back that can carry the entire load on his shoulders when needed and take some pressure off that quarterback.
My first ever Friday highlight is @iAM_JoshJacobs truck against Oklahoma. This is one of Jacob’s most legendary plays of his career. With no question I think he’s the best RB in this draft (not just cuz I’m a bama fan). #RollTide leme know who should be next friday pic.twitter.com/d9J0yFTplT
— Alabama Update (@MASONEHRET1) March 2, 2019
31) L.A. Rams: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
Losing Rodger Saffold was a major blow, but what if I were to tell you I could swap the 32 year old out for the number one blocking guard in the country that’s a decade younger and a fraction of the price. Would that be something you might be interested in?
Will that be cash or card?
BC OL Chris Lindstrom no problem running Brian Burns around the arc…
Lindstrom looks like a block but he’s one of the more athletic OL in this draft. I love @LanceZierlein comp of Joel Bitonio… Watching his 2017 tape at RT. Could literally play every position on the line IMO pic.twitter.com/Pds5903F2T
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) February 22, 2019
32) New England Patriots: Chase Winovich, DL, Michigan
You know, drafting last every year is supposed to have an impact on your roster’s turnaround time. Not this franchise, though, with the ability to stay true to the board and scoop up the best talent available. Let us pray the big two tight ends are gone by now (Fant and Hockenson) because either one would be an absolute nightmare with Tom Brady while providing a seamless transition into the life after Rob Gronkowski. Winovich has the highest motor of anyone in the class and will thrive under Bill Belichick as a versatile chess piece up and down his defensive line.
33) Arizona Cardinals: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Draw up a better tutor than Patrick Peterson, another LSU standout.
34) Indianapolis Colts (via Jets): Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Between Baker and Hakeem Butler the Colts are stocking up toys.
35) Oakland Raiders: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
After three stud defenders in round one it’s time to add some youth into the offense. Smith is just 20 years old and offers huge upside for whichever quarterback is under center.
36) San Francisco 49ers: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Monster potential as a deep center field safety. Arguably the best combine of any player here.
37) New York Giants: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
After completing the offensive overhaul Pat Shurmur starts patching up the defense with a top-tier playmaking safety whose only knock is his small-town competition.
38) Jacksonville Jaguars: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
A sloppy ending to his career will end up being the Jaguars advantage. Another playmaking safety in the back end of their defense.
39) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Even with a horrid combine, enough is enough. Harold Landry type value in round two.
40) Buffalo Bills: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
Continuing to build around your young franchise quarterback.
41) Denver Broncos: Dexter Lawrence, NT, Clemson
The best true nose tackle of the class, Lawrence now opens up holes for Bradley Chubb, Von Miller and Devin White. Who needs a quarterback when you’ve got that front seven?
42) Cincinnati Bengals: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
The last of the top-tier linebackers, the Bengals have no choice after losing Vontaze Burfict.
43) Detroit Lions: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
Just rock solid all the way around. Oruwariye’s floor will be a great number two cornerback.
44) Green Bay Packers: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
With Josh Jacobs and Harry the Packers offense suddenly gets a shot of young talent. Much needed.
45) Atlanta Falcons: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
This roster doesn’t have a ton of gaping holes. Replacing Tevin Coleman with home run hitter, Henderson is a dream scenario on paper after leading the nation in explosive runs.
46) Washington Redskins: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Not sure why Harmon is slipping down a few boards given his consistent and clean route running and sure hands. New quarterback. New wide out. Jay Gruden is a happy pappy.
47) Carolina Panthers: Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas
Omenihu and his longer-than-life arms dominated both inside and outside, offering three down ability. Panthers love to live in the trenches.
48) Miami Dolphins: Erik McCoy, IOL, Texas A&M
Love his athleticism for such a big man as we continue to add youth and talent into both lines. Dolphins have a long way to go and just need to add the best talent possible.
49) Cleveland Browns: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
If you haven’t watched his tape yet, check it out. One of the most physical press corners you’ll find. The fact that he’s a former state champion wrestler likely isn’t a coincidence.
50) Minnesota Vikings: Dru Samia, OG, Oklahoma
Intel is whispering they love Samia for Kubiak’s zone scheme. Dream scenario with the Vikings going back-to-back interior linemen, turning their biggest weakness into a new strength.
51) Tennessee Titans: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Might be my favorite Senior Bowl player down in Mobile. Undersized but feisty and confident. Great offensive line, good running game, Corey Davis and now Samuel. What more does Mariota need?
52) Pittsburgh Steelers: Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin
A surprise decision has left a gaping hole on their offensive line. Deiter dominated the country as a guard, but offers upside as a tackle too.
53) Philadelphia Eagles (via Ravens): A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
This team doesn’t have a lot of needs, but Nelson Agholor is on the way out and Brown is a big-bodied slot man who could dominate with good coaching and a consistent quarterback.
54) Houston Texans (via Seahawks): Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State
Give them all the offensive line help. Center Nick Martin shows flashes but can’t stay healthy, a great back up plan while Jenkins steps in at guard for now.
55) Houston Texans: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
Back-to-back picks lets them do some major damage. A great one-on-one mismatch to help aid Deandre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson.
56) New England Patriots (via Bears): Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
When your roster is this good you get to just take the best player available. It’s a sick little game that ends up with the Patriots in the final four for the last eight years.
57) Philadelphia Eagles: Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
Flew under the radar playing behind Saquon Barkley. Sanders has huge playmaking ability for Doug Pederson and the offense.
58) Dallas Cowboys: Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
Even with the ageless Jason Witten returning from retirement, Sternberger will be the young disciple to take the torch. Love his ability to win contested catches up the seam and in the red zone.
59) Indianapolis Colts: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
The perfect complementary piece to young standout Malik Hooker is an in-the-box safety with play making ability. Give Luck a real defense!
60) L.A. Chargers: Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa
This guy crushed my hand before our interview down at the Senior Bowl and at 6-7, 280 pounds, looks every bit the part of another stout five-tech for the Chargers.
61) Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
The Chiefs are going all in after trading for Frank Clark, now adding pieces that can help close out games will be vital.
62) New Orleans Saints: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
This has to be Brees’ last run, right? Get him as many weapons as possible. I’ll take my chances on the younger brother of Calvin Ridley.
63) Kansas City Chiefs (via Rams): Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
Even without a first-round pick the Chiefs just found two starting caliber cornerbacks, proving the position’s depth in the second tier.
64) New England Patriots: Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
Watch this local combine freak be a stud in the NFL. If anyone could develop him it’s the mad scientist, Bill Belichick.
Top Five Available
Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan
Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
Stanley Morgan Jr., WR, Nebraska
CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE
ZONE COVERAGE DRAFT GUIDE
TOP 40 PLAYERS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS NEEDS & TARGETS
POSITIONAL TOP 5 RANKINGS & VIDEO BREAKDOWNS
MINNESOTA VIKINGS DRAFT TRENDS
INMAN: NFC NORTH WORST CASE DRAFT SCENARIOS
SENIOR BOWL CENTRAL (PODCASTS, VIDEOS, ARTICLES)
Take the Twins quiz and test your knowledge!