Written By Luke Inman (ZoneCoverage.com)
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Mock drafts give a glimpse into which players are gathering momentum as the draft approaches. Check out the archive of Luke Inman’s mock drafts to see who he’s mocked to the Vikings since the process began at the start of last college football season.
Below is Inman’s final mock draft, released two days prior to Round 1.
It doesn’t matter if your team is coming off a winless season or fresh off the Super Bowl, the draft is a time where every fan base can look forward to and be encouraged by a new crop of young talent that could offer the next rookie of the year, face of the franchise or even NFL Hall of Famer down the road.
So after months of grinding the tape and discussing every team’s best options with other draft experts around the league, here is my final mock draft of the season as the kickoff to the NFL Draft is now just hours away.
1) Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Burrow just put up one of the best and most efficient collegiate seasons from a signal caller we’ve ever seen, possessing all the tools including elite pocket presence and natural feel that either you have or you don’t.
Finally, Taylor and the Bengals can officially start their rebuild.
2) Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
If the Redskins want to get nuts they could swindle their way to a “RG3” type of package through a trade. After all, as good as Chase Young is, is this roster one edge rusher away from a Super Bowl contender?
3) Atlanta Falcons (Via Lions): Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
TRADE: Lions receive #16, #47, #78 + 2021 Second-Round Pick
Thomas Dimitroff was a part of the Falcons package that moved all the way up to draft Julio Jones and never looked back. Dimitroff has already gone on record admitting he wants to move up again, this time into the top five. This time selecting the best cornerback the draft has to offer and the equivalent of a Julio Jones type talent on the opposite side of the field could be another blockbuster move to add to his resume.
The best pure cornerback in the draft, hands down, Okudah has a chance to replicate Marshon Lattimore’s rookie season as a shut-down cover man.
After trading away Darius Slay the Lions look set to go full “rebuild mode” and land themselves into the bottom five teams of 2020. Despite moving out of the window for another blue chip prospect like Derrick Brown this front office’s number one priority should be moving back for the best offer available.
4) Los Angeles Chargers (Via Giants): Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
TRADE: Giants receive #6 + #37
The Chargers have built a ferocious defense but need their quarterback of the future. As the pre-draft process has unfolded it has become more and more apparent that Herbert would leapfrog Tua Tagovailoa because of his injury concerns.
It’s tough to draw them up any better than Herbert at 6’6”, 220 pounds and the best arm of the class. Not to mention Herbert is mobile and smooth in the pocket, creating plays on the run when things break down.
5) Miami Dolphins: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
I don’t care what the “experts” are saying about Tua’s hip. Unlike an ACL or other injuries, there are just too many question marks and unknowns for my money in the top five. If I’m a GM I’m not sold Tua will ever be the same player again. Hope I’m wrong.
In the meantime the Dolphins kick off their rebuild in wise fashion, building an offensive line first to protect whichever signal caller they roll with down the line. Becton is an absolute mauler who will bring a new tenacity to the Dolphins run game they haven’t seen in a decade.
6) New York Giants: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
What a move. The Giants were in play for Brown at pick four and still get their man after scooping up some valuable ammo. Brown is a game-changing interior lineman that can ruin any offense. He is the best player available and a better value than any offensive tackle.
Teaming the SEC defensive player of the year up next to last year’s rookie stud Dexter Lawrence opens up a new world of options inside this new and improved front-seven that suddenly has a hard-nosed identity.
7) Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
When you’re drafting this high you must be sure to come away with a special talent at premier positions, and in a pass happy league you just can’t have enough playmakers who can cover. Adding the ultimate swiss army knife into a defense that just lost Luke Kuechly will help revive the team’s identity when they get a taste of Simmons’ big play DNA.
Run support, pass coverage and blitzing into the backfield. Simmons is a rare three-down player that you leave on the field the entire game
8) Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
The pick of the litter of any remaining top-tier offensive lineman. Between the Hawkeyes tape and his freaky combine, Wirfs is the highest rated blocker of the bunch for my money with the ability to help protect and develop Kyler Murray. Wirfs is a great starting spot for Kliff Kingsbury’s rebuild of the trenches and is one of the easiest evaluations of the entire class.
Giving Murray that extra half second to run around and create plays is far better than any wide receiver on the board for both the short and long term.
9) Jacksonville Jaguars: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
In a surprise move the Jaguars released Marquise Lee, opening the door even moreso for one of the big-named wideouts in a truly special class.
With Gardner Minshew getting the green light it’s now important to surround him with playmakers that will help him thrive and take the next step in his development. Lamb has dominated defenses from the outside against top-tier press defenders while showing off an absurd broken tackle rate (26 broken tackles last year) that makes him truly special.
10) Baltimore Ravens (Via Browns): Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
TRADE: Browns receive #28, #55, #60 + #92
Say what you want about moving all the way up. However, in a league that craves home-run speed no way John Harbaugh passes up the chance to add this uniquely rare stick of dynamite after seeing 24 of his 98 catches result in touchdowns.
After watching the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl the Ravens look to copy and paste their blueprint, drafting an eerily similar weapon to Tyreek Hill. With the Jets picking next, Ozzie Newsome knows it’s now or never for a blue-chip pass catcher.
Lamar Jackson, Henry Ruggs and Hollywood Brown. Oh my.
11) New Orleans Saints (VIa Jets): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
TRADE: New York Jets receive #24, #88 + 2021 First-Round Pick
While it wasn’t quite what Aaron Rodgers experienced in the green room on draft day, Tagovailoa slipping out of the top 10 will come as a shock to many. While his dislocated hip may mean he never plays football the same again, the risk is worth the reward as Tua was one of the best quarterback prospects to come out since Andrew Luck.
Sean Payton won’t stop smiling as he finds his new successor for Drew Brees, who coincidentally has a similar playing style. This front office that is known for moving up in recent drafts knew full well Tagovailoa wasn’t getting past Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock with the very next pick.
Allowing Drew Brees to have his storybook ending in 2020 with a chip on his shoulder while Tua redshirts his rookie season makes this the dream scenario for all parties involved.
12) Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The former Biletnikoff award winner, Jeudy is, in my opinion, a generational talent with the best route running and separation skills I’ve scouted since Amari Cooper.
Jeudy gives Derek Carr his first legitimate number one wide receiver he’s had going back to his college days at Fresno State with Davante Adams. Jeudy has that Julio Jones type of potential that will flip on the switch for any passing game.
13) San Francisco 49ers: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
People aren’t talking enough about the fact that this front office has two first-round picks just months after reaching the Super Bowl.
PFF had Kinlaw posting the highest pass rushing grade in 2018 of any returning defensive player (88.7). What does he do in 2019? He somehow gets better, posting a 90 grade with 40 pressures. With a 6’6”, 310-pound frame and biceps as big as an 18-wheeler, Kinlaw’s first step jumps off the tape for such a big man and helps him be disruptive from the interior and get after the passer. He’s without a doubt the best pass rushing defensive tackle in this class for my money.
Kinlaw helps replenish one of the scariest defensive lines in the entire NFL despite just losing DeForest Buckner.
14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Don’t get cute and just grab the best offensive lineman for old man Brady. A pure pocket passer who thrives at his best with clean space to dance into, Brady will love Wills and the extra dropback time he offers. Wills is one of the best pass blockers of the class and the Buccaneers should feel lucky he’s still available this late.
Bruce Arians now has the entire recipe for offensive success, which could spell trouble for the rest of the league.
15) Denver Broncos: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
All signs point to John Elway already having landed his quarterback of the future in Drew Lock after a rock solid last month of the season. With the top tier of receivers gone, the front office can bolster the next best thing in offering the protection to help Lock make it through his progressions.
Thomas has been one of the best all-around blockers in the country in back-to-back seasons and proves he is one of the most pro ready amongst his peers. Huge win for the Broncos offense stealing this “consolation prize.”
16) Detroit Lions (Via Falcons): K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
It sure feels like a huge slide down for the Lions. However, the drop off of talent isn’t as big as you’d think. The front office that is potentially in “rebuild mode” has the luxury to swing for the fence and land a potential superstar.
When you watch Chaisson explode off the edge with a burst and gumby-like bend, he feels like the perfect defender to bring in with the highest upside of any edge defender left. Still highly untapped, Chaisson has the raw attributes to be a double-digit sack monster with Matt Patricia maximizing his versatility with both his hand in the dirt and standing up.
His position says defensive end, but don’t be fooled. I think he can do a little bit of everything from dropping back in coverage to moving up and down the defensive line; much like Tre Flowers has made a living on his entire career.
17) Dallas Cowboys: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
He’s big, strong, physical and ran a 4.39. Florida’s Henderson is the next Gators cornerback in line to enter the NFL with high hopes and high praise given his tool box and production. A key piece in shutting down the Michigan Wolverines’ passing game in the 2018 Peach Bowl, Henderson’s two interceptions, five tackles for loss and three sacks his sophomore season proved to people just how influential near the line of scrimmage he can be.
An obvious replacement for the loss of Byron Jones to the Dolphins, Henderson is in the mix of a handful of cornerbacks after Okudah that could all make a case for second best cover corner of the class.
18) Miami Dolphins (via Steelers): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
With loads of versatility to line up in centerfield, in the box and up the seam you’ll see him used in a variety of ways. Brian Flores has done a phenomenal job of rejuvenating his defensive talent, and McKinney could be one of the final missing pieces.
Forget the name, school and position. When it comes to rebuild mode any front office should be concerned with one thing only, which is adding the best pure talent with every selection.
McKinney is another true three-down defender equally stout versus the run and pass as the Dolphins start to build their defensive respect back under Flores.
19) Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Jefferson is another LSU wideout that comes into the league with sharp route running and explosion in and out of his cuts, meaning he’s ready for NFL production right out the gate.
Don’t count out the Raiders double-dipping at the position in a draft class of wideouts we haven’t seen in a decade. With just Tyrell Williams and Zay Jones, the Raiders pass attack needs to be replenished more than just once.
20) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
After moving on from both Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye this secondary needs an overhaul in the worst way, and Fulton is a great way to start. Fulton was one of the highest rated cornerbacks in the SEC for not one, but two full seasons. He’s got the makeup to develop into a true number one cornerback in Doug Marrone’s defense and help fans forget about the old days.
21) Philadelphia Eagles: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
The Eagles wisely confronted their biggest need at cornerback before the draft with the addition of Darius Slay for just a third-round pick. While the Eagles will undoubtedly need to turn more attention to the cornerback position, Slay’s ability to continue as a number one cover corner will ease fans’ concerns.
No one has checked off more boxes during the pre-draft process than Mims, from his standout Senior Bowl where he dominated cornerbacks in 1-on-1s to the Combine where he ran a blazing 4.38 40 at nearly 220 pounds. If you want to bet on a prospect whose momentum is trending up and offers high-end potential, then Mims is your guy, giving Carson Wentz a new legitimate weapon in the passing game.
22) Minnesota Vikings (Via Bills): Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
While the top brass won’t admit it, it’s obvious this team is in a “mini rebuild” offseason after watching eight starting and defensive contributors leave in free agency. Mike Zimmer will pound the table for a new cornerback next to Mike Hughes, and I can’t think of a better option than Gladney.
A pinch undersized, but Gladney plays with a chip on his shoulder and brings a junk-yard dog mentality on every play because of it. Quick, twitchy and athletic, Galdney will quickly become Zimmer’s new favorite pet project and inject more youth and talent into the Vikings secondary.
Jeff Gladney hit power for a cornerback is 😳 pic.twitter.com/jDBuAjBbCK
— 𝐂𝐅𝐁𝐋𝐢𝐯𝐞𝟐𝟒𝟕TM (@CFBLive247) April 19, 2020
23) New England Patriots: A.J. Epenesa, DL, Iowa
This guy was born to be a Patriot as he brings an old school sledgehammer mentality with his heavy and powerful hands against opposing offensive linemen. Bill Belichick may show some restrained emotion.
After a dominant 2018 season Epenesa showed off more versatility this season, grinding away on interior linemen with his heavy hands and non-stop motor. If taken in the top 10 nobody would bat an eye.
I absolutely love Epenesa’s ability to move inside on pass rushing downs to keep their entire rotation fresh, offering more options to Belichick’s ultra versatile front-seven scheme.
24) New York Jets (Via Saints): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
He may be raw after converting from wideout his freshman year just a few years ago, but Trevon Diggs (younger brother to Stefon) carries that same receiver mentality, running routes better than his opponents at times. You just don’t find 6’2”, 200-pound cover corners that can fly around like Diggs, offering one of the biggest ceilings of any player in the entire class.
Trevon Diggs (Stefon's younger bro) showed up to Alabama as a WR his freshman year and made starting DBs look silly…
The transition to CB has been as smooth as it gets.. running routes of his opponents like this w natural ball skills/instincts… Stay healthy he's a top-20 guy pic.twitter.com/cKcpuaOJeI
— Luke Inman (@Luke_SpinmanNFL) September 24, 2019
25) Minnesota Vikings: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
With all the speed and athleticism you covet at the position, Reagor is a big play machine that produced at a high level (over 1,000 yards in 2018) despite being surrounded by inconsistent quarterback play throughout his career.
Vikings have pushed their chips all in after extending Kirk Cousins. Now it’s time to maximize his skillset as one of the more accurate pocket passers in the league and let him flourish with a guy who just knows how to get open. Reagor will make teams pay in the single coverage looks given thanks to Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook.
TCU WR Jalen Reagor :
• 5’11, 206 lbs
• 4.47 40 yard dash
• 42 in vertical
• Smooth athlete w/ blazing speed
• Electric w/ the ball in his hands
• Plays like a slashing RB in space
• Home-run potential in deep routes & return game
— GBP Daily (@GBPdaily) April 20, 2020
26) Miami Dolphins: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
They get their pick of the litter with whichever tailback they see fit, but it’s tough to ignore Taylor’s game changing speed he put on full display at the combine and throughout his entire Badgers career.
With a boat load of ammo, including five picks in the top 60, the Dolphins are ready to prove a quick turnaround is possible in today’s NFL.
27) Jacksonville Jaguars: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
TRADE: Seahawks receive DE Yannick Ngakoue
You’re going to see a handful of “tag-and-trade” players this weekend, and Yannick Ngakoue wants out of Jacksonville in the worst way. With the eventual departure of Jadeveon Clowney, Pete Carroll pulls the old switcheroo and swaps him out for arguably the best and youngest at his position in the entire NFL.
With Delpit you’ll hear plenty about his mistakes, but remember this, in his last three games Delpit missed zero tackles on the biggest stage of his career, quieting his doubters heading into the draft. You don’t win the Jim Thorpe Award for nation’s best defensive back on accident.
28) Cleveland Browns (Via Ravens): Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Jones was a monster all week at the Senior Bowl with his massive frame and surprisingly smooth feet. His athletic skillset is a match made in heaven for Baker Mayfield and his improvisational athleticism both inside and outside the pocket.
After nabbing Jack Conklin previously in free agency the Browns have just turned their biggest weakness into a near strength heading into the season.
New head coach Kevin Stefanski has the luxury of taking over an already talented roster with a still young and budding quarterback. While Mayfield took a step back during a sophomore slump campaign, it was clear he was never offered the proper protection for him to take that next step.
29) Tennessee Titans: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Has anyone actually sat down and watched this guy play? Gross-Matos is an absolute animal off the edge and could turn into a new front-seven toy under the guru Mike Vrabel. Gross-Matos and his ridiculous 34.5 tackles for loss the last two seasons give this defense another high-upside weapon on a cheap rookie deal.
He will form a highly dangerous duo next to last year’s first rounder Jeffery Simmons. Sprinkle in Rashaan Evans, Harold Landry and Cameron Wake, and Vrabel has all the toys he needs to unleash his aggressive style of defense to the top of the division.
30) Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
It’s no secret the Packers have to add a playmaker in the passing game here with virtually no one behind Davante Adams.
Aiyuk was the best amongst his peers for the past two years in the PAC-12, including his former teammate N’Keal Harry. With freaky long arms (80-inch wingspan) and explosive short-area quickness, Aiyuk helps alleviate some pressure off Aaron Rodgers for his final stretch.
31) San Francisco 49ers: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
With the hottest young team in the league, John Lynch’s bold moves are making himself and Kyle Shanahan look like a couple of geniuses after representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Arnette is small but feisty with an aggressive mentality that is made for the NFL’s nickel role. He helps furnish the secondary that was exposed in the playoffs as one of their very few weak spots.
Circle this pick as another potential trading spot as the Niners have no Day 2 picks and will likely be looking to recoup some of them back in a move down.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
The youngest interior offensive lineman of the class, Ruiz offers more interior upside than any other amongst his peers. We already know of Andy Reid’s obsession with offensive lineman and what Pat Mahomes is capable of with that extra second of time inside the pocket.
(* Denotes Previous Trade)
33. Cincinnati Bengals — Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
34. Indianapolis Colts (Via Redskins) — Laviska Shenualt, WR, Colorado
35. Detroit Lions — Noah Igbinoghene CB, Auburn
36. New York Giants — Austin Jackson, OT, USC
*37. New York Giants (Via Chargers) — Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
38. Carolina Panthers — Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
39. Miami Dolphins — Zach Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
40. Houston Texans (Via Cardinals) — Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
*41. Minnesota Vikings (Via Browns) — Antoine Winfield Jr, S, Minnesota
(Vikings trade Anthony Harris to Browns for pick No. 41.)
42. Jacksonville Jaguars — Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
43. Chicago Bears (Via Raiders) — Ashtyn Davis, FS, Cal
44. Indianapolis Colts — Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
46. Denver Broncos — Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
* 47. Detroit Lions (Via Falcons) — K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
48. New York Jets — Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
49. Pittsburgh Steelers — Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
50. Chicago Bears — Robert Hunt, IOL, Louisiana
51. Dallas Cowboys — Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
52. Los Angeles Rams — A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
53. Philadelphia Eagles — Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
54. Buffalo Bills — Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
*55. Cleveland Browns (Via Ravens) — Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU
56. Miami Dolphins (Via Saints) — Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
57. L.A. Rams (Via Texans) — Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
*58. Washington Redskins (Via Vikings) — Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
(Redskins trade OT Trent Williams to Vikings for pick No. 58.)
59. Seattle Seahawks — Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
*60. Cleveland Browns (Via Ravens) — Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
61. Tennessee Titans — Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
62. Green Bay Packers — Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
63. Kansas City Chiefs (Via 49ers) — D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
64. Seattle Seahawks (Via Chiefs) — Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
65. Cincinnati Bengals — Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
66. Washington Redskins — Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State
*67. New England Patriots (Via Detroit Lions) — Jason Strowbridge, DL, North Carolina
(Patriots trade G Joe Thuney to Lions for pick No. 67.)
68. New York Jets (via Giants) — Matthew Peart, OT, UConn
69. Carolina Panthers — Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
70. Miami Dolphins — Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
71. Los Angeles Chargers — Ben Bartch, OT, St John’s
72. Arizona Cardinals — Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
73. Jacksonville Jaguars — Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
74. Cleveland Browns — Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
75. Indianapolis Colts — Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — John Hightower, WR, Boise State
*77. Carolina Panthers (Via Broncos) — Michael Ojemudia CB, Iowa
(Panthers trade WR Curtis Samuel for pick No. 77.)
*78. Detroit Lions (Via Falcons) — Cam Akers, RB, FSU
79. New York Jets — Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M
80. Las Vegas Raiders — Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
81. Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears) — Davon Hamilton, DT, Ohio State
82. Dallas Cowboys — Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
83. Denver Broncos (Via Steelers) — Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
84. Los Angeles Rams — Joshua Uche, EDGE, Michigan
85. Detroit Lions (Via Eagles) — Trey Adams, OT, Washington
86. Buffalo Bills — Marlon Davidson, EDGE, Auburn
*87. Indianapolis Colts (Via Patriots) — Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
(Colts trade QB Jacoby Brissett to Patriots for pick No. 87.)
88. New York Jets (Via Saints) — Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
89. Minnesota Vikings — Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
90. Houston Texans — Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
91. Las Vegas Raiders (Via Seahawks) — Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
92. Cleveland Browns (Via Baltimore Ravens) — Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
93. Tennessee Titans — Jordan Elliot, DT, Missouri
94. Green Bay Packers — Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
*95. Detroit Lions (Via Broncos) — Reggie Robinson, CB, Tulsa
(Lions trade WR Marvin Jones to Broncos for pick No. 95).
96. Kansas City Chiefs — Troy Pride, CB, Notre Dame
97. Cleveland Browns (Via Texans) — Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
*98. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Via Patriots) – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
(Buccaneers trade TE O.J. Howard to Patriots for pick No. 98.)
99. New York Giants – K’Von Wallace S, Clemson
100. New England Patriots – K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
101. Seattle Seahawks – Ben Bredeson, OG, Michigan
102. Pittsburgh Steelers – Netane Muti, OG, Fresno State
103. Philadelphia Eagles – Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue
104. Los Angeles Rams – Nick Harris, IOL, Washington
105. Minnesota Vikings – Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
106. Baltimore Ravens – Shane Lemieux, OG, Oregon