Before you read further, make sure you subscribe to the Cover1 NFL Draft podcast. Russell Brown and I get together every Tuesday night and discuss the trendy topics concerning the NFL Draft, breakdown player profiles and much more. In this week’s episode, Russell and I talk about the running back class and discuss who are the “can’t miss prospects” in the 2019 draft class.
Senior Bowl Update
The first round of @seniorbowl invites went out today. Head coaches around the country will be getting FedExes tomorrow and it is at their discretion when to distribute the invites to their players. Breakdown was split completely even—30 offense/30 defense. #bestofthebest pic.twitter.com/JghE97EHw7— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) November 13, 2018
Director Jim Nagy and the rest of the Reese’s Senior Bowl staff have been busy this week, and throughout the college football season, as they sent out its first set of invitations. Sixty invitations were mailed out on Monday and a few players have already accepted the anticipated invite.
RB Jalin Moore, Appalachian State
DE Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion
DL John Cominsky, Charleston
LB Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State
LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
The names listed are those that have been recognized by Nagy on Twitter. Others that have yet to be officially recognized by Nagy but are rumored to have accepted are:
DL Charles Omenihu,, Texas
CB Isaiah Johnson, Houston
Cover 1 will have boots on the ground in Mobile for the Senior Bowl beginning on Jan. 21, 2019.
Top Five Mock (Order drawn from Tankathon, 11/16/2018)
Oakland Raiders (1-8): Nick Bosa, Ohio State, DE
Oakland will make the decision whether to keep Derek Carr as its quarterback of the future before entering April. Even if the organization decides to part ways with the five-year veteran, there isn’t a quarterback in this class worthy of a No. 1 overall pick. Joking aside, Oakland desperately needs a pass rush as the unit ranks last in the NFL with just eight sacks over the course of nine games.
Drafting Bosa not only solidifies a pass rush threat but also guarantees Oakland drafting the best player in the entire draft class. Bosa’s creativity as a pass rusher accompanied by strength and athleticism makes him a can’t miss prospect.
San Francisco 49ers (2-8): Jonah Williams, Alabama, OT
Joe Staley is still one of the more consistent offensive linemen in all of football but he is a free agent after the 2019 season and will be 35 years old at that time. Looking for his forerunner should be a necessity in this draft for San Francisco and having a stab at the best one in the class is why the organization should heavily consider Williams.
Doubling up on tackles in consecutive first rounds (Mike McGlinchey) may be rich but solidifying the bookends for the resurgence of Jimmy Garoppolo is not a bad direction to go in.
New York Giants (2-7): Justin Herbert, Oregon, QB
Eli Manning is well past his golden age and Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley’s potential is suffering from it. The offensive line unit is still a mess and finding pieces to solidify the front will also be another necessity this offseason.
Mechanically, Herbert may not be up to par with the likes of the quarterback crop a year ago, but his accuracy, anticipation and pocket presence help prove he is worth a high pick for the Giants. The stage in New York is already set for a quarterback, they just need to find one.
Arizona Cardinals (2-7): Greedy Williams, LSU, CB
Patrick Peterson obviously stayed put in Arizona but it’s evident that he sees his future elsewhere. The Cardinals have a whale of things to address in the draft but having the luxury of possibly a top three player landing in your lap is almost a no-brainer kind of selection.
Williams plays with tremendous toughness and savvy on the outside and has the ball skills and open-field tackling ability to shine Day 1 in the NFL. Replace an LSU corner with another? Sounds good to me.
New York Jets (3-7): Ed Oliver, Houston, IDL
New York is not a team that comes to mind when asking the question, “Who needs defensive line help?” However, adding a player of Oliver’s caliber to an already strong defensive front unit would only strengthen the group. Oliver’s first step quickness with an everlasting motor gives fits to opposing offensive linemen. His interior pass rush ability and ability to move bodies in the run game make him a complete down lineman and maybe the best player in the draft.
If New York decides to go best player available, Oliver’s name is quickly written on the card.
Bill Carroll (@BCarroll138) via Twitter: “Who are your top five FCS defensive prospects?”
Nasir Adderley, Delaware, DB
Adderley is a technique safety with first round range and speed. He can click and close with ease with smooth change of direction skills and quick feet. The 6-foot, 200-pound defensive back prospect shows impressive ball skills (10 career interceptions) with excellent awareness and coverage technique. If testing well when the time comes, Adderley should slip into top 75 conversation.
Chris Johnson, North Alabama, SAF
Johnson plays with a receiver-like “my ball” mentality. He displays the range to make plays all across the field showing the acceleration and loose hips to attack when the ball is on its way to the target. He keeps his head on a swivel and plays disciplined football when the ball is in the air or when attacking the ball carrier. A complete safety, Johnson can play downhill in the run game with the physicality to shake off blockers and finish with big hits. Johnson (6-foot-3, 200 pounds) started his career at Albany but has played in his home state the past two seasons.
Derick Roberson, Sam Houston State, EDGE
Originally enrolling at Texas, Roberson brought his Power 5 talent to Sam Houston State and has taken the Southland Conference by storm. He has racked up 14 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, 11 quarterback hurries and five forced fumbles in 2018. Roberson wins with a burst off the snap and shows the potential to work a full skill set of pass rush moves. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound senior shows the long speed and range as a run defender to possibly get looks as an on-ball linebacker.
Josh Buss, Montana, ILB
When turning on Montana tape, it’s easy to quickly find out who the best player on the team is. Buss plays with the natural football intelligence to diagnose the integrity of a play and attack when necessary. He has the athleticism to peel off the edge and also cover in either defensive philosophy. Buss (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) is not only a technique tackler but shows the little things to disengage from blockers with appropriate angles and leverage. Buss has dealt with some injuries throughout his career which will most likely push him down to Day 3 despite consistent play on the field.
Isaiah Mack, UT-Chattanooga, DL
Mack (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) shows tremendous lower body torque to win leverage battles with strength and technique. He shoots his hands quickly inside to gain instant control of his matchup. He shows glimpses of flexibility being able to bend around traffic to clear his path to the backfield. So far this season, Mack has 76 total stops with 11 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Cole Thompson (@MrColeThompson) via Twitter: “Which LB is a RD1 prospect no one is speaking about?” I’m going to count Devin Bush (Michigan), Devin White (LSU) and Mack Wilson (Alabama) as the three true linebackers that are considered first round prospects at this point. Khalil Hodge out of Buffalo will not hear his name called on Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, but he will provide the relief and satisfaction to that of a first round prospect. Hodge boasts the vision of an All-Pro linebacker with the athletic feet and savvy to dodge blockers and fly to the football. He has adequate coverage skills and shows the range and speed to fulfill zone responsibilities. Hodge currently ranks fourth in the nation with 122 total tackles (48 solo).