Free agency and the combine are both behind us and the draft is less than a month away. Time to check in with an update and try to make sense of all the rumors that we are hearing.
#1 Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC
It rained during Sam Darnold’s pro day. This saved Hue Jackson the trouble of having to dump water bottles on the balls in an effort to artificially create some hurricane like conditions to test Darnold’s grip strength or something. Needless to say, Hue must have been over the moon when he checked the weather forecast. By all accounts Darnold nailed his rainy pro day, so you know Hue Jackson is now the Wolverine meme holding a picture of Darnold.
In all seriousness, the Browns sent the A team to USC’s pro day. Hue Jackson, Todd Haley, John Dorsey and owner Jimmy Haslam personally attended the workout. The Browns also had a private dinner with Darnold.
Owner Jimmy Haslam also was at Josh Allen’s pro day and Allen uncorked a 75 yard pass “on the move.” Hue Jackson strikes me as the type to actually care about this enough to push him atop his wish list. And if you squint, you can kind of see a pattern from John Dorsey here. I don’t know what the power dynamic between Dorsey and Reid was in Kansas City, but consider what they did during their tenure:
They traded for a mobile quarterback that doesn’t throw interceptions before their first draft. They drafted a raw, mobile quarterback with a rocket launcher for a right arm. That draftee then sat a year behind the aforementioned quarterback. Oh, and they didn’t mind giving up draft capital to get Mahomes because they knew they would get some back when shipping off Alex Smith. Maybe they didn’t care about giving up draft capital for Tyrod Taylor because they basically know they’re trading down from #4? Anyway, Josh Allen really makes this a decent parallel for what happened in Kansas City. Not that Darnold won’t just sit and learn behind Taylor, Allen is just more physically similar to Mahomes.
The Browns have also done their due diligence on Rosen and Mayfield, but unless I’m missing something in the reporting world (please tell me if I am), Haslam was only personally there for Darnold and Allen. The Browns seem to be trying to leverage their way into moving down to the second pick by covering all their basis here.
Most people say the insider info is Darnold will be the pick. Then there’s reports like this:
This morning on the @dpshow, Dan Patrick cites a scouting source saying the Browns are using their "love" of Sam Darnold as bait, hoping the Giants trade up to No. 1… adding the Browns prefer Josh Allen.https://t.co/PxsV9zjuJP
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) March 26, 2018
Who knows. I’ll stick with Darnold for now but with the unoriginal caveat that this pick will be Darnold or Allen, and it is really just anyone’s guess at this point.
#2 New York Giants – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
I heard something on a podcast the other day that I couldn’t believe I heard correctly, so I investigated it. What I thought I heard was that Dave Gettleman has never traded down in the first round as a general manager. I went to substantiate that and, well, it is true. But Gettleman has only run four drafts in his career, so I don’t see much value in such a nugget. However, Gettleman, before taking the Panther GM job, was a long-time high ranking executive for the Giants. So here is what I did find: Dave Gettleman has not been a part of an organization that has traded down in the first round since 2006. In 2006 the Giants traded down to #31 and selected Mathias Kiwanuka. So it has been over a decade since Gettleman was involved in trading down in the first round.
When you combine that with the fact Gettleman wants a future hall of famer here, it seems like he would rather walk away with his “generational player” than move down. So while I’m not ruling it out completely, I don’t think a swap with the Broncos where he still gets Nelson, Chubb or Barkley, or a mega deal with the Bills is going to happen.
Jason La Canfora tried to weed through the smoke screens of what is being said around the league recently. In this article he talked about Josh Rosen, and if you’re into creating tea leaves to be read, this line might catch the eyes of Giants fans: “..and [Rosen will] be at worst the second quarterback off the board.”
If you wanted to, you could convince yourself this means La Canfora knows Rosen is the Giants guy and the worst case scenario for Rosen is the Browns taken someone else before the Giants happily select him second.
I know the Giants are linked to other players, such as Barkley and Nelson, and about half of Giants fans think the team is fine with Eli for a few years. I still don’t believe the Giants will pass on this opportunity. If everything goes according to plan for Gettleman and Shurmur, they will never be drafting this high again during their tenures with the Giants. They can pick the quarterback they want to build around once it is time to move on from Eli. I refuse to believe they will be short sighted regarding this pick and eschew a chance to lock up their quarterback for the next 15 years.
Also, for what it’s worth, Josh Rosen specifically mentioned how cool it was meeting with the Giants.
#3 New York Jets (F/IND) – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
Shameless plug: Read my trade grades for the Colts and Jets trade here! Apparently the Jets are totally cool with any of three different quarterbacks. I’m not sure if there is really a precedent for that statement being true in a front office before, but if you ain’t first, you’re last.
My gut feeling is the Jets QB board goes 1. Rosen 2. Darnold 3. Mayfield. Mayfield is the one left standing, so he is the pick.
I’d like to take this opportunity to verbalize my disdain for the Colts. I was planning to write in this update, before the trade, that I would pay a hefty sum to be a fly on the wall of the Colts War Room. I imagined there was going to be an AFC East bidding war between all the teams that don’t employ Tom Brady attempting to trade for this pick. I figured the Dolphins and Jets would be tripping over themselves to lock up Mayfield while Buffalo wanted to be first in line for their guy. Not that I could have ended up a fly on the wall but I could have always pretended that these phone calls happened while the Colts were on the clock. Now a young boy can’t even dream. Thanks a lot, Indianapolis.
#4 *TRADE – Bills send #12, #22, #56, #96 to Browns for #4*
Buffalo Bills (F/CLE/HOU) – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
Speaking of the Bills getting their guy.
My thoughts on the Bills trade with the Bengals to get up to 12 are as follows:
Buffalo seems to be doing their best 2016 Eagles impression where they make a move up the board involving picks and players to set up another move up the board to secure a quarterback they really want. They are now within striking distance of the top 4 given all the draft capital they have for 2018, and a trade channel has already been created between Buffalo and Cleveland from the Tyrod Taylor trade. Why the Bills wanted to give up Cordy Glenn given the state of offensive line play around the NFL is something I question, but the trade happened so it is what it is.
I’ve long had a theory the Bills will select Lamar Jackson and I think going up to 12 not only puts them in position to go further up the board, but it gives them an easy plan B if trading up doesn’t transpire. They can just sit at 12 and take Lamar.
Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane seem to be modeling this Bills makeover after the Carolina Panthers: Strike a five year contract with a defensive tackle drafted by Carolina in 2013 (Star Lotulelei = Kawann Short), trust your drafting and kick your best corner out of town (White/Darby = Bradberry/Norman), and employ Kelvin Benjamin (Kelvin Benjamin = Kelvin Benjamin). All they need now is a tall, mobile quarterback with a Howitzer for a right arm that consistently throws the ball 10 feet over peoples’ heads that are standing five yards away. Enter Josh Allen.
#5 *TRADE – Buccaneers send #7, 2019 Second Rounder to Broncos for #5*
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (F/DEN) – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
I thought the Bucs would be more aggressive buying up defensive free agents with all their cap space than they have been, but they did bring in both Vinny Curry and Beau Allen, two contributing members of a Super Bowl run. I’m surprised the Bucs weren’t mentioned at all as a possible Suh landing spot or mentioned as a team he is going to visit, but maybe if the Bucs stopped wasting money on a backup tight end they could chase bigger fish.
Anyway, the current state of the Bucs running back depth chart is ghastly. Yes, it’s a deep running back class, but I still think Dirk Koetter will be interested in going up to get Barkley in an effort to maximize 2018 impact so he can keep his job. Also, there has to at least be a decent chance Jason Licht loses his job if ownership is unsatisfied with how 2018 plays out. This reminds me of 2014 when the Bills’ brass went up to get Sammy Watkins to maximize immediate impact. They didn’t care about giving away future draft capital because, well, if it didn’t work out it was someone else’s problem.
#6 Indianapolis Colts (F/CLE) – OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Chris Ballard recently spoke about his trade with the Jets and mentioned the Colts are very comfortable with a guy they believe will be there at #6. He says he is open to moving back again, but I don’t see who is going to move up the board here.
I’m guessing that guy is Quenton Nelson. Some will fight to the death you shouldn’t take a guard ever in the first round, but Nelson is a potential plug and play All-Pro. The Colts would be wise to at least find out if he can play some tackle.
The top 18 priorities for this franchise right now should be protecting Andrew Luck’s health. I don’t care that Nelson plays guard, he is going to be a stud. We know now what the Luck-less Colts look like. Just protect the guy.
#7 Denver Broncos (F/TB) – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
If the first four picks are indeed quarterbacks and Elway isn’t fancied by the idea of taking Barkley, he will probably move back. Falling to #7 is pretty perfect, since he can safely assuming Barkley will go ahead of him and then either Fitzpatrick or Chubb mathematically must be available here. And he picks up a future second for his efforts.
In this scenario, both Fitzpatrick and Chubb are here for the taking, and for now I think Elway will go with Fitzpatrick. There is speculation as to what Fitzpatrick’s NFL position will be. He only played a limited amount of outside corner in college and slot corners aren’t really worthy of such a high pick. His ultimate position may be at safety though. Elway has recently jettisoned both Talib and Ward, so the team needs to fill the absence of both. Elway may as well draft Fitzpatrick and let the coaching staff decide the best way to utilize him.
#8 Chicago Bears – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
The Bears went out into free agency on an offensive weapons shopping spree as if they were strutting down Hollywood Boulevard. One high priced item that’s possibly worth it and then a few over priced knockoffs.
Regardless, we can collectively stop mocking Calvin Ridley here. In addition to his expensive foray into free agency, Ryan Pace completely botched the Kyle Fuller situation. Still, he is now under long-term contract. Prince Amukamara may have signed a three-year deal, but there is an easy out after 2019 and he can’t consistently be relied upon to stay healthy. Pace may view Ward as the best player available since Chubb doesn’t fit the defensive scheme.
#9 San Francisco 49ers – S Derwin James, Florida State
I think Derwin James is going to be drafted in the top 10. He was highly regarded coming into the 2017 college football season before having a down year after being injured the prior season. His freshman year was phenomenal and he absolutely lit up the combine.
I think teams are going to get excited about all the different ways James can be deployed. A man his size shouldn’t be able to stick with shifty slot receivers, but he does. Safety may not be the 9ers biggest need, but there are a lot of potential synergies here.
Kyle Shanahan was in Atlanta to watch the impact Keanu Neal had on that defense. He may end up viewing James as a gassed up Neal. John Lynch is a former NFL safety and may just fall in love with the idea of what James could become. Lastly, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh spent 2011-2013 as the defensive quality control coach for the Seahawks, and spent 2014-2016 working under Gus Bradley. Derwin James gets a lot of Kam Chancellor comparisons, so if anyone can envision how James could play such a role in a defense similar to Seattle’s, it’s Saleh.
#10 Oakland Raiders – DE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
Call me crazy, but I think Jon Gruden probably would love to draft Bradley Chubb. Not only is he most likely the best player left on the board, but the Raiders need to generate more of a pass rush. Oakland was 23rd in adjusted sack rate last year.
#11 Miami Dolphins – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
Since I don’t see Miami getting their hands on Mayfield this time around, they will probably just sit tight and take the best player available to them. Here it is Roquan Smith, and this pick hits a need as well to bring speed and sideline to sideline ability to the middle of this defense. The Dolphins also appear to be quite interested in Smith.
#12 Cleveland Browns (F/BUF/CIN) – Edge Harold Landry, Boston College
I’m sure the Browns will be fielding many trade offers for the 4th pick. The reason I think the Bills are the favorites to land the pick is because they can provide extra picks in 2018. Hue Jackson probably wants immediate impact, John Dorsey thinks Sashi Brown is an idiot and probably isn’t too into the future draft capital concept, and I think PR is a factor here where the organization can say “Hey! Look! We have all these picks you can get excited about this season!”
If you look at the first round picks John Dorsey made in Kansas City (or agreed to with Andy Reid), he seems to go with positional value. He drafted a left tackle, pass rusher, cornerback and flew up the board for a quarterback. The one year he didn’t have a first round pick, he spent his first pick (second round) on a defensive lineman. This is part of the reason why I think he prefers to trade down from #4 as opposed to draft Barkley if available. Also, Dorsey’s tenure in Kansas City saw him take a running back in rounds 3 or 4 three times in five years.
Speaking of that first round corner, I think Joshua Jackson is a distinct possibility here because he might remind Dorsey of Marcus Peters without all the baggage. Both were playmaking ballhawks coming out of college that ran in the 4.5s. Ultimately, if I’m right about Dorsey going after positional value, I think Landry is the move.
After a dominant 2016 Landry regressed at least in part due to injury in 2017 before excelling at the combine. Someone is going to take him in the top 15 based on what he could become/was expected to become after 2016.
#13 Washington – DT Vita Vea, Washington
I know it was 2016, but I have never been able to get the imagine of the Carolina Panthers absolutely slamming the ball down Washington’s throat in the run game, in a game Washington had to win to get into the playoffs. It was week 15, and had Washington won out the last three games they would have made the postseason. Instead, the Panthers rushed for 148 yards as Washington was helpless against Jonathan Stewart.
Washington spent their first round pick on Jonathan Allen in 2017, but it wasn’t enough. They still ranked 29th in rush defense DVOA and allowed a league worst 134 rushing yards per game on defense.
#14 Green Bay Packers – CB Joshua Jackson, Iowa
Corner is arguably the Packers biggest need and Green Bay can selection the second best cover guy in the draft here. This isn’t to say that the team, or myself, is giving up on Kevin King, but someone to play across from him is needed. The NFC North is a three headed race, and Detroit (Jones and Tate) and Minnesota (Thielen and Diggs) each have two receivers to match up against.
#15 Arizona Cardinals – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
Arizona might look to move down a few spots and land Rudolph later, but I don’t think they’re going to risk it with how the quarterbacks have come flying off the board here in 2018. Both Bradford and Glennon are not the long-term answer, and of course we all know this. A new head coach is taking over in Arizona and often times that leads to him drafting a quarterback he wants. Rudolph can sit for a year behind Bradford and Glennon (assuming Bradford is unable to play 16 games) before taking over in 2019.
#16 Baltimore Ravens – Edge Marcus Davenport, UTSA
This is Ozzie Newsome’s last draft and I imagine one of his goals is to set this franchise up for future success. Newsome, out of anyone, knows first hand the value of a dominant pass rush and Terrell Suggs cannot play forever. Davenport might be raw but Newsome probably trusts the coaching staff to get the most out of his talent.
#17 Los Angeles Chargers – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Offensive tackle is perhaps the biggest area of need for the Chargers and they get to hand select their favorite one here. The Chargers could opt for the upside of Connor Williams to play left tackle or take the safe bet that McGlinchey offers in that he probably needs to be a right tackle but will be a really good right tackle.
When you have Von Miller, Khalil Mack, and Justin Houston running down Philip Rivers from all over the place, you need protection everywhere. The Chargers opt for the safe route.
#18 *TRADE – Falcons send #26, #90, #244 for #18*
Atlanta Falcons (F/SEA) – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
I still think the Falcons will trade up into this spot, but this time they get a different player. Run stuffing defensive tackles aren’t as valuable as they used to be, but the Falcons let Dontari Poe chase money elsewhere and need to fill the void left behind.
The Falcons didn’t make any splashy free agent moves this year, and they were smart to remain disciplined. Their roster is in good shape and this team has lost to the eventually Super Bowl champion each of the past two seasons.
The Falcons did improve from 28th in run defense DVOA in 2016, to 20th in 2017. Ideally you want to be higher, but they can’t just give those gains back by letting Poe walk and doing nothing to replace him. Payne is a plug and play guy.
#19 Dallas Cowboys – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
After I posted Mock Draft 2.0, a few Cowboys friends of mine said they disagreed that Dallas would take a receiver in the first round. I planned to have them move away from the position in this update, but I didn’t expect Ridley to fall to them. This, coupled with the news that the Cowboys will release Dez after the draft, made me stick with a receiver here. I’m not saying we should take it as gospel that Dez is as good as gone, but if Dallas can land the best receiver without having to move up it certainly makes sense for them to move on from Dez to save the money.
#20 Detroit Lions – Edge Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
I said in my last update that Carter was going to blow up the combine, rise up the board, and become the new sexy position the NFL covets – an edge linebacker that can rush and cover. Well, Carter blew up the combine. The Lions also need additional pass rushers, especially in a division with Rodgers and Cousins, and Georgia deployed Carter all over the field in 2017. Something tells me Patricia will like that versatility.
#21 Cincinnati Bengals (F/BUF) – CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
I know this pick seems weird, but just hear me out. Since Marvin Lewis has been allowed to reside over 600 drafts as Bengals coach, we have learned a few things about him. He doesn’t pay much mind to character concerns. He will risk an injury concern if he thinks the talent is worth it. And he loves to stock cornerbacks.
Since 2006, the Bengals have spent five first round picks on a corner. More recently, Cincinnati has drafted a corner in the first round in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Kirkpatrick is on a long-term extension and Jackson still has the potential for three more seasons of team control.
So what gives? Well, things aren’t as rosey as they may seem. The Bengals can get out of Kirkpatrick’s contract after this season if they want to, and if he has another season at his 2017 level, I would be surprised if they didn’t. Additionally, Dennard will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019. The Bengals may opt to use the franchise tag on him, or they could even lock him up with an extension. But Jackson likes having plenty of defensive backs around. Remember, they had all these guys and Adam Jones last season.
Jaire Alexander was incredible in 2017 and profiles best as a slot guy in the NFL. If the Bengals do cut bait with Kirkpatrick in 2019, they will still have Jackson and Dennard on the outside and Jaire in the slot. Jaire also blazed a 4.38 40 at the combine, with a 6.71 3-cone and 3.98 short shuttle.
#22 Cleveland Browns (F/BUF/KC) – OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
With Joe Thomas retiring John Dorsey has to find a new left tackle to protect Sam Darnold. Miller may be viewed as a reach here by many. He tested extremely well at the combine but his tape doesn’t scream first rounder. However, Dorsey almost gets his pick of the litter at the tackle position here and I believe he gravitates to positional value. Miller has gotten Nate Solder comparisons, and I think if the Browns can get Nate Solder 2.0 at the 22nd pick (after all the previous disasters at 22 for Cleveland), Dorsey will be very happy.
#23 Los Angeles Rams – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
I think this is a match made in heaven. Evans started off his career playing on the edge for Alabama before moving inside in 2017, where he did struggle in coverage. He is getting a lot of Dont’a Hightower comparisons as he profiles very similarly to Hightower.
The Rams have moved on from both Ogletree and Quinn this offseason, and Evans is someone that Wade Phillips can move around and deploy for multiple endeavors. The NFL is becoming a matchup league and Evans is a potential matchup weapon.
#24 Carolina Panthers – OL James Daniels, Iowa
Andrew Norwell left for a big money deal in free agency and needs to be replaced. Keeping Cam Newton’s surgically repaired shoulder healthy is priority 1, 2, and 3 for this franchise.
#25 Tennessee Titans -DL Taven Bryan, Florida
The Titans pursuit of Suh doesn’t necessarily mean they view the defensive line as a weakness. They may have just found it to be smart to chase a player of Suh’s caliber with all the money they have. That actually is smart.
But you can never have too many pass rushers and after Bryan’s combine performance I think he is going to find himself in the first round. The Titans are in a division with Andrew Luck, Deshaun Watson, and, well, Blake Bortles. You can never have too many pass rushers.
#26 *TRADE – Ravens send #52, #118, 2019 2nd Round Pick for #26*
Baltimore Ravens (F/SEA/ATL) – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
Ok, hear me out.
This is Ozzie Newsome’s last draft and I believe he will want to set up the franchise to have sustained success after he leaves. One way to do that is to find a successor for Joe Flacco.
I also find Baltimore to be a good situation for Jackson. I’m sure you have read by now that Jackson’s NFL success will depend on the coach staff, and specifically the offensive coordinator, that he lands with. I think Baltimore has the ingredients to be the correct staff.
If anyone has a close tie to someone that knows how to utilize a dual threat quarterback in the NFL, I think it is Jon Harbaugh. Because of this, Harbaugh is probably one of the few coaches completely unafraid to build his offense around Jackson, instead of trying to make Jackson something he is not.
Also, consider that Marty Mornhinweg spent 2003 – 2012 working under Andy Reid. In every single one of those seasons Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick was on the Eagles’ roster. In fact, the two best QBR seasons of Vick’s career, marks of 65.0 and 60.9, came in 2010 and 2011, respectively, when Mornhinweg was the offensive coordinator.
We have recently seen Andy Reid embrace and deploy spread/read/college principals in the Kansas City offense in 2017, and saw another Reid disciple, Doug Pederson, win a Super Bowl embracing those principals.
This also gets the Ravens right in front of the Saints, division rival Steelers, and Jacksonville Jaguars, all teams possibly looking to draft Jackson as the successor to their incumbent. Jackson could sit for one or even two seasons behind Flacco before taking over.
#27 New Orleans Saints – TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
For the first time in, uh, forever, we don’t need to project the Saints to sit here and take the best defensive player. In reality, Brees is kind of light on weapons these days. The Saints have never solved the tight end position after Graham was traded, but New Orleans gets to hand pick their favorite one in the draft here.
#28 Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Mike Hughes, UCF
The New England Patriots are living rent free in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ brains. Three weeks ahead of their regular season showdown, Tomlin expected Steelers vs. Patriots “to be fireworks,” and be “Part 1.” Don’t worry, the Steelers only had two divisional games between those comments and the week 15 matchup with New England.
After a “controversial” (he never became a runner and didn’t survive the ground, Steelers fans) no-catch ruling took away a touchdown, the Steelers then melted down and literally threw the game away, resulting in them losing that regular season matchup. Oh, and Part 2 never materialized.
That’s because the Steelers, once again, decided to look ahead to a (not yet real) matchup against the Patriots, and forgot to beat the Jaguars. So when I tell you I think the Steelers are going to draft based on how they match up with New England, I really do believe that is all the strategy that is going into this pick.
It doesn’t matter where they play, when they play, or even who plays, but when Tom Brady plays the Steelers he absolutely knifes through them. In that week 15 matchup on the game winning drive, everyone on planet earth knew Gronk was getting the ball, and the Steelers had no answer. He single handedly got the Patriots into the end zone with four catches on that drive.
Hughes may not help cover Gronk, but that’s what Morgan Burnett is for. Hughes can help Cooks, Edelman, or Hogan.
#29 Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Connor Williams, Texas
A healthy Connor Williams is likely a top ten pick. Left tackle is a position of need for the Jaguars and this is a very reasonable price to pay to see if they can unlock Williams’ potential.
#30 Minnesota Vikings – OL Billy Price, Ohio State
With Cousins in town all focus should be on upgrading the offensive line. I don’t think Price’s combine injury will hurt his stock. He should be ok for training camp and his tape speaks for itself. He has positional versatility so the Vikings can decide where to put him that makes the best five man group.
#31 New England Patriots – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
I thought Hurst would put on a show at the combine and then move up boards, but he was diagnosed with a heart condition and left before doing any testing. He has since been cleared to resume football activities. I’m sure some teams will eliminate him from their board, but Belichick probably won’t be one of them.
The Patriots need more of an interior pass rush and that is where Hurst specializes.
#32 Philadelphia Eagles – OT Brian O’Neill, Pitt
The Eagles are light on picks this year due to trades and could look to move down from this spot. They also are a ridiculously stacked roster and could just sit here and take the best player. Assuming that, at his age, Jason Peters never returns to form after his achilles tear, the Eagles select their top rated left tackle here.
#33 Cleveland Browns – CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
Like I’ve mentioned, Dorsey seems to gravitate toward positional value. He has taken a quarterback, pass rusher, and left tackle to this point. Here is a corner that fits the draft range.
#34 New York Giants – OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Do I really need to explain the Giants drafting an offensive lineman?
#35 Cleveland Browns (F/HOU) – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
Dorsey doesn’t have any ties to Coleman and may want to provide Darnold with another big target.
#36 Indianapolis Colts – OT Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
Whether or not you think Okorafor is worthy of this pick is almost irrelevant. Taking swings at protecting Andrew Luck is all that matters.
#37 Indianapolis Colts (F/NYJ) – RB Derrius Guice, LSU
The Colts released Frank Gore and need a new lead running back. Guice is viewed by many as the second best back in this class and the Colts get him at the top of the second.
#38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Donte Jackson, LSU
The Buccaneers needed to draft a corner even before Vernon Hargreaves got high.
#39 Chicago Bears – OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
If anyone has the inside scoop on Crosby, it’s Helfrich.
#40 Denver Broncos – TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State
If Elway wants to recreate the Minnesota magic for Keenum, he should get Keenum a tight end. Gesicki can jump out of the stadium.
#41 Oakland Raiders – LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
I can perfectly see the ear to ear smile on Gruden’s face when he makes this pick in my mind’s eye.
#42 Miami Dolphins – DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
Hubbard could go higher and the Dolphins are suddenly in a division with Tom Brady, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen.
#43 *TRADE – Colts send #49, #140 to Patriots for #43*
Indianapolis Colts (F/NE/SF) – Edge Uchenna Nwosu, USC
The Colts take some of their picks and go get an edge rusher they really believe in. They’re in a division with Watson, Mariota, and, well, Bortles. There is a chance there is no way in hell these two teams would ever call each other, let alone agree to a trade, but here we are.
#44 Washington – CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
Washington will need to replace Kendall Fuller.
#45 Green Bay Packers – Edge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
The Packers went corner in round one which means if there is a pass rusher they deem worth this pick they will probably pull the trigger.
#46 Cincinnati Bengals – OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
Once upon a time Marvin Lewis drafted a mountain of a man named Andre Smith. I think he will give Brown a chance, even though he doesn’t fit the athletic profile.
#47 Arizona Cardinals – OG Will Hernandez, UTEP
Oline help for the oline needy Cardinals.
#48 Los Angeles Chargers – DT Derrick Nnadi, Florida State
The Chargers passed on Payne in the first round to get Rivers some protection, so they go for a run stuffer here.
#49 New England Patriots (F/IND/NJY/SEA) – QB Luke Falk, Washington
Belichick consistently invests draft capital into the quarterback position. He drafted Ryan Mallett, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jacoby Brissett from 2011 – 2016. With only Brian Hoyer behind Brady, Belichick needs a new young guy to groom.
#50 Dallas Cowboys – OT Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
This may seem like an odd pick but the Cowboys will probably move Collins inside to guard, meaning they will need a tackle. Also, we all saw what happened when Tyrone Smith went down with an injury.
#51 Detroit Lions – RB Ronald Jones III, USC
Jones falls because of the position he plays and this pick is a steal for Patricia.
#52 Seattle Seahawks – OG Braden Smith, Auburn
Do I really need to explain the Seahawks drafting an offensive lineman?
#53 Buffalo Bills – WR D.J. Chark, LSU
About that recreating Carolina thing, Cam always had monster targets. Chark is 6’3″.
#54 Kansas City Chiefs – S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
The Chiefs need a safety to play next to Eric Berry, and also need to realize they may not be able to reliably get 16 games out of Berry every season.
#55 Carolina Panthers – WR D.J. Moore, Maryland
I probably need to find a higher spot for Moore, but here we are. Newton won MVP in 2015 with Ginn as a speed threat. I don’t think the Torrey Smith addition prevents this pick.
#56 Cleveland Browns (F/BUF/LAR) – RB Sony Michel, Georgia
Dorsey also has a history of taking running backs in the mid-rounds. Michel might be the best player available.
#57 Tennessee Titans – LB Malik Jefferson, Texas
The Titans could use a linebacker and decide to swing for the fences here.
#58 Atlanta Falcons – WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
Taylor Gabriel left, so, here is Kirk.
#59 San Francisco 49ers (F/NO) – WR James Washington, Oklahoma State
Speed weapon for Jimmy.
#60 Pittsburgh Steelers – S Justin Reid, Stanford
The Steelers released Mike Mitchell, and like I said, they’re just going to draft guys to cover against the Patriots.
#61 Jacksonville Jaguars – LB Josey Jewell, Iowa
Paul Posluszny retired.
#62 Minnesota Vikings – CB M.J. Stewart, North Carolina
Alexander has struggled for two years and Newman remains unsigned.
#63 *TRADE – Lions send #82, #153 to Patriots for #63*
Detroit Lions (F/NE) – DE RE Rasheem Green, USC
Belichick looks to stock pile more picks and uses an old connection to do so. Patricia gets another pass rusher, this time one he can deploy as an end in a 3-4 look.
#64 Cleveland Browns (F/PHI) – DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford
At this point the Browns may just take the best player available and Phillips qualifies.
#65 Buffalo Bills (F/CLE) – OT Geron Christian, Louisville
Buffalo did trade away Cordy Glenn so they try to replenish the tackle position to protect Allen.
#66 New York Giants – WR Jordan Lasley, UCLA
I don’t know if Gettleman actually cares about this, but it makes sense in theory to draft Rosen’s favorite receiver.
#67 Indianapolis Colts – WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State
The Colts only signed Grant to a one year deal, and please try to look at the receiver depth chart in Indy behind Hilton and argue it isn’t barren.
#68 Houston Texans – OT Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
Houston finally gets to make a selection! The Texans desperately need to find an upgrade at offensive tackle.
#69 New York Giants (F/TB) – CB Quenton Meeks, Stanford
With the release of DRC the Giants could use some depth at cornerback.
#70 San Francisco (F/CHI) – OG Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
Another pick with Garoppolo in mind, the 9ers could use some depth/competition at guard.
#71 Denver Broncos – CB Anthony Averett, Alabama
I think ultimately Denver uses Fitzpatrick mostly at safety, so here is a new nickelback.
#72 New York Jets – Edge Arden Key, LSU
The Jets ranked 28th in sacks last year. In a poor pass rushing class, they shoot for the moon.
#73 Miami Dolphins – DT B.J. Hill, N.C. State
The Dolphins do need someone to try to fill the void left by Suh.
#74 San Francisco 49ers – LB Micah Kiser, Virginia
The 9ers could really use help at linebacker.
#75 Oakland Raiders – WR Deon Cain, Clemson
The Raiders brought in Nelson to replace Crabtree, but the team needs an upgrade over Roberts.
#76 Green Bay Packers – S Kyzir White, West Virginia
The Packers released Burnett so they need safety depth.
#77 Cincinnati Bengals – C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
The Bengals really need an upgrade at center.
#78 Kansas City Chiefs (F/WAS) – DT Tim Settle, Virginia Tech
The Chiefs let Dontari Poe leave after 2016 and didn’t find a long term replacement for him.
#79 Arizona Cardinals – WR Anthony Miller, Memphis
Look at the Cardinals receiver depth chart behind Fitz.
#80 Houston Texans (F/SEA) – TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Just another weapon for Watson.
#81 Dallas Cowboys – DL Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama
Probably a steal here and someone that fits a need while being able to start right away.
#82 New England Patriots (F/DET) – OT Martinas Rankins, Mississippi State
Belichick rolls the dice waiting so long to address the offensive tackle position but finds a guy in the middle of the third he likes.
#83 Baltimore Ravens – C Mason Cole, Michigan
The Ravens need to find an upgrade at center.
#84 Los Angeles Chargers – RB Nick Chubb, Georgia
The Chargers may be satisfied with their options behind Gordon, but I think there is a chance they view Chubb as overwhelmingly the best player on the board. I also think there is a chance they don’t exercise Gordon’s 5th year option.
#85 Carolina Panthers (F/BUF) – RB Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
The Panthers replace Jonathan Stewart here.
#86 Kansas City Chiefs – CB Kevin Toliver II, LSU
The Chiefs traded away Marcus Peters so help at outside corner is needed.
#87 Los Angeles Rams – OG Austin Corbett, Nevada
The Rams have done well improving their line but can upgrade over Jamon Brown.
#88 Carolina Panthers – TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
Ed Dickson left and Greg Olsen can’t play forever. Some view Hurst as a first rounder, I have him falling due to his position and struggles to find a landing spot.
#89 Tennessee Titans – Edge Josh Sweat, Florida State
Tennessee needs some youth at the edge position and swings for the fences here.
#90 Seattle Seahawks (F/ATL) – Edge Shaquem Griffin, UCF
The Schneider/Carroll regime has proven to love athletes and Griffin lit up the combine. Also, watch Carroll’s reaction to Griffin’s 40 time and try to tell me Carroll isn’t drafting this kid.
#91 New Orleans Saints – WR Dante Pettis, Washington
I mentioned before that Drew Brees oddly doesn’t have that many weapons. Here is a receiver who holds the NCAA record for most kick return touchdowns.
#92 Pittsburgh Steelers – RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
In my humble opinion, I think 2018 is the last season Le’Veon Bell is a Steeler.
#93 Jacksonville Jaguars – WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
The Jaguars have absolutely no plan at the receiver position, so they may just grab the value here.
#94 Minnesota Vikings – S Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech
The Vikings don’t need Edmunds but they don’t really need anything. They may view this as the best player available.
#95 New England Patriots – CB Holton Hill, Texas
Despite bringing in the other McCourty brother to replace Butler, the Patriots could still use depth at corner.
#96 Cleveland Browns (F/BUF/PHI) – LB Darius Leonard, South Carolina State
I have a feeling Jamie Collins isn’t going to play out his entire contract with the Browns.
#97 Arizona Cardinals – RB Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
After David Johnson went down, the Cardinals gave meaningful carries to Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson. This isn’t 2009.
#98 Houston Texans – RB Royce Freeman, Oregon
This may not seem like a good fit with Foreman already on the roster, but I don’t think Lamar Miller will be on this team much longer.
#99 Denver Broncos – RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
I don’t think John Elway is super excited about any running back on his roster.
#100 Cincinatti Bengals – S Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest
The Bengals could stand to add some safety depth.