*Note: As there was a tie, No. 9 and 10 overall will be decided via coin toss at the Combine. In order to determine the order for this mock, I literally brought a 49ers fan and a Raiders fan together for a coin toss (in what proved to be a monumental waste of time and resources). 49ers won the toss.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB. USC
Analysis: Simply couldn’t protect the ball in 2017, but offers more in both production and upside than all fellow quarterback classmates. See 2016 Rose Bowl vs. Penn State for a glimpse at how special he can be.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB. UCLA
Analysis: No worthy pass protection and the long-term need under center is palpable. Best to find your man a year early anyway, as this also relieves pressure on Shurmur to identify Eli’s successor. Rosen’s persona should mesh well in NYC.
3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE. NC State
Analysis: Though Indy’s rush offense was poor in 2017 its defense ranked 30th in yards (conceded) per game + 31st in sacks and Chubb is consistently dominant. This running back class may be the best in history – fry that fish later
4. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Saquon Barkley, RB. Penn State
Analysis: I struggled because this is the least-John Dorsey pick ever, but to land arguably the draft’s best player with the second of two picks makes it less of a luxury. O-line help still wouldn’t surprise me here either.
5. Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson, OG. Notre Dame
Analysis: Unquestionably the best, most plug-and-play blocker in this draft class and the Broncos ranked 30th in sacks-allowed last year.
6. New York Jets: Calvin Ridley, WR. Alabama
Analysis: Ridley is a pass-game workhorse in the Reggie Wayne mold. Plenty of unpolished passers will still be available later, and with less immediate pressure than they would if taken here.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB. Alabama
Analysis: Corner, safety – doesn’t matter. Tampa’s defense sorely needs a talent upgrade and Minkah fields an all-around game with huge upside. Adding some more length to that secondary is an added bonus.
8. Chicago Bears: Connor Williams, OT. Texas
Analysis: New head coach Matt Nagy arrives from an organization in KC that put a premium on O-lineman, and with a bright-eyed young passer under center comes the responsibility of protecting him.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith, LB. Georgia
Analysis: Whether Reuben Foster plays 16 games or not, there’s a need to upgrade the linebacking unit. Roquan is an alpha-dog in the Patrick Willis mold.
10. Oakland Raiders: Vita Vea, DT. Washington
Analysis: Brute power and an absurd first step, Vea is mammoth-sized (6’4″ 344lbs.) but packs it all into a good body. A 3-down space-eater who would certainly take some attention off Khalil Mack.
11. Miami Dolphins: Mike Hughes, CB. Central Florida
Analysis: Defense ranked 28th in the league in interceptions last season and there’s rather significant need for added talent + depth at the corner position. If not a quarterback (and I don’t expect it to be), pass defense must be a priority.
12. Cincinnati Bengals: Baker Mayfield, QB. Oklahoma
Analysis: Shocker, right? Not really. Andy Dalton will be 31 this year and – after peaking in 2015 – has regressed considerably. His salary also escalates beginning in 2019, just in time for Mayfield to take reigns. Something’s got to give on that idle offense.
13. Washington Redskins: Tremaine Edmunds, ILB. Virginia Tech
Analysis: Heavy down-hill playmaker who can bolster a run defense that was hapless in a few key moments last season. HWS (height/weight/speed) specimen cut from the same cloth as Dont’a Hightower.
14. Green Bay Packers: Rasheem Green, DT/DE. USC
Analysis: An all-encompassing defensive upgrade with an untraceable ceiling. Though boasting a similar skill-set (and pass rushing threat) to Fletcher Cox coming out of Mississippi State, Green’s best fit could come as a 5-tech.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, QB. Wyoming
Analysis: I have extreme hesitancy on Allen, but the need for long-term hope under center is unquestionably required. The physical tools are tantalizing – but he must sit for at least a year.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Orlando Brown, OT. Oklahoma
Analysis: Likely a right tackle only, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Brown reminds me of another former mammoth OU tackle in Phil Loadholt, who was an above-average right tackle for 6 seasons.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Billy Price, C. Ohio State
Analysis: Multiple needs and the board is set up for all of them, but center may be the most glaring of all. Price is an angry blocker, day-one-ready and can arguably match even Phil Rivers for intensity.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Derwin James, S. Florida State
Analysis: At minimum, Chancellor claims he’ll sit out 2018 and this is a near-perfect solution from a talent perspective. The Legion of Boom is deteriorating and youthful turnover in the secondary is badly required.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Leighton Vander Esch, LB. Boise State
Analysis: Sean Lee is turning 32, has never played 16 games in a season and the Cowboys defense is consistently weakened without him. Vander Esch is an impressive athlete with low mileage, coming off an elite year of all-around production.
20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE. Texas at San Antonio
Analysis: Pass rush ineffectiveness necessitated the mid-season signing of Dwight Freeney and Ziggy Ansah is a free agent. Davenport bundles length, power and movement skills in a high-potential 6’6″ 255lb frame.
21. Buffalo Bills: Denzel Ward, CB. Ohio State
Analysis: Smooth, instinctual athlete who will likely play the majority of his snaps inside. Tre’Davious White was DROY-worthy, but the Bills’ pass defense still finished bottom-half in yards conceded in 2017.
22. Buffalo Bills (f/KC): Da’Ron Payne, DT. Alabama
Analysis: In 2017, the Bills defense ranked 29th in rushing yards conceded per game. Payne is a trim and powerful 3-down nose tackle who can help anchor a run defense early on as a rookie.
23. Los Angeles Rams: Joshua Jackson, CB. Iowa
Analysis: After Trumaine Johnson, who is a free agent, there is little to get excited about at the corner position. Jackson requires polish but possesses tremendous potential. B1G DB of the Year following a phenomenal 8-interception season.
24. Carolina Panthers: Courtland Sutton, WR. Southern Methodist
Analysis: After moving on from Kelvin Benjamin, this establishes an added big-bodied physical presence out wide for Cam. On the high-end, Sutton functions like Marques Colston did and can provide a consistently reliable target.
25. Tennessee Titans: James Daniels, C. Iowa
Analysis: Though he must continue to fill out his frame and strength is to be developed, Daniels can play all three interior positions along the O-line, where stability is needed. Titans have valued blockers with premium picks before.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Wynn, OG. Georgia
Analysis: Fleet-footed college tackle with Pro Bowl potential at guard moving forward – and an ideal schematic fit in a ZBS.
27. New Orleans Saints: Christian Kirk, WR. Texas A&M
Analysis: Doesn’t quite replace the vertical threat lost when Cooks was dealt, but Kirk’s style of play is similar to that of Odell Beckham leaving LSU. Lack of stability in Aggies’ quarterback situation hampered production.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ronnie Harrison, S. Alabama
Analysis: Heavy, productive, down-hill defender tied into an athletic and imposing 6’3″ 215lb frame. More importantly, ready to help out from day one.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dallas Goedert, TE. South Dakota State
Analysis: Relatively unpolished as a blocker, but there may not be a more dynamic route-runner and receiver from the tight end position in this class. Seems wildly unlikely a quarterback is considered here.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Mike McGlinchey, OT. Notre Dame
O-line took a big step forward in 2017 and Elflein is a stud, but further reinforcement is needed. McGlinchey is a four-position blocker and would help immediately wherever he’s plugged.
31. New England Patriots: Taven Bryan, DT. Florida
Analysis: Piece of clay with tremendous upside. Lack of top-end collegiate production won’t prevent a confident coach like Belichick from acquiring such a talent. Patriots are quirky on draft day but always value defense early.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashaan Evans, LB. Alabama
Analysis: Ideal inside-outside fit in a base 4-3 front with impressive lateral movement abilities. Explosive box defender who doesn’t get swallowed or stuck to blockers.
33. Cleveland Browns: Isaiah Oliver, CB. Colorado
Analysis: Size/speed/length athlete + ball skills. Tremendous potential at the top of round two, and can also help as a returner.
34. New York Giants: Ronald Jones III, RB. USC
Analysis: Committee rushing approach isn’t working and RJ3 is a home run hitter with world class speed. Jamaal Charles 2.0.
35. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Justin Reid, S. Stanford
Analysis: Well-rounded, complete safety with good instincts and athleticism. “Student of the game”.
36. Indianapolis Colts: Derrius Guice, RB. LSU
Analysis: Uber-talent. Top 15 player based on 2016 tape but dealt with injuries in 2017.
37. New York Jets: Lamar Jackson, QB. Louisville
Analysis: Playmaker in every sense – supremely effective passing on the move, but requires polish. Good situation sitting a year behind McCown.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arden Key, DE. LSU
Analysis: Defense is a mess and Tampa only mustered 22.0 sacks in 2017 – good for worst in the league. Key has double-digit sack potential.
39. Chicago Bears: Anthony Miller, WR. Memphis
Analysis: Reminiscent of Antonio Brown’s electric Central Michigan tape. Stat-freak who eats with feet despite diminutive physique.
40. Denver Broncos: Sony Michel, RB. Georgia
Analysis: Strong north-south rusher capable of hitting home runs, and he’s accustomed to running as part of a tandem/committee.
41. Oakland Raiders: Donte Jackson, CB. LSU
Analysis: Lacking in overall size, but might be the fastest corner available in this class. Adds a sorely required element to a cornerback group that must start over.
42. Miami Dolphins: Will Hernandez, OG. UTEP
Analysis: Interior O-line stability is desperately needed, and Hernandez started 37 games at LG in four years. LOVES a trench fight.
43. New England Patriots (f/SF): Jaire Alexander, CB. Louisville
Analysis: Jason Verrett 2.0 – probably a top 15 pick if he were taller, but size means less for Patriots when evaluating DBs.
44. Washington Redskins: James Washington, WR. Oklahoma State
Analysis: Adds a downfield element not currently present on the roster and Alex Smith is locked in at $71M guaranteed – he needs support.
45. Green Bay Packers: Harold Landry, DE/OLB. Boston College
Analysis: Coming off a down year, but looked to be college football’s most fearsome edge rusher in 2016 with 16.5 sacks (and 22.0 TFL).
46. Cincinnati Bengals: Martinas Rankin, OT. Mississippi State
Analysis: Might be at tackle, might be at guard, but he’s a 4-position blocker and enters the league ready to play now.
47. Arizona Cardinals: Simmie Cobbs Jr. WR. Indiana
Analysis: Life after Larry Fitzgerald’s retirement could be rough; might be best to groom a prospect with a similar skill-base under him.
48. Los Angeles Chargers: Terrell Edmunds, S. Virginia Tech
Analysis: Tremaine’s older bro; big-bodied, downhill safety adept in coverage. Willing tackler in the box and can physically match NFL tight ends.
49. New York Jets (f/SEA): Harrison Phillips, DT. Stanford
Analysis: High-motor, power lineman with violent hands. 15.0 sacks over the last two seasons. Steps off the bus pissed off.
50. Dallas Cowboys: Desmond Harrison, OT. West Georgia
Analysis: Texas transfer might be the premier ‘boom or bust’ prospect in 2018; mouthwatering dimensions and talent base. Collins eventually slides back inside.
51. Detroit Lions: Maurice Hurst, DT. Michigan
Analysis: (Very) poor man’s Aaron Donald who can provide a consistent leverage-based pass-rush inside. Would be supreme value.
52. Baltimore Ravens: D.J. Moore, WR. Maryland
Analysis: B1G WR of the Year; combines strength + speed, Moore is a fantastic YAC threat and volume catcher.
53. Buffalo Bills: Mason Rudolph, QB. Oklahoma State
Analysis: If you’re going to select a quarterback who’s at least one year away from meaningful snaps, better to do it on day two.
54. Kansas City Chiefs: Braden Smith, OG. Auburn
Analysis: The Olathe, Kansas-native ideally projects to guard (with swing-tackle versatility). It’s imperative to protect Mahomes while he acclimates.
55. Carolina Panthers: Kyzir White, S. West Virginia
Analysis: Complete safety and the ideal frame + skill base for an NFL safety. Ascending quickly.
56. Buffalo Bills (f/LAR): Frank Ragnow, C. Arkansas
Analysis: Experienced captain with guard versatility; natural replacement for the retiring Eric Wood.
57. Tennessee Titans: Andrew Brown, DE. Virginia
Analysis: Fits the 3-4 end profile perfectly and proved to be a penetrative force when rushing from in or out over the past two years.
58. Atlanta Falcons: Derrick Nnadi, DT. Florida State
Analysis: Squatty three-down nose tackle in a base 4-3 with impressive lateral movement skills; Poe, Rubin up for free agency.
59. San Francisco 49ers (f/NO): Kerryon Johnson, RB. Auburn
Analysis: Whether Carlos Hyde returns or not, more is needed; Kerryon can be the workhorse in any offense.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Malik Jefferson, LB. Texas
Analysis: Who knows if Shazier will play again and Pittsburgh badly missed the range he provided at the position. Supreme value.
61. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamarco Jones, OT. Ohio State
Analysis: Profiles well at either tackle spot and allows the Jags to reshuffle the deck along the O-line where necessary.
62. Minnesota Vikings: R.J. McIntosh, DT. Miami (FL)
Analysis: Height/weight/speed defender, just how Zim likes ’em. His dynamic skill-set would offer creative possibilities.
63. New England Patriots: Mike Gesicki, TE. Penn State
Analysis: Gronk is pondering retirement and Marty Bennett could be cut or retire; Gesicki is a Jeremy Shockey clone and helps in the red zone immediately.
64. Cleveland Browns (f/PHI): Carlton Davis, CB. Auburn
Analysis: Modern long-limbed press-man boundary corner; boasts terrific ball skills.
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*Dion Caputi’s 2018 NFL Draft position rankings are based on pre-Combine film study and encompass evaluations from various All-Star bowls (Shrine Game, Senior Bowl, etc.). Note: Honorable mentions (“HM”) aren’t necessarily the No. 6 rated players by position, but noteworthy nevertheless.
HM: Nic Shimonek, TTU
HM: Rashaad Penny, SDSU
HM: Daurice Fountain, UNI
HM: Adam Breneman, UMASS
HM: Brandon Parker, NCAT
HM: Mark Korte, ALBERTA
Interior Defensive Line/Defensive Tackle
HM: Harrison Phillips, STAN
Edge Defender/Defensive End
HM: Joe Ostman, CMU
HM: Frank Ginda, SJSU / Lorenzo Carter, UGA
HM: Devron Davis, UTSA / Siran Neal, JSU
HM: Jordan Whitehead, PITT
HM: Ryan Santoso, UMN (punter/kickoff specialist)
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UCLA’s unforgettable comeback, (1) Alabama knocking off (3) Florida State, a nail-biter between West Virginia and Virginia Tech, as well as the Big Ten thriving early. Week 1 of the 2017 college football season was excellent, and fortunately for those of us at home, we’re just getting started.
As we move into the second week of the collegiate season, there’s once again a bevy of intriguing storylines on schedule for you to keep a close eye on. Here’s what I’m most looking forward to this weekend:
• (5) Oklahoma AT (2) Ohio State – September 9, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The Buckeyes went to Norman and throttled the Sooners on their home turf last season, 45-24. This year, Oklahoma is coming off a more convincing Week 1 offensive performance where Sr. quarterback Baker Mayfield was able to call it a day by halftime. Can OU’s young head coach Lincoln Riley vindicate last season’s bad loss in Columbus? We’ll see.
Ultimately, this game will come down to Oklahoma’s offense against Ohio State’s defense, where the former looked dominant while scoring 35 first-half points and the latter notched five sacks, two interceptions, and one fumble in week 1.
Baker Mayfield will be under heavy scrutiny all season from an NFL evaluation standpoint, as he’s lacking prototype size or ideal physical traits for the next level. However, a signature performance early on would generate a dose of positive momentum for the Austin, Texas native.
Conversely, Ohio State’s defensive edge trio of Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard, and Nick Bosa are sure to leave a mark on the game. As well, true Fr. running back J.K. Dobbins has Buckeye fans excited after his 181-yard rushing effort in his college debut. Scouts and fans alike will want to get a look at him – he’s wearing No. 2.
• (13) Auburn AT (3) Clemson – September 9, 7 p.m. ET
Dabo Swinney spoke highly of Auburn’s balance on both sides of the ball last season and War Eagle is unquestionably superior to its 2016 counterpart. While it’s not impossible for Gus Malzahn’s squad to win ten regular season games this year, it’d require a sizable upset in order to win a night game at Memorial Stadium this Saturday.
However, Auburn boasts a potentially elite running game featuring the trio of Kerryon Johnson, Kam Martin, and Kamryn Pettway. Though Johnson is unlikely to suit up due to a hamstring injury, Pettway – last season’s bell cow – returns from suspension this week. Everyone’s favorite sleeper quarterback Jarrett Stidham will have to be a lot more effective this week if Auburn is to stand a chance of outscoring Clemson.
Clemson, last year’s national champion, has an enviable ground game itself with four players rushing for 50+ yards and at least one touchdown against Kent State in week 1. Oh, and the Tigers also completed passes to 15 different receivers as well.
Get ready for a lot of offense. Slam the over on this one.
• (14) Stanford AT (6) USC – September 9, 8:30 p.m. ET
“It’s one of those dates you mark on your calendar because you know it’s going to impact your season,” said USC head coach Clay Helton of this tie.
We may be getting an early preview of the Pac-12 title game here and the contest is likely to be a tale of two star rushers. USC Jr. Ronald Jones II took charge offensively against Western Michigan in week 1 as his quarterback, Sam Darnold, failed to settle into the game. Meanwhile, Cardinal Jr. Bryce Love stepped in nobly in the wake of Christian McCaffrey as Stanford routed Rice in Australia.
As eluded to, Trojan Jr. quarterback Sam Darnold was porous in his season debut, but can quickly extirpate all negativity with a strong game this weekend. Though Josh Rosen carries the lion’s share of the pro buzz after UCLA’s come back, Darnold is still favored by many to be selected No. 1 overall in next year’s draft.
I’m expecting a tight game with a fun conclusion, and it’s possible that this won’t be the last time we see these two teams lock horns in 2017.
• (15) Georgia travels to South Bend to take on newly minted top twenty-five ranked (24) Notre Dame, but will do so with true Fr. Jake Fromm under center. Starter Jacob Eason sprained his knee against Appalachian State before Fromm entered and led Georgia on three consecutive touchdown drives. Gametime at 7:30 p.m. ET.
• (20) Washington State looks to avenge last season’s loss to unranked Boise State on September 9 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Get a good look at the Cougars’ interesting pro prospect Luke Falk, as he’s 101 passing yards away from breaking the school’s career passing record.
• Don’t forget, (16) Miami FL vs. Arkansas State has been canceled outright due to Hurricane Irma despite the game being staged in Jonesboro. ‘Canes athletic director Blake James confirmed it will NOT be replayed at a later date.
College football is back, as evidenced by UCLA completing one of the greatest comebacks in history against Texas A&M this past week.
The Bruins stormed back from a 44-10 deficit late in the third quarter to emerge victorious, 45-44. The improbable comeback was largely attributed to the heroics of UCLA’s Junior quarterback – and touted 2018 draft prospect – Josh Rosen.
UCLA’s offense struggled early, as last season’s pass protection woes continued to prove problematic, while Rosen only completed about 50 percent of his first-half throws. However, evaluators will have noted multiple positives: Rosen took a balance of snaps both under center and in the shotgun with ease, he consistently compensated for an extreme lack of protection with a quick read + release, as well as exhibiting good pocket-mobility.
As the Bruins’ offense upped its tempo in the beginning of the fourth quarter, Josh Rosen seemingly developed a better rhythm and looked increasingly comfortable while moving the ball downfield in 10-15 yard increments. Methodical, cerebral, and never putting ball security at risk.
Comeback aside, what set Rosen’s performance apart from his 2018 quarterback classmates in week 1 was his ability to control the opposing secondary with look-offs and pump fakes. The second-half tape was ripe with NFL-esque window throws, and – to my quiet intrigue – Rosen would often change his arm angle dependent on the play, adjusting the release point of passes in order to avoid interference from defenders.
It was hardly a perfect game from the 2014 USA Today HS All-American, but mental fortitude is paramount in the evaluation game for quarterbacks. USC’s blue-chip passer Sam Darnold – who Rosen will compete with for the distinction of top eligible quarterback in this year’s draft – has a signature performance under his belt after last season’s Rose Bowl, and now Rosen has his.
Josh Rosen stat line vs. Texas A&M: 35/59 (59.3%), 491 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, 2 fumbles (2 lost)
• Speaking of Sam Darnold: the Trojans’ redshirt-Sophomore passer got off to a painfully slow start against upstart Western Michigan at home. He was lacking intermediate-long range potency, completing mostly short-range passes in bunches. He finished with no touchdowns and two interceptions, but his team won. Darnold faces Stanford on prime time this weekend.
• Many people are hot on imposing Wyoming gunslinger Josh Allen, but for now the big-armed passer with size I’m fixated on is Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph. Though his Cowboys faced lowly Tulsa, good players take advantage of poor competition. He was dialed in from the outset, completing 20/24 passes (83.3%), for 303 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT. Rudolph’s first real test this season comes week 3 at Pittsburgh.
• While on the subject of Josh Allen, Wyoming’s offense was a horror show at Iowa converting just 5 of 18 third downs. Allen is purely a shotgun passer and while he flashed his elite arm talent and pocket athleticism, his performance was littered with dangerous throws. Though he’d occasionally throw the ball away on the scramble when running out of space, he would often fall susceptible to trusting his arm too much. His day ended 23/40 (57.5%), 174 yards, 0 TD, 2 INTs. The next test evaluators will eagerly await is when Oregon comes to Laramie on September 16 for week 3. To me, the Carson Wentz comparisons are lazy, but Allen’s talent base is undeniable.
• Lastly, Louisville’s elite dual-threat (and Heisman candidate) Lamar Jackson picked up where he left off last year, completing 65.2% of his week 1 passes against Purdue, throwing for 378 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT + 107 yards rushing. For what it’s worth, Washington State gunslinger Luke Falk completed 84.6% for 311 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT against minnow Montana State. He’ll face Boise State at home next week and his performance this year could elevate him into the first round.
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The Bears hitch their wagon to Mitchell “Don’t call me Mitch” Trubisky, the Lions get some Gators, Ted Thompson and the Packers leverage the second round for secondary support, while Minnesota was fortuitous to land its “All Day” replacement on day two.
•Round 1 (No. 2): Mitchell Trubisky, QB. North Carolina
•Round 2 (No. 45): Adam Shaheen, TE. Ashland
•Round 4 (No. 112): Eddie Jackson, DB. Alabama
•Round 4 (No. 119): Tarik Cohen, RB. North Carolina A&T
•Round 5 (No. 147): Jordan Morgan, OG. Kutztown
Let me preface by saying that I actually like the collection of players the Bears added, but this evaluation hinges at least partially on Ryan Pace & Co.’s one-spot trade up into No. 2 overall. I’m a cautious believer in Trubisky and I think the biggest ‘win’ from this Chicago class is the fact that he is allowed to sit for a complete year behind Mike Glennon. Adam Shaheen is not “Gronk-lite”, but he’s a well-rounded player who can block/run/catch. Eddie Jackson is decent safety depth, but my two favorite picks were the last two: “Joystick” Tarik Cohen is an intriguing change of pace ‘back who offers electricity in space, while Jordan Morgan is a high-potential college left tackle who will transition to guard. Chicago gave up a boatload for one draft position and didn’t get much draft value elsewhere, but this is a long-term class for a rebuilding team so they won’t care what I think.
•Round 1 (No. 21): Jarrad Davis, LB. Florida
•Round 2 (No. 53): Teez Tabor, CB. Florida
•Round 3 (No. 96): Kenny Golladay, WR. Northern Illinois
•Round 4 (No. 124): Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB. Tennessee
•Round 4 (No. 127): Michael Roberts, TE. Toledo
•Round 5 (No. 165): Jamal Agnew, CB. San Diego
•Round 6 (No. 205): Jeremiah Ledbetter, DE. Arkansas
•Round 6 (No. 215): Brad Kaaya, QB. Miami (FL)
•Round 7 (No. 250): Pat O’Connor, DE. Eastern Michigan
I don’t see the ‘wow’ factor anywhere in this class past round one. I really like the Jarrad Davis pick: fills a major position of need and adds a very dynamic, twitchy interior linebacker with range and on-field leadership qualities. However, Teez Tabor and Kenny Golladay combine for maybe the most underwhelming day two haul of any draft class this year. Jalen Reeves-Maybin adds more athleticism in a big area of need, but was questionable value. Michael Roberts is a good blocker and a nice red zone option, while Brad Kaaya is the most exciting of the late round project passers, but that’s not enough to salvage a desired grade here.
Green Bay Packers
•Round 2 (No. 33): Kevin King, CB. Washington
•Round 2 (No. 61): Josh Jones, S. North Carolina State
•Round 3 (No. 93): Montravius Adams, DT. Auburn
•Round 4 (No. 108): Vince Biegel, LB. Wisconsin
•Round 4 (No. 134): Jamaal Williams, RB. Brigham-Young
•Round 5 (No. 175): DeAngelo Yancey, WR. Purdue
•Round 5 (No. 182): Aaron Jones, RB. Texas-El Paso
•Round 6 (No. 212): Kofi Amichia, OG/C. South Florida
•Round 7 (No. 238): Devante Mays, RB. Utah State
•Round 7 (No. 247): Malachi Dupre, WR. Louisiana State
Green Bay’s methodical and workman-like approach was evident yet again this year, valuing need over BPA. I was fired up about the team’s first three picks: King is your modern matchup boundary, while Josh Jones is a hit-stick safety with supreme athleticism – and in a post-Raji world, Montravius Adams’ blend of size/quickness/power fits right in. Mid-late rounds are hit or miss, but Jamaal Williams can do the dirty work Ty Montgomery can’t and Aaron Jones has intriguing long-speed. Malachi Dupre was a nice stamp: blue-chip high school recruit who suffered from poor quarterback-play at LSU – potential diamond. Par value, plenty of contributors.
•Round 2 (No. 41): Dalvin Cook, RB. Florida State
•Round 3 (No. 70): Pat Elflein, C. Ohio State
•Round 4 (No. 109): Jaleel Johnson, DT. Iowa
•Round 4 (No. 120): Ben Gedeon, LB. Michigan
•Round 5 (No. 170): Rodney Adams, WR. South Florida
•Round 5 (No. 180): Danny Isidora, OG. Miami (FL)
•Round 6 (No. 201): Bucky Hodges, TE. Virginia Tech
•Round 7 (No. 219): Stacy Coley, WR. Miami (FL)
•Round 7 (No. 220): Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE. Northwestern
•Round 7 (No. 232): Elijah Lee, LB. Kansas State
•Round 7 (No. 247): Jack Tocho, CB. North Carolina State
One of three teams (Seattle, Cincinnati) who made 11 selections – the most this year. Like Green Bay, the Vikings knocked off a lot of needs. Dalvin Cook was my top rated running back, so to get him at No. 41 might be my favorite pick from the 2017 draft overall. A new long-term center was sorely needed and Elflein addresses that, offering some guard versatility in the interim. Jaleel Johnson is a wide-bodied 3-tech in the profile of Sharrif Floyd (who may not play again). Rodney Adams takes Cordarrelle Patterson’s place as the WR/KR on roster, while the intriguing Bucky Hodges is a modern move-TE with long arms and movement skill. I don’t think Ben Gedeon is the long-term Chad Greenway replacement Spielman & Co. might, but time will tell.
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