• Mock Draft 1.0, released on February 19, 2018, can be viewed here.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB. USC
Analysis: Simply couldn’t protect the ball in 2017, but see the 2016 Rose Bowl vs. Penn State for a glimpse into how special he can be. Projectable prototype quarterback for Dorsey & Co. to move forward with.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB. UCLA
Analysis: Best to find your man a year early than a year late, and the G-Men aren’t likely to have a better opportunity of acquiring Eli’s successor. Rosen is the most pro-ready quarterback available.
3. New York Jets (f/IND): Josh Allen, QB. Wyoming
Analysis: Though any team drafting Allen is taking a tremendous risk, he suits the conventional mold of quarterbacks GM Mike Maccagnan has preferred in his time with Gang Green. Jets are all-in.
4. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Quenton Nelson, OG. Notre Dame
Analysis: In 2013, John Dorsey made the shrewd, unsexy decision to oversee the selection of Eric Fisher at No. 1 overall and has always valued linemen with premium picks. This gives Cleveland the flexibility to kick Joel Bitonio back to his college position at left tackle.
5. Denver Broncos: Saquon Barkley, RB. Penn State
Analysis: Despite the tremendous depth at the position in this class, the Broncos find themselves fortunate that the potential best player available falls to them. Denver is sorely lacking in explosion at the position and Barkley pairs with Keenum for a backfield overhaul.
6. Indianapolis Colts (f/NYJ): Bradley Chubb, DE. NC State
Analysis: How smart does Chris Ballard look if this materializes? The Colts collectively accumulated 25.0 sacks in 2017 – good for second-worst in the NFL. Chubb is the defined No. 1 edge player in the class and has amassed 44 TFL and 20.0 sacks over the past to seasons.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB. Alabama
Analysis: Having already made a concerted effort to reinforce the league’s worst pass rush with the acquisitions of Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul, Tampa would be fortuitous to land the draft’s top defensive back. Whether it’s at corner or safety, he starts immediately.
8. Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, LB. Virginia Tech
Analysis: A rare breed of physical specimen, the 19-year-old could either project as an interior player or on the edge as a stand-up pass rusher.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Derwin James, S. Florida State
Analysis: Few first-round prospects have ascended throughout the process quite like James has. 49ers GM John Lynch – a former safety himself – knows the value of the position better than most.
10. Oakland Raiders: Vita Vea, DT. Washington
Analysis: Despite the signings of cornerback Rashaan Melvin and linebacker Tahir Whitehead more is needed at each position – however, there’s presently no greater need than along the interior defensive line (as evidenced by Oakland’s flirtation with Ndamukong Suh). Vea is a good-bodied power nose in the Haloti Ngata mold who can take attention off Khalil Mack.
11. Miami Dolphins: Denzel Ward, CB. Ohio State
Analysis: The Phins’ pass defense placed right on the Mendoza line in 2017 and, despite Xavien Howard showing strong signs of encouragement, more is needed – a particularly prudent option with Vea off the board. Ward is a productive and complete cornerback.
12. Buffalo Bills (f/CIN): Baker Mayfield, QB. Oklahoma
Analysis: After sliding up nine picks, this selection will be for a quarterback one way or another and it’s quite possible the Bills continue moving up the board from here. The signing of A.J. McCarron no longer necessitates the need to find an immediate starter, but if he falters than there may not be a more polished player at the position from this class than Mayfield.
13. Washington Redskins: Roquan Smith, LB. Georgia
Analysis: Best-player-available. Zach Brown is quality and was re-signed, as was Mason Foster – but the latter is declining and easily upgradeable. Roquan Smith is a rangy athlete capable of playing in a wide variety of base fronts.
14. Green Bay Packers: Mike Hughes, CB. Central Florida
Analysis: In 2016, Green Bay began overhauling its secondary by adding length and speed, but the process is far from complete – particularly on the boundaries. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine deploys a more aggressive press-man approach, which Hughes suits quite nicely. He’s scratching the surface of his potential.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Connor Williams, OT. Texas
Analysis: There are few teams in the current NFL landscape who struggle to protect the quarterback more than Arizona (who ranked tied for 30th in sacks allowed in 2017). Williams is right tackle or guard versatile with NFL-ready run blocking skills. In a no-trade scenario, with no quarterback available suited to play-caller Mike McCoy’s offense, the Cards address issues elsewhere.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike McGlinchey, OT. Notre Dame
Analysis: Offensive line has been an area of strength for Baltimore for multiple years, but a continued infusion of talent would be an all-encompassing benefit. McGlinchey book-ended Ronnie Stanley once before at Notre Dame in 2015 and would allow the Ravens to utilize Alex Lewis as a swingman.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Da’Ron Payne, DT. Alabama
Analysis: Starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane is regressing with age and entering the final year of his contract. As well, defensive end Corey Liuget was suspended four games to start the 2018 season due to a PED violation. Da’Ron Payne’s is an ideal solution to both concerns.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Davenport, DE. Texas-San Antonio
Analysis: The Seahawks totalled 39.0 sacks in 2017 – 8.5 of which were traded to Philly with Michael Bennett. Between various pass-rushing reclamation projects and the likely release of Cliff Avril, Seattle could opt for upside and plug-in the explosive Davenport.
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: Sam Hubbard, DE. Ohio State
Analysis: Pass-rushing woes in 2017 necessitated a move for a now-38-year-old Dwight Freeney, and despite Ziggy Ansah’s pricey Franchise Tag the need for an upgrade on the edge is sorely required. Hubbard is a productive, athletic end with deceptive ability in space.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (f/BUF): Isaiah Wynn, OG. Georgia
Analysis: The trade down to this selection, which also added Cordy Glenn, allows for better value at guard. New offensive line coach Frank Pollack saw first-hand how smooth a transition Zack Martin made from college tackle to pro guard – Wynn’s physical composition is similar.
22. Buffalo Bills (f/KC): Jaire Alexander, CB. Louisville
Analysis: While it’s very likely this pick is used in part as a trade-up chip for the Bills to land their passer in the top ten, if they keep it they land one of round one’s biggest bargains. Alexander may be the draft’s best player at his position and for durability and height/length reasons, he slips. Think Josh Verrett 2.0, and a fantastic complement to Tre’Davious White.
23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, OLB. Boston College
Analysis: The roster needed to contend in the NFC is taking shape, but Wade Phillips still lacks a reliable edge rushing option. Landry’s stellar Combine performance solidified the belief in his ability to be a space-playing 3-4 linebacker. The most polished player available in the position the Rams require most.
24. Carolina Panthers: Joshua Jackson, CB. Iowa
Analysis: GM Marty Hurney indicated a willingness to address the positional need by attempting to sign Bashaud Breeland (who failed his physical) and the corner market is relatively scarce. Rather than opting for a committee approach on the opposite boundary to James Bradberry, the high-potential Joshua Jackson is a seamless schematic fit for a primarily zone base secondary that finished middle of the pack in coverage last year.
25. Tennessee Titans: Josh Sweat, OLB. Florida State
Analysis: Gifted athlete with desirable speed, size and length. It was apparent at the Combine that his ideal fit comes as a base 3-4 edge, and despite past injury concerns he’s proven to be an accomplished pass disruptor. There is some ‘boom or bust’ factor to Sweat’s evaluation, but if he puts it together at the next level he could be a gem.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DT. Florida
Analysis: With a relatively complete roster it’s quite possible that Thomas Dimitroff looks to be aggressive and move up to secure Atlanta’s target. If not, Taven Bryan is a fantastic option. Possessing a bullish lower-body build with an active motor, the Casper, Montana-native provides an excellent solution to the vacancy left by Dontari Poe.
27. New Orleans Saints: Calvin Ridley, WR. New Orleans
Analysis: When you’re picking at the bottom of round one and the top available player at a position of need falls to you, it’s fate. Though this is more based on circumstance, New Orleans’ offense would benefit tremendously from adding a passing game workhorse to aid Drew Brees while the window of contention remains open. Ridley possesses some similarities to Reggie Wayne in 2001.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Lorenzo Carter, LB. Georgia
Analysis: One pick that touches upon a couple needs. Jon Bostic only begins to answer how Pittsburgh will replace Ryan Shazier in 2018 and the team requires more production from former first-rounder Bud Dupree, having yet to active his fifth-year option. Carter is a long, rangy uber-athlete who can be molded into either role moving forward.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Kirk, WR. Texas A&M
Analysis: A rapid turnaround, aided by relatively wise spending in free agency, has the Jags sitting pretty on draft night. Though linebacker is arguably the team’s most glaring hole following Paul Posluszny’s retirement, it’d be a minor surprise to see Kirk available. The organization stood behind Blake Bortles this offseason and, as such, add another dynamic weapon to aid in his continued development.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Will Hernandez, OG. UTEP
Analysis: After hammering top roster needs at quarterback and defensive tackle in free agency the Vikings are free to address the interior offensive line. Rookie center Pat Elflein is a stud, but both guard spots are easily upgradeable, and a phone-booth mauler like Hernandez would bring a welcomed mean streak to an O-line that was ill-equipped against a formidable pass rush in the NFC title game.
31. New England Patriots: Kolton Miller, OT. UCLA
Analysis: After Nate Solder joined the Giants for historic money it’d be fitting if a player of a near-identical physical profile slots in as his replacement. One of the 2018 Combine’s true workout warriors, the mammoth blind-side Bruin blocker is raw but offers a boatload of athleticism for the position. Besides, edge blocking as a rookie isn’t such a herculean task when it’s for Tom Brady’s lightning-quick internal clock.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Goedert, TE. South Dakota State
Analysis: For a team with few – if any – immediate holes, there is an opportunity for reinforcement behind Zach Ertz. After losing a quality ‘move’ tight end in Trey Burton to free agency, Goedert can effectively replicate the physical attributes lost in the passing game. More of a linear athlete in the Travis Kelce mold, this adds another dynamic dimension to an Eagles offense patiently awaiting the return of Carson Wentz.
33. Cleveland Browns: Isaiah Oliver, CB. Colorado
Analysis: Size, length, ball skills. Tremendous potential at the top of round two, and can also help as a returner. Offers a new matchup dimension on Cleveland’s boundary.
34. New York Giants: Billy Price, OG/C. Ohio State
Analysis: Big Blue invested heavily at left tackle with Nate Solder and double-down with the nasty (guard-capable) Billy Price, a fellow Buckeye product equally polished as Shurmur’s rookie center (Pat Elflein) in Minnesota last season.
35. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Justin Reid, S. Stanford
Analysis: Versatile, “student of game” type who can cover multiple positions in the secondary behind Damarious Randall, who enters a contract year.
36. Indianapolis Colts: Derrius Guice, RB. LSU
Analysis: The feature ‘back Indy’s been seeking since the Edgerrin James/Joseph Addai days; whether it’s Luck or Brissett under center, Guice is capable of carrying the load offensively.
37. Indianapolis Colts (f/NYJ): James Daniels, OG/C. Iowa
Analysis: Reich touted the interior O-line depth of this class and the Colts are pleased to find a first-round talent, in the Pouncey twins’ mold, capable of playing three positions atop round two.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sony Michel, RB. Georgia
Analysis: Perpetual home run threat capable of stabilizing a backfield in need of a workhorse. Sony finally becomes an outright bell-cow.
39. Chicago Bears: Desmond Harrison, OT. West Georgia
Analysis: An ideal schematic fit for Nagy/Helfrich; high-potential long-term left tackle option who could physically follow in the Tyron Smith development path when he fills out his athletic frame.
40. Denver Broncos: Braden Smith, OG. Auburn
Analysis: Guard will be a point of emphasis early on and Smith is a big, powerful people-pusher with a ready-made NFL frame.
41. Oakland Raiders: Rashaan Evans, LB. Alabama
Analysis: Modern prototype linebacker with range and explosion; doubles as a sub-package pass rusher.
42. Miami Dolphins: Lamar Jackson, QB. Louisville
Analysis: Though maybe not a round one quarterback team after converting $16.7M into guaranteed money on Tannehill’s deal, this would be an ideal situation for player and team; electrifying playmaker.
43. New England Patriots (f/SF): Mike Gesicki, TE. Penn State
Analysis: Gronk is pondering retirement and Dwayne Allen was a non-factor in the passing game last season. Gesicki is a more athletic Jeremy Shockey and red-zone demon.
44. Washington Redskins: Harrison Phillips, DT. Stanford
Analysis: Brute power and a hulking physical build, Phillips provides an instant upgrade at nose tackle as Washington continues to beef up through the defensive middle.
45. Green Bay Packers: Arden Key, OLB. LSU
Analysis: Ideal dimensions and profile as a base 3-4 edge rusher with considerable upside. If they’re drafting the 2016 version, then it’s a tremendous bargain at this point.
46. Cincinnati Bengals: Hayden Hurst, TE. South Carolina
Analysis: Eifert’s proved unreliable and, at worst, this provides a well-rounded contingency plan at a position lacking depth.
47. Arizona Cardinals: Mason Rudolph, QB. Oklahoma State
Analysis: Despite lacking an A+ arm, Rudolph is a formidable downfield passer with terrific accuracy; Cards finally secure what could be their long-term answer under center.
48. Los Angeles Chargers: Ronnie Harrison, S. Alabama
Analysis: Unbelievable value in a position of need; heavy, downhill box safety with ‘plus’ coverage skills for the position. Charger fans screaming ‘Roll Tide’ in this scenario.
49. Indianapolis Colts (f/NYJ): Courtland Sutton, WR. Southern Methodist
Analysis: Lacking explosion, but a big-bodied possession target who adds a much-needed dimension to Indy’s stable of receivers.
50. Dallas Cowboys: Orlando Brown, OT. Oklahoma
Analysis: A lot of value at this point; an immediate right tackle option who allows La’El Collins to kick back to guard where he was stellar in 2016.
51. Detroit Lions: Ronald Jones III, RB. USC
Analysis: Delivers the ‘big play’ element sorely lacking in the Lions stagnant backfield; Jamaal Charles 2.0?
52. Baltimore Ravens: Kerryon Johnson, RB. Auburn
Analysis: Alex Collins was reliable, but there is tremendous value here in Johnson – an explosive, efficient, productive runner – who adds more excitement and depth to Baltimore’s backfield.
53. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Miller, WR. Memphis
Analysis: Benjamin enters a contract year and Zay Jones’ situation is up in the air. Miller is a production machine with numerous similarities to Antonio Brown out of CMU in 2010.
54. Kansas City Chiefs: Kyzir White, S. West Virginia
Analysis: Ron Parker is gone and depth beyond Eric Berry is severely lacking. White favorably complements the aforementioned Berry and ideally profiles as a hybrid big-slot/tight end coverage option.
55. Carolina Panthers: Martinas Rankin, OL. Mississippi State
Analysis: A savvy selection that would provide deep coverage along the O-line; immediate help at guard and a strong center candidate once Ryan Kalil retires.
56. Buffalo Bills (f/LAR): Malik Jefferson, LB. Texas
Analysis: Rangy H/W/S prototype with superior coverage skills and an attack-minded approach to the position.
57. Tennessee Titans: Frank Ragnow, OG/C. Arkansas
Analysis: Deeply experienced leader with the ability to cover all three interior positions; lunchpail blocker with deceptive athleticism.
58. Atlanta Falcons: Rasheem Green, DE. USC
Analysis: Versatile, hybrid lineman with enough bulk for a sub-package interior rusher, but enough agility and quickness to disrupt from the edge as well.
59. San Francisco 49ers (f/NO): Austin Corbett, OG. Nevada
Analysis: The organization has heavily prioritized building an O-line in the Lynch era; the fleet-footed college tackle is a perfect fit for Shanahan’s outside zone and appears to be a carbon copy of fellow Nevada alum Joel Bitonio.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jessie Bates, S. Wake Forest
Analysis: Self-motivator just scratching the surface of his potential; highly productive tackler with natural, center-field coverage awareness.
61. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jerome Baker, LB. Ohio State
Analysis: Springy defender, covers ground seamlessly with blistering play-speed; capable of matching nearly any caliber of athlete in coverage. Kindly suits the Jags’ defensive profile.
62. Minnesota Vikings: Kemoko Turay, DE/OLB. Rutgers
Analysis: In Mike Zimmer’s desired H/W/S mold; a limitless athlete whose role can be shaped in a number of ways, similarly to Anthony Barr.
63. New England Patriots: Mike White, QB. Western Kentucky
Analysis: Prototype pocket-passer with a firehose arm; New England uses young quarterbacks as currency and can restock the cupboard.
64. Cleveland Browns (f/PHI): Nick Chubb, RB. Georgia
Analysis: Prodigious, productive Dawg rusher who likely would’ve gone higher had he not suffered a significant knee injury in 2015.
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Here we go, football fans – the big day is here.
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE. Texas A&M
Quarterback rumors are on sale, but no one’s buying. There’s an obvious dearth of talent in Cleveland and fortunately the most talented player in this class also addresses a considerable need. Note: Browns defense ranked No. 30 in sacks last year (26.0)
2. San Franciso 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB. North Carolina
New General Manager. New Head Coach. New Quarterback? The organization’s current situation under center is concernedly comprised of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. Shanahan gets his prototype. Note: 49ers had the league’s worst-ranked passing offense in 2016.
3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S. Louisiana State
An impact player is needed in the defensive secondary here and there may not be a safer player in this class. Da Bears have lacked a tone-setting defender since Brian Urlacher’s retirement; Adams fits the bill. Note: Bears defense conceded 399 points last season (ninth-worst in the league).
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB. Louisiana State
In a make-or-break season for Blake Bortles the franchise is well placed to support its fourth-year quarterback while still solving a position of concern. Doug Marrone is given a physically imposing specimen with long speed. Note: Jacksonville’s 101.9 rushing yards per game ranked 22nd-best in 2016.
5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB. Ohio State
Long-time starting cornerback Jason McCourty was jettisoned for economic reasons and despite the signing of Logan Ryan, help remains sorely required at the position. The former Buckeye is a gifted athlete with an exciting future if hamstrings issues don’t continue to flare up. Note: Titans defense begrudgingly boasted the NFL’s 30th-ranked passing defense last year.
6. New York Jets: O.J. Howard, TE. Alabama
If Gang Green isn’t feeling a quarterback here (and the belief entering the day is they aren’t), this is represents a tantalizing alternative. Elite pass-catching potential + nicely refined blocking skills in a position of significant need. Note: The last tight end to be selected No. 6 overall (or higher)? Vernon Davis in 2006.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S. Ohio State
The vintage Eric Weddle era already feels like a lifetime ago and the organization is desperate for a playmaker in the secondary. Ohio State produced last year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year for the team – double dipping is allowed. Note: Chargers defense allowed the 4th-most points in the NFL in 2016 (423 total).
8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB. Stanford
Provides much-needed electricity and can hurt a defense in a multitude of ways. Think outside the box here – position and role can change on any down; he runs, he catches, he scores touchdowns when in space. Note: Panthers offense finished middle of the pack in total yards (19th) and touchdowns (17th).
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Solomon Thomas, DE. Stanford
Michael Johnson is now 30 and the quietly-elite Carlos Dunlap becomes a free agent after 2018. Cincy, more so than most, values pass rushing options. Thomas is an active power-edge reminiscent of vintage Aaron Kampman (2006-2007). Note: Bengals defense had 9.0 less sacks in 2016 than in 2015.
10. Buffalo Bills: Marlon Humphrey, CB. Alabama
A similar profile to the now-departed Stephon Gilmore: comfortable in press-man, combining length + speed with an eagerness to intervene in run defense. Not much on the roster past Ron Darby. Note: Humphrey created 8 turnovers in two years (five interceptions, three forced fumbles).
11. New Orleans Saints: Haasan Reddick, LB. Temple
Though cornerback is by far the bigger concern, this selection represents more talent value. Nollins’ added some depth at linebacker, but Reddick has 2-3 position versatility and flashed elite pass rushing proficiency as a senior in 2016. Note: Saints defense placed 27th in sacks last season (30.0).
12. Cleveland Browns: Mike Williams, WR. Clemson
Were quarterback a real priority, I find it difficult to believe they’d pass on “their guy” at No. 1. Instead, Cleveland opts to add some weaponry for Kessler & Co after upgrading the defense earlier. Kenny Britt is barely a short-term solution and Williams could create a mouthwatering duo with last year’s 1st round draft choice Corey Coleman. Note: In 2016, Browns placed 27th in receiving yards per game (230.8) and t-30th in receiving touchdowns (15).
13. Arizona Cardinals: Pat Mahomes, QB. Texas Tech
Never look a gift horse in the mouth – particularly when the gift is a quarterback. Arizona is in the optimal situation of being able to give a redshirt year to whomever it taps as its future under center. Highly gifted, in-time Mahomes could prove to be the best passer this class produces. Note: In 2012 – a year before Carson Palmer’s arrival – the Cards ranked 28th in passing yards per game.
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett, DE. Tennessee
Supreme value, as he could’ve crept into the top 10. Tremendous production with 32.0 sacks in three seasons of starting. Barnett is as prolific in the classroom as he is on-field; great character. Marcus Smith hasn’t panned out and Chris Long is a stop-gap. Note: Eagles defense was t-16th in sacks last season (34 total).
15. Indianapolis Colts: Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB. UCLA
Robert Mathis has rode off into retirement and incomes a fresh-faced motor edge in his likeness. McKinley enters the NFL coming off a better year than some remaining counterparts in the same role. Note: Indy’s defense placed 19th in the league with 33.0 sacks last season.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Corey Davis, WR. Western Michigan
The current wide receiver situation in Baltimore is shocking. If Breshad Perriman can put things together, great – it’s a bonus, but otherwise reinforcements are needed. Davis, and his four years of absurd production, are a safe selection here. Note: Ravens offense finished 2016 with 20 receiving touchdowns, tied for 21st in the league.
17. Washington Redskins: Jonathan Allen, DL. Alabama
The (medical-related?) slide ceases, much to the Skins’ benefit. Though some more disruption depth off the edge would help, this is tremendous value. A top 3-5 talent if healthy, Washington can easily improve its 3-4 base trench-play. Note: Last year, the Redskins’ defense placed 9th in both sacks (38.0) and yards per game (119.8).
18. Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR. Washington
Front office has taken care to ensure Mariota is continuously supported in his development and an injection of electricity is needed. Ross is often miscast as a one-dimensional vertical threat, but he boasts elite speed and (as of today) B+ route running skills. Note: (At 232.5) Titans offense ranked 25th in overall receiving yards per game last season.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB. Florida State
A tornado of uncertainty surrounds Doug Martin’s future with the Bucs and the chance to grab a special all-around workhorse is too tempting to pass on. And he’s only about a four hour drive away. Note: Bucs rushing offense ranked 24th in the league last season (101.0).
20. Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, OT. Alabama
His combination of length and size could allow him to cover 3-4 positions in the NFL. If the whole long-term left tackle thing doesn’t pan out, he projects to be an elite guard/right tackle. Note: Denver conceded a 24th-ranked 40.0 sacks in 2016.
21. Detroit Lions: Reuben Foster, LB. Alabama
Victim of circumstance (and maybe some pre-draft character questions), as he’s undoubtedly a top 10 talent in this class. Detroit is gifted an elite falling talent at arguably its greatest position of need. Note: Lions defense finished middle of the pack (15th) in total yards conceded per game last season (354.8).
22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp, OG. Western Kentucky
The franchise has shown the willingness to invest prominent picks in reinforcing the offensive line. Laremy Tunsil kicks out to left tackle and Forest Lamp, at guard, is arguably the most ready-to-play blocker in this class. Note: Phins allowed the 14th-most QB hits in the league last year.
23. New York Giants: David Njoku, TE. Miami (FL)
G-Men have invested prominent picks into their OL recently and brought in D.J. Fluker as well. This could finally be the year they address the need for a dynamic tight end, and Njoku is a special athlete. Note: NYG ranked 18th in receiving yards per game (251.7) last season.
24. Oakland Raiders: T.J. Watt, OLB. Wisconsin
It’s a great spot for a corner (among other defensive positions), but the organization is in dyer need of pass rush help. “Little” Watt gets to the quarterback and probably shouldn’t be available here. Note: Raiders finished last in the league with 25.0 team sacks in 2016.
25. Houston Texans: DeShaun Watson, QB. Clemson
He’s not the ideal Bill O’Brien profile, but you want your quarterback to be an alpha-male personality who performs best in big situations. Houston went to the playoffs with poor play under center in 2016, so there’s little pressure to do “too much” in his rookie campaign. Note: In 2016, Texans ranked last in average yards per pass attempt (5.9).
26. Seattle Seahawks: Kevin King, CB. Washington
Perfectly suits the profile of what’s desired on the boundary in Seattle and he’s a local product. The Legion of Boom core is aging fast and Richard Sherman’s situation is awkwardly uncertain. Note: ‘Hawks defense conceded 7.2 yards per reception last season, tying them for 15th in the NFL.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Zach Cunningham, ILB. Vanderbilt
Derrick Johnson is 34 and coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2016. They reinforce the interior linebacker spot with a big search-and-destroy playmaker. Note: Chiefs gave up the 7th-most rushing yards per game (121.1) last season.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Tre’Davious White, CB. Louisiana State
The position needs to be addressed early and the ‘Boys are fortunate to see an experienced man-capable available here. Note: Dallas conceded the 7th-most passing yards per game (260.4) in 2016.
29. Green Bay Packers: Alvin Kamara, RB. Tennessee
Offense lacks a workhorse in the ground-game and there’s 3-down value here. Exciting do-it-all talent if perceived character concerns can be overcome. Note: Pack came in at 20th in rushing yards per game (106.3) last season.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Harris, DE/OLB. Missouri
There’s little behind the soon-to-be 39-year-old James Harrison on the edge opposite Bud Dupree. Harris is a self-motivater with the ideal skill-set for a 3-4 conversion rusher. Note: Pittsburgh conceded the 10th-fewest points (327) in the league in 2016.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Jordan Willis, DE. Kansas State
Ascending prospect who has improved in each of his last three-years as a starter, including a strong pre-draft process. Active and instinctual, a bargain for a team with very few needs. Note: Atlanta conceded the 8th-most yards per game (371.2) in 2016 on defense.
32. New Orleans Saints (via Patriots): Rasul Douglas, CB. West Virginia
Surprise. Former JUCO, one (elite) year wonder with 8 interceptions in 2016. Physically he combines size and modern prototype length. Cornerback must be addressed with one of their two picks. Note: Nollins’ allowed the most passing yards per game (273.8) in 2016.
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