Tell the grandkids about that one.
The New England Patriots have reached the summit once again, beating the Atlanta Falcons in a choke job for the ages. Since draft season has started, I'll spare you the poetic waxing about Brady's legacy and get straight to the meat and potatoes of the NFL offseason. The order I'll use for this mock will be the current draft order without trades. At the end of round 3, I estimate how the NFL will award compensatory picks this year.
Here we go.
#1: Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
The Browns have a head coach in Hue Jackson, and not much else. Luckily for them, a Jadeveon Clowney-esque showstopper is right there for them at #1. A 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE, Garrett's athleticism is freaky. Already adept at using his speed to run by the physical offensive tackles of the SEC, Garrett has put on several pounds of muscle, which has enabled him to convert that speed into power. This combination has allowed him to overcome consistent double and triple teams to record 9 sacks this season. Garrett's speed helps him set the edge as a run defender better than anyone else in this class. Don't overthink this one, Cleveland. Garrett is as sure a thing as you can get.
#2: San Francisco 49ers: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
The 49ers will likely need to look to the draft for a QB, as Colin Kaepernick is a free agent and Blaine Gabbert is Blaine Gabbert. Save for Andrew Luck, no quarterback prospects come into the league flawless. The flaws are clear and present for Watson. His deep velocity/accuracy is a red flag, as is his small frame paired with an aggressive running style. However, Kyle Shanahan would have a lot to work with in Watson. He is laser accurate on his short-intermediate routes, has exceptional mobility, and shows total command over his offense. Against big programs like Alabama and Florida State, the biggest moments of his career, Watson has had his best games. The prospect with the biggest ceiling, Watson will have his doubters. However, his accuracy and football IQ in Kyle Shanahan's offense could shut them up really quickly.
#3: Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Trubisky has been the biggest riser among the QB prospects this year. Trubisky rose on the strength of his mistake free playing style and big arm. He runs a very complex offense at UNC, and has shown within that offense of being able to make a wide variety of difficult throws. When he gets pressured, he keeps his eyes downfield and absorbs contact in order to make the throw, a trait that will take him far. He does have trouble looking off of his first read, however, and he needs to tweak his mechanics. A common criticism is that he only started one season and struggled to beat out other QBs at UNC. However, there was a guy named Tom Brady who couldn't beat out Drew Henson at Michigan, and he's been pretty good, in case you didn't get the memo. John Fox and Alshon Jeffery would love to get Trubisky to Chicago, as the Jay Cutler era is all but over.
#4: Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
The Jaguars have made the mind-nummibly stupid decision to stick with Blake Bortles as their QB. If they insist on handicapping the offense to that degree, at least they could add a piece or two on defense, which could turn a young unit into one of the best in the league. Allen has played the 3-tech defensive tackle and 5-tech defensive end, and starred at both. At 291 pounds, Allen is an unnormally skilled pass rusher for a 3 tech. Allen looks like a different player in run defense as compared to last year. Commanding extra blockers in run defense, Allen can shed blocks at an NFL level already, thanks to his strong hands and quick feet. In any other year, Allen may have gone #1 overall. This is a no-brainer for Jacksonville.
#5: Tennessee Titans (from Rams): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The most versatile defensive back in this class, Adams can vacillate between old-school thumper safety and lockdown nickelback with ease. At safety, Adams plays like his hair is on fire, serving as the lynchpin in a stout LSU run defense. When the time to defend the pass comes, Adams' range and route anticipation are already NFL quality. This had led to Les Miles to deploy him as a nickel back. His active hands and quick feet allow him to cover slot wideouts 1 on 1, which is extremely rare for a safety. A sure tackler and a heavy hitter, Adams is the prototypical strong safety. The Titans defense has been letting down a quality young QB in Marcus Mariota and a running game near the top of the league. Adams would be a home run for Tennessee.
#6: New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
After drafting Darron Lee last year, the best move for the Jets may be diving back into Ohio State's talent pool. Lattimore only started one year at Ohio State, but has shown jaw-dropping potential. He is explosively fast, allowing him to keep up with the fastest WRs in the league. His hips move quick, which means he can adjust to sharp, short routes. That speed/quickness combo would be ideal for combating the Patriots offense, which is predicated on winning individual matches via short routes. Though many fast cornerbacks struggle to cover bigger receivers, Lattimore does not have that issue. He is also an above average run defender for a CB his size and age. Todd Bowles' defense needs lockdown man-coverage corners. His corners this year were a joke. Lattimore should be able to produce immediately in Bowles' scheme.
#7: Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Another young Buckeye who shot up draft boards, Hooker is what defensive back coaches dream about. It all starts with his ridiculous range. The instinctive Hooker covers more ground than anyone else in this draft class. His ball skills are off the charts. When the ball is in the air near Hooker, he's likely coming down with it, as he did 7 times this year. He has a borderline unfair blend of athleticism, and he uses this in run support. He plays downhill and quickly hawks towards the ball. Hooker needs improvement with his tackling, as he wild, aggressive style can lead to inconsistent tackling and flaws in his mechanics. The Chargers defense has been a major letdown, but the selection of Hooker would be a fantastic 1st pick in Los Angeles.
#8: Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
The only negative on Fournette is that the injury bug bites him too often. A healthy Fournette is cheat code. At 230 pounds, Fournette may have the best straight line speed in this class. He is shifty and powerful, routinely slicing through and running over SEC defenses who often put 7 or 8 in the box just for him. He doesn't fumble often, and is both a willing and effective blocker and receiver. Cam Newton needs some major help around him, particularly at the skill positions. Jonathan Stewart is effective, but he isn't getting any younger. Adding Fournette would give the Panthers a running back who could make an Ezekiel Elliott-type impact in year one. Could you imagine trying to defend a triple option with Jonathan Stewart, Leonard Fournette, and Cam Newton?
#9: Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama
The heartbeat of the Crimson Tide defense, Foster looks like a linebacker straight out of central casting. Foster's explosive, aggressive style of play is his best attribute. He is a vicious tackler who never has his tackles broke and displays fantastic sideline-to-sideline speed. Upstairs, Foster is just as effective. He diagnoses plays well and is rarely caught off guard. Quarterbacks can still use their eyes to move Foster around, as he can run into problems in coverage. Vontaze Burfict is a firecracker who could explode at any moment and Rey Maualuga has fallen off a cliff production-wise. Foster is what the old school, AFC North middle linebackers are made of.
#10: Buffalo Bills: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Really good offensive tackles in this draft are few and far between. Buffalo needs one badly, so they'll grab the best tackle in this draft in Ramczyk. There are some things to be concerned about, however. First, he fought through a hip injury for most of the season. Also, he transferred to Wisconsin this year from Division III Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and lacks experience against top competition. However, there is much more to like. A physical tackle who mauls defensive ends and tackles in the run game, Ramczyk is a very skilled and fluid pass protector. He exhibits the balance, agility, and technical prowess NFL GMs want to see out of college tackles. Tyrod Taylor took way too many sacks last year. The first step in protecting him is solidifying the tackle spot. In the 2017 draft, you can't do any better than Ramczyk.
#11: New Orleans Saints: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
New Orleans' defense is a complete grease fire. Their defense took them out of many a game this year. The first step to fixing that would be drafting Tabor. The position comes naturally to Tabor. In both man and zone coverage, he anticipates routes and throws exceptionally well. He shows good adjustment when the ball is in the air and quality hands. Straight-line speed is a question mark, though not as glaring as his several suspensions from the team due to off-field issues. When Teez has his head on straight, he's a premier, physical cornerback. The Saints needs to be willing to take that gamble on his immense talent and volatile personality.
#12: Cleveland Browns (from Eagles): DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Even though this sentence has been written in nearly every year since 1999, it needs to brought out once agin. The Cleveland Browns need a quarterback. Notre Dame's Kizer is oozing potential Kizer is uber-physical and strong, evidenced in his running style and cannon arm. More than just a gunslinger, Kizer shows touch and accuracy to all levels. Many of the big flaws Kizer has can be chalked up to youth, as he is just a redshirt sophomore. When he gets down, he tries to force throws that aren't there. He sometimes struggles after he makes a mistake, a flaw that reared it's ugly head too often last season. Hue Jackson is a legitimate quarterback guru, as he made Cody Kessler and what's left of Robert Griffin III look competent. Kizer under the tutelage of Jackson may finally, to paraphrase Fleetwood Mac, break the chain of QB incompetence.
#13: Arizona Cardinals: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Williams finally got the national reputation he deserved when he promptly roasted an NFL caliber secondary in Alabama. What even the least perceptive fan can notice is how easy it is for him to pull in difficult catches. At 6'3 and 225 pounds, Williams plays much bigger than that, if you can believe that. He uses his body to shield the ball from defensive backs and his soft hands to haul in nearly anything Deshaun Watson threw near him. Williams also showed ability with the ball in his hands, as he evolved into a viable YAC option at Clemson, unlike most his size. The lack of elite speed and injuries are concerning, but a healthy Williams is as good a possession wideout as you'll see coming out of college. Carson Palmer is salivating at the thought of adding Williams, who has as much potential for greatness as we've seen in a while.
#14: Indianapolis Colts: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
With Andrew Luck still serving as the lone bastion of competence in Indianapolis in year 5, a defensive rebuild is a must, starting with their non-existent pass rush.Thomas has always been called a project. Someone who has the physical tools that makes your mouth water, but couldn't put it all together. This year, he started to piece together the puzzle. Though he doesn't have the speed and quickness to compare favorably to other defensive ends in this class, and some scouts view him as a "tweener" who is too big for DE but to small for DT, there is a lot to like. Thomas is remarkably strong and refined as a pass rusher. He has mastered a number of pass rushing techniques that make for a deadly one-two punch when combine with his raw upper and lower body strength. As a run defender, Thomas' power once again allows him to excel. He is remarkably intelligent, has a high football IQ and has a great motor, which are three things every coach would love from any player. A player like Thomas is desperately needed in Indy.
#15: Philadelphia Eagles: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
With more receiving yards than any other FBS receiver in history, Davis can certainly rack up the stats. Luckily, for NFL teams craving a wideout, Davis' pro potential is just an enticing as his stats. A lean 215 pounds and standing 6'3, Davis attacks the ball in the air and can pull down highlight reel catches with ease. He is also a smooth, polished route runner who comes out of his breaks with speed. Though he played vs. mostly MAC competition, he recorded 701 yards and 5 TDs in 9 games vs Big 10 opponents. He isn't perfect, as he came down with a case of drops this year and his blocking technique leaves something to be desired. Philadelphia has their QB in Carson Wentz and a respectable front 7. Perimeter talent is a must, as Dorial Green-Beckham and Jordan Matthews cannot carry an offense by themselves. Davis should get immediate time and start producing immediately in Philly.
#16: Baltimore Ravens: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Though Teez Tabor may currently be the superior cornerback, Wilson is not that far behind. He has the speed to run with anyone, and compliments that with an ultra physical style of man coverage. He has receiver-like ball skills when the ball is in the air. Wilson is a willing and pro-quality run defender. In college, Wilson actually had a lower passer rating allowed when targeted than teammate Tabor did. Wilson can be very lax with his technique, where many of his problems arise from. Baltimore's run defense is exceptional, but their lackluster pass defense (outside of Eric Weddle) allowed several winnable games to slip away. Wilson is a plug and play corner who could start on Day 1 for the Ravens.
#17: Washington Redskins: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
An absolutely electric back with the ball in his hands, Cook can make guys miss in a phone booth. They ability to create from nothing is Cook's calling card. When running behind the tackles, he shows NFL level anticipation and ability to break through arm tackles. A very patient runner, Cook has improved into an elite receiving back. Cook shows a 4th and 5th gear when he gets into the open field. That big play ability is sorely needed in Washington's backfield. The fumble issue needs to be addressed. Since Cook has struggled when he was forced to run between the tackles for extended periods of games, pairing him with Rob Kelley could create a young "smash and dash" backfield with 2 potential 1,000 yard rushers. Even if Kirk Cousins leaves, the Washington backfield would be set for the immediate and near future.
#18: Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR, Washington
It has long been a shame that we have not seen a quarterback like Marcus Mariota paired with a truly dynamic wide receiver. Ross is lightning quick, and is the best weapon in this class with the ball in his hands. Operating mostly from the slot, Ross has the soft hands a #1 wideout needs to have, and can run a full route tree. He can take the top of the defense with that pure speed he has. His size is a concern, as at just 5'11 and under 200 pounds, he isn't the most reliable with 50/50 balls in the air. Regardless, Ross has Pro Bowl potential from the slot, and is a massive upgrade over any of Tennessee's other wideouts.
#19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
McDowell's draft stock is all over the place. His motor is off and on, and he got leaner to the point where some scouts may tag him as a tweener. At the same time, McDowell has a lot to like. McDowell's surge at the line of scrimmage and ability to deengage from blocks have molded him into an elite run stuffer. At 276 pounds, McDowell lost weight to further his development as a pass rusher. He won't have 10 sacks a year, but he will consistently cause pressure. The Tampa Bay offense, spearheaded by Jameis Winston and Mike Evans, is one of the more impressive young units in the league. The defense is lagging behind, however. McDowell, a big, versatile defensive tackle, would make the Bucs defensive line, which already had Gerald McCoy and Noah Spence, downright nasty.
#20: Denver Broncos: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
A rare kind of tight end, Howard was criminally underused in the Lane Kiffin offense at Alabama. At 6-6 and 244 pounds, Howard runs routes like a wideout. Howard rarely if ever drops passes, comes down with catches in traffic, and does damage after the catch with the ball in his hands. Howard is not very strong in traditional tight end tasks, like run blocking and being physical after the catch. These are all teachable, however. Be it Trevor Simian or, hopefully, Paxton Lynch, improving the tight end position would be the best way to comfort a young quarterback. Drafting one who can catch as well has Howard could catapult them back into the playoffs.
#21: Detroit Lions: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Even though Detroit has Ziggy Ansah, Haloti Ngata and Kerry Hyder on their defensive line, they need to improve their defense in a flash to be able to advance farther in the postseason. A pass rusher like Williams could certainly be set 1. Despite giving up around 60 pounds to every offensive lineman he goes up against, Williams blows by them consistently with his freaky fast initial burst. Williams has pushed his squat up to 555 pounds in an effort to make himself a more viable against the run and, therefore, a more complete linebacker rather than just a pass rush specialist. Since all he did was rush the QB at Alabama, he has limited snaps against the run. Even so, Williams and Ansah on either side of the defensive line spells trouble for offensive tackles.
#22: Miami Dolphins: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Miami just cut Mario Williams, and Cameron Wake might be next. Even if he hangs around, he's getting a bit long in the tooth. Enter the mega talent that is Barnett. What immediately jumps off the tape when one looks at Barnett is his remarkable awareness. He seemingly lives in the opponents backfield, freely using his powerful hands to locate the ball. As a pass rusher, Barnett is no slouch. He has a vicious burst that every SEC tackle had nightmares about. When paired with his mental and physical gifts, it's no wonder he broke Reggie White's sack record at Tennessee. Barnett is not an elite speed rusher, but is an extremely productive run stuffer and pass rusher, and the Dolphins defense needs this in the worst way.
#23: New York Giants: Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
The Giants took a massive step forward last year. The defense was bolstered by big money signings, but the linebacker spot was neglected. Cunningham can play inside or outside, but would excel at the inside linebacker spot. A long, lanky defender, Cunningham shows pro-level sideline-to-sideline speed. He is adept at converting that speed into power, has the body control to slip cut blocks, and never loses sight of the ball in the backfield, essential for top middle linebackers. The Giants linebacking corps was clearly the weak link of that defense. Gambling on Cunningham's athletic potential would be a worthwhile risk.
#24: Oakland Raiders: Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State
Oakland is starting to gel. The sound young nucleus of Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and that offensive line has the Raiders moving in the right direction. That being said, the middle linebacker spot is a gaping hole in an already average defense, as Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley are both free agents. McMillan is a throwback, a true old school middle linebacker that takes on blockers willingly and promptly tosses them aside. His diagnosis skills are very advanced, as he can beat blockers to the ball by taking efficient angles. He is speed isn't the best, as he is more an efficient linebacker than an explosive one. An anchor like McMillan on a young, athletic defense seems like a perfect match.
#25: Houston Texans: David Njoku, TE, Miami
Brock Osweiler, to the shock of basically no one, is not Peyton Manning. Houston remains tied to him due to his albatross contract. The best way to put up with Osweiler is to surround him to supreme athletic talent. Njoku is a supremely athletic tight end who has already mastered running precise underneath and intermediate routes. His long, thick frame enables him to make catches in traffic easily. As a blocker, Njoku could improve, but is a willing blocker who will keep his legs moving after contact, which should help both Osweiler and Lamar Miller at the same time. Since Osweiler likes targeting his tight ends, replacing average tight ends with a potential star might be a prudent move.
#26: Seattle Seahawks: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Collectively, Seattle's offensive line is, in my opinion, the worst unit at any position in the league. No unit needs an upgrade more than them. Robinson is an absolute mauler at the tackle position. The best run blocker in this class, Robinson also keeps his pad level low in pass protection and rarely loses the leverage battle. He frequently gets to the second level when run blocking. That 6-6, 310 pound frame is not something any linebacker wants to go up against. Off the field, Robinson is a wild card, as his suspension from Alabama was well documented. Pete Carroll needs to keep him on the straight and narrow to get the most out of his immense talent pool.
#27: Kansas City Chiefs: Jabrill Peppers, S/LB, Michigan
The hype would lead you to believe that Peppers is a transcendent talent that can't be missed. That's just not the truth. With only one interception in 3 years of college, his ball skills are questionable, as are his experience in deep zone coverages that feature prominently in defenses he'll be inserted into in the NFL. Having said that, Peppers is the best athlete in this draft class. His agility and acceleration allow him to run with receivers and backs in man coverage. Peppers is a super aggressive and violent player, perhaps playing like the inside linebacker he was in college. He tackles securely and viciously, a trait many defensive backs in college lack today. Peppers is a wild card, but if he pans out like many think, Kansas City's somewhat purpose secondary will be getting a much needed upgrade.
#28: Dallas Cowboys: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
The Cowboys' pass rush was the main detriment to a defense that barred an extremely effective offense from playoff glory. Harris bends like Gumby, and that combination of flexibility to get around the edge and explosiveness off the snap is lethal. Having lined up nearly everywhere in the front 7, Harris' versatility is extremely tantalizing. He may need to add strength to aid his subpar run defense, as he can be pushed around by more physical tackles in run defense. Dallas needs to swing for the fences on potential, and Harris might be the perfect match.
#29: Green Bay Packers: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
The criticisms for Jones are few and far between. He is a bit spindly, and is not an advanced run defender. No cornerback in this class plays with a more fluid style than Jones. This enables to him to stay with both shifty slot receivers and the speed freaks abundant in the Pac-12. He has the timing and body control necessary to consistently come down with interceptions in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers is the most talented QB ever to live, but he can't do it all himself. The cornerbacks were routinely roasted, even by subpar offenses. Jones show true #1 cornerback potential, and would make a defense that lies in shambles take the first step towards respectability.
#30: Pittsburgh Steelers: Takkarist McKinley, OLB, UCLA
McKinley's momentum continued at the Senior Bowl, and it's obvious what NFL scouts are drooling over. Takk's long arms and speed of the line profiles him as a prototypical edge rusher. A former 100 meter dash champion in high school, McKinley may just be scratching the surface of his athletic potential. He has long arms and experience rushing from two point and three point stances. Against the run, McKinley can be a bit of a liability, as he has problems detaching from blocks against bigger lineman. Jarvis Jones and Bud Dupree haven't been what Pittsburgh expected. With the pass rush still a major eye sore, McKinley should fit fine with the Steelers.
#31: Atlanta Falcons: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
As the Super Bowl showed, the Falcons defense is talented, but incredibly young. Knowing Dan Quinn, he is just the guy to speed up their development and create elite defenders out of them. Brantley would be a welcome addition on a defensive line that struggled for most of the year. Brantley's motor is always running, and he's as tough as they make them. His initial quickness serves him well as a run protector, which is what he is best suited for at the next level. Though undersized for a 1 tech or even a 3 tech in some schemes, he has a reserve of raw power that he combines with his motor to overwhelm less talented lineman. Brantley is exactly what Quinn wants in an interior lineman.
#32: New England Patriots: Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama
The Patriots don't have a glaring need. If one had to single out a weak spot, to would be their lackluster pass rush. Anderson is the linebacker Belichick dreams of. Though Anderson lacks the thickness and bulk to line up at the defensive end spot he manned in college, he is certainly strong enough to start full time at outside linebacker. He is aware of how to use leverage and uses his low center of gravity to bend around or bulldoze through offensive tackles. Anderson is a sure tackler who has a penchant for turnovers, as he forced 5 fumbles in 2 years. The loss of Jamie Collins took some of the sting out of the linebacking corps, and Anderson could be the best way to restock for another championship run.
#33: Cleveland Browns: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana-Cleveland's offensive line is laughable outside of Joe Thomas. The Indiana product is remarkably light on his feet for an offensive guard, and that should translate well. Having blocked for NFL talent like Jordan Howard, Feeney is an elite talent at the guard position who could and should start immediately.
#34: San Francisco 49ers: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan-No defense in the NFL was worse than the 49ers, as they gave up more yards than any other while simultaneously giving up 30 points per game. San Francisco is committed to building a great pass rush, as they have gone defensive line very often in recent drafts. Charlton bolsters a weak pass rush with his powerful, relentless style of play and his vast reserve of untapped potential.
#35: Jacksonville Jaguars: Desmond King, S/CB, Iowa-The Jaguars secondary was wildly inconsistent last year. Though Jalen Ramsey was a stud, the rest were hit and miss. King can vacillate between nickel back, cornerback, and safety, and would get immediate playing time in that defense.
#36: Chicago Bears: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama-Humphrey is still a work in progress, and the Bears would be gambling on his immense potential. Humphrey has all the physical tools to succeed, however. If he hits, the Bears laughable secondary could be fixed almost immediately by the addition of a shutdown corner like the Alabama product.
#37: Los Angeles Rams: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky-Jared Goff struggled in his rookie season. While some of the struggles can be chalked up to a rookie taking his lumps, that offensive line certainly didn't help. Just ask Todd Gurley how good that O-line is. A tackle in college, Lamp will likely transition to guard in the NFL, where he'll slide right in to a unit that has struggled mightily to protect their franchise QB.
#38: Los Angeles Chargers: Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech-Philip Rivers threw 21 INTs last year, a warning sign that the end is coming. Moving to Los Angeles, they need to find their QB of the future. A record breaking QB in college, Mahomes has a 12-gague on his right arm with mobility to boot. A year or so of tutelage under Rivers is just what he needs coming from an Air Raid offense in college.
#39: New York Jets: Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah-A one time child delinquent who endured a drug addicted mother, being kicked out of 5 schools, and working as a garage door repairman, Bolles' story is straight out of a movie. Though his age (25) may be a turnoff to some, Bolles is a powerful pass protector and improving run blocker who plays with a fluidity and easy nature. Breno Giacomini is likely gone, as is Ryan Clady. Boles and Brandon Shell would be a fine pair of tackles for whomever is under center.
#40: Carolina Panthers: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington-Cam Newton's wide receivers are below average, no matter what raw numbers say. Ted Ginn can't catch a cold, Kelvin Benjamin's effort has been called into question, and Devin Funchess is a redzone target that struggles in the red zone. The greatest statistical FCS wideout ever (FYI Jerry Rice played in FCS), Kupp's sure hands and precise routes are unmatched in the current Panthers wideout corps.
#41: Cincinnati Bengals: Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn-The Bengals defensive line is a shell of the fantastic unit of yesteryear. Their defensive ends are either getting to old or haven't realized their full potential. They also lack a pure speed rusher. The speed and massive potential of Lawson would certainly be tough to pass up.
#42: Philadelphia Eagles: D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas-Kamara came on strong following the departure of Jalen Hurd. An absolute nightmare to tackle in the open field due to his speed and elusiveness, Kamara would be a welcome sight in any backfield. The Eagles need to add talent around Carson Wentz. Corey Davis and Kamara are moth massive upgrades over the current starters in Philly.
#43: Buffalo Bills: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M-Buffalo needs improvement in the back end of that defense. Evans is another Senior Bowl riser who showed off his impressive cover skills and willingness to support in the run. Sean McDermott, a former defensive back coach, understands the necessity of a solid secondary. Evans is step 1 in the process of remaking the Bills defense.
#44: New Orleans Saints: Christian McCaffery, RB, Stanford-Sean Payton will never pass up an opportunity to add a unique offensive talent to the Big Easy (Michael Thomas last year). Mark Ingram lost snaps to Tim Hightower, so he clearly doesn't have a 100% vote of confidence from Payton. Much like Reggie Bush several years ago, McCaffery is a deadly offensive weapon both running the ball and catching the ball. Drew Brees is pushing 40, so they need weapons who can create after the catch, and no one in the draft is better at that that McCaffery.
#45: Arizona Cardinals: Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple-A late riser due to his domination of the senior bowl, Reddick fits perfectly into the Cardinals' defensive scheme. A quick, rangy, versatile linebacker who can really pop you if given the chance, Reddick's arrival could slide Deone Bucannon to his more natural safety position.
#46: Baltimore Ravens: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC-A big, physical receiver who can easily outmuscle even the most physical defensive backs, the addition of Smith-Schuster could help the Ravens move on from Steve Smith seamlessly. In addition, with Steve Smith retiring, the wide receiver spot in Baltimore is currently led by Mike Wallace. Wallace's last attempt at being a #1 wideout in Miami failed miserably. Smith-Schuster has the potential to be a sure handed #1 wideout for the foreseeable future.
#47: Minnesota Vikings: Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State-Johnson's value is all over the place. In my opinion, the middle of these second round seems like the best place for the pure power and potential of the Florida State alum. With TJ Clemmings a joke, the Vikings must replace him at the tackle spot. If Johnson reaches his potential, the Vikings would have taken a 10 year starter with pick #47.
#48: Indianapolis Colts: D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas-For the first 4 years of Andrew Luck, they did not have a 100 yard rusher. Frank Gore was marginally better, but as a 33 year old running back, it seems as if Father Time may catch up to him. When Texas unleashed Foreman, we were treated to a surprisingly quick running back in a thundering 250 pound frome Luck would love.
#49: Washington Redskins: Budda Baker, S, Washington-Even with the addition of Josh Norman, the pass defense outside of him was a major letdown for Washington. With the addition of Su'a Cravens last year, pairing him with Baker gives Jay Gruden two safeties who can line up at several positions, are very instinctive with the ball in the air, and tackle ferociously.
#50: Denver Broncos: Dion Dawkins, OT, Temple-Donald Stephenson was among the worst offensive lineman in the league by any metric. his backup, Ty Sambrillo, was just as bad. Dawkins is a 6'6, 338 pound monster of a tackle. He has the power, frame, and quick feet to start Day 1, even in a division that sports 3 of the best and brightest pass rushers in the league.
#51: Cleveland Browns: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State-Cleveland's corners outside of Joe Haden not even close to NFL level. This secondary will also lose members due to many of them being free agents. The numbers when quarterbacks throw in the direction of Conley are absurdly low. With the quickness to stay with speedier wideouts and the willingness to take on bigger ones, Cleveland may finally find their CB2 opposite Haden.
#52: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina-Jones is coming off breaking the FBS record for catches in a season (158). More impressively, he did so in only 12 games. His quickness out of his breaks are obvious, as are his soft hands and ability to create. With Vincent Jackson likely gone and no true #2 receiving option opposite Mike Evans, Tampa would be wise to snag Jones.
#53: Detroit Lions: Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson-Detroit's defensive makeover continues, this time finding a corner to start alongside Darius Slay. Tankersley has wide receiver-esque ball skills and ability to gain proper position on the receivers and deny them the ball. Tankersley can hang with anyone in man coverage, and the Lions desperately need a corner who can do that.
#54: Miami Dolphins: Evan Engram, TE/WR, Ole Miss-Built unlike any other tight end in this class, Engram stands only 6'3 and weights only 225 pounds. Used like a hybrid h-back/tight end at Ole Miss, Engram runs his routes with the speed of a wideout from the TE spot. With Jordan Cameron probably leaving Miami, Engram is a worth replacement.
#55: New York Giants: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami-Many people, myself included, would say Eli Manning, in his advanced age, is holding back a talented offense. The quarterback of the next decade is out there. Kaaya is very much boom or bust, as his arm strength leaves much to be desired and he is a statue in the pocket, but his accuracy and poise should be enough for the Giants to draft him and groom him for a year or two behind Eli.
#56: Oakland Raiders: Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma-Let's get this out of the way. Mixon is an awful, despicable human who should have gotten jail time for breaking a girl's jaw in 4 places. We just can't ignore his talent on the football field. At 230 pounds, he is big, fast, blocks and receives out of the backfield, and has the best vision in this class. If this domestic violence case did not exist, Mixon is lock for a top 15 pick. If a team, especially an Oakland team who might lose Latavius Murray to free agency, can overlook his vile past, he could have great value in late Round 2.
#57: Houston Texans: Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida-The Texans defensive line is the best in the game, boasting JJ Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus. Those three are nightmarish, but the linebackers lag way behind. Davis is a quick, fluid, smart middle linebacker who plays very similarly to Brian Cushing, a linebacker he may replace in Houston.
#58: Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Williams, S, Utah-Though losing a player the caliber of Earl Thomas is obviously a lethal injury to a defense, the vaunted Legion of Boom did not play up to the moniker last year. Williams can backup at safety and play nickel back, as he is skilled enough in coverage and a sure enough tackler to pull double duty. Returning the LOB to its' former glory is critical to the Seahawks' success in the near future.
#59: Kansas City Chiefs: Pat Elflein, OG/C, Ohio State-The Chiefs' offensive line plays in a very schizophrenic matter, with each week leaving you wondering how they ill play from week to week. Elflein was a beacon of consistency during his Ohio State career. Any Reid, mores than most coaches, understands the benefits of a solid and young offensive line. Elflein and Eric Fisher on the left side should suffice.
#60: Dallas Cowboys: Tre'Davious White, CB, LSU-With Morris Claiborne hitting the free agent market, an already shoddy pass defense might get worse. With the addition of a physical and versatile corner like White, the drop off could be minimal. With significant experience in the slot and on the outside in man coverage, look for White to get immediate playing time.
#61: Green Bay Packers: TJ Watt, OLB/ILB, Wisconsin-Ted Thompson is no stranger to acquiring local and/or Big 10 talent, and Watt may be the next Wisconsin stud linebacker in the NFL. As physical and unescapable a tackler as there is in the Big 10, Watt is a hybrid inside/outside linebacker. He can blitz well and defend the run better than most edge defenders. That combination should have Ted Thompson fawning over JJ's little bro.
#62: Pittsburgh Steelers: Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech-Blindingly fast and evasive when carrying the ball, Henderson not only could do damage in the slot for a team plagued by inconsistencies from that spot, but also could be a viable return man at the next level. No one knows if Martavis Bryant will be reinstated, and Darrius Heyward-Bay and Sammie Coates catch like they have Crisco on their hands. Henderson seems like an major improvement over the incumbent wide receivers.
#63: Atlanta Falcons: Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech-If the Atlanta offense had a weak spot, it was the tight end spot. Austin Hooper and Levine Toilolo are more blockers than pass catchers. Hodges is an athletic freak who can like up wide at 6'7, 235 pounds. Steve Sarkisian, an underrated offensive mind, would have a field day with the physical, precise, and immensely talented Hodges at TE.
#64: New England Patriots: Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech-While the Patriots have proven they can win without elite WR talent, adding one as athletically gifted as Ford couldn't hurt. Ford can take the top of the defense and has a knack for getting separation, especially against more physical corners. With Chris Hogan as the current "deep threat", Ford is leaps and bounds more talented than him, and could only help out Tom Brady.
#65: Cleveland Browns: Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
#66: San Francisco 49ers: Curtis Samuel, WR/RB, Ohio State
#67: Chicago Bears: ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
#68: Jacksonville Jaguars: Dorian Johnson, OG, Pitt
#69: Los Angeles Rams: Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
#70: New York Jets: Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn
#71: Los Angeles Chargers: Montravious Adams, DT, Auburn
#72: Carolina Panthers: Demarcus Walker, DE, Florida State
#73: Cincinnati Bengals: Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
#74: New Orleans Saints: Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois
#75: Philadelphia Eagles: Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
#76: Buffalo Bills: Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU
#77: Arizona Cardinals: Davis Webb, QB, California
#78: Minnesota Vikings: Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU
#79: Baltimore Ravens: Joe Mathis, OLB, Washington
#80: Indianapolis Colts: Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
#81: Washington Redskins: Chris Wormley, DT/DE, Michigan
#82: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Marcus Maye, S, Florida
#83: Denver Broncos: Jordan Willis, DE, Kansas State
#84: Tennessee Titans: Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
#85: Detroit Lions: Kendall Beckwith, ILB, LSU
#86: Minnesota Vikings: Charles Walker, DT, Oklahoma
#87: New York Giants: Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
#88: Oakland Raiders: Cam Sutton, CB, Tennessee
#89: Houston Texans: Antonio Garcia, OT/OG, Troy
#90: Seattle Seahawks: Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington
#91: Kansas City Chiefs: Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
#92: Dallas Cowboys: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
#93: Pittsburgh Steelers: Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan
#94: Green Bay Packers: Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
#95: Atlanta Falcons: Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
#96: New England Patriots: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
#97: Denver Broncos: Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
#98: Miami Dolphins: Jaylen Reeves-Maybin, ILB, Tennessee
#99: Carolina Panthers: Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pitt
#100: Baltimore Ravens: Nathan Peterman, QB, Pitt
#101: Tennessee Titans: Kevin King, CB, Washington
#102: Denver Broncos: Anthony Walker, ILB, Northwestern
#103: New England Patriots: Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida
#104: Kansas City Chiefs: Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
#105: Seattle Seahawks: Chad Hansen, WR, Cal
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