* = player has had private visit with team
1. Cleveland Browns – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)*
This could change before draft day, as there are a lot of variables in play, but recent reports suggest the Browns prefer Josh Allen over Sam Darnold. If that’s the case, they will probably take him at #1, though you could argue they’d be better off taking Saquon Barkley at 1 because Barkley could go 2nd to the Giants, while Josh Allen could easily slip through to the 4th pick with neither the Giants or Jets high on him reportedly. However, they may not want to risk a team moving up to 2 to get Allen and the Jets taking Darnold, which would leave them with one of their less favored quarterbacks at 4 and they would still get Barkley at 4 if the Giants pass on him.
2. New York Giants – QB Sam Darnold (USC)*
I’ve had a trade down here in the past, but it doesn’t sound like the Giants want to move too far down, as they’d still like one of Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, or Bradley Chubb. I don’t see any obvious trade partners in the 5-8 range and they might not want to move all the way down to 12 with the Bills. Barkley will probably be the pick here if Sam Darnold goes to the Browns, but Darnold is reportedly the Giants’ favorite of the quarterback prospects and taking him as a franchise quarterback of the future behind Eli Manning might be too tempting. Manning is going into his age 37 season and has seen better days, while Darnold isn’t even 21 until this summer and could benefit from a year behind a veteran.
3. New York Jets – QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)*
The Jets moved up for a quarterback and are clearly comfortable with more than one quarterback, only moving up to the 3rd pick. With Sam Darnold probably off the board at this point, the Jets will move on to a player they’ve been linked with a lot in the past week, Baker Mayfield. Both Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater are on one-year deals and the Jets badly need a quarterback of the future, which is what Mayfield gives them. He makes more sense for them than Josh Rosen, who reportedly is likely to fall out of the top-5 because of character concerns.
4. Cleveland Browns – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
Securing their quarterback at 1 works out for the Browns, as they still get Saquon Barkley at 4. Barkley doesn’t fill a huge need after the Carlos Hyde signing, but the Browns reportedly think he’s the best player in the draft and could use a playmaker like him. Hyde has already said he wouldn’t mind pairing with Barkley and the Browns only guaranteed 6 million on his 3-year deal, so they could let him go next off-season without owing him anymore money.
5. Denver Broncos – G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)
The Broncos have been linked to the top quarterbacks, but Josh Rosen’s character concerns have him likely to drop out of the top-5 and the Broncos don’t have a huge need for a quarterback anyway. They signed Case Keenum to a 2-year deal that guarantees him money into 2019 and they still have hope for Paxton Lynch, their 2016 first round pick. Instead, they build around the quarterback by adding the top offensive lineman in the draft. Nelson has future All-Pro written all over him and would be an immediate upgrade at right guard over Max Garcia.
6. Indianapolis Colts – OLB Roquan Smith (Georgia)*
Bradley Chubb is a popular pick here and he’s probably the best player available left on most boards, but there are always some surprise picks early because not everyone has the same board and Smith makes a lot more sense for the Colts given their needs. While they are pretty good at defensive end with Jabaal Sheard, John Simon, Margus Hunt, and last year’s 3rd round pick Tarell Basham, they have next to nothing at the linebacker position. If Chubb is significantly higher on their board, he’d still be their pick, but they reportedly love Smith, who is a perfect fit for the 4-3 defense new defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus wants to implement. He’s getting a lot of top-10 buzz and may remind the ex-Cowboys linebacker coach of Sean Lee.
7. Buffalo Bills – QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)*
Bradley Chubb is also a popular pick here and could be the choice if the Buccaneers stay put, but with Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul added this off-season, defensive end is no longer the pressing need at once was, so the Buccaneers might prefer to focus on the secondary in the first round. If that’s the case, they could be an ideal candidate for a trade down with the Bills, who want to secure one of the top-4 quarterbacks. With Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James, and Denzel Ward all still on the board, they can afford to move down 5 spots to 12, pick up some extra picks in the process (they don’t have a 3rd rounder due to the JPP trade), and still get a player they like that fills a need. The Bills give up picks 53 and 65 to make the swap, which is about $1.25 on the dollar per the trade value chart, but we’ve seen that kind of multiple paid by teams moving up for quarterbacks in the past and the Bills should be willing to pay if it means they can secure their quarterback before someone else moves up for him.
8. Chicago Bears – OLB Bradley Chubb (NC State)*
With the Colts and Buccaneers passing on Chubb, the Bears are able to fill arguably their biggest need with the best player in the draft at that position. The Bears had a veteran purge at outside linebacker this off-season, cutting both Pernell McPhee and Willie Young. 2016 1st round pick Leonard Floyd can look down one starting spot long-term, but their best options at the other starting spot right now are Aaron Lynch and Sam Acho, both underwhelming choices. Chubb can be an instant starter for them. The Bears have worked him out privately and are probably his floor.
9. San Francisco 49ers – S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)*
Like the Buccaneers, the 49ers’ biggest need right now is probably in the secondary. They have their choice of the top-3 defensive backs in the draft, pure safety Derwin James, pure cornerback Denzel Ward, and hybrid Minkah Fitzpatrick. James I think is least likely because cornerback is a bigger immediate need and because they haven’t worked him out privately. Ward would give them an instant starter opposite Richard Sherman and would form a talented trio with Sherman and last year’s 3rd round pick Ahkello Witherspoon, but Fitzpatrick gives them more options, including the option to move Jimmie Ward back to cornerback. He may spend his rookie year as a movable chess piece before taking over as an every down safety in 2019, with both Ward and Jaquiski Tartt heading into the final year of their rookie deals.
10. Oakland Raiders – OT Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame)
The Raiders also have a need in the secondary, but they may opt to address their offensive line need first because this is a much deeper draft in the secondary than it is on the offensive line. McGlinchey is the top offensive tackle in the draft and can give them an instant starter at right tackle before potentially moving to left tackle long-term. Right tackle is a huge hole right now and left tackle Donald Penn is going into his age 35 season and might not play at a high level much longer. The Raiders have some former mid-to-late round pick options on the roster, but McGlinchey gives them a blue chip prospect.
11. Miami Dolphins – DT Vita Vea (Washington)
The Dolphins have a need at quarterback too, but are unlikely to have one of the top-4 quarterbacks fall to them and might not be aggressive in trying to trade up for him because they have so many other needs. One of those needs is defensive tackle, following the release of the highly paid Ndamukong Suh. Vita Vea is the top defensive tackle in the class and should come off the board between picks 10-15. He’s a monster at 6-4 347 and is athletic enough to be a three down player. He’s comparable to Dontari Poe, a former 11th overall pick himself.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S Derwin James (Florida State)*
Trading down works perfectly for the Buccaneers, who can still choose between Derwin James and Denzel Ward here. Both would fill needs and both have worked out for the Buccaneers privately, but they reportedly prefer James. That makes sense, as safety is a slightly better need and he’s a local prospect from Florida State. James has Earl Thomas like upside, but falls out of the top-10 because of injury concerns and inconsistent tape. He’d instantly be the Buccaneers’ best safety and could form a talented young duo with last year’s 2nd round pick Justin Evans, who is expected to have a bigger role in his 2nd season in the league in 2018.
13. Washington Redskins – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
The Redskins reportedly like Alabama’s Da’Ron Payne a lot, but may have a hard time passing on this draft class’ top cornerback if he falls to them at 13. Payne may end up just being a two-down player, while Ward has #1 cornerback potential. After losing Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller this off-season, the Redskins have a big need at cornerback. Last year’s 3rd round pick Fabian Moreau is expected to play a bigger role and they signed veteran Orlando Scandrick in free agency, but Moreau is unproven and Scandrick is on the decline going into his age 31 season and doesn’t have guaranteed money on his contract beyond 2018.
14. Green Bay Packers – MLB Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)*
The Packers reportedly love Denzel Ward and could move up for him on draft day, but if he’s not available someone like Tremaine Edmunds, who they’ve worked out privately, would make a lot of sense. Edmunds blew up at the combine, has the versatility to stop the run, drop in coverage, and rush the passer, and isn’t yet 20 years old. He’s a top-10 talent who could fall into the early teens because of a run on quarterbacks. Former GM Ted Thompson never valued the middle linebacker position and former defensive coordinator Dom Capers preferred using safeties around the line of scrimmage instead of linebackers in base packages, but both of them were let go this off-season. Edmunds could start every down at middle linebacker next to promising young linebacker Blake Martinez, which would allow them to move Justin Jones, formerly a hybrid safety/linebacker, to safety every down to replace departed free agent Morgan Burnett.
15. Arizona Cardinals – DT Da’Ron Payne (Alabama)
New Cardinals new coach Steve Wilks was a defensive line coach with the Panthers, who used high draft picks on defensive tackles in 2013 (Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short) and 2015 (Vernon Butler). The Cardinals are not nearly as deep at that position, with Corey Peters and Robert Nkemdiche atop the depth chart. Peters is a marginal starter, while Nkemdiche has been a complete bust in 2 seasons since going in the first round in 2016. Da’Ron Payne would add talent at the position and fits the mold of the big defensive tackles that Wilks had in Carolina at 6-2 311. He should come off the board in the teens.
16. Baltimore Ravens – WR DJ Moore (Maryland)*
The Ravens added Michael Crabtree, John Brown, and Willie Snead to a previously barren wide receiver group this off-season, but still need more talent, especially with Brown only signed on a one-year deal. DJ Moore is competing with Calvin Ridley to be the top receiver off the board. Ridley was a more impressive college player, but lacks Moore’s top level athleticism. It could be a tough choice for the Ravens who have worked out both. Moore is a local product, but GM Ozzie Newsome is a former Alabama player and has drafted plenty of Alabama prospects in the past. I’m going with Moore because Ridley is too similar to Crabtree athletically, while Moore has more upside as a potential long-term #1 receiver.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – MLB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)
The Chargers’ defense was much improved last season, but that was primarily because they had one of the best pass defenses in the league. Their run defense left much to be desired and defensive tackle and middle linebacker are their two biggest needs going into draft day. The Chargers are probably hoping one of the top-2 players at middle linebacker or defensive tackle will fall to them at 17 and may also trade up to secure a player like they, but, if they can’t get one of them, they may settle for someone like Leighton Vander Esch, a likely top-25 pick. At 6-4 256, Vander Esch is a big run stuffer and has off the charts athleticism. He was only a one-year starter at Boise State, but has enough upside to justify a pick in the teens.
18. Seattle Seahawks – DE Marcus Davenport (UT-San Antonio)
The Seahawks have plenty of needs and don’t pick again until the 4th round, so you can bet they’ll try to move down, but, if they can’t, Marcus Davenport is the best available player who makes sense. The Seahawks had one of the deepest groups of defensive ends at one point, but Michael Bennett was let go this off-season and Cliff Avril will likely be retiring because of neck problems. Frank Clark is going into the final year of his rookie deal, while Dion Jordan and Marcus Smith are from sure things, even though the former first round busts did show some potential down the stretch last season.
19. Dallas Cowboys – WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)*
The Cowboys have worked out wide receiver prospects who are projected to go in several different rounds, but, after releasing Dez Bryant, you have to figure they’re going to take one pretty early. Calvin Ridley might not be the top wide receiver off the board, but he could still be a top-20 pick in a weak wide receiver class. The other wide receiver projected to go in the first round is Courtland Sutton, who the Cowboys reportedly don’t like. Ridley is reportedly higher on their board and has drawn plenty of interest from them throughout the process, including a private visit.
20. Detroit Lions – G Will Hernandez (UTEP)
The Lions are better on offense than defense, but they still have pressing needs at left guard, running back, and tight end on offense and new defensive head coach may feel confident in his ability to coach up mid round defensive prospects. Will Hernandez is a plug and play starter for them at left guard and is the best available player who fills a need for them. Last year’s starter at left guard was Graham Glasgow, but he’s expected to move to center to replace free agent departure Travis Swanson. Hernandez is a monstrous run stuffer at 6-3 348 and should be a first round pick.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – G Isaiah Wynn (Georgia)
The Bengals originally had the 12th pick, but they swapped first rounders with the Bills in the Cordy Glenn trade. Even after adding Glenn to play left tackle, the Bengals shouldn’t be done upgrading their offensive line, as they still have major needs at right guard and center. It’s very possible the reason the Bengals were comfortable moving down from 12 to 21 in the Glenn trade is because they’re targeting a guard in the first round and any guard they could have gotten at 12 they can probably get at 21. Isaiah Wynn is a plug and play starter at right guard and has a good chance to go in the first round.
22. Buffalo Bills – WR Courtland Sutton (SMU)
The Bills were able to move up and get their quarterback without giving up their other first round pick, which is big because they have plenty of other needs. Wide receiver is one of them and, if history is any indication, the Bills could address that position here. Teams that draft quarterbacks in the first round typically use their next pick on another offensive player. Offensive line is a need, but, with Will Hernandez and Isaiah Wynn off the board, Courtland Sutton might be a better value on their board. With last year’s 2nd round pick Zay Jones struggling mightily as a rookie and top receiver Kelvin Benjamin going into a contract year, the Bills have a big need for pass catchers.
23. New England Patriots – QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)*
I had the Patriots moving up for a quarterback in my last mock draft and they may have to do so to get Lamar Jackson in reality, as other teams may want to move ahead of them to grab him, but Jackson makes a lot of sense as a developmental quarterback behind Tom Brady either way. The Patriots have been interested in him throughout the process and, as strange as the fit may be, given how different his skillset is compared to the Patriots’ current quarterback, Bill Belichick may see how the league is moving towards more athletic quarterbacks and trust offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels to put together an innovative offense with Lamar Jackson at the helm after Tom Brady decides to hang them up. In the short-term, they could also scheme up a few specialty plays for him to take advantage of his athleticism while he develops as a passer.
24. Carolina Panthers – S Ronnie Harrison (Alabama)*
Mike Adams is the Panthers’ best safety and he’s going into an age 37 contract year, so safety is the Panthers’ biggest need. They need to add at least two safeties through the draft, including one who can start immediately. Ronnie Harrison is one of the first round prospects they’ve worked out privately and he’s an obvious fit for them as the top safety remaining. He can start immediately next to Adams.
25. Tennessee Titans – OLB Sam Hubbard (Ohio State)*
Starting edge rushers Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo are both going into the final year of their contracts. They will be going into their age 30 and 33 season respectively as free agents, so there’s a good chance one or both is not brought back. Without many pressing needs, expect the Titans to prioritize adding a long-term option or two on the edge. Sam Hubbard is an option for them at 25 and they’ve worked him out privately, so we know they’re at least interested.
26. Atlanta Falcons – DT Taven Bryan (Florida)
The Falcons don’t have a lot of pressing needs, but defensive tackle is a big one with Dontari Poe signing with the Panthers this off-season. Expect defensive tackle to be a target position for them early in the draft. They’ll have a few options late in the first round and reports say they like Taven Bryan, who fits this draft slot well. He should be a late first round pick. He gives them a long-term starter at the position next to Grady Jarrett.
27. New Orleans Saints – DT Maurice Hurst (Michigan)
The Saints signed Nick Fairley to a 4-year, 28 million dollar extension last off-season, but he wound up never playing a snap for them on that extension because of heart problems that have put his career in jeopardy. Even if he can continue playing, the Saints have let him go, so they need to replace him, something they were unable to do last off-season because of how late in the off-season they found out about his issues. Hurst is arguably the best interior pass rusher in the draft and would make an immediate impact on this defense.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – MLB Rashaan Evans (Alabama)
The Steelers have already announced that Ryan Shazier will not play in 2018, so they have to be looking for replacements. Shazier wants to continue his career, but he’ll be a free agent after the 2018 season and the Steelers may not be willing to clear him medically, so he could have to go elsewhere if he wants to continue playing. If Shazier does ever return to the Steelers, he and Evans could form a dangerous duo inside in their 3-4 defense.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – TE Hayden Hurst (South Carolina)*
Hayden Hurst would be a first round lock if it wasn’t for his age, as the former minor league baseball player will be 25 before the start of his rookie year. The Jaguars’ roster is about to get very expensive to keep together in the next few years, so the Jaguars are in win now mode and might not be too concerned about Hurst’s age. They’ve worked him out privately, so we know they’re at least interested in him. He’s the most NFL ready tight end in the draft and can have an immediate impact on this offense. The Jaguars have very few needs, but need another tight end to pair with short-term free agent acquisition Austin Seferian-Jenkins, which is what Hurst gives them.
30. Minnesota Vikings – OT Connor Williams (Texas)*
The Vikings’ offensive line was much improved this season, but guard is still a weakness for them, especially with right guard Joe Berger retiring ahead of his age 36 season this off-season. The Vikings played Mike Remmers at guard down the stretch last season and may prefer him there long-term. If that’s the case, expect them to target a new starting right tackle early in the draft. Williams could also end up at guard long-term. He’s one of several offensive linemen the Vikings have worked out privately and is a likely first round pick.
31. New England Patriots – CB Josh Jackson (Iowa)
The Patriots don’t have a pressing need at cornerback after adding Jason McCourty via trade with the Browns, but McCourty is just a short-term solution and the Patriots love using early picks on defensive backs. Josh Jackson is a good value at 31 and fits the Patriots’ scheme well. With only Eric Rowe, Cyrus Jones, and Jonathan Jones behind McCourty and fellow starter Stephon Gilmore, Jackson could earn a big rookie season role.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – RB Derrius Guice (LSU)*
The Eagles don’t pick again until #131 after this and don’t have any glaring needs, so they could easily trade down from this spot, especially since a team may want to move up and secure a 5th year option on a quarterback they like. If they stay put, Derrius Guice makes a lot of sense. They’ve been interested in him throughout the process and, while running back isn’t a huge need, Jay Ajayi is going into the final year of his rookie deal and could be tough for the cap strapped Eagles to keep long-term. Guice can rotate with Ajayi and passing down back Corey Clement in the short-term before potentially taking over as the feature back in 2019 and beyond.
33. Cleveland Browns – OT Kolton Miller (UCLA)
It’s a shame that Joe Thomas retired right as it looks like the Browns are finally building something. They signed Chris Hubbard to a big contract in free agency, but he’ll slot in at right tackle. Their current options at left tackle are veteran journeyman Donald Stephenson, last year’s right tackle Shon Coleman, and Spencer Drango, who struggled in Thomas’ absence last season and fits better at guard. Miller could be their week 1 starter at the position if he has a good off-season.
34. New York Giants – C Billy Price (Ohio State)
The Giants spent big money on Nate Solder to play left tackle, but still have a big need on the interior of the offensive line. Mediocre veterans John Jerry and Patrick Omameh are penciled in as the starters at guard, while Brett Jones (14 career starts) is penciled in as the center. Both Jerry and Jones are only under contract for one more season anyway. Billy Price can play all 3 interior offensive line positions. He likely would have been a first rounder if he hadn’t torn his pectoral at the combine, but he could still be a starter as a rookie. The Giants need to protect Eli Manning in the short-term and Sam Darnold in the long-term.
35. Cleveland Browns – DE Harold Landry (Boston College)
The Browns have been tied to Bradley Chubb in the top-5, but I think it’s more likely they address their defensive line on day 2. Harold Landry gives them an edge rusher that they don’t currently have opposite Myles Garrett. After Garrett on the depth chart, their top defensive ends are Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib, both of whom have the size to rush the passer from the interior in sub packages. Landry is an immediate upgrade over both as an edge rusher.
36. Indianapolis Colts – CB Mike Hughes (South Florida)
Rashaan Melvin was the Colts’ best cornerback last season, but the Colts did not bring him back as a free agent, despite having a ton of cap space. Their depth chart is pretty thin at cornerback right now, so expect the Colts to use at least one early pick on the position. Outside of last year’s 2nd round pick Quincy Wilson, their best cornerbacks are Kenny Moore, Nate Hairston, and Chris Milton, none of whom should be guaranteed a role. Hughes should come off the board in the top-40 picks and has a shot at the first round.
37. Indianapolis Colts – RB Sony Michel (Georgia)
The Colts let Frank Gore go this off-season so they could get younger at the running back position. They didn’t address the position in free agency, so it makes sense that they’d spend a high pick on a running back to pair with last year’s 4th round pick Marlon Mack. Saquon Barkley would be their pick if he fell to 6, but that seems unlikely, so the Colts will probably address the position with one of their 3 picks in the second round.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Jaire Alexander (Louisville)*
The Buccaneers used their first round pick on a safety, but they also have a need at cornerback and could easily use a day 2 pick on that position as well, especially if they move down to obtain extra day 2 picks. Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves are currently their starting cornerbacks, but Grimes is going into his age 35 season and only signed to a one-year deal, while Hargreaves has been a disappointment in 2 seasons since the Buccaneers drafted him in the first round in 2016. They also completely lack depth behind them. Alexander is a borderline first round pick who the Buccaneers have worked out privately. They could be thrilled if he slides to them. He could start in the slot immediately and profiles as a long-term starter.
39. Chicago Bears – C James Daniels (Iowa)*
The Bears reportedly love Quenton Nelson and would take him at 8 if he was there, but that’s probably unlikely. After cutting Josh Sitton, the Bears have a big hole at left guard and, without a 3rd round pick, they’ll have to address that need in the 2nd round. James Daniels is a center prospect, but they’ve worked him out anyway, suggesting they may be open to moving center Cody Whitehair to left guard. Daniels is arguably the top center in the draft and could go in the late first round if a team likes him enough. The Bears at 39 may be his floor.
40. Denver Broncos – RB Ronald Jones (USC)*
The Broncos released CJ Anderson for financial reasons, which opened up a big hole at running back, with only Devontae Booker and inexperienced 2017 6th round pick De’Angelo Henderson left on the roster. The Broncos like Booker as a passing down back, but they need an early down compliment. Jones is an explosive runner with breakaway speed and would complement the bigger Booker (5-11 219) well. He’s one of several backs they’ve worked out this off-season and should be one of the first 5 backs off the board.
41. Oakland Raiders – CB Carlton Davis (Auburn)
Part of the reason I have the Raiders taking McGlinchey in the first round is because they can find good defensive backs in the 2nd round. Carlton Davis has an outside shot at the first round and is a good value outside of the top-40 picks. The Raiders lost three cornerbacks this off-season, cutting Sean Smith and David Amerson and losing TJ Carrie to the Browns in free agency. Last year’s first two picks, Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu, will have bigger roles this season at cornerback and they signed Rashaan Melvin in free agency, but Melvin is only on a one-year deal and Melifonwu is a hybrid type that may end up at safety long-term. Davis could compete for an immediate role.
42. Miami Dolphins – TE Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State)*
Julius Thomas was released because he wasn’t worth his salary, but the Dolphins don’t have anything resembling a starting tight end left on their roster. Picking at 11 in the first round, the Dolphins probably won’t address this need until the 2nd unless they trade down into the 20s, but they’ll have some good options at 42. Goedert is a tight end they’ve worked out privately and he fits the draft slot well. He could go in the late first if a team likes him enough, as he’s arguably the best tight end prospect in the draft.
43. New England Patriots – TE Mike Gesicki (Penn State)
The Patriots need to plan as if Rob Gronkowski is going to retire early. I expect him to return for 2018, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if he retires in the next couple years, given all of the injuries he has suffered and the opportunities he has to do other things. The Patriots could use a new #2 tight end anyway.
44. Washington Redskins – DT Tim Settle (Virginia Tech)*
The Redskins are reportedly interested in Da’Ron Payne at 13, but pass on him with Denzel Ward available. They could also take Vita Vea at 13 if he falls to them, but which he does not in this mock. If they don’t get either of those two, they’ll have to address their nose tackle need in the 2nd round. Settle is a great run stuffer at 6-3 335 and a local prospect the Redskins have worked out privately.
45. Green Bay Packers – WR Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)*
The Packers moved on from the highly paid Jordy Nelson this off-season and could lose Randall Cobb next off-season, as he’s going into the final year of his deal. The Packers need young developmental receivers behind Davante Adams on the depth chart. Kirk should be one of the top-5 receivers off the board and would make sense for the Packers, who have worked him out privately.
46. Cincinnati Bengals – C Frank Ragnow (Arkansas)*
Center is also a need for the Bengals, as incumbent starting center Russell Bodine signed with the Bills this off-season. Bodine wasn’t that good anyway, so it shouldn’t be hard to find an upgrade. Ragnow missed the combine with injury, but has been a late riser in the pre-draft process, with some reports saying he could go as high as the late first and be the first center off the board. I still have Billy Price and James Daniels ahead of him, but the Bengals worked out Ragnow privately and could easily pull the trigger on him at 46. He’d be an instant starter at a position of need.
47. Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyle Lauletta (Richmond)*
With Sam Bradford a perennial injury risk on a short-term deal, the Cardinals are fully expected to find a quarterback of the future at some point on draft day. Kyle Lauletta over Mason Rudolph might surprise some people, but the Cardinals have not shown much interest in Rudolph this off-season and reportedly like Lauletta a lot. Lauletta has a few teams interested in him on day 2, so the Cardinals will have to take him in the 2nd if they want him.
48. Los Angeles Chargers – DE Lorenzo Carter (Georgia)
Defensive tackle is a bigger need for the Chargers than defensive end, but there are better values available at defensive end than defensive tackle with this pick. The Chargers don’t have much depth behind Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and have worked out several edge rushers throughout the pre-draft process. Carter was not one of them, but he’s a possible top-40 pick, so he’s a good value here at 48. The Chargers could use him, Bosa, and Ingram at the same time in passing situations because Bosa has the size to line up inside.
49. Indianapolis Colts – WR James Washington (Oklahoma State)
The Colts need to get Andrew Luck some better targets. Ryan Grant and Chester Taylor are currently their top receivers behind TY Hilton and both of them would be best as #4 receivers. James Washington could push for a big rookie year role. He has an outside shot of sneaking into the late first round in a weak receiver class and should come off the board by the middle of the 2nd.
50. Dallas Cowboys – S Jessie Bates (Wake Forest)
The Cowboys had safety problems last season and they got even thinner at the position when they moved Byron Jones back to cornerback. Barring an unlikely trade for Earl Thomas in the next week, expect the Cowboys to use an early pick on a safety. Bates is a versatile prospect who could push to start immediately at either safety spot with a good off-season. He’s a likely 2nd round pick.
51. Detroit Lions – RB Kerryon Johnson (Auburn)*
Even after signing LeGarrette Blount, the Lions should still draft a running back. Blount was only signed to a one-year deal and Ameer Abdullah is also going into the final year of his contract. Neither Blount nor Ameer Abdullah is a great back, so Johnson could have a major role as a rookie. He’s a likely 2nd round pick that the Lions have worked out privately.
52. Baltimore Ravens – QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State)
The Ravens need a long-term solution at quarterback. Joe Flacco’s salary has far exceeded his performance over the past few seasons and the Ravens finally will be able to get out of his contract next off-season if they want. I expect them to take a developmental quarterback in the first 3 rounds. Mason Rudolph should come off the board in the 2nd round and makes some sense for them if he’s still available.
53. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Rashaad Penny (San Diego State)*
This is the first of the two picks that the Buccaneers received in their trade down from 12 to 7 with the Bills. The Buccaneers have seemingly worked out every running back projected to go on day 2 and figure to draft one of them to pair with Peyton Barber, a former undrafted free agent who flashed down the stretch last season. Their odds of taking a back on day 2 would increase even further if they picked up a pair of day 2 picks in a trade. Penny is probably the best back remaining on the board and he’s one of the backs the Buccaneers worked out privately.
53. Kansas City Chiefs – S Justin Reid (Stanford)
With Eric Berry out last season, the Chiefs had arguably the worst safety play in the league. Even with Berry coming back in 2018, safety is still a big need for the Chiefs, as they need an upgrade at the other safety spot. Justin Reid could be a starter as a rookie.
54. Carolina Panthers – CB Isaiah Oliver (Colorado)
The Panthers used 2nd and 3rd round picks on cornerbacks in 2016, taking James Bradberry and Daryl Worley respectively. However, both struggled last season and Worley was traded to the Eagles this off-season for Torrey Smith. Bradberry is probably locked into a starting job in 2018 for lack of a better option, but they need a cornerback to compete with free agent addition Ross Cockrell. Even if Oliver doesn’t make starts as a rookie, he could have a role in sub packages.
55. Buffalo Bills – G Austin Corbett (Nevada)
With center Eric Wood and left guard Richie Incognito both retiring this off-season, the Bills need help on the offensive line. Ryan Groy and Russell Bodine are currently penciled in as their replacements, but both would be mediocre options. Corbett was a great collegiate tackle, but his lack of length at 6-4 makes it likely he moves to guard or center at the next level. He could push either Groy or Bodine for their job as a rookie.
56. Tennessee Titans – DT Harrison Phillips (Stanford)
The Titans missed out on Ndamukong Suh and had to settle for signing Bennie Logan to a one-year deal. Logan is a solid run stuffer, but little else, so he might just spend the one season in Tennessee. The Titans need young depth on the defensive line.
57. Atlanta Falcons – DE Rasheem Greene (USC)
The Falcons used a first round pick on a defensive end last year, taking Takkarist McKinley, but they could still use help at the position with Adrian Clayborn signing with the Patriots this off-season. Greene is more of a hybrid defensive end/defensive tackle than McKinley and fellow edge rush specialist Vic Beasley. Greene could see snaps both inside and outside for the Falcons and has a huge upside for a late 2nd round pick if he can ever live up to his physical abilities.
58. San Francisco 49ers – WR DJ Chark (LSU)
Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin are a solid starting duo, but the 49ers could use depth and insurance behind them. Garcon is going into his age 32 season and coming off of a neck injury, while Goodwin is a one-year wonder.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers – S Kyzir White (West Virginia)
Even after signing Morgan Burnett, the Steelers have a need at the safety position. Burnett will lock down one starting spot, but Sean Davis and JJ Wilcox are mediocre options at the other starting spot. Burnett also hasn’t made it through a full 16-game season since 2012, part of why he had an underwhelming free agency market.
61. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Tyrell Crosby (Oregon)*
The Jaguars improved their offensive line in a big way by signing Andrew Norwell to play left guard, but they still got shaky play at left tackle and right guard last season from Cam Robinson and AJ Cann respectively. Crosby is a versatile offensive lineman that should go in the 2nd round, possibly to a team like the Jaguars, who have worked him out privately. He might begin his rookie year as a 6th offensive lineman, but, with AJ Cann going into the final year of his rookie deal, there should be a starting job open for him on this line in 2019. If Robinson continues to struggle, they could move him inside to guard and replace him with Crosby. Right tackle Jermey Parnell is also a candidate to end up at guard long-term, going into his age 32 season in 2018. Crosby could also play right guard himself, so he gives them needed options.
62. Minnesota Vikings – DE Uchenna Nwosu (USC)*
Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter lead a dangerous pass rush for the Vikings, but Griffin sees frequent snaps inside in passing situations, while Hunter is going into the final year of his rookie deal and might not be kept long-term with the Vikings having several other pending free agents next off-season. Even if they lock him up long-term, adding a defensive end in the draft would still make sense for them as 3rd defensive end Brian Robison is going into his age 35 season and says he expects to retire after the season. Nwosu is a defensive end they’ve worked out privately and he fits the range at the end of the second.
63. New England Patriots – OT Orlando Brown (Oklahoma)
The Patriots have a few options to replace Nate Solder at left tackle, including last year’s 3rd round pick Tony Garcia, but Garcia missed his entire rookie season with blood clots and just recently started working out again. Veteran backup LaAdrian Waddle is an underwhelming option to protect 40+ year old Tom Brady, so the Patriots will bring in at least one more option through the draft. Orlando Brown looked like a first round pick on tape before a horrendous showing at the combine and should still go relatively high. The Patriots like bigger offensive tackles and may feel that legendary offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia can coach Brown up. If he can, Brown could prove to be a steal for a team for a team that desperately needs a new franchise left tackle.
64. Cleveland Browns – WR Deon Cain (Clemson)
Even after signing Jarvis Landry to a long-term deal, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Browns used a relatively high draft pick on a wide receiver. Josh Gordon hasn’t exactly been reliable in the past and 2016 1st round pick Corey Coleman has been underwhelming thus far in his career and has missed a lot of time with injury.
65. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Da’Shawn Hand (Alabama)
This is the 2nd pick the Buccaneers picked up in their swap with the Bills in the first round. Even after signing Beau Allen, the Buccaneers still have a need for depth at the defensive tackle position and Hand, a potential 2nd round pick, is a good value at this point in the draft.
66. New York Giants – OT Brian O’Neill (Pittsburgh)*
Even with Nate Solder coming in this off-season, the Giants shouldn’t be done adding offensive tackles. Ex-left tackle Ereck Flowers was told he’d compete for the job at right tackle and they don’t have any viable competition for him. O’Neill is a day 2 prospect that they’ve worked out privately.
67. Indianapolis Colts – G Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State)
The Colts have needs all over the field, but they should make improving the offensive line an early round priority because of how important keeping Andrew Luck healthy is to this team. The Colts have had revolving doors at right guard and right tackle for years. Rankin can play both spots and can hopefully lock down one of the starting jobs long-term.
68. Houston Texans – OT JaMarco Jones (Ohio State)
The Texans spent money on offensive linemen in free agency, but still need help, especially at offensive tackle, as they failed to add a significant upgrade at that position in free agency, striking out on Nate Solder. Jones could make starts as a rookie.
69. New York Giants – OLB Josh Sweat (Florida State)*
The Giants got this pick in the Jason Pierre-Paul trade. JPP was traded because he’s expensive and wasn’t an ideal fit for their new 3-4 defense, but they haven’t really replaced him, other than signing Kareem Martin, a pure base package outside linebacker who was primarily brought in for his familiarity with the scheme. With so many other needs, the Giants might have to wait until the 3rd round to address this need unless they trade down. Sweat can be a situational pass rusher immediately and could go as high as the 2nd round. The Giants, who have worked him out privately, could definitely be interested in him if he falls to the top of the 3rd.
70. San Francisco 49ers – OLB Jerome Baker (Ohio State)*
The 49ers were ecstatic when they were able to get Reuben Foster with the 31st pick last year and his play when healthy as a rookie justified the 49ers’ excitement, but he now faces an uncertain future with the team after an off-season domestic violence arrest. The 49ers can’t count on Foster for 2018, so they need to add linebacker depth. If Foster can get his act together long-term, he and Baker could form a talented young duo.
71. Denver Broncos – WR Dante Pettis (Washington)*
The Broncos used a 3rd round pick on Carlos Henderson last year and are still hoping he can be the #3 receiver they’ve lacked for years, despite missing his entire rookie season with injury. I wouldn’t be surprised if they brought in another receiver though. Henderson is far from a lock to become a productive player, while both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are on the wrong side of 30 with big contracts and might not be around too much longer. Pettis is also one of the best return men in the draft so he can provide value to the Broncos on special teams even if he doesn’t develop as a pass catcher.
72. New York Jets – OT Braden Smith (Auburn)*
The Jets have needs on both sides of the ball, but teams that draft a quarterback in the first round usually use their next pick on an offensive player to help him out. The Jets have a big need at tight end, but right tackle is a need too and Braden Smith, a potential 2nd round pick, would be a good value at this point. He’s one of several day 2 prospects they’ve worked out privately and makes a lot of sense if he’s still available. He can immediately push for the starting job at right tackle.
73. Miami Dolphins – QB Luke Falk (Washington State)*
The Dolphins are unlikely to get any of the top quarterbacks in the first round, so they may settle for someone like Luke Falk on day 2. The Dolphins reportedly like Falk a lot and have brought him in for a private visit as well. He may need a year of development, but he could give them a cheaper long-term option than Ryan Tannehill, who hasn’t played since December 2016 due to knee problems and is owed 18.75 million and 19.522 million non-guaranteed in 2019 and 2020. Falk could also develop into a long-term backup, which is also a need, as Brock Osweiler is currently their #2 quarterback.
74. San Francisco 49ers – DE Kemoko Turay (Rutgers)*
The 49ers lost both Elvis Dumervil and Aaron Lynch this off-season, so they have a big need for an edge rusher opposite last year’s first round pick Solomon Thomas. They’ve understandably worked out several edge rush prospects, including Kemoko Turay, a possible 2nd round pick who can contribute immediately as an edge rusher.
75. Oakland Raiders – RB Nick Chubb (Georgia)
Marshawn Lynch only has one more year under contract and it’s unclear what he has left in the tank, going into an age 32 season after a disappointing 2017. His last good season came in 2014. The Raiders could use an early pick on a running back to give them a long-term lead back. They’ll have several options on day 2.
76. Green Bay Packers – CB Donte Jackson (LSU)*
The Packers used their first two draft picks on cornerbacks in 2015, taking Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins, and then they took Kevin King in the 2nd round last year, but cornerback was still a weakness for them last season. It’s even more of a weakness now, as Damarious Randall was sent to the Browns in a trade and veteran Davon House remains unsigned as a free agent. The Packers need at least one more cornerback to go with Rollins and King. The Packers are reportedly targeting Denzel Ward with the 14th pick, but he’s far from a lock to be there, so it makes sense that the Packers have worked out cornerbacks who could get drafted after the first day, including Donte Jackson, who would be a good value here in the 3rd.
77. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Anthony Averett (Alabama)
With Adam Jones gone, the Bengals lack depth behind Dre Kirkpatrick, William Jackson, and Darqueze Dennard, the latter of whom is going into the final year of his rookie deal.
78. Kansas City Chiefs – DT BJ Hill (NC State)
Bennie Logan signed with the Titans this off-season, so the Chiefs are pretty thin on the defensive line. Hill is a good run stuffer at 6-4 315 and is versatile enough to play anywhere on the Chiefs’ 3-man defensive line in base packages, including nose tackle.
79. Arizona Cardinals – MLB Darius Leonard (South Carolina State)*
The Cardinals used a first round pick on a linebacker last year, taking Haason Reddick with the 13th pick, and they also have 2014 1st round pick Deone Bucannon at linebacker, but they’ve worked out a bunch of linebackers and they could use another player at the position. Reddick is more of a movable chess piece than an every down linebacker and may see significant snaps as an edge rusher in obvious passing situations, while Bucannon is coming off of an injury plagued season and could be cost prohibitive for the Cardinals to re-sign as a free agent next off-season if he bounces back in 2018. They might not take a linebacker in the first couple rounds, but they could definitely take someone in the mid rounds. Leonard, one of the linebackers they’ve worked out privately, is a day 2 prospect that could immediately push 3rd linebacker Josh Bynes for his role and could develop into an every down player long-term.
80. Houston Texans – S Armani Watts (Texas A&M)*
Tyrann Mathieu was a great addition, but he was only signed to a one-year deal, so the Texans could still use a draft pick on a developmental safety. With 3 picks in the 3rd round, they’ll have a few options, including Watts, a local prospect they’ve been interested in.
81. Dallas Cowboys – OLB Fred Warner (BYU)*
With Anthony Hitchens signing with the Chiefs, the Cowboys are pretty thin at linebacker behind Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith, both of whom have a serious injury history. The Cowboys should add depth in the draft. Warner is a likely 3rd round pick who they’ve worked out privately. He’d fit their scheme well and could see snaps immediately as the 3rd linebacker.
82. Detroit Lions – DE Arden Key (LSU)*
The Lions’ bigger needs are on defense, but they used their first 2 picks on offensive players, which wouldn’t be a surprise, as new head coach Matt Patricia may feel he can coach up mid rounders on defense. One of those mid-rounders he may be interested in coaching up is Arden Key, a first round talent who could fall to the 3rd or 4th round because of character concerns. The Lions have been interested in him throughout the process, including a private visit. He gives them another pass rusher opposite Ezekiel Ansah and insurance in case they can’t agree to a long-term deal with Ansah.
83. Baltimore Ravens – TE Ian Thomas (Indiana)
The Ravens’ best pass catching tight end last season was Ben Watson, who signed with the Saints this off-season as a free agent, leaving them very thin at the position. The Ravens could use an early pick on a tight end. Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle are their top-2 tight ends and they’ve missed a combined 39 games over the past 3 seasons due to injury and suspension.
84. Los Angeles Chargers – DT Derrick Nnadi (Florida State)
The Chargers added a linebacker in the first round to improve their run defense, but they need an upgrade at defensive tackle too, especially with Corey Liuget getting suspended for the first 4 games of the season. Brandon Mebane, the other starter, was one of the worst starting defensive tackles in the league last season and is going into his age 33 season. Nnadi is an NFL ready run stuffer who can immediately push Mebane for his role.
85. Carolina Panthers – WR Anthony Miller (Memphis)*
The Panthers got this pick from the Bills in the Kelvin Benjamin trade and it would make a lot of sense for them to use it on his replacement. The Panthers traded for Torrey Smith this off-season, but he hasn’t been the same player since he left Baltimore, so they need someone to push him for snaps. Miller is a receiver the Panthers have worked out privately and he could potentially give them a talented trio of young receivers with Devin Funchess and last year’s 2nd round pick Curtis Samuel, who flashed as a rookie before going down for the season with an injury.
86. Kansas City Chiefs – CB JC Jackson (Maryland)
The Chiefs added David Amerson and Kendall Fuller this off-season, but they also traded away Marcus Peters, so they need at least one more cornerback. Jackson could push for a role in sub packages as a rookie and gives them long-term insurance in case Amerson is unable to bounce back from a disastrous final season in Oakland.
87. Los Angeles Rams – MLB Josey Jewell (Iowa)*
The Rams traded away Alec Ogletree because he was expensive and wasn’t a great fit for their scheme and may do the same with Mark Barron in the next year, as it’s going to be very expensive for them to keep all of their young talent under contract. The Rams trust Wade Phillips’ ability to coach up linebackers, but will have to get him some more talent to work with on draft day. Jewell fits their scheme better and has had a private visit with the Rams.
88. Carolina Panthers – RB Royce Freeman (Oregon)
The Panthers used the 8th pick in last year’s draft on a running back, taking Christian McCaffrey, but they’re going to use him all over the field, including wide receiver and slot receiver, so they need a traditional running back to take over at least some of the 198 carries vacated by Jonathan Stewart, who the Panthers let go of this off-season. Why not replace one Oregon running back with another? The 5-11 234 pound Freeman has been compared to Stewart and is one of several day 2 running backs who could have an immediate impact.
89. Tennessee Titans – MLB Malik Jefferson (Texas)*
The Titans lost Avery Williamson to the Jets this off-season, so it’s no surprise they’ve worked out a bunch of linebackers, including Malik Jefferson, who will likely be a 3rd round pick. Last year’s 5th round pick Jayon Brown is supposed to play a bigger role in Williamson’s absence, but Wesley Woodyard, their other starting middle linebacker, is only a two-down player and is going into his age 32 season.
90. Atlanta Falcons – WR Michael Gallup (Colorado State)
Taylor Gabriel has been the Falcons’ #3 receiver over the past two seasons, but he signed with the Bears this off-season and the Falcons don’t have a clear replacement. They could use a mid round pick on a wide receiver.
91. New Orleans Saints – TE Mark Andrews (Oklahoma)
The Saints signed tight end Coby Fleener to a 5-year, 36 million dollar deal two off-seasons, but he’s been a major disappointment, catching 50 passes in 2016 and just 22 passes last season. The only reason he hasn’t been released yet is because they don’t have another option, but they’ll probably change that on draft day. Andrews can compete with age-38 veteran Ben Watson for pass targets as a rookie.
92. Pittsburgh Steelers – OLB Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest)
The Steelers used first round picks on 3-4 outside linebackers in 2013, 2015, and 2017, but they still need help at the position. Jarvis Jones, their pick in 2013, is no longer with the team after 4 underwhelming seasons, while Bud Dupree, their pick in 2015, hasn’t been much better and could be “four and done” like Jones was if he doesn’t improve this season (his 5th year option is guaranteed for injury only). TJ Watt, their pick in 2017, looks like a good one, but they need depth behind him and Dupree in the short-term and someone to push Dupree for the starting job long-term.
93. Jacksonville Jaguars – CB Duke Dawson (Florida)
With AJ Bouye signed to a big contract already and Jalen Ramsey in line for one in the next couple of years, the Jaguars’ cornerbacks are going to get expensive fast, so I don’t think they’ll be able to commit significant money to the slot cornerback long-term. They signed DJ Hayden to a 3-year, 19 million dollar deal this off-season, but only 9.45 million of that is guaranteed, so they could use a mid round pick on a developmental slot cornerback who they can have cheaply on a rookie deal for 4 years.
94. Minnesota Vikings – DT Nathan Shepherd (Fort Hays State)*
The Vikings signed Sheldon Richardson, but should still use a high draft pick on a defensive tackle. Richardson was only signed for one season and the Vikings could use more depth behind Richardson and Linval Joseph regardless. Nathan Shepherd is an intriguing small school prospect and a good value at the end of the 3rd round. The Vikings, who have worked him out privately, could be thrilled that he’s still on the board.
95. New England Patriots – DE Jalyn Holmes (Ohio State)
Even with last year’s 3rd round pick Derek Rivers coming back after missing his entire rookie season with injury and Adrian Clayborn being added in free agency, the Patriots still need help at the defensive position. There is no guarantee Rivers ever develops into the player they drafted him to be and Trey Flowers, currently their best pass rusher, is going into the final year of his rookie deal without an extension. Jalyn Holmes won’t fit a lot of team’s schemes well, but he fits what the Patriots look for because he has good size for a defensive end at 6-5 283 and can line up inside in passing situations. He also played for Urban Meyer at Ohio State, who is a good friend of Bill Belichick’s, and he’s a good value at the end of the 3rd because he doesn’t fit what many other teams are looking for.
96. Buffalo Bills – CB Tarvarus McFadden (Florida State)
EJ Gaines was basically a throw-in in the Sammy Watkins trade, but he played well as the #2 cornerback opposite talented rookie Tre’davious White. Given that, it was strange that the Bills signed Vontae Davis to a 1-year, 5 million dollar deal early in the off-season and allowed Gaines to take a 1-year, 4 million dollar deal with the Browns. Davis is a more proven cornerback, but he’s going into his age 30 season and has been hit hard by injuries. He has missed 13 games over the past 2 seasons, was limited in several other games, and he hasn’t been a top level cornerback since 2014. The Bills need a developmental cornerback behind him on the depth chart, especially since he’s only on a one-year deal.
97. Arizona Cardinals – OT Chukwuma Okorafor (Western Michigan)
The Cardinals signed Justin Pugh this off-season, which appeared to fill a big hole for the Cardinals at right guard, but then they traded right tackle Jared Veldheer to the Broncos, so Pugh might end up playing right tackle instead. Regardless of where he plays, the Cardinals need to add an offensive lineman in the draft. Okorafor has good physical tools and upside, but he also had underwhelming tape in his final season at Western Michigan and could slide in the draft as a result. If he develops into a starting right tackle for the Cardinals, they can keep Pugh at guard, where he’s been a better player in his career.
98. Houston Texans – TE Dalton Schultz (Stanford)*
CJ Fiedorowicz is retiring because of concussions, which leaves the Texans thin at tight end. They need a big target over the middle, which is what Schultz can be. He’s a likely day 2 prospect that they’ve worked out privately.
99. Denver Broncos – OT Geron Christian (Louisville)*
Even after taking a guard with the 5th pick, the Broncos shouldn’t be done adding offensive linemen. Jared Veldheer was acquired from the Cardinals this off-season and is penciled in as their right tackle right now, but he’s going into his age 31 contract year, so he’s not a long-term solution. Christian is a day 2 prospect that they’ve worked out privately that could develop into a starting right tackle.
100. Cincinnati Bengals – S Terrell Edmunds (Virginia Tech)
Terrell Edmunds is a tweener who isn’t a perfect fit at safety or linebacker, but he should still get drafted on the 2nd day. The Bengals would make sense for him as they could use help at both spots. Starting safety Shawn Williams is a marginal option at best and linebacker depth is needed with Vontaze Burfict getting suspended yet again.
101. Green Bay Packers – G Wyatt Teller (Virginia Tech)
Offensive line is far from the Packers’ biggest need, but starting right tackle Bryan Bulaga is coming off of a torn ACL and is one of the highest paid right tackles in the league, while incumbent starting right guard Jahri Evans is unsigned going into his age 35 season. Justin McCray struggled in Bulaga’s absence last season and now is penciled in as the starting right guard. Expect the Packers to take an offensive lineman at some point. Teller could push for playing time as a rookie at right guard if Evans is not brought back.
102. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OT Joseph Noteboom (TCU)
Donovan Smith has made all 48 starts at left tackle since the Buccaneers took him in the 2nd round in 2015, but he hasn’t been that good, so the Buccaneers might not bring him back as a free agent next off-season if he doesn’t have a breakout year in his 4th year in the league in 2018. On the other side, right tackle Demar Dotson is a much better player, but injuries have limited him to just 27 starts in the past 3 seasons and he’s going into his age 33 season. They need better depth at both spots. Noteboom is a raw prospect, but he blew up the athletic drills at the combine, which could get him drafted relatively early on day 3 in a weak offensive tackle class.
103. Houston Texans – CB Parry Nickerson (Tulane)*
Even after signing Aaron Colvin and re-signing Johnathan Joseph, the Texans still have a need at cornerback. Joseph is going into his age 34 season and both Kevin Johnson and Kareem Jackson are coming off of down seasons. Jackson is going into an age 30 contract year, while Johnson could also be heading into a contract year if the Texans are scared off by his injury history and decline his 5th year option for 2019. The Texans have worked out Nickerson privately and he’s a good value here at the top of the 4th round, as he could easily be a day 2 pick.
104. Indianapolis Colts – DT Breeland Speaks (Mississippi)
The Colts let Johnathan Hankins go because he wasn’t an ideal fit for their new 4-3 defense. New defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus comes from Rod Marinelli’s system in Dallas and prefers smaller, quicker defensive linemen. The 6-3 283 pound Breeland Speaks fits the scheme better.
105. Chicago Bears – WR Equanimeous St. Brown (Notre Dame)*
The Bears signed Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel in free agency to deals worth 42 million over 3 years and 26 million over 4 years respectively, but they still have a need at the wide receiver position after strangely letting Cameron Meredith, their best receiver in 2016, sign with the Saints for 9.6 million over 2 years as a restricted free agent. Taylor Gabriel is only a slot receiver, so Kevin White is currently penciled in as the #2 receiver opposite Allen Robinson. White was the 7th pick in the 2015 draft and still has upside, but he’s a complete mystery because he’s missed so much time with injury, catching just 21 passes in just 5 career games. The Bears will have to add competition. St. Brown fits the range here at the top of the 4th and the Bears have worked him out privately.
106. Denver Broncos – DT Deadrin Senat (South Florida)
The Broncos have gone heavy on offense so far in the draft, but they have defensive needs as well. Domata Peko was a solid nose tackle last season, but he’s going into his age 34 season, so the Broncos could use a long-term solution. Senat has the size to play nose tackle at 6-0 314 and could also have a base package role as a 5-technique defensive end. 2016 2nd round pick Adam Gotsis was supposed to play a big role at defensive end in 2018, but he faces an uncertain future after being charged with rape from his college days.
107. New York Jets – DE Trenton Thompson (Georgia)
The Jets used to be loaded on the defensive line, but Damon Harrison left in free agency, Sheldon Richardson was traded to the Seahawks before he could leave in free agency, and Muhammad Wilkerson struggled mightily after signing a long-term extension two off-seasons ago and was subsequently cut this off-season after his guaranteed money ran out. Thompson could have an immediate role as a rookie opposite Leonard Williams.
108. New York Giants – RB Mark Walton (Miami)*
Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen are both free agents this off-season. The Giants signed Jonathan Stewart to replace Darkwa, but they need a replacement for Vereen as the passing down back. Walton is undersized at 5-10 188, but he’s an explosive athlete in the open field and can line up in different spots around the formation. He fits what they need well, so it’s not a surprise that the Giants have worked him out privately. He can have passing down role as a rookie and potentially develop into a more complete back. With Jonathan Stewart going into his age 31 season and 2016 4th round pick Wayne Gallman as the only capable back behind him on the depth chart, running back is definitely a need for this team.
109. Washington Redskins – MLB Micah Kiser (Virginia)*
The Redskins re-signed both Zach Brown and Mason Foster this off-season, but the latter was only signed to a 2-year, 4 million dollar deal, so the Redskins may have him compete for his starting job. He’s a competent run stuffer, but a limited athlete in coverage and is coming off of a season ending shoulder injury. Kiser is a local prospect they brought in for a workout and can at least provide them depth and special teams ability.
110. Oakland Raiders – P Michael Dickson (Texas)*
The Raiders cut Marquette King even though he was one of the best punters in the league because they thought he was overpaid and didn’t like his tendency to draw personal foul penalties. Now they’re left without a good option at the position, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve worked out Michael Dickson privately, as he’s the top punter in this draft. The Raiders will probably have to take him in the 4th if they want him.
111. Los Angeles Rams – OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma)*
Robert Quinn and Connor Barwin began last season as the Rams’ starting outside linebackers, but Quinn was traded away to the Dolphins this off-season and Barwin remains unsigned as a free agent going into his age 32 season. Currently topping the depth chart at the position are Samson Ebukam, a 2017 4th round pick, and Matt Longacre, a 2017 undrafted free agent. Both flashed as rookies and the Rams like both of them long-term, but they need at least one other player in the mix.
112. Cincinnati Bengals – WR Antonio Callaway (Florida)*
This is a match made in heaven. Antonio Callaway will be off of a lot of team’s boards because of off-the-field problems, but the Bengals have proven time and time again that they’re willing to take chances on players like that, so it’s no surprise they’ve been linked with him this off-season and worked him out privately. Callaway is a borderline first round talent and could give the Bengals a dangerous trio long-term with AJ Green and last year’s first round pick John Ross.
113. Denver Broncos – CB Rashaan Gaulden (Tennessee)
Trading Aqib Talib obviously hurts the Broncos at cornerback, even if they didn’t feel he was worth his salary anymore. The Broncos used a 3rd round pick on a cornerback last year and signed Tramaine Brock in free agency, but Brock was only signed to a one-year deal and Bradley Roby is also going into the final year of his contract, so more depth is needed. Gaulden has the size to remind some of Talib (6-1 193), though he could end up at safety long-term because of his lack of fluidity. The Broncos could use help at that position as well, with Will Parks struggling as the 3rd safety last year and trade acquisition Su’a Cravens having a concerning concussion history and spending last year out of football.
114. Cleveland Browns – S Marcus Allen (Penn State)
The Browns traded for Damarious Randall to fill a hole at safety, but the Browns could still add a safety in the draft with one of their many picks. Randall’s 2019 option has yet to be exercised and would be guaranteed for injury only even if it does get picked up, so Randall could end up only being in Cleveland for a year if he struggles.
115. Chicago Bears – MLB Oren Burks (Vanderbilt)
The Bears are going to give 2016 4th round pick Nick Kwiatkowski a shot to lock down the starting middle linebacker job inside next to Danny Trevathan, but they’re pretty thin behind him on the depth chart, so expect them to add some depth and competition through the draft.
116. Dallas Cowboys – DT PJ Hall (Sam Houston State)*
Defensive tackle is still a weak point for the Cowboys, as both Brian Price and Maliek Collins struggled inside next to David Irving in 2017. Hall is a small school prospect that was not invited to the combine, but he blew up the athletic tests at his Pro Day and he’s gotten a lot of interest around the league, taking 8 private visits, including one to the Cowboys. He’s undersized at barely 6-1, but he fits their scheme well as a one gap penetrator.
117. Detroit Lions – TE Tyler Conklin (Central Michigan)*
The Lions let Eric Ebron go because he wasn’t worth his salary, but the Lions now have a big need for a pass catching tight end. Atop their depth chart at tight end are veteran free agent acquisition Luke Willson, who has a career high of 22 catches in 5 seasons in the league, and 2017 4th round pick Michael Roberts, a blocker who caught 4 passes as a rookie. Conklin could have more catches than both of them as a rookie. He’s a local prospect they’ve had a lot of interest in.
118. Baltimore Ravens – C Mason Cole (Michigan)
The Ravens should be better on the offensive line next season with both Alex Lewis and Marshal Yanda returning from injury, but losing center Ryan Jensen to the Buccaneers was a big loss, as he was their best offensive lineman last season and they don’t have a clear replacement for him. Cole could compete to start as a rookie.
119. Los Angeles Chargers – S DeShon Elliott (Texas)
The Chargers surprisingly got a good season out of Tre Boston, after he was waived by the Panthers as a restricted free agent last off-season, but he remains unsigned as a free agent for some reason. If the Chargers don’t bring him back, their best option to replace him is last year’s 4th round pick Rayshawn Jenkins, but don’t be surprised if they at least add competition through the draft.
120. Seattle Seahawks – WR DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State)
The Seahawks lost both Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham in free agency this off-season and Jaron Brown and Ed Dickson aren’t exactly adequate replacements. The Seahawks don’t have many picks, but they need to get Russell Wilson someone else to throw to at some point. Hamilton could push Brown for playing time as a rookie and gives them an insurance option in case they lose Tyler Lockett in free agency next off-season.
121. Buffalo Bills – DT RJ McIntosh (Miami)*
Even after adding Star Lotulelei on a big contract in free agency, the Bills still have a need at defensive tackle. Kyle Williams is going into his age 35 season and was only brought back on a one-year deal this off-season and top reserve Adolphus Washington struggled mightily when pushed into a larger role last season after the Bills traded Marcell Dareus. McIntosh is a bit undersized at 6-4 293, but he can play an immediate role as a situational pass rusher. The Bills worked him out privately and he’s expected to go in rounds 3-5.
122. Kansas City Chiefs – OLB Dorance Armstrong (Kansas)*
With Dee Ford limited to 6 games of poor play by back issues last season, the Chiefs struggled mightily to get to the quarterback opposite Justin Houston. Last year’s 2nd round pick Tanoh Kpassagnon could play a bigger role in 2018, but Ford is going into the final year of his rookie deal and could be cost prohibitive for the Chiefs to re-sign as a free agent if he bounces back in 2018, so the Chiefs should add another developmental prospect at the position. Armstrong is a local player they’ve had some interest in and he fits the range in the 4th round.
123. Miami Dolphins – G Will Clapp (LSU)
Adding Josh Sitton in free agency improves the Dolphins’ situation at guard a lot, but the Dolphins still have a big hole at the left guard position and Sitton isn’t a long-term option at right guard, as he’s going into his age 32 season. Clapp played all over the line at LSU and projects best as a guard or center at the next level. Even if he doesn’t develop into a starter, his versatility would make him a valuable reserve for a Miami team that perennially has issues on the offensive line.
124. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Daurice Fountain (Northern Iowa)*
Even with the Chiefs adding Sammy Watkins on a long-term deal in free agency, they could still use more help at wide receiver. Chris Conley is currently penciled in as the #3 receiver, but he’s an underwhelming player coming off of a torn achilles, so the Chiefs should add competition for him long-term. Fountain was not invited to the combine, despite looking like he belonged in the East/West Shrine Game. He’s drawn plenty of interest around the league, making private visits to 10 teams that were not able to meet with him at the combine, including the Chiefs. He should go off the board relatively early on day 3.
125. Tennessee Titans – WR Keke Coutee (Texas Tech)
Last year’s 3rd round pick Taywan Taylor is expected to replace Eric Decker on the slot in 2018, but the Titans could still add some competition for him in the middle rounds. Coutee could also be a long-term replacement for Rishard Matthews if the Titans don’t bring him back as a free agent next off-season.
126. Kansas City Chiefs – G Jamil Demby (Maine)
Andy Reid is always pushing his front office to draft linemen on both sides of the ball and usually gets his way. The Chiefs have an unsettled situation at left guard right now, so adding a developmental prospect would make a lot of sense. Demby is the kind of lineman Reid likes at 6-5 335. He was a punishing left tackle at the FCS level for the University of Maine, but he projects better at guard in the NFL because he isn’t a good athlete. If he can successfully make the switch, he has the tools to be a long-term starter.
127. New Orleans Saints – WR Cedrick Wilson (Boise State)*
Wide receiver isn’t as big of a need for the Saints as it was before they signed Cameron Meredith away from the Bears, but Ted Ginn is going into his age 33 season and might not age well, given his reliance on speed, so the Saints need a long-term replacement for him. Wilson is a mid-round wide receiver prospect that they’ve worked out privately.
128. San Francisco 49ers – CB MJ Stewart (North Carolina)
The 49ers used their first pick on a defensive pick, taking Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick, but he may end up at safety long-term, so the 49ers could still use one of their other picks on a cornerback. Even if Richard Sherman is able to bounce back from his torn achilles and continue to play well at age 30, the 49ers still lack depth at the cornerback position.
129. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Mike White (Western Kentucky)
The Jaguars signed Blake Bortles to a long-term extension this off-season, but that shouldn’t preclude the Jaguars from adding a developmental quarterback in the draft, considering how inconsistent Bortles’ play is. His deal doesn’t have a ton of guaranteed money for a quarterback, so the Jaguars should add a developmental quarterback at some point to give them another long-term option should they decide to move on from Bortles. They added Cody Kessler via trade from the Browns this off-season, but they barely gave anything up for him and he has more of a backup’s skill set. White has a strong arm and a good frame, but needs to develop better field vision, footwork, and accuracy.
130. Philadelphia Eagles – TE Durham Smythe (Notre Dame)*
Zach Ertz is signed long-term as the Eagles’ top tight end, but with Brent Celek getting released and Trey Burton signing for more money with the Bears, the Eagles are suddenly thin at the position behind him. They don’t have a lot of needs, but they need someone who can be their #2 tight end long-term. Smythe is an NFL ready blocker who can contribute immediately, so it’s not a surprise the Eagles have worked him out privately. He’d be a good fit for them in the 4th round.
131. Miami Dolphins – RB John Kelly (Tennessee)
The Dolphins signed Frank Gore to give them a complementary back to pair with Kenyan Drake, but Gore is going into his age 35 season and was only signed to a one-year deal, so he’s not a long-term option. Expect the Dolphins to add another back to the mix at some point.
132. Philadelphia Eagles – OT Brandon Parker (North Carolina A&T)*
Jason Peters will be back for the 2018 season, but he’s going into his age 36 season and coming off of a torn ACL, so the Eagles have to plan for life without him. The Eagles like Halapoulivaati Vaitai, but he was underwhelming in Peters’ absence last season, so they should add some long-term competition for him. Even if Vaitai does become a starter long-term, Parker can replace him as the swing tackle.
133. Green Bay Packers – WR D’Jon Moore (Missouri)*
The Packers took a wide receiver in the 2nd round, but they could double up on the position. Randall Cobb is going into the final year of his contract, so he could follow Jordy Nelson out the door next off-season. D’Jon Moore is a mid round receiver they’ve worked out privately.
134. Arizona Cardinals – WR Marcell Ateman (Oklahoma State)
A few years back, the Cardinals had arguably the best receiving corps in the NFL with Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown, but Floyd and Brown never repeated their strong 2015 seasons and are no longer with the team, while Fitzgerald is going into his age 35 season and probably won’t be around much longer. The Cardinals need to add a wide receiver at some point on draft day, as their best options behind Fitzgerald are 2017 3rd round pick Nick Williams, who barely played as a rookie, deep threat JJ Nelson, and Brice Butler, who was the Cowboys’ #4 receiver last year.
135. Los Angeles Rams – C Tony Adams (NC State)*
The additions of center John Sullivan and left tackle Andrew Whitworth last off-season were a big part of the reason why the Rams turned things around so drastically on offense from 2016 to 2017, but both are getting up there in age, going into their age 37 and 33 seasons respectively. The Rams don’t have any early picks this year, but they have plenty of mid round picks, so expect them to take some offensive linemen that can potentially start long-term. Adams’ lack of length will have him off a lot of team’s board as a guard, but he could still be a relatively early pick on day 3 if teams think he can play center, where he saw some action in college. The Rams are at least interested in him, bringing him in for a private workout, and he could develop for a couple years behind Sullivan, while providing depth at multiple spots.
136. Los Angeles Rams – OLB Marquis Haynes (Mississippi)
The Rams double up on outside linebackers. While their first outside linebacker selection, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, is a jack of all traits type with underwhelming athleticism, Haynes is a pass rush specialist who needs to get stronger.
137. Dallas Cowboys – OT Desmond Harrison (West Georgia)*
The Cowboys have worked out quite a few offensive linemen in the pre-draft process. Given how much emphasis they put on having a good offensive line, they couldn’t have been happy with their underwhelming performance upfront last season, after losing Ronald Leary and Doug Free in the off-season and having left tackle Tyron Smith in and out of the lineup with injuries. They signed Cameron Fleming this off-season to play right tackle, which will move La’El Collins to left guard, where he’s a better fit, but Fleming was only signed on a one-year deal and Collins is no lock to develop into a starter, so expect them to use at least one pick on a developmental offensive lineman. Harrison is one of those offensive linemen they’ve worked out and has good upside for a 4th rounder. He’s inexperienced and has off the field issues, but he has the tools to develop into a starter.