Check out the latest: 2018 NFL Mock Draft
Overall Draft Thoughts:
- Chicago’s trade up to get Mitch Trubisky had cascading rumblings all the way through to the middle of the second round. Teams were adjusting their boards and it allowed a number of teams to get players that they didn’t necessarily think they had a chance to get. It was chaotic and very entertaining. It made this draft one of the most exciting ever.
- One sobering thought that needs to be remembered after each draft is over is that rookies generally are not very good. The move from college to the NFL is a huge shock, even when coming from a top program. It is a cliché but also true that the biggest step in a player’s career is from year one to year two. Certain positions, like running back, allow players to step right in, but with few exceptions, our expectations of first year players should be toned way down.
- It is very disappointing to see how little work many top draft analysts put into team schemes when predicting where players will be selected. They seem to analyze players “in a vacuum,” and so, when the draft is underway, they make snap judgments with very little regard to each team’s schemes.
- The NFL Network’s coverage was far more professional and thoughtful than what ESPN has turned out recently. As an institution in American sports, I hope that ESPN can return to form in the near future.
- The concept of evaluating a draft class for a team purely on how they drafted players that would fit their greatest needs is simply ignorant and incredibly lazy. The draft is a mechanism in and of itself, and is not under the control of any particular team. If you show me a team that had apparent needs A, B, C, and D, and followed a draft of picking players in those positions, I will show you a team that reached and panicked. However, that team will likely get “A”‘s from many draft analysts.
- We understand why people like draft grades after a draft, but we think they are illogical, so we won’t do them. The following are “thoughts” (go figure) on each team’s draft:
1/13 Haason Reddick ILB TEMPLE
2/36 Budda Baker S WASHINGTON
3/98 Chad Williams WR GRAMBLING
4/115 Dorian Johnson G PITTSBURGH
5/157 Will Holden OT VANDERBILT
5/179 T.J. Logan RB NORTH CAROLINA
6/208 Rudy Ford S AUBURN
While three teams moved up to take a quarterback, the Cardinals quietly replenished a defense that lost some key parts. They didn’t panic and got a player that many had in their top 10 at 13, and added an extremely versatile defensive back in the next round. The Cardinals can win now, they just need to stop losing games that they should win. They added an excellent guard that fell to them in the 4th round who comes from a pro style system and can step in immediately. T.J. Logan is an exciting playmaker and should boost their special teams from day 1. They will have to start to make a plan at QB, but were smart not to mortgage their current assets to get one in this draft.
1/26 Takkarist McKinley OLB UCLA
3/75 Duke Riley ILB LSU
4/136 Sean Harlow OT OREGON STATE
5/149 Damontae Kazee CB SAN DIEGO STATE
5/156 Brian Hill RB WYOMING
5/174 Eric Saubert TE DRAKE
McKinley fell a bit because he doesn’t fit every scheme and has an injury. The Falcons must be ecstatic that he did, as he will not only help boost their pass rush, but he fits their scheme, their attitude, and when healthy, can step in immediately, not having to be “the man.” They then grabbed another linebacker. After scoring huge on one last year, it wasn’t necessarily a need, but they stayed true to their board. Hill becomes the wrecking ball running back that should help in 4 minute drills, and Saubert was a “sleeper” favorite by many draft experts. The offense has been explosive, but they also need to kill the clock when they have the lead and a power back and dynamic tight end will help.
1/16 Marlon Humphrey CB ALABAMA
2/47 Tyus Bowser OLB HOUSTON
3/74 Chris Wormley DT MICHIGAN
3/78 Tim Williams OLB ALABAMA
4/122 Nico Siragusa G SAN DIEGO STATE
5/159 Jermaine Eluemunor OT TEXAS A&M
6/186 Chuck Clark S VIRGINIA TECH
The Ravens must feel that the problems they have had on offense have been because of bad fits between the quarterback and the offensive coordinators, as they spent their first four picks on defense. There has been a revolving door with coordinators, and internally, they surely feel that they have solved that disconnect. Humphrey is a supremely gifted and well coached corner, but had a lot of problems locating deep balls. The Ravens won’t need him to follow receivers all the way down the field, so they can utilize his strengths. They had a sudden retirement by a star linebacker, so they drafted the very highly rated Bowser, and then added another linebacker with the excellent pass rusher Williams. Wormley was one of the more underrated players in the draft, and the Ravens must have been shocked to be able to get him where they did. They lost a talented tackle in free agency, and getting Eluemunor in the 5th round was a great value.
1/27 Tre’Davious White CB LSU
2/37 Zay Jones WR EAST CAROLINA
2/63 Dion Dawkins G TEMPLE
5/163 Matt Milano OLB BOSTON COLLEGE
5/171 Nathan Peterman QB PITTSBURGH
6/195 Tanner Vallejo OLB BOISE STATE
Trading down in the first round should have reverberating positive effects for years to come. White is arguably the second best, and perhaps the “cleanest” corner in the draft. After a flurry of wide receivers going early, it was actually surprising that Jones lasted until 37, but it filled a great need at the right spot in the draft. Peterman is out of the box ready after playing in a pro system at Pitt, but the general consensus is that in Buffalo you need a strong armed QB, which he is not. He is extremely smart and ready to play, and they may simply be preparing to build a more short passing, rhythm offense around him. Dawkins is a nasty player and will fit in immediately at a position of need.
1/8 Christian McCaffrey RB STANFORD
2/40 Curtis Samuel WR OHIO STATE
2/64 Taylor Moton OT WESTERN MICHIGAN
3/77 Daeshon Hall DE TEXAS A&M
5/152 Corn Elder CB MIAMI
6/192 Alexander Armah DE WEST GEORGIA
7/233 Harrison Butker K GEORGIA TECH
If you review the first few years of the Panthers play, as they eased Newton into the offense, many fans forget that they actually ran an offense similar to New England. This includes Erhardt-Perkins concepts where they can utilize wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends interchangeably (as much as possible) to create mismatches. They are going all in with that concept in this draft. McCaffrey and Samuel are the two pure hybrid RB/WR players in this draft and they got both. They are not redundant. Moton is a right tackle that could play guard as well, but he is going to prove to be a very valuable piece for next year.
1/2 Mitchell Trubisky QB NORTH CAROLINA
2/45 Adam Shaheen TE ASHLAND UNIVERSITY
4/112 Eddie Jackson S ALABAMA
4/119 Tarik Cohen RB NORTH CAROLINA A&T
5/147 Jordan Morgan G KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY
If you simply stated that the Bears drafted Trubisky with the #2 pick overall it is understandable. He looks the part of an NFL starting QB. He has some challenges with his mechanics that need to be addressed, but he is good in the pocket. He didn’t have a lot of starts, but did see the field in a lot of games, and has experience with a lot of pro style concepts. The issues are the two other aspects to this move: 1) they moved up and gave up a lot to get him when they have a lot of needs, and 2) this was a GM pick and not a GM/Coach pick. GM’s and coaches that are not married at the hip don’t have a good chance to succeed. Shaheen was a pre-draft darling, and deservedly so. He is a seam route nightmare to defend, and just seems like a perfect Chicago Bear. Cohen, the “Human Joystick,” is slippery and can make big plays out of nothing.
1/9 John Ross WR WASHINGTON
2/48 Joe Mixon RB OKLAHOMA
3/73 Jordan Willis DE KANSAS STATE
4/116 Carl Lawson DE AUBURN
4/128 Josh Malone WR TENNESSEE
4/138 Ryan Glasgow DT MICHIGAN
5/153 Jake Elliott K MEMPHIS
5/176 J.J. Dielman C UTAH
6/193 Jordan Evans ILB OKLAHOMA
6/207 Brandon Wilson CB HOUSTON
7/251 Mason Schreck TE BUFFALO
The Bengals have lost a lot of talent the last few years in free agency and always seem to draft guys that are high on mock drafts. They get a lot of high grades from analysts, but they are always locked into the middle class or below. For some reason, there was talk that the Bengals would be a great spot for Mixon to land as they have handled players like him in the past. The truth is that they have TAKEN players like that, but they haven’t HANDLED players at all. There are a lot of trendy names in their draft, but from injury concerns, to scheme fit, to character problems, there are problems up and down the board without any discernible plan. Willis was a steal falling to them there in the 3rd, and Glasgow was a run blocking machine and a great value in the 4th.
1/1 Myles Garrett DE TEXAS A&M
1/25 Jabrill Peppers S MICHIGAN
1/29 David Njoku TE MIAMI
2/52 DeShone Kizer QB NOTRE DAME
3/65 Larry Ogunjobi DT CHARLOTTE
4/126 Howard Wilson CB HOUSTON
5/160 Roderick Johnson OT FLORIDA STATE
6/185 Caleb Brantley DT FLORIDA
7/224 Zane Gonzalez K ARIZONA STATE
7/252 Matthew Dayes RB NC STATE
The Browns draft in 2017 needs a book about it. Include the free agency moves and it was absolutely fascinating to see the events unfold. They never should have shown their hand that they had interest in moving up to get Trubisky, but it was a mistake that probably ultimately turned out for the best. And San Francisco should thank them for that as well. Garrett was a safe choice, and the counter actions of moving down and then up netted them two excellent players. Peppers can have an under the radar year of gaining experience as a safety, and Njoku will be a safety net for whomever is playing QB. Ogunjobi was one of our favorite players in this draft, and can add to a very, very talented defensive line. Johnson was a steal in the 5th round, doesn’t need to start this year and can clean up some deficiencies. The Brantley pick was just a mistake unless they have a lot more info than is out there. It is a bad look because, unlike with Conley, there doesn’t seem to be enough compelling info to show that he might not have done what he is accused of doing. It is an example of when human common sense needs to supersede moneyball nonsense.
1/28 Taco Charlton DE MICHIGAN
2/60 Chidobe Awuzie CB COLORADO
3/92 Jourdan Lewis CB MICHIGAN
4/133 Ryan Switzer WR NORTH CAROLINA
6/191 Xavier Woods S LOUISIANA TECH
6/216 Marquez White CB FLORIDA STATE
7/228 Joey Ivie DT FLORIDA
7/239 Noah Brown WR OHIO STATE
7/246 Jordan Carrell DT COLORADO
The Charlton pick contains two contradictory elements to it. First, he doesn’t have much of a burst, and seems to be a left defensive end that should work on being primarily a run defender with some pass rush skills. That isn’t mere speculation; there is very dependable data over time of taking a defensive player’s 40, broad jump, vertical, etc., and knowing how that translates to sacks and TFLs at the next level. There are exceptions, of course, and that brings in the contradictory part: Rod Marinelli. Nobody gets more out of his defensive line players than Marinelli and he has a long, proven track record. The benefit of the doubt should go to Marinelli. Awuzie and Lewis are heralded defensive backs that will start to rebuild their secondary along with two other defensive backs that they added later. They can’t just throw out all of the rookies at once, and will need to find a good blend as the new guys gain experience, but they did a nice job last year with sub-par veterans. Switzer is an exciting player that should be in the mix for returns and special offensive packages right away.
1/20 Garett Bolles OT UTAH
2/51 DeMarcus Walker DE FLORIDA STATE
3/82 Carlos Henderson WR LOUISIANA TECH
3/101 Brendan Langley CB LAMAR
5/145 Jake Butt TE MICHIGAN
5/172 Isaiah McKenzie WR GEORGIA
6/203 De’Angelo Henderson RB COASTAL CAROLINA
7/253 Chad Kelly QB OLE MISS
The Broncos knew who they wanted all along at tackle, and with all of the chaos happening in front of them, had no issue getting their man. Bolles is a guy that was just a mess when a little younger, but has spent the last few years turning it all around. The draft fell very well for the Broncos, as Walker, Henderson, and Butt all fell to them at spots in the draft where value met need. Their other Henderson, De’Angelo, is a Maurice Jones-Drew type back that runs with authority, and will add power to their run game.
1/21 Jarrad Davis ILB FLORIDA
2/53 Teez Tabor CB FLORIDA
3/96 Kenny Golladay WR NORTHERN ILLINOIS
4/124 Jalen Reeves-Maybin OLB TENNESSEE
4/127 Michael Roberts TE TOLEDO
5/165 Jamal Agnew CB San Diego
6/205 Jeremiah Ledbetter DE ARKANSAS
6/215 Brad Kaaya QB MIAMI
7/250 Pat O’Connor DE EASTERN MICHIGAN
The Lions had a terrible time last year with opposing tight ends and quarterbacks. This was primarily due to a linebacker core that got 0 (ZERO!) interceptions and 0 sacks. Add to that a lingering issue with Ansah that kept him out of a lot of games all year and they had a soft zone where opposing QB’s feasted. They desperately needed a linebacker that could not only come in and cover, blitz, and stop the run, but also could become the leader of the defense. Davis is a perfect fit for that job description, and the addition of Reeves-Maybin in the 4th should help eliminate that soft zone. The talk of Tabor running a slow 40 is overblown, as he won’t be following receivers down the field, and Agnew will push for time in the slot. Roberts was near the top of touchdown receptions in college, and has the biggest hands in the draft. The Lions want to run out of 12 personnel and look for Roberts to work the inside, allowing Ebron to move outside much more.
Green Bay Packers
2/33 Kevin King CB WASHINGTON
2/61 Josh Jones S NC STATE
3/93 Montravius Adams DT AUBURN
4/108 Vince Biegel OLB WISCONSIN
4/134 Jamaal Williams RB BYU
5/175 Deangelo Yancey WR PURDUE
5/182 Aaron Jones RB UTEP
6/212 Kofi Amichia G SOUTH FLORIDA
7/238 Devante Mays RB UTAH STATE
7/247 Malachi Dupre WR LSU
That is a lot of running backs. Ted Thompson does a great job, but we tend to put certain people in the NFL on a pedestal and are afraid to criticize them so as to not be called out on it. However, the last few years it seems like Green Bay had some glaring weakness at a certain position that kept them from ultimately succeeding. Well, Thompson made a big mistake in letting T.J. Lang go to a division rival, and that is going to be an issue this year. However, Kevin King and Josh Jones are tough players that are going to help a struggling secondary immediately, and Adams is a disruptive one gap defender.
1/12 Deshaun Watson QB CLEMSON
2/57 Zach Cunningham ILB VANDERBILT
3/89 D’Onta Foreman RB TEXAS
4/130 Julien Davenport OT BUCKNELL
4/142 Carlos Watkins DT CLEMSON
5/169 Treston Decoud CB OREGON STATE
7/243 Kyle Fuller C BAYLOR
The Texans have a championship defense and some nice weapons on offense. The move to get Watson was bold, decisive, and they hope he will be the missing piece to a championship run. Watson has succeeded under the big lights, but will need to immerse himself in the complicated Texans’ playbook. Cunningham finds runners and shuts them down, and it is important for the Texans to have a stocked linebacker core. Davenport was probably the most prototypical left tackle in the draft, but doesn’t have much experience against top competition. He can sit in Houston and spend a year learning the position.
1/15 Malik Hooker S OHIO STATE
2/46 Quincy Wilson CB FLORIDA
3/80 Tarell Basham DE OHIO
4/137 Zach Banner OT USC
4/143 Marlon Mack RB SOUTH FLORIDA
4/144 Grover Stewart DT ALBANY ST (GA)
5/158 Nate Hairston CB TEMPLE
5/161 Anthony Walker Jr. ILB NORTHWESTERN
The Colts hit the reboot button on their GM situation and haven’t looked back since. They were wise in free agency to add in players that can hold down the fort as new talent arrives. Part of protecting Luck is simply creating a more balanced team; one with an offense that can run the ball and a defense that can maintain leads so they can get into their 4 minute offense. Hooker is the centerfielder that they need to help stop big plays against them, and Wilson is a physical corner that can boost their secondary. Basham is a relentless pass rusher that can sit behind talented mentors. Steward shined in his all-star game and was a sleeper pick for many draft experts.
1/4 Leonard Fournette RB LSU
2/34 Cam Robinson OT ALABAMA
3/68 Dawaune Smoot DE ILLINOIS
4/110 Dede Westbrook WR OKLAHOMA
5/148 Blair Brown ILB OHIO
7/222 Jalen Myrick CB MINNESOTA
7/240 Marquez Williams FB MIAMI
Fournette to the Jags just made sense in so many ways. Coughlin likes a power running game, and they need to make their offense more dynamic. With a newly acquired offensive tackle that is aging and wanting more money (and not great anyway), getting Robinson in the second round must have been a great relief. Westbrook is a supremely talented receiver but with a lot of character concerns. He might have landed in the right place to get his mind-set straight.
Kansas City Chiefs
1/10 Patrick Mahomes II QB TEXAS TECH
2/59 Tanoh Kpassagnon DE VILLANOVA
3/86 Kareem Hunt RB TOLEDO
4/139 Jehu Chesson WR MICHIGAN
5/183 Marcus Eligwe ILB GEORGIA SOUTHERN
6/218 Leon McQuay III S USC
The Chiefs’s decision to move up to get Mahomes is a head scratcher. Immediately there were comparisons to how Reid had Brett Favre, who was also a gunslinger. There is one huge problem with that… Favre was actually a sound quarterback at his core that went all gunslinger in situations, sometimes with good results, sometimes bad. Favre had the fundamentals of an NFL QB but sometimes went rogue with his technique. Mahomes has none of the core fundamentals of an NFL QB. He is going to have to be stripped down and built back up. The Chiefs are just a few pieces away from getting over the hump, and it appears to be very bad timing for them to give up so much to develop a QB that doesn’t fit your system at all, and that will need a lot of time to develop. They did get some interesting pieces in the draft, besides that. Kpassagnon is a physical specimen that could develop into a star defensive end, and Chesson fits exactly in what a WCO receiver needs to be… a yards after catch receiver.
Los Angeles Chargers
1/7 Mike Williams WR CLEMSON
2/38 Forrest Lamp G WESTERN KENTUCKY
3/71 Dan Feeney G INDIANA
4/113 Rayshawn Jenkins S MIAMI
5/151 Desmond King CB IOWA
6/190 Sam Tevi OT UTAH
7/225 Isaac Rochell DE NOTRE DAME
The Chargers are going all in on getting Rivers a championship, and used early picks on getting him another receiver and interior offensive line help. Williams will join a talented, but often injured wide receiver core, and should help create one of the most productive wide receiver combos in the league. They got perhaps the best two guards in the draft, which perhaps more than anything else should allow them to run the ball consistently, allowing them to run out the clock when they have leads. Rochell is an underrated prospect that was the best defensive end against the run.
Los Angeles Rams
2/44 Gerald Everett TE SOUTH ALABAMA
3/69 Cooper Kupp WR EASTERN WASHINGTON
3/91 John Johnson S BOSTON COLLEGE
4/117 Josh Reynolds WR TEXAS A&M
4/125 Samson Ebukam OLB EASTERN WASHINGTON
6/189 Tanzel Smart DT TULANE
6/206 Sam Rogers FB VIRGINIA TECH
7/234 Ejuan Price OLB PITTSBURGH
The Rams need people to throw to, and spent three of their first four picks on targets for their young QB. All three players should get a lot of playing time this year, especially Kupp, who catches anything thrown at him. John Johnson is a very versatile defensive back that should play multiple positions in the secondary.
1/22 Charles Harris OLB MISSOURI
2/54 Raekwon McMillan ILB OHIO STATE
3/97 Cordrea Tankersley CB CLEMSON
5/164 Isaac Asiata G UTAH
5/178 Davon Godchaux DT LSU
6/194 Vincent Taylor DT OKLAHOMA STATE
7/237 Isaiah Ford WR VIRGINIA TECH
The Dolphins have spent a lot of resources on their defense, but have been lacking pieces that complement each other. Harris is going to be free to get to the quarterback as other defenders garner double teams. McMillan will clog gaps as the defensive tackles attack their gaps. They very much needed a guard as they shuffle their offensive line, and getting Asiata in the 5th round was a very good value.
2/41 Dalvin Cook RB FLORIDA STATE
3/70 Pat Elflein C OHIO STATE
4/109 Jaleel Johnson DT IOWA
4/120 Ben Gedeon ILB MICHIGAN
5/170 Rodney Adams WR SOUTH FLORIDA
5/180 Danny Isidora G MIAMI
6/201 Bucky Hodges TE VIRGINIA TECH
7/219 Stacy Coley WR MIAMI
7/220 Ifeadi Odenigbo DE NORTHWESTERN
7/232 Elijah Lee OLB KANSAS STATE
7/245 Jack Tocho CB NC STATE
The Vikings moved up to get some talent that they targeted, and believe they may have stabilized some problems that they had last year. Cook was arguably the best RB in the draft, and getting him at 41 is quite a value. He is going to catch a lot of passes this year. Elflein provides them with the center of the future, and can play guard as well. Isidora was viewed as one of the safer offensive line prospects, and could fight his way into the starting lineup.
New England Patriots
3/83 Derek Rivers OLB YOUNGSTOWN STATE
3/85 Antonio Garcia OT TROY
4/131 Deatrich Wise Jr. DE ARKANSAS
6/211 Conor McDermott OT UCLA
The Patriots this year did most of their work in free agency. However, with a limited number of picks they managed to get some very high quality players. Garcia showed during the draft process that he can compete against top-level talent, and can spend a year learning better technique. McDermott’s stock fell as shows put on film of Myles Garrett running through him early in the season, but is a great value in the 6th.
New Orleans Saints
1/11 Marshon Lattimore CB OHIO STATE
1/32 Ryan Ramczyk OT WISCONSIN
2/42 Marcus Williams S UTAH
3/67 Alvin Kamara RB TENNESSEE
3/76 Alex Anzalone ILB FLORIDA
3/103 Trey Hendrickson DE FLORIDA ATLANTIC
6/196 Al-Quadin Muhammad DE MIAMI
The Saints must have been high fiving as Lattimore fell to them in the first round. It was a dire need and they didn’t have to move at all to get him. He is the only potential shut down corner in this draft and is a starter day 1. Ramczyk being available at the end of the first round was another surprise. It wasn’t their biggest need, but it is rare that you get quality tackles in the draft, and you have to take them when you can. Kamara falling to the third is a stunner, and the Saints continued to grab players that other teams missed on.
New York Giants
1/23 Evan Engram TE OLE MISS
2/55 Dalvin Tomlinson DT ALABAMA
3/87 Davis Webb QB CALIFORNIA
4/140 Wayne Gallman RB CLEMSON
5/167 Avery Moss DE YOUNGSTOWN STATE
6/200 Adam Bisnowaty G PITTSBURGH
Engram is one of the more intriguing picks of the first round. Not a lot of mock drafts had him going this high, but he is one of the biggest matchup nightmares in this draft. After adding an experienced wide receiver, the Giants now have a very wide mix of weapons for Eli to throw to. Webb doesn’t seem, in any way, like a West Coast Offense QB, but that seems to be a trend of WCO coaches and GM’s- drafting QB’s that in no way match your system. Bisnowaty was an excellent value in the 6th, and could become a starter by the start of the season.
New York Jets
1/6 Jamal Adams S LSU
2/39 Marcus Maye S FLORIDA
3/79 ArDarius Stewart WR ALABAMA
4/141 Chad Hansen WR CALIFORNIA
5/150 Jordan Leggett TE CLEMSON
5/181 Dylan Donahue DE WEST GEORGIA
6/188 Elijah McGuire RB UL LAFAYETTE
6/197 Jeremy Clark CB MICHIGAN
6/204 Derrick Jones CB OLE MISS
How the Jets landed Jamal Adams is beyond even themselves, but it was a pick they had to make. He will come in and quickly become the leader of that defense, something that they very much need. They didn’t deviate from their board in the second, when they grabbed another safety in Maye, but they are cleaning house at that position, and safety is increasing in importance in today’s “matchup” league. They doubled up again on a position as they went wide receiver twice, a position that is virtually barren on their roster.
1/24 Gareon Conley CB OHIO STATE
2/56 Obi Melifonwu S CONNECTICUT
3/88 Eddie Vanderdoes DT UCLA
4/129 David Sharpe G FLORIDA
5/168 Marquel Lee OLB WAKE FOREST
7/221 Shalom Luani S WASHINGTON STATE
7/231 Jylan Ware OT ALABAMA STATE
7/242 Elijah Hood RB NORTH CAROLINA
7/244 Treyvon Hester DT TOLEDO
There has been a lot of talk about how the Raiders need help getting into the backfield, but much of that could be related to how the defensive was called during the game. They made some adjustments in how the defense will be managed in-game and theoretically that should yield benefits. Regardless, they needed help in their secondary, and were comfortable enough with the Conley situation to get him as a steal at 24 in the first round. They immediately followed that up with the extremely athletic and versatile Melinfonwu. Vanderdoes did not get a lot of draft talk this year, but if he finds the best weight for him to be productive, could work his way into the rotation early.
1/14 Derek Barnett DE TENNESSEE
2/43 Sidney Jones CB WASHINGTON
3/99 Rasul Douglas CB WEST VIRGINIA
4/118 Mack Hollins WR NORTH CAROLINA
4/132 Donnel Pumphrey RB SAN DIEGO STATE
5/166 Shelton Gibson WR WEST VIRGINIA
5/184 Nathan Gerry S NEBRASKA
6/214 Elijah Qualls DT WASHINGTON
The Eagles are a rising team with an emerging QB and a tough defense. They are in stage 2 of team building and used the draft to add a lot of talent to their defense, but also some dynamic weapons for their young QB. Barnett was extremely productive in college, but his poor performance at the combine threw some doubt on his potential at the next level. Schwartz knows how to use defensive ends, and should put him out in space to allow him to use his variety of pass rush moves. Jones is probably a redshirt player, but one that was gotten at a great value. They followed that up with a tough corner that can play right away in Douglas. Hollins, Pumphrey, and Gibson are exciting, fast playmakers.
1/30 T.J. Watt OLB WISCONSIN
2/62 JuJu Smith-Schuster WR USC
3/94 Cameron Sutton CB TENNESSEE
3/105 James Conner RB PITTSBURGH
4/135 Joshua Dobbs QB TENNESSEE
5/173 Brian Allen CB UTAH
6/213 Colin Holba LS LOUISVILLE
7/248 Keion Adams DE WESTERN MICHIGAN
The Steelers needed a linebacker and didn’t wait long to get one. Watt is just learning the position, but he won’t have to be counted on to be a star from day one. Smith-Schuster is a tough, reliable receiver, in the mold of Boldin, and could be the possession receiver that will be an excellent complement to their stars at WR and RB. Is Josh Dobbs the QB of the future? He is raw, but this is the perfect timing for picking up a QB and seeing how he progresses.
San Francisco 49ers
1/3 Solomon Thomas DT STANFORD
1/31 Reuben Foster ILB ALABAMA
3/66 Ahkello Witherspoon CB COLORADO
3/104 C.J. Beathard QB IOWA
4/121 Joe Williams RB UTAH
5/146 George Kittle TE IOWA
5/177 Trent Taylor WR LOUISIANA TECH
6/198 D.J. Jones DT OLE MISS
6/202 Pita Taumoepenu DE UTAH
7/229 Adrian Colbert CB MIAMI
It didn’t even seem like a believable bluff. Lynch seems like the good Catholic school boy who is bad at lying, but the Bears took the bait nonetheless. The question out there is what are their long-term plans at QB? C.J. Beathard is experienced in the pro system, and it appears he will be the backup for a QB not currently on the roster next year. Their first round netted them two outstanding talents to help rebuild a defense that not only is changing schemes, but that is talent deficient. George Kittle is a tight end that will play more of an H-back role, but they just signed that exact player in free agency and gave him a big contract.
2/35 Malik McDowell DT MICHIGAN STATE
2/58 Ethan Pocic C LSU
3/90 Shaquill Griffin CB UCF
3/95 Delano Hill S MICHIGAN
3/102 Nazair Jones DT NORTH CAROLINA
3/106 Amara Darboh WR MICHIGAN
4/111 Tedric Thompson S COLORADO
6/187 Mike Tyson S CINCINNATI
6/210 Justin Senior OT MISSISSIPPI STATE
7/226 David Moore WR EAST CENTRAL OKLAHOMA UNIV
7/249 Christopher Carson RB OKLAHOMA STATE
McDowell needed to go to the right situation, where he can continue to mature and learn to become accountable. A lot of mocks had him going to Seattle, and they were able to trade down and still get him. When healthy and motivated he is a top 5 pick in any draft, and if that happens in Seattle, they got an incredible steal. If the issues run deeper, they didn’t waste a first rounder on him. The Seahawks run an unusual offensive line scheme, and picked up perhaps the most versatile offensive line prospect in the draft in Pocic. Will he play center, guard, or tackle? They have needs, so that will be interesting to watch.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1/19 O.J. Howard TE ALABAMA
2/50 Justin Evans S TEXAS A&M
3/84 Chris Godwin WR PENN STATE
3/107 Kendell Beckwith ILB LSU
5/162 Jeremy McNichols RB BOISE STATE
7/223 Stevie Tu’Ikolovatu DT USC
What makes Tampa’s draft so intriguing is that the players at positions that they drafted are coupled with veterans that they picked up in free agency, or already have on their team. It was an elegant draft that mixed in potential stars at positions all over the field. O.J. Howard was perhaps the best all around receiver in the draft, even better than the three pure wide receivers that went before them. They have a very good tight end already, and are going to be in 12 personnel a lot, causing many matchup problems for defenses. Add to that Chris Godwin, and you have three excellent receivers. Stevie Tu’Ikolovatu is an under the radar selection. In the NFL he is a 2 gap defender that can eat up blockers. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs rotate him in different down and distances.
1/5 Corey Davis WR WESTERN MICHIGAN
1/18 Adoree’ Jackson CB USC
3/72 Taywan Taylor WR WESTERN KENTUCKY
3/100 Jonnu Smith TE FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
5/155 Jayon Brown OLB UCLA
6/217 Corey Levin G CHATTANOOGA
7/227 Josh Carraway OLB TCU
7/236 Brad Seaton OT VILLANOVA
7/241 Khalfani Muhammad RB CALIFORNIA
The Titans were a team that had an excellent foundation of core players. What they needed was to add the frosting and get more dynamic. Davis and Taylor are going to instantly change the wide receiver core into a versatile, exciting unit that should produce big plays and allow them to become much less predictable. You can even add in a little Adoree Jackson, twho could see some time in some special packages. With Jackson, they add a corner that is just scratching the surface on his potential.
1/17 Jonathan Allen DT ALABAMA
2/49 Ryan Anderson OLB ALABAMA
3/81 Fabian Moreau CB UCLA
4/114 Samaje Perine RB OKLAHOMA
4/123 Montae Nicholson S MICHIGAN STATE
5/154 Jeremy Sprinkle TE ARKANSAS
6/199 Chase Roullier C WYOMING
6/209 Robert Davis WR GEORGIA STATE
7/230 Josh Harvey-Clemons S LOUISVILLE
7/235 Josh Holsey CB AUBURN
It is difficult to talk about the Redskins without acknowledging the elephant in the room- what are the long-term plans at QB? They didn’t draft one, and are saying the right things at the moment, but that is going to be the underlying story for them until that is settled. Jonathan Allen falling to them at 17 was one of the biggest steals of the draft. He will move around the defensive line, causing sleepless nights for offensive coordinators. Moreau was a borderline first rounder and an excellent value pick in the 3rd. Perine is probably not a feature back, but is perhaps the most powerful straight ahead runner in the draft, and when they get leads, should be fed the ball to eat the clock.