Mike Tagliere’s NFL Mock Draft 2018 – Two Rounds (2.0)
Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done. What I’m talking about, of course, is the 15 different mock draft outlines that I’ve done over the past few days. Why, you ask? Oh, because we keep finding out about cap casualties, as well as players who are/aren’t receiving the franchise tag.
This changes a lot, but in the end, you don’t care about that. You care about which players your team will take in the 2018 NFL Draft. That’s why I’ve re-done this so many times; because I want to give you the best prediction for that particular moment in time. Without a doubt, this will change in the coming weeks, but it should give you a solid idea as to who your team is looking at prior to free agency, which starts in less than a month. If you’d like to find out which players are heading to free agency for each team, I’ve put together an article highlighting the draft and free agent needs of all 32 teams. You can read that right here. But now, let’s get into the mock draft.
- Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold (QB – USC)
Why did I change it from Rosen to Darnold? Because the Combine will play a part in which way the Browns go. After Rosen made the comment, “I’d rather be a lower pick at the right team than a higher at the wrong team,” he’ll have some questions to answer to the Browns staff. While Rosen is likely the best pick, Darnold is considered the next safest pick at the quarterback position. As of this moment, it’s safe to say that the Browns are not set on one guy atop the draft and will consider all options.
- New York Giants – Josh Rosen (QB – UCLA)
If Rosen fails to go No. 1 overall, we’ll likely see him in a Giants uniform. While I still believe the Giants need to rebuild their offensive line, I can also understand the importance of the quarterback position and why they feel Rosen is worthy. He’s one who comes with minimal risk and will have a year to sit behind Eli Manning if they so choose.
- Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb (DE/OLB – NC State)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s no chance the Colts go with Saquon Barkley here – the roster is too talent-depleted to take a replaceable position. The Colts are going to transition to a 4-3 defense and need an impact player on the edge. Chubb is the pick here, and it really shouldn’t be all that close.
- Cleveland Browns (from Texans) – Minkah Fitzpatrick (S – Alabama)
Despite all the reports that the Browns should/will take Saquon Barkley here, there are plenty of running backs in this draft who would be a perfect compliment to Duke Johnson. Because of that, the Browns choose one of the “safest” players in the draft. Fitzpatrick can not only play the free safety role that the Browns tried to transition Jabril Peppers to last year, but he can help cover the slot, something he did extremely well at Alabama. This pick would also allow Peppers to move back to strong safety, his natural position, at the start of the season.
- Denver Broncos – Quenton Nelson (OG – Notre Dame)
We’ve heard his name going inside the top-10 quite a bit recently, and with Darnold and Rosen off the board, the Broncos snag a difference maker at the guard position. Between Nelson and Ron Leary, the interior of their offensive line should be set for a long time. This pick also takes into consideration that the Broncos have a good chance at landing a quarterback in free agency. If they don’t, it would likely change the outcome of this pick.
- New York Jets – Baker Mayfield (QB – Oklahoma)
The Jets war room should be very happy with this pick. Mayfield is my top prospect at the quarterback position, though I don’t expect him to be drafted as such. He comes with perceived risk, despite playing head and shoulders above anyone else in the draft class. He’s well equipped to handle the New York media and has mobility to overcome what is a lackluster offensive line. Don’t buy the Johnny Manziel comparisons – they’re not even close to the same player.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike McGlinchey (OT – Notre Dame)
Most are shocked that the Bucs pass on Saquon Barkley after they just released Doug Martin, but they saw last year – just because you have all the playmakers in the world catching passes, it doesn’t mean your quarterback stays upright to throw it to them. They badly need to upgrade their offensive line, and it’s not common to get the top left tackle in the draft this late. McGlinchey is a monster and this is a pick that’ll make Jameis Winston very happy.
- Chicago Bears – Calvin Ridley (WR – Alabama)
The Bears draft plans were screwed up when the Broncos selected Quenton Nelson. After cutting guard Josh Sitton last week, their plan was to snag Nelson, but they have to address another need here. While Ridley may not come with the prototypical No. 1 wide receiver body, he’s ready to contribute right away, and has little-to-no bust potential considering the type of receiver he is. Bears fans shouldn’t be upset with Ridley, though it’s hard for some to wash the taste of Kevin White out of their mouth. Believe me, they’re different players.
- San Francisco 49ers – Saquon Barkley (RB – Penn State)
I’ve been fighting myself for a while on this one and still believe the 49ers contemplate taking Vita Vea here to play alongside DeForest Buckner, but Barkley has fallen far enough. He’s a three-down back that can come in and play right away, eliminating the question marks of Matt Breida and Joe Williams as their starting duo of running backs. With how important the running back position is in Kyle Shanahan’s offense; the pick of Barkley makes sense.
- Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith (ILB – Georgia)
Knowing how the Raiders defense was supposed to look last year, compared to how they actually looked, expect them to focus a lot of attention on their defense in this draft. It starts with the inside linebacker position. Not only is Navorro Bowman a free agent, but the combination of Nicholas Morrow and Corey James didn’t exactly play well in 2017, either. Smith is a bit undersized, but his instincts and play is top-notch.
- Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edmunds (LB – Virginia Tech)
He’s a player flying up draft boards for a few reasons. His play was good enough to warrant a pick inside the top three rounds, but his athleticism is off the charts, his length is one of the best at the position, and he’s just 19 years old. There’s tons of upside with Edmunds, but if you expect him to walk in and dominate from the get-go, you’ll likely be let down by the pick. He’s one of the upside picks in the first round, but one that may take a little time to truly develop.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams (OT – Texas)
The Bengals would’ve loved to see McGlinchey fall to them, but they’ll still be happy if Williams makes it to them. He’s undersized for a tackle, but he plays with great technique and attitude. The Bengals also have massive needs at guard, so they could potentially ask him to move inside in the future, though they’ll definitely try to stick him at left tackle from the get-go.
- Washington Redskins – Vita Vea (DT – Washington)
Not only is nose tackle a huge need for the Redskins, but they get one of the best players in the draft at No. 13 with Vea. He’s over 340 pounds but moves better than some guys who are 300 pounds at his position. He beats double teams regularly, which is something the Redskins need when playing against the Cowboys and Eagles offensive lines twice a year.
- Green Bay Packers – Denzel Ward (CB – Ohio State)
Ward may not be as big as you’d like (5-10, 190), but when you watch him play, he’ll win you over. He’s quick, twitchy, and has phenomenal footwork, which should allow him to play both perimeter and slot for the Packers. If you’ve watched the Packers over the last few years, you know that their secondary has been a mess. Adding Ward alongside last year’s draft pick Kevin King should give them a solid cornerback duo going forward.
- Arizona Cardinals – Lamar Jackson (QB – Louisville)
The idea of David Johnson and Jackson in the backfield together could create problems for opposing defenses, as new head coach Steve Wilks knows from his time with Cam Newton in Carolina. The pick of Jackson helps make the offensive line look a little better, though that’ll be the next position they address. He may come with some risk, but he’s just what the Cardinals need right now.
- Baltimore Ravens – James Washington (WR – Oklahoma State)
After debating every other position, the Ravens decide to give wide receiver another shot. They’ve had horrible luck/scouting with their early-round wide receiver picks over the last decade, but it’s too big of a hole to avoid. Washington will play on the perimeter, replacing free agent Mike Wallace. Washington may not have the track speed that Wallace had, but he’s able to separate on the deep ball to utilize Joe Flacco‘s arm.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Da’Ron Payne (DT – Alabama)
This pick gives me goosebumps, thinking about Payne on the interior of the line, surrounded by Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. With their secondary playing better than ever, the Chargers need to ensure they can stop the run. Payne is a force to be reckoned with and one that I’d have no problem if a team took him in the top-10. He and Vea are different players, but they’re two interior lineman who are going to wreak havoc in this league. This would be one of the steals in the first round.
- Seattle Seahawks – Orlando Brown (OT – Oklahoma)
Don’t be shocked if the Seahawks trade back from this pick, as they are missing both their second- and third-round draft picks. They may choose to remain here, as Brown is considered by some to be the No. 1 offensive tackle in this draft (I’m not one of them). He comes with a massive body and would be asked to play on the right side of the line, making life a tad easier than at left tackle. This is a pick out of necessity.
- Dallas Cowboys – Maurice Hurst (DT – Michigan)
Taking the last of the big three defensive tackles isn’t a bad consolation prize, as Hurst could potentially be the first tackle off the board. The Cowboys defense took a major step back in 2017 and it’s large in-part because they couldn’t generate consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Hurst will help that cause immediately and will also help stop the run.
- Detroit Lions – Harold Landry (OLB/DE – Boston College)
It’s getting easier to connect these dots, as Boston College’s defensive line coach has joined the Lions new coaching staff under Matt Patricia. Landry is a versatile player who can play edge, as well as some outside linebacker. He should immediately help the Lions pass rush which generated sacks on just 5.8 percent of opponent dropbacks, which ranked 22nd in the league. It becomes even more of a necessity if they don’t franchise tag Ezekiel Ansah, who is slated to become a free agent.
- Buffalo Bills – Frank Ragnow (C – Arkansas)
After losing center Eric Wood this offseason, the Bills have a massive void to fill on their offensive line. Ragnow is my top-rated center in the draft, and one who will contribute from day one. He’s got excellent size (6-5, 319) and can handle the brunt of the defensive line. He’s also got the right mindset in the run-game, something the Bills rely heavily on.
- Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs) – Josh Allen (QB – Wyoming)
This is not me saying that Allen deserves to be taken here, but from all reports, it seems as if the Bills are not convinced Tyrod Taylor is their long-term solution at quarterback. Unless they’re prepared to move forward with Nathan Peterman, they’ll need to take a shot on a potential franchise quarterback, and Allen has the most upside of the remaining quarterback prospects.
- Los Angeles Rams – Will Hernandez (OG – UTEP)
A player who saw his stock rise at the Senior Bowl, Hernandez is a big man at 6-3, 240 pounds. They’re in need of a guard right now, but could also use a center if they lose John Sullivan in free agency. Because of that, Billy Price may be on their radar here, as he’s got the versatility to play both positions, if needed. But for now, Hernandez is the better guard and the one who would make the bigger impact. He would only help propel their run-game to the next level.
- Carolina Panthers – Marcus Davenport (DE – UTSA)
One of the players who fell further than most anticipate is Davenport, who has some question marks because of the competition he faced at University of Texas San Antonio. He’s someone who can climb into the top-10 with an impressive showing at the Combine. The Panthers are likely to replace free agent Julius Peppers, who is now 38 years old, and Davenport can help make the secondary look better with his ferocious pass-rush.
- Tennessee Titans – Rashaan Evans (ILB – Alabama)
Oddly enough, the Titans don’t have too many glaring needs on their team, despite some saying otherwise. Their secondary started playing better as the year went on, specifically Adoree Jackson, making it easier for them to go with Evans here, who is just a good all-around player who’ll provide some stability to their defense. He also has the ability and experience to play edge if they need him to, an added bonus for their depth.
- Atlanta Falcons – Jaire Alexander (CB – Louisville)
The Falcons address their cornerback position with Alexander here, and he’s a perfect fit to a defense that plays with a lot of passion. Alexander will get under opposing wide receivers’ skin and plays with a lot of confidence. He’s a bit small, but that’s perfect for what the Falcons need, someone to fill the nickel cornerback role, as Brian Poole was abused repeatedly last year.
- New Orleans Saints – Mark Andrews (TE – Oklahoma)
It seems like it’s been a while since the Saints had a dominant tight end, right? Well, after dealing with a multitude of different options at slot wide receiver, the Saints decide to snag a difference-maker at tight end. The Saints would have to eat $4.8 million in dead money by releasing Coby Fleener, but it’ll be worth it to take Andrews. He can block if you need him to, but he’ll line up in the slot more often than not, running crisp routes and giving Drew Brees another target in the pass-attack.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Derwin James (S – Florida State)
The Steelers defense hasn’t been quite the same without Troy Polamalu at strong safety, so they try to fill that void with the big-bodied James here. Standing at 6-2 and 213 pounds, James isn’t going to be afraid to come up into the box and stuff the run. He takes solid angles and is a phenomenal tackler. He could improve in coverage, but that’s not what you primarily bring him in for. He’s got an excellent motor and should be a contributor right away.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Mason Rudolph (QB – Oklahoma State)
After seeing quarterbacks fly off the board early and often, the Jaguars realize they can’t wait until the second round to snag their backup to Blake Bortles. Rudolph is someone who doesn’t project to start right away, but he has some strong tools that you can build upon. It seems the Jaguars are going to give Bortles a longer leash, and that may be the best thing for Rudolph.
- Minnesota Vikings – Billy Price (C/OG – Ohio State)
There are some who believe Price will go higher than this, and that the Bills would likely take him over Ragnow. While that’s possible, I view Ragnow as the best pure center, while Price is a bit more versatile. Again, we should learn more as the weeks go on. Either way, Price can help the Vikings in multiple ways, as they need help at both guard and center, allowing them to pick where they place him. Some will view this pick as a steal.
- New England Patriots – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (OLB/DE – Oklahoma)
Knowing that the Patriots have holes all over their front seven, picking a player like Okoronkwo makes plenty of sense. He’s a versatile player who might be best suited as an outside linebacker, but one who played edge in college. He’s a bit undersized, but has been able to generate pass-rush, something the Patriots likely covet after their struggles last season.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Malik Jefferson (ILB – Texas)
One of the players who is supposed to destroy the Combine is Jefferson, who is a physical freak. I’ve been on record to say that he shows glimpses of what could be a star, though he’s inconsistent. The Eagles have been able to bring out the best in their players, so drafting someone like Jefferson makes plenty of sense. Inside linebacker is also one of their biggest needs.
- Cleveland Browns – Josh Jackson (CB – Iowa)
After snagging Fitzpatrick in the first, the Browns are able to bolster their secondary a bit more in the second round, taking Jackson, who is a ball-hawking cornerback who will play opposite Jason McCourty on the perimeter. The Browns had just seven interceptions in 2017, the second-lowest number in the league. Jackson himself had eight of them himself last year, in 13 games.
- New York Giants – Kolton Miller (OT – UCLA)
How fitting is this? The Giants select Rosen in the first round and wind up with his starting left tackle in the second round. He was solid at UCLA and obviously knows Rosen’s tendencies as a quarterback. He could gain some weight, as he’s somewhat lanky right now, but his fundamentals are solid. New head coach Pat Shurmur has been adamant about rebuilding the offensive line, similar to the way the Vikings did last year.
- Cleveland Browns – Derrius Guice (RB – LSU)
After passing on Barkley at the top of the draft, the Browns get one who may suit their team better at a fraction of the cost. Guice is a monster on first and second down, and one who complements Duke Johnson extremely well. Should left tackle Joe Thomas retire, it would shake up the entire draft of the Browns, but as of now, their offensive line is built to run the ball consistently.
- Indianapolis Colts – Isaiah Wynn (OG – Georgia)
Someone who didn’t impress too much at tackle but could benefit a ton from a move to the inside, is the athletic Wynn. He’s got strong hands, and when he gets them on someone, it’s hard for them to break off his block. While he was undersized at tackle, he is going to be a decently-sized guard (though he can still add some weight at just 282 pounds), a position of great need for the Colts. There’s upside in this pick.
- New York Jets – Braden Smith (OG – Auburn)
After securing their franchise quarterback in the first round, the Jets must protect him. They have holes all over their offensive line, so they take the best one available here in Smith. He’s had experience at the tackle position, but he projects as strictly a guard in the NFL and should start from day one.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Lorenzo Carter (OLB/DE – Georgia)
After bolstering their offensive line in the first round, the Bucs get a potential difference-maker in Carter. He can play as an outside linebacker, but he’ll likely play as their edge rusher more often than not, as he’s built extremely well for the position at 6-6 and 243 pounds. He should give their pass-rush a boost immediately.
- Chicago Bears – Mike Hughes (CB – UCF)
Hughes is someone who is moving up draft boards as more people take notice. He’s 5-11, but plays bigger than that. The Bears don’t currently have a startable perimeter cornerback on their roster, as both Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara are slated to hit free agency. Hughes needs work in his tackling, but he’s a quick twitch cornerback who does a good job of keeping his eyes on both the receiver and where the ball is.
- Denver Broncos – Dallas Goedert (TE – South Dakota State)
Sticking with the trend that the Broncos land a quarterback in free agency, they need to address their void at tight end. While last year’s draft pick Jake Butt has some potential, Goedert can help fill a void they have at wide receiver, too, because he often lines up as one. He’s not the worst blocker, but that’s not what you are drafting him for. This is a move for the future, as both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are on the wrong side of 30, and they’ll be lacking pass-catchers really soon if they don’t address the position in the draft.
- Oakland Raiders – Justin Reid (S – Stanford)
As mentioned with their first-round pick, the Raiders need to shore up their defense. Not only is last year’s starting safety Reggie Nelson a free agent, but so is nickel cornerback T.J. Carrie. Reid is a ballhawk who can play both safety positions, but will likely be asked to take over at free safety for the Raiders.
- Miami Dolphins – James Daniels (C – Iowa)
It wouldn’t matter who the Dolphins bring in at quarterback if they can’t protect him, so they start the process of rebuilding their offensive line. While Laremy Tunsil struggled in his first year at left tackle, they’ll give him another year. Current long-time starting center Mike Pouncey hasn’t been the same over the last few years, and that’s all Adam Gase has seen out of him. Daniels may not be asked to start right away, but he’s going to be a starter in this league.
- New England Patriots (from 49ers) – Josh Sweat (DE – Florida State)
A win-now pick for the Patriots. Sweat would likely be a first-rounder if it wasn’t for serious question marks surrounding his knee that was dislocated during high school. Some have said he’s a one-contract player, similar to what some said about Jay Ajayi during the draft process. While he’s got some inconsistencies, he’s extremely explosive and plays with a certain level of aggression. The Patriots know their window is closing and Sweat gives them something right now.
- Washington Redskins – Courtland Sutton (WR – Southern Methodist)
A further drop than what most think, but Sutton comes with some bust-potential. He’s not a refined route-runner and his hands are questionable, at best. He’s got excellent size and high-point the ball as good as anyone in this class. Knowing they have Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson for the underneath stuff, the duo of Sutton and Josh Doctson would be pretty big in the red zone and give defenses a lot to think about.
- Green Bay Packers – Tyrell Crosby (OT – Oregon)
He may not be in the top-tier of tackles in this draft, but he’s close. The Packers offensive line dealt with a lot of injuries last year and saw just how bad things could get with no depth. Their top priority is to protect Aaron Rodgers from hits like the one he took that knocked him out for essentially the season last year. Crosby is very strong and if he develops better technique, he’s a long-time starter.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Dorian O’Daniel (OLB – Clemson)
All of the elite offensive line talent is gone at this point in the draft, forcing the Bengals to move to their next need. O’Daniel is an outside linebacker who moves with great anticipation, and one who can cover tight ends, as well as running backs. He’s got a smaller frame than you’d like at 6-1 and 225 pounds, but he’s still a solid tackler.
- Arizona Cardinals – Brian O’Neill (OT – Pittsburgh)
The Cardinals need major help on the offensive line, so they must take the best available one here. O’Neill is someone who may not have reached his peak at the position. He’s a former tight end who has just one year of experience at left tackle, so to see him improve the way he did through the 2017 season, there’s upside with his athleticism.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Leighton Vander Esch (ILB – Boise State)
The Chargers continue to add to their suddenly elite defense. Vander Esch isn’t going to be the next Luke Kuechly or anything, but he does everything well. He’s built solidly to play in the NFL and is a very good tackler. With all the elite pieces surrounding him, they don’t need him to be the playmaker that Kuechly is.
- New York Jets (from Seahawks) – Isaiah Oliver (CB – Colorado)
He’s a player who is expected to go higher than this, but I can see him sliding in the draft process. He’s got the size you want out of your No. 1 cornerback, but lacks the aggression/instincts you want out of your top guy. Still, he can be a solid cornerback, and the Jets are desperate, especially if they lose Morris Claiborne in free agency, which seems likely.
- Dallas Cowboys – Michael Gallup (WR – Colorado State)
It’s no secret that the Cowboys would like to find the replacement for Dez Bryant, hinting that they may even cut him. While that’s never going to happen, they do need another wide receiver, and Gallup is ideal for a No. 2 who can eventually develop into the go-to option in an offense. He gets separation at every level, though his stats may not show everything, because there were times he’d spring wide open, only to be completely missed by his quarterback. The Cowboys get a borderline first-round talent in the second round.
- Detroit Lions – Tim Settle (DT – Virginia Tech)
The Lions will be looking to replace defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who is slated to be a free agent. Settle is a 330-pound tackle who has excellent burst and strength. He’s leaving after his sophomore season, so he’s a tad inexperienced, but that says he’s still got room to grow. He’s one of the underrated prospects in a strong class for interior lineman.
- Baltimore Ravens – Hayden Hurst (TE – South Carolina)
Even after taking a wide receiver in the first round, the Ravens want more options in the passing game. Hurst is a straight-up athlete who can be used in a variety of different ways, as South Carolina even used him on some handoffs. He is extremely fast for a tight end and can line up as a wide receiver, but is also competent as an in-line blocker. I wouldn’t be shocked if his size came in less than the 6-5, 250 pounds that’s been reported. He moves too well for that size. The only downside is that he’ll be 25 years old when the season starts.
- Buffalo Bills – Derrick Nnadi (DT – Florida State)
The Bills interior defensive line has been pretty brutal the last two years, allowing 126.4 rushing yards per game in 2017, and that came after allowing 133.1 per game in 2016, which were both in the bottom-four of the league. They are also prepared to lose tackle Kyle Williams in free agency, adding to the void of talent. Nnadi is built thick on the lower end and should be able to be a plugger up the middle for them.
- Kansas City Chiefs – Sam Hubbard (OLB – Ohio State)
At this point, the elite linebackers are gone, but Hubbard is a versatile weapon for the Chiefs, as he can play the edge or at outside linebacker. He’s got a high-motor and won’t stop moving until the play is over. His instincts aren’t on the level of some other prospects and will sometimes take the easiest route, rather than fighting through a block. Still, the Chiefs need to address the position.
- Carolina Panthers – Chukwuma Okorafor (OT – Western Michigan)
The Panthers tried to address their left tackle issues last year in free agency with Matt Kalil, but that was a failed experiment, as he was once again one of the worst tackles in all of football. Okorafor is far from a surefire starter, but the Panthers can’t afford to spend on another free agent.
- Buffalo Bills (from Rams) – Kemoko Turay (OLB – Rutgers)
Likely the best outside linebacker still on the board, Turay has a solid frame with decent speed for a guy who is 6-5 and 252 pounds. He could get more aggressive in his approach, but does display solid patience in his zone work. He doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses, though he doesn’t have any elite traits, either.
- Tennessee Titans – Sony Michel (RB – Georgia)
The pick that shocks the fantasy world, Michel makes for a perfect complement to Derrick Henry. The Titans are expected to move on from Demarco Murray, creating a massive void on their running back depth chart. He’s extremely solid in pass-protection and has displayed the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. The Titans run-game would get back on track with Michel.
- Atlanta Falcons – Darius Leonard (LB – SC State)
Leonard can play both inside and outside linebacker, but at 6-2 and 213 pounds, he’s likely best suited for the outside. He’s very long and has solid reactions to the plays taking place. I’ve said before that he’s a patient tackler, but one who doesn’t get overanxious and overshoot the play.
- San Francisco 49ers (from Saints) – Carlton Davis (CB – Auburn)
This pick should make 49ers fans happy, as Davis comes with ideal size to play cornerback (6-1, 195 pounds), has solid instincts, and can help out against the run. He’s not afraid to put his hands on a receiver and get physical, so it should be no surprise that he’s a solid tackler. He can get better in coverage, specifically zone, but he’s not a bad pick at the end of the second round.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Uchenna Nwosu (OLB – USC)
The Steelers try and bolster their defense a bit more with Nwosu, a true outside linebacker. He’s got great size, drops back into coverage and can cover tight ends, but really struggles against the run. He can rush the passer and has solid burst, but can get taken out of a play too easily for a player of his size. Still, the Steelers need to take a chance on the best outside linebacker on their board.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Desmond Harrison (OT – West Georgia)
Whew boy. The Jaguars are going with the upside pick here, as Harrison is a very controversial player for some off-the-field stuff, but his play at West Georgia was… ruthless. He’s got the attitude you want for your offensive lineman, unwilling to let a player stay on his feet. The issue is that Harrison weighed in at just 279 pounds at the Senior Bowl and will need to put on weight. He’s one of the players to watch at the Combine.
- Minnesota Vikings – Taven Bryan (DT – Florida)
The Vikings may lose Tom Johnson in free agency, the defensive tackle who generated the most pressures on the interior of the line last year. Because of that, Bryan finds himself a home on a defense that’s already great. Bryan is not the type of tackle who’ll plug up the middle of the field against the run, but one who can get after the passer.
- New England Patriots – Christian Kirk (WR – Texas A&M)
With Danny Amendola hitting free agency and Julian Edelman coming back from a major knee injury at 32 years old, the Patriots need a backup plan at wide receiver. Not only is Kirk ready to contribute right away, but he might actually be an upgrade on those two at this point in their careers. It’s not to say Edelman is going away, but he could be asked to play more perimeter with Kirk occupying the slot.
- Cleveland Browns (from Eagles) – D.J. Moore (Maryland)
Possibly the most hyped player over the last few weeks, Moore is finding his way into the early second-round conversation among some. While I’m not one of them, he can fit what the Browns need. Both Josh Gordon and Corey Coleman are primarily perimeter wide receivers, and while I think Moore can play all over the field, he’s most dangerous over the middle of the field and has solid hands. The Browns suddenly have an elite corps of pass catchers.