Mike Tagliere’s NFL Mock Draft 2019 – Two Rounds (3.0)
Now that the NFL Combine is over, there’s definitely been some movement in prospect rankings. While the ‘Speedo Olympics’ should never make or break your impression of a player on film, it should give certain players nudges, particularly those who were stuck in a certain tier of players at their position.
Some records were set, some players didn’t perform at all, and others disappointed in their timed drills. We found out which prospects met with which teams, though we must remember that doesn’t always tell the whole story. When the Bears traded up for Mitch Trubisky a few years back, they hadn’t even brought him in for a workout.
Before telling me that I’m wrong and that your favorite team will select the players you believe they should, understand there’s a lot that will change in the coming weeks, as we find out which free agents stay with their team, as well as which free agents leave, creating a massive void on their team. Once the big-name free agents are signed, we’ll have a brand-new mock draft waiting for you. It’s also important to note that predicted trades will not be included until the final mock draft, which will come the week of the actual draft, April 25-27.
If you’d like to see my top 100 prospects available and how I’d rank them, click here to see my current big board.
1. Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray (QB – Oklahoma)
There have been reports since the Combine that suggest Murray to the Cardinals is a “done deal.” There can be a whole lot of smoke and mirrors this time of year, but the ties to Kliff Kingsbury are strong. While there are weaknesses to Murray’s game, he better suits Kingsbury’s offense than Josh Rosen, who would naturally be on the trading block if they selected Murray. As of right now, it appears the Redskins are very interested in acquiring Rosen, so we could see the Cardinals picking again at No. 15 should a trade go down between the two teams.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa (DE – Ohio State)
After all the speculation about Bosa going No. 1 overall, he falls right into the 49ers lap with the No. 2 pick. Not only is he the top prospects on most big boards, but he plays a very important position, and one that just happens to be an obvious need for the 49ers. His Combine performance wasn’t anything that raised or hurt his stock, so there’s little doubt he’s selected with this pick. Going to the 49ers 4-3 scheme to play defensive end is actually a better fit for him than the Cardinals 3-4 scheme under Vance Joseph.
3. New York Jets – Quinnen Williams (DT – Alabama)
The Jets are likely to lose both Henry Anderson and Steve McLendon in free agency, leaving some holes on the defensive line. After ripping off a 4.83-second 40-yard-dash, Williams solidified his top-three status in this year’s draft. He’s as close to a ‘can’t miss’ prospect as you can get, drawing comps to Aaron Donald from an athletic standpoint. He’s got a nasty hand crossover with a lightning-fast first step off the ball and will immediately help their pass-rush that ranked just 23rd in sack percentage in 2018.
4. Oakland Raiders – Rashan Gary (DE – Michigan)
I’ve been somewhat skeptical of Gary, as he seemed like somewhat of an in-between type of player, but his Combine performance really helped his stock in my eyes. He ran with the edge defenders and looked every bit as athletic as they were despite him tipping the scales at 277 pounds. His 40-yard-dash time of 4.61 seconds ranked sixth at the position. None of the five ahead of him weighed more than 260 pounds. Some will want to see Josh Allen here, but I believe he’s a better suited as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense than an edge in a 4-3, which the Raiders will be running under Paul Guenther.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Josh Allen (EDGE – Kentucky)
After releasing Vinny Curry, the Bucs have a clear need opposite Jason Pierre-Paul. They could also lean towards Devin White, but free agency should clear up some of these question marks. Allen is someone who can be dropped into coverage, as he has the athleticism to do it, though his play-recognition could use some work. There’s flashes of what could be an elite edge-rusher at times, but don’t fall for all the hype, because there’s some concerns as well.
6. New York Giants – Dwayne Haskins (QB – Ohio State)
With all of the superstars they have at the skill-positions, they cannot afford to let another year go to waste. With Odell Beckham Jr, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard in what’s likely their prime, the Giants need to get their future signal-caller, even if it’s not a strong class. Haskins has very limited experience, as he threw just 57 pass attempts prior to the 2018 season. He’s got a big arm and has shown pinpoint accuracy while completing 70 percent of his passes at Ohio State.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Drew Lock (QB – Missouri)
There’s already reports stating that Nick Foles to the Jaguars is almost certain to happen, though I wouldn’t be so sure. Foles has zero mobility and the Jaguars offensive line hasn’t been what you’d call a strength over the last few years. If they do wind up with Foles, expect them to trade out of this pick and let a QB-needy team move up to take Lock. He’s got the biggest arm in this draft, though I’d like to see him step into his throws a bit more and stop relying on pure arm strength. The Jaguars know they need a long term solution at quarterback right now, as it’s unlikely they’ll have a top-10 pick again next year with how great and young their defense still is.
8. Detroit Lions – Clelin Ferrell (DE – Clemson)
The Lions are in desperate need of pass-rushers, especially considering they appear likely to lose Ezekiel Ansah in free agency. Ferrell is capable of being a three-down player who excels getting to the quarterback, but he can also hold his zone against the run. In a division with Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Mitch Trubisky, Ferrell’s pass-rushing services will be greatly appreciated.
9. Buffalo Bills – Greedy Williams (CB – LSU)
I do believe the Bills may look at D.K. Metcalf here, as he’s a true No. 1 receiver, but snagging Williams to put alongside Tre’Davious White in the secondary makes a lot of sense, too. They have plenty of holes on the offensive line, but don’t love anyone enough to take them here. Their cornerback depth chart is ugly behind White, and Williams wouldn’t be asked to take on No. 1 wide receivers right away, which would help his transition to the NFL.
10. Denver Broncos – Deandre Baker (CB – Georgia)
After trading for Joe Flacco, it lowers the chance that the Broncos take a quarterback with this pick. If they were drafting a quarterback here, why give up a fourth-round pick if Flacco is essentially a one-year rent-a-player? Case Keenum could’ve filled that void and they wouldn’t have lost a pick in the process. Instead, Vic Fangio gets a cornerback to lean on, as the Broncos cornerbacks are horrid outside of Chris Harris Jr., and he’s getting up there in age (will be 30 at the start of the season). Baker plays bigger than his 5-foot-11 listed height, his hips are very fluid, and does a good job getting his hands in-between the ball and receiver to break-up passes.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Devin White (LB – LSU)
Lou Anarumo is set to be the defensive coordinator under new head coach Zac Taylor, and it seems they’ll be running a 4-3 scheme. No matter what scheme they run, they need help at the linebacker position. White is far-and-away the best inside linebacker available in this draft class. There are inconsistencies, but he flashes what could be a dominant player at times. With Vontaze Burfict getting suspended and/or hurt every other game, it’s time for the Bengals to move on from the troubled linebacker and bring in a new wave of talent.
12. Green Bay Packers – Montez Sweat (EDGE – Mississippi State)
It’s not very often you see the Packers with a pick this high, so they need to make the most of it. Wide receiver is extremely appealing considering the lack of talent around Davante Adams and the likely loss of Randall Cobb, but Aaron Rodgers will make-do with the options they have. Clay Matthews is an unrestricted free agent and he’s been trending in the wrong direction for a few years, while Nick Perry took a slight step back last year. In a division that’s loaded with quarterbacks, the Packers need to get some pressure. Sweat set a record at the NFL Combine with a 4.41-second 40-yard-dash, which is the fastest time ever recorded for a defensive lineman. While many will move him up boards based on his Combine performance, I’ve had him here to the Packers since starting the mock draft process. His tape is very impressive as well, and it’s possible he’s a better prospect than Josh Allen.
13. Miami Dolphins – Ed Oliver (DT – Houston)
It’s rare for defensive tackles to go in the top 15 picks, but Quinnen Williams and Oliver are worth it. Oliver packs a whole lot of punch for a guy who’s just 287 pounds playing the defensive tackle position. He will bury his head and lose sight of the play at times, but he was doing that while double- and sometimes triple-teamed. He has that nasty mean streak you want from a player in the trenches. The Dolphins could go quarterback here, but they’d be reaching. With Brian Flores locked in for a few years, he can afford to wait a year at quarterback.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Brian Burns (EDGE – Florida State)
A lot of stock in this pick is riding on the Falcons getting defensive tackle Grady Jarrett under contract, as he’s slated to be a free agent. If they weren’t able to retain him, expect them to go with a defensive tackle here. But we’re assuming they get Jarrett under contract (Editor’s note: The Falcons franchise-tagged Garrett on Monday). With the lack of production out of Vic Beasley, the Falcons need to bolster the edge and Burns is a versatile athlete who’s got the speed to get to the quarterback. While size was a big question-mark (was listed at 235 pounds), he came to the Combine at 249 pounds and still ran a 4.56-second 40-yard-dash, which tied for the second-best mark among edge defenders.
15. Washington Redskins – Nasir Adderley (S – Delaware)
With rumors flying around the Redskins trading for Josh Rosen, it’s likely that they’re not making this pick. But for now, we have to assume they do. After their release of D.J. Swearinger, they need a safety. Adderley can play anywhere on the field – in the box, deep downfield, in man-coverage, in zone-coverage. He’s a great tackler in the open field and plays sideline to sideline. On top of Swearinger being gone, Haha Clinton-Dix is also slated to be an unrestricted free agent. Adderley’s versatility will be valued very highly.
16. Carolina Panthers – Jonah Williams (OT – Alabama)
While they can’t get rid of Matt Kalil‘s contract yet (they actually save $2.6 million by keeping him on the roster), they can draft his replacement. Williams is considered a stable pro-ready offensive tackle. He shifts his feet very well, has good bend in the knees, and is known to be one of the more consistent tackles available in the draft. He is not the prospect that Mike McGlinchey was last year, but the Panthers have to protect Cam Newton.
17. Cleveland Browns – D.K. Metcalf (WR – Ole Miss)
Some think Metcalf will go top-10 after his ridiculous performance at the NFL Combine, but there’s just so much defensive talent in this year’s draft that he falls to the Browns. He would mesh very well with Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway, as he’d provide the big-body in the red zone, as well as someone who could take advantage of Baker Mayfield‘s big arm down the field.
18. Minnesota Vikings – Cody Ford (OG/OT – Oklahoma)
In case you haven’t heard, the Vikings have some issues on their offensive line. While Ford played right tackle on the college level, he’s going to make an even better guard in the NFL. He’s a big guy (6-foot-3, 325 pounds) who is hard to move and one who understands how to seal an edge with his body positioning. We knew he wouldn’t test well at the NFL Combine athletically, but he’s someone who can play.
19. Tennessee Titans – Jachai Polite (EDGE – Florida)
He’s a good fit for a 3-4 defense due to his lack of size to play on the edge in a 4-3 defense (though he added over 15 pounds for the Combine). With Polite and last year’s second-round pick Harold Landry playing as the outside linebackers, the team would hope to have the position solidified for years to come. The Titans need to replace the recently-retired Brian Orakpo, as he was the best outside linebacker they had.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Trayvon Mullen (CB – Clemson)
The Steelers had hoped to land Deandre Baker in this slot, but Mullen will work out well. He can play both man and zone coverage, and was used on both sides of the formation at Clemson. He’d pair well with Joe Haden, who was asked to shadow opposing No. 1 wide receivers at times during the 2018 season. The Steelers still need another edge rusher to pair with T.J. Watt, but it doesn’t make sense to reach for one here.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Jawaan Taylor (OT – Florida)
The Seahawks saw the impact that Duane Brown had at left tackle, so why not add another tackle to the mix to replace the inconsistent Germain Ifedi. It’d be natural for Taylor, too, as he played right tackle at Florida. He’s a better run-blocker than pass-blocker and the Seahawks averaged 32.8 rushing attempts per game in 2018, the second-most in the league. If they decide to go defense, cornerback would make a lot of sense, and Byron Murphy is still on the board.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Chris Lindstrom (OG – Boston College)
The Ravens have a lot going on with expiring contracts in free agency, but assuming they get some of their defense re-signed, they need to go all-in to make the offense work with Lamar Jackson. Because of that, they invest in the offensive line, adding the No. 1 guard on most big boards. Lindstrom is thick in the hips and is tough to move. He also displayed phenomenal athleticism at the Combine, posting the second-best 40-yard-dash, the second-longest broad jump, and seventh-fastest 20-yard shuttle. If there’s a guard who deserves first-round consideration, it’s him.
23. Houston Texans – Yodny Cajuste (OT – West Virginia)
The Texans are delighted Cajuste falls to them at No. 23 overall, as he might just be the best tackle in the draft. He is athletic, has great bend in the knees during a pass-rush, will always find someone to block, and gets push in the run-game. He’d be a welcomed addition for Deshaun Watson, who was sacked a league-high 61 times last year.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Bears) – Byron Murphy (CB – Washington)
After mixing and matching cornerbacks last year, the Raiders realize they need to bolster the back-end of their defense with a top-tier cornerback. Pairing Murphy with Gareon Conley and Nick Nelson gives them a solid core at the position for years to come. He’s best-suited for a zone scheme, and the Raiders played zone 67.5 percent of the time in 2018, the 13th-highest rate in the league. Raiders fans should be happy if this is their selection.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Josh Jacobs (RB – Alabama)
I’d say Jacobs actually helped his stock by not participating at the NFL Combine, as the running backs as a whole were just very underwhelming. He’s a true three-down back with limited tread on his tires, though that’s part of the question mark with him – can he handle a 20-plus touch role? Fortunately, the Eagles don’t necessarily need him to, as they do mix-and-match their running backs as needed. We’ve heard them tied to Dalvin Cook in the 2017 draft, then they traded for Jay Ajayi in 2017, so it’s clear they’re looking for that franchise running back. They could look at an offensive tackle like Greg Little here to replace Jason Peters in the future, but this team is built to win right now.
26. Indianapolis Colts – N’Keal Harry (WR – Arizona State)
I’m not as high as most on Harry, but the hype surrounding him in the draft process is real. His 40-yard-dash time of 4.53 seconds did clear up some of the issues about his speed, though his tape still suggests he doesn’t get much separation. But he does offer something very valuable – contested catch conversions. When you throw-up a 50/50 ball to him in a one-on-one scenario, he’s likely going to come down with it. He is a good compliment to T.Y. Hilton, as Harry gets yards after the catch and can be a big red zone target for Andrew Luck.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Cowboys) – A.J. Brown (WR – Ole Miss)
After taking two defensive players, here’s the guy they take to replace Amari Cooper. He’s the type of receiver who can play all over the field, even if he was used in a big-slot role for Ole Miss. He’s bigger than most realize at 6-foot-0, 226 pounds, allowing him to play the possession receiver role and absorb big hits over the middle of the field.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – Jeffery Simmons (DT – Mississippi State)
There’s a lot up in the air with the defensive tackle position for the Chargers, as three of the tackles in their rotation were already slated to be unrestricted free agents, and we just found out that they will not pick up Corey Liuget‘s option. A lot of analysts were expecting Simmons to go inside the top-15, but he suffered a torn ACL while training for the NFL Combine. He also has an off-the-field incident where there’s video of him hitting a woman in 2016. He’s a talented three-down player who would fill a void for the Chargers if they look past his off-the-field concerns. As for his ACL injury, that will surely knock him down the draft board a bit, though he’s not expected to last past the second-round. The alternate option would likely be Clemson’s Christian Wilkins.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – Deionte Thompson (S – Alabama)
It seems pretty clear that Eric Berry‘s time in the NFL is nearing an end, leaving the Chiefs with a big void to fill at the safety position. Thompson is pro-ready as a ball-hawk over the middle of the field, as he’s seemingly always near the play. He takes great angles to the ball, but will underrate speed at times and allow a receiver to get behind him. He’s also not a great tackler, which is why he falls to the end of the first round.
30. Green Bay Packers (from Saints) – Parris Campbell (WR – Ohio State)
They landed their pass-rusher with their first pick in the round, so they have some freedom with this one. Campbell surely turned heads while running a 4.31-second 40-yard-dash at 6-foot-0 and 205 pounds. Prior to the Combine, he was someone who was teetering in the second-round conversation, but that performance may have bumped him into the tail-end of the first-round. With Randall Cobb hitting free agency and little depth behind Davante Adams, Campbell can provide Aaron Rodgers a weapon he hasn’t had in quite some time (maybe ever).
31. Los Angeles Rams – Devin Bush (LB – Michigan)
There’s some concern about Bush’s size at 5-foot-11 and 234 pounds, but there’s no concern about the fight in him. He hits hard and has the range to cover running backs, as well as tight ends. He’s someone it’ll be interesting to see how he’s handled in the draft because the instincts and will are there, but size is the only thing that would drop him lower than this. His performance at the Combine definitely didn’t scare anyone away, as his 4.44-second 40-yard-dash was just 0.02 seconds off Devin White‘s time. His 40.5-inch vertical was the highest among the linebackers at the Combine.
32. New England Patriots – Chase Winovich (DE – Michigan)
He’s the type of player Bill Belichick loves, as he’s got a non-stop motor and will always play to the whistle. He does a great job of keeping his eyes on the play in front of him and has good speed to the edge in his pursuit, though he lacks the strength to be an every-down defensive end in a 4-3, which is why Belichick’s hybrid scheme should suit him well. If we get word that Rob Gronkowski is going to retire, you could see them select T.J. Hockenson with this pick, as he’s a well-rounded tight end who can help in-line, as well as provide another receiving option.
33. Arizona Cardinals – Hakeem Butler (WR – Iowa State)
You’re going to need some weapons for your new quarterback, right? The fallout from the expected Rosen trade would allow them to select an offensive tackle with their extra first-round pick, so we’ll get them a big-time wide receiver with this one. Some have labeled Butler as their top receiver in this draft, though it’s hard to justify that when he’s not a natural hands-catcher. It’s odd, too, as he is phenomenal when it comes to boxing-out and winning contested catches with his body, but he’ll drop a ball on a crossing route with no one within five yards of him. There’s certainly tons of upside with a 6-foot-5, 227 pound receiver, but he’s far from polished right now. Working alongside Larry Fitzgerald can only help.
34. Indianapolis Colts (from Jets) – Christian Wilkins (DT – Clemson)
We’re now just one week away from free agency and we haven’t heard much about the Colts re-signing defensive tackles Margus Hunt or Al Woods, and they have plenty of cap space (the most in the NFL), so you have to assume they’ll snag some defensive line talent in the draft. Many are projecting Wilkins to go in the first-round, though I don’t think he’s better than at least four other tackles in the draft. He’s a smart players, but lacks balance in his pass-rush and isn’t particularly strong enough to bull-rush. All in all, I feel like he’ll go higher than he should, which is why he comes off the board to a tackle-needy team.
35. Oakland Raiders – Taylor Rapp (S – Washington)
We still haven’t heard anything about Marcus Gilchrist getting re-signed, so the Raiders have to be in the market for a safety to play alongside Karl Joseph. Rapp is your deep safety type who has a great sense of where the ball is going. His football IQ is sharp, as are his tackling skills, though he’s someone you don’t want to stick in man-coverage very often, as he keeps his eyes on the quarterback almost too much in those situations, never turning his back to the ball. There’s some refinement that can be done, but he’s a solid football player.
36. San Francisco 49ers – Mack Wilson (LB – Alabama)
The 49ers have a history with an Alabama linebacker, and while it may not have ended the way they wanted, Rueben Foster was very good when on the field for them. From what I’ve seen, Wilson isn’t going to have an impact the way Foster did, but at least Wilson provides a stable presence over the middle of the field and understands what a good defense is supposed to look like. Linebacker is too big of a need for the 49ers to pass up.
37. New York Giants – Andre Dillard (OT – Washington State)
He played left tackle at Washington State, but he can move to right guard and play opposite Nate Solder on the Giants offensive line. He has long arms, is built exactly how you’d want a tackle to be (6-foot-5, 315 pounds), and uses his leverage very well. His run-blocking is the biggest question mark, but Saquon Barkley already proved he can get things done with some of the worst talent in the league, so protecting their quarterback is the biggest concern, and Dillard should be able to do that.
38. Jacksonville Jaguars – T.J. Hockenson (TE – Iowa)
Many are expecting Hockenson to go in the first-round, and while that may be the case, there’s simply too many good defensive players in this draft and teams with clear-cut needs at those positions. Hockerson would help the Jaguars in a few ways, as he’s a great in-line blocker who would help bolster the offensive line and the run-game, as well as a threat in the passing-game. The Jaguars have the small-stature Dede Westbrook and the blazer D.J. Chark as long-term wide receivers, so they’re going to need someone who can help out in the red zone. As we learned over the last half-dozen years, Austin Seferian-Jenkins is not the answer.
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Greg Little (OT – Ole Miss)
After passing on a left tackle in the first-round (though trading out of that pick seems very likely), the Bucs land Little, who was once a five-star recruit at the position. I’m not big on Little, as I watched him get thrown on the ground multiple times during my film sessions on him, something that can’t happen to the guy who’s supposed to be protecting your quarterback’s blind side. He’s not someone I’d particularly want my team to draft, but the Bucs need help at the position, so they must take the highest rated tackle on their board here. He’s eventually going to replace Donovan Smith, who, for some reason, they decided to give the franchise tag.
40. Buffalo Bills – Noah Fant (TE – Iowa)
Another tight end who is expected to generate first-round buzz, though it’s hard to see that happen for someone who’s not a great blocker at this point in time and won’t be able to be a full-time player. Instead, he falls to the Bills, who just released Charles Clay and currently have Jason Croom as their starter. Fant almost takes care of two needs, as the Bills need a red zone threat, and they need a big, possession-style receiver. Fant is more of a big wide receiver than anything right now and his domination at the Combine will ensure he doesn’t fall outside the top 50 players drafted.
41. Denver Broncos – Garrett Bradbury (C – NC State)
We’ve heard John Elway talk about Matt Paradis and how they would like to have him back, but he also said that Paradis is coming off a major injury and that they need to evaluate the position moving forward. If they don’t re-sign him, Connor McGovern isn’t the answer, so expect them to snag their top center. Bradberry isn’t my top center, but he’s a stable force up the middle of the field. He brings the attitude and urgency you want on your offensive line.
42. Cincinnati Bengals – Dalton Risner (OT – Kansas State)
The rebuild on the offensive line has taken longer than Bengals fans (and Andy Dalton) would like. Trading for Cordy Glenn didn’t turn out to be the greatest move, while Billy Price seems to be a work in progress. Still, even if they wind up being competent, the Bengals have some gaping holes on their line, particularly at right tackle. Four of their top five offensive tackles are hitting free agency, so they snag Risner, who would fit right in at right tackle, as it’s the position he played at Kansas State. He’s strong and would help the run-game immediately, something the Bengals should build around.
43. Detroit Lions – Deebo Samuel (WR – South Carolina)
If you have a list of receivers you feel confident about in this draft, Samuel should be on that short list. Not because he’s going to be a Hall of Fame talent or anything, but because you know what you’re getting with him, similar to Christian Kirk in last year’s draft. They’re both hard-nosed players who ideally work out of the slot and are built to withstand hits over the middle of the field. He reminds me of Jarvis Landry in a lot of ways, which would be a perfect replacement for the departed Golden Tate.
44. Green Bay Packers – Johnathan Abram (S – Mississippi State)
Not only did the Packers trade away Haha Clinton-Dix, but Kentrell Brice doesn’t appear to be the long-term answer at strong safety. They moved Tramon Williams back to free safety towards the end of the season out of necessity. There’s not a free safety left on the board who makes sense this high in the draft, so they snag the hard-hitting Abram. He’s a much better run-stopper than he is in coverage, as he is the in-the-box safety who plays with attitude.
45. Atlanta Falcons – Sean Bunting (CB – Central Michigan)
If there’s anything the Falcons should’ve learned in 2018, it’s the importance of depth on the defense. After releasing Robert Alford, they are moving to a starting duo of Desmond Trufant and Isaiah Oliver, but Brian Poole hasn’t been someone to rely on. At the very least, Bunting would provide some depth at the position. He’s only 181 pounds and has a thin frame, but he has experience in the slot, which is where Poole plays. Bunting is solid in man coverage, especially when he’s not covering a big, physical receiver, something you rarely see in the slot.
46. Washington Redskins – Riley Ridley (WR – Georgia)
This pick is likely to shock some, as Kelvin Harmon and others remain on the draft board, but the Redskins have already gone with the contested-catch receiver in Josh Doctson. We all know how that’s turned out to this point, so they go a different route, taking the guy who’s likely the best route-runner in the draft. He’s the younger brother of Calvin Ridley, though he’s not nearly as polished and doesn’t come with quite the same stop-and-go speed. The Redskins have been linked to plenty of wide receivers, so them snagging Ridley for their new quarterback (whoever that is, seemingly Josh Rosen) makes sense.
47. Carolina Panthers – Amani Oruwariye (CB – Penn State)
When playing in a division with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin, you’re going to want plenty of firepower in your secondary. Adding a pass-rusher here would make a lot of sense, but a lot of the top ones have come off the board. Oruwariye has phenomenal size (6-foot-2, 205 pounds) and plays with the confidence you want in man-coverage. The issue with his game is his tackling, as he really struggles getting the ball-carrier down. If his tackling weren’t an issue, he’d likely be discussed as a first-round-type player.
48. Miami Dolphins – Daniel Jones (QB – Duke)
At this point, the Dolphins feel it’s okay to snag Jones at the chance he turns into a starting-caliber quarterback. By selecting him here, it allows them the freedom to move on and draft another quarterback in 2020 if he doesn’t work out, as they haven’t thrown away a first-round pick and a lot of guaranteed money. There were reports that some teams had Jones at the top of their quarterback board, though I’m not sure they’d feel that way after watching the NFL Combine. He was the definition of just another guy and looked particularly bad when throwing the ball down the field, which has been the biggest knock on his game.
49. Cleveland Browns – Dexter Lawrence (DT – Clemson)
After landing their big wide receiver in the first-round, the Browns add Lawrence to their potentially dominant defensive line. A plugger like Lawrence would certainly help them slow down opposing run-games, as he’s 6-foot-5 and 342 pounds. He’d work well alongside Larry Ogunjobi, providing an immovable object. Playing at Clemson had its benefits and potentially made Lawrence look better than he is, but the Browns talent would likely do the same.
50. Minnesota Vikings – Elgton Jenkins (C – Mississippi State)
He’s my top-rated center in the draft, so landing him at No. 50 would be a treat for the Vikings offensive line. This, of course, doesn’t take into consideration the free agents that the Vikings have to try and retain. With Anthony Barr and Sheldon Richardson expected to hit the open market, the Vikings could have needs on the defensive side of the ball, but they know they’re a team built to win now, so expect them to help try and protect Kirk Cousins. Maybe Pat Elflein would benefit from a move back to guard?
51. Tennessee Titans – Marquise Brown (WR – Oklahoma)
The Titans went and added to the defense in the first-round, so they turn to the offensive side of the ball and give Marcus Mariota yet another weapon. Brown would compliment Corey Davis extremely well, and it’d allow them to move all three wide receivers (Davis, Brown, Taywan Taylor) all over the field, as they can all play in the slot and on the perimeter. Brown is an electric receiver who benefits from a quarterback like Mariota who can scramble and allow him time to lose his defender.
52. Pittsburgh Steelers – Oshane Ximines (EDGE – Old Dominion)
He’s the player they debated taking in the first-round, so they’re delighted he’s still available. He’s a solid run-defender who won’t get lost in the shuffle of bodies, as his 6-foot-4, 255-pound frame allows him to move freely. I would’ve expected more out of him as a pass-rusher against lesser competition, but T.J. Watt brings a lot of that on his own.
53. Philadelphia Eagles (from Ravens) – Charles Omenihu (DE – Texas)
He didn’t get as much TV attention as I thought he should at the NFL Combine, but Omenihu showed off his athleticism with a 36.5-inch vertical was the highest among all defensive linemen, and there were just four edge defenders who topped that. He also ran a 4.93-second 40-yard-dash. His play on the field is also appealing, as he has the speed to get to the edge, but enough strength to move tackles back in their stance.
54. Houston Texans (from Seahawks) – David Montgomery (RB – Iowa State)
We’ve been hearing about the Texans potentially moving on from Lamar Miller for quite some time, and D’Onta Foreman doesn’t seem to be the answer (otherwise he would’ve taken the job by now). The Texans don’t use their running backs very heavily in the passing-game, which is why Montgomery makes a lot of sense. He’s capable of catching passes out of the backfield, but it’s not his strongest trait. He’s a hard-nosed runner who’ll get everything that’s blocked and then some.
55. Houston Texans – JoeJuan Williams (CB – Vanderbilt)
After signing Aaron Colvin to a bad contract last offseason, the Texans realize it’d be best to save some money on a cornerback in the draft. Williams looked fantastic in the game against Ole Miss while covering both A.J. Brown and Demarcus Lodge, showing that he doesn’t let down when challenged. He’s got great footwork in his backpedal and his break on the ball is top-notch. He moves his hips very well for someone who is 6-foot-3 as well.
56. New England Patriots (from Bears) – Irv Smith Jr. (TE – Alabama)
The Patriots have to find Rob Gronkowski‘s replacement even if he doesn’t retire this offseason, and what better draft class to do it in. Smith can play anywhere on the field, similar to the way the Patriots used to use Aaron Hernandez. He can line-up as the fullback, in-line, in the slot, or on the perimeter, something not many tight ends can say. Even if Gronkowski returns, you can bet the Patriots find a way to keep both of them on the field and use Smith in more of a wide receiver-type role to start his career.
57. Philadelphia Eagles – Rock Ya-Sin (CB – Temple)
After the barrage of injuries in their secondary last year, the Eagles need to add depth at one of the more important positions in today’s NFL. Ya-Sin does a great job of multi-tasking, keeping his eyes on the quarterback while shadowing his man in coverage. With Ronald Darby heading to free agency, Sidney Jones looking like somewhat of a disappointment, and Jalen Mills being a mixed-bag, they need to address the position. After the Combine performance he had, it’s possible he doesn’t last this long.
58. Dallas Cowboys – Dre’Mont Jones (DT – Ohio State)
After overlooking the tackle position last year, the Cowboys must find one in this year’s draft now that David Irving is headed to free agency. Jones is thin for a defensive tackle, but he has a good motor because of it. He’s a much better pass-rusher than run-stuffer, as his swim move to get inside the offensive linemen is rather impressive. He will likely need to add weight for the next level, as his Combine weight was just 281 pounds.
59. Indianapolis Colts – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (S/CB – Florida)
He’s kind of a Minkah Fitzpatrick-lite, as he’s extremely versatile. He can play strong safety or nickel cornerback, which both happen to be positions of need for the Colts. He can blitz well, help out with the run, and is one of the better tacklers in the class. The Colts need to replace starters Pierre Desir and Clayton Geathers, who are both free agents.
60. Los Angeles Chargers – Tre Lamar (LB – Clemson)
After hurting his shoulder during the NFL Combine during the bench press portion, Lamar was unable to perform the on-field drills, which will likely lower his stock just a tad. The Chargers benefit from another player falling, as linebacker is a big need for them. Denzel Perryman and Kyle Emanuel are both free agents, and it’s not as if Perryman was a stud while on the field, anyway. He has the agility to cover running backs and tight ends, but does lack the power you’d expect out of someone his size.
61. Kansas City Chiefs – Jaylon Ferguson (EDGE – Louisiana Tech)
The Chiefs continue to add pieces and rebuild their young defense. The Chiefs are apparently shopping Dee Ford after they placed the franchise tag on him and they released Justin Houston, so they’re going to need some help on the front seven. Ford can always stay put on the roster if they can’t find a trade partner, but even then, they’d have to fill the position in 2020. Ferguson has a good size/speed combo, but he isn’t as fluid in his movements as some of the top edge rushers in the league are.
62. New Orleans Saints – Jace Sternberger (TE – Texas A&M)
After watching the top three tight ends come off the board, the Saints snag the sure-handed Sternberger. He’s someone who can play a possession role over the middle of the field, but can also go deep, as his ball-tracking is phenomenal. He doesn’t rely on his body to haul in passes, something that should be coveted with guys as big as he is. He’s a willing blocker, though the Saints won’t need him to stay in and block very often.
63. Kansas City Chiefs (from Rams) – Darrell Henderson (RB – Memphis)
Many are expecting the Chiefs to move forward with Damien Williams as the starter, but I’d be a bit hesitant about that. We don’t know if he’s capable of holding up over an entire 16-game season as a workhorse. While many will praise his late-season heroics, you must remember that he was fresh, while everyone else was beaten up throughout the NFL season. He had just six touches from Week 1 through Week 12. Henderson is a pit bull with a low center of gravity who can lower his shoulder with the best of them. He was the type of running back who looked better as the game went on, wearing down opposing defenses.
64. New England Patriots – Will Grier (QB – West Virginia)
We all know that Tom Brady wants to play until he’s like 50, but the Patriots have to put themselves in a better position when he does decide to walk away from the game. No, Brian Hoyer isn’t the solution. It’s not to say Grier is, either, but he is a pocket passer who’s shown the ability to play on the big stage. Some have suggested Grier will go in the first-round, though I don’t know if teams will reach considering what the 2020 quarterback class is supposed to look like.