Mike Tagliere’s NFL Mock Draft 2020 – Two Rounds
Not many know that this is one of my favorite times of the year. Yes, it’s a drag that the NFL season is over, but it gives us a chance to look forward at what’ll be different in the NFL in 2020. A large part of that is the NFL Draft that’ll take place on April 23-25 in Las Vegas.
This is the time of the year where we take a deep dive into each team’s depth chart, try to figure out what positions they’ll give priority to, and which players are just too good to pass up. While free agency is surely going to shake up the NFL Draft landscape, we’re going to be doing this exercise throughout the next few months as things happen. Here’s my first stab at what I believe will happen in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.
1.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB – LSU)
This should be the shortest amount of time anyone spends on their pick. The Bengals are surely moving on from Andy Dalton (slated to be an unrestricted free agent) and have no other solution on their roster. Burrow is good enough to be a franchise-changer. He has every single tool you’d want in a franchise quarterback, and will likely have A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross as his starting trio of wide receivers. This pick will not change in my future mock drafts. Burrow will be in a Bengals uniform.
1.02 Washington Redskins: Chase Young (EDGE – Ohio State)
With Ron Rivera in town, you know he’s going to want to add talent to the defensive side of the ball, and it just so happens that edge rusher is a need for them. Young is the best edge rusher available in this class and it’s not all that close. The scary part is that he hasn’t even hit his ceiling, as there are some consistency flaws that can be ironed out. Putting him alongside Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis, and Montez Sweat makes for one of the most devastating front fours in all of football.
1.03 Detroit Lions: Isaiah Simmons (LB – Clemson)
Many have the Lions going cornerback here, but I have Simmons as the best defensive player in this draft class. He’s a utility knife that can be used in so many different ways, including linebacker, safety, and even cornerback against bigger wide receivers. Yes, he’s that good. The Lions have to understand that Jarrad Davis is not the answer over the middle of the field. I believe you’re only going to see Simmons’ stock rise as the draft approaches.
1.04 New York Giants: Jeff Okudah (CB – Ohio State)
There are plenty of needs for the Giants, but their secondary was a complete disaster last year that was only made worse when they cut Janoris Jenkins, their best cornerback, with a few weeks left in the season. Because of that, they can’t take an offensive lineman like they probably want to. Okudah is the top cornerback in the draft who’s ready to contribute right now.
1.05 Miami Dolphins: Andrew Thomas (OT – Georgia)
This mock draft doesn’t have projected trades in it, but if it did, the Dolphins would trade this pick to the Chargers so they can come up and select their quarterback. It’s possible the Dolphins stay here and select a quarterback, but this is not a team that’s built to succeed right now. They don’t have any way to protect a young quarterback, and that can crush their confidence. Did we not learn anything with Josh Rosen? Thomas is my favorite tackle in this draft and one who can walk in and start at left tackle right away. He’s going to be a sturdy presence on the offensive line while they rebuild their team before selecting a quarterback in 2021.
1.06 Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa (QB – Alabama)
After hearing the Chargers will move on from Philip Rivers, it’s all but certain they’ll be taking a quarterback in the draft. There have been some rumors that they’ll attempt to lure in Tom Brady, but that makes zero sense. They are a team built to win now, and while they have issues on the offensive line, they can’t go forward with Tyrod Taylor as their only option. Tagovailoa is reportedly going to be ready for the start of the season following his hip surgery, but Taylor should be a good bridge if he’s not ready to start right away.
1.07 Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown (IDL – Auburn)
The Panthers would love for Isaiah Simmons to fall to them to replace Luke Kuechly, though I can’t see it happening. There are a lot of potential free agents on their list, particularly on the front seven of the defense. Because of that, I’ll say they take Brown, who is widely considered the best interior lineman in the draft class.
1.08 Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills (OT – Alabama)
Part of me wonders if the Cardinals make the sexy pick here and go with Jerry Jeudy, but if we’re thinking logically, they need to address the offensive line. The Cardinals have plenty of money to spend in free agency and that can address many of their holes, but top-tier offensive linemen are almost never available. There are some aging tackles who can fill a short term void, but this is a young team that needs anchors. Wills played right tackle at Alabama, which is ideally where he stays, but they may have to use him at left tackle.
1.09 Jacksonville Jaguars: Kristian Fulton (CB – LSU)
After trading away Jalen Ramsey last year, the Jaguars need to fill that void. There are other issues on their defense, but this is too early to reach on a linebacker (not named Isaiah Simmons), and there’s no edge rusher who deserves to go this high (outside of Chase Young). Because of that, they snag Fulton, who is not a bad consolation prize to Jeffrey Okudah, as they’re my No. 1 and No. 2 cornerbacks in this class, with a decent gap after them.
1.10 Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton (OT – Louisville)
The Browns were really hoping to land Andrew Thomas here, but they’ll settle for Becton. There’s a lot of talent on the Browns roster, but the offensive line doesn’t contain much. They continually watched their franchise quarterback abused last year, which led to bad habits being developed. Before it gets out of hand, they need to protect his blindside. Becton is a massive man at 6-foot-7 and 369 pounds, and should serve as a good bodyguard for Baker Mayfield.
1.11 New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama)
The Jets desperately need to build their offensive line, but with so many off the board already, they get Sam Darnold a No. 1 receiver. We don’t know what will happen with Robby Anderson in free agency, but even if he’s on the roster, it’s a position of need for them. Jeudy will quickly become Darnold’s favorite receiver, as he can get open at every level of the field.
1.12 Oakland Raiders: WR CeeDee Lamb (WR – Oklahoma)
Some have Lamb over Jeudy, but no matter which order you have them, both should be gone inside the top 15 picks. The Raiders need a No. 1 playmaker on offense, as they quickly learned that Tyrell Williams was not going to be the answer. Slotting Lamb in as the No. 1 in the offense alongside Williams, Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Josh Jacobs has the looks of a strong unit, giving Derek Carr one last chance to save his starting job. I do, however, believe that they’re a dark horse to take a quarterback with this pick.
1.13 Indianapolis Colts: Justin Herbert (QB – Oregon)
This is assuming the Colts don’t make a splash in free agency, though I do believe Philip Rivers makes too much sense for them. If they don’t snag a quarterback in free agency, they need to have an alternate plan from Jacoby Brissett, who looked like a wreck down the stretch. While I don’t have Herbert as my No. 3 quarterback, his name/reputation will likely have him go before Jake Fromm.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grant Delpit (S – LSU)
The Bucs are likely going to retain Jameis Winston, so I’m not going that route with their pick. Instead, they tighten up the back-end to their defense with Delpit. The improved cornerback play out of Carlton Davis last year does allow them to hold off on cornerbacks until Day 2 of the draft. Delpit will start instantly for the Bucs, who arguably had the worst safety unit in the NFL the last two years.
1.15 Denver Broncos: A.J. Epenesa (DE – Iowa)
The Broncos have a few guys that are part of their pass-rush who may depart in free agency and Epenesa would fit perfectly at defensive end in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme. Putting his strength along with the pass-rushing chops of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb would be straight up nasty on opposing quarterbacks.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE – LSU)
I’m not nearly as high as some on Chiasson, but this isn’t a mock of what I would do, but rather what I believe teams will do. The Falcons have already informed Vic Beasley they’re moving on from him, and that doesn’t even address the fact that Adrian Clayborn is about to enter free agency. Cornerback is another clear need, but the there’s no one available here they need to reach for considering they have three picks on Day 2.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys: Henry Ruggs III (WR – Alabama)
The Cowboys are in a bit of a pickle right now with Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, and it’s a real possibility they lose one of them. I cannot see them allowing Prescott to walk, so they need to prepare for the scenario that Cooper leaves, which is why they select Ruggs here. Best case scenario is that Cooper stays, they move Ruggs into the slot, and that creates mismatches everywhere. Free agency will dictate a lot of what the Cowboys do in this draft.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers): Trevon Diggs (CB – Alabama)
If you saw the list of cornerbacks the Dolphins were playing at the end of the season, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t have recognized any of the names. Not just that, but their top cornerback, Xavien Howard, was arrested for domestic assault. Their defense was clearly an issue last year and unless they address it in the draft, it will continue to be an issue.
1.19 Oakland Raiders (from Bears): Kenneth Murray (LB – Oklahoma)
With Vontaze Burfict at the end of his one-year deal, Nicholas Morrow a restricted free agent, and Will Compton an unrestricted free agent, the Raiders are suddenly thin behind Tahir Whitehead at linebacker. This is not a particularly deep class at linebacker and the Raiders don’t have a second-round pick, so they snag Murray here.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Patrick Queen (LB – LSU)
If you watched the Jaguars down the stretch, you know they had difficultly stopping the run on a regular basis. They need to bolster their linebacker corps and Queen plays with the urgency they need. With Myles Jack not living up to expectations and Telvin Smith still away from the team, the Jaguars cannot afford to wait and see if they get a top-tier linebacker in the second round. The alternative pick here would have been an interior lineman, because if they want to run the ball, they need to upgrade A.J. Cann at right guard.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles: CJ Henderson (CB – Florida)
The rotation at cornerback has to be frustrating for the Eagles, as they’ve been constantly shuffling around players, whether it be for performance or health reasons. With Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills slated to be free agents, you can bet on them taking a cornerback in the top three rounds. With Henderson on the board, they get a high-floor prospect who should be a starter for a long time.
1.22 Buffalo Bills: Tyler Biadasz (IOL – Wisconsin)
Some may be wondering why they’d select Biadasz if they just acquired Mitch Morse last year. Well, it’s because Biadasz can play any of the three interior positions. Similar to what the Bears did in 2018 with James Daniels/Cody Whitehair, as they were both considered centers. Their current starter at left guard is Quinton Spain, who is a free agent and not the long-term solution. While cornerback is certainly a possibility, locking up the best interior lineman is a solid choice.
1.23 New England Patriots: Raekwon Davis (IDL – Alabama)
When was the last time the Patriots had a pick this early (that was their own)? Their last three first-round picks have been players on the offensive side of the ball, so it’s time to move back to the defense. Some think Davis will fall further than this, but he’s a versatile player who’d fit Bill Belichick’s hybrid scheme perfectly, especially if they lose Danny Shelton in free agency. We continually expect them to take a quarterback, but the only way that happens is if they move on from Tom Brady, which I cannot see happening. They need a player who’d help them win now.
1.24 New Orleans Saints: Jalen Reagor (WR – TCU)
The Saints are one of the most complete teams in the NFL and if Drew Brees returns, they’ll be going for it all. Because of that, they need to build on their strengths. Reagor would be the ideal complement to Michael Thomas, as he’s able to be used on screens, reverses, down the field, whatever you want. He would essentially become the new Brandin Cooks of the offense, the player the Saints were highly efficient with. I could see Justin Jefferson also fitting their scheme quite well, but Reagor is just so versatile.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings: Antoine Winfield Jr. (S – Minnesota)
The Vikings have a few question marks in free agency this year, and their secondary contains most of them. Safeties Anthony Harris, Jayron Kearse, and Andrew Sendejo are all unrestricted free agents, while cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Mackensie Mackenzie are also hitting the open market. Winfield is one of my favorite safeties in the draft and would be following his father’s footsteps by playing for the Vikings.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans): D’Andre Swift (RB – Georgia)
Looking through the depth charts around the league, not many teams will consider a running back in the first round, which allows the Dolphins to wait until 26th overall to snag their three-down workhorse. By taking him here instead of the 39th overall pick allows them to have him an additional year under his rookie contract, though a new CBA could change that.
1.27 Seattle Seahawks: Javon Kinlaw (IDL – South Carolina)
We all know the Seahawks would trade out of this pick, right? Just want to make sure we’re all on the same page. But if they do stay, they take a player with massive upside. He’s someone I’m expecting to test well at the NFL Combine and move up charts, so it’s possible he won’t even last this long. He’s the type of player Pete Carroll likes to take a shot on. Cornerback should also be high on their list of priorities.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens: Julian Okwara (EDGE – Notre Dame)
Even before looking at free agency, the Ravens need some help on the edge. When you see that Matthew Judon and Pernell McPhee are unrestricted free agents, it only adds fuel to the fire. He’s a high-effort player who’d fit their 3-4 scheme extremely well. If one of the top three linebackers were to fall here, they’d likely go that route.
1.29 Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Taylor (RB – Wisconsin)
If the rumors are true that Derrick Henry wants a $90 million contract with $50 million guaranteed, it’s unlikely he plays football for anyone in 2020. He was quoted saying that Ezekiel Elliott‘s contract is “the floor.” Not only is Henry a question mark, but Dion Lewis can be cut after June 1st with just $1.1 million in dead cap instead of taking on his $5.2 million cap hit. Taylor is a three-down workhorse who has a nose for the goal-line. Titans fans wouldn’t be upset with him in the backfield.
1.30 Green Bay Packers: Justin Jefferson (WR – LSU)
The Packers finally do it… they grab a first-round wide receiver for Aaron Rodgers. The last time they spent decent equity on a wide receiver was Davante Adams, and we all know how that worked out. Jefferson would be the ideal complement to Adams, as he’s not the possession-style receiver, but one who can stretch the field, while also creating separation underneath when needed. This pick makes too much sense.
1.31 San Francisco 49ers: Logan Stenberg (IOL – Kentucky)
Will Jimmie Ward be in a 49ers uniform next year? As of now, we can’t assume he won’t, but it’s something to pay attention to, as safety Xavier McKinney would make sense with this pick. But for now, the 49ers focus on the interior of their offensive line and take Stenberg, who I like more than most. When it comes to interior linemen, the opinions vary so greatly that I’m going with the one I see as the best fit. He’d be an upgrade at either guard position.
1.32 Kansas City Chiefs: Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE – Penn State)
The Chiefs signed Terrell Suggs down the stretch because they knew they needed more depth among edge rushers. They also have Emmanuel Ogbah hitting free agency, so snagging Gross-Matos makes plenty of sense. He’s a wide-framed edge who’s perfectly suited for their 4-3 scheme that was installed this past season.
2.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Josh Jones (OT – Houston)
Now that the Bengals have their franchise quarterback in place, they need to protect him. The defense has a lot of needs, but that’s not going to happen overnight. Jones is an athletic tackle whose upside is tremendous. While he may want to add 10-15 pounds before taking over at left tackle, the Bengals still have last year’s first-round pick Jonah Williams to start at left tackle, and that allows them to start Jones at right tackle. This would also allow them to move on from Cordy Glenn, who is almost surely a cap casualty with no dead cap attached to his $9.5 million he’d make in 2020.
2.02 Indianapolis Colts (from Redskins): Brycen Hopkins (TE – Purdue)
The Colts are expected to move on from Eric Ebron, though it does create a void at the move tight end spot that’s extremely important in Frank Reich’s offense. Hopkins is similar to Ebron in the fact that you don’t want him blocking right now, but he can contribute right away as a receiver, while Jack Doyle serves as the in-line tight end in the offense. Wide receiver is a need for them as well, but they can find those slightly later in the draft.
2.03 Detroit Lions: A.J. Terrell (CB – Clemson)
After snagging Simmons in the first round, Matt Patricia continues to strengthen the defense with Terrell. The cornerback situation in Detroit is questionable right now, as Darius Slay is reportedly looking for a contract extension. There’s a potential holdout with him, so snagging Terrell as a backup plan would be wise. If Slay does stay with the team, aligning Terrell with him on the perimeter and Justin Coleman in the slot wouldn’t be bad at all.
2.04 New York Giants: Austin Jackson (OT – USC)
I’m not big on Jackson as a prospect, but the Giants aren’t going to sit around and do nothing with their tackle positions. Mike Remmers is an unrestricted free agent while Nate Solder hasn’t been what you’d call elite. Jackson is someone who’s a bit clumsy in combat but has the size you want, standing 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds.
2.05 Los Angeles Chargers: Jeff Gladney (CB – TCU)
The Chargers have their top cornerback in Casey Hayward and their nickel cornerback in Desmond King, but it’s been a revolving door outside of those two. Insert Gladney, who’s a rock-solid man cornerback who’s willing to get in a receiver’s face to play press coverage. He’d be a great cornerback to play opposite Hayward.
2.06 Carolina Panthers: Evan Weaver (LB – California)
The Panthers need to replace Luke Kuechly, plain and simple. Not to say Weaver is going to do that, but he’s a solid prospect who gives max effort. With the addition of Derrick Brown and Weaver, the Panthers run defense should start to turn around in 2020.
2.07 Miami Dolphins: Nick Harris (IOL – Washington)
The Dolphins continue to stock their offensive line with talent, preparing for their franchise quarterback in 2021. Harris isn’t someone I watched make many impact plays at Washington, but he’s also someone who doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.
2.08 Arizona Cardinals: Josh Uche (EDGE – Michigan)
Again, many will want to mock a wide receiver to the Cardinals, but they have far too many holes on their team to go for the sexy pick. Uche is someone who’s best-suited for an OLB role in a 3-4 defense who can blitz well and drop back into coverage. The Cardinals surely need more players who can drop into coverage.
2.09 Cleveland Browns: Xavier McKinney (S – Alabama)
This is later than expected for McKinney, but the Browns will take it. They would love to replace Jermaine Whitehead and also have Damarious Randall hitting free agency. Some will want to compare McKinney to Minkah Fitzpatrick with the versatility they offer, but McKinney’s not a can’t-miss prospect to me (Fitzpatrick was).
2.10 Jacksonville Jaguars: Netane Muti (IOL – Fresno State)
After going defense with their top two picks, the Jaguars turn back to the offensive side of the ball. If they want to be able to run the ball consistently, upgrading A.J. Cann at right guard should be high on their list of priorities. Muti plays with the mean streak you want in an offensive lineman and should help clear holes for Leonard Fournette.
2.11 Chicago Bears (from Raiders): Ben Bredeson (IOL – Michigan)
The Bears thought their offensive line was looking good until Kyle Long‘s injuries added up and left tackle Charles Leno didn’t live up to expectations. Bredeson has the strength and will to play in the trenches and should be able to contribute in his first year. While I’d like to see the Bears select Jake Fromm with this pick, that would put GM Ryan Pace on the chopping block, as he’d be admitting a mistake with Mitch Trubisky. I believe his job is tied to Trubisky, hence the reason he announced him as the starter right after the 2019 season concluded.
2.12 Indianapolis Colts: Cameron Dantzler (CB – Mississippi State)
After going with offensive players for the first two picks, the Colts shift their attention to their secondary. After giving Pierre Desir a three-year deal in 2019, he didn’t play up to expectations, and they can get out of his $6.8 million cap hit with no dead cap by releasing him. The Colts have a ton of cap room, so free agency is going to shake things up quite a bit, but cornerback depth has to be a concern for them right now.
2.13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bryce Hall (CB – Virginia)
The Bucs continue to address the secondary in the second round, selecting Hall, who is a bigger, physical cornerback who’d give them another talented defender to slow down the NFC South receivers who always give them fits. Hall likely wouldn’t have lasted this long in the draft had he not suffered an ankle injury early in the 2019 season.
2.14 Denver Broncos: Tee Higgins (WR – Clemson)
After snagging A.J. Epenesa in the first round, they go to the offensive side of the ball and snag Drew Lock another receiver to complement Courtland Sutton. Higgins is someone who excels in stretching the field for his quarterback, while ball-tracking is one of his best traits. Putting him alongside the physical Sutton, with DaeSean Hamilton in the slot, and you have yourself a solid starting trio.
2.15 Atlanta Falcons: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – LSU)
With talk that they may cut Devonta Freeman, Edwards-Helaire makes a lot of sense for this offense. The Falcons continually throwing the opposing defense players who are incredibly difficult to handle (Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Austin Hooper), and Edwards-Helaire would fit right into that trend. He’s a slippery running back who’ll make something out of nothing, and one who can be used on all three downs. He’s one of my favorite players in this draft and shouldn’t last past the second round.
2.16 New York Jets: Lucas Niang (OT – TCU)
There are some teams who’ll fall in love with Niang, as he’s a massive man who gets push in the run-game. He’s not the most athletic tackle, but the Jets need to take chances on some upside players for their offensive line that severely needs to be rebuilt. At the very least, he’ll help clear some holes for their run-game that was non-existent in 2019.
2.17 Pittsburgh Steelers: Jake Fromm (QB – Georgia)
It’s clear that the Steelers don’t have their long-term solution at quarterback right now. Heck, they may not have their short-term solution, as Ben Roethlisberger will be 38 years old and is coming off a severe elbow injury to his throwing arm. Based on what I’ve seen out of Fromm, he should be in the first-round discussion as a quarterback who has a high floor. Getting what might be their franchise quarterback in the middle of the second round could turn into a steal.
2.18 Chicago Bears: Curtis Weaver (EDGE – Boise State)
The Bears need more depth behind Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd (who’s been inconsistent) on the edge, so they snag Weaver here. He moves extremely well for someone who’s 265 pounds, as he did drop back into coverage at Boise State. He can likely benefit from dropping some weight, which will only highlight his best attributes.
2.19 Dallas Cowboys: Ashtyn Davis (S – California)
The Cowboys were expected to go with a safety in the first round, but Delpit was off the board. Instead, they take Davis, who’s a bit raw, but comes with plenty of upside. He has top-tier straight-line speed as someone who did track and field, and though he didn’t make many impact plays on the tape that I watched, he was constantly around the ball.
2.20 Los Angeles Rams: Troy Dye (LB – Oregon)
After Eric Weddle decided to retire, the Rams suddenly have a major hole at the safety position, but they’ll move forward with Taylor Rapp and John Johnson for the time being. Many of the top offensive linemen they wanted have come off the board, so they take Dye, who’s a magnet to ball carriers. He may not be the biggest guy who’ll overpower many blockers, but his effort and athleticism help make up for that.
2.21 Philadelphia Eagles: Brandon Jones (S – Texas)
The thought of a receiver here is tempting, but there are still quite a few receivers available in this draft who can fill the role the Eagles need. Instead, they snag the versatile Jones who can play both safety positions. He plays with passion and can handle receivers if needed, highlighting his versatility.
2.22 Buffalo Bills: Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR – Colorado)
Many believe Shenault will be off the board in the first round, though I’m not one of them. He’s a versatile wide receiver that’ll remind many of Cordarrelle Patterson, a player who should’ve been much better than he turned out. He’s a boom-or-bust prospect who does provide Josh Allen with a big target who would complement John Brown quite well.
2.23 Atlanta Falcons (from Patriots): Jaylon Johnson (CB – Utah)
The Falcons have zero depth at cornerback, and the depth they do have, isn’t very good. Desmond Trufant is on the decline in his career, while Isaiah Oliver hasn’t been anything better than average. Because of that, Johnson joins their stable. The best part is that he can cover the slot right away, which allows them to get their three best cornerbacks on the field.
2.24 Miami Dolphins (from Saints): Jonathan Greenard (EDGE – Florida)
The Dolphins stick to their plan of passing on a quarterback in this draft and continue to add strength to their defensive front. Greenard is best suited for a 4-3 scheme as an end, so Brian Flores will work him into his hybrid scheme. He continually gets pressure to the quarterback, even if he doesn’t necessarily get the sack, he flushes them out of the pocket.
2.25 Houston Texans: Neville Gallimore (IDL – Oklahoma)
After not having a first-round pick, the Texans will have to make this one count, as they don’t have a third-round pick, either. The status of pending free agent D.J. Reader is something to watch, and though he’s expressed that he’d like to be back with the team, the Texans don’t have much depth on their line. Because of that, they select Gallimore, who is much better than this draft position, as I like him quite a bit.
2.26 Minnesota Vikings: Lloyd Cushenberry III (IOL – LSU)
While I’m not high on Cushenberry myself, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be off the board by the end of the second round. The Vikings can slide him in to replace last year’s last-minute replacement Josh Kline if they choose. Cornerback is another position that makes plenty of sense, but there are too many that have come off the board for them to reach for one here. Wide receiver is a possibility, but there’s plenty of depth at the position in this draft.
2.27 Seattle Seahawks: KJ Hamler (WR – Penn State)
We’ve heard Russell Wilson plead for more weapons in the passing-game, so the Seahawks grant his wishes here with Hamler, who’s a swiss-army knife who can be used in plenty of different ways, including on special teams. He’d be able to rotate with Tyler Lockett in the slot, while D.K. Metcalf tilts the defense to his side of the field. Size is the biggest concern with Hamler’s game, but with Wilson, that shouldn’t be a problem.
2.28 Baltimore Ravens: Ross Blacklock (IDL – TCU)
The Ravens want impact players who’ll help them win right now. Blacklock is someone who’ll deliver on that wish. He’s very agile for a man who’s over 300 pounds. He constantly saw double teams at TCU, highlighting the respect teams had for him. The Ravens had a great rotation with Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce, and Chris Wormley last year, but Pierce is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Like most teams, free agency can shake things up.
2.29 Tennessee Titans: Bradlee Anae (EDGE – Utah)
The Titans are a team with not too many holes, though free agency will be big, as they have Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry, right tackle Jack Conklin, linebacker Wesley Woodyard, cornerback Logan Ryan, and edge rusher Kamalei Correa all slated to be unrestricted free agents. Anae is a versatile player who’s likely best suited for an OLB role in a 3-4, though he can also put his hand in the dirt if needed, which works well for the Titans hybrid defensive scheme.
2.30 Green Bay Packers: Malik Harrison (LB – Ohio State)
It’s no secret the Packers need help at linebacker, and that’s before Blake Martinez and B.J. Goodson head to free agency. They snag Harrison, who shows the will to get to the ball, though he’s a bit too aggressive at times. With the pass-rush the Packers have, it should allow him to be a bit more patient and let the play come to him rather than overshooting it.
2.31 Kansas City Chiefs (from 49ers): Noah Igbinoghene (CB – Auburn)
It really was a miracle how well the Chiefs secondary played this year when you consider they had zero name-brand cornerbacks. Do the Chiefs want to tempt fate again? Igbinoghene is still learning the position (played it for two seasons) after being recruited as a wide receiver, but he’s flashed major upside. Even if they don’t want him to start right away, he’d add solid depth to their cornerback room, and it would give him time to adapt.
2.32 Seattle Seahawks (from Chiefs): Jack Driscoll (OT – Auburn)
The Seahawks are never shy about getting “their guy.” Driscoll strikes me as someone who’d win over Pete Carroll, as he’s someone who leaves it all on the field. He’s not a road grater in the run-game, but he holds his ground against a pass-rush very well with solid technique. Putting him on the right side of the line with Duane Brown on the left, and the Seahawks have two solid anchors for Russell Wilson.