1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett DE/OLB, Texas A&M
2016 draft picks: Corey Coleman, Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Shon Coleman
2017 free agents: Jamie Collins, Austin Pasztor, Terrelle Pryor, Jordan Poyer
Team needs: QB/RT/S/CB/RG
The Browns have a conundrum, they need a QB and are rumored to love Ohio native Mitch Trubisky, who inexplicably wants to be a member of the Browns, but doesn't represent good value with the first overall pick. Do they take him here, trade back, or hope that Trubisky lasts until their second pick in the first round?
Despite having spent a 2015 second round pick on , a 2016 second round pick on Emmanuel Ogbah, and trading a 2017 third round pick for Jamie Collins, players like Myles Garrett and Jonathan Allen are leaps and bounds better than any of the available QB's in this draft class. In addition to their love for Mitch Trubisky, the Browns are rumored to have an "astronomical" grade on Myles Garrett.
Essentially a larger version of Von Miller, Myles Garrett has been wreaking havoc against opposing offenses ever since the moment he stepped onto the field as a true freshman for Miller's alma mater. The 6-foot-5 DE is now reportedly up to 275 pounds, with an amazing combination speed and power, and could have challenged to be the number overall pick in the 2016 draft had the sophomore been able to declare.
2. San Fransisco- DeShone Kizer QB, Notre Dame
2016 draft picks: DeForest Buckner, Joshua Garnett, Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson
2017 free agents: Blaine Gabbert, Glenn Dorsey, Michael Wilhoite, Chris Ponder, Rod Streater
Team needs: QB/WR/RT/CB/LG
Until a new general manager and head coach are named, with the likely head coaching candidate to be Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan, it's going to be difficult to project where the 49ers will lean in the draft. They absolutely need a QB, but which QB would they like here, if they are even willing to bypass superior talents like Jonathan Allen and Leonard Fournette?
Mitch Trubisky might be more pro-ready but DeShone Kizer has the better raw tools and higher upside. At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, Kizer has optimal size for an NFL QB with a strong arm and good touch and accuracy when he's not pressured. Not a finished product though, as Kizer needs to learn how to better read through his progressions.
3. Chicago Bears - Jonathan Allen DE/DT, Alabama
2016 draft picks: Leonard Floyd, Cody Whitehair, Johnathan Bullard, Jordan Howard
2017 free agents:Alshon Jeffery, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Ted Larsen, Marquess Wilson
Team needs: QB/OT/WR/CB/SS
The Bears need a replacement for Jay Cutler, and are rumored to be heavily scouting all of the available QB's. If they fail to re-sign Alshon Jeffery Chicago could use this pick on Mike Williams given how little they've gotten from 2015 seventh overall pick Kevin White. Defensively their biggest needs are in the secondary, both at safety and cornerback, but a defensive-minded coach like John Fox won't be able to pass up an elite talent like Jonathan Allen.
Jonathan Allen decided to forego the 2016 draft even though he was rated as a first round pick, and as it turns out he made the right decision. Not only is he still he now a first round lock, but will likely go in the top 5 picks. At 6-foot-3 and 292 pounds, Allen is versatile enough to play in any defensive scheme. Allen was down-right dominant this season, and would be a major upgrade to any defense regardless of scheme.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette RB, LSU
2016 draft picks: Jaleney, Myles Jack, Yannick Ngakoue, Sheldon Day
2017 free agents:Luke Joeckel, Prince Amukamara, Tyson Alualu, Johnathan Cyprien
Team needs: OT/OG/CB/SS/RB/QB
The Jags will likely go with the best player available, which is a no-brainer in Leonard Fournette. Chris Ivory was a bust of a free agent signing as much as TJ Yeldon has been a bust of a 2015 second round draft pick. Elsewhere the Jags needs a long-term starter to pair with Jalen Ramsey, especially given that Prince Amukamara is on a one-year deal, as well as a replacement for free agent Johnathan Cyprien. Their biggest need may be along the offensive line but this is a poor draft for first round O-line talent, especially at the top. Perhaps Blake Bortles would be farther along in his development if he had time to throw the ball.
Leonard Fournette may be the best prospect in this draft class. He's the closest thing to Adrian Peterson since Adrian Peterson. He is a violent downhill runner with the speed to break off long gains. For a big back at 6-foot-1 and 230 pounds, Fournette has the shiftiness of a smaller RB and can catch passes out of the backfield as well. He's the total package and the prized jewel of what looks to be the strongest RB draft class in several years.
It may be a coincidence, but Jacksonville has used a first round pick on local Florida players in the last three years with Blake Bortles, Dante Fowler, and Jalen Ramsey, perhaps as a ploy by owner Shahid Khan to get stadium attendance up. In case it's not a coincidence this pick could be Dalvin Cook. The difference in talent between Fournette and Cook isn't all that much, so Cook could be the surprise pick here.
5. Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams) - Malik Hooker FS, Ohio State
2016 draft picks:Jack Conklin, Kevin Dodd, Austin, Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard
2017 free agents:Kendall Wright, Chance Warmack, Sean Spence, Rashad Johnson, Anthony Fasano
Team needs: WR/CB/S/TE/DL
Tennessee has built a strong running game and offensive line around, now their biggest need would be to get him some weapons. Tajae Sharpe looks like a late-round gem but was traded for peanuts after only one season and the disappointing Kendall Wright will be a free agent. Mike Williams would make a lot of sense, but Tennessee can't afford to bypass an elite talent like Malik Hooker to replace free agent Rashad Johnson. Plus, defensive coordinator and OSU alum Dick LeBeau has always heavily scouted OSU defensive players in the past when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The 6-foot-2, 205 pounds Malik Hooker is drawing comparisons to future Hall-of-Famer Ed Reed because of his rangy coverage ability and instincts. While the redshirt sophomore is still considered raw with only one season of staring experience, Hooker is a human highlight reel and a pick-six machine, and may be the best safety prospect to come out of the draft in years.
6. New York Jets - Marshon Lattimore CB, Ohio State
2016 draft picks:Darron Lee, Christian Hackenberg, Jordan Jenkins, Brandon Shell
2017 free agents:Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Winters, Geno Smith, Bruce Carter
Team needs: QB/OT/CB/OLB/S/TE/RB
With the exception of their defensive line, the Jets are in need of a total rebuild, starting at the QB position. But after having spent a 2016 second round pick on Christian Hackenberg can they afford to use this pick on the same position? Maybe if GM Mike Maccagnan and/or HC Todd Bowles gets fired, otherwise this team has a lot of other needs to fill. Essentially, the Jets will be picking the best player available here, particularly to fill big needs in the secondary.
The 6-foot, 192 pounds redshirt sophomore Marshon Lattimore made the decision to jump into the draft pool after several of his defensive mates like Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, and Raekwon McMillan became early entrants. In his first season as a starter, Lattimore looked anything but raw. He has a good size/speed combo, with the coverage skills to be an elite number 1 CB in the NFL. It should be a battle between him and Quincy Wilson as to which CB with be the first one drafted.
7. San Diego Chargers - Jamal Adams S, LSU
2016 draft picks: Joey Bosa, Hunter Henry, Max Tuerk, Joshua Perry, Jatavis Brown
2017 free agents:Melvin Ingram, Jahleel Addae, Danny Woodhead, Ronnie Hillman
Team needs: OT/OG/S/DL
The Chargers need another playmaker outside of their number one WR, especially given Keenan Allen's injury history, and could take Mike Williams here. Defensively they need an upgrade at NT to pair with Joey Bosa and Corey Liuget, and they need a safety to replace departed Eric Weddle.
Jamal Adams comes from "DBU". He's got optimum size at 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds. He's the fast, physical, instinctive leader of the LSU secondary and can play both free and strong safety. He is the son of the New York Giants 1985 first round pick George Adams.
8. Carolina Panthers - Solomon Thomas DE, Stanford
2016 draft picks:Vernon Butler, James Bradberry, Zach Sanchez
2017 free agents:Kawann Short, Mike Remmers, Ted Ginn, Charles Johnson
Team needs: OT/CB/DE/S/RB
Fromfavorites to picking in the top 10, it was a rough season for the Panthers. Rescinding the franchise tag on Josh Norman was a huge mistake. Despite the despair in their secondary, drafting another CB isn't likely to make much of an impact on a team supposedly ready now to compete for a championship. The Panthers need to do a better job of protecting Cam Newton, but this is the wrong draft to look for offensive line help in the first round. Outside of the secondary, defensively the Panthers need to replace longtime stalwart Charles Johnson on the defensive line. If there's a chance that Luke Kuechly retires because of concussions, Carolina could get his replacement here in Rueben Foster.
The 6-foot-2 and 275 pounds redshirt sophomore Solomon Thomas steadily improved his draft stock all season, capped off by a monster bowl game against Mitch Trubisky. He's a powerful bull rusher with a quick initial burst to beat offensive linemen. He's one of my favorite prospects in this draft class, versatile enough to play DE in a 4-3 or OLB in a 3-4 who can also move inside to DT on obvious passing downs, and could see his stock really skyrocket with what should be a good combine.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Tim Williams DE/OLB, Alabama
2016 draft picks:William Jackson, Tyler Boyd, Andrew Billings, Christian Westerman
2017 free agents:Kevin Zeitler, Andrew Whitworth, Dre Kirkpatrick, Domata Peko, Brandon LaFell
Team needs: OT/DT/DE/S/WR
As with the Carolina Panthers, the Bengals were full of post season aspirations that went awry. One of the biggest issues hampering Cincy is a lack of playmakers outside of AJ Green. Tyler Eifert has been injury-prone and they lost Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu to free agency, although Tyler Boyd should develop. Defensively the Bengals need an outside rusher to pair with Carlos Dunlap, depth at LB, and a replacement for 2016 free agent departee Reggie Nelson.
Despite getting a second round draft grade from the 2016 NFL draft advisory committee, Tim Williams came back for his senior season. The 6-foot-2, 230 pounds Williams has had a very good season but a charge of carrying a gun without a conceal carry permit back in September could cause his draft stock to slip. Recently there are rumors that Tim Williams has failed multiple drugs tests, and as a result could see a Randy Gregory-like fall in the draft. In the past the Bengals have been willing to gamble on players with off-the-field concerns before.
10. Buffalo Bills - WR, Clemson
2016 draft picks: Shaq Lawson, Reggie Ragland, Adolphus Washington, Cardale Jones
2017 free agents:Stephon Gilmore, Robert Woods, E.J. Manuel, Jordan Mills, Zach Brown, Lorenzo Alexander
Team needs: QB/RT/WR/S/CB/DT
Offensively the Bills have a hole at RT and could use another receiving option outside of injury-plagued Sammy Watkins. On defense they will likely have to replace Aaron Williams if/when he decides to retire due to multiple serious injuries, and may have to replace Stephon Gilmore if he can't be re-signed, although they are in the process of working out a contract extension.
If not for a serious neck injury, wherein he sustained a neck fracture while running into the goal post in the opening game of the 2015 season,likely would have entered the 2016 draft, and would have been in the running to be the first WR drafted. He's got the size at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds to high-point the ball but suspect deep speed, and is being likened to a smaller Mike Evans.
11. New Orleans Saints - Rueben Foster ILB, Alabama
2016 draft picks: Sheldon Rankins, Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell
2017 free agents: Nick Fairley, Paul Kruger, Tim Lelito
Team needs: CB/LB/DE/DT
The Saints simply must draft the best defensive player available here. 2016 was another season of Drew Brees' talent being wasted because of a defense that can stop the run or the pass. New Orleans needs CB's, LB's, and pass-rushers most of all. 2015 first round pick Stephone Anthony has been a total bust so far, and is also playing out of position as a MLB.
Rueben Foster was playing like a man on fire this season. The well built 6-foot-1, 240 pounds middle linebacker has been a heat seeking missile in the middle of Bama's defense, displaying bone rattling hits against the run as well as the pass. Foster is a gifted athlete with sideline-to-sideline coverage ability but is still just scratching the surface of his potential which is scary for opposing offenses.
12. Cleveland Browns (via Philadelphia Eagles) - Mitch Trubisky QB, North Carolina
2016 draft picks: Corey Coleman, Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Shon Coleman, Joe Schobert, Scooby Wright
2017 free agents: Jamie Collins, Austin Pasztor, Terrelle Pryor, Jordan Poyer
Team needs: QB/RT/S/CB/RG
If the draft plays out as is, the Browns would be very happy indeed. Cleveland and Trubisky are a perfect match as he's an Ohio native who grew up a big fan of the Browns, and has publicly stated that he would love to play for them.
The 6-foot-3, 220 pounds Mitch Trubisky played exceptionally well this season in his first year as a starting QB, although he looked sloppy in the monsoon game against Virginia Tech and in his bowl game against Stanford wherein he was terrorized by Solomon Thomas. He's got a strong arm, good accuracy, and can read a defense.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Quincy Wilson CB, Florida
2016 draft picks:Robert Nkemdiche,, Evan Boehm
2017 free agents: Calais Campbell,
Team needs: WR/ILB/CB/QB/OG/DE
Arizona simply has to consider life after Carson Palmer, who will be 37 years old by the time the 2017 draft rolls around. If they do focus more on the present, the Cardinals could use an upgrade at RG, and could take a WR early after they released Michael Floyd and have Larry Fitzgerald mulling retirement. Defensively there will be a big hole at rush linebacker if they fail to re-sign Chandlers Jones, with whom they are reportedly in contract discussions with and have stated that they will give him the franchise tag. And at ILB they could use an upgrade over Kevin Minter. With Calais Campbell entering free agency, and the Cardinals lacking the cap space to re-sign him, someone like Malik McDowell would make a great tandem with 2016 first round pick Robert Nkemdiche.
While Jalen "Teez" Tabor received more of the media hype, it's actually his teammate Quincy Wilson who is garnering most of the acclaim from NFL teams. The 6-foot-1, 211 pounds Wilson has the size, toughness, and instincts that Tabor has without any of the off-the-field concerns. He would form a lock-down duo with Patrick Peterson.
14. Indianapolis Colts - Derek Barnett DE/OLB, Tennessee
2016 draft picks: Ryan Kelly, T.J. Green, Le'Raven Clark, Hassan Ridgeway
2017 free agents:Trent Cole, Robert Mathis, Mike Adams,
Team needs: OLB/CB/S/ILB/DE/RB
Outside of Andrew Luck and TY Hilton this Colts team has some serious talent issues. Indy could take a RB here as an heir apparent to Frank Gore and to help take the pressure off of Luck. Defensively they need to replace aging free agents Trent Cole and Robert Mathis, the latter of whom has already announced his retirement, but could take the best defensive player available regardless of position because they are so destitute on that side of the ball.
Derek Barnett broke Reggie White's career sacks record at Tennessee with 33 sacks in three years. At 6-foot-3 and 268 pounds, Barnett will appeal to teams who employ both a 4-3 as well as a 3-4 defense. While not as athletically gifted as some other edge rushers likely to go high in the first round., Barnett is an extremely polished player, with an array of pass-rushing moves and comfortability dropping back into coverage.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings) - Dalvin Cook RB, Florida State
2016 draft picks: Carson Wentz, Isaac Seumalo
2017 free agents:Stephen Tulloch, Nolan Carroll, Bennie Logan, Caleb Sturgis
Team needs: CB/WR/OC/RB/OT
Philly needs more dependable targets for Carson Wentz besides Jordan Matthews, and will consider John Ross and Corey Davis here. They could also stand to upgrade his protection. Defensively they need upgrades at CB, especially if they do not re-sign Nolan Carroll. A RB will be considered because Darren Sproles will retire after the 2017 season and Ryan Mathews may miss the 2017 season recovering from a herniated disk.
Teams are likely to fall in love with the blinding speed and big play ability of Dalvin Cook, who is being compared to Kansas City's Jamaal Charles. The 5-foot-11 and 206 pounds speedster is seriously challenging Leonard Fournette to be the first RB taken in this draft class.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Marlon Humphrey CB, Alabama
2016 draft picks:Ronnie Stanley, Kamalei Correa, Bronson Kaufusi, Tavon Young, Kenneth Dixon
2017 free agents:, , Rickey Wagner, Kamar Aiken, Vladimir Ducasse
Team needs: WR/CB/RT
The Ravens continue to struggle in the passing game. They live and die by the big play. Mike Wallace isn't a long-term option, Steve Smith is riding into the sunset, andhas yet to establish himself. The Ravens have been quite adapt at catching a falling prospect, and get one here who could be a big boost to their secondary in Marlon Humphrey. Plus, GM Ozzie Newsome always heavily scouts defensive talent at his alma mater.
In a loaded CB class, Marlon Humphrey still stands out. The 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds redshirt sophomore has the size that teams love while still having the athletic prowess to stay in the opposing WR's hip pocket.
17. Washington Redskins - Malik McDowell DT/DE, Michigan State
2016 draft picks:Josh Doctson, Su'a Cravens, Kendall Fuller, Matt Ioannidis
2017 free agents:Kirk Cousins, Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston
Team needs: DE/OC/RG/S/CB/ILB
The Redskins still need to upgrade both the offensive and defensive lines. Unfortunately this draft is poor on first round offensive line talent. Elsewhere, after a promising start to his career Bashaud Breeland has been awful this season. And of course if the Redskins cannot come to terms on a long-term contract with Kirk Cousins, then QB becomes their highest priority.
The 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds Malik McDowell has elite level talent, using his immense power and excellent leverage to take on double teams as a nose tackle in MSU's defense, but questions about his effort and consistency will have to be answered.
18. Tennessee Titans - Corey Davis WR, Western Michigan
2016 draft picks:Jack Conklin, Kevin Dodd, Austin Johnson, Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard
2017 free agents:Kendall Wright, Chance Warmack, Sean Spence, Rashad Johnson, Anthony Fasano
Team needs: WR/CB/S/TE/DL
Tennessee must come away from this draft with a dependable number one WR for Marcus Mariota. Their biggest need otherwise would be at CB, but in a CB heavy draft Tennessee could opt to take one later in favor of drafting an ILB like local product Zach Cunningham.
Before he decided to return for his senior year, the 6-foot-3, 205 pounds Corey Davis was getting some early draft buzz as a real sleeper in the 2016 draft who could climb into the late-1st round discussion. Not a burner but Davis is a big play threat who averaged more than 20 YPC last season because of his polished route-running and ability to make contested catches.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jabrill Peppers SS, Michigan
2016 draft picks: Vernon Hargreaves, Noah Spence, Robert Aguayo, Caleb Benenoch
2017 free agents:Vincent Jackson, Joe Hawley, Chris Conte, Bradley McDougald,
Team needs: S/RB/WR/SLB/CB
Tampa will likely be hoping that either Jabrill Peppers or Jamal Adams fall here, considering their biggest need is at both safety spots. Tampa also needs a complimentary piece to Mike Evans in the passing game.
I'm going to steal this description of Jabrill Peppers from CBS Sports because I couldn't have phrased it better myself. "Peppers is the latest in a new line of defensive "erasers" capable of lining up at safety, linebacker, or cornerback similar in the style of recent first-round picks Deone Bucannon, , and ."
Many mock drafts have Jabrill Peppers going in the top five, and being the first safety drafted, but despite the media hype, in-the-box strong safety types aren't valued as high as center-fielder-type safeties. It's especially damning when a DB prospect only has one career interception in college. The 2016 draft saw Clemson's Mackensie Alexander fall into the second round because of that very thing. Peppers, despite his immense athletic abilities, is a man without a true position,but fills a big need for Tampa.
20. Denver Broncos - Cam Robinson OT, Alabama
2016 draft picks:Paxton Lynch, Adam Gotsis, Justin Simmons, Devontae Booker, Conner McGovern
2017 free agents:DeMarcus Ware, Sylvester Williams, Vance Walker, Justin Forsett
Team needs: OT/ILB/DE/NT/TE
The Broncos need better protection for whomever is starting at QB, whether it's Paxton Lynch or Trevor Siemian. They could also use an upgrade at TE. 2015 third round pickhas been injury-plagued and Virgil Green is being used as mainly a blocking TE. Defensively the Broncos never replaced Danny Trevathan, and they are rumored to be looking to trade Aqib Talib, which would leave a hole at nickel CB behind Chris Harris and Bradley Roby.
Cam Robinson has the prototypical size for an OT at 6-foot-6 and 326 pounds, and can be a road grader in the run game but still has the athleticism to be a franchise cornerstone in pass-protection. There are reports however that say Robinson is a "nightmare" of a prospect off of the field, having already been arrested but not charged with possession of drugs and weapons in the past.
21. Detroit Lions - Ryan Ramczyk OT, Wisconsin
2016 draft picks:Taylor Decker, A'Shawn Robinson, Graham Glascow, Miles Killebrew
2017 free agents:Riley Reiff, Larry Warford, Anquan Boldin, Devin Taylor, Andre Roberts, Tyrunn Walker
Team needs: RT/SLB/CB/WR/DE
Detroit will be looking heavily at offensive line again in 2017 if they fail to re-sign either Riley Reiff or Larry Warford, and Reiff may be allowed to walk because he's been a turnstile at RT this season. Defensively their needs should be to find a DE to pair with Ziggy Ansah, especially given Devin Taylor's pending free agency, a starter at SLB since the Lions traded 2014 second round bust Kyle Van Noy to the Patriots, and a CB to pair with Darius Slay given that Nevin Lawson is inconsistent and 2015 third round pick Alex Carter has been a bust.
Taking a bit of a journeyman path to Wisconsin, the 6-foot-5 and 314 pounds Ramczyk enrolled at two division II schools before transferring to Wisconsin, after which he had to sit out per the transfer rule. In his first season starting on the left side, Ramczyk shut down opposing pass-rushers.
22. Miami Dolphins - Zach Cunningham OLB, Vanderbilt
2016 draft picks: Laremy Tunsil, Xavien Howard, Kenyon Drake, Leonte Carroo
2017 free agents: Jordan Cameron, Dion Sims, Andre Branch, Jelani Jenkins, Kenny Stills, Kiko Alonzo
Team needs: TE/CB/LB/DE
The Byron Maxwell experiment has gone predictably bad and the Dolphins need a long-term starter to play opposite of Xavien Howard. They also need to get younger at DE, and need to rebuild their LB corps. Their biggest issue may be at TE, with Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims headed for free agency. The former of which is contemplating retirement due to concussion issues. Zach Cunningham, O.J. Howard, or the highest rated CB will be the likely pick here.
The 6-foot-4, 230 pounds Zach Cunningham has the desired speed to cover sideline-to-sideline and the strength to defend the run. For such a lean LB prospect, Cunningham has an incredible ability to stack and shed would-be blockers. This season he really turned his game up, almost single-handedly winning games on defense. In high school Zach Cunningham had several offers from the likes of Oregon and Tennessee but instead chose to go to Vanderbilt because of the high priority he put on education.
23. New York Giants - O.J. Howard TE, Alabama
2016 draft picks: Eli Apple, Sterling Shepard, Darian Thompson, B.J. Goodson, Paul Perkins
2017 free agents:Jason Pierre-Paul, Keenan Robinson, Marshall Newhouse, Larry Donnell, Johnathan Hankins
Team needs: RT/TE/DT/LB/DE/RB
The Giants need to take the pressure off of Eli Manning, either by upgrading the running game over a mediocre Rashad Jennings or at TE given that Larry Donnell is a free agent. Defensively they could have big holes to fill if they don't re-sign Jason Pierre-Paul or Johnathan Hankins. In the 2016 draft New York was very high on MSU OT Jack Conklin, so there's no reason why they wouldn't be interested in upgrading the RT position with Marshall Newhouse coming back from injury and headed for free agency, especially if Cam Robinson or Ryan Ramczyk are available.
O.J. Howard likely could have challenged Hunter Henry to be the first TE draft in 2016 after having a monster game in the National Championship but instead chose to return for his senior season. Largely underutilized in Alabama's offense, the 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds Howard is a perfect fit as a pass-catching option in the modern NFL game. Howard has also become a good run blocker, rounding himself out to be the total package. Rumors from the Senior Bowl practices have Howard as a possible top 20 pick.
24. Oakland Raiders - Christian McCaffrey RB/WR/KR, Stanford
2016 draft picks: Karl Joseph, Jihad Ward, Shilique Calhoun, Connor Cook, Vadal Alexander
2017 free agents:Malcolm Smith, Mychal Rivera, Menelik Watson, D.J. Hayden, Latavius Murray, Nate Allen
Team needs: RB/LB/CB/OT/DT
Oakland needs a long-term successor to Donald Penn at LT, and they need a replacement for free agent Latavius Murray at RB. They also need another CB to replace 2013 first round bust D.J. Hayden to go with Sean Smith and David Amerson.
The 6-foot and 197 pounds Christian McCaffrey broke Barry Sanders NCAA record for all-purpose yardage with 2,864 yards last season, and led the nation this season with 2,327 all-purpose yards. McCaffrey's soft hands and big play ability would make him an ideal slot WR and 3rd down RB, and the ultimate multi-purpose weapon that Percy Harvin was supposed to be in Minnesota before the injuries and headaches derailed his career.
25. Houston Texans - David Njoku TE, Miami
2016 draft picks:Will Fuller, Nick Martin, Braxton Miller, Tyler Ervin, K.J. Dillon, D.J. Reader
2017 free agents:Vince Wilfork, Quintin Demps, A.J. Bouye, Antonio Smith
Team needs: QB/RT/TE/S/DL
The Houston Texans have quietly built one of the best young rosters in the NFL, despite Brock Osweiler's struggles, but still have issues at TE and RT, and could use an upgrade at DE across from J.J. Watt. With a horrific injury wherein Derek Newton tore the patellar tendon in both knees, jeopardizing his future playing career, and the mediocre play of his replacement Chris Clark, the right tackle position just may be the Texans biggest need. Because of Brock Osweiler's albatross of a contract the Texans are stuck with him, and will likely use this pick to aide him in anyway possible.
The 6-foot-4, 240 pounds David Njoku flourished towards the end of his first season in Mark Richt's pro-style offense. He's got the speed to stretch the seam, and could ultimately be the first TE selected after what should be an excellent combine showing.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Garett Bolles OT, Utah
2016 draft picks:Germain Ifedi, Jarran Reed, C.J. Prosise, Nick Vannett, Rees Odhiambo
2017 free agents: Steven Hauschka, Bradley Sowell, Michael Morgan, Tony McDaniel
Team needs: OT/OG/CB/SLB/DT
Despite spending a 2016 first round pick on an offensive lineman, Seattle's biggest need is still for offensive line help. Defensively they are just about set everywhere except across from Richard Sherman, and could use a DT to pair with 2016 second round pick Jarran Reed, and a replacement for free agent SLB Michael Morgan.
The 6-foot-6, 300 pounds Garett Bolles doesn't get a lot of national recognition playing for the Utes' but NFL teams have him on their radar, and will likely be one of the top three OT's drafted. His lateral agility may be the best in the draft class, and he plays with the type of nasty demeanor that offensive line coaches love. The biggest drawback for Bolles is that, as a member of the LDS church, he went on a mission trip before starting college and as such will be a 25 year old rookie.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
2016 draft picks: Chris Jones, KeiVarae Russell, Parker Ehinger, Kevin Hogan
2017 free agents:Eric Berry, Dontari Poe, Kendall Reyes, Jarvis Jenkins, Knile Davis
Team needs: ILB/OG/CB/WR
The Chiefs have a solid overall roster, provided that they come to terms on a long-term contract with Eric Berry. With 34 year old Derrick Johnson having to work his way back from a second ruptured Achilles tendon, K.C. should be looking at all of the top ILB's and would likely pounce on Zach Cunningham if he were available. Elsewhere, K.C. could use some more WR help, an upgrade at both OG spots, and could use another CB to pair with Marcus Peters.
The 6-foot, 181 pounds Sidney Jones might be the best press-man CB in this draft class. He's a master at jamming WR's at the line of scrimmage and not giving them enough room to operate. K.C. hit the jackpot with one Washington CB, why not go back to the well?
28. Dallas Cowboys - John Ross WR, Washington
2016 draft picks: Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith, Maliek Collins, Charles Tapper, Dak Prescott
2017 free agents:Ron Leary, Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Terrence Williams, Morris Claiborne, Jack Crawford
Team needs: CB/SS/DE/LB/WR
Dallas was certainly the surprise team of the season, but they are not without their needs for 2017. With Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence alternating their suspensions it would behoove the Cowboys to invest in a pass-rusher who is clean off of the field. In the secondary the Cowboys could take advantage of the bumper crop of DB's to upgrade at SS and CB, as they almost cut Brandon Carr until he agreed to a restructure and Morris Claiborne is a free agent. More often than not, Jerry Jones likes to make the big splash. Adding another receiving threat with the oft-injured Dez Bryant would go a long way towards helping continue Dak Prescott's development. As such, Washington's John Ross may be too tempting to pass on.
CBS Sports has called him a "DeSean Jackson clone". The 5-foot-11, 190 pounds speedster John Ross once reportedly clocked a 4.25 40 yard dash time by the Washington coaching staff. Any team looking for a true vertical threat will be interested in Ross. Previous injury issues, specifically an ACL tear and a separate torn meniscus, will give some teams pause pending a very thorough physical.
29. Green Bay Packers - Taco Charlton DE/OLB, Michigan
2016 draft picks:Kenny Clark, Jason Spriggs, Kyler Fackrell, Blake Martinez
2017 free agents:Julius Peppers,, Eddie Lacy, J.C. Tretter, Datone Jones, T.J. Lang, Jared Cook
Team needs: OLB/OL/RB/ILB/CB/TE
The Packers have T.J. Lang and J.C. Tretter set for free agency in 2017, they released Josh Sitton, and have Corey Linsley, who tore his hamstring twice this past offseason, will be a free agent in 2018. One of Julius Peppers and Nick Perry will likely not be re-signed but they did draft Kyler Fackrell in 2016. The Packers may have Eddie Lacy's replacement in converted WR-turned-RB Ty Montgomery, but they could still draft a RB early. Green Bay will likely release CB Sam Shields, but it's too early to give up on youngsters Damarious Randall, Quinten Rollins, and Ladarius Gunter.
Vidauntae "Taco" Charlton is a 6-foot-5, 272 pounder with long arms and a powerful upper body to stack-and-shed would-be blockers. He's still considered raw, with only one year of production, but he has very high upside potential.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Takkarist McKinley DE/OLB, UCLA
2016 draft picks: Artie Burns, Sean Davis, Javon Hargrave, Jerald Hawkins, Travis Feeney, Demarcus Ayers, Tyler Matakevich
2017 free agents: Le'Veon Bell, Jarvis Jones, Markus Wheaton, Lawrence Timmons, James Harrison, DeAngelo Williams, Landry Jones, Shamarko Thomas, Cody Wallace
Team needs: OLB/ILB/DL2/RB2/QB2/OL2
Well since I can't mock the Steelers Romeo Crennel or a different defensive coordinator who can audible to tight-man coverage against Tom Brady when off-zone clearly isn't working, let's move onto the business at hand...
The big personnel issues facing the Steelers in the 2017 offseason with be the contract negotiations with Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. It's already been reported that the Steelers will in fact place the franchise tag on Bell, with the hopes of signing him to a long-term contract, while attempting to re-sign 2018 free agent Antonio Brown. With a reported 32 millions dollars in cap space for the 2017 season, there's no reason to think that both players will reach free agency in 2018. Also, Facebook-gate shouldn't have any impact on the Steelers desire to re-sign the best WR in the NFL to a long-term contract.
Of the remaining free agents of note, It's likely that the Steelers will allow Markus Wheaton and Jarvis Jones to depart via free agency. Eli Rogers has already stepped up to replace Wheaton on the depth chart, with others like Cobi Hamilton and 2016 7th round pick Demarcus Ayers trying to mark their mark on the roster as well.
Jarvis Jones, oh Jarvis Jones, oh how have you disappointed Steelers Nation. A healthy scratch for the Christmas day match-up for the AFC North crown with the Baltimore Ravens, that pretty much sealed his fate with the team if it hadn't been already.
James Harrison continues to defy father time, and will likely be given one-year contracts every year until he decides to retire. Lawrence Timmons has seen a resurgence in play this season and will likely be extended with a modest contract.
An unforeseen position that could be addressed is at TE. Lardarius Green, the jewel of the Steelers 2016 free agent class, has been injury-plagued in his first season in Pittsburgh. There were rumors at the beginning of the season that Green was contemplating retirement due to concussion related issues, although recently he's disputed the notion that he will retire. Given that he was unavailable since week 15 because he was in concussion protocol, and only active for 6 games total this season, the Steelers may need to think long and hard about the future of the position. Everyone in Steelers Nation loves 2015 5th round pick Jesse James, but he's never going to be the seam-stretcher that Green was supposed to be. With such a deep crop of talented TE prospects, the Steelers could use this pick on O.J. Howard or David Njoku if either are available.
The Steelers are finally at a point where they have talent and/or promising youth at every starting position on the roster. Yes they need a long-term solution at ROLB but otherwise this is an extremely solid roster, save for a few backup positions. Given how much the Steelers love to use early picks on front-seven defensive players it should not surprise anyone to see them draft a pass-rushing OLB here.
In addition to CB and RB, this is definitely a strong draft for pass-rushing OLB prospects. So who would the Steelers take here? Charles Harris would be a likely option. The Missouri product was built to play 3-4 OLB and uses speed and a quick first step to blow by opposing linemen. DeMarcus Walker hails from FSU, the alma mater of Mike Tomlin's first draft pick Lawrence Timmons. At 280 pounds, he's more of a bull-rusher, with the college stats to warrant first round consideration. A sleeper prospect to watch is Bama's Ryan Anderson. I mocked him to the Steelers in the second round of a previous mock draft but he's starting to show up in the late first round of a few national media mock drafts. A technician with experience in a 3-4 defense, Anderson had a beautiful pick-six against Washington in the college football playoff game.
The prospect who makes the most sense right now would be UCLA's Takkarist McKinley. As with Ryan Anderson, he's starting to show up in the first round of many mock drafts and he's even been mocked to Pittsburgh a few times. Besides filling a need, McKinley is in a similar mold of the types of defensive players the Steelers have been drafting early over the last few years. Players who may be considered raw but come with very athletic tools. Takkarist McKinley could be a carbon copy of Bud Dupree when he was coming out of Kentucky. The 6-foot-2, 258 pounds pass-rushing specialist with long arms was a track star in high school, and uses his quick-twitch athleticism to race by offensive tackles. He can occasionally show good technique but is far from a finished product, and uses those long arms to extend and keep linemen from getting into his pads. The downside, other than sloppy hand usage and an inconsistent dip and bend around the edge, is that is frame may be maxed out, although at almost 260 pounds he wouldn't need to get any bigger to play OLB in a 3-4 defense. Unlike in the 2015 draft with Bud Dupree, with an abundance of pass-rushers in this 2017 draft class, the Steelers shouldn't have be on the edge of their seats hoping for a player of McKinley's caliber to fall into their laps.
31. Atlanta Falcons - Charles Harris DE/OLB, Missouri
2016 draft picks: Keanu Neal, Dion Jones, Austin Hooper, De'Vondre Campbell
2017 free agents: Chris Chester, Sean Weatherspoon, Jonathan Babineaux, Paul Worrilow, Jacob Tamme
Team needs: DE/DT/SS/CB
Atlanta's biggest issues are on defense, where they still need an outside rusher to pair withas well as a CB opposite of despite re-signing Robert Alford to that ridiculous 5-year contract extension, provided that doesn't pan out, and a SS to pair with Keanu Neal.
Charles Harris could have entered the 2016 draft as a redshirt sophomore and likely would have been a first round pick. With excellent first-step quickness and an array of pass-rushing moves, he's the next in a line of quality outside rushers for the Mizzou program. At 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds, Harris is likely destined to play 3-4 OLB or as a pass-rushing SLB in a 4-3 at the next level.
32. New England Patriots - T.J. Watt LB, Wisconsin
2016 draft picks:Cyrus Jones, Joe Thuney, Vincent Valentine, Malcolm Mitchell
2017 free agents:Dont'a Hightower, Jabaal Sheard, Sebastian Vollmer, Rob Ninkovich, Martellus Bennett
Team needs: LB/DE/DT/TE
New England will likely not be able to re-sign both Dont'a Hightower and Jabaal Sheard, so drafting an edge-rushing LB is a must after having already traded Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins. Bill Belechick loves his TE's, and with Gronk's injury history and Martellus Bennett's pending free agency, the TE position may be on the coach's wish list as well.
The younger brother of perennial defensive MVP candidate J.J. Watt, the 6-foot-5, 245 pounds T.J. Watt paced the Big 10 this season with 11.5 sacks. He's a versatile prospect who can play the edge out of a two or three point stance, and can play ILB as well. It's that sort of versatility that will make him a hot commodity come draft day, especially to someone like Belechick.
33. Cleveland Browns - Forrest Lamp OT/OG, Western Kentucky
Regardless of whether it's Mitch Trubisky, RG3, Cody Kessler, or whoever at QB, the Browns need better protection.
Every year it seems there is a college OT-turned OG who seemingly comes out of nowhere who makes a name for himself at the college all-star games, and boosts his stock enough to become an early round pick. Guys like Cody Whitehair, Ty Sambrailo, and Joel Bitonio. This year it's WKU's Forrest Lamp. The 6-foot-4, 300 pounds Lamp made 39 consecutive starts at RT. Unfortunately a high ankle sprain forced Lamp to leave practice and miss the Senior Bowl, but the word is out on him as the top interior O-line prospect in this draft class.
34. San Fransisco 49ers - Curtis Samuel RB/WR, Ohio State
The 49ers don't have any dependable WR's, Torrey Smith has been a free agent bust.
Anyone interested in Christian McCaffrey will be interested in Curtis Samuel. Considered a RB in college despite hauling in 65 receptions for 822 yards with 10 touchdowns, Samuel will play more of a slot WR role in the NFL.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jalen "Teez" Tabor CB, Florida
Price Amukamara is a free agent.
While Vernon Hargreaves III was working his way towards becoming the 11th overall pick of the Bucs in 2015, it was actually Jalen Tabor who had the better overall season.Tabor's lack of deep speed and tendency to gamble, combined with only average height for the position and some off-the-field baggage, will likely see him take an unexpected slide on draft day.
36. Chicago Bears - Gareon Conley CB, Ohio State
2014 first round pick Kyle Fuller has been injury-plagued, and seems to be on the outs with DC Vic Fangio.
The 6-foot and 195 pounds Gareon Conley is a solid CB and has the size and length teams are looking for in today's NFL. After some early season struggles Conley rebounded and could easily find himself in the first round.
37. Los Angeles Rams - JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, USC
2016 draft picks:Jared Goff, Tyler Higbee, Pharoh Cooper, Josh Forrest
2017 free agents:Trumaine Johnson, Kenny Britt, T.J. McDonald, Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey
Team needs: LT/WR/CB/OG/S
Tavon Austin and free agent Brian Quick have never developed into dependable targets.
After a slow start, in which he was shutdown by elite Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey, JuJu Smith-Schuster got better as the season progressed. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, JuJu is a smooth athlete with the size to make contested catches but also has the speed to go vertical at any time.
38. San Diego Chargers - Caleb Brantley DT, Florida
New DC Gus Bradley will likely use a 4-man front and needs another DT to pair with Corey Liuget.
The 6-2, 314 pounds Brantley is a disruptive force on the defensive line and could be one of the top pure 3-technique DT's in this draft class.
39. New York Jets - DeMarcus Walker DE/OLB, FSU
The Jets are looking to improve their pass-rush from the OLB position.
The 6-foot-3 and 281 pounds DeMarcus Walker exploded onto the scene in 2015 after two fairly nondescript seasons at FSU, accumulating 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. He opened the 2016 season against Ole' Miss. like a man on fire, accumulating 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. On the season, Walker tied for the nations lead in sacks with 15.
40. Carolina Panthers - Cordera Tankersley CB, Clemson
2016 second round pick James Bradberry is the only serviceable CB on the roster.
The 6-foot-1, 195 pounds Cordera Tankersley has been named Pro Football Focus' top CB of the 2017 draft class, after allowing an NFL passer rating of 40.0 on passes into his coverage in two-plus years starting at Clemson.
41. Cincinnati Bengals - Desmond King CB/S, Iowa
Dre Kirkpatrick is a free agent, 2016 first round pick William Jackson III will be coming off of a rookie season lost to injury, and Adam Jones could likely find himself suspended for the 2017 season after his latest arrest. Plus Cincy never replaced Reggie Nelson.
The 2015 Jim Thorpe award winner, Desmond King returned for another season after posting 8 interceptions, 13 pass breakups, and 21 passes defensed. At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, King looks more like a RB and is just as good defending the run as he is the pass. While adept at man coverage, King may be the best zone CB in this draft class, and is a likely candidate to covert to safety.
42. New Orleans Saints - Tre'Davious White CB, LSU
2015 3rd round pick P.J. Williams has been very injury-plagued, and B.W. Webb has been awful.
Tre'Davious White was on fire early in the season, snagging a pick-six in the process, after which teams shied away from throwing towards the 5-foot-11, 190 pounds CB. He's a fast and fluid athlete who also contributes in the return game.
43. Philadelphia Eagles - Jourdan Lewis CB, Michigan
Philly needs CB help even if they do re-sign Nolan Carroll.
Jourdan Lewis might just be the best CB in this draft class based on skill set alone, however being 5-foot-10 and 188 pounds is going to push him down, especially in a very deep CB class.
44. Buffalo Bills - Deshaun Watson QB, Clemson
The Bills front office seems determined to move on from Tyrod Taylor.
Let me say that I do not expect Deshaun Watson to fall into the second round, he is getting plenty of first round love despite some shaky play this season, but I do think that a team like the Bears or Bills that didn't get a first round QB will trade back into the late first round for Watson. He's an electric playmaker and a lot of fun to watch in college. Unfortunately I think he's going to fall in the 2017 draft. Teams don't seem to like drafting small QB's early, and Watson's 6-foot-2, 210 pounds frame isn't likely to garner much praise from the scouts, and neither will the 30 interceptions he's thrown in the last two seasons. He's mobile and has a strong arm to drive the ball downfield but he has trouble reading through his progressions and his deep accuracy is awful.
45. Arizona Cardinals - Jarrad Davis OLB, Florida
Free agent Kevin Minter is a liability in coverage.
Jarrad Davis, at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, would be more in line with the new breed of linebackers where sideline-to-sideline coverage skills have become far more important than being a thumper against the run, although Davis is still a factor against the run as well as being capable of providing an interior blitz.
46. Minnesota Vikings - Haason Reddick OLB, Temple
2016 draft picks: Laquon Treadwell, Mackensie Alexander, Willie Beavers
2017 free agents:Matt Kalil, Chad Greenway, Cordarrelle Patterson, Andre Smith, Captain Munnerlyn, Matt Asiata
Team needs: OT/OG/WLB/WR/RB
It sounds like Chad Greenway will retire.
The diminutive 6-foot-1, 237 pounds Haason Reddick is a pure playmaker. An outside rusher for the Owls, Reddick amassed 65 tackles with 22.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles this season. Reddick is one of the big winners of the Senior Bowl practices, playing both inside as well as outside linebacker, he shined regardless of what he was asked to do.
47. Baltimore Ravens - Ryan Anderson DE/OLB, Alabama
Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs are only getting older, plus GM Ozzie Newsome loves Alabama players.
Surrounded by 5 star recruits with current as well as future first round picks on a National Championship caliber defense, the 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds Ryan Anderson often flies under the radar. He's a standout pass-rusher while also extremely adept at setting the edge against the run. He plays with good, solid technique with proper hand usage, and also has the power to bull-rush.
48. Indianapolis Colts - Marcus Williams FS, Utah
Soon-to-be 36 year old Mike Adams is a free agent.
The 6-foot-1, 195 pounds Williams is a center-fielding ballhawk with speed and good instincts.
49. Washington Redskins - Ethan Pocic OC/OG, LSU
Washington would have drafted Ryan Kelly in the first round of the 2016 draft had he been available.
On the large end for an OC, the 6-foot-6 and 307 pounds Ethan Pocic could play OG or even OT in the pros. He creates huge holes for Leonard Fournette in the running game, and even though LSU's offense doesn't pass much, Pocic is a reliable pass-blocker.
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Alvin Kamara RB, Tennessee
The disappointing Doug Martin will likely be released this offseason.
Alvin Kamara is rumored to be "red hot" in scouting circles. The 5-foot-10, 215 pounds Alabama transfer supplanted Jalen Hurd as the feature back at Tennessee. He's a versatile playmaker with soft hands who runs precise routes out of the backfield but can still be a workhorse between the tackles.
51. Denver Broncos - Evan Engram TE, Ole' Miss.
2015 third round pickhas been injury-plagued and Virgil Green is used mainly as a blocking TE.
More like a big WR, the 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds Engram is an athletic freak at TE similar to the Redskins' Jordan Reed.
52. Cleveland Browns (via Tennessee Titans) - Budda Baker FS, Washington
Cleveland's safety play has been atrocious since they lost Donte Whitner and Tashaun Gipson in free agency.
Sidney Jones isn't the only Washington secondary player that could garner first round consideration. The diminutive Baker has worked hard to put weight on his frame. He's a smooth athlete with quick-twitch athleticism who can be a true centerfielder. He's a top 50 player in this draft but at 5-foot-9 he'll likely slide on draft day.
53. Detroit Lions - Chris Wormley DE/DT, Michigan
Devin Taylor is a free agent.
The 6-foot-5, 305 pounds Chris Wormley is a versatile prospect who could play a traditional 4-3 DE, 5-technique DE, or 3-tech DT.
54. Miami Dolphins - Rasul Douglas CB, West Virginia
The Dolphins need another CB to pair with Xavien Howard.
The 6-foot-2, 205 pounds Rasul Douglas lead the nation with 8 interceptions. He's a big, press-man cover CB that seems to be en vogue in the modern NFL.
55. New York Giants - Carlos Watkins DT, Clemson
Johnathan Hankins is a free agent.
The 6-foot-3, 300 pounds Watkins is just another in a line of quality defensive prospects from Clemson.
56. Oakland Raiders - Montravius Adams DT, Auburn
Oakland needs a 3-tech under DT to pair with Dan Williams.
The 6-foot-3, 310 pounds Montravius Adams is one of the hardest prospects to pin down. At times his speed and power seem unstoppable but he is maddeningly inconsistent. As a prospect he reminds me of K.C. 2016 second round pick Chris Jones.
57. Houston Texans - Dion Dawkins OT, Temple
Derek Newton may not play football again because he tore the patellar tendon in both knees.
The 6-foot-5, 320 pounds Dawkins is a road grader with some decent athleticism. Although he may be graded higher as an OG, he has the potential to stick on the outside as a pro.
58. Seattle Seahawks - Joe Mixon RB, Oklahoma
Despite Thomas Rawls' 161 yards day against the Lions in the wildcard game, Seattle's running game has been inconsistent since Marshawn Lynch retired, and they would have taken Derrick Henry in the second round of the 2016 draft had he been available.
Joe Mixon received a first round grade from the NFL advisory committee. While he has first round talent, even in a loaded 2017 RB class, the video released of him punching a woman will take him off of most teams draft boards entirely even though the incident occurred two years ago. The Seahawks however have been willing to gamble on players like this before, having taken Frank Clark in the second round of the 2015 draft when most media outlets pegged him as a possible undrafted free agent with records of theft and domestic violence in his past.
59. Kansas City Chiefs - Dan Feeney OG, Indiana
K.C. could stand to upgrade at both OG spots, especially considering Parker Ehinger will be coming back from injury.
The 6-foot-4, 310 pounds Dan Feeney could be one of the hidden gems of this draft class. He is equally superior in both the passing and run game. As Walterfootball points out, Feeney has only given up one sack in 37 career games. Unfortunately Feeney missed a big portion of the season with a concussion, and when he came back was forced to play out of position at RT where he struggled.
60. Dallas Cowboys - Dawuane Smoot DE, Illinois
It's difficult to imagine Randy Gregory ever making an impact in the NFL.
Opinions vary of the 6-foot-3, 255 pounds Dawuane Smoot. He's quick-twitch athlete who's fast off of the edge but is also extremely raw in terms of technique.
61. Green Bay Packers - Jeremy McNichols RB, Boise State
Is Ty Montgomery the long-term answer at RB? Eddie Lacy and Christine Michael are both free agents.
Jeremy McNichols is the sleeper RB prospect in a draft class loaded with talent at the RB position. He's a tough runner who is also a solid receiving option out of the backfield.
62. Pittsburgh Steelers - Adoree Jackson CB, USC
Heading into the 2017 draft the Steelers should only have two open starting positions up for grabs, at ROLB and ILB, and one of those may be negated if Lawrence Timmons re-signs. Regardless, there isn't an ILB worth this pick. Secondary needs would be at the backup positions at QB, RB, and a rotational piece on the defensive line. While it's too early to draft a pure backup to Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers could take advantage of the deepest crop of RB's in recent memory to bolster the position heavily anchored by Le'Veon Bell. Current backup DeAngelo Williams will be a free agent as well as turning 34 years old just before the start of the 2017 draft. The defensive line is set with Cam Heyward, Javon Hargrave, and Stephon Tuitt, but as the latter half of this season has shown, depth is absolutely needed. Ricardo Mathews has been a solid rotational backup and spot starter but he is a 2017 free agent, and drafting some long-term depth could do wonders for the teams' run defense should the line experience the injury-bug as they have this season.
A position that shouldn't be needed but will likely be addressed at some point in the 2017 offseason is at CB, specifically the nickel position. 2015 second round pick Senquez Golson hasn't played a meaningful snap in the two seasons since he's been drafted due to a myriad of injuries. Current starting nickel CB William Gay is 32 years old and starting to decline. If the Steelers expect to complete with the high-powered offenses of the NFL going forward, they need to draft CB prospects with speed, athleticism, and man-coverage abilities, similar to 2016 first round pick Artie Burns.
The 2016 Jim Thorpe award winner, Adoree Jackson and his 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds frame played lights out this season. Jackson recorded 5 interceptions, along with 16 passes defensed, and 55 tackles. He's a former track star and an extremely fluid athlete who stays in the hip pocket of the WR he's assigned to. He's also an excellent return man who has scored on both kick and punt returns this season, and could finally be the player who can take punt return duties away from star WR Antonio Brown. Similar to Steelers 2016 first round pick Artie Burns, Adoree Jackson is still considered raw and far from a finished prospect, one who needs to learn not to bite on double-moves as well as not having much experience playing in zone coverage. But in any other draft class Jackson would be a sure-fire first round pick, so for the Steelers to get him at the end of the second round is definitely a big win.
63. Atlanta Falcons - Obi Melifonwu S, Connecticut
The Falcons need a safety to pair with Keanu Neal.
The 6-foot-4, 219 pounds Obi Melifonwu was the talk of the Senior Bowl practices. He's a physically imposing safety prospect who can close on the ball in a hurry.
64. New England Patriots - Bucky Hodges TE, Virginia Tech
Belechick loves his TE's and Gronk has a lengthy injury history while Martellus Bennett is a free agent.
A former QB-turned-TE, the 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds Bucky Hodges is a freak athlete. With his combination of size, strength, and speed, Hodges is a nightmare mismatch of any defender trying to cover him. Used basically as an overgrown WR, Hodges had no experience blocking in-line and is still an extremely raw route-runner, but offensive coordinators dream about weapons like him.
65. Cleveland Browns - Jordan Leggett TE, Clemson
Cleveland needs a long-term successor to 32 year old Gary Barnidge.
66. San Fransisco 49ers - Taylor Moton OT, Western Michigan
The 49ers RT position has been a turnstile.
67. Chicago Bears - Pat Mahomes QB, Texas Tech
The Bears need a long-term replacement for Jay Cutler.
68. Jacksonville Jaguars - Roderick Johnson OT, Florida State
Jacksonville has one of the worst O-lines in the NFL.
69. Tennessee Titans (via Los Angeles Rams) - Fabian Moreau CB, UCLA
The Titans need an upgrade over short-term rentals like Brice McCain and Antwon Blake.
70. New York Jets - D'Onta Foreman RB, Texas
The Jets need a long-term option behind 31-year old Matt Forte.
71. San Diego Chargers - Malachi Dupre WR, LSU
San Diego's only dependable WR is injury-plagued Keenan Allen.
72. Carolina Panthers - Samaje Perine RB, Oklahoma
Carolina heavily scouted RB's in the 2016 draft. Soon-to-be 30 year old Jonathan Stewart isn't quite the player he once was.
73. Cincinnati Bengals - Zay Jones WR, East Carolina
Brandon LaFell is a free agent.
74. Philadelphia Eagles - Cooper Kupp WR, Eastern Washington
Philly needs another dependable target for Carson Wentz.
75. Buffalo Bills - Justin Evans S, Texas A&M
Aaron Williams will likely retire due to multiple neck injuries.
76. New Orleans Saints - Tarell Basham DE/OLB, Ohio
N.O. needs a bookend with Cameron Jordan.
77. Arizona Cardinals - Chris Godwin WR, Penn State
Michael Floyd was released and Larry Fitzgerald may retire.
78. Baltimore Ravens - Damore'ea Stringfellow WR, Ole Miss.
Steve Smith retired.
79. Indianapolis Colts - Jordan Willis DE/OLB, Kansas State
Erik Walden, Trent Cole, and Robert Mathis are all free agents.
80. Minnesota Vikings - Julie'n Davenport OT, Bucknell
2012 4th overall pick Matt Kalil has been a bust and is a free agent.
81. Washington Redskins - Eddie Jackson S, Alabama
Both of Washington's safety spots need to be upgraded.
82. Denver Broncos - Dalvin Tomlinson DT/DE, Alabama
The Broncos declined Sylvester Williams' 5th-year option, making him a 2017 free agent.
83. Tennessee Titans - Gerald Everett TE, South Alabama
Anthony Fasano is a free agent and Delanie Walker will turn 33 years old this upcoming season.
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dede Westbrook WR, Oklahoma
Vincent Jackson is a free agent, and as with 2016 2nd round pick Noah Spence, T.B. has shown a willingness to gamble on players with off-the-field concerns in the draft.
85. Detroit Lions - Carlos Henderson WR, Louisiana Tech
Anquan Boldin is a 36 year old free agent, as is Andre Roberts.
86. Minnesota Vikings (via Miami Dolphins) - Brian Hill RB, Wyoming
Matt Asiata is a free agent and Adrian Peterson is contemplating retirement.
87. New York Giants - Tanoh Kpassagnon DE, Villanova
JPP is a free agent.
88. Oakland Raiders - Kevin King CB, Washington
Oakland needs a third CB to go with Sean Smith and David Amerson.
89. Houston Texans - Chidobe Awuzie CB/S, Colorado
Quintin Demps and A.J. Bouye are both free agents.
90. Seattle Seahawks - Jaleel Johnson DT, Iowa
Seattle needs a long-term starter next to 2016 second round pick Jarran Reed.
91. Kansas City Chiefs - Raekwon McMillan ILB, Ohio State
K.C. needs a long-term successor for.
92. Dallas Cowboys - John Johnson S, Boston College
Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox are both free agents who need to be replaced.
93. Green Bay Packers - Perry Riley WLB, LSU
As their playoff loss to Atlanta showed, G.B. needs an ILB who can cover.
94. Pittsburgh Steelers - Wayne Gallman RB, Clemson
With a combination of youth and talent at every starting position this draft is a chance for the Steelers to build up their depth by taking the best player available at several backup positions. The Steelers should be looking for a backup at RB and OLB here, a rotational piece along the defensive line, and possibly an offensive lineman given that Cody Wallace is a free agent and 2016 fourth round pick Jerald Hawkins missed the entire 2016 season with a shoulder injury sustained in training camp. Given that the trio of Eli Rogers, Cobi Hamilton, and Demarcus Ayers are still largely unproven, and that 2015 third round pick Sammy Coates has been unreliable to this point, the Steelers could draft a WR here as well.
Getting a RB like Wayne Gallman at the end of the third round is a testament to the strength of this draft class at the RB position. I equate the 6-foot-1, 205 pounds Gallman to a poor mans Le'Veon Bell, or Bell-lite if you will, which is not a knock on Gallman as it is a statement that no RB prospect is going to be able to do what Bell does on the field. Where Gallman compares to Bell is in his lateral agility and ability to quickly accelerate once he picks his hole. He's also an adept pass-catcher out of the backfield. Where he needs to improve is that, at his height, Gallman has a tendency to run upright, exposing himself to injury. He also needs to add some weight to his frame. Gallman has the same frame that Bell does, but is about 20 pounds lighter, but that is something that can be rectified with time in an NFL strength and conditioning program.
95. Atlanta Falcons - Davon Godchaux DT, LSU
Jonathan Babineaux is a 35 year old free agent.
96. New England Patriots - Carl Lawson DE/OLB, Auburn
Dont'a Hightower, Jabaal Sheard, Chris Long, and Rob Ninkovich are all free agents.