1. Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett DE/OLB, Texas A&M
Team needs: QB/RT/S/CB
If the Browns over think this pick and take Mitchell Trubisky over Myles Garrett here then they deserve to be the perpetually worst franchise in all of professional sports.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Leonard Fournette RB, LSU
Team needs: QB/WR/RT/CB/LG
Rumor has it that the 49ers are looking to trade out of the second overall pick in order to both gain more picks and to get better value for Reuben Foster, Malik Hooker, Jamal Adams, or Marshon Lattimore. They are also rumored to seriously be considering Leonard Fournette to replace injury-prone Carlos Hyde and Solomon Thomas to play the “Leo” role in their new Seattle-style defense if they stay with this pick.
If the 49ers do trade back, they have to decide between Foster, Adams, and Lattimore. After releasing Tramaine Brock and moving Jimmie Ward to free safety in their new defensive scheme, the 49ers have a bigger need at cornerback, especially with Eric Reid, Jaquiski Tartt, and Antonie Bethea at safety as well. The 49ers could use Foster as an heir to 29 year old injury-plagued NaVorro Bowman but thanks to the previous regime Bowman is only in the second year of a ridiculous 7-year/77 million dollar contract.
3. Chicago Bears - Jamal Adams S, LSU
Team needs: QB/OT/WR/CB/SS
The Bears have Mike Glennon as a placeholder at QB on a 3-yr deal, but could still take Mitchell Trubisky here. Now the defensive-minded John Fox can focus on an elite talent like Jonathan Allen, Jamal Adams, or Marshon Lattimore with this pick. Given the depth at CB in this draft class, they’ll likely either take Adams to pair with newly signed Quintin Demps given that Adrian Amos regressed last season, or Allen given that Akiem Hicks is a 2018 free agent.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars - Solomon Thomas DE, Stanford
Team needs: OT/OG/SS/RB/QB
With Tom Coughlin back in the organizational fold, there should be a renewed commitment to the running game to bail out struggling QB Blake Bortles. As such, Leonard Fournette would be the pick if he’s available. After signing A.J. Bouye and Barry Church in free agency it’s unlikely that the Jags would take a safety or CB here. Rumor has it that the Jags really like Solomon Thomas if Fournette is gone. Newly signed Calais Campbell could play end or tackle, and 2015 top draft pick Dante Fowler has been a bust of the previous regime.
5. Tennessee Titans (via LAR) - O.J. Howard TE, Alabama
Team needs: WR/CB/TE/DE
It’s being rumored that the Titans will be looking to trade back. Teams like Buffalo and Cleveland will be trying to leapfrog the Jets for Mitchell Trubisky. By adding free agent Jonathan Cyprien to Da’Norris Searcy and Kevin Byard that makes it unlikely that they will draft a safety. Despite the free agent addition of Logan Ryan they could take a CB here given that they released Jason McCourty. The Titans also need weapons for Marcus Mariota and this pick should come down to O.J. Howard and Mike Williams.
6. ***TRADE*** Cleveland Browns (via NYJ) - Mitchell Trubisky QB, North Carolina
Team needs: QB/RT/S/CB
Rumor has it that the Browns and Jets are in discussion for a trade here. The Jets have done a masterful job of faking interest in Mitchell Trubisky to drum up a trade, and the Browns are taking the bait. The Jets wants the 33rd and 108th overall picks, and Cleveland only wants to give up picks 52 and 145. They’ll likely settle on picks 52 and 108.
Mitchell Trubisky may not get past the Bills, so if the Browns want him they’ll have to consider making this trade. If they stay at pick 12 Cleveland would like to get Malik Hooker or Gareon Conley but neither is likely to be available. The Browns staff got an up front look at O.J. Howard while coaching him in the Senior Bowl and are rumored to really like him as a long-term replacement for Gary Barnidge.
7. Los Angeles Chargers - Malik Hooker FS, Ohio State
Team needs: OG/S/DL/CB3
The Chargers are rumored to like Malik Hooker as a replacement for 2016 free agent departee Eric Weddle, but Jonathan Allen will get some consideration. Allen would be a great fit for Gus Bradley’s new defensive scheme.
8. Carolina Panthers - Christian McCaffrey RB, Stanford
Team needs: OT/CB/DE/S/RB
The Panthers would love to get Leonard Fournette or Solomon Thomas here. They are also rumored to really like Christian McCaffrey. Otherwise they’ll stick to their draft plan of taking the best player available who could be O.J. Howard, Jonathan Allen, or Marshon Lattimore.
9. Cincinnati Bengals - Jonathan Allen DE/DT, Alabama
Team needs: OT/DE/SLB/ILB/S
The Bengals really want Leonard Fournette to fall here, and will have a tough decision to make with Jonathan Allen still on the board. Allen would be the likely pick despite serious considerations for Derek Barnett as an upgrade over Michael Johnson, and Rueben Foster considering that newly signed Kevin Minter is on a 1-yr deal and Rey Maualuga was released. Pairing Allen with Geno Atkins would give Cincy the best interior duo in the NFL.
10. Buffalo Bills - Marshon Lattimore CB, Ohio State
Team needs: RT/WR/CB/QB
Despite restructuring Tyrod Taylor’s contract, the rumor mill is swirling that the Bills will take Mitchell Trubisky if he’s available, otherwise Buffalo will target Mike Williams or O.J. Howard to upgrade the passing game, or a cornerback to replace Stephon Gilmore.
11. New Orleans Saints - Taco Charlton DE, Michigan
Team needs: CB/LB/DE/DT/WR
The Saints are rumored to be targeting a pass-rusher here unless Gareon Conley is available, with Taco Charlton as the favorite, and will take a cornerback, safety, or linebacker with their second pick in the first round. Rumor has it that they love Haason Reddick and could potentially take him at here if Charlton and Derek Barnett are unavailable.
12. ***TRADE*** New York Jets (from CLE via PHI) - Charles Harris DE/OLB, Missouri
Team needs: QB/OT/CB/OLB/S/TE/RB
The Jets spent a 2016 second round pick on Christian Hackenberg so it’s unlikely that they would draft a QB with the 6th, despite the rumors that they are highly interested in Mitchell Trubisky. They will be targeting Jamal Adams at 6, and if both are unavailable they should be expected to bail out of the pick.
After trading back, the biggest needs are in the secondary at both safety and CB. At safety Calvin Pryor has been a complete bust and was drafted by Rex Ryan and not Todd Bowles. FS Marcus Gilchrist ruptured a patellar tendon in December. Offensively they need a primary WR to replace Brandon Marshall. The Jets are rumored to love Garett Bolles to replace Ryan Clady.
The Sporting News is reporting that multiple teams have a top 10 grade on Charles Harris, and the Jets have shown a lot of interest in him. Early on in the draft season the Jets were rumored to be looking to upgrade their pass-rush in the first round, and have also been rumored to be shopping Sheldon Richardson in trade talks. It’s likely that Richardson will be traded at some point during the draft, perhaps to Dallas if they do not spend their first round pick on a pass-rusher.
13. Arizona Cardinals - Reuben Foster ILB, Alabama
Team needs: WR/CB/QB/DE/OG
Rumor has it that Arizona really likes Pat Mahomes and Deshaun Watson as a long-term replacements for 37 year old Carson Palmer, but have also spent extensive time with all of the top QB’s. If the Cardinals focus more on the present, they would take Mike Williams to replace Michael Floyd. Defensively they need to replace Calais Campbell and would take Taco Charlton if he were available, Reuben Foster as a long-term replacement for Karlos Dansby, and an upgrade at CB opposite of Patrick Peterson.
Reuben Foster’s stock seems to be falling after an altercation at the combine, plus a failed drug test for a diluted sample. Mind you, a diluted sample is not the same thing as finding drugs in his system. Laremy Tunsil had a video of him using a bong released the morning of the 2016 draft and he was still the 13th overall pick. The Cardinals gambled on Tyrann Mathieu and it payed off, so they should be open to drafting Foster as well.
14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Minnesota Vikings) - Derek Barnett DE/OLB, Tennessee
Team needs: CB/OC/RB/OT/DE
The Eagles have continued to show significant interest in John Ross, even after signing Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith in free agency. They are also rumored to be looking at DE with this pick after they released Connor Barwin. Chris Long is a short-term rental, Vinny Curry is more of a rotational piece, and Marcus Smith is a first round bust of the Chip Kelly regime. They will likely have to decide between Charles Harris, Derek Barnett, Christian McCaffrey, John Ross, and their highest rated CB. Philly has shown significant interest in the fast rising Chidobe Awuzie, who is garnering Leon Hall comparisons.
15. Indianapolis Colts - Takkarist McKinley DE/OLB, UCLA
Team needs: RG/CB/S/ILB/OLB
Despite signing a lot of free agents the Colts still have a lot of issues on defense and could easily take the highest rated defensive player available, especially at CB or OLB. Vontae Davis has been banged up, Patrick Robinson was released, and Darius Butler is on a 1-yr deal. Their number one priority has to be the health and protection of Andrew Luck. Le’Raven Clark is the likely RT of the future but the Colts have a big hole at RG that could be filled by Forrest Lamp or Garett Bolles. Indy is one of several teams rumored to really like Christian McCaffrey, and they need a long-term replacement for soon-to-be 34 year old Frank Gore.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Mike Williams WR, Clemson
Team needs: WR/CB/RT/LG/OC/OLB
The Ravens are rumored to be targeting Cam Robinson here as a replacement for free agent departee Rickey Wagner, but expectantly see Mike Williams fall into their laps.
17. Washington Redskins - Dalvin Cook RB, Florida State
Team needs: DL/OC/RG/S/CB/ILB
Washington could use this pick on the highest rated defensive player available, as they have issues on the defensive line, at ILB, CB, and especially at safety. On offense, HC Jay Gruden was quoted on ESPN as saying, with regards to the RB position, “When you get a great one, it makes the team different. And it takes a team from a pretender to an immediate contender. We’re all looking for that.” If the Redskins do for a defensive player it will likely be either Haason Reddick or Jarrad Davis.
18. Tennessee Titans - Chidobe Awuzie CB, Colorado
Team needs: WR/TE/CB
After filling their receiving needs at pic 5 Tennessee will take the highest rated defensive back here, and are rumored to really like Chidobe Awuzie, who has been climbing draft boards.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - David Njoku TE, Miami
Team needs: S/RB/SLB/CB/TE
Tampa would love to get Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook here to replace Doug Martin, and their dream pick would be O.J. Howard here to pair with Cameron Brate to run more 2-TE formations, and will also strongly consider David Njoku. T.B. is also rumored to be infatuated with the fast rising Obi Melifonwu who would replace Bradley McDougald at free safety.
20. Denver Broncos - Cam Robinson OT, Alabama
Team needs: OT/ILB/DE/NT/TE
Rumor has it that the Broncos will be targeting Christian McCaffrey here to upgrade an anemic rushing attack and give whomever is starting at QB a better weapon out of the backfield. The Broncos have also shown interest in Garett Bolles to replace Russell Okung at LT, but with them switching from a zone to a man blocking scheme Cam Robinson is a better fit.
21. Detroit Lions - T.J. Watt LB, Wisconsin
Team needs: LB/CB/TE/DE/DT/RB
Detroit will almost assuredly take a defensive prospect here, particularly at LB, after releasing DeAndre Levy. At CB the Lions need a starter opposite of Darius Slay, which would keep Nevin Lawson in the slot. The Lions are rumored to be targeting two players with this pick, T.J. Watt and Obi Melifonwu, and have shown a lot of interest in Tak McKinley as well.
22. Miami Dolphins - Forrest Lamp OT/OG, Western Kentucky
Team needs: LB/DE/DT/OG/TE
Miami is rumored to be looking for a pass-rusher, and are hoping for Derek Barnett or Charles Harris to fall here. They also like Forrest Lamp who would play LG as Laremy Tunsil will shift to LT after the Brandon Albert trade. Lately multiple sites are reporting that the Dolphins have become enamored with Chris Wormley who could play DT or RDE in their 4-man front. It would be a reach to take him here, but would be the target of a trade back. Miami is also rumored to be looking for a big nickel defender, and had shown a lot of interest in Obi Melifonwu.
23. New York Giants - Garett Bolles OT, Utah
Team needs: RT/TE/DT/LB/RB
The Giants would love to get O.J. Howard or Garret Bolles here, and will consider David Njoku and possibly Ryan Ramczyk as well. A backup plan might be Jarrad Davis or Zach Cunningham. The Giants do not typically spend early round picks at LB, but Giants GM Jerry Reese was in attendance at Vanderbilt’s pro day.
24. Oakland Raiders - Kevin King CB, Washington
Team needs: RB/LB/DT/CB3/OT
The Raiders want to focus on defense early in the draft. Rumor has it that the Raiders are looking hard at two CB’s, Kevin King and Chidobe Awuzie, and if they are off of the board will focus on linebackers Haason Reddick and Jarrad Davis.
25. Houston Texans - Pat Mahomes QB, Texas Tech
Team needs: QB/RT/TE/S
After Tony Romo announced his retirement, that almost guarantees the Texans will take a QB here, and will be targeting Pat Mahomes. Houston’s biggest need other than QB is at RT. Derek Newton may not play football again because he tore the patellar tendon in both knees. Both OG spots could be addressed as well. Defensively the Texans biggest issue is at safety after allowing Quintin Demps to walk in free agency.
26. Seattle Seahawks - Obi Melifonwu S/CB, Connecticut
Team needs: OT/OG/CB/SLB/DT
The Seahawks will be holding out hope that Cam Robinson or Garret Bolles falls to them here. They are also rumored to be very interested in Forrest Lamp. Absent an OT, the likely pick here will be a CB or safety. They’ve needed a CB to pair with Richard Sherman for a while now, and rumors have surfaced that the team is open to trading Sherman. At safety, Earl Thomas will be coming back from a broken leg and Kam Chancellor, who has already attempted to hold out for a new contract previously, will be a free agent in 2018. The Seahawks are rumored to like Obi Melifonwu, who fits the athletic profile with a high SPARQ rating that Pete Carroll prefers.
27. Kansas City Chiefs - Curtis Samuel WR/RB, Ohio State
Team needs: ILB/OG/CB/WR
K.C. has shown interest in every top QB in this draft class. Soon-to-be 34 year old Alex Smith is a game manager and will be a free agent in 2019. The Chiefs also need a long-term replacement for 34 year old Derrick Johnson, who is working his way back from a second ruptured Achilles tendon. If they stay here the Chiefs will consider Haason Reddick or Jarrad Davis, but it’s more likely that K.C. will trade out of this pick as they did in the 2016 draft, with some team like Cleveland, Chicago, or Arizona looking to get Deshaun Watson. After trading back the Chiefs will consider Curtis Samuel as a replacement for Jamaal Charles, or a CB to pair with Marcus Peters.
28. Dallas Cowboys - Adoree Jackson CB, USC
Team needs: CB/SS/DE/LB/WR
Dallas will likely upgrade in the secondary or along the defensive line with this pick, as they’ve shown interest in practically every DB and DE expected to go in the first two rounds. They’ve shown strong interest in Chidobe Awuzie, Kevin King, Adoree Jackson, Obi Melifonwu, Takkarist McKinley, Jordan Willis, and Tyus Bowser.
29. Green Bay Packers - Marlon Humphrey CB, Alabama
Team needs: OL/RB/CB/ILB
As their loss to the Falcons in the NFC championship showed, the Packers biggest deficiencies are in coverage, and now they’ve released Sam Shields and let Micah Hyde walk in free agency. Another position that needs to be addressed is at ILB. Unless Forrest Lamp or T.J. Watt fall here the Packers will likely take the best available CB or edge-rusher.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Jarrad Davis OLB, Florida
Team needs: OLB/CB/ILB/DL2/RB2/OL2
We all know the Steelers needs and we all know the players by now, so lets sift through the rumors and recent draft history and strategy to figure out who the Steelers will take here?
According to a report by NFL.com, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert “loves” Michigan hybrid defender Jabrill Peppers. Firstly, the Steelers are not known to leak their draft targets to the media, but they also do not typically leak disinformation to mislead other teams either. It’s likely second hand information from someone within the Steelers organization who overheard Colbert compliment Peppers offhandedly. They are however generally transparent about who they have legitimate interest in. They’ll either bring players in for a pre-draft visit and if not, as was the case for the last two previous first round picks Artie Burns and Bud Dupree, will take them out to dinner the night before their pro day. The last time the Steelers used a first round pick on a player who wasn’t brought in for a pre-draft visit or interviewed and/or taken to dinner at the prospects pro day was David DeCastro in 2012, and that was likely because no one thought DeCastro would last until the 24th pick. It’s notable that Peppers has not been brought in for a visit, and while in town for the Michigan pro day it was Peppers’ teammates Taco Charlton and Chris Wormley who got the dinner treatment by Colbert and HC Mike Tomlin and not Peppers himself. So while I am sure there is some legitimate interest in Peppers, and maybe like as with DeCastro the Steelers don’t feel as though he’ll be available to them so why waste one of 30 pre-draft visits on him, it is far from a slam dunk that he would be the pick if he’s available here. And to be quite honest, in my own personal opinion I prefer Budda Baker over Jabrill Peppers with this pick given what safeties are available, should the Steelers go that way.
That same report also mentions that the Steelers will take the best available cornerback or safety here, eschewing their need at outside linebacker until later in the draft. That portion of the report is more believable, as the Steelers have mentioned playing more man coverage after the dismantling of the secondary by Tom Brady in the AFC Championship game. The Steelers have only brought in two outside linebackers (“Tak” McKinley, Tim Williams) with possible first round grades while bringing in an equal number of safeties (Obi Melifonwu, Budda Baker) with possible first round grades and a cornerback (Marlon Humphrey) who should also carry a first round grade. The Steelers have also brought in an equal number of inside linebacker prospects (Zach Cunningham, Jarrad Davis) slated to go in the late first round range. Given that the Steelers reportedly offered Dont’a Hightower $9 million/year, it is just as likely that they could take an inside linebacker with their first pick.
It should also be noted that if the Steelers were to spend their first round pick on an inside linebacker it would likely be Jarrad Davis over Zach Cunningham. Cunningham’s combine numbers were fairly average, including a 4.67 40 time, and while Davis did not work out at the combine his pro day showed off his athletic traits(including a 4.55 40 time), where his testing numbers would have beat every other linebacker at the combine. Davis is reportedly gaining momentum among the scouting community and is getting some top-20 consideration.
The final mention in the report was that Big Ben has been lobbying the front office for a tight end, even though Ben has refuted that report. While the Steelers haven’t brought in any TE prospects that carry a first round grade for a pre-draft visit, GM Kevin Colbert did take Miami’s David Njoku, as well as QB teammate Brad Kaaya, out to dinner the night before his pro day. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had the Steelers selecting Njoku in his latest mock draft, and also specifically mentions him as a trade up candidate for the Steelers. It’s unlikely that David Njoku would be available here, as he could go as high as 18 and likely wouldn’t get past the Giants at 23. But with his highly sought-after athletic profile and upside, and the fact that he doesn’t turn 21 years old until July, he could be worth the gamble for the Steelers in a draft class where edge-rusher and secondary are so deep.
A caveat on Marlon Humphrey. Personally I’m torn on him. His draft grades are all over the map, with some having the 6-foot, 197 pounds prospect vying as the first cornerback to come off of the board while others grade his as an early-to-mid 2nd round pick. With optimal size, a 4.41 40 time, and a 6.75 3-cone drill, the numbers scream first round pick, but the tape is full of mental mistakes and bad mechanics, and someone who got by in college solely on their athleticism and by having their deficiencies masked by the Alabama scheme and surrounding talent, something that has been a problem in the past with Alabama defenders once they reach the NFL. With that size and athleticism, and just as with Njoku, Humphrey will not turn 21 until this summer and there may be too much upside to pass on should he be available here.
And finally, with regards to the QB position, the Steelers must take Ben’s possible retirement talk seriously and start to plan for the future, but it will likely be done without detriment to the present. The Steelers are a championship contending team with Big Ben right now, and spending a first round pick on a player who will not contribute to the team’s championship goals this season seems extremely unlikely. However, that will not preclude the front office from spending a pick at the position in the next few rounds should the value be there. If say for instance Pat Mahomes or DeShone Kizer fell in the second round, or David Webb, who is someone I’ve mocked to the Steelers previously in the 3rd round, fell to the 94th pick, at that point the value would be worth taking a QB early. The Steelers could still take one of Brad Kaaya, Joshua Dobbs, or Jerod Evans with their third round comp pic, or in the 5th or 6th rounds.
Also to that extent, Charlie Campbell of Walterfootball is reporting that the Steelers have been quietly vetting DeShone Kizer, and gauging interest in him around the league, and could take him here. The belief is that, when Ben retires, they want to “hit the ground running” with a QB instead of wasting a prime championship contending year getting a QB acclimated to the NFL. Personally while I get the notion and understand it, after all the dire needs we think the Steelers have the truth is that they are a contending team now, as mentioned above, I would much rather see this pick used on someone who can contribute this season, even if it is Ben’s last.
Given the information at hand, it seems likely that the Steelers will use their first and second round picks on an outside or inside linebacker and a hybrid safety to be the teams nickel defender. Despite the perceived need at cornerback, the Steelers have shown far more interest in the aforementioned hybrid safety prospects.
Based on recent comments by GM Kevin Colbert in an interview with the media, and pointed out by our own Jeff Hartman, the concern with 80-90 percent of college edge rushers is that they “don’t play on their feet in college.” Meaning that there is a lot of projection as to whether they can also drop into coverage. It’s for that reason that I believe if the Steelers are to take an OLB in the first round, barring an unexpected fall by the likes of Taco Charlton, that T.J. Watt would be the pick.
The versatile linebacker would be a boon at both edge-rusher or at inside linebacker to replace Lawrence Timmons. The Younger brother of J.J. Watt reminds me a lot of Clay Matthews, and his surprising athleticism showcased at the combine and Wisconsin pro day all but assures his first round status. This is despite rumors by draft analyst Tony Pauline that the Steelers do not value him at pick 30. Watt’s experience as a stand-up linebacker gives him an edge over the other linebackers expected to be available in this range. While he wasn’t brought in for a pre-draft visit he and teammate Vince Biegel were taken out to dinner by Colbert and Tomlin the night before the Wisconsin pro day.
With the apparent interest in those hybrid safety guys, as well as the desire for athletes with high upside such as previous first round picks Artie Burns, Bud Dupree, and Ryan Shazier, as well as the stated desire to play more man coverage, we could assume that combine stud and physical marvel Obi Melifonwu is the Steelers likeliest realistic top of the draft board first round target. The 6-foot-4 and 224 pounds safety from Connecticut has teams and drafts fans alike drooling over his potential after posting a 4.40 40, 44 inch vertical, and an 11-9 broad jump. Rumor has it that multiple teams are viewing him as a CB prospect, someone who can cover TE’s and big WR’s. The Steelers seem genuinely interested in Obi, having interviewed him at the combine as well as having him brought in for a pre-draft interview. In the modern pass-happy NFL Obi would be a very versatile weapon who could play deep safety, nickel, and ILB in the Steelers defense.
The Steelers realistic big board based on need, talent, and interest shown should look something like this:
1. Obi Melifonwu S/LB, UCONN(combine, pro day, pre-draft interview)
2. T.J. Watt LB, Wisconsin(combine, pro day, dinner)
3. Marlon Humphrey CB, Alabama(pro day, pre-draft interview)
4. Tak McKinley OLB, UCLA(pro day, private workout, pre-draft interview)
5. Jarrad Davis ILB, Florida (pro day, pre-draft interview)
5. David Njoku TE, Miami(pro day, dinner)
7. Jabrill Peppers S/LB, Michigan(pro day, NFL.com rumor)
8. Zach Cunningham ILB, Vanderbilt(pre-draft interview)
And the rest would be some combination of Budda Baker, Tim Williams, and DeShone Kizer.
So with the best player available, the Steelers would likely select Jarrad Davis. He’s a fast, instinctive linebacker who can play the run as well as provide sideline-to-sideline coverage. The Steelers have Vince Williams to potentially replace Lawrence Timmons but he’s more of a two-down thumper, so why not take a linebacker prospect who mirrors Timmons’ skill set when he was coming out of Florida State?
31. Atlanta Falcons - Jordan Willis DE/OLB, Kansas State
Team needs: OG/DE/OLB/SS/CB3
Rumor has it that the Falcons will be targeting Forrest Lamp with this pick to replace the retired Chris Chester, and may trade up for him if he falls within range, as he’s unlikely to be available here. Atlanta will be looking at all of the available tweener DE/OLB prospects such as Jordan Willis and Tyus Bowser, and possibly a safety such as Marcus Maye and Justin Evans.
A recent rumor has popped up involving a potential trade between Dan Quinn and his former employer, the Seahawks. They would swap first rounds picks, with an additional 4th rounder going Seattle’s way, to either obtain Forrest Lamp or get a pass-rusher should Charles Harris slide, given that he’s not expected to make it past the Cowboys, Packers, and Steelers. It’s contingent on Garett Bolles not being available for the Seahawks at 26.
32.New Orleans Saints (via New England Patriots) - Haason Reddick LB, Temple
Team needs: CB/LB/DE/DT/WR
The Saints will likely draft the best available defensive back or linebacker here after filling their DE need with Taco Charlton, provided that they don’t trade this pick back to N.E. for Malcolm Butler. Rumor has it that they love Haason Reddick enough to consider him at 11.
33. Cleveland Browns - Tre'Davious White CB, LSU
Cleveland needs a CB to push Jamar Taylor into the slot.
34. San Francisco 49ers - John Ross WR, Washington
Rumor has it that John Ross will not fall past S.F. here.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars - Joe Mixon RB, Oklahoma
Rumor has it the Jags will take Joe Mixon if they can’t get Leonard Fournette.
36. Chicago Bears - Deshaun Watson QB, Clemson
Chicago could trade into the back half of the first round for Watson.
37. Los Angeles Rams - Corey Davis WR, Western Michigan
Team needs: WR/OC/OG/CB/SS/TE
The Rams will take the best available pass-catcher or offensive lineman to aide in Jared Goff’s development.
38. Los Angeles Chargers - Ryan Ramczyk OT, Wisconsin
King Dunlap and D.J. Fluker were released and Russell Okung is injury-prone.
39. New York Jets - Marcus Maye S, Florida
The Jets are rumored to really like Marcus Maye if they can’t get Jamal Adams.
40. Carolina Panthers - Chris Godwin WR, Penn State
Carolina needs to replace Ted Ginn’s speed at WR.
41. Cincinnati Bengals - Raekwon McMillan ILB, Ohio State
Cincy is targeting Joe Mixon, Raekwon McMillan, or Tarell Basham here.
42. New Orleans Saints - Jabrill Peppers S, Michigan
This should be Jabrill Peppers’ floor if the Saints don’t address safety earlier.
43. Philadelphia Eagles - Quincy Wilson CB, Florida
Philly will likely spend multiple picks at CB.
44. Buffalo Bills - Tim Williams DE/OLB, Alabama
Buffalo needs an edge-rusher who fits their new defensive scheme.
45. Arizona Cardinals - Davis Webb QB, Cal
Arizona could take a QB in the first round, and if not may trade back into the late first.
46. Indianapolis Colts - Josh Jones SS, North Carolina State
Indy is rumored to like Tyus Bowser or Josh Jones here.
47. Baltimore Ravens - Malik McDowell DT/DE, Michigan State
Timmy Jernigan was traded to Philly.
48. Minnesota Vikings - Alvin Kamara RB, Tennessee
Team needs: OT/OG/WLB/WR/RB
Brandon Fusco and Mike Harris were both released so an OG like Dan Feeney would make a lot of sense, and the Vikings front office and HC Mike Zimmer seemed enamored with Malik McDowell at his pro day, but the Vikings need to help out a struggling offense by replacing Adrian Peterson.
49. Washington Redskins - Tyus Bowser DE/OLB, Houston
The Redskins are looking at edge-rushers after Trent Murphy’s PED suspension.
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Justin Evans S, Texas A&M
T.B. is rumored to love Justin Evans as a replacement for Bradley McDougald.
51. Denver Broncos - Evan Engram TE, Ole' Miss.
Jeff Heuerman has been injury-plagued and Virgil Green is used as a blocking TE.
52. ***TRADE***New York Jets (from CLE via TEN) - Dion Dawkins OT/OG, Temple
Ryan Clady was released.
53. Detroit Lions - Fabian Moreau CB, UCLA
Detroit needs another CB to push Nevin Lawson into the slot full time.
54. Miami Dolphins - Chris Wormley DT/DE, Michigan
Miami is rumored to be very high on Chris Wormley.
55. New York Giants - Zach Cunningham OLB, Vanderbilt
Zach Cunningham is a first round talent but off-the-ball linebackers tend to slip on draft day, especially in a deep defensive draft like this one. I don’t expect him to fall this far into the second round, as some team will likely try and trade up for him, and the Giants are rumored to love him.
56. Oakland Raiders - Tanoh Kpassagnon DE, Villanova
Oakland is rumored to love Tanoh Kpassagnon who could play 3-technique DT.
57. Houston Texans - Budda Baker FS, Washington
Quintin Demps signed with Chicago.
58. Seattle Seahawks - Zay Jones WR, East Carolina
Rumor has it that Zay Jones will not get past here.
59. Kansas City Chiefs - DeShone Kizer QB, Notre Dame
K.C. needs a QB to develop behind Alex Smith.
60. Dallas Cowboys - Tarell Basham DE, Ohio
Dallas is rumored to love Basham here if they opt for a CB in the first round.
61. Green Bay Packers - Dan Feeney OG, Indiana
The G.B. needs to replace J.C. Tretter and T.J. Lang.
62. Pittsburgh Steelers - Derek Rivers DE/OLB, Youngstown State
The Steelers will be looking at secondary help and an outside linebacker here, barring an aforementioned QB falling such as DeShone Kizer. If the Walterfootball report is to be believed, and the Steelers do secretly love Kizer, they could make a trade up for him if he falls deep into the second round, using their 3rd round compensatory pick as ammo in a trade up. And don’t forget the interest that OC Todd Haley showed in Chris Godwin at his pro day, and that he was brought in for a pre-draft visit as well, should he be available.
If he were available, Alabama’s Tim Williams would be the likely pick. He has first round value as a situational pass-rusher, even if his inability to set the edge is a problem, but has been pushed down because of off-the-field concerns. He was interviewed at the combine as well as being brought in for a pre-draft interview, and the Steelers were in full force at his pro day.
Another option, should he be available and the Steelers don’t draft an ILB earlier, is Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan. Despite the departure of OSU alum Dick LeBeau, the Steelers always pay special attention to the Ohio State pro day, and McMillan was also brought in for a pre-draft visit. Thought of as more of a two-down thumper until he blew up the combine, McMillan ran a 4.61 40 with an incredible 1.58 yard split at 6-foot-2, and 240 pounds. He also looking surprisingly natural and fluid in the coverage drills, quelling some concerns about his ability to cover in space. Our own Dan Sager did this write up on McMillan back in February, talking about his athletic upside but questioning his ability to stay on the field on third downs.
But given who is available, the player who makes the most sense is BTSC fan favorite Derek Rivers. A small school standout with 41 career sacks, 15 of which came in his final season, the 6-foot-4 and 248 pounds pass-rusher was one of the combine’s big winners. He ran a 4.61 40 with an amazing 6.94 3-cone time and had 30 reps on the bench press in addition to a 35-inch vertical leap. His tape shows natural bend around the edge and good hand usage. But as is the question with all small school prospects, can he duplicate those skills against a higher level of competition? The Steelers interviewed rivers at the combine and brought him in for a pre-draft visit, and Joey Porter was on hand at his pro day as well.
So 10 years later after Mike Tomlin’s inaugural 2007 draft class, the Steelers go back to the template of taking an inside linebacker in the first round and following it up with an edge rusher, as they did with Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley.
Previously I’ve had Carl Lawson mocked to the Steelers in the first round, and while he is certainly still an option for the Steelers in both the first and second rounds, the lack of bend and extensive injury history will likely see him fall into the third round as other pass-rushers, like Derek Rivers, have seen their draft stock rise.
The wild card here would be Tanoh Kpassagnon(pronounced Tawn-oh pass-N-yo). Similar to how Obi Melifonwu’s size and athletic prowess makes him a multi-functional weapon on the back end of the defense, so does Kpassagnon’s size and speed make him a weapon on the front side. The 6-foot-7 and 289 pounds lineman’s chiseled frame and burst off the line make him the definition of a raw athlete with limitless upside potential. He could conceivably play any position on the defensive line besides 0-technique nose tackle, though his best fit would be the 5-tech or 3-tech, and could even be counted on to drop into coverage on occasion. The Steelers interviewed him at the combine, put him through a private workout, and brought him in for a pre-draft visit so the interest is definitely real despite bigger needs at linebacker.
If the Steelers opt for a secondary prospect, they have shown considerable interest in Josh Jones, Marcus Maye, and Marcus Williams.
63. Atlanta Falcons - Isaac Asiata OG/OC, Utah
Chris Chester retired.
64. Carolina Panthers (via N.E.) - Cordera Tankersley CB, Clemson
Carolina never should have rescinded the franchise tag on Josh Norman.
65. Cleveland Browns - Adam Shaheen TE, Ashland
Local Cleveland area product Adam Shaheen is being called “The next Rob Gronkowski”.
66. San Francisco 49ers - Jalen "Teez" Tabor CB, Florida
Jimmie Ward will be moving to free safety.
67. Chicago Bears - Larry Ogunjobi DT, Charlotte
Akiem Hicks is a 2018 free agent.
68. Jacksonville Jaguars - Nathan Peterman QB, Pittsburgh
The Jags have yet to pick up Blake Bortles’ 5th-year option.
69. Los Angeles Rams - Taylor Moton OT/OG, Western Michigan
Rob Havenstein will move to RG, and they need competition for Greg Robinson at RT.
70. New York Jets - Pat Elflein OC, Ohio State
Nick Mangold was released.
71. Los Angeles Chargers - Dalvin Tomlinson DT, Alabama
Brandon Mebane will be coming back from a torn biceps.
72. New England Patriots (via CAR) - Carl Lawson DE/OLB, Auburn
N.E. needs to replace Jamie Collins and Chandler Jones.
73. Cincinnati Bengals - Julie'n Davenport OT, Bucknell
Cincy lost Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler in free agency.
74. Baltimore Ravens (via Philadelphia Eagles) - Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Brandon Carr is essentially on a 1-yr deal with options.
75. Buffalo Bills - Marcus Williams FS, Utah
Buffalo is looking for versatile defenders for their secondary.
76. New Orleans Saints - Carlos Henderson WR, Louisiana Tech
N.O. traded Brandin Cooks to N.E.
77. Arizona Cardinals - Nico Siragusa OG, San Diego State
Evan Mathis retired.
78. Baltimore Ravens - Ethan Pocic OC/OG, LSU
Jeremy Zuttah was traded to the 49ers.
79. Indianapolis Colts - Gerald Everett TE, South Alabama
Dwayne Allen was traded to N.E.
80. Minnesota Vikings - Dorian Johnson OG/OT, Pittsburgh
Brandon Fusco and Mike Harris were both released.
81. Washington Redskins - DeMarcus Walker DE/DT, FSU
Chris Baker signed with T.B.
82. Denver Broncos - D'Onta Foreman RB, Texas
Devontae Booker struggled as a rookie.
83. Tennessee Titans - Duke Riley OLB, LSU
Sean Spence signed with the Colts.
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Marlon Mack RB, South Florida
Doug Martin has a 3-game suspension, and may be released at some point.
85. Detroit Lions - Jake Butt TE, Michigan
Rumor has it that the Lions are looking for competition for Eric Ebron.
86. Minnesota Vikings (via Miami Dolphins) - Elijah Lee LB, Kansas State
Chad Greenway retired.
87. New York Giants - Bucky Hodges TE, Virginia Tech
The Giants need to replace/upgrade Larry Donnell.
88. Oakland Raiders - Roderick Johnson OT, Florida State
Menelik Watson signed with Denver.
89. Houston Texans - Ryan Anderson OLB, Alabama
John Simon signed with Indy.
90. Seattle Seahawks - Carroll Phillips DE/OLB, Illinois
Michael Morgan is a free agent.
91. Kansas City Chiefs - Montravius Adams DT, Auburn
Bennie Logan is on a 1-yr deal.
92. Dallas Cowboys - JuJu Smith-Schuster WR, USC
Terrence Williams is a mediocre WR2.
93. Green Bay Packers - Davon Godchaux DT, LSU
Datone Jones signed with Minnesota.
94. Pittsburgh Steelers - Cameron Sutton CB/S, Tennessee
At this point the Steelers have filled two out of their three big needs, so unless they go for a quarterback here this pick will almost assuredly be spent on a defensive back.
Tennessee’s Cam Sutton was one of the Steelers first reported draft interviews way back at the Senior Bowl, where his shined at both cornerback and safety. A fractured ankle at the beginning of his senior season robbed Sutton of what should have been a first round trajectory. His average size at 5-foot-11, 188 pounds also pushes him down the draft boards in a deep cornerback class loaded with other prospects who a greater size/speed combo. He excels in man coverage, something the Steelers sorely need, and would be a boost in the return game as well. In addition to being interviewed at the Senior Bowl as well as the combine, Mike Tomlin and DC Keith Butler were on hand at his pro day as well.
95. Atlanta Falcons - Desmond King CB/S, Iowa
Rumor has it that Dan Quinn wants to play more 3-safety looks in his defense.
96. New England Patriots - Antonio Garcia OT/OG, Troy
Nate Solder is a 2018 free agent.
97. Miami Dolphins comp pick - Jalen Myrick CB, Minnesota
Miami needs an upgrade at nickel CB.
98. Carolina Panthers comp pick - David Sharpe OT, Florida
Offensive line help is Carolina’s biggest need.
99. Philadelphia Eagles (BAL comp pick) - Alex Anzalone LB, Florida
Nigel Bradham is facing felony assault charges.
100. Tennessee Titans (via L.A. Rams) comp pick - Corn Elder CB, Miami
Brice McCain is a 2018 free agent.
101. Denver Broncos comp pick - ArDarius Stewart WR, Alabama
Cody Latimer has been a bust.
102. Seattle Seahawks comp pick - Jourdan Lewis CB, Michigan
Seattle could double-up at CB even if they don’t trade Richard Sherman.
103. N.O. Saints (from N.E. via CLE ) comp pick - Ahkello Weatherspoon CB, Colorado
N.O. could double-up at CB given all of their injury issues at the position.
104. Kansas City Chiefs comp pick - Harvey Langi ILB, BYU
34 year old Derrick Johnson is coming back from a second ruptured Achilles tendon.
105. Pittsburgh Steelers comp pick - Joshua Dobbs QB, Tennessee
Cam Sutton wasn’t the only player to get Mike Tomlin’s interest at the Tennessee pro day. Josh Dobbs is drawing Dak Prescott comparisons. The 6-foot-3, 216 pounds Dobbs has a solid arm, great mobility with a 4.64 40 time, high intelligence, and very high character. In Jon Gruden’s ESPN series “Gruden’s QB Camp, the former head coach turned TV analyst stated that Dobbs has that “it” factor. Coming from a spread offense Dobbs is not pro-ready and will need to sit and learn.
After passing on Dak Prescott in the 4th round of the 2016 draft and kicking themselves for doing so, when the team was high on Prescott heading into the draft, the Steelers will likely take Dobbs here if he’s available.
Pittsburgh may also give consideration to Brad Kaaya, who was taken out to dinner by the Steelers front office as well as being brought in for a pre-draft interview, although he doesn’t have the upside that Dobbs brings.
106. Seattle Seahawks comp pick - Grover Stewart NT, Albany State
Ahtyba Rubin doesn’t provide much pass-rush.
107. New York Jets comp pick - Damontae Kazee CB, San Diego State
Darrelle Revis was released and Morris Claiborne is on a 1-yr deal.
108. ***TRADE*** New York Jets (via CLE) - Jordan Leggett TE, Clemson
The Jets have been looking hard at the TE position.
109. San Francisco 49ers - George Kittle TE, Iowa
Vance McDonald was signed to a long-term extension by the previous regime.
110. Jacksonville Jaguars - Danny Isidora OG, Miami
Patrick Omameh is on a minimal 1-yr deal.
111. Chicago Bears - Rasul Douglas CB, West Virginia
Tracy Porter was released.
112. Los Angeles Rams - Shaquil Griffin CB, Central Florida
Trumaine Johnson is on the franchise tag.
113. Los Angeles Chargers - Brad Kaaya QB, Miami
The Chargers need a long-term successor to Philip Rivers.
114. Washington Redskins (via New York Jets) - William Holden OT, Vanderbilt
Shawn Lauvao is the weak link on the offensive line.
115. Carolina Panthers - Daeshon Hall DE, Texas A&M
Carolina needs long-term replacements for Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers.
116. Cincinnati Bengals - Amara Darboh WR, Michigan
Cincy needs a long-term 3rd WR to go with A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.
117. Chicago Bears (via Buffalo Bills) - Dawuane Smoot DE/OLB, Illinois
Pernell McPhee and Lamarr Houston have both been injury-plagued.
New England Patriots (via New Orleans Saints)
FORFEITED FOR DEFLATEGATE
118. Philadelphia Eagles - Samaje Perine RB, Oklahoma
Ryan Mathews may not play this season due to a neck injury.
119. Arizona Cardinals - Trey Hendrickson DE, Florida Atlantic
Calais Campbell signed with Jacksonville.
120. Minnesota Vikings - Jaleel Johnson DT, Iowa
Minnesota is looking for depth at DT.
121. Indianapolis Colts - Kareem Hunt RB, Toledo
Indy needs a long-term replacement for soon-to-be 34 year old Frank Gore.
122. Baltimore Ravens - Brian Hill RB, Wyoming
Kenneth Dixon is suspended 4 games for PED’s.
123. Washington Redskins - Josh Reynolds WR, Texas A&M
Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick are both on 1-yr deals.
124. Tennessee Titans - Chad Hansen WR, Cal
Tennessee could spend multiple picks at WR.
125. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tyler Orlosky OC, West Virginia
Joe Hawley is on a minimal 2-yr deal.
126. Denver Broncos - Conor McDermott OT, UCLA
Menelik Watson is on a 2-yr deal with a 3rd year option.
127. Detroit Lions - K.D. Cannon WR, Baylor
Rumor has it that the Lions view WR as a bigger need than D-line.
128. Minnesota Vikings (via Miami Dolphins) - Jonnu Smith TE, Florida International
Minnesota needs a better combo-TE behind Kyle Rudolph.
129. Oakland Raiders - Wayne Gallman RB, Clemson
Latavius Murray signed with Minnesota.
130. Houston Texans - Sam Tevi OT, Utah
Houston needs a replacement for Derek Newton.
131. New England Patriots (via Seattle Seahawks) - Brandon Wilson CB, Houston
Malcolm Butler is a 2018 free agent likely to be traded to N.O. at some point.
132. Kansas City Chiefs - Brendan Langley CB, Lamar
K.C. needs another CB to pair with Marcus Peters.
133. Dallas Cowboys - Adam Bisnowaty OT/OG, Pittsburgh
Doug Free retired.
134. Green Bay Packers - Cooper Kupp WR, Eastern Washington
Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are both injury-prone.
135. Pittsburgh Steelers - Carlos Watkins DT, Clemson
At this point in the draft the Steelers will be looking at guys who will become quality back-ups with starting potential. They have shown interest in several prospects who should come off of the board in this range.
Outside of Antonio Brown the Steelers don’t have much certainty at the WR position. Martavis Bryant has been tentatively reinstated but how long it will last? Eli Rogers and Cobi Hamilton have shown some promise but not enough to be counted on at this point. Sammy Coates’ size/speed combo continues to tantalize as much as his propensity for drops is infuriating. In my previous mock draft I had the Steelers taking Josh Reynolds here, and they could still take him or Shelton Gibson with this pick. Both of whom were brought in for pre-draft interviews.
The Steelers could continue to upgrade the secondary with safety Montae Nicholson, who has a good size/speed combo at 6-foot-2, 216 pounds and a 4.41 40 time but is raw and needs a lot of work on his playing instincts. He was also brought in for a pre-draft interview.
The defensive line may not be a big need with three quality starters and depth that was added to by the signing of Tyson Alualu, but the best player available that the Steelers have shown interest in is Carlos Watkins. Although he wasn’t brought in for a pre-draft visit, the 6-foot-3, 309 pounds DT with long 34-inch arms went to dinner with Colbert and Tomlin the night before the Clemson pro day. He could easily be chosen in the latter half of the 3rd round, so getting him here would represent good value.
136. Atlanta Falcons - Kendell Beckwith ILB, LSU
Atlanta needs another LB for when Vic Beasley shifts down to DE.
137. Indianapolis Colts (via New England Patriots) - Ryan Glasgow DT, Michigan
Arthur Jones was released.
138. Cincinnati Bengals comp pick - Devonte Fields OLB, Louisville
Cincy needs an upgrade at SLB.
139. Philadelphia Eagles (via CLE) comp pick - Shelton Gibson WR, West Virginia
Alshon Jeffery is on a 1-yr deal and Jordan Matthews may be traded.
140. New York Giants - Jaylon Brown LB, UCLA
New York needs to rebuild their LB corps.
141. Los Angeles Rams comp pick - Vince Biegel ILB, Wisconsin
Mark Barron is not a good fit at ILB in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense.
142. Houston Texans (via CLE) comp pick - Nazair Jones DT, North Carolina
Vince Wilfork is a free agent likely to retire.
143. San Francisco 49ers comp pick - Monte Nicholson S, Michigan State
S.F. needs competition for Jimmie Ward.
144. Indianapolis Colts comp pick - Jon Toth OC/OG, Kentucky
Indy has a hole at RG.
145. Cleveland Browns - Malachi Dupre WR, LSU
None of Cleveland’s 2016 rookie WR’s made any impact.
146. San Francisco 49ers - Anthony Walker Jr. LB, Northwestern
NaVorro Bowman is injury-plagued.
147. Chicago Bears - Eric Magnuson OT, Michigan
Charles Leno and Bob Massie both need to be replaced.
148. Jacksonville Jaguars - Marquez White CB, Florida State
Jacksonville needs a nickel CB to go with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
149. Los Angeles Rams - Kyle Fuller OC, Baylor
John Sullivan is on a 1-yr deal.
150. New York Jets - Dede Westbrook WR, Oklahoma
Brandon Marshall signed with NYG.
151. Los Angeles Chargers - Channing Stribling CB, Michigan
Brandon Flowers was released.
152. Carolina Panthers - Jordan Morgan OG, Kutztown
Carolina could spend multiple picks on the O-line.
153 . Cincinnati Bengals - Ishmael Zamora WR, Baylor
Cincy is looking to double-dip at WR.
154. Washington Redskins (via N.O) - Tedric Thompson SS, Colorado
Washington has seemingly interviewed every safety prospect.
155. Philadelphia Eagles - Michael Roberts TE, Toledo
Brent Celek may be a cap casualty.
156. Buffalo Bills - Chad Williams Grambling
Robert Woods signed with the Rams.
157. Arizona Cardinals - Cole Hikutini TE, Louisville
Arizona is looking for a receiving threat at TE.
158. Indianapolis Colts - Eric Wilson ILB, Cincinnati
Sean Spence is on a 1-yr deal.
159. Baltimore Ravens - Eddie Jackson S, Alabama
Ozzie Newsome loves his Bama guys.
160. Minnesota Vikings - Hunter Dimick DE, Utah
Brian Robison plans to retire after this season.
161. San Francisco 49ers (via WAS) - Brad Seaton OT, Villanova
S.F. needs an upgrade at RT.
162. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mack Collins WR, North Carolina
34 year old Vincent Jackson is unlikely to be re-signed.
163. New England Patriots (via DEN) - Jarron Jones DT, Notre Dame
N.E. needs a long-term starter next to Malcolm Brown.
164. Tennessee Titans - Vincent Taylor DT, Oklahoma State
Karl Klug is coming back from a torn Achilles.
165. Detroit Lions - James Conner RB, Pittsburgh
Ameer Abdullah has been injury-plagued.
166. Miami Dolphins - Deatrich Wise DE, Arkansas
Williams Hayes is a 2018 free agent.
167. New York Giants - Jeremy McNichols RB, Boise State
Competition for Paul Perkins.
168. Oakland Raiders - Johnathan “Rudy” Ford FS, Auburn
Oakland needs a nickel defender.
169. Houston Texans - Brian Allen CB, Utah
A.J. Bouye signed with Jacksonville.
Forfeited for violating offseason workout policies
170. Kansas City Chiefs - Fish Smithson FS, Kansas
Ron Parker could be upgraded.
171. Buffalo Bills (via DAL) - Tanner Vallejo ILB, Boise State
Reggie Ragland is a poor fit for their new defensive scheme.
172. Green Bay Packers - Jordan Evans LB, Oklahoma
The Packers need better coverage linebackers.
173. Pittsburgh Steelers - Kenny Golladay WR, Northern Illinois
The Steelers usually spend a late round pick on a WR with upside. If Martavis Bryant can’t get his act together, perhaps the 6-foot-4 and 218 pounds Kenny Golladay can take his place. Sporting a 4.50 40 time, he’s got decent speed but is not going to be the vertical threat that Bryant is, instead will be the contested ball catcher type. Golladay was one of several late round WR’s to be brought in for a pre-draft interview.
174. Atlanta Falcons - Treyvon Hester DT, Toledo
Dontari Poe is on a 1-yr deal.
175. Cleveland Browns (via N.E.) - Jamaal Williams RB, BYU
Isaiah Crowell is a 2018 free agent.
176. Cincinnati Bengals comp pick - Zane Gonzalez K, Arizona State
Cincy has shown significant interest in the top-rated kicker in this draft class.
177. Denver Broncos comp pick - Breon Borders CB, Duke
Aqib Talib has been on the trading block.
178. Miami Dolphins comp pick - Dylan Cole OLB, Missouri Satate
Koa Misi is coming back from neck surgery and will be a 2018 free agent.
179. Arizona Cardinals comp pick - Samson Ebukam OLB, Eastern Washington
Arizona needs better pass-rushing depth than Jarvis Jones.
180. Kansas City Chiefs comp pick - Jordan Roos OG, Purdue
K.C. could use some competition at OG.
181. Cleveland Browns comp pick - Taywan Taylor WR, Western Kentucky
Cleveland needs pass-rushing depth.
182. Green Bay Packers comp pick - Avery Moss DE/OLB, Youngstown State
G.B. needs depth behind Nick Perry and Clay Matthews.
183. New England Patriots comp pick - Damarius Travis SS, Minnesota
N.E. needs a long-term successor to Devin McCourty.
184. Miami Dolphins comp pick - Jeremy Sprinkle TE, Arkansas
Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano are short-term solutions.
185. Cleveland Browns - Delano Hill S, Michigan
Cleveland's safety play has been atrocious since they lost Donte Whitner and Tashaun Gipson in free agency.
186. Baltimore Ravens (via S.F.) - Marquel Lee ILB, Wake Forrest
Zach Orr retired.
187. Jacksonville Jaguars - Avery Gennesy OT/OG, Texas A&M
Jacksonville has multiple O-line issues.
188. Cleveland Browns (via HOU from CHI) - Jessamen Dunker OG, Tennessee State
Cleveland has had issues at RT since they let Mitchell Schwartz leave in free agency.
189. Los Angeles Rams - David Jones S, Richmond
T.J. McDonald signed with Miami.
190. Los Angeles Chargers - Bryan Cox DE, Florida
In the chargers new 4-man front Melvin Ingram will play OLB.
191. New York Jets - Darius English DE/OLB, South Carolina
The Jets will lack depth at OLB after trading Sheldon Richardson.
192. Carolina Panthers - John Johnson FS, Boston College
Carolina needs a long-term successor to Mike Adams.
193. Cincinnati Bengals - Jason Croom TE, Tennessee
Tyler Eifert is injuury-prone.
194. Philadelphia Eagles - Keionta Davis DE, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Marcus Smith has been a bust and Chris Long is on a 2-yr deal.
195. Buffalo Bills - Ethan Cooper OG, Indiana-PA
The Bills need interior O-line depth.
196. New Orleans Saints - Charles Walker DT, Oklahoma
The Saints need depth at DT.
197. Arizona Cardinals - Josh Malone WR, Tennessee
Arizona needs to replace Michael Floyd.
198. San Francisco 49ers (via BAL) - Keion Adams DE/OLB, Western Michigan
S.F. needs depth at SLB in their new defense.
199. Minnesota Vikings - Rayshawn Jenkins S, Miami
Andrew Sendejo is injury-plagued.
200. New England Patriots (via IND) - T.J. Holloman LB, South Carolina
N.E. is rumored to really like T.J. Holloman.
201. Washington Redskins - Ben Gedeon ILB, Michigan
Zach Brown is on a 1-yr deal.
202. San Francisco 49ers (via DEN) - Kofi Amichia OG, South Florida
S.F. needs competition for Zane Beadles.
203. Denver Broncos (vis TEN) - Garrett Sickels DE/OLB, Penn State
DeMarcus Ware retired.
204. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Mason Zandi OT, South Carolina
Tampa needs a long-term option at RT to groom behind Demar Dotson.
205. Detroit Lions - Collin Buchanan OT, Miami of Ohio
Larry Warford signed with N.O.
206. Los Angeles Rams (via MIA) - Josh Augusta DT, Missouri
L.A. needs a NT for Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense.
207. New York Giants - Jeremy Cutrer CB, Middle Tennessee
The Giants need a successor to 31-yr old DRC.
208. Oakland Raiders - Jonathan Calvin DE, Mississippi State
Mario Edwards is injury-plagued.
209. Washington Redskins (via HOU) - Patrick Towles QB, Boston College
Kirk Cousins will be a free agent in 2018.
210. Seattle Seahawks - Damore’ea Stringfellow WR, Ole Miss
Injury-plagued Paul Richardson is a 2018 free agent.
Kansas City Chiefs
Forfeited for violating the NFL’s anti-tampering policy
211. Dallas Cowboys - Xavier Woods SS, Louisiana Tech
Dallas lost Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox in free agency.
212. Green Bay Packers - Tarik Cohen RB, North Carolina A&T
G.B. needs depth behind Ty Montgomery.
213. Pittsburgh Steelers - Nate Hairston CB, Temple
Much like their affinity for late-round WR’s, the Steelers usually take a late-round flyer on a CB prospect with solid size that can start out on special teams with the hope that one day they can work their way into the lineup.
A three year starter at WR, it was only this past season that the 6-foot, 196 pounds Hairston saw time at CB. He’s about as raw as they come from a technique standpoint but the physical tools are there if the Steelers can be patient with him. Hairston was interviewed by the Steelers at the combine.
214. Tennessee Titans (via ATL) - Leon McQuay S, USC
Tennessee could use some competition for Kevin Byard.
215. Detroit Lions (via N.E.) - Isaiah Ford WR, Virginia Tech
Detroit could double-dip at WR.
216. Kansas City Chiefs comp pick - Jalen Robinette WR, Air Force
K.C. could use some competition for Chris Conley.
217. Cincinnati Bengals comp pick - DeAngelo Yancey WR, Purdue
Cincy is expected to double-up at WR.
218. Kansas City Chiefs comp pick - Cameron Malveaux DE, Houston
Competition for Rakeem Nunez-Roches.
219. San Francisco 49ers (via CLE) - Ryan Switzer WR, North Carolina
S.F. needs multiple upgrades at WR.
220. Washington Redskins (via S.F.) - T.J. Logan RB, North Carolina
Depth behind injury-plagued Matt Jones.
221. Chicago Bears - Sam Rogers FB, Virginia Tech
An upgrade over Paul Lasike.
222. Jacksonville Jaguars - Robert Davis WR, Georgia State
Allen Hurns finished the season with only 35 catches after signing his 4yr/40mil deal.
223. Miami Dolphins (via LAR) - Dan Skipper OT/OG, Arkansas
Miami needs O-line depth.
224. New York Jets - Josh Tupou NT, Colorado
Steve McLendon has been a poor replacement for Damon Harrison.
225. Los Angeles Chargers - Darrell Williams OT, Western Kentucky
The Chargers need a lot of O-line help.
226. Seattle Seahawks (via CAR) - Xavier Coleman CB, Portland State
Seattle could double-up at CB even if they don’t trade Richard Sherman.
227. Cincinnati Bengals - Dustin Stanton OT, Oregon State
Eric Fisher and Cedric Ogbuehi have both been busts.
228. Dallas Cowboys (via BUF) - Treston Decoud CB, Oregon State
Dallas could double-up at CB.
229. New Orleans Saints - Taylor Gadbois OT, Southeastern Louisiana
N.O. lacks O-line depth.
230. Philadelphia Eagles - Ashton Lampkin CB, Oklahoma State
Philly will double-up at CB.
231. Arizona Cardinals - Jimmie Gilbert OLB, Colorado
Kevin Minter signed with Cincy.
232. Minnesota Vikings - Rodney Adams WR, South Florida
Sam Bradford needs more weapons.
233. Carolina Panthers (via CLE from IND) - Jehu Chesson WR, Michigan
Carolina could double-up at WR given Devin Funchess’ ineffectiveness.
234. Los Angeles Rams (via BAL) - Levon Myers OT/OG, NIU
The Rams need all the depth on the O-line that they can get.
235. Washington Redskins - Cameron Lee OG, Illinois State
Washington needs O-line depth.
236. Tennessee Titans - Chase Roullier OC, Wyoming
Tennessee needs O-line depth.
237. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Javancy Jones OLB, Jackson State
T.B. needs depth at OLB.
238. Denver Broncos - James Samples WR, Louisville
Denver needs depth at WR.
239. New England Patriots (via DET) - Tanner Gentry WR, Wyoming
Julian Edelman is a 2018 free agent.
240. Jacksonville Jaguars (via MIA) - Joe Scelfo OC, North Carolina State
Jacksonville needs competition for converted OC Brandon Lindor.
241. New York Giants - Damien Mama OG, USC
The Giants need O-line depth
242. Oakland Raiders - Christian Tago, LB, San Jose State
Malcolm Smith signed with S.F.
243. Houston Texans - Jacob Hollister TE, Wyoming
Houston needs a receiving threat at TE.
244. Oakland Raiders (via SEA) - Quincy Adeboyejo WR, Ole Miss.
Cordarrelle Patterson is on a 1-yr deal.
245. Kansas City Chiefs - Eric Saubert TE, Drake
K.C. needs depth behind Travis Kelce.
246. Dallas Cowboys - Jermaine Eluemunor OG, Texas A&M
Ronald Leary signed with Denver.
247. Green Bay Packers - Eli Ankou DT, UCLA
Ted Thompson loves to collect big D-linemen.
248. Pittsburgh Steelers - Joe Mathis DE/OLB, Washington
As with second round pick Derek Rivers, Jojo Mathis is a BTSC fan favorite. An early round projection after a torrid start to the college season, the squatty 6-foot-2 and 266 pounds edge-rusher suffered an ankle injury that robbed him of the rest of the season. Unable to work out at the combine, he suffered an extremely poor 40 time of 4.85 at his pro day. Questions about his lack of length and limited athleticism could see him go undrafted but his high motor and high character are worth the gamble int he drafts final frame, even if he only becomes a run-stuffing backup.
249. Atlanta Falcons - Elijah McGuire RB, Louisiana-Lafayette
Atlanta may use Tevin Coleman as trade bait.
250. Detroit Lions (via N.E.) - Ifeadi Odenigbo DE/OLB, Northwestern
Devin Taylor is unlikely to be re-signed.
251. Cincinnati Bengals comp pick - Aaron Jones, RB, Texas-El Paso
Giovanni Bernard is coming back from injury.
252. Denver Broncos comp pick - Tyrique Jarrett NT, Pittsburgh
Denver need D-line depth
253. Denver Broncos comp pick - Cameron Hunt OG, Oregon
Denver needs O-line depth.
Due to the recent circumstances of Gareon Conley and Caleb Brantley, I have left both prospects out of this mock draft. In 2016 La-el Collins was a possible first round pick, but due to late breaking off-the-field issues he went undrafted. It’s possible that Conley and Brantley will suffer the same fate.