2018 Mock Draft 3.0: Bills, Cards Trade Up, Packers Get Aggressive

The day is finally here! The NFL Draft is upon us! There is so much excitement building around the league, and plenty from yours truly as well! I won’t make this too long, because you have to get your final reading in before the big night! Let’s take a look at my last mock draft for 2018!

What’s funny to me is that 90 percent of these picks could be wrong. It’s the true beauty of knowing nothing at all.

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

The Browns have been doing a great job keeping things quiet thus far. With most not sure what will happen on draft night, the Browns keep with what many have thought the pick to be for months. Sam Darnold has plenty of upside, and will benefit from sitting behind Tyrod Taylor. He has the arm and the potential to be the savior in Cleveland.

2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

The Giants have consistently said that they are fine with Eli Manning and aren’t looking for his replacement. It’s tough to believe with Manning so far along in his career. But, if they want to make one final run with Eli, they need to give him help on offense. A trio of weapons in Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham, and Evan Engram is a darn good start for the Giants.

3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The Jets have also done a good job keeping things quiet. It’s clear they are targeting a quarterback, but analysts and insiders are unsure as to which one they are taking at three. Baker Mayfield feels like the pick. He rose big time in 2017 due to his arm and accuracy, but his leadership ultimately is the thing the Jets covet the most.

4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, North Carolina State

The Browns could certainly end up trading this pick, but the better idea is to stay put. Even with Barkley off the board, the Browns get a blue chip pass rusher in Bradley Chubb. Chubb is a relentless rusher with the strength and moves to become a star. Pairing him with Myles Garrett creates a juggernaut duo off the edge that will haunt the AFC for years to come.

5. Buffalo Bills (from Broncos): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Broncos and John Elway lose out on the Baker Mayfield sweepstakes and decide to move down. The Bills are happy to make a deal, sending 12 and 22 Denver’s way (Elway squeezes 22 out of them) to get their quarterback of the future. Josh Allen will have to sit for a bit to learn and develop, but Buffalo takes a chance on his strong arm and potential.

6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

The Colts have their pick of almost any elite prospect they want. No one offers them a good enough deal for six overall, and they opt for the best player in the draft. Quenton Nelson can play right away and will be a key cog in protecting Andrew Luck for the Colts in 2018.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State

The Bucs desperately need secondary help moving forward. Here, they decide to take Derwin James. James pairs  with Justin Evans to form a real nice duo in the secondary. James can cover receivers and tight ends, blitz, and may just play some linebacker moving forward for the Bucs.

8. Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

The Bears lose out on their favorite guy in Quenton Nelson, but they still have plenty of options with the eighth pick. Every level on the defense could use some work, but the Bears opt to solidify their front seven. Roquan Smith was an outstanding player at Georgia, and he would fit in as a three down linebacker from day one. He can play downhill and sideline-to-sideline. He’s also not just a tackling linebacker; he packs a punch too.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

The Niners are still searching for their guy in the middle of the defense. Reuben Foster looked like he’d be that, but then he got into trouble off of the field. Now, John Lynch needs to move forward with a new plan. Luckily, Tremaine Edmunds lands in his lap. Edmunds, only 19, has sky high potential as a linebacker. His versatility is his best attribute, as he can play on the edge as well as a run and chase linebacker.

10. Arizona Cardinals (from Raiders): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Josh Rosen is finally off the board here. The Cardinals make a deal with the Raiders, who unfortunately don’t land one of the top linebackers. The Raiders pick up 47 overall in the deal, and the Cardinals get their franchise quarterback. Josh Rosen is the best pure passer in the drat. His mechanics and accuracy are unmatched, and he’s better out of the pocket than he gets credit for.

11. Miami Dolphins: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

The Dolphins miss out on a quarterback, but they turn elsewhere. The secondary needs some help in Miami, and Minkah Fitzpatrick can help the secondary in so many ways. He can play a deep safety, cover the slot, and even blitz. Miami gets a big time chess piece here.

12. Denver Broncos (from Bills): Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

After a trade back, the Broncos are sitting pretty with two first round picks. With Aqib Talib gone, the Broncos could look to help out the secondary. Denzel Ward is a great fit as a physical corner who could help them out right away. His physicality and speed is a fantastic combo. Teams will still fear that Denver secondary with Ward’s arrival.

13. Washington Redskins: Vita Vea, DL, Washington

The Redskins miss out on getting one of the top safeties in the draft, but their backup plan works out just fine. Vita Vea is a very talented interior defender with plenty of upside. The Redskins could pair him with Jonathan Allen to create a dominant interior duo.

14. Green Bay Packers: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College 

The Packers are rumored to trade up in round one, but it doesn’t happen here. Instead, Green Bay opts to help out the pass rush. Harold Landry has the quickness and bend to get around the edge with ease. He would likely start out as a pass rushing specialist on third down, but could quietly work his way into the rotation. The front seven now looks much more formidable in Green Bay.

15. Oakland Raiders (from Cardinals): Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

After the trade back, the Raiders still have options with their pick. One of those options is to find a long term answer at tackle. Donald Penn is on the tail end of his career and the Raiders need serious help at right tackle. Mike McGlinchey could come in and play on the right side right away with the idea that he would eventually play left tackle when Penn retires. McGlinchey has all the tools to be a franchise left tackle.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

The first real shocker of the evening! While the Ravens do need help surrounding Joe Flacco, instead they opt to move in a different direction. Lamar Jackson has the opportunity to sit and learn an offense while Joe Flacco plays out the rest of his contract. There is plenty to like about Jackson. He is electric when he takes off and runs. He is also a better pocket passer than people realize, and his arm and accuracy make him a potential franchise quarterback.

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The Chargers continue to fight injuries every year, especially along the offensive line. They don’t have a tackle of the future at the moment, so Connor Williams is the pick here. Williams was hurt in 2017, but his 2016 tape suggests he is a franchise left tackle. Los Angeles takes a chance on Williams here to build a strong line for Philip Rivers on his final title push.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA

The Seahawks have plenty of needs, with two of them being offensive line and corner. However, with Michael Bennett gone and Cliff Avril’s deal up soon, it wouldn’t shock me to see the Seahawks pull the trigger and select a pass rusher. Marcus Davenport is still a bit raw, but he has the power and speed along the edge from his athletic ability that is hard to find.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia

The Cowboys do have a glaring need at wide receiver. The problem is I’m not sure any are worth taking at 19 overall for them. They’d be better off waiting until day two for their guy at wide receiver. Instead, they opt to help reload the offensive line again. Isaiah Wynn has the versatility to play guard or tackle for them, and he gives them another powerful tackle with a good anchor and good athleticism.

20. Detroit Lions: Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama

The Lions are continuously getting mocked defensive linemen, because that just seems like the way Matt Patricia wants this team to improve. Da’Ron Payne played very well down the stretch at Alabama, constantly shredding offensive lines to get in the backfield. The crazy thing? His best football is in front of him.

21. Cincinnati Bengals: Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas

The Bengals are a team whose offensive line needs a major overhaul. Getting Cordy Glenn in the trade with Buffalo helped, but it didn’t do everything. Here, the Bengals opt to get Frank Ragnow. He is a powerful center with quick feet and the ability to effortlessly work to the second level. Injuries are the question for him, and if he stays healthy, the Bengals got a good one here.

22. Denver Broncos (from Bills): James Daniels, C/G, Iowa

The Broncos second pick in the trade with the Bills likely puts them in position to draft offensive line. While most teams will be looking to draft James Daniels to play center, the Broncos draft him with the intention of playing him at guard. He is a quick and powerful player with a great anchor to hold blocks once he gets a hold of you. He would fit well on that line to protect Case Keenum and open running lanes.

23. New England Patriots: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

This is the name that many say will be a first round pick. Kolton Miller is very raw as a pass protector, but some team will fall in love with his athleticism. The Patriots do just that here. Miller reminds many of Nate Solder, who just left via free agency. The Pats desperately need a left tackle, and they go get their guy with the first of their two first round picks.

24. Carolina Panthers: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Panthers need to add more weapons for Cam Newton in the passing game. Calvin Ridley would be a major help right out of the gate. He is a crisp route runner who can also take the top off of a defense. Don’t be surprised if Ridley sees 800 yards as a rookie if he is indeed taken by the Panthers.

25. Tennessee Titans: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Front seven is the name of the game for the Titans. Rashaan Evans fits in perfect with this team as a linebacker on early downs who can move over to the edge on passing downs. Evans run and chase ability is impressive, along with his tackling downhill. He is also very good at getting off of blocks to make plays.

26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida

This has been the pick for the Falcons for so long that it might be too easy now. The Falcons could use some interior rush ability to complement speed rushers Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley. Bryan is raw, but his best football might just be in front of him. He could become a dangerous interior rusher.

27. New Orleans Saints: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

The Saints lose out on getting Lamar Jackson, so their focus turns to helping out Drew Brees on offense. Hayden Hurst is a great balanced tight end. He can stretch the middle of the field as a pass catcher while also getting involved in the run game as a blocker. He is on the older side coming out, but the Saints are in win now mode and get a nice tight end to pair with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

The Le’Veon Bell talks seem to be going nowhere, and he could only see one more year in a Steeler uniform. The Steelers may look for a running back of the future, and he falls right into their lap at 28. Derrius Guice is a do-it-all running back with three down potential in the NFL. He runs angry with so much power, but he has the lateral quickness and straight line speed to break runs for long gains. The Steelers wouldn’t lose a step if he came in.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP

The Jaguars have so few needs, that Will Hernandez falling into their lap makes so much sense. Protecting Blake Bortles and paving way in the running game is important, and nobody plays meaner than Hernandez. He would start instantly and form a powerful duo on the left side with Cam Robinson.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Billy Price, G, Ohio State

Minnesota, like Jacksonville, doesn’t have a lot of holes on the roster. The offensive line is still improving, and adding someone like Billy Price would only make it stronger. Pairing him on the interior with Pat Elflein would make Dalvin Cook very pleased about his return this season.

31. New England Patriots: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

The Patriots use their second first round pick on some secondary help. The Eagles torched them up and down the field on Super Bowl Sunday, so adding a true cover corner is a priority. Mike Hughes is an extremely talented corner with excellent man coverage skills. He also has the awareness to find the football when it’s in the air to make a play on it.

32. Green Bay Packers (from Eagles): Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

A final surprise to end the first round. The Packers failed to trade up early in round one, so they sneak back into the end of the round for a cornerback. The Eagles are happy to trade back to acquire more picks, and the Packers get their guy. Josh Jackson has elite ball skills and mirrors receivers pretty well in coverage. He needs to continue to improve his instincts and physicality, but he can instantly provide turnovers to a defense that needs it.

Like your team’s pick? Who would you pick if you were them? Find me on Twitter @JSchyvinck13 to discuss all things draft leading up to tonight!

Join Nate and Jake as they live stream the first two nights of the draft, providing analysis and answering your questions all night long! Go to @SportsGuysBlog at the start of day one and two and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Strategies For AFC Teams In The 2018 NFL Draft

It’s like Christmas Eve in the air today. The NFL Draft starts tomorrow night, and the anticipation is getting to its peak. So much is about to go down on what should be another extremely entertaining weekend.

Before the craziness ensues, let’s get to a different type of article on the draft. Most often, you’ll see articles of mock drafts or player rankings and analysis. This time, it’ll be a little different. Here, we will roll through every teams’ best strategy (based on the opinion of yours truly) entering the draft.

Without further ado, let’s get started with the AFC teams.

Cleveland Browns – Continue To Build The Roster, Find a Quarterback

Number of picks – Nine

The Browns are in an excellent position to start their 2018 draft in the right way. With the first pick, they can get the quarterback that the franchise deserves. Whether it ends up being Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, or Baker Mayfield, the front office needs to get it right. After that, it’s all about finding the right pieces. If Bradley Chubb is available at four, the Browns shouldn’t hesitate. If not, trade back for the right price and add pieces to the secondary and at tackle, two positions that are in desperate need of filling. Two names to throw out after a trade back would be Denzel Ward and Mike McGlinchey, which would round out a great haul in round one. After that, it’s about finding depth at spots. More investment at cornerback is necessary, and you can never have enough help along the front seven. The Browns have plenty of picks to load up the roster, and this front office is much improved from previous years.

Baltimore Ravens – Load Up The Offense For Flacco

Number of picks – Eight

The Ravens still continue to boast a top defense in the NFL, but the front office hasn’t done enough getting playmakers in the building to help Joe Flacco. Now, with eight picks in this draft, the offense must be addressed. They have a number of ways to go with their first pick. Drafting a receiver seems likely at this point, but they should opt for an offensive tackle there to put opposite Ronnie Stanley. Connor Willams and Mike McGlinchey could both be there, and that would be a great start. Baltimore has good possession receivers, but could use speed and quickness as a complement. Players like D.J. Chark and Christian Kirk would be great adds. On top of that, finding a reliable tight end is a need. Having someone to trust like Flacco did Dennis Pitta during their Super Bowl run is important. If the Ravens don’t have one by round three, they will have to look for guys like Durham Smythe, Troy Fumagalli, or Ian Thomas. All three would be solid adds that late.

Pittsburgh Steelers – Secondary and Linebacker Help, But Also Look To Future

Number of picks – Seven

This will be a telling draft for the Steelers. With their roster now, they are still in place to make championship runs. Their trio of Ben, Bell, and Brown always make them tough. What they still lack is some pieces on defense. A lot of Thursday will dictate what Pittsburgh does in the first round, but linebacker and safety are the biggies. Guys like Rashaan Evans and Leighton Vander Esch are in play, but if they’re gone, Justin Reid should be in play. After that, a certain LSU running back has been mocked there. Derrius Guice would be a good move for a Steeler team that is unsure of Bell’s future. If they don’t sign him to a long term deal, running back becomes a need instantly.

Of course, life after Ben Roethlisberger has to be in the equation. Giving serious thought to a quarterback will happen soon for this franchise. However, the board will likely take them out of the equation there.

Overall, finding linebacker help (guys like Fred Warner and Josey Jewell in later rounds) and safety help (Jessie Bates, Marcus Allen, Armani Watts) are the priorities. If they can get guys like these on the roster, the defense will look more complete.

Cincinnati Bengals – Address Offensive Line Early, Help Dalton Late\

Number of picks – 11

The Bengals used to be a playoff team every year, but now they are sitting in mediocrity. Marvin Lewis is still around, but the Bengals need a good draft to find themselves in the playoff picture come January. It starts with the offensive line. Seeing major pieces of the offensive line leave in consecutive season has left it in shambles, even with recently acquired Cordy Glenn. They currently sit with the 21st pick in the first round, where they need to draft offensive line. Whether it’s a tackle like Connor Williams to play at right tackle or a interior guy like James Daniels or Frank Ragnow, that needs to be the pick.

After that, look for them to mix their picks between offense and defense. They could use a linebacker to pair with Vontaze Burfict, along with more help in the secondary. Christian Sam is a mid round prospect with some gaining buzz. Shaquem Griffin and Oren Burks are two other names to look for. On offense, the organization doesn’t seem to like John Ross, so it’s possible they will look for a receiver to help out Dalton. Michael Gallup and James Washington would be good complements to A.J. Green.

Overall, the Bengals need help at a lot of spots, so their 11 picks will help Cincy fill them.

New England Patriots – Get Secondary and Trench Help, Quarterback In Play?

Number of picks – Eight

The Patriots are in an excellent position to do as they please in this coming draft. They have four picks in the top 64, which gives them options. Rumors are swirling about the Pats trading up for a quarterback. If I was in their position, I would certainly consider giving up 23 and 31 overall for a chance at Josh Rosen.

If they don’t do that, adding four impact players in the first two rounds would be perfect. They need a franchise left tackle, so Mike McGlinchey would certainly be a great pick at 23. They could also look for Chukwuma Okorafor in the second round. On the other side of the trenches, getting consistent pressure is important (you can never have enough pass rushers). With no real premier pass rusher on the roster, I’d give Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport a look if they’re available at 23. In round two, someone like Josh Sweat or Duke Ejiofor would be good for them.

Let’s also not forget about the secondary. They were torched by Nick Foles and company in the Super Bowl. The 31st pick could be a corner like Mike Hughes or Jaire Alexander, two guys with excellent man coverage skills. Isaiah Oliver could also be in play as a longer press corner.

Whatever the Pats do, their needs are clear. Whether they trade back to continue to acquire more or trade up for a quarterback, they will be contenders once again.

Buffalo Bills – Get Your Quarterback and Protect Him

Number of picks – Nine

The Bills currently own the 12th and 22nd picks in the draft, but that could change on draft night. Don’t be surprised if they trade up. If it were me, I’d package 12 overall and second rounders to move up, keeping pick 22 if possible. Getting Josh Rosen would be huge for Buffalo. Alas, I don’t see them taking Rosen. If they have their guy marked, go get him.

If they are able to retain the 22nd pick, the offensive line is a likely pick there. Either James Daniels or Frank Ragnow make perfect sense with Eric Wood retiring. Building a strong offensive line for your new quarterback is key.

As far as other picks, the Bills should look at helping their defensive line and finding a quality linebacker late. We’ve mentioned plenty of linebackers, but someone like Oren Burks, Jack Cichy, or Fred Warner makes sense for them. The defensive line class is deep. Andrew Brown would be a nice pick in the middle rounds.

If they get their quarterback and get trench help, call it a successful draft for the Bills.

Miami Dolphins – Quarterback In Play, Line and Defense Priority Otherwise

Number of picks – Eight

The Dolphins, like the Bills, could move up to select a quarterback. However, if I’m the Dolphins, I would stand pat and roll with Tannehill worst case. If a quarterback falls, take him, but other than that, stick to your guns elsewhere. If Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith is available at 11, then there’s the pick. If not, look for an offensive linemen like McGlinchey, who has been mentioned a bunch in this article.

After that, continue to add defensive help and another receiver to replace Jarvis Landry. I have mentioned the depth of the defensive line class, and someone like Nathan Shepherd or Harrison Phillips will be in play for them. If Maurice Hurst falls, and he might according to reports, they should pounce.

Finally, finding a replacement for Jarvis Landry would be nice. Michael Gallup, James Washington, and Christian Kirk all would fit nicely there. Some later round names include Tre’Quan Smith and DaeSean Hamilton, the latter of which is a fantastic route runner who can thrive immediately.

New York Jets – Get Your Quarterback And Get Skill Positions

Number of picks – Six

The Jets got themselves into a position for a top quarterback with their trade up from six to three overall. They lost their second rounder in the process, but they were smart to get in position for their guy. Whether it’s Baker Mayfield or Rosen, either will fit in well up in East Rutherford.

After getting their quarterback, the Jets have plenty of time to figure out their plan in the rest of the draft. Their defense looked much better last season, but they still need help at corner. Players like Rashan Gaulden and M.J. Stewart could be mid round targets for New York.

After that, adding a running back and some receivers would be beneficial for their quarterback. Guys like DaeSean Hamilton and Byron Pringle would be nice adds in the later rounds, along with a running back like John Kelly or Jordan Wilkins.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Fill Your Small Roster Holes

Number of picks – Seven

The Jags don’t enter with many holes, but there are specific areas they can target with their picks. In round one, ideally they make a play for a guard or a tight end. It’s a little early for a tight end in this class in my opinion, but if they want the top guy, they may have to pull the trigger. Someone like Hayden Hurst or Mike Gesicki (depending on the type of tight end they want) will be gone by round two, so they need to weigh that carefully. As far as the guard spot goes, the interior line class is loaded, but they also need to consider that depth will diminish by the early going in day two. Players like Will Hernandez and Billy Price will only be available once. If I were the Jags, I’d run with the interior line first.

On defense, there isn’t too much to fill. One spot could be the linebacker position with Paul Posluszny’s retirement. There are plenty of linebackers to fill his spot, especially in the later rounds. Previous names like Jack Cichy and Jerome Baker would be good, along with Tegray Scales. There is value later for them.

Tennessee Titans – Replenish The Front Seven

Number of picks – Six

The Titans have interesting patterns when it comes to the draft. Not this time around, as I expect new head coach Mike Vrabel to convince the front office to address the front seven. Edge and linebacker should be the positions to target in round one. Players like Rashaan Evans, Marcus Davenport, and even Harold Landry may be there for the taking. Another name floating around is Josh Sweat, someone I am a huge fan of in this draft.

In the later rounds, the Titans could target another receiver. It seems odd with Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor in the building, but the Titans did meet with several wide receivers pre-draft. The Titans could pull the trigger in later rounds, and I expect they’d target a receiver who will take the top off of defenses. It might be too late for D.J. Chark, but someone like Deon Cain will likely be available for Tennessee.

Indianapolis Colts – See: Browns, Cleveland (Minus The Quarterback)

Number of picks – Nine

The Colts, like the Browns, need to start building the roster with talent at a number of spots. Indy GM Chris Ballard made a smart move trading back to the Jets spot at six, and it may be beneficial to trade back again. First, if they don’t, look for them to target Bradley Chubb, Quenton Nelson, or Saquon Barkley. They could take Derwin James or Roquan Smith, but the three former names are more likely at this point. I like Chubb and Nelson a ton, as does everyone, but if neither are there, a trade back could be beneficial. If they trade back, I expect them to for sure land another second round pick. The second round is loaded with talent for them to acquire. Should they trade back, someone like Harold Landry or Derwin James could still be available.

Let’s move on to round two. With a possibility of four (they have three already) picks in this round, the Colts can do some damage. In my latest mock, I had them trade back in round one, and they picked up Josh Sweat, Da’Ron Payne, Austin Corbett, and Mike Gesicki. The defensive line sorely needs help, as does the offensive line in protecting Andrew Luck. Luck also needs some more targets. Those potential four picks attacked those needs.

If Indy trades back, they can have a heck of a draft, adding young talent to boost a very underwhelming roster. I trust Chris Ballard to do just that.

Houston Texans – Protecting Watson Is Key

Number of picks – Eight

The Houston Texans moved up in last year’s draft to select their quarterback of the future, DeShaun Watson. That left them without a first or second round pick in this year’s draft. The Texans will need to do what they can late on day two and day three to help themselves out. They have a really strong defense, so their focus shifts to the offensive line. They brought in some interior help, but tackle is still a need for them. Later round help for them could include Alex Cappa, Chuks Okorafor, and Martinas Rankin, all three of which might be ready to go by the start of the year. The other area where they could improve is tight end. They had a slew of injuries at that spot last season, and are losing C.J. Fiedorowicz to retirement. Guys like Chris Herndon, Durham Smythe, and Tyler Conklin will be there to help that out. They don’t have a lot of early picks, but they can use their eight picks to move up and get someone they covet later.

Kansas City Chiefs – Address Pass Rush, Linebacker

Number of picks – Eight

The Chiefs look ready to explode on the scene once again with their offense in 2018. However, their defense still needs some work before the season. They don’t pick until round two, but they will be looking at the front seven to start themselves off. Someone like Sam Hubbard or Obo Okoronkwo would be a nice selection for them in round two. They could also look at the linebacker position, and they could opt for someone like Darius Leonard, who is a bit raw, but packs a punch.

Where else should they look? The secondary is still an area of need. They added Kendall Fuller via trade, but they lost Marcus Peters to the Rams. There are corners to target in the middle rounds, most notably players like M.J. Stewart and Quenton Meeks. Adding stability there would be good for a team that struggled mightily in coverage down the field.

Denver Broncos – Quarterback, Offensive Line, Linebacker In Play

Number of picks – Eight

The Broncos were one of the teams coaching at the Senior Bowl, so they got a great look at Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield during the week. It wouldn’t be shocking at all for the Broncos to target one of them Thursday night. However, they need to be extremely prepared, because the “top four” quarterbacks could (although not likely) go in the first four picks. Also, their guy might not be there at five overall. If it was me, I want Baker Mayfield for Denver at five, and if he’s not there, I would take a different approach.

The options at five if my quarterback is gone would be either Quenton Nelson or Bradley Chubb. However, if some team wants to move up to five, I would definitely trade back. Let’s say the Bills offer 12 and 22 for number five. If it’s me, I’m pulling the trigger and moving back. With the 12th and 22nd picks, I can target the pass rush and the offensive line. Let’s go with Harold Landry and Will Hernandez. Landry complements Von Miller well, and Hernandez gets to team up with Garett Bolles on a line that will protect Case Keenum.

After that, it becomes pretty clear. Linebacker is another need for the Broncos, but in the mid rounds, linebacker drops off to a point. So, another direction could be wide receiver. The era of Thomas and Sanders could be done, and someone like D.J. Moore, Courtland Sutton, and Anthony Miller could be in play. Those are all great options to boost the offense with Keenum running the show.

Oakland Raiders – Tackle And Defense Need Serious Help

Number of picks – 11

The Raiders have an opportunity to get this draft right and turn themselves around and get back to the playoffs. This draft needs to be a home run for a team that struggled last season.

First off, the tackle spot needs to be fixed. Donald Penn is aging and right tackle is a mess right now. Mike McGlinchey at number 10 overall makes a ton of sense, and he would fit well on the right side right away. The other option at 10 is to find the linebacker that they’ve desperately needed. If Roquan Smith is there, I’d be hard pressed not to pull the trigger. He would play right away and be a centerpiece in the middle of that defense.

After that, the secondary needs a ton of work. Gareon Conley and Karl Joseph are young pieces, but they can use more. Players like Jaire Alexander, Justin Reid, and Isaiah Oliver are players to look at for the Raiders in the second round.

What else can they do with their eleven picks? Wide receiver is one position to address in the later rounds. With Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson already there, it seems fine, but Nelson is on the back nine of his career. Someone like Equanimeous St. Brown would be a nice add with a high ceiling later in the draft.

Los Angeles Chargers – Help Trenches, Start Thinking Future

Number of picks – Seven

The Chargers dealt with so many injuries in 2017, but they still have a playoff caliber football team in 2018. There are plenty of directions for them in the first round. Safety, linebacker, defensive line, and offensive line are all needs for this team. It seems unlikely either top safety falls to them in round one, but they’d be obvious picks if they did. Defensive line is deep, so waiting on that makes sense. The one position they should look for is linebacker in round one. It’s probable that Rashaan Evans is there for the Chargers at 17, and I would make that selection for them in the first. Another option for them would be someone like Da’Ron Payne, who would bolster the line already dominated by Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Payne and Taven Bryan, another first round name flying around, would be nice picks there to develop for Los Angeles.

The next rounds for them could fall for them in a good way. As far as defensive and offensive line goes, Alex Cappa and Tyrell Crosby are names that could help the tackle position. On the defensive side, Justin Reid and Jessie Bates are safeties that could make an already potent pass defense better. Nathan Shepherd and Harrison Phillips are defensive tackles that will be available for them in round two.

The final thing the Chargers may look at is a quarterback. Philip Rivers has his days numbered in Los Angeles, and picking a quarterback could be the move in round one. Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph could be available for them at 17, and if they like one of them, that could happen on Thursday night.

What do you think of the strategies? Do you like your team’s? What are your thoughts? Follow me on Twitter @JSchyvinck13 and let’s talk! Also, join Nate and I @SportsGuysBlog on Twitter for our live stream on Thursday and Friday night! 

Jake’s 5 For 5: Offseason Talk

As NFL fans, we continually try to make things interesting in the offseason. From the top 100 players to underrated players, we start to count the days till the season starts. This week, one of the slower news weeks of the season, is a tough week to find ideas for a 5 for 5. But, we did it. So let’s get into my NFL thoughts of the week.

Jeremy Maclin Sweepstakes

The Chiefs shocked the NFL world when they released wide receiver Jeremy Maclin last Friday. When more details came out, the decision was clear. The Chiefs didn’t have enough room for him on the roster due to cap space. With Kansas City needing to sign their rookies, someone had to go. Unfortunately for Maclin, he counted $10 million against the cap. Here are my thoughts on the ripple effect for Maclin and where he could end up.

1. The Chiefs lost something when they released Maclin. They lost the leadership that he brought, which is necessary when you have such a young group. However, the release doesn’t hurt them too much as an offense. Yes, Maclin was productive in 2015, but he was hurt much of last season. The Chiefs do have a young group, but Andy Reid’s offense isn’t build around a strong number one receiver. He wants effective running backs and an effective tight end to make his offense go. He has those in place.

2. The Maclin release also may hint at how the Chiefs are building as a unit. Notice how young a lot of their position groups are. This move proves that the Chiefs are rebuilding before they age and drop off. A Super Bowl doesn’t seem to be in reach in 2017, so they are preparing for 2018 and 2019 especially. They have the heir apparent in Patrick Mahomes at quarterback. The running back core is young. They have found playmakers on defense. This team will contend for a while, so there’s no need to rush with this group. Maclin was not going to be in future plans.

3. As for where Maclin signs, the Bills have been the rumored front runners. LeSean McCoy has recruited him heavily to Buffalo, and they met with Maclin for a couple days. Nothing is nailed down yet, but adding Maclin to the receiving core would be nice. Imagine having Sammy Watkins, Zay Jones, and Jeremy Maclin. Not bad at all.

4. The Ravens are another team in the mix. They also have met with Maclin already, and he again left without a deal. It’s clear that he is taking his time here. Baltimore would be a good spot though. The Ravens invested heavily on defense in the draft, and their receiving core is very depleted (now with Pitta gone too). Adding Maclin would be good for Joe Flacco and the offense.

5. Here are two wild cards: Arizona and Cleveland. Arizona makes a lot of sense. They are in win now mode with Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald still in town. The defense is improving, and having another reliable receiver would suit them. Cleveland is extremely young on offense, so bringing in Maclin as a veteran presence could help them in the long run. Plus, they have the cap room. The only issue with Cleveland is knowing he’s not in their long term plans, and he won’t win a ring there.

The Kaepernick Saga Continues

Colin Kaepernick has been passed up again, this time by the Seahawks. They decided to go with Austin Davis to be a backup, leaving Kaepernick (most likely) without a job. This is a sensitive subject, but I will give some thoughts.

NOTE: If you are sensitive to this, don’t read it. Just read the other parts. No worries.

1. As far as being blackballed, it’s not completely that. It may be in part to it, but it’s not the whole story. Sure, fans and owners are not thrilled with him kneeling during the anthem. That happens, especially with people who know people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. However, it is free speech, and he is allowed to do it.

2. There is another part to this. Many people have used the words “bum” and “he sucks” to describe Kaepernick. Someone even went as far to say there are 15 better backups than him. While he isn’t a top tier player, some people ride the extremes because of his actions.

3. As far as the play of Kaepernick goes, there are some teams he could start on. He isn’t the 32nd best quarterback in football, but he certainly isn’t in the top half. The issue with Kaep comes down to one thing: scheme. Most teams run a scheme that revolves around a pocket passer in a west coast system. In reality, Kaepernick is not a strong player from the pocket. He is much more effective on the move. Plenty of quarterbacks thrive on the move, but many of them have top-level accuracy. Kaepernick throws one type of ball, a fastball. His touch on the run just doesn’t show up.

4. Another point with the scheme. Teams are not going to adjust their scheme to fit the backup quarterback. The Bucs signed Ryan Fitzpatrick because Jameis Winston is in a pro style offense. One thing you can’t do is change an offense for a backup. The only teams that would sign him would be Seattle and Carolina. But, even Seattle thought he was a starter and maybe would challenge Wilson, they still brought him in.

5. My suggestion at this point is to quit losing your minds. We have people like Mike Freeman going nuts on one extreme and Andy Benoit on another. Kaepernick would be a good running back, but he doesn’t work in a pro style system.

Taylor Decker (Torn Labrum) Out 4-6 Months

It was confirmed today by Ian Rapoport that Lions left tackle Taylor Decker has torn his labrum. This is a huge blow to the Lions, who reinforced their line with TJ Lang and Ricky Wagner in free agency. Here’s the impact.

1. Even if he returns, his best case scenario could be sometime in October. For reference, let’s bring him back in week five against Carolina. The Lions face Arizona, Atlanta, the Giants, and Minnesota in the first four weeks. There are elite pass rushers all over that schedule. It will be tough to contain Olivier Vernon and JPP. Chandler Jones and Markus Golden are underrated in Arizona. Vic Beasley could feast on that side (or maybe rookie Takk McKinley). The Vikings have Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter. Translation? That isn’t good for this offense.

2. Let’s check the worst case. Let’s say he comes back in December. Detroit plays five division games before December comes around. Decker could be a major hole for them agains the NFC North, which also features premier rushers and front sevens. The offense was one dimensional last season, and things could be rough by then. Pass rushers can wreck games and game plans.

3. The issue goes deeper when you realize they didn’t add depth in the draft along the offensive line.

4. I know this is one player, but losing a left tackle is a big deal. Stafford is a good quarterback, but he (like most) struggles with the blitz. Knowing their weapons are few, teams with good secondaries could unleash the blitz with devastating effects.

5. The Lions are coming off of a playoff berth, but this could put a wrench in their 2017 playoff hopes, especially with margin in the NFC North getting smaller.

Players Wait For Extensions

1. Matt Stafford is one of the under-the-radar extensions to watch. He will be finishing up his 5 year, $76.5 million contract this season, and the Lions won’t let him go. His number could surpass $25 million per season.

2. Odell Beckham is not showing up for OTAs due to his current contract. The odds it gets done? Not high. The Giants, with the fifth year option, could take this all the way to 2019, which could cause some friction.

3. Derek Carr extension talks are underway, but there is no significant progress to report. Carr is rising as a franchise quarterback. His deal will most likely rival the top current deals in the NFL, so he is one to watch. Plus, he has no fifth year option.

4. Speaking of the Raiders, Khalil Mack is another extension to watch. He is already one of the best pass rushers in the game. I think this is a deal that should get done sooner than later, with the average salary number continually rising for elite pass rushers (imagine what Joey Bosa could get in a few years).

5. Aaron Rodgers was asked about his contract during interviews this week. He will be a free agent in 2020, but now may be too soon to talk about it. He will be 36 then, and who knows if he is still the best in the league by then. Yet, he is seeing what other quarterbacks are making, and he knows he is worth more. The Packers will make sure he stays.

The RB Battle For 2018

This is something I will be keeping an eye on. While the 2017 class looks good, 2018 could rival this class. There are many great runners who will show up in the fall in college, so here’s an early look at them.

1. Derrius Guice, LSU – Guice is my RB1 right now. Why? He does so much well. He finishes his runs, and always has a chance to break one loose. He has rare speed and power, and can shake off tackles. He is also a smart runner. When he needs the first down, he doesn’t get fancy. He finds it and gets it done.

2. Saquon Barkley, Penn State – He is tops for many analysts, and it’s for a good reason. He is extremely shifty, and consistently made guys miss in the backfield last season. Barkley also has great burst in the open field. Once he gets going, it is tough to catch him. He’s also very good in the passing game. I expect him to refine his game in 2017.

3. Kalen Ballage, ASU – The Arizona State runner wasn’t talked about as much, but he brings a ton to the table. Right away, you see the power and the ability to dominate between the tackles. He has the strong frame to absorb hits. But, he is quick in the open field. He seems ideal for a run first scheme, but there is more to see with Ballage.

4. Bo Scarbrough, Alabama – When you talk about running backs, there’s always one at Alabama. Scarbrough is a massive back who can take anyone on one-on-one. He ran well in the playoff last season for Alabama. At his size, you would thing game-breaker wouldn’t describe him. But, you’d be incorrect. He can run away from defenders and make them miss.

5. There are plenty of others to look at. Royce Freeman is special in the Oregon offense. Myles Gaskin thrives in Washington. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel will share a backfield in Georgia. Ronald Jones is out there at USC. Kamryn Pettway (Auburn) and Justin Jackson (Northwestern) are others to watch.

Questions? Comments? Want to discuss? Go to @SportsGuysBlog or @JSchyvinck13 to discuss!

Jake Schyvinck is the lead NFL and NFL Draft writer for The Sports Guys. Follow him on Twitter @JSchyvinck13 for constant discussion. Also, check him out on cover32.com/chiefs.

2017 Mock Draft 4.0: Browns Find Trade Partner

Let me welcome you all to NFL Draft week!  It’s going to be a busy time for us here at the site, and the draft content has barely begun.  With only three days to go until the first round of the draft, it is time to release my final mock draft of the season.  There is so much buzz circulating about what will go down on Thursday night, and the buzz has ultimately fallen on the Cleveland Browns.

Everything revolves around what Cleveland will do when they send the first ticket in with the newest Brown’s name on it.  If it is indeed Myles Garrett, as most of us expect, then a flurry of teams desperate to trade down begins, along with the Browns trying to find a partner to trade up and get another guy they really like in this draft: Mitchell Trubisky.

If the pick turns out to be Trubisky at number one, then a different chaos could ensue.  I don’t think the Niners would hesitate knowing Garrett is still there.  But after that, teams could be desperate to move up with the likes of the Jets and Bills standing in their way (I’m looking at you, Arizona).

No matter what happens, it’s going to be one heck of a night.  Let’s dive in to my last mock of the season.

1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M

The Browns have a franchise altering decision here at number one overall.  There is a considerable divide amongst the front office on who to pick here.  With enough draft capital to trade up to get the quarterback they want, it’s time to be smart at one and take the best player in this draft.  Garrett has a plethora of ways to get to the quarterback and has the potential to grow into a perennial all pro.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford

The 49ers will likely try to field calls in order to trade out of this point, but there’s no guarantee that there will be takers for the obviously large capital they would want for it. Let’s assume here the Niners don’t find a trade partner and stay here.  I think Fournette and Adams would both be in play here, but they have a chance to build a young and lethal front with the addition of Solomon Thomas.  Thomas off the edge with Armstead and Buckner in the middle would rebuild what the Niners had under Jim Harbaugh.

3. Chicago Bears: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

The Bears have plenty of ways to go here, but the secondary is an obvious need, with Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller being their best options on the outside.  Quarterback is a wild card, but it seems they are ready to go with Mike Glennon.  With Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford as constant nightmares for the Bears secondary, it’s time to upgrade.  Marshon Lattimore has elite coverage and ball skills to thrive at the next level.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

The Jags have built a very good young core on the defensive side of the ball, so it might just be a luxury pick no matter where they turn there.  Turning to the offensive side of the ball, the Jags need help for Blake Bortles.  He regressed significantly last season, and that was partly due to an ineffective running game.  It’s time to add a true playmaker at running back, and who better than a guy who some are declaring to be the next generational prospect at running back, Leonard Fournette.

5. Cleveland Browns (from Tennessee Titans): Mitchell Trubisky, QB, UNC

(Browns get: No. 5 overall. Titans get: No. 12 overall, No. 33 overall)

The Browns are too darn tempted to sit back and wait, even if that means they don’t get a quarterback in this draft.  The Titans would love nothing more than to pick up a second round pick in exchange for moving back seven spots.  As for the Browns, it’s the best of both worlds for the franchise.  The front office gets both players they have coveted, and the city of Cleveland has plenty of hope with a stockpile of picks in the next two seasons. Trubisky’s main concern is the amount of games he started in college, but he has solid tools to be a franchise quarterback.

6. New York Jets: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

The Jets are one of the teams that will need a quarterback at some point to resurrect the franchise.  I just don’t think they believe that any of the quarterbacks are worthy of a first round pick.  So, the Jets turn to the defense.  Calvin Pryor hasn’t worked out well, and they need help on the back end.  Malik Hooker is sitting right there as a guy who has spectacular ball skills and instincts to get to the ball.  I believe that he is exactly what Todd Bowles wants on the back end of his defense.

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

The Chargers are building something really nice on the defensive side of the ball.  Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are very good pass rushers.  Jatavis Brown and Denzel Perryman are a nice duo on the second level.  They have solid corners on the outside in Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett.  Now, they could use a leader on the back end.  Jamal Adams has top five player written all over him.  He can come up and play in the box against the run, and can play on the back end as well as cover in the slot.  Adams can step up and be a big leader on this defense for years to come.

8. Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

The Panthers lost out on the Fournette sweepstakes, and they also lost out on both safeties and Marshon Lattimore.  So, it’s time for best player available to take effect.  The Panthers did lose some depth with Kony Ealy being traded away, and the best part about Allen is that he can play on the interior of the line or he can come off the edge.  That versatility will come in handy for the Panthers, who could use a rusher off the edge that currently features aging vets Charles Johnson and Julius Peppers.

9. Cincinnati Bengals: Derek Barnett, EDGE, Tennessee

The Bengals have lost a ton the last two seasons in free agency.  If there was a top offensive lineman in this draft worthy of a top 10 pick, this would be a perfect fit.  But, there aren’t any worthy of that honor.  So, let’s go get someone to help out Carlos Dunlap off the edge.  The Bengals love bigger, stronger pass rushers, and a guy like Derek Barnett fits right in.  He has been extremely productive with Tennessee, and has a motor that won’t quit.

10. Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

Could the Bills take Watson here?  Absolutely.  But, I think they still believe in Tyrod Taylor, and that if this team can put it all together, Taylor will thrive.  So, with some serious offensive weapons on the board, the Bills decide to give Taylor some help and pair up two Clemson wide receivers.  Mike Williams is a pretty solid complement to Sammy Watkins in that while Watkins has the speed to win outside, Williams brings a big time red zone threat who is a better route runner than advertised.

11. New Orleans Saints: Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State

There are plenty of options for the Saints, a team who has struggled on defense for some time.  With the top three edge rushers off the board, the Saints turn to the cornerback position, where they continue to look for a number one guy.  Gareon Conley could be the guy that they have been searching for.  Conley often gets lost in the mix when Marshon Lattimore and Malik Hooker are mentioned, but he is an impressive corner with very good ball skills and the ability to play in the slot.

12. Tennessee Titans (from Browns): OJ Howard, TE, Alabama

The Titans pick up a pick in round two, and that will help towards building their team into a contender.  As for this pick, the Titans pull the trigger on one of the best players available.  OJ Howard fits perfectly with what the Titans want to do on offense: run the ball effectively and open up the field with the play action.  Howard is a very good blocker, and he can stretch the field and be a very dangerous threat in the passing game. Plus, Delanie Walker isn’t getting younger.

13. Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

The Cardinals are not a playoff team right now.  There are major weaknesses on both sides of the ball, and their offense is getting weaker with their once promising group of receivers weakening.  Even with holes on both sides, Bruce Arians and company are too tempted with seeing their quarterback of the future on the board.  Patrick Mahomes has the strong arm to thrive in the vertical offense the Cardinals run.  With Arians’ help, Mahomes could develop into a franchise quarterback.

14. Philadelphia Eagles: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Yes, the Eagles need help at corner.  But, with how much depth this draft has at that position, the Eagles instead decide to bring balance to the offense.  Christian McCaffrey can be a true difference maker and matchup nightmare in Philly.  He can run between the tackles and line up in the slot as a receiver.  Second year pro Carson Wentz would love some help as he continues to develop.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Haason Reddick, LB/EDGE, Temple

The Colts could pick any spot on their defense to address and it would be a good pick.  They could really use a playmaker who can step in and become a leader on that defense. Haason Reddick can be that guy.  Reddick’s versatility is what makes him special.  He played on the edge last season at Temple, but at the Senior Bowl, he dominated in off ball linebacker drills.  The Colts can use him as a two down off ball guy who can come down and rush the passer on third down.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

Marlon Humphrey is going a lot higher than people think he is.  You just don’t get big, physical, and fast corners very often.  The Ravens have strong ties to Alabama prospects in recent drafts, so why not here?  Humphrey can come in and learn how to refine his game when the ball is in the air and become a dominant force in press coverage.

17. Washington Redskins: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida

The Redskins are a serious wild card in this draft.  Everyone thought they’d go defensive line last year, and they surprised with a receiver.  With no top tier defensive linemen outside of Jonathan Allen, the Redskins elect to grab a guy who can lock down the second level.  Jarrad Davis isn’t as far behind Reuben Foster as some may think.  He can come downhill in the run game and he can stay on the field on third down in coverage.

18. Tennessee Titans: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida

After addressing the offense with their first pick, the Titans now turn to the defensive side of the ball.  With not too many corners off the board, and with their secondary lacking playmakers, the Titans jump at the chance to grab a top five corner in the draft.  Quincy Wilson has exceptional ball skills and instincts to thrive at the next level.  He will be an important cog in the Titans defense.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Njoku, TE, Miami

This pairing has been very common over the past couple months.  The Buccaneers are a team where it is hard to find a real draft need.  Offensive line is a possibility, but this year’s class really isn’t worth a first round pick.  The defense is solid in Tampa, so why not grab another weapon for Jameis Winston.  David Njoku has serious potential with all of his physical abilities.  He is more built for a receiving tight end role, but that doesn’t mean he won’t put in the effort to block.  With all that raw potential, and a tag team buddy in Cameron Brate, Njoku could really thrive in Tampa.

20. Denver Broncos: Garett Bolles, OT, Utah

It’s no secret that the Broncos need help on the offensive line.  They gained rhythm on offense when they could run the ball effectively, and the success of the running game wasn’t where they wanted it to be last season.  They need someone who can be effective in the run game as well as protecting Siemian/Lynch.  Garett Bolles has the mean streak you want to see in an offensive lineman, and he can make a difference for that sputtering line.

21. Detroit Lions: Takkarist McKinley, EDGE, UCLA

The Lions need to work on getting off the field on third downs, and that starts with finding someone besides Ziggy Ansah who can pressure the quarterback.  Takkarist McKinley would be a nice fit for Detroit.  Yes, McKinley is still a little raw and needs to refine some of his technique while setting an edge, but there is plenty to like.  McKinley has an extremely high motor and has so many effort plays where he won’t give up.  Plus, he has great speed and quickness.  The Lions land a potential star.

22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky

The Dolphins really found themselves down the stretch last season, which resulted in a playoff berth.  Running the ball effectively was a key to Adam Gase’s offense being successful, and they will want to continue that.  With Branden Albert gone, it’s likely that Laremy Tunsil moves to left tackle.  Enter Forrest Lamp, who has Pro Bowl potential no matter where you put him on the line.  Lamp can play either tackle or guard, and that gives the Dolphins options when it comes to the offensive line.

23. New York Giants: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin

The Giants will be bringing back an elite defense in 2017.  What they won’t be bringing back is a top flight offense.  Adding Brandon Marshall was good for the Giants, but now they need to make sure their quarterback can stay upright.  Ryan Ramczyk has Pro Bowl potential at the tackles spot, and his technician-like abilities will translate to the NFL.

24. Oakland Raiders: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

The fall ends here.  Reuben Foster is too darn good to fall out of the first round, and it’s doubtful that a Super Bowl contender who needs help at linebacker will pass on him.  Foster is exactly what the Raiders need on defense.  He can be a big time leader and playmaker, and can anchor a defense that gave up over six yards per play.

25. Houston Texans: DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson

The Texans cannot afford to enter 2017 without someone who they believe can lead this franchise deeper into the playoffs.  With DeShaun Watson still on the board, the Texans select a quarterback who is no stranger to playoff runs.  He has the leadership and gamer qualities you covet in a quarterback.  Watson may not have the best arm, but with the talent around him, he doesn’t need to do it all right away.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama

There isn’t much intrigue to this pick.  Seattle’s offensive line has struggled recently.  They need to address the position if they want to run the ball effectively and keep Russell Wilson upright.  Cam Robinson could come in and play a big role in their revival.  Robinson is a body mover who can be very effective in the run game, while also having the strength to stave off edge rushers.

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

With three quarterbacks off the board, it’s hard to see the Chiefs reaching for one that shouldn’t be drafted in the first round.  So, they look elsewhere.  With Derrick Johnson’s career winding down, it’s time to find a viable replacement.  Zach Cunningham has improved significantly in his time at Vanderbilt, and can come in right away and be a tackling machine.  He has the quickness and instincts to become a centerpiece on that defense.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton, EDGE, Michigan

The Cowboys desperately need defensive help.  With two corners from last season gone, and no guarantees with the pass rush, the Cowboys elect to go with a big, strong edge rusher who can help rejuvenate this group.  Taco Charlton has the power and quickness to win on the outside, and the strength to stack up blockers when defending the run.  His physical traits show that he has the potential to succeed in the NFL.

29. Green Bay Packers: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri

Yes, Packer fans, one at a time.  The need for more corners is apparent.  There isn’t much depth at that spot right now, but with young guys developing, the Packers elect to wait till later to draft a corner.  Even though Nick Perry re-signed with the Packers, they still need help off the edge.  Charles Harris could come in and shine from day one.  His spin move is second to none in this class, and he has quickness and power to consistently win against tackles.  This move could also allow Clay Matthews to move around the Packers defense.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

The Steelers see too much value here to let Corey Davis slip any further.  His stock is slipping only because he hasn’t been talked about.  That is ludicrous.  With Martavis Bryant’s future still uncertain, and not much progress being made by Sammie Coates, Corey Davis would fit right in here.  Antonio Brown needs someone to complement his game, and Davis’ route running ability and the danger after the catch make him the pick here.

31. Atlanta Falcons: Adoree Jackson, CB, USC

It’s quite clear that Atlanta needs to find help for Vic Beasley, who can’t do it all himself off the edge, but with all the top guys gone, it’s time to be patient there.  Instead, the Falcons look to a secondary that was more vulnerable without Desmond Trufant in the lineup.  Adoree Jackson has the makings to play corner on the outside.  He has good speed and quickness to keep up, and can also make his presence known in the return game.

32. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots): John Ross, WR, Washington 

The Saints are also looking for a pass rusher, but they find themselves in the same spot as Atlanta.  So, with Cooks departing for New England, why not grab his replacement right here?  John Ross is more than just a burner.  He can run very good routes and would be very tough to cover wherever you line him up.  Drew Brees and Sean Payton would love another chess piece on the offensive side of the ball.

What do you think about this draft?  Agree on your team’s pick?  Disagree?  Put your thoughts in the comments or reply on Twitter.

Jake Schyvinck covers the NFL and NFL Draft for The Sports Guys. For more draft content, follow him on Twitter @JSchyvinck13.