33.Cleveland Browns:Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
The Browns could use more cornerback talent, and they could have a good one slip to them on Day 2.
Hughes started out his collegiate career at North Carolina before transferring to Central Florida. The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder impressed some evaluators with his coverage skills, and he was a big part of the Knights putting together a 13-0 record in 2017. Hughes totaled four interceptions, 11 passes broken up, with a forced fumble and 49 tackles on the year. He also was a dangerous kick returner with two scores and punt returner, including a punt return touchdown.
Some teams have given Hughes a second-round grade. Others who aren't as high on him felt he should go back to Central Florida for 2018 to improve before going pro, but they also acknowledged that corners are in demand and go quickly in the draft, so they see the second round as possible for him if he enters the 2018 NFL Draft.
Miller (6-8, 310) had a rough start to 2017, but turned in a quality season for UCLA blocking for Josh Rosen as the Bruins' left tackle. Miller has good length to him and the ability to stay on the edge in the NFL. However, he might be a better fit as a right tackle in the pros as Miller can have problems with speed rushes to the inside. Miller played right tackle in 2015 and 2016 before injuries ended those seasons early. He only played in five games in 2016.
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The Browns need multiple receiving talents. Kenny Britt was a bust signing, and they can't count on Josh Gordon to avoid suspension. Additionally, Corey Coleman has been a disappointment.
Kirk totaled 71 catches for 919 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2017. He also produced some big kick and punt returns. Kirk saw a lot of double coverage his direction, and quarterback Kelly Mond struggled to get Kirk the ball. As a result, some teams are down on Kirk. A few teams said they had him graded as a 2/3 - a second- to third-rounder. One team said they had him as late in the first round, but another said Round 3.
Kirk played well in 2016 despite inconsistent quarterback play from the Aggies. He had 83 receptions for 928 yards with nine touchdowns while splitting targets with wideouts like Josh Reynolds and Ricky Seals-Jones. Kirk is a quick, explosive play-maker. Multiple scouting sources have compared Kirk to Sterling Shepard and Jarvis Landry.
Kirk (5-11, 200) had an outstanding freshman debut for Texas A&M and earned playing time over more veteran receivers who had previously produced for the Aggies. In 2015, Kirk caught 80 passes for 1,009 yards with seven touchdowns. He averaged only 19.3 yards per kick return, but averaged 24.4 yards per punt returns and took two for touchdowns.
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The Colts grab the feature back they need for their offense.
The 6-foot, 212-pound Johnson carried Auburn to wins over Alabama and Georgia to put his draft stock on the map late in the 2017 season. Versus both defenses loaded with NFL talent, Johnson showed real quickness with good cutting ability, vision, and decisive downhill running. He also played banged up, illustrating his toughness to withstand a heavy work load and some hard hits. In 2017, Johnson averaged 4.9 yards per carry for 1,391 yards with 18 touchdowns. He also had 24 receptions for 194 yards and two scores. Johnson ran for 895 yards and 11 scores in 2016. Johnson looks like a three-down starter in the NFL who can hurt defenses as a runner and receiver.
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The Jets could use more cornerback talent. That's especially true if Morris Claiborne leaves in free agency.
Alexander missed four games early in the 2017 season with a knee injury he suffered in the season opener and then dealt with a broken hand that caused him to miss two more games. When Alexander was on the field in 2017, he covered well, totaling 19 tackles with four passes broken up and an interception. Alexander (5-11, 188) was very good for Louisville in 2016. He had 39 tackles with nine passes broken up and five interceptions. Alexander also is a dangerous punt returner. There is a lot of upside for him to develop.
38.Tampa Bay Buccaneers:Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin
The Bucs could use more young cornerback talent to go with Vernon Hargreaves.
Nelson (5-11, 204) had a strong 2017 season for the Badgers, breaking up 21 passes and making 34 tackles. Nelson had zero interceptions, however, and not turning some of those breakups into turnovers will bother some evaluators. The NFL Draft Advisory gave the redshirt junior a second-round estimation in his report. If Nelson runs well at the combine, that could help ease speed concerns.
Nelson started out his collegiate career at Hawaii, where he had 53 tackles with 15 breakups as a sophomore in 2015. He started as a freshman for the Rainbow Warriors, notching 36 tackles and six breakups.
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The Bears could use more receiving talent for Mitch Trubisky. Here's a speedy slot receiver.
Miller played really well for Memphis, showing good route-running, quickness, good hands, and elusiveness after the catch. He totaled 92 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2017. Miller came up huge to help Memphis upset UCLA. He has created some positive buzz in the scouting community and is viewed as more of a second-day talent who could be a weapon as a slot receiver in the NFL. In 2016, Miller totaled 95 receptions for 1,434 yards with 14 touchdowns.
The Broncos could use more backfield talent to to help upgrade their new quarterback.
Chubb averaged 6.0 yards per carry in 2017 for 1,345 yards with 15 touchdowns. In 2016, he averaged 5.0 yards per carry on his way to 1,130 yards with eight touchdowns. He had five receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown as well. That season, Chubb didn't quite have the speed and explosion that he had before his 2015 knee injury. Considering it was only about a year since he was hurt, that was understandable.
Prior to his season-ending knee injury in 2015, Chubb had picked up where he left off as a freshman. The sophomore averaged 8.1 yards per carry for 747 yards and seven touchdowns in his shortened 2015 season. In 2014 while splitting time with Todd Gurley, Chubb averaged 7.1 yards per carry for 1,547 yards with 14 touchdowns. He also caught 18 receptions for 213 yards and two scores.
Chubb is akin to a human bowling ball, rolling over tacklers and and being a physical force in the SEC. The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder is a powerful runner who also has the quickness to rip off yards in chunks. He also is an explosive track competitor.
The Raiders brought the declining Marshawn Lynch out of retirement, and predictably, Lynch wasn't good. Oakland/Las Vegas needs a legit starting running back. Here's a solution with a back that is a great fit in Jon Gruden and Greg Olson's offense.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Michel averaged 7.9 yards per carry in 2017 for 1,227 yards with 16 touchdowns. He would be a three-down starter at most schools, but Georgia has a huge stable of backs to whom the coaches spread carries. Team sources have told WalterFootball.com that Michel has a lot of fans in the scouting community and is receiving second-day grades. Some even prefer him over Nick Chubb because Michel has done more in the passing game as a receiver and blocker during his collegiate career. Michel has starting potential for the NFL with speed, strength and versatility.
Michel played well in 2016 while serving as the backup to Nick Chubb. On the season, Michel took 152 carries for 840 yards - a 5.3-yard average - and four touchdowns. He also had 22 receptions for 149 yards.
42.Miami Dolphins:Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
The Dolphins could use a tight end upgrade.
Hurst totaled 44 receptions for 559 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. He also rushed for a touchdown. Team sources have raved about Hurst and think that he has a first-round skill set. They say he might slip to the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft, but they love the physical talent of the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder.
Sources say they heard Hurst would skip his senior year to enter the 2018 NFL Draft because he is a bit older at 24 years old. Hurst played professional baseball in the minor leagues with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization out of high school. Because of his delayed start in football, sources say that Hurst is still raw as a route-runner and blocker. However, he has a great skill set with upside to improve quickly once he is taught some technique. In 2016, Hurst had 48 receptions for 616 yards with one touchdown. A lack of production from not many opportunities is another factor that could force him down.
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43.New England Patriots:Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama
The Patriots could use more front-seven talent with help at linebacker and along the defensive line. Here's the former.
In 2017, Evans totaled 74 tackles, 13 tackles for a loss, six sacks, one forced fumble and three passes broken up. The 6-foot-3, 231-pounder possesses an impressive skill set with size and speed. The senior did well rushing off the edge for Alabama in 2017. Evans was a backup in 2014 and 2015 before rotating onto the field during the 2016 season. As a junior, he totaled 53 tackles with 4.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, two passes broken up and one forced fumble.
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Washington could use more edge-rushing and defensive front-seven talent.
In 2017, Armstrong totaled 63 tackles with 9.5 for a loss, two sacks, four forced fumbles and four passes batted. An NFC general manager told me that Armstrong continued to impress them in 2017 even though his production was down. He was a big presence for Kansas in 2016 as he totaled 10 sacks with 20 tackles for a loss, 56 tackles and three forced fumbles.
The 6-foot-4, 241-pounder could use more weight for the NFL to be an edge rusher against pro offensive tackles. That would help him to get off blocks. Armstrong is extremely quick and athletic, but could use more strength. He would be a great fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker as well.
The Packers cut the declining Martellus Bennett mid-season and have Richard Rodgers entering free agency. Thus, Green Bay needs more tight end talent.
In 2017, Andrews notched 62 receptions for 958 yards with eight touchdowns. He totaled 31 receptions for 489 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016 after making 19 catches for 318 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder is receiving threat as a tight end with good athleticism, route-running, quickness and hands. Andrews might be the top receiving tight end for the 2018 NFL Draft. He could end up being a prospect similar to Hunter Henry or Austin Hooper.
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The Bengals could use a corner to replace Adam "Pacman" Jones.
Webster is a sound cover corner who is very good at running the route and preventing separation. Sources from multiple teams have told me that Webster has impressed them. They think he has first-round potential for the 2018 NFL Draft as a cover corner. The 5-foot-11, 194-pounder has quick feet, ball skills and a competitive attitude, plus he plays fast.
Webster locked down receivers in 2017 using his quick feet, twitchy athleticism, and fast foot speed to prevent separation. He recorded 29 tackles and two pass breakups on the year, but went under the radar because Ole Miss had a down season. In 2015, Webster totaled 41 tackles with 11 breakups and an interception. Webster was impressive in 2017 despite not being 100 percent from an ACL tear and other damage that he sustained in the 2016 season opener, which caused him to miss that entire year.
The Cardinals could use more young talent at wide receiver with Larry Fitzgerald nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Cobbs is a physical force as a receiver. He has mismatch size to go with good quickness, route-running, solid hands, body control, and the ability to win 50-50 passes. In 2017, Cobbs made 72 catches for 841 yards with eight touchdowns. He missed the 2016 season with an ankle injury. Cobbs averaged 17.3 yards per reception in 2015 while totaling 60 receptions for 1,035 yards and four touchdowns.
48.Los Angeles Chargers:Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech
The Chargers could use an upgrade at safety.
Edmunds hasn't gotten as much attention as his brother Tremaine Edmunds, but NFL sources have told WalterFootball.com that Terrell Edmunds has really impressed them as well. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder has good size to be an NFL safety and has shown coverage skills over the past few seasons. Edmunds played well in 2017 with 59 tackles, two interceptions and four passes broken up. As a sophomore, he totaled 89 tackles, four interceptions and three passes broken up. Sources say they see Terrell Edmunds grading out as a second-day prospect for the 2018 NFL Draft.
This was the Seahawks' second-rounder dealt to New York for Sheldon Richardson. The Jets can't count on Matt Forte at this point in his career. Here's a long-term backfield weapon.
Guice averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2017, totaling 1,251 yards with 11 touchdowns. He had 18 catches for 124 yards and two touchdowns as well, but LSU doesn't really use its backs in the passing game. For a lot of 2017, Guice was slowed down by a knee injury.
With Leonard Fournette in and out of the lineup with an ankle injury in 2016, Guice (5-11, 212) took advantage of a larger than expected workload to have a breakout season. As a sophomore, he averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 1,387 yards with 15 touchdowns. Guice had nine receptions for 106 yards as well. He put together some massive games that season with 252 yards versus Arkansas and 285 yards rushing against Texas A&M.
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50.Dallas Cowboys:Darius Leonard, ILB, South Carolina State
The Cowboys grab a linebacker to eventually pair with Jaylon Smith to lead the middle of their defense.
Scouting sources told me that Leonard really impressed them this fall. He flew around the field, creating a lot of production for his defense. The redshirt senior totaled 113 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, eight sacks, one pass batted, two interceptions and one forced fumble. Leonard has a knack for making plays behind the line of scrimmage as he totaled 42 tackles for a loss with 13.5 sacks combined over his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He has NFL size and dominated his level of competition.
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The Lions could use more talent at defensive tackle to go with A'Shawn Robinson.
Settle (6-3, 335) put together a strong 2017 season and was one of the better defenders on a tough Virginia Tech defense. On the year, the big nose tackle totaled 36 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, and one pass batted. That was a big improvement over his 2016 season when he had 17 tackles and no sacks. The physical defender is probably more likely to be a second-day pick in the 2018 NFL Draft given how nose tackles are downgraded.
52.Baltimore Ravens:Jaylen Samuels, FB, N.C. State
The Ravens continue to upgrade their receiving weapons for Joe Flacco. This could be a great complement to Alex Collins.
Samuels totaled 76 receptions for 597 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. On the ground, he averaged 5.2 yards per carry for 403 yards and 12 touchdowns. For the NFL, the 5-foot-11, 223-pounder is a unique prospect. He is listed as a tight end, plays some H-back, and also plays wide receiver. In speaking with scouts, they like Samuels, and some feel that his best fit would come as a third-down running back. They think Samuels has really good hands, is a nice receiver, and could also run the ball as a tailback. Samuels could be tried as a fullback as well.
The Bills could use a third receiver to pair with Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones.
St. Brown totaled 33 receptions for 515 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. His production and opportunities were killed by an incompetent quarterback in Brandon Wimbush, who has completed less than 50 percent of his passes in 2017. St. Brown also saw a lot of double teams. The 6-foot-4, 205-pounder had a quality 2016 season with 58 receptions for 961 yards and nine touchdowns with DeShone Kizer at quarterback.
Scouts who did advance work on the 2018 class told me they were really intrigued with St. Brown. They say he is a super-polished route runner with tremendous speed, athletic ability, body control, and hands. They still think that St. Brown could be a first-rounder even though he didn't have significant production in 2017 thanks to Wimbush playing quarterback. Other scouts aren't as high on St. Brown and grade him on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
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54.Kansas City Chiefs:Auden Tate, WR, Florida State
Kansas City could use more receiving talent to go with Tyreek Hill.
Tate notched 40 receptions for 548 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2017, but he was more impressive than the stats illustrate. The huge Tate (6-5, 225) is a mismatch weapon who gives defensive backs a lot of problems. He is very dangerous to win jump balls downfield and is a real red-zone weapon. Tate's numbers were held back in 2017 by playing with the backup quarterback, but Tate has huge potential and upside for the NFL. Some sources think that Tate should have returned to Florida State for 2018 and improved before going to the next level, but he decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.
55.Carolina Panthers:Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri
The Panthers grab an end to replace Julius Peppers
Missouri has been a factory for NFL defensive line talent in recent years, and Frazier could be the Tigers' model for the 2018 NFL Draft. The senior recorded 40 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, five passes broken up and a forced fumble in 2017. With Charles Harris on the other side, Frazier was able to do some damage as a junior. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder came on strong at the end of the 2016 season. On the year, he notched 7.5 sacks with 33 tackles. Frazier had two sacks as a backup in 2015.
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The Bills need a replacement for Ronald Darby and could use a corner with some size.
McFadden totaled 30 tackles with 10 passes broken up and zero interceptions in 2017. Sources from multiple teams are down on McFadden and are not grading him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. They say that his film is very underwhelming, and he is getting some second-day grades just because of his skill set. They felt that McFadden gives up too much downfield and struggles with balls over his head. Some sources think that McFadden's vision and eye discipline are severely lacking, and are some of the reasons for why he gives up too much downfield.
McFadden was up and down in 2016, too, but he has a ton of talent to grow into a better player. Sometimes that season, he looked great, but other times, he seemed lost. McFadden still tied for the nation's lead in interceptions with eight, although part of that was because he had a lot of opportunities as teams targeted him. He also recorded 20 tackles and six passes broken up.
McFadden is a huge press-man corner. He is a prospect with similar strengths and weaknesses to David Amerson. At 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, McFadden has great size with upside to improve.
The Titans could lose DaQuan Jones in free agency. Here's a replacement.
Green (6-4, 275) played well for the Trojans in 2017. He recorded 43 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, one forced fumble and four passes broken up on the year. Green has good instincts and play recognition. He uses those skills to bat a lot of passes to prevent completions downfield. As a sophomore, Green made 55 tackles, 6.5 sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles. The junior played defensive tackle for USC, but in the NFL, he will have to move to defensive end unless he is able to gain some weight.
Atlanta grabs a base end to rotate and rush across from Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley.
In 2017, Ejiofor had 43 tackles with 16.5 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass batted. He put together a big 2016 season with 10.5 sacks, 17 tackles for a loss, 50 tackles, four passes batted, two forced fumbles and an interception. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder could be a solid base end in a 4-3 defense.
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The Jaguars could stand to find an upgrade for A.J. Cann.
Wynn impressed scouts in 2017 as an excellent run blocker for the Bulldogs. The 6-foot-2, 302-pounder blocks with aggression and has a temperament that is hard to find in college blockers. In pass protection, he was very dependable as well. Because Wynn is shorter and doesn't have ideal length, some sources think that he could move to guard or center in the NFL. Wynn started at left guard in 2016, but scouts think he is athletic enough to also play center. Wynn's size and skill set has drawn comparisons to Kelvin Beachum, who is undersized but has managed to carve out a career at left tackle in the NFL.
Hernandez (6-3, 330) is shorter and lacks length compared to a lot of starting guards in the NFL, but he makes up for it with strength. He is strong at the point of attack with a heavy base to help him get movement at the point of attack. Impressing at an all-star game will be important for Hernandez.
The Vikings grab a linebacker to pair with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr.
Jefferson totaled 110 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and four sacks in 2017. He played his best football in 2017 and worked hard for Texas. In 2016, he recorded 59 tackles with 5.5 sacks and three passes broken up. Jefferson (6-3, 238) was highly recruited and showed why as a freshman contributor for the Longhorns. He totaled 61 tackles with seven for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three passes broken up and one forced fumble. Jefferson was a bigger presence than the stats illustrate.
The junior possesses a nice combination of size and speed, plus a ton of athletic upside. However, some sources have said they've heard that Jefferson doesn't love football. They say that can be seen in his work ethic, preparation and lack of production. Jefferson was supposedly unhappy with how he was used by the previous staff, and that led to that perception, but either side of the argument brings concerns for NFL evaluators.
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The Steelers could use a third rusher to go with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree
Some scouting sources told me they felt that Bryant spent 2017 playing his way into being a first-round-caliber prospect, and he could be one of those players on the bubble of the first or second round, similar to former Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd. Bryant was a clean-up specialist who chased down ball-carriers after Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins or Dexter Lawrence created disruption. In 2017, Bryant totaled 8.5 sacks with 50 tackles, 15.5 for a loss, one interception and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder could benefit by going back to school.
The Browns grab an interior pass-rusher to go with Myles Garrett.
Hurst recorded 57 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, one forced fumble and two passes broken up in 2017. As a sophomore in 2015, he totaled 35 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks. Hurst improved as a junior with 34 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble.
The 6-foot-2, 282-pounder is a quick defender at the point of attack who can cause a lot of disruption. If Hurst were a few inches taller with more length, he would likely be a high pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Hurst could play end or tackle in the NFL, but his best fit likely would be in a 4-3 defense that plays him at end on rush downs and moves him inside for passing situations.
The Patriots could use some youth on the defensive line. Here's a flexible piece for them.
McIntosh (6-4, 293) had an impressive 2017 season and caused disruption for Miami at the point of attack. He totaled 52 tackles with 12.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, seven passes broken up and one forced fumble on the year. McIntosh also played well as a sophomore with 47 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and 9.5 tackles for a loss. The junior has scheme flexibility with the ability to play tackle in a 4-3 and serve as an end in a 3-4.