Oakland will either draft Donald Penn's replacement at LT, draft a cornerback, or an inside linebacker with their first pick. Those three priorities are above drafting a running back considering Oakland already drafted a running back this year. And Latavius Murray is just fine
I think they could have drafted quite a bit better. Maybe looked @ Thompson from BSU at safety. I think anyone that passed on Booker missed a chance on a RB talent steal. Alexander was rated higher than drafted, but guard seems to have a low value on a lot of teams. Cook being drafted wasn`t a horrible pick in terms of the position & need. I just think they should have waited 1 year to grab a QB prospect. I hope Cook works out, but you could almost drop each player by one round for a better value. Joseph was going late 2nd round to many scouts. The way WAS drafted I don`t think they would have taken him @ pick 22.
Rd. 1, Pk. 9
Leonard Floyd, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia
Gerald McCoy and Jacquies Smith were considered the Buccaneers' top two pass-rushers last season. McCoy is great, but Smith? It's quite apparent that Tampa needed someone better to get to the quarterback, and while it already added Robert Ayers, a long-term option is needed. Fortunately for the front office, this class is loaded with talented edge rushers.
The Buccaneers have been linked to Leonard Floyd, as Charlie Campbell mentioned on our podcast. Floyd would definitely help Tampa's efforts of generating heavy pressure on Cam Newton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan. Floyd may not seem like a logical fit for a 4-3, but Tampa would use him like Anthony Barr.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Shaq Lawson, DE - Another pass-rushing possibility for the Buccaneers, but Floyd seems like the better option.
2. Ronnie Stanley, OT - I'm sure the Buccaneers would love the idea of acquiring a franchise left tackle to protect Jameis Winston for the next dozen years.
Rd. 1, Pk. 13
Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
I'm going to kick myself if Myles Jack is off the board and the Dolphins select Eli Apple, since I've had them taking the Ohio State corner for a while. I believe Apple will be Miami's pick unless either Jack or Ezekiel Elliott falls (or the latter is available via trade).
Jack could go as high as No. 5 depending on how the third and fourth picks shake out, but it's sounding like he's due for a draft-day slide. There are serious concerns about his knee, but the Dolphins apparently are fine with it. Thus, he could be the pick, filling a huge need.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Eli Apple, CB - Apple is a great fit for Miami's scheme and the team would definitely consider taking him at this spot, as he would fill a huge need.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB - The Dolphins love Elliott, but they foolishly moved down while acquiring players who aren't very good. Perhaps they'll move back up for Elliott.
Pick change; previously Eli Apple, CB
Rd. 1, Pk. 17
Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
I believe Darron Lee is one of the players the Falcons are targeting at No. 17. He's such a great fit for their defense, and he happens to fill a huge need in their linebacking corps. He's also exactly what the front office covets from an athleticism standpoint. I think Atlanta would rather have Shaq Lawson, but Lee isn't a bad consolation prize.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Shaq Lawson, DE - This is probably the latest Shaq Lawson can go. I can't imagine the Falcons passing on him if he happened to be available.
2. Jonathan Bullard, DT - The Falcons could use an interior rusher, and Bullard has the athleticism that they covet.
Rd. 2, Pk. 20
Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State
One of New York's biggest needs is at inside linebacker, and they even needed one prior to Demario Davis' departure. Kyler Fackrell has the length the Jets prefer at linebacker.
Rd. 2, Pk. 31
Su'a Cravens, OLB/S, USC
Per our Pro Day Results page, Tony Pauline reported that the Panthers have scary levels of interest in Su'a Cravens. I initially was confused, given that Carolina drafted a similar-type player last year in Shaq Thompson. However, Thompson is more linebacker, while Cravens is more of a safety, so it would make sense for the team to have two interchangeable linebacker-safety hybrids.
Rd. 3, Pk. 13
Kamalei Correa, OLB/3-4OLB, Boise State
Teams are always looking for solid pass-rushing depth, and the Titans have none behind Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan.
Rd. 3, Pk. 14
Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
I considered Myles Jack to the Browns, and I had him slotted at No. 8 in another update. Here's a solution at inside linebacker.
Pick change; previously Graham Glasgow, C
Rd. 3, Pk. 15
Deion Jones, OLB, LSU
The Saints need to continue upgrading their defense, as they need help on all three levels. They have to improve upon Dannell Ellerbe, who was horrible last year.
Jaylon Smith's medical recheck went terribly, and some teams now list him as a sixth- or seventh-round prospect. It's unfortunate, but perhaps some team will take a chance on him at the end of Day 2.
Rd. 3, Pk. 33
Jordan Jenkins, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia
The Patriots dealt away Chandler Jones, so they should use a draft pick to bolster their pass rush.
Rd. 4, Pk. 20
Joe Schobert, OLB/3-4OLB, Wisconsin
The Jets have needed help at outside linebacker for quite some time now. Finding a better pass rush would help take care of some of the issues in the secondary.
Rd. 4, Pk. 28
Travis Feeney, OLB, Washington
Derrick Johnson's return to the lineup has been huge for Kansas City's defense, but the team has a weakness right next to Johnson. Also, it needs to be considered that Johnson just turned 33, so he doesn't have many dominant years left.
Rd. 1, Pk. 9
Leonard Floyd, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia
In speaking with sources, the Bucs love Jalen Ramsey but he won't make it to their pick. Tampa Bay has to improve the talent in its secondary and defensive line, so here's a Plan B to address the edge rush if Ramsey is off the board. Floyd is graded higher than other edge rushers and in the Bucs' 4-3 defense, he would play Sam (strongside) linebacker on run downs and rush the passer off the edge in passing situations.
Floyd totaled 74 tackles with 10.5 for a loss and 4.5 sacks in 2015. He is a speedy defender who is just scratching the surface of his potential. Floyd is a natural pass-rusher with agility and a knack for getting to the quarterback. His ability to bend around the corner is extremely rare.
In 2014, the sophomore had 55 tackles with six sacks, two forced fumbles and 8.5 tackles for a loss. Floyd's run defense was a liability, and it caused him to get benched for a short time. He totaled 55 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks in 2013. The 6-foot-6, 244-pounder played at Hargrave Military Academy for a season after high school.
The Raiders have plugged a lot of holes in free agency, but they could still use an inside linebacker. Jack could be a steal for Oakland, plus Reggie McKenzie likes rare athletes. With Khalil Mack, the Raiders could have a freaky athletic front seven.
Jack's natural pass-coverage skills are extremely rare. He has the speed and athleticism of a defensive back in the body of a linebacker. NFL evaluators love what he can do in the passing game, and he even played nickel corner at UCLA. Don't be surprised if the 6-foot-1, 245-pounder improves annually with his huge upside.
Jack notched 15 tackles, one interception and a pass broken up in his shortened 2015 season. He also had two carries for seven yards and a touchdown on offense. The junior suffered a knee injury in practice that ended his year early. As a sophomore, Jack racked up 87 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble. While only a freshman starter in 2013, Jack became a superstar who was named the Pac-12's Offensive AND Defensive Freshman of the Year. On the defensive side of the ball, he recorded 75 tackles with 11 passes broken up and two interceptions. His pass-coverage skills for a freshman were outstanding. Jack ran for 267 yards on 38 carries (7.0 average) with seven touchdowns, too.
Rd. 1, Pk. 17
Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State
Atlanta has a lot of needs, with some improved linebackers being one of the most important. The Falcons could use a sideline-to-sideline, difference-making, fast defender who will bring an identity to their defense.
In 2015, Lee totaled 66 tackles with 11 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes broken up, two forced fumbles and one interception - returned 41 yards for a touchdown. He had a great combine performance with a lightning-fast 4.47-second time in the 40-yard dash and a strong showing in the field work.
The 6-foot-1, 232-pounder was the Buckeyes' replacement for Ryan Shazier in 2014, and while Lee wasn't as good as Shazier, Lee had a superb debut for Ohio State with plenty of upside to make strides in the future. He totaled 81 tackles with 16.5 tackles for a loss, three passes broken up, two interceptions and 7.5 sacks for the season.
Rd. 2, Pk. 9
Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State
The Giants need to improve their linebacker play and Fackrell could play outside or inside.
In 2015, Fackrell had 82 tackles with 15 for a loss and four sacks. At the beginning of the 2014 season, he went out with a torn ACL. Fackrell had a quality sophomore season - in 2013 - with 13 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles, five sacks, 82 tackles, one interception and a pass broken up. Perhaps his best year may have come as a freshman when he totaled 87 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, three sacks, three interceptions, three passes broken up and two forced fumbles. Fackrell (6-4, 244) has a versatile skill set.
Pick change; previously Le'Raven Clark, OT
Rd. 2, Pk. 17
Kamalei Correa, OLB/3-4OLB, Boise State
In the wake of Bjoern Werner being a bust, the Colts need an edge rusher to get after the quarterback.
Correa (6-2, 243) is an edge defender who will have to get stronger for the NFL if he is going to be an edge rusher. Correa totaled 39 tackles with 11 for a loss, seven sacks and three forced fumbles in 2015. His best season came as a sophomore when he notched 59 tackles, 19 for a loss, two forced fumbles and 12 sacks. The junior's best fit could come as an inside/outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.
Correa had an impressive workout at the combine. Sources say that Correa is a good player, but isn't very physical and needs to improve against the run.
Rd. 2, Pk. 31
Su'a Cravens, OLB/S, USC
The Panthers could use a safety upgrade, and they have shown a lot of interest in Cravens.
In 2015, Cravens totaled 86 tackles, 15 for a loss, 5.5 sacks, six passes broken up, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He recorded 68 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three interceptions and nine passes broken up in 2014. Cravens was moved from safety to linebacker that season, but his best role in the NFL could come as a safety on run downs and a linebacker in passing situations. A good defensive coordinator could get a lot of out of Cravens.
The 6-foot-1, 226-pounder is physical, strong and quick. As a freshman, he totaled 52 tackles with four interceptions, one pass batted and a forced fumble. Cravens was named a Freshman All-American and a All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
Rd. 3, Pk. 7
Beniquez Brown, OLB/ILB, Mississippi State
The Jaguars grab an understudy for Paul Posluszny.
Brown (6-1, 229) had an impressive season for the Bulldogs and was a tough defender in the middle of their defense. In 2015, he totaled 99 tackles with 11 for a loss, four sacks, two passes broken up and an interception. Brown had 62 and 39 tackles as a sophomore and freshman, respectively.
Rd. 3, Pk. 20
Deion Jones, OLB, LSU
The Jets need some young talent at linebacker and have shown interest in Jones.
In 2015, Jones had 100 tackles with 13.5 for a loss, five sacks, three passes batted and two interceptions. He used his speed to fly around the field and make tackles for the Tigers. The 6-foot-1, 219-pounder had a quality week at the Senior Bowl and did well in pass coverage, too. However, NFL sources say he's been overrated by the media because he's very undersized as a linebacker stuck in a safety's body. They feel that Jones is going to be a situational player, and may not be a three-down starter if he can't add significant weight. Thus, I've heard lower grades on him than the consensus in the media.
The Packers have the roster strength to let Smith redshirt for a year and then reap the rewards of a top-five talent to lead their defense.
Smith suffered a torn ACL and MCL in the Fiesta Bowl, which is projected to cause him to miss the 2016 season. In surveying teams, some have flunked him medically. Others have Smith as a sixth- or seventh-rounder, and a few teams are thinking of him in the mid-rounds. Teams really love Smith's tape and his off-the-field character, so on the second day of the 2016 NFL Draft, he could get consideration.
There is no doubt that Smith is a special player. Sources have said if he was healthy he would be a top-four target on their draft boards. He has the skills to cover in the passing game and is tremendous against the run with fabulous instincts. Smith has sideline-to-sideline speed and athleticism in the middle of the field with the ability to start on the inside or the outside. He also match up one-on-one with tight ends or be a dangerous blitzed. He's a tremendous player.
In 2015, the 6-foot-2, 223-pounder totaled 115 tackles, nine for a loss, one sack, four passes broken up and one forced fumble - he was robbed of one by the official scorer. Smith was all over the field for the Fighting Irish in 2014 with 112 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, 3.5 sacks and two passes defended.
The Patriots could use multiple defensive line additions after losing Chandler Jones, Akiem Hicks, and Dominique Easley this offseason. Fortunately for New England, this class is very strong on the defensive line. Here is an edge rusher the Patriots have shown interest in.
Ngakoue totaled 38 tackles, 15 for a loss, 13.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass breakup in 2015. He showed that he has some natural pass-rushing skills with speed, length, and strength on the edge. Sources said by mid-season that Ngakoue had impressed them and had his stock is trending upward. The 6-foot-2, 252-pounder looks like a good outside linebacker for a 3-4 defense.
Ngakoue destroyed Redskins guard Brandon Scherff in 2014. Ngakoue also looked good against Michigan State's Jack Conklin and Ohio State's Taylor Decker while holding his own against Saints' first-rounder Andrus Peat. That season, Ngakoue recorded 37 tackles, 13.5 for a loss and six sacks.
Rd. 3, Pk. 31
Scooby Wright III, ILB/3-4OLB/OLB, Arizona
The Broncos lost Danny Trevathan in free agency, but here's a replacement.
Wright missed most of 2015, finishing the year with 23 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. In the season opener, he suffered a knee injury - a lateral meniscus tear - that he underwent surgery for. Wright came back after missing only two games, but he clearly rushed back and wasn't the same. Wright sprained his foot in his first game back - a loss to UCLA - and didn't played the rest of the regular season. In the bowl game against New Mexico, Wright collected 15 tackles, 3.5 for a loss and two sacks.
Wright took college football by storm in 2014. The 6-foot, 239-pounder was a pass-rushing force for the Wildcats and one of the top defenders in the Pac-12. He had 14 sacks with 163 tackles, 29 tackles for a loss and six forced fumbles for the year. Wright is an instinctive linebacker and was all over the field for Arizona. In 2013, he notched 83 tackles with 9.5 for a loss and an interception.
Rd. 4, Pk. 8
Dadi Nicolas, DE/3-4OLB/OLB, Virginia Tech
The Bears continue to add pieces to their defense and having another pass-rusher would make sense.
Nicolas is a dangerous edge rusher who will have to get stronger and improve his run defense for the NFL. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder will have to be a situational pass-rusher early in his career, but he is a natural edge rusher with a nose for the quarterback. In 2015, Nicolas totaled 45 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes broken up. He totaled 72 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss and nine sacks in 2014.
Rd. 4, Pk. 12
Josh Perry, OLB, Ohio State
After cutting James Laurinaitis, the Rams could use some inside linebacker depth.
Perry (6-3, 253) recorded 105 tackles with 7.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and three passes broken up in 2015. He is a tough run defender who could be a two-down contributor in the NFL. In 2014, Perry totaled 124 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, three sacks, two passes batted and an interception. He had 64 tackles in 2013.
The Raiders need could use some linebacker depth and have taken a liking to Ford.
Ford is a sleeper prospect who generated interest from teams and has been taking a number of pre-draft visits. He is a fast linebacker who is versatile. In 2015, Ford totaled 42 tackles with 6.5 for a loss, five sacks, and a forced fumble. He had similar production the previous season with 57 stops, five sacks, nine tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles. Ford had 4.5 sacks as a sophomore. Sources say Ford could go in the fifth or sixth round.
Rd. 4, Pk. 25
Jatavis Brown, OLB, Akron
Pittsburgh could use some edge-rushing depth and a player to push their young pass-rushers.
Brown has been a late-riser in the draft process. He was all over the field and a star at Akron. In 2015, Brown had 116 tackles with 20 for a loss, 12 sacks, four forced fumbles, and one interception. He totaled 99 tackles with 14.5 for a loss and four sacks during the previous year.
Brown could get drafted in the mid-rounds. He would be a nice fit as a Will (weakside) linebacker in a 4-3 defense.
Rd. 4, Pk. 28
Victor Ochi, OLB/DE/3-4OLB, Stony Brook
The Chiefs grab an understudy for Tamba Hali. It wouldn't hurt to add some pass-rushing depth with Justin Houston's injury.
Throughout the East-West Shrine, Ochi (6-2, 245) grabbed one's attention with his great get-off and pure speed around the edge. He did very well in the pass-rushing one-on-ones as his lightning first-step made him very hard for blockers to reach.
If Ochi can make a NFL roster, his role would probably be as a situational pass-rusher to start out his career. While he has functional upper body strength, Ochi is still too undersized to be a three-down edge defender.
Rd. 4, Pk. 34
Nick Kwiatkoski, OLB/ILB, West Virginia
The Ravens cut Daryl Smith while Arthur Brown hasn't panned out yet. Here's some inside linebacker depth.
In 2015, Kwiatkoski (6-1, 241) recorded 86 tackles with 10 for a loss, three sacks, seven passes batted, three interceptions and a forced fumble. It was an intriguing year from the Mountaineer standout that earned him an invitation to the Senior Bowl. He had a solid week in Mobile and showed some pass-coverage skills. As a junior, Kwiatkoski totaled 103 tackles with 11.5 for a loss and four passes broken up.
(SD gets #10, #71 and 2016 5th round | NYG get #3)
JR’s aggressive offseason keeps going. Jumping 7 spots just for a MLB? After he signed Keenan Robinson? Yes. Myles Jack is considered by many in the scouting world to be one of the top 3 players in the draft (Ramsey, Tunsil, Jack) based upon pure football talent (Wentz name gets thrown in their due to position [although he isn’t a terrible prospect] and Bosa still has name recognition but that is fading fast). Myles Jack will definitely be on the Jaguars radar (Jerry Reese nemesis this offseason apparently) and possibly the Cowboys as well despite resigning McClain. Dallas will never trade with the Giants, or I should say Dallas will never trade within the top 10 with the Giants. Jacksonville won’t pass on Jack so if Reese wants him to complete the puzzle on D, he will have to go get him. The common cost in the past has been a first and second, but JR won’t give up the second. The fifth round may be enough to sweeten the pot for SD if not then JR won’t pay the price. If a 3rd and 5th is all it cost to swap 1st’s than I think he would. He has spent money like a GM on the hot seat, will he draft like one?
If Jaylon Smith were to stay healthy I think that JR wouldn’t be so aggressive, but given that Smith knee injury is much worse than Jack’s, and Jack appears to be ready come start of training camp, JR may take the chance. San Diego is hoping for one thing this draft; Cleveland to select a QB #2 overall. By doing so they insure that SD gets either Ramsey or Tunsil depending on who the Titans select #1 overall (unless Dallas gets crazy and trades up for Jalen Ramsey; which I almost mocked). If it goes the way I have it now the Chargers are looking at taking Hargreaves or Bosa. Bosa is a step down from Ramsey/Tunsil while Hargreaves makes sense they have more pressing needs (which I feel affects the way SD operates during the draft). That being said the Chargers may be more willing to wheel and deal should the draft first two selections go as follow.
As for the signing of Robinson, JR just watched an injury prone LB destroy his core the past 2 years so he knows how important a competent, healthy MLB is (yes, Jack is injured but the talent supersedes the ACL tear). Plus Robinson isn’t solely a MLB candidate. His coverage skills make him candidate for WLB (J.T. Thomas or Casillas (I’d keep Casillas) get cut in this case. Although the 3 will have training camp to figure it out at WLB if JR drafts Myles Jack; I just don’t see Robinson being a cut option. Jack would be expected to come in and be the MLB from day 1 till the day he retires. May even get a goal line carry here and there as I see McAdoo being looser than TC in that regard. Yes he is a commander and chief type head coach (or so he has been portrayed to be), but when it comes to play calling he won’t so regiment about it. Game day will have a different feel than last year.
*I am a Giant fan so I have a bigger opinion on their pick, admittedly. If the Giants stay put at #10 and Jack, Ramsey and Hargreaves are all picked, as I expect them to be, Emmanuel Ogbah is a name to watch out for. Wouldn’t be a reach like some would call it, he fits their mold, and
NFL.com Comparison: Eli Harold
My Comparison: Aldon Smith
Unique combination of length and athleticism. Extremely rangy with great chase speed from sideline to sideline. Good change of direction for taller player. Long limbs and twitch to spring into a tackle from a mile away. If unblocked, will chase down line of scrimmage from backside and foil run plans. Elusive in open space dodging blockers and sifting through traffic in pursuit of the ball. Has the traits to be highly effective in man coverage. As an edge rusher, able to shoot out of the starting blocks and cover substantial ground with long second and third strides. Not a great bender, but has ankle flexion necessary to lean at 45-degree angle and buzz inside the rush arc. Substantial pass rush potential with a variety of options to the quarterback. Pet move is upfield burst followed by jump-cut inside tied with inside club. Able to dip and rip around the corner. Dangerous on T/E twists and blitzes underneath. Able to worm his way through the A-gap as standup blitzer.
Floyd is painfully thin and will struggle to matchup with the strength of NFL players, but he is rangy in space, plays with a good motor and has traits as a pass rusher that would be a mistake to ignore. Floyd?s ability to cover close to five yards in three strides is rare for edge rushers. Add to that his inside counter and ability to play in space and you have a prospect who will be heavily scrutinized. Floyd?s lack of functionality could limit him to sub-packages unless he proves he can add more beef to his frame.
Both Sean Payton and Drew Brees will be back in New Orleans in 2016. That's great news for Saints fans, but if Payton really wants to stay long-term, the team is going to have to address what has consistently been one of the league's worst defenses the past several years. It's no secret that the Saints have always had the identity of an offensive team as long as Payton and Brees have been together, but if you look back to the team's lone Super Bowl championship, defensive players like Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma and Tracy Porter played a pivotal run in their Super Bowl run. While the Saints defense arguably finished strong down the stretch last season, there's no questioning this defensive unit is long overdue for a makeover. While Cameron Jordan is one of the league's best defensive ends, the team lacks little talent behind him across the defensive line. At 6"3 and 270 pounds, Clemson's Shaq Lawson is the top defensive end prospect available. While Lawson certainly has all the tools to be a top-fifteen pick, the former Tiger standout will take a slide on draft day due to concerns over a past shoulder injury. During his three seasons in the Palmetto State, the All-American Lawson made a name for himself as one of the nation's top defenders, and the Saints will gladly take anyone they can get their hands on when it comes to upgrading their defense.
Before anyone freaks out, let me explain the thinking behind this pick. First of all, Jadeveon Clowney hasn't been anywhere near as good as Houston hoped when they drafted him first overall two years ago. To make matters worse, Khalil Mack just was named first team All-Pro at TWO different positions, and he was picked 4 picks after Clowney was. The idea of having Mack AND J.J. Watt on the same defensive line would be insane, and Texans fans must be sick to their stomach that they let that opportunity pass. Last season, the Texans made it to the playoffs despite having a C+ at best quarterback in Brian Hoyer at the helm and no Arian Foster. With Houston filling their QB need with Brock Osweiler and their running back need with Lamar Miller, look for Houston to take the best player available at #22. Jaylon Smith would be a top-10 pick if it wasn't for a nasty injury he sustained at the Fiesta Bowl, where he tore both his ACL and LCL. While Smith won't be able to play during the 2016 season, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly deemed him "the best player he had ever coached" for a reason. The Texans are a playoff team who can afford to let Smith get healthy this year and add him to their defense next season after a year of rehab and studying the playbook.
The goods news is there's nowhere to go for the Dolphins defense but up. After allowing over 24 points per game, the Miami front office knows some major changes are needed on the defensive side of the ball. While Mario Williams signing with the team will hopefully bolster the strength of the team's defensive line, questions still linger around the team's defense. While new head coach Adam Gase's specialty is offense, Gase knows a thing or two about defense from his days with John Fox, and expect Gase to play a big role in rebuilding this defense. At 6"1 and 225 pounds, Southern California's Su'a Cravens may be able to help the depleted Jets linebacker unit. A high school All-American, Cravens lined up as a both a safety and linebacker during his time in Southern California. The former First-team All-Pac-12 has the versatility that will make scouts drool over him, and plays similar to Arizona Cardinals hybrid linebacker/defensive back Deone Bucannon. Adding Cravens will certainly be a big shoot in the arm for a defense desperately craving one.
The Bears felt the need to leap the Giants for Leoanrd Floyd, and rightly so. The Giants were going to take Floyd, and the Buccaneers had interest in him as well, but they obviously must have liked the trade better.
This pick makes sense. Floyd is arguably the best 3-4 edge rusher in this class - yes, above Joey Bosa, who was a 4-3 player - and he fills a position of weakness for Chicago. I can't really say anything is wrong with this pick, as it would've been a "B" without the trade.
Rd. 1, Pk. 20
Darron Lee, OLB,
The Jets picked Leonard Williams last year, proving that they'll draft the best player available, even if they don't have a need at the position. This year, the Jets have selected perhaps the best player available - and one who actually fills a need. The Jets have had a hole at inside linebacker for a very long time. Darron Lee, who could've gone as high as No. 14, figures to change that. Lee is very athletic and has a ton of upside. He projects as a great fit in Todd Bowles' defense.
Rd. 2, Pk. 3
Jaylon Smith, OLB/ILB,
Wow. WOW. I can't believe this. Some teams had Jaylon Smith as a sixth- or seventh-round prospect because they believed there was a good chance that he would never be able to play in the NFL. There were some rumblings that he'd go at the end of the third round, but this is unreal. Maybe the Dallas doctors know something the rest of the league doesn't, but this pick could obviously really pan out. Smith could be a perennial Pro Bowler if he ever gets back to 100 percent. I'm giving the Cowboys a solid grade, but I can't go into the A range because of the enormous risk. I'd like this a lot better if Dallas took him in the third round.
Rd. 2, Pk. 5
Myles Jack, OLB,
I usually penalize teams for moving up in the 2016 NFL Draft, as history has shown that it's not a good idea to squander resources. However, the Jaguars shifted up just two spots to obtain someone who was in consideration at No. 5 overall. That earns an automatic A+.
This might just be the best pick of the draft. Excluding his injury, Jack was seen as perhaps the best player in this class. He would've been a top-five selection had he not hurt his knee. He fell out of the first round because teams were scared off, but given that it's become apparent that Jack doesn't need micro-fracture knee surgery, there's no excuse for the Browns and Chargers for passing on him. Credit the Jaguars, who are killing this draft. Oh, and also major dap to Charlie Campbell, who called this hours ago on Twitter!
Rd. 2, Pk. 11
Kamalei Correa, OLB/3-4OLB,
This pick, in a vacuum, is probably worth a "B." I heard some buzz about Kamalei Correa possibility sneaking into the end of the first round, but he definitely belonged in the middle of the second frame. The reason I've bumped this up to an A-, however, is because Baltimore was able to trade down twice. Smart teams understand the importance of accumulating as many picks as possible, so it's no surprise that the Ravens have begun doing so once again.
Rd. 2, Pk. 21
Deion Jones, OLB,
I was shocked to see the Falcons pass on Darron Lee and reach for Keanu Neal in the first round. This is yet another reach, though not nearly as blatant. Deion Jones seemed like a mid third-round prospect, but he definitely fits a need. It's also not completely surprising to see him chosen, as he fits Atlanta's athleticism requirement. Jones has great upside, but his floor is pretty low as well, as he doesn't seem to have the strength to play very much right now.
Rd. 2, Pk. 22
Su'a Cravens, OLB/S,
It'll be interesting to see where the Redskins use Su'a Cravens. He can fill both of their voids at safety and linebacker, and I'm sure the Redskins won't be scared to use Cravens in both roles as a hybrid safety-linebacker to cover tight ends. I had Cravens in the first round of my mock a couple of months ago (I since moved him down to No. 62), so I think the range is right to take him at this spot.