Monday Morning Draft – Week 5

Monday Morning Draft is back! This is a column that delves into the past weekend’s action from an NFL Draft perspective. As the season goes on, the draft picture and slotting will become more clear, but every Sunday will provide a few hints for next April.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Play like Shizer for Kizer:

Cleveland Browns
Cleveland maintained its draft status with a loss to the Patriots. New England easily dropped the Browns to 0-5 on the season, and the Browns are the only winless team in the NFL. Obviously, Cleveland has a huge rebuilding process, and it all starts with finding a future franchise quarterback. Perhaps the Browns won’t blow it like they did last spring when they passed on Carson Wentz, but with a baseball general manager running the Browns, you can’t have any confidence that the franchise has the people in place to get it right.

San Diego Chargers
The Chargers found a way to lose again as Oakland dropped them to 1-4 on the season. They have outplayed a lot of opponents this year and should not have lost games to the Colts and Saints in previous weeks. San Diego has had an insane rash of injuries that have left the team depleted. Given their ability to find a way to lose, the Chargers look on their way to be picking in the top 10 for the second straight year. If San Diego manages to land the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, it would make sense to take DeShone Kizer and trade the aging Philip Rivers for draft picks to help the organization rebuild.

San Francisco 49ers
Arizona rolled over San Francisco on Thursday night. The 49ers are 1-4 and look like one of the worst teams in the league. San Francisco is in for a long year with a roster that lacks talent thanks to the poor decisions made by general manager Trent Baalke. The 49ers’ Week 1 win looks more like a fluke with each passing game.

Chicago Bears
The Bears almost beat the Colts, but Indianapolis pulled it out in the fourth quarter. Even though Chicago has played better the past couple of weeks, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for the team to turn it around as the roster is lacking talent at a number of positions. Chicago (1-4) should remain in contention for the No. 1 pick throughout the season. If the Bears land the No. 1-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, it would be time to release or trade Jay Cutler while starting the rebuilding process with DeShone Kizer.

New York Jets
The Jets fell to 1-4 as the Steelers cruised over New York. Obviously, Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the long-term starter in New York. Before long, the Jets should see what they have in Christian Hackenberg or Bryce Petty to help give them some answers on whether they should target a quarterback early in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are 1-4 after losing to the Titans at home. Ryan Tannehill has struggled for Miami this season, and perhaps the team will look to move on from Tannehill in the offseason. If the Dolphins land the top pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, perhaps they could trade Tannehill and select DeShone Kizer.

New Orleans Saints
New Orleans had a bye in Week 5. The Saints got fortunate in Week 4 as San Diego committed two fourth-quarter fumbles that set up short fields to blow a lead for the Chargers. New Orleans improved to 1-3, but the Saints easily could be 0-4 right now. The Saints have a lot of holes on their roster, and this could still be a long season for New Orleans.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville had a bye in Week 5. Last week, the Jaguars got a much-needed win over the Colts in London. It was a huge win for the Jacksonville front office and coaching staff. Even though they are 1-3, the Jaguars could be 3-1. In Week 1, they played really tough football against Green Bay and were close to knocking off the Packers, plus saw the officials blow some crucial calls that went against the Jaguars. In Week 3, Jacksonville would have beaten the Ravens if it weren’t for missed kicks from Jason Myers. The Jaguars are still a very young team, and I think they will win enough games this season to avoid being in contention for the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Let’s Play Matchmaker:

This section will look at some of the top talent in college football and match those prospects up with teams that have a dire need at the position.

New England Patriots: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
The Patriots destroyed the Browns with Tom Brady throwing for over 400 yards and Martellus Bennett catching three touchdown passes. While New England dominated the worst team in the NFL, LeGarrette Blount (18-37) barely averaged two yards per carry. New England could use a speedy shifty back to pair with the power runner Blount. McCaffrey would be a perfect fit in New England’s offense as a runner and receiver.

In 2016, McCaffrey has averaged 5.3 yards per carry for 520 yards and three touchdowns. He has 18 receptions for 154 yards and one touchdown as well. What really sets McCaffrey apart as a runner is his acceleration and explosiveness. He is a home-run hitter and a threat to rip off a huge gain every time he touches the ball. With his speed and athleticism, McCaffrey is also a dangerous slot receiver. The Patriots could target McCaffrey with their first-round pick.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
The Steelers have been working to rebuild their secondary over the past couple of years and still could use perhaps one more cornerback to finish off their outside coverage. Brandon Marshall (8-114-1) gave Pittsburgh problems and the Jets were without Eric Decker. The Steelers could target a corner to pair with Artie Burns in the long run.

In 2016, King has 25 tackles with five passes broken up and one forced fumble, plus some good kick and punt returns. He was tremendous as a junior with with eight interceptions and 13 passes broken up alongside 72 tackles. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder looks like he has enough size to play on the outside, but also could play in the slot. King could be a nice value for Pittsburgh late in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Washington Redskins: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
Washington’s running game was underwhelming once again as Baltimore put the clamps on Matt Jones. The big, physical Jones is decent rotational back, but is not a play-maker for the NFL. Washington needs more talented running backs for Jay Gruden’s offense and really could use one with some receiving skills. The best Gruden’s offense looked in Cincinnati was when he had a power back in Jeremy Hill and a slashing receiving back in Gio Bernard. The Redskins should look to form that kind of duo this offseason.

Kamara had one of the best games of the year of any running back in college football last week. He had 18 carries for 127 yards and two touchdowns with eight receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown against a quality Texas A&M defense. Kamara could end up being a steal on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft as he has gone largely unnoticed with Jalen Hurd being the Volunteers’ starter. Kamara has averaged 5.2 yards per carry this year for 292 yards with two scores. He has 20 receptions for 253 yards with three scores as well. The Redskins could have a nice one-two punch with Jones and Kamara.

Detroit Lions: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
The Lions were able to pull out a tight home win over Philadelphia, but they almost blew a lead. Carson Wentz was able to spread the ball around, and Detroit’s safeties had some missed plays against Philadelphia. The Lions have a very good corner in Darius Slay, but they could use some upgrades elsewhere in the secondary. A player like Hooker would certainly be a great addition to Detroit’s pass coverage and would also improve the team’s ground defense.

Hooker seems to be breaking out this season, totaling 23 tackles with 1.5 for a loss, .5 sacks, two passes broken up and four interceptions so far. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder has excellent size to go along with speed and instincts. Sources think that Hooker is a rare safety prospect who has the ability to defend passes with instincts and length. Hooker also can come downhill and fill in the tackle box. Some team sources believe that Hooker could end up being one of the top prospects of the 2017 NFL Draft.

Indianapolis Colts: Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida
The Colts pulled out a victory over the Bears, but Brian Hoyer torched Indianapolis’ secondary. This season, the Colts’ defense has had a lot of problems defending against passing attacks, and their secondary is abused on a weekly basis. The 2017 NFL Draft looks very strong at cornerback and safety, so the Colts should be able to find some upgrades this coming April.

Tabor might slide in the 2017 NFL Draft because of some off-the-field concerns, but that could make him an excellent value. In 2016, Tabor has eight tackles with three interceptions and one pass broken up. He has played very well for Florida and is a cover corner who has size, speed, athleticism, and ball skills. Tabor is very good at running the route and preventing separation from wide receivers in the short to intermediate part of the field. Tabor also has quick feet, length and is put together well. He would be an immediate upgrade for the Colts.

Tennessee Titans: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
The Titans got their second win of the season with an impressive road performance in Miami. Marcus Mariota played well despite his receivers continuing to underwhelm. It has become obvious on a weekly basis this season that Tennessee lacks a No. 1 wide receiver for Mariota. The team moved on from Dorial Green-Beckham and Justin Hunter, while Kendall Wright has been injured. This offseason, the Titans have to get some receiving help for their young franchise quarterback.

So far this season, Sutton has caught 30 passes for 590 yards – 19.7 yard average – with four touchdowns. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder has imposing size and is a real weapon in the red zone. Sutton has the speed to get downfield and then uses his size to make receptions over defensive backs. He is a dangerous weapon who would be a good fit for the Titans in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft if one of their picks is in the middle to the end of Round 1.

Minnesota Vikings: Julie’n Davenport, OT, Bucknell
The Vikings cruised over Houston, but Whitney Mercilus laid some bone-rattling hits on Sam Bradford, while Jadeveon Clowney made a number of tackles for a loss. Minnesota’s offensive line has been one of the only consistent weaknesses throughout the season for the undefeated Vikings. The 2017 class looks weak at tackle in the first round, but that’s okay for Minnesota because the Vikings traded their first-round pick for Bradford.

In August, was the first draft site to report that Davenport was a coveted sleeper prospect. He has the skill set to be a starting left tackle according to sources, and they think he could have been a top-20 pick if he was at a top college program. Davenport will need some development in the NFL in terms of modifying his body for the pro game, but that shouldn’t be a problem in a NFL strength and conditioning program. Minnesota’s coaching staff is among the best in the league at bringing along young talent, and Davenport could be a nice addition to bolster the Vikings’ offensive line.

Team Draft Report:

In this section, we take a deeper look at specific teams and where they stand in regards to the 2017 NFL Draft.

Baltimore Ravens:
The Ravens are an interesting franchise. They have a championship-caliber quarterback in Joe Flacco, yet they are in the middle of a rebuilding process as their Super Bowl roster got old and key players needed to be replaced. The Ravens are still a work in progress to challenge the elite of the AFC, but they aren’t a huge distance away. Another strong draft could go a long way to getting Baltimore ready to compete in January.

Offensively, the Ravens need to build up their weapons around Flacco. Justin Forsett was released, and Baltimore could use a feature back to reestablish the ground game that supported Flacco during his Super Bowl season. The Ravens won’t be picking high enough in the 2017 NFL Draft to land LSU’s Leonard Fournette. That could also be the case for Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, but the Ravens could have a shot at a player like Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey or Georgia’s Nick Chubb. Another runner from the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft who could fit for Baltimore is Clemson’s Wayne Gallman. Chubb or Gallman could get the Ravens back to something like what they had with Ray Rice during their Super Bowl run. McCaffrey would be a good fit for Marc Trestman as well.

This season will be the last for the great Steve Smith, and Mike Wallace was only signed to a short-term contract. Baltimore is going to need more receiving talent to go with Breshad Perriman, assuming Perriman even pans out. The Ravens could consider wideouts like Clemson’s Mike Williams or SMU’s Courtland Sutton in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. On the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft, there could be good targets to consider like Virginia Tech’s Isaiah Ford, Western Michigan’s Corey Davis, LSU’s Malachi Dupre or LSU’s Travin Dural. Ford would give the Ravens a vertical speed receiver to stretch defenses, and that is the kind of wide out they like.

Defensively, Baltimore is in need of cornerback talent to go with Jimmy Smith. The organization could have drafted a corner early in 2016, but addressed other areas. This is a strong cornerback draft, and the Ravens could come away with an excellent value. In the potential first-round targets for them include Florida’s Jalen Tabor, Clemson’s Cordrea Tankersley, LSU’s Tre’Davious White and Iowa’s Desmond King. Baltimore doesn’t look like it will be picking high enough for Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey or USC’s Adoree’ Jackson. Other minor needs the Ravens could consider is the interior of the offensive line and perhaps a situational pass-rusher for depth behind their veterans.

The Ravens have a huge advantage in one of the best general managers in the NFL with Ozzie Newsome. If Newsome works his magic again on Baltimore’s roster, the Ravens could be back in January contention before long.

Arizona Cardinals:
Entering the 2016 season, the Cardinals were one of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. Arizona had a talented veteran roster with one of the better coaching staffs in the NFL. Surprisingly, Arizona got off to a 1-3 start but improved to 2-3 after dropping the 49ers on Thursday night. It wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Cardinals force their way back into Super Bowl contention this season. However, if they fall short, there could be some easily identifiable reasons as to why the Cardinals came up short.

By the end of the season, the biggest issue that could have held the Cardinals back is quarterback Carson Palmer. A concussion caused him to miss the last game, but he has only six touchdowns to five interceptions through four starts this season. Palmer will turn 37 later this season and has always had durability issues. Age and declining arm strength seem to be catching up with him, so Arizona has to start thinking about another quarterback. Miami’s Brad Kaaya could be a great fit in the organization’s offense. There is the chance that he grades out as a late first-round pick. Another option to consider would be Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly. Both of them have strong, vertical arms that would fit well in the Cardinals’ offense. They also could consider looking to make a trade for a veteran. Jay Cutler or Ryan Tannehill could be veterans on the move this offseason. Drew Brees or Philip Rivers would be great, but there haven’t been trade rumblings about either veteran. Arizona should be aggressive at finding another quarterback this offseason.

Aside from the quarterback position, Arizona could consider an upgrade to the offensive line. The center position has been weak, and the Cardinals could find an upgrade on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft. Candidates to consider would be LSU’s Ethan Pocic or Ohio State’s Pat Elflein.

The Cardinals also might be in the market for a wide receiver. Obviously, Larry Fitzgerald is late in his career, while Michael Floyd is entering free agency. On the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft, there could be some quality values there. Either of the LSU duo of Travin Dural or Malachi Dupre would be good scheme fits for Arizona.

The defensive line could be a need even though Arizona took Robert Nkemdiche in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Nkemdiche has yet to make an impact, and Arizona would be foolish to completely count on him given his mixed track record on and off the field. Pro Bowl defensive end Calais Campbell is a free agent after this season, and the Cardinals could decide to move on from the veteran. If they address the void on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft, some good prospects to consider would be Michigan’s Chris Wormley and Villanova’s Tanoh Kpassagnon.

Another need to consider would be inside linebacker as Kevin Minter is entering free agency, and Arizona might want to pursue an upgrade. In the early rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft there are a lot of potential replacements in the first or second round. Prospects like Florida’s Jarrad Davis, Alabama’s Reuben Foster, Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan, Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham and Northwestern’s Anthony Walker are all players to consider.

If the Cardinals are able to land a quality quarterback to replace Palmer, that would be huge for extending their Super Bowl window. Arizona has the roster strength where the team can afford to be aggressive with dealing draft picks to get a good quarterback. This could end up being a critical offseason for general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians. Finding the right replacement for Palmer will make all the difference in Arizona taking advantage of a championship roster.

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12