Monday Morning Draft – Wild Card

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
Congratulations to the Cleveland Browns for securing the No. 1-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Browns went to overtime, but lost to the Steelers to finish 1-15 on the season, narrowly edging out the San Francisco 49ers for the first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

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. After all, the organization and coaching staff preferred blooming bust Jared Goff to the impressive Wentz.

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.

Oakland Raiders: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
The Raiders had pass-coverage issues at times during the 2016 season, and they reared up at critical times in their wild-card round loss to the Texans. Houston was able to get some big completions and pass interference penalties via DeAndre Hopkins. Oakland would be better off if Sean Smith, David Amerson and D.J. Hayden were the second, third, and fourth corners and had a legit No. 1 corner to lead the defense.

In 2016, Jones totaled 39 tackles with six passes broken up, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot, 180-pounder completely shut down Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the Huskies’ playoff loss. Jones showed the speed to run with fast receivers and the size to battle big receivers. He has No. 1 corner potential for the NFL. Jones would be a great fit for the Raiders and would give them a top cover corner for many years to come.

Detroit Lions: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
The Lions were torched by Russell Wilson in their wild-card loss to Seattle and could use a cornerback to pair with Darius Slay in 2017. Detroit is fortunate that this a strong cornerback draft, so in the early rounds, the organization could find a solid No. 2 corner. The Lions have other needs in the defensive front seven, including more defensive line and linebacker help. Thomas Rawls illustrated that on Saturday night. Thus, the Lions might wait until the third round or so for a cornerback.

Wilson was a surprise early entry for the 2017 NFL Draft as he was not expected to skip his final two seasons of college football. He probably will be a mid-round pick, but the 6-foot-1, 186-pounder has a good skill set. The redshirt sophomore totaled 54 tackles with 10 passes broken up and five interceptions in 2016. Wilson could be a sleeper corner that ends up being a nice value pick. In the middle of the 2017 NFL Draft, he could be a good fit for Detroit.

Miami Dolphins: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
The Steelers were able to jump out to a lead in their wild-card gaem thanks to Antonio Brown ripping off some long gains on the Miami secondary. Pittsburgh established the lead and never relented in its win over the Dolphins. This offseason, the Dolphins should find a cover corner to pair with Xavien Howard. Howard has good size and can match up well against big receivers, but Miami could use a fast corner to help defend the quick receivers like Brown or the shifty types like those who New England employs.

Jackson would be a perfect fit as that kind of defensive back. He put together an electric 2016 season for USC with had 55 tackles with 11 passes broken up and five interceptions, plus returned two kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns along with making a touchdown reception on offense. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound is a fast cover corner who is very good at running the route and keeping receivers from getting separation. The speedy Jackson could be a great fit for Miami’s first-round pick.

New York Giants: D’Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
As Walt said in his game recap, predictably the Giants struggled to run the ball against the Packers. The Giants fielded a one-dimensional offense that wass completely dependent on the passing attack to move the ball throughout 2016. The lack of a running game really hurts teams in January, as good defenses are even more potent when an offense is limited in one phase of the game. This offseason, the Giants must find an upgrade at running back as Rashad Jennings is just a third-string caliber player while Paul Perkins is just a backup as well. The team needs a difference-maker in the backfield.

Foreman (6-1, 250) had a tremendous 2016 season and was one of the most productive runners in the nation. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry for 2,028 yards with 15 touchdowns on the year. Foreman isn’t much of a receiver – with seven receptions for 75 yards in 2016 -, but he is a load as a runner who can run over the opposition. Foreman will be an early round pick after declaring for the 2017 NFL Draft, and the Giants could target him in the second round. Landing Foreman could in Round 2 would be a huge acquisition for New York as it would immediately improve the rushing attack and the team could still have used its first-round pick on a different need.

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