Monday Morning Draft – Week 18

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.

Race for the No. 1 Pick:

Jacksonville Jaguars:
With the Lions beating the Packers, the Jaguars clinched the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft even though they upset the Colts in Week 18. With Jacksonville picking No. 1 overall for the second straight year, it would make sense to trade down and add a bounty of picks to help build around Trevor Lawrence. It will be interesting to see if Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett generates that kind of trade market, but as the regular season ends, it definitely looks possible.

The Jacksonville roster has been terribly mismanaged by the likes of Dave Caldwell and Urban Meyer over the past few years. The organization needs a lot of talent upgrades all over the roster, so trading down makes sense. The Jaguars are aided by this being a poor quarterback draft, so a team could give up a bounty of picks to move up for Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett.

If the Jaguars are unable to trade down, they could consider an edge rusher to go with Josh Allen. K’Lavon Chaisson is nearing bust territory and has been a major disappointment. The top candidates to go No. 1 would be Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. Between those two, it could depend on who is viewed as the best scheme fit for the next Jaguars coaching staff.

Top General Manager Candidates:

  • Detroit Lions director of scouting development Mike Martin
  • Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown
  • Buffalo Bills assistant director of player personnel Terrance Gray
  • Atlanta Falcons vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith
  • Buffalo Bills assistant college scouting director Lake Dawson
  • Tennessee Titans director of pro scouting Brian Gardner
  • San Francisco 49ers director of pro personnel Ran Carthon
  • Pittsburgh Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt
  • Miami Dolphins assistant general manager Marvin Allen
  • Washington director of pro scouting Eric Stokes
  • Seattle Seahawks executive Alonzo Highsmith
  • Buffalo Bills assistant general manager Joe Schoen

  • Top Head Coach Candidates:

  • Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson
  • Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
  • Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman
  • Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale
  • Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles
  • Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy
  • Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator George Godsey
  • Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph
  • Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Gus Bradley
  • Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia
  • USC head coach Lincoln Riley

  • 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.

    Cleveland Browns: Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
    The Browns won against the Cincinnati backups because the Bengals essentially used Week 18 as a bye before the first round of the playoffs. Cleveland enjoyed a big game running the ball, but once again, the limitations of the team’s passing offense could be seen.

    Wilson continued to show his game-breaking speed and electrifying playmaking ability throughout 2021. He runs smooth routes, showing suddenness in-and-out of his breaks to consistently generate separation. Along with being fast playmaker, Wilson has good body control to adjust to the ball and is phenomenal after the catch. A lot of scouts feel Wilson is smoother and more explosive than teammate Chris Olave for the next level.

    Wilson totaled 70 receptions for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2021. The 6-foot, 193-pounder was a big-play weapon for Ohio State in 2020. The sophomore had 43 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns. After only four games, Wilson surpassed his freshman year production (30-432-5), and he seemed to become Justin Fields’ most trusted receiver during the 2020 season. Wilson would be a solid value if he makes it to Cleveland’s first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Ed Ingram, G, LSU
    The Steelers need to revamp their offensive line, and Ingram could be an immediate upgrade. Pittsburgh has struggled to run block all year, and Ingram would be an asset for opening holes for Najee Harris. Taking Ingram on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft would allow the Steelers to use their first-round pick on a quarterback.

    Ingram impressed team evaluators in 2020, and he blocked well in 2021 and showed improvement with his technique in pass protection. Ingram is a tough run blocker who also displays some athleticism in pass protection. The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder has good size and strength to be a starting guard in the NFL. Some team sources said, aside from some character concerns, Ingram could have the playing ability to be a good value as a second-day talent for the 2022 NFL Draft. Ingram could be a plug-and-play upgrade for Pittsburgh.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
    The Chiefs got a win over Denver on Saturday, but it easily could have been a loss if it weren’t for a Melvin Gordon fumble that Nick Bolton returned for a touchdown. With Travis Kelce smothered by the Denver defense and Tyreek Hill out with an injury, the Kansas City passing attack wasn’t the same. This offseason, it would make sense for the Chiefs to add a weapon to replace Sammy Watkins.

    Dotson provided some huge plays to lead Penn State to the road upset over Wisconsin to open 2021, but it would have been a prolific game if Dotson had a competent quarterback to work with. He was wide open for would-be touchdowns of over 80 yards, 70 yards and 60 yards, but terrible passes by Sean Clifford blew those opportunities. Dotson’s stat line of five receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown does not tell the story of how phenomenal he was. He made string of acrobatic leaping grabs to help beat Auburn as well. In 2021, Dotson recorded 91 receptions for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    Team sources say they compare Dotson to Elijah Moore as a late first-round or second-round talent. “I see Jahan similar to Elijah Moore,” said an AFC director of college scouting. “He’s not quite as short-area explosive or as long-speed fast as Jaylen Waddle, but Jahan is a good player.” Dotson would be a great addition to the Kansas City offense in Round 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.

    Dallas Cowboys: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
    The Cowboys cruised over the Eagles, who played their backups while Dallas played its starters. The Cowboys defensive ends produced a few sacks, but clearly the team could use more interior pass-rush ability, and that has been evident all year. Late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Winfrey would be an excellent addition for Dallas.

    Winfrey recorded 23 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2021 yet still has a ton of upside to break out. Winfrey (6-3, 298) has quality size to go along with speed and athleticism to rush on the inside. Late in the first round, Winfrey could be a good value pick for the Cowboys.

    Tennessee Titans: Kenyon Green, G, Texas A&M
    The Titans squeaked out a win over the Texans to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Once again, Tennessee struggled to protect Ryan Tannehill, as Houston’s interior rushers were able to notch multiple sacks. Late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Tennessee could add a guard to upgrade its blocking for Tannehill.

    Green will enter the NFL having started three straight seasons for the Aggies. Injuries forced him to play some left tackle in 2021, and while he wasn’t terrible there, he was clearly better at guard. In 2020 and 2019, Texas A&M had a lot of success running behind Green, and he was steady in pass protection for Kellen Mond. Green (6-4, 325) has a good skill set and will enter the next level with a lot of experience to potentially become a quick starter as a pro. He could be a plug-and-play upgrade for the Titans.

    Minnesota Vikings: Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
    The Vikings rolled the Bears, with the Minnesota defense racking up a bunch of sacks and forcing two Andy Dalton interceptions. Darnell Mooney, however, ripped up the Minnesota secondary with 12 receptions for 126 yards. Coverage was an issue for the Vikings throughout 2021, and they were paying the price for recent first-round busts like Mike Hughes and Jeff Gladney. If Minnesota lands Gardner in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, they could have a potential No. 1 corner.

    Gardner (6-3, 200) is a tall cornerback who has good length to battle outside receivers in the NFL. To go along with his size, sources say Gardner is fast and has ball skills, but he is a little raw. Over the past three seasons, Gardner was a productive and steady cover corner. In 2019, he collected 31 tackles, three interceptions and 11 passes defended. In 2020, he had 28 stops, three interceptions and nine passes broken up. In 2021, Gardner collected 40 stops, three interceptions and four passes batted. Gardner could be a plug-and-play upgrade for Minnesota.

    Washington Redskins: Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
    The Redskins closed out a disappointing season by cruising to a win over the inept Giants. Washington saw Antonio Gibson (21-146-1) run wild, leading an offense that had only 120 yards passing. With Jake Fromm at quarterback for New York, the Washington defense dominated him to get an easy win. There may not be a quarterback worth taking for the Redskins in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, so they could look to add a receiving weapon to help their passing offense next year.

    The Ohio State transfer has been an electric playmaker for the Crimson Tide this season, averaging 20.1 yards per catch for 1,507 yards and 15 touchdowns on 68 catches. The 6-foot-2, 189-pound Williams has quality height and explosive speed alongside suddenness and a burst that catches defensive backs by surprise. Williams has put himself in contention to be a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and he would add some elite speed to the Washington offense.

    Team Draft Report:

    In this section, we take a deeper look at specific teams and where they stand in regards to the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Detroit Lions:
    It was clear when Matthew Stafford requested a trade that the Lions were in store for a long 2021 season as their roster was depleted of talent due to terrible drafting by former general manager Bob Quinn. Detroit has a lot of needs, but fortunately the organization has an excellent talent evaluator in new general manager Brad Holmes, and he has assembled an all-star staff of scouts in Detroit, led by Mike Martin and John Dorsey. Over the next two drafts, the Lions have four first-round picks, and they should also have lots of free agency money available. Holmes will need to add some difference makers to both sides of the ball to get the Lions back in playoff contention.

    All rebuilding projects start and are centered around the quarterback. Jared Goff played better late in the 2021 season, but he also proved over the year that he can’t be Detroit’s long-term starter, and the team is going to have to upgrade the position to become a legitimate championship contender. In my latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, I have the Lions taking Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, who would be a great fit for them. Pickett has good size, is a very accurate passer, and has mobility, toughness, and good character. He also has a lot of experience as a long-time starter for Pittsburgh and has persevered through some tough times during his career. He could be an ideal quarterback to lead the rebuilding Lions.

    Aside from finding a long-term franchise quarterback, wide receiver is the biggest need position on Detroit. The organization wisely did not overpay Kenny Golladay, and the team should get an extra third-round pick in compensation for Golladay signing with the Giants. Marvin Jones also left in free agency after the 2020 season. It looks like Holmes landed a steal in fourth-round rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown, but Detroit needs more receiving weapons to go with St. Brown.

    In my latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, I have the Lions taking USC wide receiver Drake London with their second first-round pick, the one from the Rams. London is dynamic receiver with mismatch size and phenomenal run-after-the-catch ability. Other first-round receivers for the Lions to consider late in the first round include Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson, Alabama’s Jameson Williams and Arkansas’ Treylon Burks. Burks would be a big receiver similar to an A.J. Brown, while Williams would be a speed receiver similar to Will Fuller. Some scouts feel Robinson is similar to Brandin Cooks or Tyreek Hill. Adding a wide receiver at the end of the first round or early in the second round should be a top priority for Detroit.

    The other position the Lions should target in the first round is a pass rusher to go across from Romeo Okwara. Charles Harris and Julian Okwara, meanwhile, could be good rotational backups for them. The 2022 NFL Draft looks phenomenal for edge-rushing talent. High in the first round, Detroit could consider Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson or Michigan defensive end David Ojabo. If the Lions don’t take Pickett at No. 2 overall, their decision could easily come down to Thibodeaux or Hutchinson.

    Aside from those top primary needs, Detroit could use help at cornerback, linebacker and safety. With the franchise’s three picks on Day 2, it might make sense to add talent at those positions if the team doesn’t address them in free agency.

    Because Quinn and Matt Patricia turned Detroit’s roster into a dumpster fire, the franchise needs a few good draft classes and free agency signing periods to revamp the roster. While the Lions are a way from being playoff contenders, at least they finally have a good general manager with a proven track record of being an adept scout capable of finding talent and building a good roster. Holmes’ first draft class – 2021 – looks superb. Penei Sewell was excellent as a rookie and has All-Pro potential. Third-round pick McTelvin Agim was a good starter as a rookie, while linebacker Derrick Barnes flashed potential. Fourth-round wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was one of the best wide receivers in the NFL over the final month of the 2021 season, and he could end up being a special player. Holmes and Matt Campbell’s rebuilding project is off to a good start. A couple more good drafts and signing periods could have the Lions in position to be one of the top young teams in the NFL.

    Jacksonville Jaguars:
    Years of terrible roster management and evaluations by former general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marone have dug a huge hole for the Jacksonville franchise. Urban Meyer was then a disaster as a NFL head coach, and current general manager Trent Baalke was an epic failure as the 49ers’ general manager. Interviewing Bill O’Brien for the head coaching job is a bad sign that the people in power do not know what they are doing in Jacksonville. Hence, it remains to be seen whether the Jaguars have the right decision makers in place to lead the team to relevance. Jacksonville was fortunate to land franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft, but it remains to be seen if the franchise can build it up well around Lawrence.

    Regardless of who is running the team, they will probably want to trade down and hope that another team wants Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett badly enough to trade into the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft to get him. If the Jaguars are forced to stick in pick, this is a unfortunate draft to have the top pick because there is no player who is a true No. 1-overall pick. This draft lacks elite talent. There is no Kyle Pitts, Ja’Marr Chase, or Penei Sewell like last year. There is no Myles Garrett-, Joey Bosa-, Nick Bosa- or Quinnen Williams-caliber defensive lineman. Thus, if the Jaguars really want to move down, they may have to do so at a discount.

    The smart move by Jaguars owners Shad and Tony Khan would be to fire Trent Baalke and hire a new general manager. The Colts’ director of college scouting Morocco Brown is a dream candidate. He has led the Colts to being one of the best drafting teams in the NFL. Additionally, the Khans would be taking him from a division rival and landing an executive that knows the division well. While that would be a great hire, this analyst has no confidence that the Khans will make that move, and it looks like they are making the mistake of sticking with Baalke.

    There are a lot of holes on the Jacksonville roster heading into 2022. In my latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, I have the Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux. K’Lavon Chaisson is heading toward bust status, and the Jaguars could use an edge rusher across from Josh Allen. Thibodeaux could have more upside than Michigan’s Aidan Hutchison, but either one would be an upgrade for Jacksonville.

    The interior of the Jacksonville defensive line is a big need as well. Taven Bryan has been a bust, and the Jaguars need an interior disruptor to go next to Josh Allen. In the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, they could consider Georgia’s Jordan Davis as a heavy nose tackle to stuff the run and collapse the pocket. If they were to move down or early in the second round, they could look at players like Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey or Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal if they slide that low.

    Wide receiver is a huge need as well. D.J. Chark is an impending free agent, and Marvin Jones is not a long-term wide receiver. In the second round, Jacksonville could consider giving Lawrence a weapon as there should be some quality receivers available at pick No. 33. Some options for the Jaguars to consider would include Ohio State’s Chris Olave, Cincinnati’s Alec Pierce, Pittsburgh’s Jahan Dotson, Boston College’s Zay Flowers and Georgia’s George Pickens.

    Other positions that could come into play for Jacksonville are linebacker and offensive tackle. Veteran left tackle Cam Robinson is entering free agency, and the Jaguars could consider Alabama’s Evan Neal with the first pick. The massive Neal could have issues with undersized NFL speed rushers, so he may not be a worthy No. 1 pick because that limitation could make him a better fit at right tackle or guard.

    The Jaguars have a lot of needs entering the offseason, but fortunately they should have plenty of money to spend in free agency and the No. 1-overall pick to get a good talent to fill a need. Jacksonville lucked into Lawrence, and he looks like he will grow into being a good starter capable of leading the franchise to a championship. It now falls on Jaguars owners Shad and Tony Khan to make wise decisions on the general manager and head coach to build up a roster that can help Lawrence lead the franchise back to relevance.

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