Monday Morning Draft – Week 3

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:

Las Vegas Raiders:
The Raiders fell to 0-3 thanks to a road loss to the Titans and are the only team in the NFL with three losses to open the season. Owner Mark Davis made a terrible decision to fire last year’s coaches, including Rich Bisaccia, Gus Bradley and Greg Olson. If Las Vegas lands a high first-rounder in the 2023 NFL Draft, the organization should add an elite defensive or offensive lineman. Another option for the franchise would be to trade down and stock up on picks to enrich the broader talent of the roster.

Houston Texans:
The Texans fell to 0-2-1 by losing to the Bears. Unless Davis Mills turns things around, Houston will need a true franchise quarterback to replace Deshaun Watson.

Top General Manager Candidates:

  • Detroit Lions director of scouting development Mike Martin
  • Atlanta Falcons vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith
  • Indianapolis Colts chief personnel executive Morocco Brown
  • Buffalo Bills director of player personnel Terrance Gray
  • Tennessee Titans director of pro scouting Brian Gardner
  • San Francisco 49ers director of pro personnel Ran Carthon
  • Philadelphia Eagles director of scouting Brandon Hunt
  • Miami Dolphins assistant general manager Marvin Allen
  • Washington Commanders director of pro scouting Eric Stokes
  • Miami Hurricanes general manager Alonzo Highsmith

  • Top Head Coach Candidates:

  • Las Vegas Rams offensive assistant Greg Olson
  • Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
  • Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn
  • Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich
  • Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy
  • Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph
  • Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley
  • Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator 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.

    Tennessee Titans: Jaelyn Duncan, OT, Maryland
    The Titans came through with a big home win over the Raiders thanks to getting Derrick Henry going and some Raiders mistakes. Tennessee has needed more offensive line talent, and Taylor Lewan will be thoroughly missed this season. The Titans could take an offensive tackle like Duncan in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft and start him out at right tackle or guard, and if Lewan is slow to come back or gets injured again, they will have a natural left tackle to turn to.

    Duncan (6-5, 315) has been solid for Maryland in 2022, and he received a quality grade from NFL advance scouts. Duncan is a team leader and captain who possesses good size and athleticism. If Duncan does well against top opponents in 2022, he could be a riser for the 2023 NFL Draft. Duncan broke into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2019 and has been a mainstay at left tackle for the Terrapins. Duncan has a good skill set and upside.

    Carolina Panthers: C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
    The Panthers got a win over the Saints, but their defense did the heavy lifting. Marquis Haynes scored a touchdown off a fumble recovery, and the Carolina defense intercepted Jameis Winston twice. Baker Mayfield struggled once again, completing less than half of his passes. The Panthers need to find a franchise quarterback after this season.

    In 2022, Stroud has completed 71 percent of his passes for 1,222 yards, 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder is a highly talented dual-threat quarterback who could end up as a first-round prospect – and perhaps at the top of Round 1. He won Ohio State’s starting quarterback position following Justin Fields’ departure to the NFL. In 2021, Stroud completed 72 percent of his passes for 4,435 yards, 44 touchdowns and six interceptions. He was a dominant passer, showing good accuracy and the ability to push the ball vertically. Stroud would make a lot of sense for the Panthers’ first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Green Bay Packers: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
    A rekindling of an old NFC Central rivalry saw the Packers win the battle of the Bays. Green Bay’s defense did the dirty work, leading their team to the road win in Tampa Bay. While the Packers receivers looked better than they did in earlier weeks, the organizaation still could use more playing talent at receiver.

    Johnston flashed in 2021, catching 33 passes for 612 yards and six touchdowns. Sources from around the league are high on his skill set. “He’s 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and can win on all three levels. He puts up 20 yards per catch, runs great routes, is super smart, an alpha, and the hardest worker on the team,” an area scout told

    While Johnston still has more to prove with pro evaluators, they are high on him across the board and he could end up being the top receiver prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Johnston could make sense for Green Bay’s first-round pick during the 2023 NFL Draft, provideds he gets there.

    Indianapolis Colts: Jordan Addison, WR, USC
    The Colts were in desperate need of a win to avoid the dreaded 0-3 start, and they came through with a huge win over the Chiefs. Matt Ryan was efficient enough and hit two clutch touchdown passes for Indianapolis. While they received solid games out of Michael Pittman Jr. and Alec Pierce, the Colts could use a speed receiver capable of taking the top off of defenses and making teams pay for stacking the box to defend Jonathan Taylor.

    Addison has 21 catches for 337 yards and six touchdowns in 2022. While playing for Pittsburgh in 2021, Addison benefited from quarterback Kenny Pickett having a phenomenal year to produce a massive sophomore season himself. Addison caught 100 passes in 2021 for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns. The 6-foot, 175-pounder displayed the speed to get vertical and threaten defenses downfield. Addison would be a great addition to the Indianapolis offense and bring a T.Y. Hilton-like element back to the franchise.

    Cincinnati Bengals: O’Cyrus Torrence, G, Florida
    The Bengals got back on track with a win over the challenged Jets. While Cincinnati enjoyed big games from Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, the offensive line continued to have problems, where the interior defensive linemen of the Jets notched a few sacks and stuffed the ground game. The Bengals have to find better offensive line help before they get Joe Burrow injured again.

    Torrence has blocked well for the Gators in 2022, especially in the ground game. The 6-foot-5, 335-pounder is a beast who generates movement as run blocker with surprising athleticism and quickness in pass protection. Torrence was a 3-year starter at La.-Lafayette, but after the 2021 season, he transferred to Florida to continue his playing career under the same head coach, Billy Napier.

    Baltimore Ravens: Jaylon Jones, CB, Texas A&M
    Baltimore has been in shootouts thanks to Lamar Jackson’s ability to rip up defenses across the NFL. However, their defense has not been in the typical Ravens tradition, with the pass defense continuing to struggle. In the offseason, the Ravens should acquire more cornerback talent across from Marlon Humphrey. They need more young talent because Marcus Peters may not be around much longer and they need better cover corners.

    Jones really flashed for the Aggies over the past few seasons, including the 2021 season when he recorded 35 tackles, two interceptions and six passes defended. In his first game of 2022 against Miami, Jones was superb with nine tackles and a pass broken up. He then played well against Arkansas.

    Team sources think Jones has a lot of potential as a cover corner for the NFL. He has really impressive movement skills, including speed and athleticism. Along with a good skill set, Jones displays solid instincts and is a willing tackler. However, Jones has some raw elements to his game, such as grabbing and holding at times and giving up balls he shouldn’t occasionally. In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Jones could be a nice fit for Baltimore.

    Cleveland Browns: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
    The Browns came through with a win on Thursday night after getting a good game out of Nick Chubb. Additionally, Amari Cooper played well for the second straight week, leading Cleveland’s receivers. In the years to come, the Browns could use more receiving weapons for Deshaun Watson. Adding a speed receiver would make sense because Watson is accurate with the deep ball, and such a combination could take advantage of teams trying to stack the box to stop Chubb.

    In 2022, Flowers has 29 receptions for 330 yards and three touchdowns. He totaled 44 catches for 746 yards and five touchdowns in 2021 while playing most of the year without his starting quarterback. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder was impressive in 2020, breaking out for the Eagles. He flashed some in 2019, but was significantly improved as a sophomore.

    Flowers does not have much size, but he possesses game-breaking speed and is a threat to produce a big play on any reception. In the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Flowers could be a nice pick for the Browns.

    Team Draft Report:

    In this section, we take a deeper look at specific teams and where they stand in regards to the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Minnesota Vikings:
    With a 2-1 start to the season, Minnesota is in good position to return to the postseason given the wide-open NFC. Having Dalvin Cook healthy will be critical, but the Vikings have some talent on their roster to keep them in the playoff race this year. While Minnesota has a playoff-contender talent base, but the franchise’s new regime has a lot of needs to address to get the team among the elite in the NFC and challenging for the Super Bowl.

    The Vikings have a competent NFL starting quarterback in Kirk Cousins, but he is not a championship- or elite-caliber signal-caller. Hence, Minnesota needs a dominating roster to have a shot at winning a championship with Cousins. The Vikings have one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL in Justin Jefferson and one of the top tailbacks in Dalvin Cook. However, Minnesota could use another receiver to go with them. Teams will roll coverage over Jefferson and have another safety free to come down in the box to defend Cook. With Adam Thielen aging, the Vikings could use another wide receiver to go with Jefferson. K.J. Osborn made some clutch catches to get the win over the Lions, but Osborn is not a difference maker as a No. 2, and that’s why the Vikings have him behind Thielen.

    In my latest mock 2023 NFL Draft, I have Minnesota taking Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba. The speedy and explosive Smith-Njigba could threaten defenses deep and be a big-play weapon across from Jefferson. Another first-round receiver to consider would be TCU’s Quentin Johnston. He is big, quick and competitive, like Jefferson. Other early-round receivers for Minnesota to consider include USC’s Jordan Addison, Tennessee’s Cedric Tillman and Maryland’s Dontay Demus.

    Defensively, the Vikings could use some youth on the interior of their defensive line and at linebacker. Some defensive tackles for them to consider would include Clemson’s Bryan Bresee and Florida’s Gervon Dexter Sr. Either would help in run defense, and their division features talented backs like D’Andre Swift, Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon and David Montgomery. At linebacker, there may not be a prospect worthy of Minnesota’s first-round pick, but on Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, the team could consider linebackers like Iowa’s Jack Campbell and Oregon’s Noah Sewell.

    The Vikings have some talent on their roster, but they are going to need to build an elite defense with an offense full of playmakers if they hope to win a Super Bowl with Kirk Cousins at the helm.

    Pittsburgh Steelers:
    As soon as the next game, the Steelers could start the Kenny Pickett era in Pittsburgh, and there is a roster in place for Pickett to hit the ground running. The Steelers have some elite defenders, a good group of receivers, and an excellent young running back. To help Pickettt have success in years to come, Pittsburgh needs to add more blocking protection in front of him.

    In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski would be a great fit as a potential tackle or guard for Pittsburgh. They also could consider a center like Notre Dame’s Jarrett Patterson. Some other offensive tackle options who they could target in the early rounds include Maryland’s Jaelyn Duncan, Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison, and Miami’s Zion Nelson. Improving the offensive line must be one of Pittsburgh’s highest priorities for the 2023 offseason.

    Defensively, the Steelers could use help in the front seven. Nick Chubb illustrated on Thursday night that the defensive front is vulnerable. T.J. Watt is one of the best players in the NFL, but they could consider another edge rusher to go across from Watt. Alex Highsmith is a solid player, but he will be in the last year of his contract in 2023. In my latest mock 2023 NFL Draft, I have the Steelers taking Notre Dame edge rusher Isaiah Foskey. He would immediately provide Pittsburgh with a potent three-man rotation.

    The Steelers also could use youth on the interior of their defensive line, where both Cam Heyward and Tyson Alualu are aging. In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, they could consider defensive tackles like Clemson’s Bryan Bresee and Florida’s Gervon Dexter Sr. Bresee could offer more interior pass rush, while Dexter is a beast as a run defender.

    Cornerback is another position that needs to be a top consideration because Akhello Witherspoon might only be a stopgap starter. A familiar name in Joey Porter Jr. would be a great pick as Pittsburgh’s long-term No. 1 corner. The big, physical Porter would extend the family tradition of being a high-impact presence for the Steelers’ defense, provided they are able to land the Penn State product. Other corners they could consider in the early rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft include Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes, Alabama’s Eli Ricks, Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon and Utah’s Clark Phillips.

    Pittsburgh is in a tough division and face real challenges with Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow quarterbacking the division rivals. The best plan for the Steelers might be to use free agency dollars to add veteran offensive linemen and use their picks in the 2023 NFL Draft to bolster the defense.

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