Open Rants by kkunert327

NFL Draft Vol 2
Published at 10/23/2020
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2020 NFL Draft

First Round

  1. New York Jets - Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson

  • This is the NFL’s most no brainer decision come April or May whenever this draft will take place. Regardless who picks here, it’s going to be Lawrence. Whether it’s either New York teams, Atlanta, Minnesota, or Washington, it’s going to be Lawrence. He is a no brainer talent and the only question for the Jets is if he will actually declare to play for this hapless franchise. As we have seen with guys like Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow, it’s not always the best thing to be the first overall pick going to a team with no talent. With college going to allow players to profit off their name and likeness, Lawrence could stay in school and wait to see who has the first pick next year. It might do his career well going to a media hub like New York, but if it goes south with no fault on him he can still get swallowed up in the headlines like Sam Darnold has. Regardless, he is a rare sure thing in the draft among the likes of John Elway, and Andrew Luck. 

  1. Washington Football Team - Justin Fields QB Ohio St

  • Clearly new head coach and defacto GM Ron Rivera wants nothing to do with Dwayne Haskins. Unfortunately, for the former Buckeye he seems like a lost cause. Not only has he not looked good on the field, but I think the abrupt benching had more to do with his attitude and work ethic more than anything. That’s never a good sign for a player so young and having proven nothing to have an attitude like that. He looks like the second coming of E.J. Manuel at this point. To me it would look sort of odd going after a quarterback from the same college to replace the current one. I feel like most teams try to go in a different direction there. However, Fields and Haskins are two completely different quarterbacks stylistically. With Fields being more of an athletic moving quarterback in the same vein as say a Kyler Murray albeit certainly not as fast as the current Cardinals star. I am skeptical of Ohio St quarterbacks in general due to their lack of production at the next level. It will be interesting to see if Fields can buck that poor trend. 

  1. New York Giants - Gregory Rousseau DE Miami

  • I am sure the Giants would love to get a shot at either Lawrence or Fields, but new head coach Joe Judge is too determined to win to get that high to pick either of them. Instead, this team needs new and improved talent wherever they can get it. Rousseau I think might regret not playing this season and helping his stock out. With the Hurricanes playing a ton of big games during primetime slots he could have really made a name for himself like his teammate Quincy Roche has done. Luckily for him, this year’s class of pass rushers is so lacking that despite one year of great tape he is still by far the best of the bunch. He has a ton of upside and would finally give the Giants a stalwart pass rusher they have missed since their Super Bowl runs in the previous decade. 

  1. Atlanta Falcons - Penei Sewell OT Oregon

  • I would only bail on Matt Ryan if they have a shot at either Trevor Lawrence or even Justin Fields. The mystery of either Trey Lance, Kyle Trask, Mac Jones, or Zach Wilson is too steep to take a chance on. Matt Ryan is still plenty good to win games with a better coaching staff and defense. One way to make their offense more stable with their ability to create a balanced offense is bulking up the offensive line further. Jake Matthews is a fine left tackle, but Sewell is already a better option without even stepping on the field yet. Flipping Matthews to the right tackle spot possibly can be a nice fit and allow them to kick the disappointing Kaleb McGary inside at either guard spot. Sewell is the best player besides Lawrence in the class in my opinion and whoever lands him is getting the 2nd best sure thing in the class. I would even be tempted to have the Giants take him since it seems like Andrew Thomas is already in the doghouse to begin his career. 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars - Trey Lance QB North Dakota St

  • It’s starting to look like the Jags got the message on the whole not winning mantra for this season. They came out firing in their lone win over the Colts and almost upset the Titans, but since then they have been that bad team we all thought they would be. Unfortunately, they might have strong competition to land Lawrence and to be honest I still think Gardner Minshew is good enough to sneak away a few more wins. In any case, at five here they still have a shot at the 3rd guy on most people’s quarterback boards with Lance. I can see his stock slip a bit due to having no season this year and being a dreaded one year starter in college. However, he has been coached well at North Dakota St and proved more in one year than guys like Daniel Jones or Mitch Trubisky did at their respective colleges. He is still raw so I would be interested to see if they let Minshew keep the job until Lance wins it from him to start the year. 

  1. Minnesota Vikings - Micah Parsons LB Penn St

  • The Vikings look to be in no man’s land here if you ask me. They need more defensive line help, but outside of Rousseau there is no other worthy player to be selected top 10. Corner could be a need, but after investing a ton in last year’s draft they can feel like they can wait on that. Then they could take Ja’Marr Chase, but with Kirk Cousins being so inconsistent it might not be a big need especially after taking Justin Jefferson in the first round last year. I come to the conclusion that the best player available might work best here and that should be Micah Parsons here. Linebacker could be a need with Eric Wilson a soon to be free agent and guys like Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr could be traded before we get to the draft. Parsons is a really talented all around linebacker along the same lines as Roquan Smith and even Isaiah Simmons. He is not as versatile as Simmons, but he is a great piece to be in the middle of their defense. 

  1. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans) - Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU

  • I can understand why the Dolphins want to see what they have with Tua Tagovailoa since the Houston pick could allow them to take another quarterback. However, I think what they did to Fitzpatrick was down right wrong with how well he has been playing and having this team on the verge of being a playoff contender. If they start losing games due to Tua’s inexperience they did the rest of this roster a disservice. Possibly even Tagovailoa who could gain invaluable experience sitting and learning from Fitzpatrick. I doubt the Chiefs regret sitting Mahomes for a year behind an intelligent quarterback like Alex Smith. Regardless, the Dolphins could use more juice on offense with the addition of Ja’Marr Chase. The standout Tiger would really round out a sneaky good receiver unit with Preston Williams and DeVante Parker. In fact, Chase could give both who appear to be injury prone less pressure to be on the field each play and give them a chance not to be the focus of heavy defensive attention. All in all, if Tua looks good and of course stays healthy this Dolphins team could make a great rival for Josh Allen and the Bills to be the new top teams in the AFC East. 

  1. Los Angeles Chargers - Kyle Pitts TE Florida 

  • This may seem a tad high for a tight end, but if you watch Pitts play he is certainly more than just a tight end. He is essentially a big receiver who is a mismatch nightmare all over the field, but he excels at getting open and snatching balls in the red zone. To me he would be a great fit for the Chargers who have a severely injury prone skill position group for their young franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. The duo of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams could be great, but neither have ever been able to stay healthy for a full 16 game season. Neither has incumbent tight end Hunter Henry who has lost more than a step after missing the majority of the last two seasons. He is a free agent this offseason anyways and the Chargers have more important free agents to take care of like Melvin Ingram and Mike Pouncey. Pitts could be an excellent security blanket for Herbert to work with as he continues to develop. 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles - Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama

  • I know they just took another Jalen at receiver in Jalen Reagor, but so far the rookie is taking after the veteran receivers by learning how to be injured. The Eagles need to give Wentz talent all over the offense to reload with so many aging veterans looking to be on their last legs. With this first pick I can also see them going after a blocker or a corner as well here, but if you ask me Waddle’s upside is just too immense to pass up on. Waddle is an electric receiver who can give them the explosive deep ball threat they wanted from DeSean Jackson who is a similar player. In fact, if Reagor can prove to be healthy next year pairing Waddle with him could give the Eagles two of the most fearsome deep threats. In an offense that had Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and DeVonta Smith, Waddle was still able to be a stand out playmaker. He has continued to do so this season and seems like a lock to be a top 15 selection. 

  1.  Cincinnati Bengals - Samuel Cosmi OT Texas

  • This may be a tad bit of a reach, but the Bengals are going to be so desperate for blocking talent that it might just be worth it. However, it is interesting to see many “reach” blockers like Jack Conklin, Mike McGlinchey, Zach Martin, and Kolton Miller have all gone on to be pretty solid players for their respective teams. I can see a guy like Cosmi being a great fit for a team like the Bengals giving them a tackle with a ton of talent and upside to grow on Burrow’s blindside. Interestingly enough, Cosmi’s biggest issue that had team’s bullish on him last year was his strength and lack of run blocking prowess. He was always a talented and quick pass blocker. Staying in college one more season seems to have done him a ton of good as he has proven to be a much stronger blocker this season. He should continue to grow and give the Bengals a nice addition to their offensive line. 

  1.  Detroit Lions - Mac Jones QB Alabama

  • I initially thought that Kyle Trask of Florida would be this year’s “Joe Burrow,” but thus far Mac Jones has quietly gone on to be that guy so far. He has had an odd career having to step in for Tagovailoa a ton throughout the past two years, but despite the odd situations and lack of preparation to start he always looked ready to play. In most of those situations he looked pretty solid also. This season he looks like a different player with a full offseason as the starter displaying great accuracy, touch, and arm strength on his throws. The Lions look to be done with Matthew Stafford and could be looking for a full reboot this offseason with a new front office, coach, and quarterback. Mac Jones could be a nice building block to start with as they move on from Stafford. 

  1.  New England Patriots - Alex Leatherwood OL Alabama

  • Everyone knows how bad the Patriots need weapons and a possibly a new quarterback, but Belichick has had a poor record of drafting receivers and for better or worse quarterbacks as well of late. Instead, they can go after veterans to fill those voids in free agency. With this rare high pick they can go in a multitude of directions with a new corner, linebacker, edge rusher, or a new blocker. I would lean blocker with guys like Isaiah Wynn, Shaq Mason, and David Andrews all battling injuries throughout their career. Plus, veteran standout Joe Thuney is a soon to be free agent this offseason barring a contract extension. Leatherwood is exactly the type of versatile talent Belichick looks for in his blockers. He also comes out of his pal Nick Saban’s Alabama program that Bill has drafted a ton from over the years. 

  1.  Denver Broncos - Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama 

  • The Broncos could certainly take a left tackle here to finally replace Garrett Bolles who has been a disappointing former first rounder thus far into his career. If John Elway and company want Drew Lock to really work they need to block better for him. However, at this juncture taking a corner like Surtain is just too much value here. They have had one of the worst secondaries in football this season and sure it does hurt not having A.J. Bouye, but the depth has been an issue after they let Chris Harris walk. If they keep coach Vic Fangio in Denver one more season then a corner who is big, long, and strong at the press man corner technique Surtain could be a perfect fit for his scheme. Even if Bouye returns at his solid ability, having too many good corners is never an issue in the NFL. 

  1.  Miami Dolphins - Creed Humphrey C Oklahoma 

  • The Dolphins should continue to bulk up the offense around Tua Tagovailoa to make sure he can become the high end franchise signal caller he can become. One way to do that is to continue to load up on the offensive line. Thus far guys like Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt have not been able to create much of an impact, but they were both high upside talents who are still both developing. Adding a left handed center to pair with Tua like Humphrey could be a great pairing to grow with. Adding him on the young line with hopefully both Jackson, Hunt, and a steady Michael Deiter could create a talented young front to protect Tua.

  1.  Carolina Panthers - Dillon Radunz OT North Dakota St

  • The Panthers I think actually made out with the Chargers swapping Trai Turner for Russell Okung. Despite Okung being a soon to be free agent and aging talent he has proven to be more reliable than Turner who is again hurt for the Chargers. In any case, Okung is a free agent and also an aging vet. I doubt they want him to be their long term solution in front of Teddy Bridgewater moving forward. Radunz was another quality prospect who was attempting to make the most out of North Dakota State’s one exhibition game this season. He could be a riser after a strong Senior Bowl showing proving he can dominate not only at the FCS level, but any level he plays against. 

  1.  San Francisco 49ers - Shaun Wade DB Ohio St

  • It will be interesting to see if Wade can continue the strong showing of Buckeye corners ending up as top 10 picks over the years. However, Wade was smart to return and improve on his skills for the 2020 season. It almost looked like a bad idea with the Big 10 season up in the air, but it seems to have all worked out with him returning to play with the season back on track. He is a versatile player who does have the ability to flip at safety and out at corner. His bulldog mentality is always a welcomed sight at corner where it takes a lot of confidence and swagger to play at a high level. It is clear that San Francisco needs new talent in their secondary and especially at corner.   

  1.  New Orleans Saints - DeVonta Smith WR Alabama

  • I always thought if the Saints were to ever lose Michael Thomas that their offense would sputter in the mud. Well, it has happened thus far this season and unlike all his other stops Emmanuel Sanders cannot seem to mesh as quickly as he normally does into the offense. Part of that is Drew Brees’ inability to push the ball down field any more. Thomas is still a key part of the offense thanks to his ability to dominate the middle of the field with his routes and great run after the catch ability. Even with Thomas back they could use more talent at the receiver spot for Jameis Winston who seems to be the heir apparent in New Orleans. To me DeVonta Smith would be an excellent receiver to pair with Thomas with his similar route running ability to carve up the middle of the field. He is more quick than fast, which to me is just as important in a receiver. His hands are elite and if you ask me he could end up being the best in this current wave of Crimson Tide receivers to hit the NFL. 

  1.  Las Vegas Raiders - Carlos Basham DE Wake Forest

  • I wonder if Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden are kicking themselves for out thinking the room and taking Clelin Ferrell ahead of Josh Allen in the first round a couple of years ago. Ferrell has gone on to be a complete dud thus far and proving he was severely overdrafted when they took him with the fourth pick. Hopefully they can find a new pass rusher to make up for that mistake here only three years later. Basham to me is a unique prospect who is doing what Rousseau should be doing in the ACC by dominating it. Basham along with Patrick Jones II have been two of the most exciting pass rushers in all of college football thus far. I would lean towards Basham as being higher on most draft boards due to his multiple years of production and despite being the only player to focus on the Demon Deacons defense he continues to get to the quarterback on a regular basis. 

  1.  Dallas Cowboys - Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech 

  • A quarterback could be the selection here, but it will all depend on what they do with Dak Prescott this offseason. It will really be interesting to see what they do with him since many teams would jump on Prescott in a heartbeat if he were to hit the open market despite his major ankle injury. In any case, this team needs talent on defense and along the offensive line if they want to get anywhere in a competitive NFC Conference. Jerry Jones and his son have actually been pretty good drafters along the o-line and have gone that way in the first round a lot more than the secondary so I would not be shocked if they took on here. However, their secondary is just terrible despite Trevon Diggs looking like a nice find. Farley could add more talent to create a nice young tandem in the secondary for the first time in a long time in Dallas. The former Hockie opted out of the season and probably should not have since he is just a one year starter after moving from receiver to corner, but I cannot fault anyone picking their long term health over football. He is going to be an interesting high risk, high reward first round talent and it will be interesting to see who pulls the trigger on him. 

  1.  Cleveland Browns - Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina 

  • The Browns defense needs a lot of improvements to balance out a weaker offense led by an overmatched Baker Mayfield. In what could be a make or break year for the former Heisman winner he needs to put together wins more than numbers on a stat sheet to keep his job and land a nice extension. One way to do that is by slowing down the opposing offenses in division, in particular the Steelers and Ravens who just pushed their defense up and down the field. One way to do that is to figure out the corner spot across from  Denzel Ward. Greedy Williams cannot stay healthy enough to become anything special like he was expected to be. Meanwhile, Terrence Mitchell and Kevin Johnson are two average corners on expiring contracts. One name that could rise up many draft boards is Jaycee Horn son of former standout receiver Joe Horn. He has been a lights out cover corner down at South Carolina to start the season. Many have seen him as a similar riser to another former Gamecock Stephon Gilmore who shot up draft boards during his draft. 

  1.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Travis Etienne RB Clemson

  • I am normally against first round running backs, but no team is in win now mode more than the Bucs with an aging Tom Brady. For the short term adding a talent like Etienne would be more than ideal for Brady who loves to check down to his running backs. Ronald Jones has been a nice back thus far, but he just does not provide the juice that a talent like Etienne could. Of course, if Fournette could finally find the field he could become that back they desperately need, but the former LSU Tiger has had an injury issue ever since his college career. To me Etienne is one of the safer picks as a dynamic pass catcher in the open field at the running back position. Not only that, he has the balance and power to be a nice runner with the ball on the outside or between the tackles. No team needs a talent like him more than the Bucs and they could be the only team I would not be mad about taking a running back in the first round here. 

  1.  Indianapolis Colts - Pat Freiermuth TE Penn St

  • It will be interesting to see what the Colts do this offseason at quarterback. They are way too good this year to be high enough to draft one that can play right away, but they could always stick with Rivers and sit the rookie behind him. However, then why not just stick with Jacob Eason who has a ton of upside to continue to groom him. I do see the Colts being interested in a player like Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, or Dak Prescott if any of them become available. I sort of have a feeling they may be forced to run with Rivers for one more season. In any case, Rivers loves throwing the ball to his tight ends, but unfortunately the likes of Jack Doyle, Trey Burton, and Mo Allie-Cox have just not done the job thus far. Freiermuth is a big and athletic tight end that has many seeing him as a “Baby Gronk” type talent. He has a very high IQ, great instincts, and is a very polished route runner. It will be interesting to see if he can push past a few of the higher profiled receivers to force his name to be read earlier in the draft than the 22nd pick. 

  1.  Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) - Christian Barmore DT Alabama

  • Normally when you draft a new quarterback you pair him with a new blocker or receiver to work with. However, the Jags have actually drafted a ton of quality players on offense from Cam Robinson, Jawaan Taylor, Dede Westbrook, and Laviska Shenault Jr over the years to be able to pass on that normal mantra. Instead, they can go after a defensive tackle to finally replace Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus over the past few seasons. Former late first rounder Taven Bryan has been almost nonexistent on defense the past few seasons. Christian Barmore is rising up mostly due to a lackluster defensive tackle class. He is coming off the conveyor belt as the next big and athletic defensive tackle from Alabama. Much like previous models like Quinnen Williams, Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, and Raekwon Davis he has a very high floor to be a nice addition on any defensive line. His talent lands somewhere in the Payne and Allen range, but he does possess some upside that made Williams so appealing coming out of Alabama. In any case, his addition will be a nice sight between two nice young pass rushers in Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson. 

  1.  Buffalo Bills - Patrick Jones II DE Pittsburgh

  • The Bills have one huge glaring weakness on an otherwise pretty solid defense in my opinion, they lack any semblance of a quality pass rush. They have a very signature bend, but don’t break type defense. However, even most defenses like the Bears in that same vein are able to get after the quarterback at a regular basis. This class has a few interesting pass rusher options later in the first round like Carlos Basham, Patrick Jones II, Quincy Roche, Kwity Payne, and Aidan Hutchinson who could all be quality picks in this range of the first round. I would lean towards Jones who prior to this season was a nice rotational player for Pitt and has now turned himself into an every down threat for the Pitt Panthers. He is a smooth and athletic pass rusher off the edge, but could still use some more work on his hand technique to continue to take the next step. For the Bills he could finally give them some consistency and youth off the edge. 

  1.  Arizona Cardinals - Tyson Campbell CB Georgia 

  • The Cardinals have a terrific offense led by Kyler Murray and coach Kliff Kingsbury no one can deny that. However, what has gone under the radar is their sneaky talented defense led by the likes of Budda Baker, Jordan Hicks, De’Vondre Campbell, and Patrick Peterson. Unfortunately, their former All-Pro Peterson is a soon to be free agent and could be looking to hitch onto a team closer to the Super Bowl than Arizona to end his career. Byron Murphy has played well this year as the corner across from him, but he is used more as a versatile move around the formation corner than just an outside corner. If Peterson leaves then a corner here makes a ton of sense. Campbell is one of multiple talented defensive backs on this talented Georgia defense. The big corner performed amazingly well against Auburn’s speed receiver Seth Williams to keep up with him stride for stride in their match up. The SEC has turned into a corner hotbed of late so it will be interesting in what order guys like Surtain, Horn, and Campbell all go come April.

  1.  Green Bay Packers - Wyatt Davis OG Ohio St

  • I know, I know everyone is dying to give Rodgers a new receiver here, but he seems perfectly fine without a first round pass catcher. What he does need is improvement along the offensive line to allow him to do his magic with throwing guys open. They have a lot of talent along the offensive line soon to hit the open market with Lane Taylor, Corey Linsley, but neither are as important as David Bakhtiari who has been one of the best left tackles in the league. His big new contract will probably force the Packers to let Taylor and Linsley walk when free agency begins. Davis is one of the rare first round talents at guard who can rise high up draft boards. It will be interesting to see if he can continue to improve as a pass blocker, which essentially his only “weakness” to his otherwise great talent. I am sure Rodgers would prefer to have time in the pocket over having even a new talented receiver to work with.

  1.  Kansas City Chiefs - Dylan Moses LB Alabama

  • The Chiefs are going to be like the new Patriots with Patrick Mahomes making them so competitive they can go in a multitude of different directions on draft day. They could always use new blockers, but Mahomes mobility and Andy Reid’s play calling make it easy to hide those issues. Their defense is a lot better this year than in years past, but you could never have too many talented players on that side of the ball. Moses is an interesting prospect who was once seen as a very strong candidate to be a high draft pick prior to his ACL tear to start the season last year. So far this season he has been just okay, but is still heavily leaned on by Nick Saban to be the quarterback of his defense. I would like to think another season removed from his ACL tear he could be healthy enough to return to his previous greatness. The Chiefs have had okay play at linebacker from guys like Anthony Hitchens and others, but no one with as much upside as Moses possesses. 

  1.  Baltimore Ravens - Quincy Roche OLB Miami

  • The Ravens have two soon to be free agents at edge rusher in Matt Judon and Tyus Bowser. Neither have been the second coming of Terrell Suggs and Bart Scott thus far for the Ravens. Judon in particular has been disappointing this season playing on the franchise tag. After making so much noise about being angry about franchise tagged he has not done enough to warrant that big contract he is looking for whether it's from the Ravens or elsewhere this offseason. For the Ravens to get past a team like the Chiefs or even the Titans now for that matter they need to get a more consistent pass rush to get after both of their quarterbacks. Roche has taken advantage of a ton of playing time on a talented Miami team to help raise his draft stock. Even prior to his transfer to Miami many saw him as a nice high upside prospect out of Temple. He has looked pretty solid at every facet, but many still see him as a growing prospect who should grow into his frame and still be able to maintain his speed off the edge. 

  1.  Chicago Bears - Marvin Wilson DT Florida St

  • A quarterback like Trask, Wilson, or Ehlinger could all make sense here. However, there has been some traction that the Bears could look to use this pick for a signal caller like Sam Darnold, Matt Ryan, or Matthew Stafford. There even has been a lot of murmurs that if Dak Prescott is available that they would be in on him as well. It all makes sense as this roster with it’s terrific defense is in win now mode before this defense ages and more players leave due to a cap crunch. If they can keep this pick they could be looking to further bolster that defense. A right tackle makes sense here too, but there is no obvious pick there without being sort of a reach even at 29. Marvin Wilson was once seen as a high first round pick, but he returned to school and if anything he might be suffering from prospect fatigue being in school too long. He still possesses nice size, speed, and athleticism to make noise in the middle of the defense. The Bears have been seeking a nice option alongside Akeim Hicks in the interior of the defense. He should also be able to benefit from playing alongside the likes of Hicks, Mack, Quinn, and Goldman to find some easier one on one matchups. 

  1.  Pittsburgh Steelers - Jaylen Twyman DT Pittsburgh

  • The Steelers are sort of in the same boat as the Bears, but I can see them being more in on the younger Sam Darnold who could sit behind Big Ben and become the heir apparent. It would make a ton of sense for the Steelers who have a really solid roster from top to bottom with no real obvious needs to be filled. However, until that occurs I am just going to operate as if that is not even an option. Kyle Trask could be on the board here, but I am not sure I would be that willing to take him in the first round at all. Instead, the Steelers could look to further enhance this defense by finding a proper replacement for Javon Hargrave. Twyman has opted out for the season, which could end up backfiring on him as former teammate Patrick Jones II has thrived in his absence. However, he is still seen as a very strong prospect at a vital defensive tackle spot that could be a nice cog in the middle of the Steelers defense. 

  1.  New York Jets (via Seattle Seahawks) - Rondale Moore WR Purdue

  • Honestly, I would prefer the Jets to take a blocker here to protect Trevor Lawrence here and I hope GM Jeffrey Douglas agrees with me. He has had time under Philly GM Howie Roseman who used a ton of high draft capital on blockers over the years. However, I still see them as the Jets who always value sizzle over substance trying to garner headlines in New York. Which is why, a deep burner like Rondale Moore could be the guy here. He is returning for the start of the season after opting out when the Big 10 season was in doubt. If he runs a strong 40 time he could see his stock sky rocket much like guys in the past have done. To me he is a bit too gadgety at his smaller size, but he could be a nice weapon to pair with Lawrence moving forward with hopefully a healthy Denzel Mims. 

  1.  Tennessee Titans - Kwity Paye DE/OLB Michigan

  • The Titans are an old school franchise who want to slug it out on the ground and stall you out on defense. They really do not have any star power outside of Derrick Henry and a recently acquired Jadeveon Clowney on defense. They could certainly use more fire power since Clowney is just a one year rental along with Vic Beasley who continues to be a disappointment after his one year blip of being the NFL sack leader. Paye is an interesting prospect who like many other Michigan defenders under Jim Harbaugh has played out of position for much of his career. He has been placed as an off ball linebacker for a bit, but then also as an edge rusher occasionally standing up and a few other times as one with his hand in the dirt. He is a dense athlete who can hold his own on the edge and still provide a punch off the edge with his power rushing prowess. I can see him being a nice addition to the Titans defense. 

Second Round

  1.  New York Jets - Trey Smith OL Tennessee

  • More help upfront would never hurt for the Jets who need to protect Lawrence at all cost. Smith is an interesting prospect with his high end talent, but risky injury history with blood clots. He has put together a very solid season thus far this year and provides versatility with experience both at guard and tackle. 

  1.  New York Giants - Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota

  • When he is healthy, Sterling Shepard is a nice receiver, but that has been a difficult ability for him over the years. Same could be said for the aging Golden Tate. Giving Daniel Jones another reliable target outside of Darius Slayton to grow with should be a big need going into this offseason. 

  1.  Atlanta Falcons - Paris Ford S Pittsburgh

  • This secondary has never been a strong point of a rather soft defense, but this year it’s been worse than ever before. Keanu Neal has not been able to stay healthy since being a darling first rounder back in the day. Ford provides more ball hawking ability to give this defense some juice than Neal anyways. 

  1.  Jacksonville Jaguars - Jevon Holland S Oregon

  • For some reason teams do not draft safeties in the first round, but they sure do fly off the board in the 2nd round. The Jags need a full overhaul in their secondary after letting go of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Holland could provide some nice size and ball skills at the safety spot for a young defense. 

  1.  Jacksonville Jaguars (via Minnesota) - Eric Stokes CB Georgia 

  • Doubling up on back to back defensive backs here is not overstating on how much help they need in the back end of their defense. They did land C.J. Henderson in the first round, but they need more than just him in this passing league. Stokes has been another talented Bulldog corner along with Tyson Campbell this season. He has nice size and length that should pair well with Henderson who is a similar sized corner. 

  1.  Miami Dolphins (via Houston) - Aidan Hutchinson DE Michigan

  • Brian Flores could use some more firepower along his defensive front. Coming from the coaching tree of Belichick he runs a very versatile defensive front and could have a lot of fun with a player like Hutchinson. Hutchinson could be like many Wolverine defenders who find a groove at one spot in the NFL. 

  1.  Washington Football Team - Walker Little OT Stanford

  • Washington ended up being forced to trade the disgruntled Trent Williams, but they did it way too late and got nothing good in return in typical Washington fashion. Part of the issue with Haskins never developing is his leaky oft-injured o-line. Little was once a big name tackle prospect, but injuries have knocked his stock a tad. If he puts together a nice season in this short PAC 12 season he could really salvage his stock. 

  1.  Los Angeles Chargers - Deonte Brown OG Alabama

  • The Chargers o-line has been a big issue for a long time and was partly why Phillip Rivers was just fine moving onto Indy with their excellent blocking unit. If they want Herbert to not get rattled too much with a sped up clock they need to improve the blocking. All three interior linemen Forrest Lamp, Dan Feeney, and Mike Pouncey are soon to be free agents. Adding a new one here is a big need at some point of the draft.

  1.  Cincinnati Bengals - Jay Tufele DT USC

  • I would recommend the Bengals to continue to just load up on blockers for Joe Burrow, but I doubt that happens with how reluctant they have been to improve the line over the past few seasons. Instead, they could still use some more talent up front on the defensive line. Especially, since Geno Atkins could be a cap casualty this offseason at his age and lack of consistent health. Tufele could give them some size and muscle inside to slow down the strong run games they face in the AFC North. 

  1.  Philadelphia Eagles - Paulson Adebo CB Stanford

  • It’s no secret that the Eagles need to improve the talent along their secondary in general. Their defensive front seven is still one of the best against the run. However, the likes of Nickell Robey-Coleman, Cre'Von LeBlanc, and Jalen Mills are just not doing it right now. In fact, even Darius Slay at this point has been just okay. Adebo is a big corner who will need a strong Combine to prove he is more fluid than normal corners of his size to be a high draft pick. His high IQ and instincts do make him a pretty good prospect in general. 

  1.  New England Patriots - Nick Bolton LB Missouri 

  • The Patriots will probably go back to the old days when they had a young Tom Brady where they try to win with their defense over their offense. One way to do it is to give this unit a new young linebacker with Dont’a Hightower not being able to stay on the field and the depth behind him is rather suspect. Bolton is built in the thread of a modern linebacker with his smaller size, but elite athleticism. 

  1.  Denver Broncos - Jalen Mayfield OT Michigan 

  • The Broncos have one of the worst left tackles in the league with Garrett Bolles. The former first rounder has been a highly paid turnstile for much of his career and also has been great at finding ways to get penalties. If they want Drew Lock to survive they need to find a better option to protect his blindside. Mayfield’s claim to fame was his ability to slow down Chase Young in their matchups the past few seasons. He has a ton of upside to continue to grow into a top talent. 

  1.  Detroit Lions - Terrace Marshall Jr WR LSU

  • The Lions take a Crimson Tide quarterback in the first round in Mac Jones. Now they can come back around and in an odd coincidence grab a LSU Tiger receiver in Terrace Marshall Jr who has shown a lot of talent as LSU’s top option. Kenny Golladay has been excellent, but the depth behind him is very suspect with aging talents like Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola.

  1.  Carolina Panthers - Kyle Trask QB Florida

  • I am not sure what the Panthers will do at the quarterback position long term. Bridgewater only signed a short two year deal to stay in Carolina and I think he has played well enough thus far to stick around for his entire contract. However, picking an heir apparent like Trask who can sit and develop behind him could be a nice long term solution. Trask was on his way to being a first round pick prior to his shaky showing against Texas A&M. He could really shoot up boards if he keeps up the great play down the stretch. 

  1.  San Francisco 49ers - Jamie Newman QB Georgia 

  • I think the writing is on the wall for Jimmy Garoppolo and I doubt he keeps his job for much longer. I would not be shocked if they make a move to land a veteran like Matt Ryan or Matthew Stafford to stabilize the position. However, barring that they should still look to the draft for a backup to develop behind Garoppolo. Newman would have helped his stock a ton had he stayed at Georgia this season instead of opting out, but it was his choice to make. He is a big mobile quarterback who could allow Kyle Shanahan to get more creative in his playcalling. 

  1.  Miami Dolphins - Najee Harris RB Alabama

  • Matt Brieda has not really done anything after being a “big” get during the draft last spring. Myles Gaskin has been a nice find so far, but I do not see him being anything more than a change of pace back for the rest of his career. Harris is a big power back who has nice speed and wiggle who has been a big cog for Alabama’s offense this season. 

  1.  Las Vegas Raiders - Josh Meyers OG Ohio St

  • Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock seem determined to out all of Reggie McKenzie’s players from the roster. I would not be shocked if both Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson are gone after this offseason. Plus, veteran Richie Incognito has not been able to stay healthy this season to provide his normal road grader ability. 

  1.  New Orleans Saints - Asante Samuel Jr CB Florida St

  • MarShon Lattimore is still one of the best corners in the league when healthy, but the depth behind him continues to be a big question mark for this Saints secondary. In a division where they will still need to combat guys like Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Calvin Ridley moving forward. Samuel is a ball hawking corner who is a bit small, but is able to move inside at the all important slot corner spot. 

  1.  Dallas Cowboys - Jayson Oweh DE Penn St

  • The Cowboys got so desperate on the edge that they brought in guys like Aldon Smith and Everson Griffen. Surprisingly enough Smith has been a lot better than people expected him to be. Even more surprising is how bad DeMarcus Lawrence has been at getting after quarterbacks this season. This defense needs more bite off the edge to protect their weaker secondary. 

  1.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Joseph Ossai OLB Texas

  • The Bucs should be in the market for more power off the edge if Shaq Barrett leaves via free agency. Even if they do keep him, older guys like JPP and Ndamukong Suh could be upgraded in the near future. Meanwhile, Lavonte David is a soon to be free agent. Ossai has experience all over the defensive front, including as an off ball linebacker.

  1.  Indianapolis Colts - Joe Tryon OLB/DE Washington

  • Justin Houston is somehow still in the league and has still been the Colts most consistent pass rusher. How amazing is that the Colts still maintain one of the best defenses with an inability to create any other consistent pass rush. Tryon is an athletic freak with a ton of upside and ability to become a great value pick here. If he plays during this shortened PAC 12 season he could really help his stock by gathering more invaluable experience. 

  1.  Los Angeles Rams - Hamilcar Rashed Jr OLB/DE Oregon St

  • The Rams are in the same boat as a lot of teams with a top tier pass rusher with their inability to generate anything else across from Aaron Donald. Leonard Floyd is a one year rental who is just an okay edge setter more than a pure pass rusher. With limited picks they need to fill big needs, which has to be an edge rusher in a division with the likes of Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray to compete with. 

  1.  Buffalo Bills - Jackson Carman OL Clemson

  • Josh Allen still sees himself as a running quarterback for some odd reason and at his size it’s only a matter of time until he gets a big injury. One way to help him stop putting himself in danger is by upgrading the o-line in front of him. Their tackles Dion Dawkins and Cody Ford are fine, but the interior of their line still needs work. Carman is a big versatile blocker for the Clemson Tigers who performed well at tackle, but for the NFL kicking inside to guard seems like a likely destination for him. 

  1.  Cleveland Browns - Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame

  • The Browns used to have a great linebacker unit with guys like Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey. Unfortunately, both left via free agency leaving a big hole in the middle of their defense. Mack Wilson would be a nice replacement, but like Greedy Williams, health seems to be a big issue for him. There’s always a bunch of linebackers who slip to the 2nd and 3rd round that could make a huge impact here. 

  1. Arizona Cardinals - Brenton Cox Jr DE/OLB Florida

  • Chandler Jones is one of the premier pass rushers in the game and has been a rare success story after leaving New England in his prime. The issue at 31 his best days may be behind him at this point. Cox has displayed his impressive skill set for Florida this year after being kicked out of Georgia for marjuana charges. Arizona has been a nice spot for guys in need of 2nd chances, I am sure they would love his potential across from Chandler Jones to help out their rather sneaky good defense. 

  1. Green Bay Packers - Chris Olave WR Ohio St

  • Here is the receiver that everyone has been dying to give Aaron Rodgers for the past few seasons. It might not be a flashy first rounder, but if you ask me Olave may be the perfect fit for him. Olave to me displays the most sneaky ability among this receiver class. He has sharp routes, great hands, and red zone awareness. To me he could be this year’s Michael Thomas who was also out of Ohio St. 

  1. Baltimore Ravens - Andre Cisco S Syracuse

  • The Ravens have been in search of a top safety ever since Ed Reed retired almost a decade ago. They tried with first rounders like Matt Elam and they have tried with big name free agents like Earl Thomas. None of them worked out thus far. Cisco is a true ballhawking safety who could really help elevate what could be the best secondary in football with Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith, and Marlon Humphrey. 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs - Cade Mays OL Tennessee

  • I think the only way for this new Chiefs dynasty to be derailed is by a lack of quality offensive line depth. We have seen how bad the drop off from starters to back ups have been throughout the league this year. Thanks to Mahomes ability to work with any receiver it can let the Chiefs just load up on luxury pieces like Mays who can be an ideal back up or developmental option. He is versatile playing at right tackle for the Volunteers, but he should be able to kick in at guard that is one of the only weaknesses on this roster. 

  1. Chicago Bears - Chuba Hubbard RB Oklahoma St

  • David Montgomery is a nice back, but through a year and a half of football with him, I am not sure he can be relied on as a lead back. If anything he can be a nice passing downs back with his impressive hands. Maybe adding a big time talent like Hubbard who has the size, speed, and talent to be a bell cow back will finally force Matt Nagy’s hand to stick with the run. If he can rattle off more than 3 yards a carry then this offense might finally be one to plan against each week. 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers - Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern

  • The Steelers really do not have that many needs, but depth along the line could be needed. Especially if they lose both Ali Villanueva and Matt Feiler who are their starting tackles set to hit free agency. Slater is a developmental type prospect who has a lot of versatility and upside. I doubt the Steelers lose Villanueva, but they could certainly use some more competition at the right tackle spot moving forward. 

  1. Seattle Seahawks - Israel Mukuamu CB South Carolina

  • The Seahawks defense is about five years removed from its glory days as the Legion of Boom. So far it’s been tough sledding to get back there and especially at the cornerback spots. Their only notable talent is Shaq Griffin, but he has been very inconsistent this season after a pretty solid 2019. Mukuamu is this year’s “D.K. Metcalf” as a talent for being too good to be true. At 6’4” he has impressive size for a corner with even more impressive quickness for a corner his size. 

  1. Tennessee Titans - Derion Kendrick CB Clemson

  • The Titans continue to load up on defense here to continue their dominance over the offensively challenged AFC South. A receiver would make sense here too, but I have a feeling they might be a destination for veterans this off season if they continue to look this good. Instead, a young corner to compete with the lackluster Adoree’ Jackson could be a nice addition. It would also be nice to see Kendrick and last year’s second rounder Kristian Fulton create a nice young tandem together. 

Third Round

  1. New York Jets - Xavier Thomas DE Clemson

  2. Atlanta Falcons - Zach Wilson QB BYU

  3. Jacksonville Jaguars - Brevin Jordan TE Miami

  4. Minnesota Vikings - Sam Ehlinger QB Texas

  5. Houston Texas - Daniel Faalele OT Minnesota 

  6. Washington Football Team - Kenneth Gainwell RB Memphis 

  7. New York Giants - Trey Hill C Georgia

  8. Los Angeles Chargers - DeAngelo Malone OLB/DE Western Kentucky

  9. Philadelphia Eagles - Alaric Jackson OT Iowa 

  10. Cincinnati Bengals - Amon-Ra St.Brown WR USC

  11. Denver Broncos - Jordan Davis DT Georgia 

  12. Detroit Lions - Chazz Surratt LB UNC

  13. New England Patriots - Forfeited

  14. Washington Football Team - Richard LeCounte III S Georgia 

  15. Miami Dolphins - Darius Stills DT West Virginia 

  16. Carolina Panthers - Charlie Kolar TE Iowa St

  17. Cleveland Browns - Marlon Tuipulotu DT USC

  18. Las Vegas Raiders - Brock Purdy QB Iowa St

  19. Dallas Cowboys - Liam Eichenburg OT Notre Dame

  20. Indianapolis Colts - Seth Williams WR Auburn

  21. Los Angeles Rams - Cary Vincent Jr CB LSU

  22. Buffalo Bills - Quitin Morris TE Bowling Green 

  23. Cleveland Browns - Thayor Munford OG Ohio St

  24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma St

  25. Arizona Cardinals - Tedarrell Slaton DT Florida

  26. Green Bay Packers - Jimmy Morrissey C Pittsburgh

  27. Kansas City Chiefs - Tylan Wallace WR Oklahoma St

  28. Minnesota Vikings - Thomas Booker DE Stanford 

  29. Chicago Bears - Kellen Mond QB Texas A&M

  30. Pittsburgh Steelers - Sage Surratt WR Wake Forest

  31. New York Jets - Chase Lucas CB Arizona St

  32. Tennessee Titans - Anthony Schwartz WR Auburn 

5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: New York Giants
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Dallas Cowboys
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Denver Broncos
5/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Carolina Panthers
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Detroit Lions
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Philadelphia Eagles
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Cincinnati Bengals
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Atlanta Falcons
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Houston Texans
5/5/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: New York Jets
5/3/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Grades: Jacksonville Jaguars
3/23/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Rankings: Running Backs
3/23/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks
3/2/2021 - 2021 Free Agency Primer: Running Backs
3/1/2021 - 2021 Free Agency Primer: Quarterbacks
2/16/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft : Vol 1 - Post Super Bowl (7 Rounds)
1/28/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft - Pre Super Bowl
1/14/2021 - 2021 NFL Draft - Post Wild Card
1/6/2021 - 2021 NFL Mock Draft - End of Season
12/10/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol 5
11/22/2020 - Draft Vol 4
10/28/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol. 3
10/23/2020 - NFL Draft Vol 2
10/13/2020 - 2021 NFL Draft Vol 1
7/15/2020 - Top Running Backs Power Rankings
7/15/2020 - Quarterback Rankings
5/5/2020 - 2020 Post Draft Prospect Rankings: Quarterbacks
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Kansas City Chiefs
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: San Francisco 49ers
5/4/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Green Bay Packers
5/3/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Tennessee Titans
5/3/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Baltimore Ravens
5/2/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Seattle Seahawks
5/2/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Houston Texans
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Minnesota Vikings
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New Orleans Saints
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Buffalo Bills
5/1/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New England Patriots
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Philadelphia Eagles
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Los Angeles Rams
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Chicago Bears
4/29/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Pittsburgh Steelers
4/28/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Dallas Cowboys
4/28/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Atlanta Falcons
4/28/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Denver Bronco
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Indianapolis Colts
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Las Vegas Raiders
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New York Jets
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Cleveland Browns
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Arizona Cardinals
4/27/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Carolina Panthers
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Los Angeles Chargers
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Miami Dolphins
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: New York Giants
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grades: Washington Redskins
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Detroit Lions
4/26/2020 - 2020 Draft Grade: Cincinatti Bengals
2/29/2020 - Quarterback Carousel
10/28/2019 - NFL Hot Seats

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