Grading the New York Giants Draft

Grading the New York Giants Draft

The 2018 NFL Draft recently concluded.  It’s too early to truly know how these players will pan out in the NFL, but it’s fun to give teams “grades” anyway.  My favorite team, the Giants, did very well in the draft in my opinion.  They addressed their revolving door at RB by getting a generational talent, added a day one starter on the o-line, and possibly found their QB of the future as well.  So, let’s look over each pick and give them a grade, shall we?  By the way, I might do this for other teams, but figured I’d start with my favorite squad.

Round #1, Pick #2: Saquon Barkley (RB- Penn St.)

Some Giants fans wanted to grab a QB with this pick, but most were in the Barkley camp.  Giants GM Dave Gettleman certainly was, as he didn’t waste any time with selecting Saquon.  He didn’t even listen to any trade-up calls, as clearly he was high on Barkley.  Barkley and Peyton Manning were the only players to earn a perfect grade from Gettleman in all of his years of scouting.  Barkley could instantly become the guy that gets 20+ touches a game, and end the Giants “backfield by committee” nonsense that’s been going on for years.  2nd and 9s will start to become 2nd and 6s or 5s.

Putting Barkley in an offense with Odell Beckham Jr. and Evan Engram should make the Giants a fun team to watch.  I was extremely hyped about this pick.  The only questions are, should they have taken a QB, and should they have traded down for a RB?  Personally, I would say no to both of those questions.  Some critics may question whether it was worth it to take a RB so high in a passing league, but Barkley is a great pass-catcher.  Saquon certainly seems to be worth it.  (Grade: A) Running back Saquon Barkley poses for photos during a news conference, Saturday, April 28, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. Barkley was selected as the number two overall pick in the NFL football draft by the New York Giants. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)Barkley mentioned that he “kind of fell in love what this place” when talking about the Giants.  He could be the face of the franchise for Big Blue.  (Photo Credit: AP/Julie Jacobson)

Round #2, Pick #34: Will Hernandez (OG- UTEP)

Hernandez had a first round grade from the Giants, and will immediately help an o-line that has struggled the last 3+ years.  He will probably be starting alongside Patrick Omameh, a guard the Giants added in free agency.  That would mean John Jerry would be out of the lineup, who has underwhelmed throughout his tenure with the Giants.  Justin Pugh left in free agency, so this makes the pick of Hernandez even more important.

Hernandez is a shade under 6′ 3″, “short” for an NFL o-lineman (I laugh as a guy that’s 5′ 9″), but he weighs in at well over 300 lbs.  To me, Jason Kelce is proof that “short” interior o-linemen can not only succeed, but thrive in the NFL.  Hernandez is a nasty lineman, who will help bring the Giants back to the old-school football they were known for.  He is the kind of “hog molly” that GM Dave Gettleman has raved about.  Gettleman mentioned that Hernandez played for a disastrous, winless UTEP team in 2017, but he played just as tough in the first game as he did in the last.  That’s the kind of character the Giants should be looking for.  (Grade: A+)Image result for will hernandezHernandez says he “wants to embarrass defenders”.  Gettleman mentioned that “he’s a little cranky”.  You can’t blame him, considering he was an NFL-level talent on an 0-12 team.  (Photo Credit: Joe Robbins)

Round #3, Pick 66: Lorenzo Carter (OLB- Georgia)

Gettleman discussed that it’s great when “need meets value”, and that appeared to happen again for Big Blue in the 3rd round.  Just as Gettleman had a 1st round grade on Hernandez, he had a 2nd round grade on Carter, and was able to pick those players in the round afterwards both times.  That could just be the effect of having picks at the top of each round.  But it’s worth mentioning, considering Gettleman apparently tried trading up for Carter.

Carter is a physical specimen at 6′ 5″, 250 lbs.  He could definitely compete at edge rusher in the Giants 3-4 scheme, as the Giants needed a linebacker to add to the mix there.  Carter only had 15 sacks in 4 years, which is disappointing, especially considering his 4.5 40 yard dash time.  So if nothing else, he could definitely be a big contributor on special teams for the G-men.  (Grade: B+)LB Lorenzo Carter can help the Giants with rushing the passer, one of the things Gettleman has stressed the most.  (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports/Crystal LoGiudice)

Round #3, Pick #69: B.J. Hill (DT- NC St.)

A few picks after the Giants selected Carter, they were on the clock again as a result of the JPP trade.  This should purely be a depth pick, as Hill likely won’t start in 2018 unless injuries force him to.  After all, there’s only three d-linemen in a 3-4 defense.  He could certainly rotate into the game at times, but I expect Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson to take up most of the snaps at defensive tackle.

If the Eagles proved anything from their Super Bowl run, it’s that you can never have too many d-linemen.  Gettleman took DT Vernon Butler with a 1st round pick while he was with Carolina in 2016.  This was despite the Panthers having the solid duo of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short at defensive tackle.  Hill had a solid career at N.C. State, with 187 tackles in 44 starts, so maybe he’ll be a starter one day.  I’m okay with him being just depth for now, but not exactly thrilled either.  (Grade: B-)While he likely won’t make an impact on day one, Hill adds solid depth on the d-line.  (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Round #4, Pick #108: Kyle Lauletta (QB- Richmond)

Kyle Lauletta wrote this awesome article for the Player’s Tribune, and it makes me hyped about his possibility of being the future for the Giants at the QB position.  He seems like the classic underdog story, as he was overlooked because of all the top-flight QBs in this draft.  Not only that, he played for Richmond Spiders, not exactly a college football powerhouse.  Lauletta will likely compete with Davis Webb for the backup position, and possibly to replace Eli a few years down the road.

Lauletta has ideal size for his position (6′ 3″), and Gettleman talked about him having “instinctual things that you can’t teach”.  He put up decent stats with the Spiders last season, tossing for 3,737 yards, and 28 touchdowns to 12 interceptions.  The big question with Kyle is his arm strength, as it’s not exactly elite.  In any case, learning behind Eli Manning will definitely help Lauletta’s development.  I reacted negatively to the Giants taking Davis Webb last year, considering it was the 3rd round.  He was taken a pick after Kareem Hunt!  Since it’s the 4th round however, I’m more okay with the Giants looking to the future with this pick.  (Grade: B+)Lauletta impressed at the Senior Bowl, and he could very well be the heir apparent to Eli one day.  (Photo Credit: Chet Strange/Getty Images)

Round #5, Pick #139: R.J. McIntosh (DT- Miami)

The Giants came into the draft needing depth on the d-line, and so that’s why they took Hill in the 3rd round.  But Big Blue doubled down with McIntosh in the 5th round, and I don’t think they should have.  Finding depth at receiver or corner would’ve been more ideal here in my opinion, as the Giants needed that.  Some Giants fans wanted them to draft a tackle, but I think Adam Bisnowaty, Chad Wheeler, and (sigh) Ereck Flowers will compete at RT.  I wish they could’ve found a trade partner for Flowers, but I digress.

So taking another defensive tackle was a bit of a head-scratcher, but he was certainly good value.  He can be used as a pass rusher at defensive end, and on the interior of the d-line.  In any case, the Giants were probably going to get a depth guy here anyway.  So I can’t be too upset.  (Grade: B)R.J. McIntosh was the second defensive tackle taken by Giants in 2018 NFL Draft. McIntosh will add more depth to the d-line.  (Photo Credit: USA Today Sports)

Overall Grade: A-

To me, the Giants hit a home run with their first two picks.  While I would’ve liked them to add some depth at receiver and corner, they signed some as undrafted free agents.  Those guys could possibly compete for roster spots.  The depth they got in rounds 3-5 could possibly help them years down the road, as they may have gotten one of the draft’s biggest steals in QB Kyle Lauletta.

GM Dave Gettleman had a great first draft, and he’s certainly popular among most Giants fans.  He did have the luxury of drafting high in these rounds.  But with only 6 picks, he made the most of them.  The Giants running game got a huge boost with Barkley and Hernandez, and “hog mollies” were added on both sides of the line.  The Giants are returning to their old-school style of football, and you’ve got to love that as a fan.

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NFL Draft Recap: Day One

NFL Draft Recap: Day One

The NFL Draft is known for its unpredictability and this draft has been called one of the most mysterious drafts in recent memory. With that being said, an epic first round has finally come to a close so lets recap the moves made here on day one.

1. Cleveland Browns

Pick: QB Baker Mayfield

Opinion: Wow. Reports had surfaced over the coming days speculating that the Browns were interested in selecting Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick and I honestly did not believe they would do it. Mayfield is in my opinion the third best quarterback in this draft and though he may have potential, his attitude and issues on and off the field are a concern, but not enough for the Browns to take him off their big board as their number one ranked prospect. I think there were better and safer options out their and the risk of taking Mayfield is really high, but if you believe a player may be your guy, no matter what or where, you pick him and that is what the Browns just did.

 

2. New York Giants

Pick: RB Saquon Barkley

Opinion: Barkley has been connected to the Giants since he had declared back in January and Dave Gettleman had never once denied the possibility of selecting a running back with the second overall pick and now we see why. Barkley is a high potential player and I can describe him as a more mature version of Ezekiel Elliot. Barkley now pairs with Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Evan Engram as a nice tandem on offense as the Giants look to make one more run with Eli under center.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold about to throw a pass.

3. New York Jets

Pick: QB Sam Darnold

Opinion: Sam Darnold is the most NFL ready quarterback in the draft. Turnovers have been a question mark for him during his collegiate career but you can coach a player away from making mistakes. Darnold has good size, a solid arm and good pocket presence and if he could reduce the turnovers, he has the potential to not only be a winner, but finally be the franchise guy the Jets have been looking for since Joe Namath left the Jets in 1977 to sign with the Rams.

 

4. Cleveland Browns

Pick: CB Denzel Ward

Opinion: It has been long rumored that the Browns may trade the fourth overall pick but make the right decision by staying at fourth overall and selecting maybe the top corner in this draft in Denzel Ward. Though Cubb is a better player, the Browns looked at need rather than best player available and see Ward as a pro bowl talent and a day one starter. Ward is a grinder who always seems to be around the ball and will be a big upgrade to an already improved secondary

 

NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb.

5. Denver Broncos

Pick: DE Bradley Chubb

Opinion: The Broncos had Bradley Chubb fall right into their lap at 5th overall. Chubb is without a doubt the best defensive player in this draft and some may argue he is the best player in the draft overall. Chubb will play alongside All Pro linebacker Von Miller and former first round pick Shane Ray. The Broncos have officially commit to Case Keenum for at least this season with them passing up on both Josh Allen and Josh Rosen.

 

Notre Dame G Quenton Nelson.

6. Indianapolis Colts

Pick: OG Quenton Nelson

Opinion: I have Nelson as the safest pick in the 2018 draft and after years of struggling to build a decent offensive line, the Colts pick up a franchise guard with the sixth pick. Nelson has the potential to be All-Pro as a rookie and with the Colts getting their day one starter at guard at sixth overall and acquiring more draft capital after trading back from 3rd overall, this is the best overall pick in the draft.

 

Photo Credit/Sean M. Haffey, Getty Images

7. Buffalo Bills( from Tampa Bay Buccs)

*Tampa Receives picks 12, 53 and 56. The Bills also received a 7th round pick*

Pick: QB Josh Allen

Opinion: It took 6 picks, but we finally have the first trade of the night. The Bills have finally got their wish of trading into the top ten and did not have to give up both first round picks. With the 7th pick, they take Josh Allen who I think has the highest potential at the quarterback position in the draft. Allen has a canon for an arm, has the pocket presence and the size to succeed but accuracy has been the major issue with him. Allen has been compared to Carson Wentz, who has nearly the same measurables as Allen. I believe if Allen could improve his accuracy issue, he has the potential to be a Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo type player.

Photo Credit/Jamie Squire, Getty Images

 

8. Chicago Bears

Pick: LB Roquan Smith

Opinion: After trading up the previous two seasons, the Bears stay put at 8th overall and select Roquan Smith out of Georgia. Smith is a high touted linebacker that has the qualities to be a four down linebacker in the NFL. He has the size and the ability to be a solid producer in the NFL and has Ray Lewis like qualities. He will join a solid Bears defense who finished top 10 in the NFL last season.

 

9: San Francisco 49ers

Pick: OT Mike McGlinchey

Opinion: The 6’8 Tackle has the commitment and the passion to be a elite level tackle in the NFL. He learns from his mistakes and is the cleanest tackle in this draft. This may not be the “sexiest” pick on paper, especially since there were players like Marcus Davenport, Tremaine Edmounds, Vita Vea and Derwin James on the board, but the offensive line is the most important part of a football team after getting a quarterback. Jimmy G. gets himself a solid offensive lineman and will most likely move over to replace Joe Staley after the 2018 season.

 

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen about to complete a pass.

10. Arizona Cardinals( via Oakland Raiders)

*Raiders receive picks 15, 79, and 152

Pick: QB Josh Rosen

Opinion: Some may say that Rosen is the best pocket passer in the draft, and while he may look decent in the pocket, I am not a fan of Rosen overall and still believe that he is a 2nd round pick. He lacks mobility, makes somewhat questionable throws and his injury history in college makes him a major question mark. Not to mention his off the field issues. With all that said, Rosen still has the potential and could have a career similar to Eli Manning if he cleans up his attitude and his game(maybe not the rings but that is to be seen later).  Like the Browns, the Cardinals got their guy and hope that he will be their starter for the next ten years.

Photo Credit/www.sbnation.com

11. Miami Dolphins

Pick: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

Opinion: I am a huge fan of Fitzpatrick. He is a lengthy player that plays with heart and has the speed to play both saftey and corner in the NFL. He reminds me a lot of Malcom Jenkins and will more than likely be used in the same way the Eagles use Jenkins. I would assume he will pair up next to Xavien Howard at corner come week one. The only concern is where he will play on the field, but as a mentioned before, I believe he could play both secondary positions at a high level and be a major upgrade for this Dolphins team that has been desperate for help.

 

12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers(from Buffalo Bills)

Pick: DT Vita Vea

Opinion: Vea has been called a “more athletic version of Haloti Ngata” and that is the perfect comparison for him. He may not have the sack numbers or the super flashy statistics, but he is a fierce run stopper and will pressure the quarterback when asked. He slides in nicely on that Tampa defensive line and the Buccs drop back, add draft picks and receive a monster on the defensive line as a result. Nice job by the Tampa front office.

 

13. Washington Redskins

Pick: DT Da’Ron Payne

Opinion: Payne is a prototypical defense tackle and will now pair up with his former teammate Jonathan Allen. He is known for being one of the best run stoppers who can clog up lanes and stop anyone in his direction, but the potential for sacks is there. The Redskins really need help on that defensive-line and now add Payne who they believe will be a starter from day one.

UTSA Defensive End Marcus Davenport.

14. New Orleans Saints (from Green Bay Packers)

Pick: DE Marcus Davenport

Opinion: I love the Saints being aggressive and moving up i the draft to add the player they think would take their championship caliber team to the next level. Do not get me wrong, I love Marcus Davenport and I think he will be a good player on that team, but the Saints gave up their 2019 first round pick to select a non-quarterback at 14 and had a shot at drafting Derwin James and making a major upgrade to their secondary. Non the less, Davenport is a athletic lineman who can get to the quarterback and stop the run. He is a boom or bust type player, but I believe he has more qualities to succeed in the league than fail. The Saints add another quality piece to their defense as they look to win another title before the Drew Brees era comes to an end.

 

15. Oakland Raiders (from Arizona Cardinals)

Pick: OT Kolton Miller

Opinion: I am not a big fan of this selection. Some may say that he is the best tackle in the draft but I beg to differ. He has the intangibles to be a franchise player, but his game tape, to me, shows day two talent. The bigger thing is the fact that the Raiders have big defensive needs and had so many more talented and safer players at their selection. Yes, they have more draft picks as a result of their trade with Arizona, but you want to make a solid pick in the first round(see Tampa Bay) and the Raiders failed to do so. Raiders fans have the right to feel concerned.

The Raiders also announced that they traded a third round pick to the Steelers for wide receiver Martavis Bryant. I will be making post draft outlooks for every team in the future , but Bryant helps make up for the Raiders first round selection as he is a number one type weapon for Derek Carr.

 

16. Buffalo Bills (from Baltimore Ravens)

* Ravens receive picks 22 and 65 in this years draft. Bills also get pick 154

Pick: LB Tremaine Edmounds

Opinion: Edmounds is the youngest player in this draft. Being only 19, Edmounds is yet to completely fill up his frame and that should not be a probably once beginning an NFL training program. He was predicted to be drafted top ten, so it is a suprise that he was still on the board at 16, which led the Bills to trade up once again to get him. I rated Edmounds as the best linebacker in this draft and his ability to play in cover and his long lengthy body only adds to his athleticism. This Buffalo defense is looking extremely solid.

 

Florida State S Derwin James.

17. Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: S Derwin James

Opinion: James is an absolute steal at pick number 17. He is the best pure safety in the draft and fits the Chargers defense perfectly. His play style is similar to Eric Berry and is an absolute stud when playing cover. This pick makes the Chargers defense very nasty and continues their goal of getting  younger. He will add to a secondary that already consists of Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett, giving the Chargers a ligament chance at being a top ten, even top 5 defense in all the NFL.

 

Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander picks off a pass against Purdue.

18. Green Bay Packers (from Seattle Seahawks)

*Seattle receives picks 27, 76 and 186. Packers also get pick 248

Pick: CB Jaire Alexander

Opinion: The Packers desperately needed a cornerback after all the losses this secondary had this offseason. Not only did they acquire more draft picks to add to the 12 they had before the draft even started, they get a day one starting corner who plays with swagger and enthusiasm. He is a smooth cover corner and will hopefully not have the career Morgan Burnett had with Jay Cutler, with Mitchell Trubisky.

 

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 16: Leighton Vander Esch #38 of the Boise State Broncos tackles quaterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks during the Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boise State won 38-28. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

19. Dallas Cowboys

Pick: LB Leighton Vander Esch

Opinion: The Cowboys are the next team to get a steal in this draft by selecting Leighton Vander Esch. He has been compared to and called the next Brian Urlacher for many reasons, but I believe he plays just like his new teammate Sean Lee. The Cowboys now have a solid line backing core consisting of Vander Esch, Lee and Jaylon Smith as the Cowboys try and make the playoffs after missing them last season.

 

20. Detroit Lions

Pick: C Frank Ragnow

Opinion: He is touted as the best center in the entire draft and for the third time in four seasons, the Lions pick an offensive linemen in the first round to protect Matthew Stafford. Ragnow will slide right in between Taylor Decker and TJ Lang and the Lions hope Ragnow is a hit unlike Laken Tomlinson and Riley Reiff, whose tenures as Lions first round draft picks where not as promising. It is to note that Ragnow can also play guard.

 

Ohio State guard Billy Price running onto the field with his teammates.

21. Cincinnati Benglas

Pick: C Billy Price

Opinion: Price was the best center to me in this draft and unfortunately suffered a pectoral injury at the combine. However, he is expected to be ready for training camp and could be a solid player for them at 21. The Bengals needed a center so this pick makes sense.

 

22. Tennessee Titans (from Ravens)

*Ravens receive picks 25 and 125. Titans also get pick 215

Pick: LB Rashaan Evans

Opinion: With the loss of Avery Williamson in the offseason, Evans will replace him nicely and look to be a leader on that Tennessee defense that keeps on improving. Evans is a three down linebacker and may have a few flaws in his game but it is nothing major or concerning.

 

23. New England Patriots (from Rams)

Pick: OT Isiah Wynn

Opinion: The Patriots needed an offensive tackle now that Nate Solder is now with the Giants. He was a beast in Georgia and with the Patriots depth at guard, I would be surprised to see Wynn play anywhere other than tackle.

 

24. Carolina Panthers

Picks: WR D.J. Moore

Opinion: Big fan of this pick and Moore at of Maryland. He had an impressive combine which led to him leaping over Calvin Ridley as the number one receiver in the draft. The Panthers wanted to get a speedy pass catcher for Cam Newton and they get a darn good one with the 24th pick.

 

25. Baltimore Ravens (from Titans)

Pick: Hayden Hurst

Opinion: The Ravens add more picks by trading down and fill a major need by selecting the best overall tight end in the draft. The Ravens have struggled with their selections a of tight ends with both Maxx Williams and Crockett Gilmore and their past free agent signing of Benjamin Watson. Hurst reminds me of Jason Witten and is a good blocker, which will help Joe Flacco out a ton.

 

Photo Credit/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

26. Atlanta Falcons

Pick: WR Calvin Ridley

Opinion: Usually one player falls in the first round and this year, that player was Calvin Ridley. Ridley was a star at Alabama but he did lack to break out in big games. He did not have a great combine, and as a result, he started to slide straight down draft boards. The Chicago Bears were trying to trade back into the first round to select Ridley, but the Falcons ended that scenario with this selection. Calvin Ridley will still be a good receiver and putting him in a receiving core with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu will only make him better and allow him to go. This pick puts the NFC on notice and arguably makes the Falcons the scariest offense in the league

 

27. Seattle Seahawks (from Packers)

Pick: RB Rashaad Penny

Opinion: Not of fan of this. He is a very nice runner but he is under six feet and may not be an every down back in the NFL. The Seahawks have many other needs and while running back was a major one, they did not even take the best one in this draft.

 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: S Terrell Edmounds

Opinion: He is the brother of now Bills linebacker Tremaine. Edmounds had a good combine and was a prime example of a rising player in the draft process. He is a prototypical Steelers pick but he is a playmaker. This selection was over shined by Ryan Shaizer who walked out to the podium and announced this selection. Extremely powering and inspirational. Brought a tear to everyone’s eye.

 

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: DT Taven Bryant

Opinion: The Jags add to an already stacked defensive line and it makes sense. Any championship type team needs depth at all defensive positions. It is to note that with all these defenive linemens, the Jags cant afford to sign them all so Bryant is a cheap option who can play. Good pick.

 

Jan 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Central Florida Knights defensive back Mike Hughes (19) returns a kickoff against the Auburn Tigers in the fourth quarter in the 2018 Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

30. Minnesota Vikings

Pick: CB Mike Hughes

Opinion: Watched Hughes a lot at UCF and he is a sneaky good cover corner. He has length and size and it is known that Mike Zimmer loves working with corners so it will be interesting to see how great he will play on a stacked Viking defense.

 

31. New England Patriots

Pick: RB Sony Michel

Opinion: He will replace Dion Lewis who is now with the Titans. He is the typical Patriots running back: the receiving back. There were questions abouthis knee injury and numerous reports came out saying that Michel may slip in the draft because of concern over his knee injury being “bone to bone”. Non the less, he might have been taken higher than expected as he was projected to be a second round pick. He was a productive runner and receiver at the college level and he will join Rex Burkhead, James White, and Mike Gillislee in a loaded running back room.

 

32. Baltimore Ravens (from Eagles)

*Eagles get picks 52 and 125 in this draft, and a 2nd round pick in 2019. The Ravens also get pick 132

Pick: QB Lamaar Jackson

Opinion: The last first round pick for Ozzie Newsome was a big one, selecting a former Heisman winning in Lamaar Jackson. Jackson did not run a 40 at all through the draft process as teams had been rumored to of been interested in Jackson as a receiver, which did not flatter him at all. Jackson had all talent and speed to be a quarterback in the NFL, but his small frame is a concern. He is a developmental quarterback and will be looked to be Joe Flacco’s replacement. Flacco could be released without a cap penalty at the end of the season, so Lamaar may see action as soon as 2019. Now, with a major chip on his shoulder, watch for a motivated Lamaar Jackson to work his butt off and become the NFL starter he and others know he could be.

 

Grayzee’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft

Grayzee’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft

Welcome to my NFL Mock Draft!  I’m not the hugest mock draft guy, as it truly is impossible to predict where all these guys land.  However, since it is the day before the draft and we’ll have more information than we ever will, I might as well do a mock draft.  There will be no trades, even though Buffalo, Arizona, and possibly New England seem like candidates to trade up.  Let’s get started.

Pick #1: Cleveland Browns select Sam Darnold (QB- USC)

Some rumors suggest Cleveland likes Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield, but I think they’d be foolish to not go with Darnold at #1.  He seems least likely to bust out of all the QBs in this draft class, which the Browns could certainly use given their history with drafting QBs.  Darnold had a rocky year compared to his 2016 campaign, but losing JuJu Smith-Schuster clearly hurt his production.  Though his turnovers can be concerning, Darnold has all the skills to be a great QB at the next level.

Pick #2: New York Giants select Saquon Barkley (RB- Penn St.)

New GM Dave Gettleman has talked about drafting a player who would “wear a golden jacket” one day, so I don’t think he would pass up on Barkley’s talent.  People think the Giants could be selecting Bradley Chubb because of the JPP trade, and I believe that would be a good fit as well.  However, the thought of having Barkley and Odell Beckham on the same offense could light up defenses for years.  And no, I don’t think the Giants signing the old and injury-prone Jonathan Stewart will deter them from drafting Barkley.

Pick #3: New York Jets select Josh Rosen (QB- UCLA)

Josh Rosen seems like the perfect fit for the Jets, who traded up to #3 to presumably get a QB.  Rosen is the most pro-ready QB in this class, and though his durability and personality scare people, he has the traits to succeed in a big market like New York.  The Jets gave up a lot to get a QB, and I think Chosen Rosen is a lot less risky than Baker Mayfield.

Josh Rosen

Photo from: AP Images

Pick #4: Cleveland Browns (from HOU) select Bradley Chubb (DE- NC. St.)

The Browns will have their pass rush set for at least the next 5 years, as they double down at defensive end.  Myles Garrett and Bradley Chubb could be deadly, and I think GM John Dorsey could learn from the Eagles model that you can never have enough edge rushers.

Pick #5: Denver Broncos select Baker Mayfield (QB- Oklahoma)

Mayfield is another QB who’s attitude has come into question, and his size has as well.  And while John Elway does love tall QBs, I think he’ll take Mayfield here.  Mayfield is quite a competitor, and could take the starting position from Case Keenum by year one possibly.

Pick #6: Indianapolis Colts select Quenton Nelson (OG- Notre Dame)

Nelson has been called a can’t miss/can’t bust prospect, and ideally he could help protect Andrew Luck for the next decade plus.  The Colts SB Nation page mentions that Nelson would help an o-line that desperately needs it, and that seems true.  Nelson is strong, has great footwork, and should be an All-Pro at the next level.

Pick #7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Minkah Fitzpatrick (CB/S- Alabama)

Minkah can play both cornerback and safety, and immediately help a Bucs secondary no matter where they choose to play him.  After all, Tampa gave up the most passing yards among any defense in the NFL last season.

Pick #8: Chicago Bears select Tremaine Edmunds (LB- Virginia Tech)

The Bears will have a solid inside ‘backer duo with Danny Trevathan and Edmunds.  Edmunds recorded well over 200 tackles in college, and won’t even turn 20 until after he hears his name called on draft night.

Pick #9: San Francisco 49ers select Roquan Smith (LB- Georgia)

John Lynch mentioned that Reuben Foster’s career with the 49ers could already be in jeopardy.  It looks as though there’s a strong possibility that the Niners will double down on ILBs, as Roquan Smith led his team in sacks last season.

Pick #10: Oakland Raiders select Denzel Ward (CB- Ohio St.)

The Raiders, much like the Bucs, played below expectations in 2017 partially due to poor secondary play.  Ward would join sophomore Gareon Conley to form a young core at the cornerback position.

Pick #11: Miami Dolphins select Calvin Ridley (WR- Alabama)

Truthfully, the Dolphins have a lot of needs, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were a team picking in the top 5 in the 2019 draft.  However, wide receiver is now a big one thanks to the departure of Jarvis Landry.  Ridley seems to be the consensus top pick at the receiver position, due to his speed and route-running abilities.

Pick #12: Buffalo Bills (from CIN) select Josh Allen (QB- Wyoming)

Allen’s strong arm and his experience playing in cold weather make him an ideal fit for Buffalo.  The Bills are so desperate for a QB that they’ve reportedly been “trying like hell” to trade up once again.  In this scenario however, Allen falls in their lap at #12.

Pick #13: Washington Redskins select Vita Vea (DT- Washington)

The Redskins will have a great foundation on the d-line with Jonathan Allen, and now Vita Vea.  Vea is a huge run-stuffer, and will fit the nose tackle position perfectly for the Skins.

Pick #14: Green Bay Packers select Derwin James (SS- Florida St.)

The Packers let go of Morgan Burnett, which means they need a new strong safety.  Derwin James fits the bill.

Pick #15: Arizona Cardinals select Lamar Jackson (QB- Louisville)

Jackson goes from being a Louisville Cardinal to an Arizona Cardinal, as the Cards can’t possibly consider Sam Bradford as their franchise QB (despite paying him $20 million).  Cardinals offensive coordinator Mike McCoy has worked with a mobile QB before in Tim Tebow, so I think it could work.

Pick #16: Baltimore Ravens select Da’Ron Payne (DT- Alabama)

Given Ozzie Newsome’s love of Alabama prospects, it may make sense for him to take the best player available here in Payne.  Taking a WR here (which the Ravens do really need) might be too much of a reach.

Payne-FTR-GEtty-Images.jpg

Photo from: Getty Images

Pick #17: Los Angeles Chargers select Orlando Brown (OT- Oklahoma)

Joe Barksdale has been serviceable at right tackle, but the Bolts could be looking for an upgrade at the position.

Pick #18: Seattle Seahawks select Josh Jackson (CB- Iowa)

Will Hernandez and Billy Price could be possibilities for Seattle, as the Seahawks have struggled on the o-line for years.  However, I think they’ll address the secondary that recently lost Richard Sherman.

Pick #19: Dallas Cowboys select D.J. Moore (WR- Maryland)

With Dez Bryant gone, Dallas has a hole in the receiving corps.  Adding Allen Hurns and Moore can alleviate that.

Pick #20: Detroit Lions select Marcus Davenport (DE- UTSA)

The Lions franchised Ziggy Ansah, and he could use a partner in crime on the d-line.  Davenport has great size and speed, and the Lions will take him.

Pick #21: Cincinnati Bengals (from BUF) select Will Hernandez (OG- UTEP)

Cincy traded for Cordy Glenn to help a weak o-line, but the interior needs help as well.  Losing Kevin Zeitler last offseason did no favors for the Bengals, and so they’ll draft Hernandez.

Pick #22: Buffalo Bills select Billy Price (C/OG- Ohio St.)

The Bills have lost center Eric Wood to retirement this offseason, and even if Richie Incognito comes out of retirement, he is 34 years old.  The Bills need new blood on the interior of their o-line, and they’ll get that with Price.

Pick #23: New England Patriots (from LAR) select Mike McGlinchey (OT- Notre Dame)

The Pats lost Nate Solder this offseason, and need a new man to protect Brady’s blindside.

Pick #24: Carolina Panthers select Jaire Alexander (CB- Louisville)

The Panthers still need some help in their secondary, and they’ll get it here.

Pick #25: Tennessee Titans select Harold Landry (DE- Boston College)

The Titans departure against the Patriots in the playoffs proved that not only were they a young team that couldn’t stack up to a juggernaut like New England, they also couldn’t get any pressure on the QB.  Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel could consider Landry, who had a 16.5 sack season in 2016.

Pick #26: Atlanta Falcons select Maurice Hurst (DT- Michigan)

Despite Hurst’s heart condition possibly scaring away some teams, the Falcons lost Dontari Poe this offseason and need help at defensive tackle.

Pick #27: New Orleans Saints select Mark Andrews (TE- Oklahoma)

Drew Brees will get another weapon, as Coby Fleener hasn’t exactly worked out in New Orleans.

Pick #28: Pittsburgh Steelers select Mason Rudolph (QB- Oklahoma St.)

Ben Roethlisberger is 36 and has mentioned retirement before.  The Steelers could do a traditional Steeler thing and take a linebacker with their first round pick, but I think think they could develop Rudolph behind Big Ben for the next few years.

Pick #29: Jacksonville Jaguars select Christian Kirk (WR- Texas A&M)

With the two Allens having left in free agency (Robinson to the Bears and Hurns to the Cowboys), the Jaguars need a new weapon for Blake Bortles.  The speedy Kirk fits the bill.

Photo from: AP Images

Pick #30: Minnesota Vikings select Connor Williams (OT- Texas)

The Vikings need to protect their big investment in Kirk Cousins, and the o-line still isn’t where it needs to be.  Williams can find a starting spot on the o-line.

Pick #31: New England Patriots select Leighton Vander Esch (LB- Boise St.)

Vander Esch will help a front 7 that was one of the weaker links for the Super Bowl runner-ups last year.

Pick #32: Philadelphia Eagles select Derrius Guice (RB- LSU)

It’s a deep runningback draft, and the Eagles can take advantage of that with this pick.  Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, and Guice can form a three-headed monster in the Eagles backfield.

Three Draft Sleepers at Every Position: Safety

Three Draft Sleepers at Every Position: Safety

Like cornerbacks, safeties are an important part of modern NFL defenses. Safeties like Malcolm Jenkins now have the responsibility to play a linebacker role in certain sub-packages. NFL teams are trying to find hybrid players who have versatility, so finding sleeper picks in the 2018 NFL Draft will be a priority for many teams. So, who are the three sleepers at safety in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Marcus Allen, Penn State

Don’t get this guy confused with Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen. Allen, the safety, was apart of the Penn State resurgence. He’s tough and has good speed and strength, and with a better football IQ through studying tape, Allen can be a special player.

Projected Round: 5th Round

Projected Team: Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers’ safeties lack depth or even talent, for that matter. Allen will be a nice fit in the secondary that includes Casey Hayward and Jason Verrett.

Penn State safety Marcus Allen.

Kyzir White, West Virginia

White is one of the more underrated safeties in the NFL Draft. He’s feisty and is a classic West Virginia defender. His average athleticism makes him slip in the draft a little, but whoever nabs him will be pleased.

Projected Round: 4th Round

Projected Team: Buffalo Bills

Buffalo doesn’t have a pressing need at safety, but White’s tough demeanour makes him a great fit for the nickel role. Also, White is exceptional depth under Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.

West Virginia safety Kyzir White.

Van Smith, Clemson

Smith isn’t the fastest or the biggest hitter, but he’s consistent and is a smart player. Decision making is an underrated skill, and Smith is one of the best decision makers at safety in this draft.

Projected Round: 5th Round

Projected Team: Green Bay Packers

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Josh Johnson could be a nice duo in 2018, but they need more depth at safety. Smith would be excellent depth and could start at the “money backer” role.

Clemson safety Van Smith.

Three Draft Sleepers at Every Position: Cornerback

Three Draft Sleepers at Every Position: Cornerback

In the modern NFL, having multiple quality cornerbacks is essential for success. With many defenses playing in nickel and dime coverage a lot of the time, defensive backs have become increasingly important.

Cornerbacks are usually the flashiest and loudest on the field, and some of the best come in the first round. However, players like Richard Sherman and Josh Norman slip in the later rounds have made their impact on their respective teams. So, which corners in the 2018 NFL Draft could be a mid-round pick and make a substantial impact for the future?

Isaac Yiadom, Boston College

Every year, some players just slip under the radar, and Yiadom is one of those players. He’s long, rangy and has great ball skills. He’ll be a great number two option wherever he ends up.

Projected Round: 4th Round

Projected Team: Green Bay Packers

Green Bay loves tall corners, and Yiadom can play alongside second year player Kevin King. Getting him in the fourth round is a solid value pick and he fits the Packers’ system well.

Boston College cornerback Isaac Yiadom.

Rashaan Gaulden, Tennessee

Known for flipping off Alabama fans, Gaulden has some feisty in him, to say the least. He’s a prototypical nickel corner who’s physical and is quick enough to match up against slot receivers.

Projected Round: 5th Round

Projected Team: New Orleans Saints

New Orleans has an emerging superstar in Marshon Lattimore, and getting some depth at the position will further help this ascending defense.

Tennessee cornerback Rashaan Gaulden.

Tony Brown, Alabama

Tony Brown is the definition of a throwback player. He’s fast and tough and is a perfect fit for the modern NFL nickel corner. He has solid coverage skills and is quick enough to blitz.

Projected Round: 3rd Round

Projected Team: Arizona Cardinals

Arizona is a fantastic fit for Brown. Tyrann Mathieu is now in Houston, so finding that designated nickel corner will be a big priority in the draft.

Alabama cornerback Tony Brown.

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Draft 9.0 (7 Round Mock Draft)

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Draft 9.0 (7 Round Mock Draft)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is finally here! The 9.0 version of Nick’s Picks, which includes seven rounds and a one sentence explanation for each pick. Let’s get to it!

Round One

1. CLE: Sam Darnold, QB, USC: Cleveland finds their QB for the future.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold about to throw a pass.

2. NYG: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: Eli Manning still has some left in the tank, but he needs a better supporting cast, so Barkley is the pick.

3. NYJ(IND): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: The Jets need a quarterback and Rosen will be able to handle the New York media.

4. CLE(HOU): Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: The best teams have a multitude of pass rushers, so Chubb should be the pick.

5. DEN: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: John Elway won’t fall in love with any of this year’s quarterbacks, so he’ll get a Pro Bowl offensive lineman instead.

6. IND(NYJ): Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech: The Colts are bare at linebacker, and Edmunds is the best available option.

7. TB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama: The Bucs get a versatile defender who brings a hard-working attitude.

8. CHI: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: The Bears need a thumper in the middle of their defense.

9. SF: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: The 49ers could have an intriguing cornerback duo in Richard Sherman and Denzel Ward.

10. OAK: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: Donald Penn is old and the right tackle position is in question, so the Raiders get a solid blocker in McGlinchey.

Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.

11. MIA: Vita Vea, DT, Washington: Ndamukong Suh didn’t live up to his historic contract and he’s now a Ram, and Vea can come in to replace Suh’s void.

12. BUF(CIN): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The Bills need a strong arm quarterback who can play in cold weather, and Allen can be the quarterback for the future.

13. WAS: Derwin James, S, Florida State: Washington gets a dynamic playmaker in their secondary.

14. GB: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: Jordy Nelson was cut and signed with the Raiders, so getting a young playmaker in Ridley fills that void.

15. AZ: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: The Cardinals get an electric playmaker in Lamar Jackson.

16. BAL: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP: Marshal Yanda is old and Baltimore’s offensive line is underwhelming.

17. LAC: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: Mayfield will have a slip in the draft and learn from Philip Rivers.

18. SEA: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Richard Sherman left for San Francisco, which leaves a void at the cornerback position.

19. DAL: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama: Dallas lacks depth at safety and Harrison is the best at the position.

20. DET: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: The Lions have been desperate for a running back for the last five years, and Guice is the best available.

LSU running back Derrius Guice celebrating after scoring a touchdown.

21. CIN(BUF): James Daniels, C, Iowa: The Bengals need a center and Daniels is a special talent.

22. BUF: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia: The Bills have some holes in their offensive line and Wynn is as versatile as they come.

23. NE(LAR): Harold Landry, DE, Boston College: The Patriots are desperate for a pass rush and Landry is the purest edge rusher in this draft.

24. CAR: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: The Panthers need a bona fide number one receiver.

25. TEN: Justin Reid, S, Stanford: The Titans can create their new Legion of Boom with a safety.

26. ATL: Da’Ron Payne: The Falcons are the recipients of Payne slipping in the draft.

27. NO: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: Cameron Jordan needs a partner to bend the edge with.

28. PIT: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State: Big Ben isn’t getting any younger and Rudolph can become a starter in a few years.

29. JAX: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: The Jags need to make sure Blake Bortles can stay upright and that Leonard Fournette has adequate blockers for the future.

30. MIN: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: Kentrell Brothers is suspended for the first four games for violated the NFL’s PED policy, and having Evans with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr makes a fantastic young linebacking corps.

Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans.

31. NE: Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh: Nate Solder left in free agency to the New York Giants, so Bill Belichick will look to find a new blindside protector for Tom Brady.

32. PHI: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: The Eagles lost Patrick Robinson to the Saints in free agency and they released Daryl Worley after his arrest, so a new cornerback is needed.

Round Two

33. CLE: Connor Williams, OT, Texas: Future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas retired this offseason, so Williams will be the pick.

34. NYG: Billy Price, C, Ohio State: Weston Richburg left in free agency to the San Francisco 49ers, so the G-Men will look to find a new center.

35. CLE(HOU): Sony Michel, RB, Georgia: Carlos Hyde needs a new versatile back to pair up with and have an Ingram-Kamara type relationship with a receiving back.

36. IND: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado: Vontae Davis is now a Buffalo Bill and Quincy Wilson isn’t ready to be the number one corner, so Oliver provides some competition.

37. IND(NYJ): Ronald Jones II, RB, USC: Marlon Mack thinks he can be the bell-cow, but he’ll need some competition to make that happen.

38. TB: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: Doug Martin is off to Oakland and the Bucs desperately need a premier back.

39. CHI: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: The Bears need to ensure Mitchell Trubisky has enough weapons to succeed, and Kirk is a versatile weapon on offense and special teams.

40. DEN: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State: The Broncos will look at the value of selecting Vander Esch at this position and will want to select him.

Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.

41. OAK: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF: Sean Smith was released and Gareon Conley is unproven, also, T.J. Carrie left for Cleveland, so Hughes will be the pick.

42. MIA: Arden Key, DE, LSU: The edge rushers in Miami are old and Key has loads of potential.

43. NE(SF): Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma: Rob Gronkowski may retire or leave New England, so getting a young tight end should be on the to-do list.

44. WAS: Duke Dawson, CB, Florida: Kendall Fuller was traded to the Chiefs and Washington needs some young corners.

45. GB: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan: Green Bay will take the risk on Hurst’s medical issues and potentially get a first round talent.

46. CIN: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA: Cordy Glenn was acquired via trade from the Bills, but their offensive line is still in shambles.

47. AZ: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland: Larry Fitzgerald is likely done after this season, so the Cardinals will look to find a new number one receiver.

48. LAC: Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest: The Chargers likely won’t retain Tre Boston, so Bates will be a younger, more versatile safety for Los Angeles.

49. IND(NYJ via SEA): Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE, Oklahoma: The Colts need a new pass rusher for their 4-3 defense, and Okoronkwo is as explosive as they come.

50. DAL: Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State: Anthony Hitchens left for Kansas City in free agency, and Sean Lee is injury prone, so Jerry Jones will look to find an athletic linebacker.

South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard.

51. DET: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State: The Lions released Eric Ebron and they need a new red zone threat.

52. BAL: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina: Maxx Williams hasn’t worked out and Flacco needs a new red zone threat.

53. BUF: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington: The Bills’ receiving corps is a bit shaky and Pettis has offensive and special teams ability.

54. KC: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida: Bennie Logan left to sign with the Tennessee Titans, and Bryan is great value at this part of the draft.

55. CAR: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State: Greg Olsen will retire soon and Newton still needs someone to be a reliable target.

56. BUF(LAR): Kevin Toliver II, CB, LSU: Second year corner Tre’Davious White will want to pair up with his college partner in Toliver.

57. TEN: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame: The Titans need a new receiver and to not put as much pressure on Corey Davis.

58. ATL: Braden Smith, G, Auburn: The Falcons need some interior offensive line help.

59. SF(NO): D.J. Chark, WR, LSU: Chark can eventually become the number one receiver for the recently paid Jimmy Garoppolo.

60. PIT: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: The Steelers need another young corner in the mix, and Alexander is far and away the best at this position.

Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander picks off a pass against Purdue.

61. JAX: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State: Both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are no longer on the roster, and Washington can become a top option.

62. MIN: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State: The Vikings need more competition at the tackle position.

63. NE: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State: Tom Brady is likely going to retire sooner rather than later, so they need to find his replacement.

64. CLE(PHI): J.C. Jackson, CB, Maryland: The Browns need to find a number one corner early in this draft.

Round Three

65. BUF(CLE): Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas: Eric Wood had to retire due to injury concerns, and Ragnow is the best available.

66. NYG: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn: Eli Apple is on thin ice in New York and Davis provides quality competition at the position.

67. IND: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas: The Colts need to get multiple linebackers in this draft.

68. HOU: Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan: Duane Brown was traded to the Seahawks and they need a new tackle moving forward.

69. TB: Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon: Donovan Smith has been a disappointment and the Bucs need to find a new tackle for Jameis Winston.

70. SF(CHI): Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia: Reuben Foster is in serious legal trouble and they’ll need to find a potential replacement.

Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser.

71. DEN: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford: The Broncos need some more depth in their interior defensive line.

72. NYG(TB): Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia: The Giants need a new edge rusher who has some coverage ability in Carter.

73. MIA: Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama: The Dolphins released Lawrence Timmons, so they’ll need to find a replacement at middle linebacker.

74. SF: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn: The 49ers signed Jerick McKinnon, but he isn’t the feature back, and Johnson has the potential to become that.

75. OAK: Dorance Armstrong, DE, Kansas: Outside of Khalil Mack, the Raiders need new edge rushers.

76. GB: Mark Walton, RB, Miami (FL): There’s no number one running back on the Packers’ roster, and Walton is the best available.

77. CIN: Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia: Andy Dalton has been a subpar starter and Benkert could give him a run for his money.

78. KC(WAS): Holton Hill, CB, Texas: The Chiefs need a new number one corner now that Marcus Peters is in Los Angeles.

79. AZ: Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin: The Cardinals need a new tight end to help in the red zone.

80. HOU(SEA): Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State: Lamar Miller hasn’t lived up to his contract and Ballage gives competition to both Miller and D’Onta Foreman.

Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage.

81. DAL: Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State: Dez Bryant was released and the Cowboys need a new number one receiver.

82. DET: Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia: Haloti Ngata is now a Philadelphia Eagle and they need some interior pressure on their defensive line.

83. BAL: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State: The Ravens need speed on their defensive line, and Hubbard is an explosive athlete.

84. LAC: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC: The Chargers need more help in their linebacking corps.

85. CAR(BUF): Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF: The feel-good story of the draft lands with the Carolina Panthers.

86. KC: Sean Welsh, G, Iowa: The Chiefs will look to add more competition in their interior offensive line.

87. LAR: Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (FL): Although the Rams have an amazing interior rushing attack, they need some edge rushers to supplement the double-teams Donald and Suh will receive.

88. CAR: Deshon Elliott, S, Texas: The Panthers need a young safety to replace their older secondary.

89. TEN: Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech: The Titans need to find a dominant nose tackle, and Settle is best available.

90. ATL: Cam Serigne, TE, Wake Forest: Austin Hooper isn’t the long-term solution at tight end, and Serigne gives Hooper some competition.

Wake Forest tight end Cam Serigne.

91. NO: Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond: Drew Brees isn’t going to be in NOLA for the long-term future, and Lauletta has as much potential as anyone.

92. PIT: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa: No one knows if Ryan Shazier will ever be what he used to be, and Jewell is a prototypical Steeler.

93. JAX: Jeff Holland, DE, Auburn: The Jaguars should find another edge rusher to get into the mix with their dominant attack.

94. MIN: Auden Tate, WR, Florida State: The Vikings have a solid receiving group, but they need a big body receiver for Kirk Cousins to succeed.

95. NE: Quin Blanding, S, Virginia: The Patriots safety tandem in Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung is getting old and there’s no immediate replacement.

96. BUF(PHI): Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri: The Bills need another young edge rusher for the future.

97. AZ: Tony Brown, CB, Alabama: Arizona will look to find a new slot corner.

98. HOU: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State: Houston could look to get a new corner to add some competition.

99. DEN: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis: Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are old and could use a young, dynamic receiver.

100. CIN: Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State: The Bengals have a nice tandem in edge rushers, but Sweat adds some quality depth and even competition.

Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat.

Round Four

101. GB(CLE): Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College: The Packers like long, rangy corners, and Yiadom could compete for starting snaps.

102. TB(NYG): Kemoko Turay, DE, Rutgers: Tampa would benefit from another dynamic edge rusher in Turay.

103. HOU: Mason Cole, C, Michigan: Nick Martin might not be the long-term solution at center, so adding competition is important.

104. IND: Ike Boettger, OT, Iowa: The Colts need more protection for Andrew Luck once and for all.

105. CHI: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech: The Bears could look to get more competition at the safety position.

106. DEN: Kameron Kelly, CB, San Diego State: Aqib Talib is now a Los Angeles Ram and Kelly has loads of versatility.

107. NYJ: Geron Christian, OT, Louisville: Whoever is going to be quarterback needs protection.

108. NYG(TB): Deon Cain, WR, Clemson: With Brandon Marshall being released, the Giants need a new receiving threat.

109. WAS(DEN via SF): Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest: Washington needs some competition at the edge rushing position.

110. OAK: B.J. Hill, DT, North Carolina State: The Raiders need to add another defensive tackle in their average defensive line room.

111. LAR (MIA): Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State: Jared Goff needs another target to further grow his development.

112. CIN: Dimitri Flowers, FB, Oklahoma: The Bengals will get an offensive weapon and get Joe Mixon’s fullback from his college days.

113. DEN (WAS): Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana: Denver should look to get multiple receiving threats in this draft.

114. CLE (GB): Austin Corbett, G, Nevada: The Browns should look to get more depth in their offensive line.

115. CHI (AZ): Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon: The Bears love to nab mid-round running backs and feature them in their offense, and Freeman is this year’s sleeper.

116. DAL: Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State: The Cowboys need more players who could potentially start on their defensive line.

117. DET: Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Detroit needs to find another linebacker opposite Jarrad Davis to make their linebacking corps a decent one.

118. BAL: Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State: The Ravens receiving corps is old and has limited talent, and Ateman could emerge as the number one target.

119. LAC: Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia: Keeping Philip Rivers upright must be a priority for the Chargers.

120. SEA: Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State: Russell Wilson has been running for his life the last few years, so some offensive line help is necessary.

121. BUF: Kyzir White, S, West Virginia: Buffalo’s safeties need some depth at safety.

122. KC: Deontay Burnett, WR, USC: Ensuring Patrick Mahomes has weapons for the future is vital for the Chiefs’ success.

123. MIA(CLE via CAR): Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama: Averett has the ability to compete for the starting job in Miami.

124. KC(LAR): Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana: Travis Kelce is elite, but injury prone, so finding a solid number two target is important for this offense.

125. TEN: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State: Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis should be a nice duo, but Penny acts as a good insurance policy in case of injury.

126. ATL: Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana: The linebacking corps is bare in Atlanta, and Scales has the ability to compete for starting snaps.

127. NO: Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State: Baker is good value at this stage of the draft and fills a need for the Saints.

128. SF(PIT): Devron Davis, CB, UTSA: The 49ers need multiple corners in order to create competition.

129. JAX: R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami (FL): Marcell Dareus is getting old and expensive, so finding a cheaper replacement should be on the to do list for the Jags.

130. PHI(MIN): DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State: The Eagles need more depth at receiver and upcoming contracts could make their current players expensive down the road.

131. MIA(PHI via NE): Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech: The Dolphins lost their slot receiver in Jarvis Landry, so finding a decent replacement is necessary.

132. PHI: Rasheem Green, DT, USC: Philadelphia has a dominant defensive line, but having quality depth is important for future success.

133. GB: Jack Cichy, LB, Wisconsin: Some quality depth at linebacker is vital for the Packers.

134. AZ: Scott Quessenberry, C, UCLA: Arizona should try to find a starting center in this draft, and Quessenberry has leadership experience and has potential.

135. LAR(NYG): Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama: A duo with Todd Gurley and Scarbrough would be a scary site to see.

136. LAR(NE): Zachary Crabtree, OT, Oklahoma State: The Rams need competition at the right tackle position, and Crabtree was almost exclusively a right tackle at Oklahoma State.

137. DAL: Andrew Brown, DE, Virginia: Drafting Brown creates quality competition opposite Demarcus Lawrence.

Round Five

138. GB(CLE): Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA: The Packers need more depth at the receiver position.

139. NYG: Jason Cabinda, LB, Penn State: The Giants need some more athletic linebackers with the addition of Alec Ogletree.

140. IND: Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State: Indianapolis will look to find some depth behind T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers.

141. SEA(HOU): Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida: Callaway has had some off the field issues, but Seattle’s locker room can embrace him and ensure he succeeds.

142. WAS(DEN): Robert Foster, WR, Alabama: Washington needs more receivers to compete with their underwhelming starting group.

143. SF(NYJ): Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State: Joe Staley is old and Jones has starting potential.

144. TB: Bryce Bobo, WR, Colorado: Tampa should look to find a slot receiver to compete with Adam Humphries.

145. CHI: Poona Ford, DT, Texas: Ensuring there’s some competition in the defensive line is imperative for the Bears.

146. SEA(OAK): Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford: Seattle has quickly turned bare at the corner position, so finding some replacements is imperative.

147. NO(MIA): Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee: The Saints will look to find a physical slot corner.

148. PIT(SF): Brett Toth, OT, Army: Pittsburgh already has an Army offensive tackle in Alejandro Villanueva, so Toth could definitely be an option for the black and gold.

149. DEN(WAS): Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State: C.J. Anderson was released and the Broncos are in need of a receiving back, and Hines fills both of those needs.

150. CLE(GB): Darius Jackson, LB, Jacksonville State: Jackson provides quality depth at linebacker with some upside.

Jacksonville State linebacker Darius Jackson.

151. CIN: Mike McCray, LB, Michigan: Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s PED policy, so finding some quality linebackers is essential.

152. AZ: Greg Senat, OT, Wagner: Long-time right tackle Jared Veldheer was traded to the Broncos this offseason, and Senat is a natural right tackle.

153. DET: Hercules Mata’afa, DE, Washington State: This versatile defender will find his spot with defensive mind Matt Patricia.

154. BAL: Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama: The Ravens will look to get two things with this pick: a depth corner and another Alabama prospect.

155. LAC: Marcus Allen, S, Penn State: The Chargers need multiple young safeties to compete for starting positions.

156. SEA (PHI via SEA): Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky: The Seahawks have reportedly been interested in getting a backup QB.

157. NYJ (DAL): Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame: Matt Forte retired this offseason, so finding a potential starter in Adams is a priority.

158. CIN (BUF): Marquis Haynes, DE, Mississippi: The Bengals will jump at the potential to nab one of the best prospects at this stage of the draft.

159. OAK (NE via CLE via KC): Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa: Marshawn Lynch likely won’t be with the team after this upcoming season and Doug Martin isn’t dependable, so finding a running back should be on the to-do list.

160. DEN (LAR): Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame: Smythe is one of the top blocking tight ends in the draft, and John Elway will appreciate his versatility.

161. CAR: Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami (FL): Star Lotulelei left in free agency to Buffalo, so finding some depth at defensive tackle is needed.

162. TEN: Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State: Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan have peaked and are old, so finding some rotational edge rushers is necessary.

163. WAS (DEN via ATL): Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska: Alex Smith will only be the answer for a few seasons, so offensive minded coach Jay Gruden will try and find a successor.

164. NO: Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF: Willie Snead is now a Raven, so finding some depth at receiver is important.

165. PIT: James Hearns, LB, Louisville: Pittsburgh will look to find some depth at outside linebacker.

166. BUF(JAX): J.K. Scott, P, Alabama: The Bills need a punter for the foreseeable future.

167. MIN: Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU: Minnesota will look to find depth in their offensive line.

168. SEA(NE): Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, DE, Arkansas State: The Seahawks traded Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles, and Rolland-Jones is a sack machine.

169. PHI: Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T: Jason Peters will retire soon and Hal Vaitai is still unproven, so the Eagles could find a hidden gem in Parker.

170. CIN: Jester Weah, WR, Pittsburgh: The Bengals will look to add depth at the receiver position.

171. DAL: Tyrone Crowder, G, Clemson: Dallas is known for adding quality offensive linemen, and Crowder is a sleeper at the guard position.

172. GB: Van Smith, S, Clemson: Damarious Randall was sent off to Cleveland, and finding a safety should be a priority.

173. OAK (DAL): Ola Adeniyi, DE, Toledo: Jon Gruden will look to find some sleepers later in the draft, and Adeniyi has loads of upside.

174. GB: Parry Nickerson CB, Tulane: Nickerson is one of the biggest sleepers in this draft, and Green Bay will jump at the chance to grab him.

Round Six

175. CLE: Darren Carrington II, WR, Utah: Cleveland could look for more depth at receiver in the later rounds of the draft.

176. LAR(NYG): Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech: The guard position in Los Angeles has been subpar, so finding a player like Teller is important.

177. HOU: Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State: There’s no definitive starter at defensive tackle, and drafting Nnadi at this stage of the draft is exceptional value.

178. IND: Drew Bailey, DT, Louisville: There’s no number one defensive tackle with the release of Johnathan Hankins, so finding a sleeper like Bailey is imperative.

179. NYJ: Chris Worley, LB, Ohio State: Demario Davis is no longer with the Jets, so finding a potential replacement should be prioritized.

180. TB: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan: Tampa must find some more depth at the corner position.

181. CHI: Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin: Nelson will slip in the draft because of an injury he sustained during a visit with the Lions, so Chicago will be the beneficiary of his slip.

182. AZ(DEN): Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Mississippi: Arizona lost a few receivers this offseason, so getting some extra receivers for depth and competition is vital.

183. LAR(MIA): Christian Sam, LB, Arizona State: The Rams need some potential starters at linebacker now that Alec Ogletree is a New York Giant.

184. SF: D.J. Reed, CB, Kansas State: This will be the third corner the 49ers draft, which is still necessary to sustain a competitive roster.

185. OAK: Matthew Thomas, LB, Florida State: Oakland gets solid depth at linebacker with Thomas.

186. GB: Will Clapp, C, LSU: Clapp is a versatile blocker and will work well in Green Bay.

187. BUF(CIN): Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State: Buffalo gets a quality depth player in Holmes.

188. WAS: Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech: Washington needs to get a few corners to develop in this draft.

189. NO(AZ): Du’Vonta Lampkin, DT, Oklahoma: New Orleans will look to get another quality defensive lineman later in the draft.

190. BAL: Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis: Joe Flacco might not be the answer long-term, and getting Ferguson in the sixth round is tremendous value.

191. LAC: Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham: The Chargers will look to find a second running back behind Melvin Gordon.

192. DAL(OAK via SEA): M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina: Dallas needs to find some quality corners to work for the nickel role.

193. DAL: Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado: Lindsay is a good blocking running back and will fit great behind Ezekiel Elliott.

194. LAR(DET): Jaylen Dunlap, CB, Illinois: The Rams will want some quality corners behind Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.

195. LAR(BUF): Taylor Stallworth, DT, South Carolina: Behind Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, the Rams need more depth at defensive tackle.

196. KC: Joe Ostman, DE, Central Michigan: Tamba Hali was released and Ostman is a sack artist.

197. CAR: Will Richardson, OT, North Carolina State: Richardson gives great depth to a shaky offensive line room.

198. LAR: Brendan Mahon, G, Penn State: Los Angeles should try and add multiple offensive linemen in this draft.

199. TEN: Jacob Pugh, LB, Florida State: Avery Williamson is now a New York Jet, so finding a decent linebacker is important for the Titans’ defense.

200. ATL: D’Montre Wade, CB, Murray State: Jalen Collins was released and the Falcons need more competition at corner.

Murray State cornerback D'Montre Wade.

201. NO: Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech: The Saints find solid depth at corner in Stroman.

202. TB(PIT via CLE via PIT): Breeland Speaks, DE, Mississippi: Speaks provides good depth and versatility on the defensive line.

203. JAX: Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State: The safeties in Jacksonville are decent, but old, so finding potential replacements is a need.

204. MIN: Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford: Schultz is a solid receiver and can compete for starting time.

205. CLE(NE): Deadrin Senat, DT, USF: Danny Shelton was traded to the New England Patriots this offseason, so the Browns will get more defensive line talent through the draft.

206. PHI: Michael Dickson, P, Texas: Longtime Eagles punter Donnie Jones retired following the Super Bowl victory, so getting one of the top punters in college football will be an asset.

207. GB: Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin: The Packers love Wisconsin players, and Jacobs fills a need at depth linebacker.

208. DAL: Chris Jones, CB, Nebraska: Dallas will take the risk on the injury prone Jones, who has loads of potential.

209. MIA(LAR via KC): Nic Shimonek, QB, Texas Tech: Ryan Tannehill may not be the long-term answer, but the Dolphins can’t afford to spend a decent pick on QB.

210. NE (via OAK): Jaylen Samuels, FB, North Carolina State: Bill Belichick loves players from North Carolina State and getting an offensive weapon in Samuels fills a need.

211. HOU: Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn: Houston needs a proven kicker for the future.

212. OAK: K.C. McDermott, OT, Miami (FL): The Raiders lack depth on their offensive line, and McDermott provides upside.

213. MIN: Danny Johnson, CB, Southern: Terence Newman is as old as time and will need to be replaced soon, and Johnson has loads of potential coming from a small school.

214. HOU: Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama: Hand never lived up to his potential, and having hard workers like J.J. Watt and Tyrann Mathieu on this defense will hopefully extract Hand’s potential.

215. BAL: Janarion Grant, WR, Rutgers: Grant has great return ability, which Baltimore is in dire need of.

216. OAK: John Atkins, DT, Georgia: Oakland adds depth to their defensive line with the addition of Atkins.

217. OAK: Will Dissly, TE, Washington: The Raiders released Clive Walford this offseason, and Jon Gruden will try and find a new depth tight end.

218. MIN: Eddy Pineiro, K, Florida: Minnesota will look for an upgrade at kicker.

Round Seven 

219. NE(CLE): Deion Harris, CB, North Dakota: New England will try and get another corner sometime in the draft.

220. PIT(NYG): Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State: James provides solid depth at receiver.

221. IND: Justin Lawler, DE, SMU: Adding some edge rusher depth is needed in Indianapolis.  

222. HOU: Jordan Akins, TE, UCF: C.J. Fiedorowicz retired this offseason, and Akins is the best option at tight end.

223. SF(MIA via TB): Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M: Drafting Watts in the seventh round is exceptional value, and John Lynch will jump at the chance to get him.

224. CHI: Cole Madison, G, Washington State: Chicago will look to add some quality offensive line help in the later rounds.

225. MIN(DEN): James Looney, DT, California: Minnesota needs some defensive line depth behind Linval Joseph and Sheldon Richardson.

California defensive tackle James Looney.

226. SEA(NYJ): Nyles Morgan, LB, Notre Dame: Seattle will look to add depth at linebacker, and Morgan will fit into their defense nicely.

227. MIA(SF): Taylor Hearn, G, Clemson: The Dolphins need more competition in their interior offensive line.

228. OAK: Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern: The Raiders lack quality depth at safety.

229. MIA: Adam Breneman, TE, Massachusetts: The Dolphins released Julius Thomas, and Breneman provides some upside.

230. JAX(CIN): Maea Teuhema, G, SE Lousina: The Jags signed Andrew Norwell to a massive contract, but their guard play is subpar besides him.

231. WAS: Josh Frazier, DT, Alabama: Washington lacks a big run stuffer, and Frazier could join former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen.

232. GB: Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State: Green Bay lacks depth at receiver, at Wieneke provides some upside.

233. KC(AZ): Steven Mitchell, WR, USC: Making sure Patrick Mahomes has a lot of weapons is crucial for his development.

234. CAR(BUF via LAC): Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma: The Panthers are pretty bare at corner, so they’ll try and add some quality pieces.

235. NYJ(SEA): Timon Parris, OT, Stony Brook: New York needs more depth at offensive line, and Parris’ small school pedigree could make him a sleeper.

236. DAL: Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh: Dallas is bare at safety, so they’ll need to double-dip at this position.

237. DET: Troy Apke, S, Penn State: Detroit will look to beef up their secondary in the later rounds.

238. BAL: Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama: Ryan Jensen left in free agency, and GM Ozzie Newsome would love to end his final draft with an Alabama product.

239. GB(BUF): John Kelly, RB, Tennessee: This would be an absolute steal, and Green Bay could look to add depth in running back.

240. SF(KC): Justin Jones, DT, North Carolina State: The 49ers’ defensive line is stacked and young, but they need depth, and Jones is the best available.

241. WAS(LAR): Coleman Shelton, C, Washington: Washington needs some competition in the interior offensive line.

242. CAR: Justin Crawford, RB, West Virginia: Christian McCaffrey is about to take the reigns in the running back room, but he needs someone behind him to do the heavy lifting.

243. KC(TEN): Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson: The Chiefs released Derrick Johnson this offseason, and although O’Daniel won’t be Johnson, they’ll need an instinctual linebacker f0r the future.

244. ATL: Toby Weathersby, OT, LSU: Weathersby is a natural right tackle, which the Falcons need for depth.

245. NO: Trey Quinn, QB, SMU: New Orleans needs depth at receiver, and Quinn is an intriguing prospect.

246. PIT: Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi: James Conner is decent, but Smith can compete for playing reps.

247. JAX: Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque: Aaron Colvin is now a Houston Texan, so Joseph could potentially compete for being a nickel back.

248. SEA(MIN): Lavon Coleman, RB, Washington: Seattle is shaky at running back, so they’ll look to add a running back in Coleman.

249. CIN: Azeem Victor, LB, Washington: Cincinnati will look to add multiple linebackers to replenish their aging roster.

250. PHI(SEA via NE via SEA via PHI): Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona: Philadelphia could look to add some safety depth in the late part of the draft.

Arizona safety Dane Cruikshank.

251. LAC: Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan: Antonio Gates will likely retire soon, and Hunter Henry isn’t the bona fide number two tight end, so Conklin could give him a run for his money.

252. CIN: Byron Pringle, WR, Kansas State: Pringle is a sleeper talent and could work in Marvin Lewis’ system.

253. CIN: Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane: Aruna is an athletic freak and is great value late in the seventh round.

254. AZ: Sam Jones, G, Arizona State: Jacob Pugh got massively overpaid, but the Cardinals still need some quality depth.

255. TB: Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah: Chris Baker is now a Cincinnati Bengal, and Lotulelei has pro pedigree.

256. ATL: Quadree Henderson, WR, Pittsburgh: It’s hard to predict who Mr. Irrelevant will be, but for now, it’s this guy.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Quadree Henderson.

Three Draft Sleepers at Every Position: Linebacker

In this draft, the names of Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith and Rashaan Evans have dominated the press coverage, but which sleeper linebackers can make a difference for their NFL team?

To find a good linebacker, finding someone who has good instincts and is a sound tackler is essential. The three linebackers listed below share these qualities, but are not getting the press they deserve.

Mike McCray, Michigan

Not many hold him in high regard, but Mike McCray is a solid linebacker prospect. His time at Michigan showed that he plays sideline to sideline and has great instincts.

Projected Round: 5th Round

Projected Team: Cincinnati Bengals

Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s PED Policy, so ensuring that there are solid linebackers on this roster is crucial.

Michigan linebacker Mike McCray.

Christian Sam, Arizona State

Christian Sam could be the most active linebacker in America. His tape speaks for itself; his presence is felt from sideline to sideline and the tape speaks for itself.

Projected Round: 6th Round

Projected Team: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants to save some cap space, so finding a good linebacker in the later rounds will be a top priority for the Rams.

Arizona State linebacker Christian Sam.

Darius Jackson, LB, Jacksonville State

Jackson, a small school prospect at Jacksonville State, has displayed his instincts and athleticism on tape and through testing. He doesn’t get much publicity, but NFL teams will jump at the chance to draft Jackson.

Projected Round: 5th Round

Projected Team: Cleveland Browns

Cleveland has a decent linebacking corps, but having depth is important for the Browns’ success. Also, with the adjustment to playing at a higher level, Jackson can eventually become a starter in the Dawg Pound.

Jacksonville State linebacker Darius Jackson.