Nick’s Picks: 2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Welcome back to Nick’s Picks. With the divisional round done and over with, the draft order has been updated. With each week that goes by, prospects’ draft stock are in constant flux, so look for some inconsistencies in where prospects are put in the draft.

1. AZ: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

New week, same pick. Yes, with Kyler Murray declaring for the NFL Draft and Kliff Kingsbury’s documented interest in the Oklahoma QB, it could be possible the Cardinals take him. However, for this mock draft, I have them taking Bosa.

2. SF: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

I have been skeptical on putting Williams here, but I think the 49ers will look at what the Rams have in Aaron Donald and see how critical defensive tackles are in the modern NFL.

3. NYJ: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

The first order of business for new head coach Adam Gase: protect Sam Darnold. Williams is a great offensive line prospect and can help both the run and pass game.

4. OAK: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Looks like Kyler plays in Oakland after all! (Assuming they don’t move to Vegas next season). I think Gruden and new GM Mike Mayock will look to move Derek Carr and start fresh with the Heisman trophy winner.

5. TB: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

The Bucs are so deprived of talent that they need to get the best player available. Allen could play at the edge position or as an outside linebacker, and I’m sure Bruce Arians and Todd Bowles will extrapolate the most out of him.

6. NYG: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

This is the second week where I have Haskins going to the G-Men, and it’s looking more and more likely. Manning needs to depart before his entire reputation is tarnished.

7. JAX: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

In last week’s mock, I had the Jags taking a receiver, but I’d like to see how the mock draft shakes out with them taking a QB. Lock could be a nice fit in Duval County.

8. DET: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Man, I love this fit. The Lions are so desperate for a receiving threat for Stafford and Metcalf is among the best big body receivers in the draft.

9. BUF: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

Josh Allen missed a decent amount of games this year due to injury. In order for the Bills to have success moving forward, protecting their quarterback is essential.

10. DEN: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

The Demariyus Thomas + Emmanuel Sanders duo was nice while it lasted. Now, with Thomas gone and Sanders coming back from injury, the Broncos need a new receiving duo. Courtland Sutton and N’Keal Harry could very well be the newest tandem to rock the AFC West.

11. CIN: Devin White, LB, LSU

The Bengals can go so many different directions with this pick, but their defence was historically bad this season. White brings attitude and would become an immediate starter for Cincy.

12. GB: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

What a steal this would be if it comes into fruition. Ferrell is a great pass rusher who brings an immediate presence to this Packers defense.

13. MIA: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Oliver slips a little bit, but I think the Dolphins will find a lot of value in replacing what they miss in Ndamukong Suh.

14. ATL: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

I didn’t have Wilkins going in the first round in my previous mock draft, but his national championship performance and his above and beyond football personality will make teams fall in love with him. Wilkins can either replace or play alongside Grady Jarrett and fortify this defence.

15. WAS: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

I still can’t believe that Washington released D.J. Swearinger. I liked the move to trade for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, but who knows if he re-signs with them. Thompson acts as a nice insurance policy (also, he’s an Alabama defender, which seems to be a trend for this team).

16. CAR: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Byron Murphy is shooting up draft boards, but I don’t see the cornerbacks in this draft going too high in this draft. Murphy will be a nice edition to a cornerback group with includes Donte Jackson and James Bradberry.

17. CLE: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

The Browns are pointing in the right direction, but protection was a bit of an issue for them in 2018. Risner can become the franchise left tackle for years to come.

18. MIN: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma

The main thing Minnesota needs to focus on is protecting Kirk Cousins and giving holes for Dalvin Cook. Oklahoma’s Cody Ford can make Cousins’ crazy deal look like it was worth it.

19. TEN: Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan

I don’t see Gary going super high in the first round due to his size and his lack of production, but his potential is through the roof. With Jurell Casey getting older, Gary can slide in and be a new face on this defensive line.

20. PIT: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Wow, what a slip for Greedy Williams. The Steelers need some better quality defenders, and Williams is arguably the top corner in this year’s draft.

21. SEA: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

The Seahawks surprised many by getting into the playoffs, but they still need to protect Russell Wilson. By the way, it seems like this is always my message every year and the Seahawks never solve this issue. Hopefully they invest in Wilson’s future is all I’m saying.

22. BAL: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

I initially had a receiver going into the first round, but would that really help the development of Lamar Jackson? He doesn’t love to throw to wide receivers, as he heavily utilizes his tight ends. So, I chose to focus on defence in this mock with this dominant DT.

23. HOU: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Houston has a few offensive needs such as offensive line and tight end. I was tempted to pick an offensive lineman here, but Noah Fant would help Deshaun Watson progress into a top 10 QB.

24. OAK (via CHI): DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

The Raiders have a ton of needs, and with Baker falling to 24, Oakland can have a shutdown CB for the future.

25. PHI: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

I’m surprised Gardner-Johnson isn’t getting more first round love, but I think he’d fit perfectly in Philadelphia. By adding a safety, this youthful secondary can be lead by Gardner-Johnson and veteran Malcolm Jenkins.

26. IND: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Wow, the Colts surely over-performed this season. Their defence is most definitely underrated, but they could use some more interior pressure, and Simmons is among one of the best interior defensive line prospects in this year’s draft.

27. OAK (via DAL): Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

I’m convinced that the Raiders didn’t sign Khalil Mack because Mark Davis didn’t have enough money. That’s the only reason. Now, they have to settle for Brian Burns – who could be a good player, but he won’t be Khalil Mack.

28. LAC: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

The Chargers have a really solid roster, but they struggled at guard all season long. Lindstrom is a solid guard and could start day one.

29. KC: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

The Chiefs defence really impressed me against Indianapolis, but their cornerback play is suspect. Love can compete for the CB1 day one.

30. GB (via NO): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Aaron Rodgers needs more weapons and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown could be a dynamic playmaker for the Packers.

31. LAR: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

The Rams are in good shape moving forward, but they need some improvement at linebacker. Wilson is an athletic thumper who is going to be yet another product of Nick Saban’s defence.

32. NE: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Tom Brady won’t last forever (even though it’s looking like it). Jones can come in and learn from the GOAT and eventually be the Pats QB for the future.

Nick’s Picks will be posted weekly and draft orders will be updated.

Nick’s Picks: 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Welcome back, fans of Nick’s Picks! It’s been some time.

With the 2018 NFL Regular Season complete, 20 teams now have their draft slot solidified (unless they trade their pick). These picks are subject to change, due to the typical NFL draft nonsense (risers, fallers, Laremy Tunsil-like situations, etc). Now, let’s take a look at the 1.0 version of Nick’s Picks – 2019 edition.

1. AZ: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Have you taken a look at the Arizona Cardinals’ depth chart? Good God, it needs work.

I contemplated putting Quinnen Williams with this pick, since the Cardinals have a decent pass rush with Chandler Jones and Markus Golden, but there’s no guarantee that Golden returns in free agency (and Bosa’s just so much better than Golden). Bosa’s the pick, and the Cardinals ought to hit a few home runs in this year’s draft.

2. SF: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

I struggled with this pick a lot, since the best player available is Quinnen Williams, but he doesn’t fill a need. I think Devin White could be in the mix for this pick, but it’s a bit rich for my taste.

Allen is a versatile defender who can rush the passer and also play coverage. He’s a tone setter for this defence and will hopefully make John Lynch look smart.

3. NYJ: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Maybe I’m looking at the wrong mock draft sites, but I can’t seem to find anyone who has Williams to the Jets – and I cannot understand why.

I think some believe that the Jets’ defensive line is good – it’s not bad – however, Quinnen Williams with Leonard Williams would be a nice pairing for years to come.

4. OAK: Devin White, LB, LSU 

I can’t stand looking at the Raiders’ roster. Jon Gruden has littered this roster with washed up veterans who he liked in 2008. Did you know that Leon Hall is playing for them? Unbelievable. Anyway, the Raiders need a tone setter on the defence, and Devin White is a culture changer.

5. TB: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

The Bucs are putting all their chips in with Jameis Winston, and they need to better protect him. Donovan Smith has been a disappointment throughout his career, so potentially Williams could be a franchise blind-side protector.

6. NYG: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Eli Manning will likely start next year, but I envision a Joe Flacco – Lamar Jackson transition with Manning and Dwayne Haskins.

I still can’t believe that Justin Herbert is going back to school. But, at least Haskins can cash out on his impressive year and be the successor to the fringe Hall of Fame quarterback.

7. JAX: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Wait, what??? Not a QB? In this scenario, I believe the Jags will realize that the QBs in this draft are not a high enough calibre to build a franchise around, so they acquire Joe Flacco on a one year prove-it deal.

Jacksonville once had a nice wide receiver duo in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, but now all they have is the underrated Keelan Cole. Harry adds a new dimension to this offence.

8. DET: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Remember in the 2017 NFL Draft when 3 wide receivers went in the top 10? I don’t think it’ll escalate to 3, but there could be multiple.

The Lions need a weapon for Matthew Stafford. He gets a lot of flack, but I don’t think people realize what he’s working with. Metcalf brings a big body presence to the Lions’ receiving corps.

9. BUF: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

I wasn’t a big fan of the Josh Allen selection in 2018, but he looks like someone you can build around. The Bills need to revamp this offence to tailor to Allen’s strengths.

Little is a solid protector and I believe has the versatility to play left and right tackle, or even guard. He’s exactly what Allen needs, and Buffalo will recognize that.

10. DEN: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

The Broncos have quite a few needs – including quarterback – but I wouldn’t draft any QB here. Their secondary needs a playmaker, and Thompson fits this scheme well.

11. CIN: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma

Side note: I’m shocked that I lived to see the day that Marvin Lewis was fired as Cincy’s head coach.

The Bengals need a lot of help on the offensive line, even with the draft pick of Billy Price last year. Yeah, the pick isn’t sexy, but I’ve never really attributed sexy to the Bengals anyway.

12. GB: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

This season exposed the Packers’ lack of defensive talent. The bright side of Green Bay’s defence are their corners, linebacker Blake Martinez and defensive tackle Kenny Clark – that’s about it. Ferrell brings a spark of pass rush to this struggling defence.

13. MIA: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Ryan Tannehill looks to be out of Miami at the beginning of next season. Lock, although limited, looks to be a good leader and the best QB available. A new horizon is setting in South Beach.

14. ATL: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Some may think that Williams is a top 10 pick, and he very well could be, but I believe that there are more talented prospects that will be selected before him.

Atlanta needs some more personality on their defence. When you get someone named “Greedy”, you get some personality.

15. WAS: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

Josh Norman is on the decline, and there’s no one else on this team with CB1 potential. Baker is among one of the best defenders in this draft and will give stability to this rocky franchise.

16. CAR: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

I like James Bradberry and Donte Jackson, but I think they need a bona fide shut down corner.

Carolina’s defence has an odd mix of both young and old players. They must stop relying on old vets like Julius Peppers, Thomas Davis and Captain Munnerlyn and add more young players.

17. CLE: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

How did Ed Oliver slip this far into the draft? I question Oliver’s size transitioning into the NFL, and I know that some don’t care about the “jacket-gate” situation with Houston’s head coach, but I think some teams will question Oliver’s character. Cleveland selects him opposite Larry Ogunjobi.

18. MIN: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

It seems like a lot of people have this, and I tend to agree with the mock draft community. I didn’t like the Kirk Cousins signing, but I do think that he’d be better with more protection.

19. TEN: Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan

The Titans have a few needs, one of which is a versatile defensive lineman. Gary would be a steal at this stage of the draft and would be a nice pairing with veteran Jurell Casey.

20. PIT: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Wow, who would have thought that the Steelers would be just shy of making the playoffs? One of the main reasons why I’m surprised is that they have a very complete roster. Perhaps having a right tackle for the future will help Ben in his final years.

21. SEA: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

The Seahawks surprised me this year, but they need to build up their defence. Simmons is among the best defenders still available, and he’d pair up nicely with Jarran Reed in the interior of that defensive line.

22. BAL: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Is Lamar Jackson the future in Baltimore? I’d say yes, but he needs help at wide receiver. It’s up for debate as to who’s the best receiver available, but A.J. Brown has some nice traits and will fit well with the Ravens.

23. HOU: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

Deshaun Watson was fighting for his life against the Colts in the Wild Card round. If he had a bit of protection, perhaps Watson leads the Texans to victory. Houston finds a versatile lineman in Cajuste.

24. OAK (via CHI): Brian Burns, DE, Florida State 

I like the Mike Mayock hire for one reason: he knows how to evaluate talent in the draft. Burns is a nice pass rusher who probably won’t be as good as Khalil Mack, but he could emerge as a double digit sack artist.

25. PHI: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College 

Regardless on where you stand on the Nick Foles/Carson Wentz debate, it’ll be important for the Eagles to protect their QB. Their left guard position has been shaky, and Lindstrom is a plug-and-play type of player.

26. IND: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Darius Leonard is in contention for DROY, but the rest of the linebacking corps is suspect. Fifth rounder Anthony Walker and seventh rounder Zaire Franklin get a lot of reps currently, which could be an issue against the Chiefs. Wilson adds another athlete to this defence.

27. OAK (via DAL): Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Oakland has many options on how to build via the draft, and I think they’ll try and build their front seven. Brown is an upgrade over P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst and has a tough mentality.

28. LAC: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Philip Rivers is having an excellent year, but how many years does he have left? Since they hardly have any needs, I think getting an intriguing QB prospect in Jones is a smart move.

29. NE: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

The end is near for the Pats. Perhaps Brady has a few more decent years left, but he needs more weapons. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is an electric playmaker who could extend TB12’s career.

30. LAR: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

When watching the Peach Bowl this year, I was shocked by how active and productive Gardner-Johnson was against Michigan. His ascension has made him worthy of a first round grade, and the Rams could use his talents.

31. KC: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

The loss of Marcus Peters has made Kansas City’s defence among the worst in the league. Love can be a day one starter and make the Chiefs’ secondary respectable again.

32. GB (via NO): Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

The Packers need to help out Aaron Rodgers, one way or another. Harmon is a solid receiver who is better than everyone other than Davante Adams in the Packers’ receiving room.

Nick’s Picks will be posted weekly and draft orders will be updated.

Los Angeles Rams 2018 Season Preview

Los Angeles Rams 2018 Season Preview

Giving my season preview for the Los Angeles Rams 2018 NFL Season including my win-loss record prediction, bold predictions, statistical projections and analysis of the team’s strengths, weaknesses, and key players Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, and Aaron Donald. Are the Rams Super Bowl ready?

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.

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 7.0

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 7.0

Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially less than one month away from the NFL Draft. With that being said, let’s get into the 7.0 version of Nick’s Picks. Note: trades are not predicted in this mock draft.

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Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 6.0

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 6.0

The 2018 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and teams are making moves to better situate themselves for success. The Jets and Colts swapped first round picks, which shakes up this entire draft. Also, what are the Browns going to do? How about the Giants? Who will the Jets land at three? Let’s see how it all shakes out in the 6.0 version of Nick’s Picks. 

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Winners After the First Week of Free Agency

With the first week of league year coming to the end, lets take a quick look at my winners from the first phase of free agency.

*Note: Teams still and will make moves after this article goes live and will more than likely be different by the seasons start. Moves made now may seem good, but a lot of good signings on paper do not work out, and vice versa.

Chicago Bears

After the Bears finished the 2017 season, all Bears fans and general manager Ryan Pace knew changes needed to be made. At seasons end, Pace made the decision to start over with the coaching staff and start fresh with a new group of coaches he hoped will take the Bears to the next level(you can see more information about this here). Now with a new coaching staff and new head coach Matt Nagy, Pace turned his focus towards his roster and the start of free agency.

The Bears entered this past season with hopes of Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, and Kendall Wright as their starting three for the year. That did not happen, with Cameron Meredith tearing his ACL in a preseason game against the Titans, Kevin White going down week one, this time fracturing his shoulder blade after two receptions for six total yards and being placed on IR for the third season in a row. This left Kendall Wright as their number one option at the wide receiver position and finished the season as the Bears leading receiver with only 59 receptions for 614 yards. The offense was one dimensional, with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen having to carry the team literally every game, especially after the injury to Zach Miller. Ryan Pace made sure this issue would not carry over into next season in a big way

(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

News broke early Tuesday morning(March 13) that former Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson was expected to sign a three year, 42 million dollar contract. The deal was reported by NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Robinson was one of the most productive recievers and red zone threats in the NFL before missing all of last season with a torn ACL. His 14 million dollar salary equals the likes of fellow wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant, and one more million higher than former Bear Alshon Jeffery. Robinson has a career stat line of 202 catches,2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 career games. Robinson is a true number one who can play on opposite sides of the field and has the speed to gain seperation from defensive backs. At 6’3, Robinson will be a major redzone target for Mitchell Trubisky and will now allow the Bears into having to draft a wide receiver in the first round and focus on other team needs.

Ryan Pace was not done there as he also signed former Eagle’s tight end Trey Burton(four years, 32 million dollars), speedster Taylor Gabriel(four years, 26 million), kicker Cody Parkey(4 years, 15 million), defensive end Aaron Lynch(1 year deal)  back up quarterback Chase Daniel(2 years, 10 million) and Tyler Bray(1 year deal) to be the third string quarterback. Trey Burton adds to a tight end corp of Adam Shaheen, Dion Sims(who’s base salary will be guarenteed on March 16th), Daniel Brown and Ben Braunecker.

Former Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton, who was part of the famed “Philly Special” touchdown play during the Super Bowl, is expected to sign a four-year, $32 million deal with the Chicago Bears. — AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

After doing nothing his first few seasons, Burton was a nice player as Zach Ertz’s backup compiling 63 catches, 629 yards and 6 touchdowns. Burton is known for his touchdown throw to Nick Foles in this past Super Bowl and has the potential to play at a high level now as the number one tight end on the depth chart in Chicago. Burton has the ability to run vertical routes and play as a wide receiver at the tight end positions, just like former teammate Zach Ertz. In his introductory press conference, Burton said he plans on learning 95 percent of the Bears playbook, showing his positive and hard working mindset. In a funny note, Burton joins a team of players not listed as quarterbacks who have had touchdown passes in their career, joining Pat O’Donnell, Cameron Meredith, and Tarik Cohen .

Feb 5, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (18) runs the ball against New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23) during the second quarter during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Known for his time in Atlanta, receiver Taylor Gabriel brings his flashy speed to the windy city and will most likely be the slot reciever for the Bears in 2018. The former Brown has made quite a name for himself the past several years and has proven that he could play not only in the slot, but also on the outside. With that being said, expect the Bears to use Gabriel all over the field to gain better match ups and he will help the Bears stretch the field. Trubisky will now have a proven deep threat and  another weapon to look for on Sundays.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 22: Cody Parkey #1 of the Miami Dolphins kicks the game winning field goal during the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium on October 22, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Since the Bears released long time kicker Robbie Gould, the Bears have struggled to find a kicker that could at least be average at the position. After going through kickers Connor Barth, Roberto Aguayo, Ciaro Santos, and Mike Nugent, the Bears believe they have finally found their guy to have stability at the position in former Dolphin Cody Parkey. Parky was 21 for 23 last season and has a big leg and is accurate, something the Bears desperately needed. Parkey also has experiance kicking in cold weather from his time with the Browns and the Eagles, which is huge for any kicker that comes to an NFC North team.This may be the most overlooked move they have made thus far. Aaron Lynch has not  lived up to expectations in the NFL thus far, but he does provide depth on the defensive line and played the best football of his career under defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. There are reports saying Fangio himself personally pushed for this signing. Chase Daniel has been a backup for most of his career and has sat and gained knowledge behind Alex Smith, Carson Wentz and Drew Brees. He has played under Matt Nagy and will help Trubisky develop into the franchise stater he is believed to be by many.

The Bears also have also placed the transition tag on former 2014 first round pick Kyle Fuller. On March 16th, the Green Bay Packers submitted an offer sheet on Kyle Fuller, giving the team five days to match. A few hours later the Bears signed Fuller to a 4 year deal worth 54 million and 18 million guaranteed. Chicago also resigned cornerback Prince Amukamara, linebackers Jonathan Anderson and  Sam Acho, punter Pat O’Donnell, and tenured one year tenures on wide receivers Cameron Meredith and Joshua Bellamy, and corner Bryce Callahan. Amukamara, Fuller and Callahan form a solid cornerback tandem and having them back in the secondary with Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos will help the Bears defense grow even more with another year of them all playing together. Acho and Anderson provide good depth behind Danny Trevathan , Leonard Floyd and Nick Kwiatkoski. Pat O’Donnell is one of the better punters in the league and as we saw last year, can throw the football when asked when running trick packages. Josh Bellamy is not the best receiver but he is superb on special teams and that is why he is being brought back.

All these moves and the potential of adding more depth signings and the upcoming draft show that the Bears are ready to take the next step and try and contend for a playoff spot for not only this upcoming season, but for the years to come. The Bears will be an interesting team to watch come September.

San Francisco 49ers

Over the course of one calander year, the 49ers went from a team with an uncertain future with Colin Kaepernick at the tail end of his run with the team that drafted him, to a team who hired former broadcaster and Super Bowl champion saftey John Lynch, to be the general manager, former Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to become the new head coach, acquired and signed their franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, have a decent amount of draft currency leading up to this years draft and plenty of salary cap to work with. With all that being said, the Niners knew that these next couple of months would be vital for the organization in regards speeding up their rebuild. The 49ers made the most of this opportunity by making big moves quickly.

“Photo: CBSSports.com”

The 49ers made the first big addition before free agency even began by signing all pro corner and longtime Seahawks corner Richard Sherman to a 3 year, 39 million dollar deal. You can see the entire contract detail here. Sherman suffered a season ending injury when he ruptured his Achilles tendon in a week 10 match up against the Arizona Cardinals. On March 8th, reports had surfaced that Sherman was expected to be released by the Seahawks and was officially cut by the team on March 9th. One day later, John Lynch reached out to Sherman and was able to meet with him and come to an agreement. Sherman has had a few memerable moments against the 49ers, most notably ending the 49ers season in the NFC Championship game back in 2014 deflecting a pass in the back of the endzone that was intercepted with less than a minute to go. Obviously, the major injury Sherman has suffered leaves a question mark to rather or not Sherman would play close to the level he has played in his career, but this is a low risk, high reward signing for the team. Sherman adds a huge presence in the locker room and on the field and with the amount of cap room the team has, even with Garoppolo’s extension, they could afford to make a move like this. Richard Sherman plays his best football when he has a chip on his shoulder and now following his release and signing with a team who will play the Seahawks twice, it is safe to say Richard has a major chip on his shoulder and will be motivated to help turn around a 49ers team and play at a high level.

Richard Sherman was not the only player the 49ers had come to terms with. They also pick up RB Jerick Mckinnon for 4 years, 30 million and Center Weston Richburge to a 5 year, 47.5 million dollar contract.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 21: Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (21) looks on during the NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles on January 21, 2018 at the Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Minnesota Vikings by the score of 38-7. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Jerick McKinnon is not a running back that pops out at you as a 30 million dollar player, especially at the running back position. With this contract, he will become on of the highest paid running backs in the league. McKinnon is known for his pass catching ability and his above average speed. His role with the Vikings was a change of pace guy. He was never expected to be the number one back in a back field. After the injury to Dalvin Cook, McKinnon stepped his game up and had the best season of his young career. Though he does not have mind boggling stats, it is what you see when you watch him play. McKinnon not only lines up as a running back, but he can also be used on the line of scrimmage as a wide receiver and with his catch ability and speed, is a good option to use in the slot as a dink and dunk runner. Jerick is surprisingly(because of his size) a decent blocker and adds much value to special teams, being able to field punts and kicks, though it is unknown to if he will take on the role. This signing marked the end of the Carlos Hyde era in San Fran as Hyde moves on to Cleveland and never played up to expectations as the bell cow back.

Richburg has been the best offsensive lineman the Giants have had over the past several years. Pro Football Focus rates Richburg as a high quality run and pass blocker and was also ranked as the best center in the NFL following the 2016 season. Only 26, he could play multiple positions on the offensive line and is in the middle of his prime and could still grow as a player and a leader in the locker room.

This team still has room to improve on both sides of the football, but with this only being the first week of free agency, there are still quality players out there and players that may be released or traded. With Michael Crabtree being released by the Raiders, he is a guy I would expect the team to be interested to bring back, however with his history with Richard Sherman, it would be interesting to watch.Look for the Niners to target either linebacker or corner in the draft in the first round to pair with Richard Sherman and a power running back in the second or third round to compliment McKinnon. This team has a much improved future and the potential to make a leap this upcoming season.

Sam Bradford

I would smile like that too for being paid 15 million dollars for not doing anything in my career. Lets face it, Sam Bradford is a guy that has made boat loads of money in his professional career and has yet to do anything in this league and not playing in a playoff game. When healthy, Bradford is a decent starter in this league. He had his best year in 2016 with the Vikings but it was nothing great. Yes, he had the best completion percentage but that really means nothing. He is not a guy who will win a Super Bowl or even a playoff game for you and it would be hard to have him mentor a young quarterback because he always ends up injured. If you look at his track record, he gets hurt every other year. He was hurt last season, and maybe the Cardinals realized this and are praying that he keeps the trend going by having a healthy 2018 but I digress. If this works out for Arizona or not, Sam Bradford is getting paid starter money either way. Donald Trump should look into hiring Bradford’s agents because of how great of negotiators are..

Tennessee Titans

The Titans have turned their organization around from being one of the worst teams in the league, to just missing the playoffs in 2016, to clinching a playoff birth and winning a playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs this past season. Yes, this last Titans team won a playoff game, but it ultimately means nothing at all, especially when you get blown out by the New England Patriots in the divisional round. With this season behind their back and the suprise departure of former head coach Mike Mularkey, general manager Jon Robinson now needed the next guy to lead Tennessee back to the playoffs. He decided to bring in former Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel to lead this talented team in the right direction. Vrable brought in Matt LaFleur in as offensive coordinator and Dean Pees as the defensive coordinator. With the coaching staff all put together, it was now time to look to add to this team starting with free agency.

The Titans where able to lock up one of the top corners available in former Super Bowl champion Malcolm Butler to a 5 year, 61.25 million. He will now reunite with former teammate Logan Ryan, forming one of the better one-two cornerback tandems in the NFL. Add the potential of now second year player Adoree Jackson, Pro Bowl saftey Kevin Byard and veteran Jonathan Cyprien, this secondary group looks solid if everything works out.

Butler has been a very productive player throughout his young career. Going undrafted in 2014, Butler made one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history, picking off Russell Wilson to clinch a Super Bowl win against the Seahawks in the closing seconds of the game. Butler has mentioned numerous times that he had practiced and prepared to face that package all throughout practice that week, showing his commitment to his team. Butler earned Pro Bowl honors the following year after having 72 tackles, 15 pass deflections and two interceptions in his first full year as a starter. In 2016 he was named second team all pro at the corner position after playing a full season once again. This past year, Butler played 98 percent of all defensive snaps and 47 of 48 games for the Patriots over the past three seasons, showing that he can stay on the field both during key moments and durability wise.

Not only does Butler bring a high level of play on the field, but having two championships under his belt and major playoff experience, it is safe to assume that he will bring knowledge and leadership to a playoff hungry franchise. The addition not only adds to the Titans, but weakens the New England Patriots, a team that usually recovers from the loss of key players, but there is still a chance they cannot replace Butler as fast.

Butler was notably benched in this past Super Bowl by former head coach Bill Belichick after conflicting reports came out saying that Butler was late to team meetings and broke curfew during the week of the Super Bowl. However, Butler himself refuted the reports, stating that he did not break curfew and spent time that entire week with his family. At his introductory press conference, Butler said he has still not been given a true reason to why he was a healthy scratch. I myself am not at all concerned about this issue and Titans fan should not either.

Dion Lewis also comes over from New England, singning a four year, 30 million dollar contract. Lewis has had issues with injuries throughout his career, but when healthy, Lewis is a good option to have in any backfield. Many believe that Lewis only brings value as a pass catcher, but Lewis is a complete back. His size and ability to catch passes and block as a halfback brings a dimension to the Titans that they really need. He will be listed as Derrick Henry’s back up on the depth chart, but he can run the ball well when asked with his ability to cut and run between the line when needed. He may impact Henry’s workload, but that would not be that bad of the thing counting on that only happening really if Lewis plays well. He is another veteran player with playoff history coming to Tennessee.

Lewis played a full 16 games for the first time in his career, starting 8 games and rushing for 896 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground to go with 214 receiving yards on 32 catches and 3 touchdowns.

The Titans have announced that they had resigned defensive ends DaQuan Jones(3 years, 21 million) and David King(1 year deal), and guard Josh Kline( 4 years, 26 million). DaQuan Jones has been in decent addition to the defensive line since being drafted in the fourth round in 2014 in the fourth round. He started 12 games in 2017 and posted 36 tackles, 5 sacks(career-high), and a stop for loss before suffering a season-ending biceps injury and ending up on IR. He has a career stat line of 145 tackles, 6 sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He has shown a turn around after a decent season and in a perfect world, the Titans draft a defensive end and Jones is relegated to not having to play every snap.

Nov 6, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive guard Josh Kline (64) jogs off the field during the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Kline is ranked as the number twenty two guard in football by Pro Football Focus. He was claimed off waivers from the Patriots in 2016 and started 30 regular season games in Tennessee and the two playoff games this past season. With Kline’s return and the Titans making Quinton Spain a restricted free agent, the Titans will have their entire starting offensive line returning from last year and will allow the Titans to add to the positions in the draft or later in free agency.

The Titans have positioned themselves well looking towards the NFL draft and look poised to make the next step in their Super Bowl hopes. Though they made the playoffs last season, the Titans are overlooked by many and have the potential to take the league by storm and possibly knock off the Steelers or Patriots in the playoffs. Look for the Titans to look towards upgrading their defensive line with Ndamukong Suh planning to visit the Titans facility in the coming days and the recent release of now former Eagles defensive end Vinny Curry.

Philadelphia Eagles 

The Eagles are coming off the greatest season in franchise history having finally won a Super Bowl title and have the roster make up of the next great dynasty in the NFL. The core of this team is coming back once again, gaining a healthy franchise and top 10(if not top 5) quarterback in Carson Wentz and so far adding a few more players who will only add to their chances of trying to win back to back titles

 

On March 7th, the Seahawks agreed to trade Michael Bennett and a 2018 seventh round pick to the Eagles in exchange for a fifth round pick in 2018 and wide receiver Marcus Johnson. The deal became official March 14th at the start of the league year. Bennett is a decorated defensive lineman who has played in two Super Bowls and has a ring with the 2014 Seattle Seahawks team. He is also a three-time Pro Bowler, and was the defensive Prow Bowl MVP in 2015. Bennett has pilled up 293 tackles, 54 sacks, 8 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries in his NFL career since entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

Bennett formed one of the top defensive line duos along side Cliff Avril since uniting in Seattle in 2013, adding to the re-imagining Seattle’s defense into one of the best defenses in recent memory.

The Eagles have also added former Raven and Lion Haloti Ngata to their defensive line on a one year deal. Ngata brings yet more experience to a stacked defense with his five Pro Bowl appearances and Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2012. Ngata is a solid edge rusher and even at the back end of his career, is a solid role player, bringing his career 314 tackles and 29.5 sacks to the city of brotherly love.

Bennett and Ngata add to a defensive line that already has Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Derek Barnett and Chris Long.

The Eagles have lost some players, with Trey Burton going to Chicago, Beau Allen signing with Tampa and Patrick Robinson returning to the Saints. Torrey Smith was traded to the Panthers in exchange for Daryl Worley. LeGarrette Blount is currently a free agent and is planning to meet with the Lions and the release of Vinny Curry, the Eagles will not go through this offseason untouched. However, the players they have lost and will potentially lose are not huge. Trey Burton was Zach Ertz’s backup and though he played well and backups are important, the Eagles can easily find one later in free agency or in the draft. The lose of Baeu Allen was quickly matched by the signing of Ngata and though Patrick Robinson had a career year this past season, he is 30 years old and the Eagles have high hopes for Worley and will most likely look into taking a corner in the early rounds of the draft. If Blount ends up leaving, the Eagles have a solid running back core without him with former Dolphin Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Donnell Pumphrey and Wendell Smallwood. There is still the possibility of Darren Sproles signing a one year deal coming off an injury last season.

Sep 24, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz (11) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles may entertain the regular season without Carson Wentz as their starter, but Nick Foles has proven he could get the job done if he needs to be the starter(he led the Eagles to a championship of course). This organization is deep at every position with really no major need at any particular position, allowing the Eagles to add depth and focus on doing so in the draft. The Eagles are set to not only win now, but in the future as well and may be the favorites to win the Super Bowl once again.

Winning Potential

Los Angeles Rams

Following a break through season for the Rams, they wasted no time in filling their needs and adding to their already great defense, potentially making their unit one of the best in the league

Before free agency started, the Rams put together two big trades that many experts are calling great. Because of these two moves, former corner Trumaine Johnson is no long a part of the team, signing a multi-year deal with the Jets.

On February 23rd, the Rams agreed to trade a 4th round pick in this years draft and a 2019 2nd rounder to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for a 2018 6th round pick and pro bowl corner Marcus Peters. Peters, a former first round draft pick, was the number one corner during his time in Kansas City. Over his brief three year career, Peter’s is already one of the top corners in the league. He has a career stat line of 151 tackles, 55 pass deflections, 19 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries, and 3 defensive touchdowns. In 2015, Peters was named the defensive rookie of the year, named to the all-pro rookie team, second team all pro and was the co-interception leader along side Reggie Nelson with 8 picks. In 2016, he was named first team all pro and named to the Pro Bowl in 2015 and 2016.

There is no doubt Peters has the ability to change the Rams defense, but on the field problems have been an issue for him since his college days, and was the biggest reason to why he was moved out of Kansas City. In 2014, the former Huskie was suspended for a game for throwing a tantrum on the sideline and went on to be dismissed by the team in November for disciplinary issues. This past season, he was fined for an illegal hit to Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and during a week 13 matchup against the Jets, Peters threw a penalty flag into the crowd after the Jets attempted a 2-point conversion. He ended up being ejected because of this and was fined 24 thousand dollars by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Chiefs then suspended Peters because of this and a few days after that, news came out he was also suspended for arguing with a coach.

In Marcus’s press confrence he said that the on the field issues would not be a problem and now on a young team with a star studded coaching staff and the national attention being on the Rams, Peters will need to get his act together and realize that if he keeps his head on straight and preforms on the field, the Rams have a solid chance of reaching the Super Bowl.

SANTA CLARA, CA – FEBRUARY 07: Aqib Talib #21 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after defeating the Carolina Panthers during Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Broncos defeated the Panthers 24-10. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Peters was not the only new face to end up in L.A. On March 8th, the Broncos agreed to send Aqib Talib to the Rams for a 5th round pick in the 2018 draft. Talib has been a key part to Denvers “No-Fly Zone” defense in recent years and is another solid and productive corner. He has been named to five straight Pro Bowls since 2013, named first team all-pro in 2016 and has a Super Bowl ring from when the Broncos knocked off the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Entering the league in 2008, Aquib has 424 tackles, 119 pass deflections, 34 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 10 defensive touchdowns.

Just like Peters, Talib has question marks because of his issue on the field. He got into a first fight in 2008 at the NFL rookie symposium with then rookie teammate Cory Boyd. He also missed a flight to a mandatory rookie function at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and missed multiple team meetings during training camp his rookie year. In 2012 he was suspended for violating the NFL’s policy for taking Adderall without a prescription. He was fined 24 thousand dollars by the NFL for admitting to an intentional face mask during Super Bowl 50 to prevent Corey Brown from scoring a touchdown. He has also had issues with then Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree, ripping Crabtrees chain from his neck. This resulted in a two game suspension that was reduced to one.

However, unlike Marcus Peters, Aquib Talib has had legal issues off the field. In August 2009, Aqib was arrested for simple assault and resisting arrest without force during an altercation with a taxi driver in Florida. In March of 2011, Talib was issued a felony warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he was accused of firing a gun at his sisters boyfriend. He was indicted in May, but in June of 2012, all charges where dropped due to lack of evidence and character issues of the accuser. In June of  2016, Talib was shot in the leg outside a Dallas strip club and was released from the hospital the same day.

If Talib could put the past behind him and focus on being a mentor and a leader in the locker room, this trade easily makes a ton of sense. Basing off of his press conference, it does seem that Aquib Talib realizes the situation he is in and will move forward with these problems behind him.

 

The Rams did lose out on Sammy Watkins and need to add to that position in both free agency and the draft. They also traded both Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn. However, both of those players were not fits in Wade Phillips’s defense. The Rams have a stacked defense, but it is not perfect. They could add a few linebackers and a piece on the defensive line to play along side Aaron Donald. Looking at taking players on both the defensive and offensive line in the draft would be smart and needed.

With a rising Jared Goff, a top three running back/pass catcher and 2017 Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, a promising wide receiver in Cooper Cupp, an elite secondary and the best pass rusher possibly in the world in Aaron Donald, would it be a stretch to say the Rams could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl?

Minnesota Vikings

 

For now, I will let the picture do the talking. You can see my opinion on this signing here.

Nick’s Pick’s: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

Nick’s Pick’s: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

After the combine, certain prospects are starting to match up with different teams. The rumour mill is churning out stories about certain prospects interviewing with teams. As promised, I’m giving my explanation for each draft pick. With that said, let’s get into the 5.0 of Nick’s Picks. 

  1. CLE: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: I know, I know, people won’t agree with this. However, I think the Browns like Josh Allen the most out of all the quarterbacks. They also know that Darnold and/or Rosen would likely not be there at four if they skip on a QB. So, the Browns will take a running back because they know Josh Allen won’t go in the top three.
  2. NYG: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: The New York Giants are one of the best NFL franchises in the league. Rarely do they have a pick this high in the draft, so they must get their QB for life after Eli Manning. Josh Rosen is a polished QB who can learn from Manning and maybe heal some of the injuries he sustained in his last year at UCLA.
  3. IND: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama: The Colts will hope to get Barkley, but they’ll have to settle for the number two option. They have Malik Hooker, so they’ll put Fitzpatrick at the cornerback position. With this pick, they’ll have an electric secondary with Hooker, Fitzpatrick and cornerback Quincy Wilson.
  4. CLE(HOU): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The Browns are kicking themselves for not sticking with their pick in 2016 and drafting Carson Wentz. To some, Josh Allen is the closest thing to Wentz since 2016. The Browns will love to have both Allen and Barkley for the upcoming season and for years to come.
  5. DEN: Sam Darnold, QB, USC: I don’t think GM John Elway will expect to have the opportunity to select Darnold at five, but I believe that this is where Darnold will end up regardless. He’s far better than Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, and he’ll be able to start early on.
  6. NYJ: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: Many wouldn’t have this, but the Jets do not have a set in stone offense and they have the ability to tailor Jackson’s skill set. With Matt Forte retired, they need someone who can throw and run as well. Bilal Powell can be a nice compliment to Jackson’s game, but they’ll likely get someone later in the draft.
  7. TB: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: NFL GMs are salivating over the potential Quenton Nelson has. Tampa Bay needs to solidify the offensive line in order to make Jameis Winston and the rest of the offense’s life easier.
  8. CHI: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: The Bears have lots of needs, but they need a dominant edge rusher opposite Leonard Floyd.
  9. SF: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: Jimmy Garoppolo just got paid, so they need to help him transition to the next few years with a firm number one receiver.
  10. OAK: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech: The Raiders want to be tough again, and that starts on the defensive side of the ball. Jon Gruden wants people who are tough and athletic, which is exactly what Tremaine Edmunds is.
  11. MIA: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: With Jarvis Landry likely leaving South Beach, the Dolphins will need a number one receiver. Sutton is an impressive physical specimen who is a bona fide number one receiver.
  12. CIN: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: It’s hard to figure out which tackle should go first, but NFL execs love McGlinchey’s lunchpail mentality. The Bengals offense needs to focus on providing adequate protection for Andy Dalton and the rest of the offense.
  13. WAS: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: Josh Norman has been a decent corner with Washington, but he’s getting older and Bashaud Breeland may be on the move. With Kendall Fuller going to Kansas City, the corner position must be addressed.
  14. GB: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa: The Packers need to better improve their cornerback position. Second year corner Kevin King wasn’t great in his first year, and it never hurts to have more than one good corner.
  15. AZ: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: With Carson Palmer retired, the Cardinals need to invest in their future with the best available quarterback. Mayfield will be in a smaller market, so the distractions won’t be much of an issue for him.
  16. BAL: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: The Ravens need to address the receiving position, however, having Roquan Smith is too good a deal to pass up.
  17. LAC: Derwin James, S, Florida State: This could be the steal of the draft. The safety position needs to be addressed in L.A., and James is a phenomenal talent.
  18. SEA: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: Yes, Brown isn’t athletic. But damn, he gets the job done. He’s a wall on the offensive line and should be able to play right tackle.
  19. DAL: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama: Jerry Jones is an exceptional drafter, and he’ll know that Payne is of good value at this part of the draft. With Payne and Demarcus Lawrence, Dallas will have a solid defensive line.
  20. DET: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: The Lions have a terrible running game. Period. Give Matthew Stafford some help. Please.
  21. BUF: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: Davenport is an intriguing prospect, and I think the Bills need to get younger at the front seven.
  22. BUF(KC): James Daniels, C, Iowa: Eric Wood unfortunately had to retire, so the Bills need an interior offensive lineman. James Daniels is a great center and will be a starter for years to come.
  23. LAR: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama: The Rams have an ascending secondary, and if they can’t retain Lamarcus Joyner, Harrison will be the pick.
  24. CAR: Connor Williams, OT, Texas: The Panthers need to solidify this offensive line. Signing Matt Kalil was a bonehead move, but they need to move on and get the young talent in Connor Williams.
  25. TEN: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: Corey Davis likely won’t be the star the Titans need them to be, and having an extra receiver will further help Marcus Mariota’s development.
  26. ATL: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: Desmond Trufant is good, but getting older. The Falcons need to have an intriguing prospect at the corner position such as Donte Jackson.
  27. NO: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: The Saints have an emerging defense, but having another linebacker will further help this defensive unit.
  28. PIT: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: Pittsburgh has a lot of average cornerbacks on their team. They need a true number one corner going forward.
  29. JAX: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina: I’m surprised Marcedes Lewis is still on the Jags. Jacksonville should mimic what Tampa Bay has done at the tight end position: have a veteran (Cameron Brate for the Bucs, Marcedes Lewis for the Jags) and a young tight end (O.J. Howard for the Bucs, Hayden Hurst for the Jags). It could be a sustainable model for the shaky QB play in Blake Bortles.
  30. MIN: Vita Vea, DT, Washington: Many people wonder why I don’t value defensive tackles as much. It’s not so much that I don’t value the position, but NFL teams have routinely let this positional group slip. Vea will be a great steal for the Vikings.
  31. NE: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State: The Patriots need a good edge rusher for the future. Hubbard is one of the best on the board and he fits the Patriots mould.
  32. PHI: Brian O’Neil, OT, Pittsburgh: Jason Peters is old and Hal Vaitai isn’t great. O’Neil is an athletic specimen and can work in Doug Pederson’s offense.  
With the acquisition of Marcus Peters, are the Rams contenders in the NFC?

With the acquisition of Marcus Peters, are the Rams contenders in the NFC?

Before the new NFL season, the Rams made a blockbuster trade with the Chiefs to acquire cornerback Marcus Peters. In exchange for Peters, the Chiefs receive a 2018 4th round pick and a 2019 2nd round pick. With this trade, are the Rams a contender in the NFC?

Los Angeles’ defence is bordering on elite, with superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters. Their offence has emerging QB Jared Goff and Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley. Their receivers are above average and their offensive line has an excellent mix of veteran and emerging talents. Sean McVay won Head Coach of the Year and GM Les Snead have built a sustainable winning culture. So, what do the Rams need to do to ensure long-term success?

Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald.

Lock Up Key Players to Long-Term Contracts

The Rams are in an interesting situation. They have a few players such as Trumaine Johnson and Lamarcus Joyner who are solid players, but may be too expensive to sign. However, they have some players who would clear lots of cap space and are no longer quality players. Some of which would be Tavon Austin and Robert Quinn.

If the Rams can sign some young, key players and release the older, less productive ones, the Rams can be built for success.

Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner.

 

Draft Effectively to Plug Roster Spots and for Continued Development

If the Rams draft effectively, they can become a legitimate contender for the NFC. When I say “drafting effectively”, I mean that they should draft for need and for development. Their biggest needs right now would be offensive line and tight end. They also have veteran players at linebacker who could become expensive.

An example of having continued development would be the left tackle position. Pro Bowl tackle Andrew Whitworth is covering Goff’s blind side, but Whitworth is 36, so his years are limited. By investing a high draft pick on a tackle, they can develop under Whitworth.

Focus on Depth and Breadth

Some of the best teams in the NFL have great depth at various positions. Take the Eagles as an example. Yes, they have Foles under Wentz, but their running backs showed loads of depth. With Blount, Ajayi and Clement, they had a plethora of options in the run game.

As well as depth, they need breadth. Although the Patriots were a good team, one would have noticed their lack of breadth at their positions. Their edge rushers were abysmal and that could have been the difference in Super Bowl LII.

Eagles RBs Corey Clement and LeGarrette Blount.

In conclusion, the Rams can certainly be contenders in the NFC. However, they must sign the right players and relieve cap space where necessary. As well, their draft strategy must include plugging in roster gaps and continued development in positions where veterans are currently starting. Finally, their ability to acquire depth and breadth on their roster will lead them to be contenders for the NFC and Super Bowl LIII.