My ultimate 2022 NFL mock draft:

Now that all my positional draft rankings and big board are out, it’s time to talk about how I think the first round of the draft will shake out. So this is not what I would do, but rather what I think will happen, based on things that I’m hearing and partially my own thoughts, in accordance to what teams want and like from certain positions.

I ended with only three trades, since we’ve already had plenty of movement – indicated by eight(!) teams having multiple first-round picks – and with the general consensus on prospects 15-40 being similarly graded. Therefore, I could see teams want to sit back and let the draft come to them more so. Although as we know, one off-the-radar selection can throw everything else off. We don’t have the Raiders in the first round, but the Seahawks are in the top ten. So we could easily see something crazy happen.

And since I’m a giving person, I added the first pick for every team that doesn’t (currently) hold a selection in round one at the end.

 

Click the video for my full analysis:

 

 


 

Jaguars  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan  Michigan

This seems to be a clear two-man race for the number one overall pick at this point between edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson from Michigan & Travon Walker from Georgia. I have Hutchinson ranked higher – even though I have somebody else ahead of him at the position – and I think the Jags don’t have the freedom to take a risk here, which an uber-athletic, yet underdeveloped pass-rusher like Walker would present – as much as GM Trent Baalke has a history of valuing those types of athletic phenoms. The Michigan standout should be a perennial eight-to-twelve sack guy and a worker-bee to lead that defense in the right direction.

 

Lions  2. Detroit Lions – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia  Georgia

Now, the Lions on the other hand do have some more room to play with here, with a roster that is clearly still in transition and a coaching staff that impressed with their ability to get the team ready to compete on a weekly basis, even when clearly outmatched. Walker is a monster in the run game, who will bully tight-ends in the NFC North for years, while having incredible upside as a pass-rusher. I still believe he has a long way to go and I have him ranked significantly lower, but for a team that lacks true superstars and is comfortable with giving guys time to get coached up, they’re the ones in position to make an investment like this.

 

Texans  3. Houston Texans – Ikem Ekwonu, OT/IOL, N.C. State  N.C. State

The Texans are another squad in need of talent across the roster. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks and left tackle Laremy Tunsil somewhat surprisingly remain on the roster, but they did lose safety Justin Reid in free agency. Because of that, I could see them grab Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton here, but Houston was dead-last in total rushing yards and yards per rush. So if they want to take pressure off second-year quarterback Davis Mills, they should grab the baddest dude in this entire draft. Ickey Ekwonu can immediately boost that area of their team, with the ability to play guard or move him out to right tackle, with the ability to eventually take over on the blindside if they do decide to ultimately move Tunsil.

 

Jets  4. New York Jets – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon  Oregon

The Jets haven’t had a true threat off the edge since John Abram about 15 years ago. Robert Salah has a chance here to grab my number one player on the board and recreate what he had in San Francisco on the D-line, with a talent like that, to go last year’s big signing Carl Lawson and one of the best interior rush groups already. All those negative comments and reports about KT are just ridiculous – modern athletes are brand-conscious. If he also has the best first step in the draft, I don’t really care. Three years from now, I believe a lot of people will look back and ask themselves why they overthought him this much.

 

Giants  5. New York Giants – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama  Alabama

Big Blue is in a great position here, because they can definitely get one of the big three edge defenders and offensive tackles or their top corner with picks five and seven. Right tackle is the biggest area of concern and with Neal they not only get somebody who has played that spot at a high level for a full season, but also the top prospect available. Now they have all the pieces in place to see exactly what they have in Daniel Jones, with Brian Daboll coming into town. If they should already have made that decision, is a different argument.

 

Panthers 6. Carolina Panthers – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State  Mississippi State

We’ve reached a pivotal point of the draft, since this could of course be when we see the first quarterback come off the board, particularly with the connections between Kenny Pickett, head coach Matt Rhule, who once recruited him at Temple, and a Pitt alum in owner David Tepper. However, Carolina has had a different starting left tackle every year since Jordan Gross and Cross has the potential to become an elite pass-protector. I believe they’ll be happy to trade down and maybe grab Pickett there, but if they love a guy like that, they can’t get too cute, and I simply can’t justify taking a guy here, who I personally view as a mid-day two prospect. If there’s a partner to trade down with, they should that in a hurry, considering their next pick right now is 137th overall.

 

Giants  7. New York Giants – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati  Cincinnati

Like I mentioned at pick number five, the G-Men can kind of let the draft come to them. They already got their right tackle across from Andrew Thomas, the three big names on the edge are already taken and unless they see Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson in that tier (which I personally do), corner is the most logical way to go. Sauce is a pretty clean projection and Wink Martindale may look at him as his version of Marlon Humphrey, who they can kind of structure their defense around, particularly with reports about wanting to shed James Bradberry’s cap number.

 

Steelers  8. Pittsburgh Steelers (from ATL) – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty  Liberty

We’ve got our first trade – and our first quarterback! This is a prime spot to jump ahead of the Seahawks here, in exchange for picks 20, 84 and a 2023 first-rounder. Pittsburgh has been linked to Willis ever since Mike Tomlin seemed to be following him around throughout Senior Bowl week. Having Mitchell Trubisky should not keep them from drafting the most talented signal-caller of the class and with a dual-threat option at the position to start whilst the rookie develops, you can integrate Willis into an offensive scheme that fits his skill-set. Depending on Mitch’s performance, they can make the switch whenever they feel comfortable, but either way, they don’t have to throw the rook out there.

 

Vikings  9. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA) – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU  LSU

I just couldn’t let the Seahawks stick and pick here. They could clearly use an uber-talented cover-corner like Stingley themselves, but Minnesota is willing to part ways with their third-rounder (pick 77 overall) in order to finally find a long-term solution on the perimeter defensively. Former LSU defensive coordinator and now-Vikings DB coach Daronte Jones will be in the ear of this young regime in the Twin City to make that investment for a player, whose best football came two years ago, but showed on the practice field what kind of player he is and reminded the league of his potential at the Tigers’ pro day. Get him under the wing of another former LSU standout corner in Patrick Peterson and fix this issue.

 

Jets  10. New York Jets – Drake London, WR, USC  USC Logo

There’s a lot of different ways the Jets could go here theoretically, but with the top two corners off the board – which I don’t know if Robert Saleh sees that position as a huge priority in the scheme they want to run anyway – and having selected a key cog for their defense already, the focus now will be on making life easy on their second-year QB Zach Wilson. They’ve already addressed the O-line in free agency and nobody else is on the board that would make sense here, so why not keep filling out the receiver room? With re-signing Braxton Berrios in the slot, Corey Davis best suited off the ball as a Z and last year’s second-rounder Elijah Moore able to play both, London would make a lot of sense at X, to give that group some size. Plus, people forget that he forced 22 misses tackles in just eight games last year – which is significantly more than any other of the top-ranked receivers in full seasons – and would therefore fit what Mike LaFleur wants from that spot.

 

Commanders 11. Washington Commanders – Kyle Hamilton, SAF, Notre Dame  Notre Dame

It wasn’t easy to find a landing place for Hamilton here, because I personally believe his skill-set is narrower than consensus draft media would make you believe and the league seems generally lower on him, but I think Washington makes a ton of sense here. The Commanders – or then Football Team – were easily at their best defensively in 2021 when they put three safeties on the field, with Kamren Curl and Bobby McCain taking on split-field duties, while Landon Collins switched into more of a big nickel/hybrid role. The latter was released mid-March, because of the injuries that have followed him and the belief they can probably find a cheaper option. Now, Hamilton’s falling right into their lap, who would be used in a way that perfectly match his best qualities – disrupting tight-ends in press-man coverage, setting the edge in the run game and being utilized as a blitzer.

 

Seahawks  12. Seattle Seahawks (via MIN) – Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State  Florida State

This would have been my pick already at number nine, but the Hawks notoriously like to trade back early in the draft and here they still get their guy along with a third-round pick, since in this scenario the Jets already addressed edge and Washington has four first-rounders on the D-line anyway. Johnson is my number eight overall prospects and he would be a welcome addition to a defense whose leader in that regard had just 6.5 sacks this past season. The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year will set a hard edge against all the zone run teams and has the potential to become an alpha pass-rusher for this group.

 

Texans  13. Houston Texans – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama  Alabama

If there’s one team in the NFL that can wait on some of their young players for a while, it’s the Texans. With the number three overall pick being used on a road-grader in the run game according to this mock draft and the re-signing of Brandin Cooks, they have enough there to give Davis Mills a chance to prove himself. Then at worst, mid-way through the year they should get a significant bump in the speed category with this Alabama first-team All-American. If they can develop Nico Collins into a starting X and have Cooks there along with him, now you grant Williams a lot of free releases off the line, as he continues to work on his frame and route diversity. This could also definitely be a trade-back spot for Houston.

 

Ravens  14. Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Davis, IDL, Georgia  Georgia

I mean, can’t you already envision this? The Ravens are a team that always seems to have players drop to them perfectly and it’s not very hard to create that picture in your mind of big Jordan Davis in a purple 99 jersey. Brandon Williams is yet to re-sign in Baltimore, they did bring back Michael Pierce after a two-year stint Minnesota, but there’s a potential out in his contract and they’ve played two nose-tackle body-types on the field at the same time before. I believe GM Eric DeCosta will look at this mountain from Georgia as his version of an ultra-athletic nose-tackle like they had years ago in Haloti Ngata, to keep linebacker Patrick Queen clean behind him.

 

Eagles 15. Philadelphia Eagles – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington  Washington Logo

Two positions that came to mind for me here right away were wide receiver and linebacker. However, with Jameson Williams off the board and the two Ohio State guys better suited off the ball, I didn’t find a clear fit with the rest of the pass-catchers in Philly and Howie Roseman simply doesn’t value the LB spot. A similarly important area to address will be cornerback, where they do have Darius Slay still playing at a pretty high level, but he’ll turn 32 before the upcoming season is over, Avonte Maddox is at his best in the slot and they’d have to expect one of last year’s day three picks Zech McPhearson or Tay Gowan to step up. Instead, I gave them the best zone corner and tackler at corner in this draft in McDuffie. He’ll immediately start and excel in Johnathan Gannon’s two-high shell-heavy scheme.

 

Saints  16. New Orleans Saints – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh  Pittsburgh new

I could see Pickett coming off the board ten selections earlier for Carolina, but this seems a lot more logical to me. The Saints acquired this pick from the Eagles at a clear net-minus, but have all the options in the world now, to either package picks 16 and 19 to move up for their preferred quarterback or grab two impact starters, with how few NFC teams seem to be suited to make a championship run. In this scenario, the signal caller who they may look at makes them most competitive right now is there for the taking. I obviously have my concerns with Pickett, but in that Pete Carmichael that prioritizes protecting the guy under center and needs somebody there who can process quickly, he can have an extended career playing ten plus games in a dome.

 

Chargers  17. Los Angeles Chargers – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State  Ohio State

Heading into the offseason for a team that had come up a long field goal miss in overtime short of sneaking into the playoffs, the Chargers’ biggest priority was adding pieces to this defense, in order to support an up-and-coming superstar QB in Justin Herbert. They’ve made heavy investments on that side of the field in free agency. So instead, right tackle looks to be the biggest hole they need to fill. However, unless they feel like Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning can make a clean transition from the blindside and survive in an offense that asks him to be technically sound with a heavy dropback rate, there are no obvious candidates. In which other way can you support your signal-caller then? – Surround him with weapons. Olave perfectly fits as their Z receiver, because he gives them a vertical component that they don’t quite have, since Mike Williams wins down the field in more contested situations.

 

Eagles 18. Philadelphia Eagles – Zion Johnson, IOL, Boston College  Boston College

Once again, linebacker simply hasn’t been a position that the front-office in Philadelphia has valued over the years and they’ve already used their 15th overall pick on a defensive player. So instead, with the same issue prevalent in terms of what type of receiver they’d need to add, I have them enhancing a strength and continue investing into the offensive line. With Landon Dickerson potentially moving to center after this season and Isaac Seumalo’s contract having two voidable years at the end of it, they shouldn’t allow having a strong lineup in 2022 keep them from drafting a player, who I believe could be a perennial Pro Bowler. Johnson reminds me a lot of Brandon Brooks, as this thick, mauling guard, but also an extremely bright, young man.

 

Saints  19. New Orleans Saints – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa  Northern Iowa

With the future quarterback in place now, the priority will be protecting him. New Orleans just lost the guy who kept the blindside clean for nearly a decade in Terron Armstead. They dip their toes in the FCS pool once again and select Penning here. This is a team that will value his nasty mindset as a run-blocker, wants to limit true vertical pass sets anyway and has taught guys on the edges how to expertly use their hands in independent fashion, which is Penning’s big issue, in terms of exposing his chest and relying on two-handed punches. Cam Jordan and company might humble him early on in practice, but getting run through multiple times, will force him to work on his technical issues.

 

Falcons  20. Atlanta Falcons (from PIT) – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State  Ohio State

Anybody who’s followed the NFL for the last year knows this – the Falcons desperately need wide receiver help. And they get very lucky here to grab a guy who might have been an option for them at number eight already, along with picking up significant draft assets from Pittsburgh. With the suspension of Calvin Ridley for a full year, they may have to rely on last year’s fourth overall pick Kyle Pitts to split out at X a lot, since Wilson’s biggest area of improvement at this point is getting off press-coverage, but Pitts already did that plenty as a rookie. So here they get somebody, who can leave the heads of defenders spinning with his unique route-running skills, similar to what they usually have in Ridley.

 

Patriots  21. New England Patriots – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah  Utah

Bill Belichick loves to draft linebackers in the first round, with the likes of Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower. He hasn’t brought back Hightower or Kyle Van Noy, who are 32 and 31 years old respectively. However, Ja’Whaun Bentley was extended for another two years and they swapped Chase Winovich for Mack Wilson in a trade with the Browns. Those guys have very different skill-sets, with Bentley being more of the inside thumper and Wilson better suited playing in space. Well, now Devin Lloyd is on the board, who has a lot of force at contact defending the run between the tackles, but also features the range to make place outside that area. And what will really intrigue BB and his staff is the versatility the All-American brings as a rusher on passing downs, which is the way they want to deploy those guys.

 

Packers  22. Green Bay Packers – Devonte Wyatt, IDL, Georgia  Georgia

I know wide receiver is clearly the biggest priority for Green Bay after trading away Davante Adams and the only addition they’ve made being Sammy Watkins. However, they’ll pick again six spots later and while I did think about Arkansas’ Treylon Burks making sense here as somebody who can make things happen after the catch with all the quick-game and RPO-stuff they run with Aaron Rodgers, I’m not sure if the veteran QB would be a fan of his unprecise route-running. So instead I have them boosting the defensive line and give them “the other” Georgia D-tackle. Wyatt has the potential to become a disruptive B-gap penetrator for a team that finished 2021 dead-last in tackles for loss. He would be a perfect complement to Kenny Clark at the nose, if they’re comfortable with off-the-field concerns being brought up lately.

 

Cardinals  23. Arizona Cardinals – George Karlaftis, EDGE, Purdue  Purdue

Arizona has been kind of a mess this offseason with all the drama surrounding quarterback Kyler Murray and the long-term contract he’s seeking. With that, I’ve barely heard people talk about some of the needs they still have outside that. They lost wide receiver Christian Kirk, the O-line could use some reinforcements and they still have an uninspiring group of corners. However, with the loss of Chandler Jones in free agency and Markus Golden being on the last year of his contract, the Cards doesn’t have anybody in line to become a true threat rushing off the edge in the future. Karlaftis may never be a double-digit sack guy in consecutive years, but he’s already pretty advanced with his hands, packs a lot of power and a relentless motor, along with setting a hard edge in the run game.

 

Cowboys  24. Dallas Cowboys – Kenyon Green, IOL, Texas A&M  Texas A&M

This to me came down to two prospects – Arkansas wide receiver Treylon Burks, since they just traded away Amari Cooper to Cleveland and Jerry Jones would love to go to his beloved Razorbacks for an impact player, or Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green. I ultimately went with the latter, because they did sign James Washington to be their number three and haven’t added anybody to make up for the loss of Connor Williams, who was better last year than his reputation of drawing a lot of flags would indicate. What really stood out to me about Green was whenever there was a big run by Isaiah Spiller at A&M, he went right behind this guy. His hand usage could use some work in pass-pro, but his anchor is incredibly strong.

 

Bills 25. Buffalo Bills – Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson  Clemson Logo

I understand that this is certainly a question mark, with the reports about Booth’s medical situation, coming off sports hernia surgery, but this just makes too much sense for me to pass up. The Bills are locked and loaded for a Super Bowl run, but if there’s one spot, that they still need to address, it’s that second cornerback along with Tre’Davious White. They saw Levi Wallace sign in Pittsburgh for a price that would have probably been ready to pay themselves and would probably like to move Dane Jackson back into the CB3 role. Booth has the quickest feet in the draft, shows a natural feel for layering between routes in zone coverage, is highly competitive at the catch point and shows no hesitation as a tackler – even if he’ll need to learn to stay on his feet more regularly in that regard.

 

Titans  26. Tennessee Titans – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas  Arkansas

I’ve mentioned him a couple of times already and now it’s time for Burks to come off the board. The Titans will need Caleb Farley to step up as their number one corner in his second season and if one of the top two guards falls to them here, that seems like a logical way to go, but in this case they bring in another receiving threat similar to A.J. Brown, in terms of somebody whose uber-physical after the catch and contribute on vertical patterns, particularly with how they want to take shots off play-action. Tennessee did trade a late-round pick for Robert Woods, but he tore his ACL in mid-November and this way they’d have somebody after the first month of the season or so to run more intricate routes, while Burks can focus on YAC on longer-developing posts and crossers.

 

Buccaneers  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida  Florida

There’s no secret about this – the Bucs love long, physical corners, who can match receivers one-on-one. Well, once you get past Cincinnati’s Sauce Gardner (who will be long gone at this point), maybe nobody else fits that description better than Elam. Once again, if one of the guards or Devonte Wyatt as a Ndamokung Suh replacement were to fall here, those would be pretty obvious picks, but we saw what happened Tampa Bay’s defense, when they were dealing with injuries in the secondary. You can never have enough cover-corners in the NFL and Elam to me is worthy of a late first-rounder, with a proven track record against some of the SEC’s best over the last couple of years.

 

Packers  28. Green Bay Packers – Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State  North Dakota State

They Packers do ultimately find their receiver for Aaron Rodgers here and I think this is somebody Matt LaFleur will love as well. I think they still would like to find somebody at right tackle for them, in order to keep Elgton Jenkins inside, but there may be better value to be found on day two and I don’t believe Watson would make it out of the first round, if they don’t grab him here. This has been maybe the biggest riser of the pre-draft process, with the way he was beating up corners at the Senior Bowl and then put his freakish athleticism on display at the combine. At worst, Watson should be a bigger version of Marquez Valdes-Scantling – who they also lost in free agency – with elite run-blocking skills.

Chiefs  29. Kansas City Chiefs – Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan  Western Michigan

The run on wide receivers continues here, with the third one in four picks. Kansas City has some room to maneuver here with back-to-back picks and I wouldn’t be shocked if GM Brett Veach packaged those to move up for their guy, with the conviction he’s shown in recent years. However, I believe Skyy Moore is somebody who will be very high on their board and present a similar skill-set to what they had in Tyreek Hill, in terms of the YACability for a team opponents forced to throw it short a bunch last season. I also thought about Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, who may bring a little more in terms of the downfield component, but Moore has a thicker build, in the mold of Cheetah.

 

Seahawks  30. Seattle Seahawks (via KC) – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati  Cincinnati

We’ve reached our final three selections of this first round and with that our third and final trade. If the Seahawks see Ridder as a potential franchise quarterback – which would make sense to me, having kind of a similar calm demeanor to Russell Wilson – this would be close to a dream scenario for them. They grab a highly-ranked edge rusher earlier, while being able to add a third-rounder, and now they move up from pick 41 in exchange for 152 overall and second-year defensive end Alton Robinson, who to me makes a lot of sense for what KC wants from that position usually. Ridder immediately is an upgrade over anybody they have in Seattle right now and he’d be a nice fit in Sean Waldron’s bootleg-heavy offensive system.

If Chiefs kept the pick, I would have had them select Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe.

 

Bengals  31. Cincinnati Bengals – Tyler Linderbaum, IOL, Iowa  Iowa

It’s kind of crazy to see the Bengals this high up, but they fought their way to a Super Bowl appearance, even if the offensive line ultimately was what kept them from lifting up the Lombardi trophy. I thought they made a lot of smart investments into that group, without just throwing bags of money at big names, and they should have at least three new starters. However, this goes back to the old adage – don’t let good players keep you from drafting great ones. Linderbaum is my number ten overall prospect and would be a perfect fit at center for an offense originated in the wide zone run game, where he would allow them to consistently press the front-side. Ted Karras arguably had his best season at left guard in 2021 anyway, so this would be a very smart decision.

 

Lions  32. Detroit Lions – Daxton Hill, SAF, Michigan  Michigan

And finally, I was thinking long and hard about having the Lions go quarterback here, because even if they’re on the board two picks later, the fifth year of contractual control would make this a very appealing move. I’d personally love to see them go after Matt Corral here, who is my second-ranked QB and would get a year to learn an NFL dropback passing scheme behind Jared Goff. Yet, instead I have them stay in-state and get one of the highest-regarded safeties in this class. Dax Hill may be a bit undersized and his best tape came at a spot that he didn’t play a whole lot of (free safety), but Detroit doesn’t really have a great option in the slot anyway and they can move him further back as they continue adding to a roster, that simply needs more talented football players.

 

 

Also considered:

Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State

George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan

Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

Logan Hall, IDL, Houston

Tyler Smith, OT/IOL, Tulsa

 


 

Teams without a first-round pick:


Chicago Bears (39th overall) – Lewis Cine, SAF, Georgia

New head coach Matt Eberflus will certainly have to help out his 2nd year QB Justin Fields and I believe if wide receiver George Pickens – also from Georgia – is on the board, he’d make a lot of sense, as more of a sideline, size specialist to complement Darnell Mooney. However, I think Eberflus will make safety a priority and allow Eddie Jackson’s versatility to shine mor. Tashaun Gipson is gone and unless they convert one of their slot guys to safety, they didn’t add anybody there. Cine would be a perfect fit, since he has a lot of experience in deep alignment, but gives them somebody who can charge up the alley against the run and allow them to play with softer box counts.

 

Indianapolis Colts (42nd overall) – Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington

New defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is now on his third team in as many years and he needs to start going more with the trends around the league, since the classic Seattle-style cover-three bail system is not adequate in the modern NFL anymore. I thought we’d see more two-high looks from the Raiders last year, but maybe he’ll finally at least show more split-field looks pre-snap, before he rotates somebody into the deep post, after getting absolutely shredded twice by Patrick Mahomes. At corner, they did sign Stephon Gilmore, and Kenny Moore is one of the top nickels, but another versatile guy with great agility like Gordon would make a lot of sense, with all the draft investments they’ve made up front already.

 

Cleveland Browns (44th overall) – Travis Jones, IDL, UConn

When you look at Cleveland’s roster, there aren’t many holes they need to fill, but one unit is quite glaring – the interior defensive line. They basically lost Malik Jackson and Malik McDowell and they replaced them with Taven Bryan, who is a former first round pick, but wasn’t able to establish himself as anything but a rotational piece in Jacksonville. I like Tommy Togiai, who I thought was a steal out of Ohio State in the fourth round last year, but I think he can play one- or three-technique and if Travis Jones is on the board, he’ll help keep guys like Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah clean to run around, not allowing guards to peel off combos, as well as create push up the middle in passing situations.

 

San Francisco 49ers (61st overall) – Sean Rhyan, IOL, UCLA

I don’t believe the Niners’ personnel shortfalls at the O-line are talked about enough. Trent Williams is obviously as elite as it gets and they should get back a healthy Mike McGlinchey at right tackle, but center Alex Mack is about to enter year 14 and they lost Pro Bowl G Laken Tomlinson. They did draft Aaron Banks out of Notre Dame in the second round last year – who I like a lot – but they still at least have a question mark at that second guard spot. Sean Rhyan played at an All-Pac 12 level at left tackle, but even the people there say that he’s best suited to play inside, because he may not quite have tackle length or feet, but my god, can he create movement in the run game.

 

Denver Broncos (64th overall) – Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State

Tight-end would be an option here, having given away Noah Fant in the Russell Wilson trade, but unless Trey McBride from nearby Colorado State is available, which I don’t see necessarily, I think defense is more so the focus. The Broncos need to get more athletic at the second level, even if they do bring back Anthony Johnson, who is currently still a free agent. Andersen has played four different positions throughout his college career, all at a high level – QB, RB, OLB & ILB. So there’s some rawness to his ability to decipher through keys, but he has all the potential in the world and you can play him at MIKE or WILL, as a clean-up specialist early on.

 

Las Vegas Raiders (86th overall) – Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati

The Raiders did acquire Rock Ya-Sin from the Colts in the Yannick Ngakoue trade & they probably hope either he or Trayvon Mullen – two still young, promising players – can be new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s version of James Bradberry. They also signed Anthony Averett, who was a quality rotational player in Baltimore, but when you look at their top 30 visits, it doesn’t seem like they’re settled on the perimeter. Cincinnati’s number two corner Coby Bryant seems like a guy Graham would really like to add, as somebody who has a lot of quality experience with a multitude of coverage assignments, as the “other guy” to a boundary-man specialist.

 

Miami Dolphins (102nd overall) – Eric Johnson, IDL, Missouri State

Despite the change at head-man with Mike McDaniel, the Dolphins did retain defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, who wants to run multiple fronts and Johnson to me is worthy of a day two selection. His combination of quickness and power allows him to play anywhere from one- to a five-technique, particularly putting him in different spots on passing downs. You put him next to Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins and opponents will have a tough time running between the tackles. Johnson isn’t a very refined rusher, but Miami is more about covering up bodies and creating free runners anyway.

 

Los Angeles Rams (104th overall) – Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

And finally, the Rams have shown they’re not shy about putting a small corner across from Jalen Ramsey and they’ve lost Darious Williams and Donte Deayon, who are both 5’9”. Well, cut off another inch with Jones, but you get somebody, who fits perfectly as an off-zone field-side type of corner, with exceptional click-and-close ability, supreme competitiveness at the catch point with great ball-skills, has no worries at all sticking his face in the fan as a tackler and offers special return ability, if they don’t want to keep a roster spot for Brandon Powell, who carries no dead cap.

 



 

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