2017 NFL Four-Round Mock Draft
For this writeup of the 2017 NFL Draft, I opted do it by team in alphabetical order, instead of making it pick-by-pick. It is a four-round mock with explanations of the picks included. I encourage you all to read and comment on my projections via Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere else you see this article. Thank you for reading and I hope you all enjoy.
1st Rd (13): QB Deshaun Watson, Clemson
2nd Rd (45): S Jabril Peppers, Michigan
3rd Rd (77): C/G Pat Elflein, Ohio State
4th Rd (119): WR Chad Hansen, California
At some point, the Cardinals have to groom their successor to Carson Palmer. They could go for a cornerback in the first round, or even trade down if they can acquire another QB, but I think Watson is someone worth grooming for a year as the 13th overall pick. If not a quarterback in the first round, they can look to address their secondary. Peppers is very athletic and I think he can be a possible starter alongside Tyrann Mathieu as a strong safety. Even before the diluted urine sample at the combine, I was thinking he could slip here due to the fact his position was unclear, although I think he can be a strong safety. The interior of the Cardinals offensive line needs a lot of help too, and Elflein could play either guard or center. Hansen is someone that can potentially be a No. 2 receiver in the NFL and the Cardinals are thin at that position.
1st Rd (31): CB Kevin King, Washington
2nd Rd (63): DE Carl Lawson, Auburn
3rd Rd (95): TE Jake Butt, Michigan
4th Rd (136): OG Damien Mama, USC
If Dan Quinn wants to run the defense he did in Seattle, he definitely needs to improve the pass rush. Lawson has a skill set somewhat similar to Dwight Freeney. King is similar to another former Seahawk, Brandon Browner, as that is another position of need on this defense. Tight End is not a pressing need–but its also not a position of strength–and Butt can be another potential weapon for quarterback Matt Ryan and Mama can provide depth and eventually become a starter at guard. Improving the defense should be the main goal of this draft.
1st Rd (16): OT Cam Robinson, Alabama
2nd Rd (47): WR Juju Smith-Schuster, USC
3rd Rd (74): OLB Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic
3rd Rd (78): CB Cordrea Tankersley, Clemson
4th Rd (122): DT Montravius Adams, Auburn
Robinson will be counted on to replace the departed Ricky Wagner at right tackle if selected here. They could also go with an edge-rusher with this pick, depending who is available. Smith-Schuster is a possession receiver that should help right away as the team lost both Steve Smith and Kamar Aiken this offseason. The team does not have much depth at all at cornerback and it needs to be addressed here, as Tankersley should be able to compete for a key position right away. Hendrickson’s stock has risen due to a strong performance at the combine and could be an eventual replacement for Terrell Suggs. After trading away Tim Jernigan to the Eagles, the teams to replace him at defensive tackle and Adams has a nice skill set and could develop into a starter after a year or two.
1st Rd (10): WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan
2nd Rd (44): OLB T.J. Watt, Wisconsin
3rd Rd (75): QB Davis Webb, California
The team has a glaring hole at wide receiver and needs someone to start alongside Sammy Watkins. Davis should be available here and has the size and speed, along with route-running ability, to make a difference right away. Watt should be a good fit as a strong-side linebacker as the Bills transition to a 4-3 defense and could also bulk up to play defensive end too, another position of need. With the Bills quarterback situation unclear after next season, they need someone to start developing and Webb has skills that could blossom if he is able to develop and learn for a year or two, easily worth a day two selection and more promise than current backup Cardale Jones anyway.
1st Rd (8): DT Jonathan Allen, Alabama
2nd Rd (40): S Budda Baker, Washington
2nd Rd (64): RB D’Onta Foreman, Texas
3rd Rd (98): WR Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky
4th Rd (115): OT Roderick Johnson, Florida State
Allen’s shoulder surgery could cause him to slide this far and he might wind up as a steal for the Panthers, who need youth at defensive end. It’s not their most pressing need, but Allen is too good to pass up here. Baker might be a starter at day one for a porous Panthers secondary. Foreman gives the Panthers a power runner, as Jonathan Stewart is getting up there and Taylor can help fill a void at the slot receiver position since they need to surround quarterback Cam Newton with more talent. The tackle position needs help too, and Johnson is someone who could possibly be a left tackle in the NFL, but will probably play right tackle in the NFL. He’s an excellent run blocker for a team that should be looking to establish its running game this season.
1st Rd (3): FS Malik Hooker, Ohio State
2nd Rd (36): QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
3rd Rd (67): DE Chris Wormley, Michigan
4th Rd (111): CB Cam Sutton, Tennessee
4th Rd (117): TE Jordan Leggett, Clemson
The Bears are in dire need of a play-maker in the secondary. Hooker has great ball-skills and can play center-field in the secondary. Although the team paid big money for Mike Glennon to be the quarterback, it’s only a short-term solution so they will need to draft and develop someone here, and Kizer has a lot of upside and is worthy of a second round selection. I would not be shocked to see the Bears pull the trigger on Trubisky in the first round, either. Wormley is a solid defender to help the Bears defensive line, and the team’s cornerback depth is shallow and a man-coverage corner like Sutton can help. Leggett might prove to be a steal in the fourth round as he has good hands, is athletic, and the team needs playmakers on offense. However, he could slip due to inconsistent effort, which has earned him the name “Lazy Leggett,” but should pair nicely with blocking tight end Dion Sims.
1st Rd: (9): DE Derek Barnett, Tennessee
2nd Rd (41): WR Zay Jones, East Carolina
3rd Rd (73): C Ethan Pocic, LSU
4th Rd (116): RB James Conner, Pitt
4th Rd (138): LB Carroll Phillips Jr., Illinois
The Bengals really need a better pass rusher opposite Carlos Dunlap and Barnett should fit right in at the right defensive end position. I’d be shocked if the Bengals did not take a pass rusher in the first round as their other positions of need can be addressed later in the draft. A.J. Green is a star at wide receiver and Tyler Boyd is fine in the slot, but they need a solid No. 2. Jones has good hands and is a polished route-runner. The interior of the Bengals offensive line is weak and Pocic has the ability to start at center as a rookie. With Jeremy Hill regressing since his rookie season, and Giovanni Bernard coming off ACL surgery, the team needs another running back and Conner could become the runner people thought Hill would be after his rookie season. Phillips will be a strong-side linebacker in the pros, and after losing Karlos Dansby in free agency, the team needs more talent at the position.
1st Rd (1): DE Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
1st Rd (12): TE OJ Howard, Alabama
2nd Rd (33): CB Adoree’ Jackson, USC
2nd Rd (52): S Justin Evans, Texas A&M
3rd Rd (65): WR Cooper Kupp, Eastern Washington
4th (108): CB Sidney Jones, Washington
Garrett is a stud pass rusher that’s perfect for a team which was tied for 30th in the league in sacks. They desperately need a quarterback too, as Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler, and Kevin Hogan are not the answer long-term; but the Browns have so many other holes on the roster that can be filled easier in this draft. O.J. Howard has the chance to be an impact player on offense, and at the very least a security blanket for a young quarterback. The Browns secondary is weak too, and cornerback Joe Haden has been oft-injured the past two seasons while Jackson has the skill set to fit in with the defense set by Coordinator Gregg Williams. Getting Jones in the fourth round could prove a steal considering he was projected as a possible first round pick before rupturing his Achilles tendon and could take a medical redshirt year here, as the Browns are rebuilding and can afford to do so. Evans is an extremely physical safety that could help and Kupp has the chance to become an effective possession receiver in the NFL.
1st Rd (28): CB/S Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
2nd Rd (60): DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State
3rd Rd (92): TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech
4th Rd (133): CB Howard Wilson, Houston
The Cowboys secondary is a major weakness, especially since losing Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr to free agency. Melifonwu can start alongside fellow UConn alum Byron Jones at strong safety and hopefully form a strong duo that can lead the team for the next several years. Wilson provides depth and one day could become a No. 2 cornerback. Drafting a pass rusher is a must, especially since they’ve failed to find one over the past several years, and Willis should be able to contribute off the edge right away. Jason Witten has had a fantastic career, but will be 35-years-old when the season starts. Looking for his replacement in a draft stocked with talent at tight end and a high-ceiling guy like Hodges is worth a shot at the end of the third round.
1st Rd (20): TE David Njoku, Miami
2nd Rd (51): OT Antonio Garcia, Troy
3rd Rd (82): WR KD Cannon, Baylor
3rd Rd (101): DT Jaleel Johnson, Iowa
4th Rd (126): CB Corn Elder, Miami
Unfortunately for the Broncos, this is not a draft class loaded with talent at offensive tackle, their biggest position of need. Garcia could provide great value as a second round pick. The team also got nothing out of their tight ends last season, and Njoku should start in Week One and give the team help on offense. Cannon is another target as the team needs a slot receiver and on the other side of the ball, Elder could help right away as there is little in terms of cornerback depth on this team. They’ve lost a lot of talent across the defensive line over the past two seasons, as Johnson can be a fit at either the three or five technique positions. Versatility across the D-Line is never a bad thing.
1st Rd (21): DE/OLB Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
2nd Rd (53): CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
3rd Rd (85): WR Malachi Dupre, LSU
4th Rd (127): LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State
Ezekiel Ansah is excellent, and McKinley should help the Lions wind up with a formidable pass rush tandem. The team needs to find another starting corner opposite of Darius Slay and Awuzie is a versatile defensive back who at the very least can be the nickel corner and a special teams standout. He could be a starter in a zone defense like they use in Detroit. They could also stand to add more talent on defense where a rangy linebacker like Lee can help on the weak side to replace DeAndre Levy. Although not a huge position of need, they can still use more talent at wide receiver. Dupre has a lot of talent and can go downfield to give Stafford another weapon.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
1st Rd (29): G Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
2nd Rd (61): RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
3rd Rd (93): OLB Tarell Basham, Ohio
4th Rd (134): CB Nate Hairston, Temple
I would not be shocked to see the Packers go with a cornerback in the first round, but they also need guard help, and Lamp is a good value with the 29th overall pick. This draft is deep at cornerback and they can find help later on with Hairston in the fourth round. With converted receiver Ty Montgomery as their current starting running back, they need a lot of help there, and Kamara is a playmaker who can also line up in the slot as well, which should make quarterback Aaron Rodgers happy. Getting younger pass rushers should be a goal of the draft and Basham might one day be the successor to Clay Matthews.
1st Rd (25): QB Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
2nd Rd (57): G Dan Feeney, Indiana
3rd Rd (89): WR ArDarius Stewart, Alabama
4th Rd (130): LB Josh Carraway, TCU
4th Rd (142): DT Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte
The team got rid of Brock Osweiler, their disastrous free agent signing, by trading him away to Cleveland. Tom Savage did not look to be the answer, but will get a chance to start. Drafting Mahomes, who head coach Bill O’Brien reportedly loves, seems like a great move here. Letting him sit and develop as he learns the team’s complex offense will be necessary. The team has a glaring hole at guard, where Feeney should step in and contribute right away. Getting a slot receiver is also a must and the team needs more than just DeAndre Hopkins at receiver, especially with an inexperienced quarterback at the helm. The fourth round can be used to help shore up the defense at edge-rusher and nose tackle.
1st Rd (15): DE Charles Harris, Missouri
2nd Rd (46): CB Tre’Davious White, LSU
3rd Rd (80): RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
4th Rd (121): OG/OT Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt
4th Rd (137): S Montae Nicholson, Michigan State
4th Rd (144): OG David Sharpe, Florida
Indianapolis is another team that needs a lot of help along the offensive line but suffers in this draft due to the lack of top talent at those positions. Luckily, they can address defensive issues because they need a lot of help getting to the quarterback and their top cornerback, Vontae Davis, is a free agent after next year. They have no one ready to fill his void, so addressing these two positions with their first two picks should help out the team. Frank Gore is getting up there in years and Perine is a workhorse back who should be able to take some pressure off of him. They can address the offensive line on Day Three in the fourth round with Bisonwaty, who can play either guard or right tackle, and guard Sharpe, as these positions need a lot of help. Depth at safety needs to be addressed, and Nicholson is worth a gamble in the fourth round since he could develop into a starter.
1st Rd (4): RB Leonard Fournette, LSU
2nd Rd (35): TE Evan Engram, Ole Miss
3rd Rd (68): G Dorian Johnson, Pitt
4th Rd (110): DT Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA
Although quarterback Blake Bortles’ future with Jacksonville is unclear, giving him a running back like Fournette should take a lot of pressure off this season and possibly beyond. Jacksonville has supporting running backs, but they’ve not proven to be able to carry the load. After the Julius Thomas signing turned out to be a bust, an athletic tight end like Engram makes sense as a replacement and compliments receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Despite spending a lot of money on defense via free agency, the team could still use a run-stuffing tackle like Vanderdoes to play next to Malik Jackson. Guard Dorian Jackson Johnson provides value in the third round and could turn into a starter as a rookie.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
1st Rd (27): CB Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
2nd Rd (59): QB Nathan Peterman, Pitt
3rd Rd (91): OLB Dawuane Smoot, Illinois
3rd Rd (104): RB Wayne Gallman, Clemson
4th Rd (132): DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova
Getting a cornerback to start opposite of Marcus Peters and a quarterback to develop behind Alex Smith are two needs I have addressed with the first two picks here. They can also address the defensive line with Kpassagnon, an athletic freak, but someone who played against lesser competition at Villanova. He’d be a great value here and could go in Day Two of the draft. Gallman is a running back that can be a rotational player go-to, along with other complimentary backs in Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West, and will get a chance to help right away as Smoot gives them help on the edge.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
1st Rd (7): S Jamal Adams, LSU
2nd Rd (38): OT Garret Bolles, Utah
3rd Rd (71): WR Chris Godwin, Penn State
4th Rd (113): OT Julie’n Davenport, Bucknell
Adams could prove to be a steal with this pick, and if he’s on the board at this juncture, there is no way I see the Chargers passing on him, as they need a starter at both safety positions. The offensive line needs help too. They signed Russell Okung to play left tackle, but need someone to play opposite of him and help at guard. Bolles is someone who could play guard too as Davenport plays right tackle, but more depth and talent at that position is a must. Another target for Philip Rivers is necessary, especially since top receiver Keenan Allen is often injured. Godwin is someone who could be an effective slot receiver for this team.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
2nd Rd (37): OT/OG Dion Dawkins, Temple
3rd Rd (69): OLB Tim Williams, Alabama
4th Rd (112): WR Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M
4th Rd (141): CB Ahkello Witherspoon, Colorado
Due to the trade last year to select Jared Goff, the Rams are without a first round pick and have many holes to address on their roster. The offensive line is a mess and Dawkins should be able to start right away at either guard or tackle. Williams has a lot of pass rushing skills but character issues will cause him to slip. The third round seems fine for him. Although they signed Robert Woods, they still need more talent at wide receiver. Reynolds can be a deep threat for the team and with his height a target inside of the red zone. With Trumaine Johnson possibly leaving after next season, they need to find his replacement and get someone to start next to him, as Witherspoon makes sense in the fourth round.
1st Rd (22): CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State
2nd Rd (54): ILB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
3rd Rd (97): OG Isaac Asiata, Utah
If Miami wants to advance to the playoffs, they need to shore up their defense. The Dolphins had a lot of injuries at cornerback last season and needed a talent upgrade to begin with. Conley is young but has a lot of skills and tested great at the combine, which makes him a worthy first round selection. McMillan gives Miami a new strong-side linebacker to complete a transformation of their linebacker corps, and Asiata can help at guard, where both starters can stand to be upgraded.
2nd Rd (48): DT Malik McDowell, Michigan State
3rd Rd (79): LB Alex Anzalone, Florida
3rd Rd (86): OG Nico Siragusa, San Diego State
4th Rd (120): S Lorenzo Jerome, Saint Francis (PA)
4th Rd (128): OT Zach Banner, USC
The Vikings do not have a first-round selection because of the Sam Bradford trade. They needed help at defensive tackle even before the news of Sharrif Floyd having a possible career-ending nerve injury. McDowell is someone considered a first-round talent, but with questionable effort. The retirement of Chad Greenway leaves a hole at weak-side linebacker, where Anzalone can contribute. They can address their offensive line depth issues here too with Siragusa and Banner added into the mix, where both guys should help with the running game. Harrison Smith is great at free safety, but they do not have anyone else opposite of him and Jerome is a player that can compliment him well
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
3rd Rd (72): OLB Ryan Anderson, Alabama
3rd Rd (96): DE Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M
4th Rd (131): C Jon Toth, Kentucky
The Patriots do not have a first round pick as they traded it away to New Orleans for wide receiver Brandin Cooks. The team needs another pass rusher, because Trey Flowers was a revelation last season, but there is no one else on the team that can rush the passer, and they lost both Chris Long and Jabaal Sheard via free agency, so Hall will get a chance to compete with newly acquired Kony Ealy if selected here. Anderson gives the team an athletic linebacker and hopefully a better replacement for Jamie Collins than the combination this team had last season. Toth can play both inside offensive line positions and the Patriots need an upgrade there too.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
1st Rd (11): DE Taco Charlton, Michigan
1st Rd (32): LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
2nd Rd (42): CB Quincy Wilson, Florida
3rd Rd (76): LB Anthony Walker Jr., Northwestern
3rd Rd (103): S John Johnson, Boston College
This defense has been poor for far too long and needs an influx of talent, so having them address that side of the ball with their first five picks would not surprise me. Charlton can finally give the team a talented pass rusher opposite of Cameron Jordan. They can address needs at middle- and weak-side linebacker here with Davis and Walker, Jr since those positions also need upgrades. They still need a quality cornerback, even if they do happen to acquire Malcolm Butler from the Patriots, and Wilson, another Florida product, can really help them out. The team got rid of free agent bust Jarius Byrd at free safety and Johnson could pan out there and played cornerback at college too. At the very least, he can be a contributor on special teams.
NEW YORK GIANTS
1st Rd (23): RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State
2nd Rd (55): OT Taylor Moton, Western Michigan
3rd Rd (87): LB Duke Riley, LSU
4th Rd (140): DT Jarron Jones, Notre Dame
The Giants’ running game was pathetic last season and is left with just Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen as possible starters, but neither of them are more than rotational backs, and Vereen has a long injury history. Cook is a great runner and by getting the running game going, they can take some pressure off of Eli Manning. The tackle positions need a lot of help, where 2015 first-round pick Ereck Flowers has been a major disappointment, as Moton might be asked to step in and play right away there. On defense, Riley can give them a playmaker they desperately need, while Jones is someone with upside who can develop into a starter a year or two down the line.
NEW YORK JETS
1st Rd (6): QB Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina
2nd Rd (39): OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston
3rd Rd (70): S Josh Jones, North Carolina State
3rd Rd (107): CB Rasul Douglas, West Virginia
The Jets are one of the teams rumored of wanting to trade down in the draft. If Trubisky is left on the board at this point, I can easily see the Jets pulling the trigger on him here, as they can afford to sit him while they rebuild, and let McCown or Petty play. Jamal Adams is another player that can be considered here as well, because their safety play has not been great. Bowser will help a poor pass rush, especially if the team decides to trade Sheldon Richardson. With their two third round picks, they can address their abysmal secondary: Jones can play free safety and Douglas is a press corner that should fit in well with Bowles’ defense and he also tied for the FBS lead with 8 interceptions last season, giving them someone with playmaking ability.
1st Rd (24): LB Zack Cunningham, Vanderbilt
2nd Rd (56): RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
3rd Rd (88): DT Elijah Qualls, Washington
4th Rd (129): S Eddie Jackson, Alabama
The Raiders’ defense still never improved enough during the regular season. Cunningham can start right away on the weak-side at linebacker, as they need help at that position. Marshawn Lynch might come out of retirement and play for the team at running back, but they still need someone else for the future since he will be 31 at the start of the regular season. Mixon is someone I can see the Raiders gambling on here despite his past issues. They can address other areas on defense too, as Qualls can help at nose tackle and does a good job stuffing the run, while they need to start thinking about an eventual replacement free safety for Reggie Nelson, who will turn 34 in September, with Jackson, who can sit and learn until he could be ready.
1st Rd (14): RB Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
2nd Rd (43): DE DeMarcus Walker, Florida State
3rd Rd (99): CB Fabian Moreau, UCLA
4th Rd (118): DT Carlos Watkins, Clemson
4th Rd (139): OT Will Holden, Vanderbilt
This team really needs a starter at running back and McCaffrey is a perfect fit with this offense. There’s even talk he might be a top 10 pick, so getting him here would not be considered a reach. I would not be shocked if they took more than one cornerback here, but with a strong class in this draft, they can wait until Day Two to make a selection. A pass rusher and depth at tackle are needed too, as Chris Long was signed, but his best days are well behind him. Holden is an offensive tackle with promise who could be groomed to take the right tackle spot in a couple of years.
1st Rd (30): WR John Ross, Washington
2nd Rd (62): CB Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
3rd Rd (94): QB Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee
3rd Rd (105): OLB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin
4th Rd (135): TE Eric Saubert, Drake
I don’t think wide receiver is the Steelers’ biggest position of need, but getting Ross with the 30th pick would fit in great. We saw in the AFC Championship Game this past season that the Steelers lacked weapons besides Antonio Brown at wide receiver, and Martavis Bryant’s future is unclear after this season. Also on offense, they can get a tight end in Saubert that has the ability to go downfield, making the offense even more dangerous. Speaking of offense, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hinted at a possible retirement last season and they need to start grooming his successor. Dobbs has a lot of talent and certainly worth a shot in the third round. They do need help at defense where a pass rusher like Biegel is needed to take over when James Harrison retires. Lewis can step in at nickelback and possibly become a starter down the line as he possesses great ball skills, finishing his career at Michigan by setting the record for most pass breakups.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
1st Rd (2): DE Solomon Thomas, Stanford
2nd Rd (34): WR Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
3rd Rd (66): CB Desmond King, Iowa
4th Rd (109): RB Matthew Dayes, North Carolina State
4th Rd (143): OLB Devonte Fields, Louisville
This team needs help everywhere. My guess is that they trade down to collect more picks, but if this is kept, then Thomas would be an excellent pick. They do not have a pass rush threat on the team. Fields is also someone who could turn into a contributor on passing downs too, as he has the ability to rush the passer. A playmaker at receiver is needed as Samuel is fast and someone new head coach Kyle Shanahan should be able to utilize. Dayes gives the team a possible third-down back since the team needs a running back with pass catching ability. They can address cornerback here too, and King led the country in 2015 with 8 interceptions to show he has playmaking ability too.
1st Rd (26): OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin
2nd Rd (58): CB Teez Tabor, Florida
3rd Rd (90): DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama
3rd Rd (102): TE Adam Shaheen, Ashland
3rd Rd (106): WR Amara Darboh, Michigan
The Seahawks need to protect quarterback Russell Wilson and can do so here with Ramczyk. With his passion for the sport questioned after quitting in high school, Head Coach Pete Carroll seems like someone who can get him going. Tabor has the skill set to fit in with Seattle’s secondary, as they need someone to play opposite of Richard Sherman and with DeShawn Shead recovering from a torn ACL. With three picks in the third round, they can use two of them on weapons for Wilson since Jimmy Graham is a salary cap casualty candidate after this season, and Shaheen could be his replacement. Darbon could be a potential No. 2 receiver for a team lacking behind Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett. Tomlinson is a run-stuffer that can pair up nicely with Jarran Reid at defensive tackle.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
1st Rd (19): LB Hassan Reddick, Temple
2nd Rd (50): S Marcus Williams, Utah
3rd Rd (84): RB Kareem Hunt, Toledo
4th Rd (125): CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State
Tampa ranked just 23rd in Total Defense last season and should look to remedy that here. Reddick can start at strong-side linebacker opposite of Lavonte David to really bolster the Bucs’ defense. The secondary can improve here too, as Kazee can play the slot and Williams should provide depth and possibly start at free safety. Jacquizz Rodgers had a nice season, but is more of a complimentary back and Charles Sims has not impressed, so a back like Hunt–with a good blend of size and speed–is someone that could be the main rusher for the team.
1st Rd (5): CB Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
1st Rd (18): WR Mike Williams, Clemson
3rd Rd (83): TE Gerald Everett, South Alabama
3rd Rd (100): OLB Derek Rivers, Youngstown State
4th Rd (124): ILB Kendell Beckwith, LSU
The Titans can fill their two biggest needs in the first round. They signed Logan Ryan at cornerback in the offseason, but still need another starter to go along with him. Lattimore might slip due to medical reasons, but if cleared, I see the Titans snatching him up with pick No. 5. They also lack a difference-maker at wide receiver and a big, athletic target like Williams, who has been compared to A.J. Green would be an excellent pick at No. 18. With Delanie Walker getting older, another tight end to replace him needs to be groomed, and Everett is one of the better receivers in a strong tight end class. On defense, they need more depth at linebacker. Rivers is a younger pass rusher they can groom and Beckwith could become a potential starter on the inside.
1st Rd (17): LB Rueben Foster, Alabama
2nd Rd (49): DT Caleb Brantley, Florida
3rd Rd (81): FS Marcus Maye, Florida
4th Rd (114): RB Marlon Mack, South Florida
4th Rd (123): C Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia
This team needs a lot of help on defense. Foster should step right in and immediately help against the run at inside linebacker and become one of their top players on defense. If not for his antics at the combine, he would likely be projected as a top 10 pick. They also lost a lot of talent across the defensive line as Brantley is someone that can play defensive end in a 3-4 defense like Washington uses. A playmaker in the secondary like Maye will be useful, and he could be a steal since his injury history will likely cause him to slip into the end of Day Two. Mack isn’t an every-down back, but a legit threat, which the team does not currently have in the backfield. Orlosky can be an eventual starter at either guard or center where the team’s starters are free agents after the season.
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