This article is Part Two of the Final Edition of SST’s NFL Mock Draft Series. Picks #1-16 can be found here
- Washington Redskins (8-7-1): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
A top 10 caliber prospect, Foster falls slightly after testing positive for a diluted urine sample at the Combine to go on top of his abrupt leave from the NFL’s scouting event. While some teams may hold that against him, Foster cited fighting a case of food poisoning for his high level of hydration. The Redskins are a team likely to look past Foster’s issues, especially considering the degree of assistance they need in the middle of their defense. A tad undersized, but with playmaking ability and explosiveness to spare, Foster will be perfectly suited for the ‘Skins 3-4 scheme.
Other options: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan; Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
Previous edition: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
2nd Round Pick: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State (49th)
McDowell has fallen out of his high draft standing due to character concerns, but is too good of a prospect for a Washington team short on defensive linemen to pass on.
- Tennessee Titans (9-7): John Ross, WR, Washington
Taking over as the Combine record-holder in the 40-yard dash from former Titan Chris Johnson, Ross’ 4.22 shocked the football world (though he wore Nikes, so no island for Ross). However, the Washington product is more than just foot speed, as the versatile player with above average hands and strong route running ability scored 23 touchdowns on just 112 touches in his career. It is very likely that the Titans double down on defense here, but they need to get help at wideout if they want Marcus Mariota to take the next step into stardom.
Other options: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan; Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Previous edition: Same
2nd Round Pick: None
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-7): Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
The other top-tier prospect to test positive for a diluted sample at the Combine, it is also difficult to penalize Peppers due to his history of cramping. Prior to that news, the former track star’s stock was on the rise. One of the best pure athletes in the draft, Peppers has the versatility to play both safety or linebacker in the NFL, while also contributing in the return game and occasionally on offense. With the breakthrough of the “moneybacker” position popularized by the Cardinals’ creative use of Deone Bucannon, Peppers would be an immediate playmaker for a Tampa Bay defense on the rise.
Other options: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State; Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Previous edition: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
2nd Round Pick: Curtis Samuel, RB/WR, Ohio State (50th)
The Bucs grab another versatile player in the second round, but on the offensive side of the ball. Doug Martin, if he’s not going to be replaced, needs help.
- Denver Broncos (9-7): Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
In a draft class relatively short on offensive line talent, the Broncos grab the first one in Ramczyk due to their gaping hole at tackle. Ramczyk is a top 10 prospect, but his offseason hip surgery meant that he was unable to partake in drills at both the Combine and at his pro day. However, despite just having one year of big-time football experience, Ramczyk is a prototypical NFL tackle who will be given opportunities to play early in his career.
Other options: Robinson; Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
Previous edition: Same
2nd Round Pick: Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State (51st)
Since Danny Trevathan left, the Broncos need help in the middle of the field and McMillan will be an immediate contributor.
- Detroit Lions (9-7): Haason Reddick, OLB, Temple
Reddick dominated at the Combine, and continues to fly up teams’ draft boards as draft day approaches. With blazing speed off of the edge and an overall exciting athlete, employing Reddick across from Ezekiel Ansah would incite terror in opposing quarterbacks. Undersized at 237 pounds, it is unlikely Reddick will be playing with his hand in the dirt often, but would excel in a role similar to how the Seahawks once used Bruce Irvin.
Other options: Lamp; Robinson; Cook; Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Previous edition: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
2nd Round Pick: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida (53rd)
The depth of the cornerback class falls greatly in Detroit’s favor here, as a potential first-rounder falls into their lap late in the second.
- Miami Dolphins (11-5): T.J. Watt, DE/OLB, Wisconsin
There are better players on the board than the younger brother of Texans superstar J.J. Watt, but the Dolphins’ needs at outside linebacker on top off Watt’s ideal fit for their system outweighs that fact. While there are doubts about the younger Watt, some teams reportedly have graded T.J. higher than his 3-time Defensive Player of the Year brother. Watt can play both a down-end in a 4-3 scheme. or as a big outside linebacker. Miami can utilize his strengths in both positions as a situational player until he adjusts to NFL play.
Other options: Lamp; Charlton
2nd Round Pick: Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan (54th)
The Dolphins further strengthen their front seven in the second round, as the interior of the line needs assistance.
- New York Giants (11-5): Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
The Giants are a team on the verge of joining the league’s elite, and the offensive line is one of the few problems they need to solve to get there. The G-Men drafted Ereck Flowers in the first round two years ago, but he has looked less than stellar at left tackle. Robinson is arguably the best prospect available, and would step into a major role right away. With the perfect frame for an NFL left tackle, and hailing from a school that cranks out big-name offensive linemen, Robinson would be an obvious selection. However, there are concerns with his balance and technique, making him a possible bust candidate.
Other options: Lamp; Garett Bolles, OT, Utah; David Njoku, TE, Miami
Previous edition: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
2nd Round Pick: Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama (55th)
The Giants could use an improvement at tight end, and the small-school product is a sleeper in this draft class.
- Oakland Raiders (12-4): Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
After the Raiders can convinced Marshawn Lynch to make a comeback their offense is set for the foreseeable future. The attention now turns to the defensive side of the ball, where reinforcements are needed in a number of spots. Linebacker stands out as a primary weakness for Oakland, and Davis will fill that void. Too small to play the “Mike”, the former Gator will likely take over the “Sam” role from Bruce Irvin, who is best suited for a third down pass-rushing role.
Other options: Adoree Jackson, CB, USC; Kevin King, CB, Washington; Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Previous edition: Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
2nd Round Pick: Sydney Jones, CB, Washington (56th)
Regarded as Marshon Lattimore’s only competitor for the best corner in this draft, an Achilles’ tear cast Jones’ 2017 season in doubt and will cause a draft day drop.
- Houston Texans (9-7): DeShaun Watson, QB, Clemson
This is a best case scenario for Houston, and in reality would likely need to trade up in order to snag the NCAA champion quarterback. The Texans managed to blow it during their courtship of the now-retired Tony Romo, and the team that gave the eventual Super Bowl champion Patriots a serious run for their money in the playoffs now finds themselves without a viable quarterback. The Brock Osweiler experiment was a failure in every sense of the word, but the situation doesn’t appear much better with Tom Savage at the reins. Watson could go as high as sixth in this draft, and a number of executives regard him as the best quarterback in this draft class. The accuracy issues are troubling, but Watson has the intangibles, arm strength and running ability to be a star.
Other options: Bolles; Lamp; DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Previous edition: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
2nd Round Pick: Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan (57th)
The Texans had offensive line issues even before Derek Newton tore both of his patellar tendons, which effectively ends his career.
- Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1): Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
Russell Wilson has been hammered by opposing teams seemingly his entire career, and while he is possibly the slipperiest quarterback in the pocket in the league, those hits take a toll. Seattle needs to prioritize their offensive line if they wish to return to the Super Bowl, and their window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Bolles was the standout performer at the Combine for offensive linemen, and could easily be drafted before this spot. If offensive linemen come off of the board earlier than expected, don’t be surprised if Seattle trades up.
Other options: Lamp; King
Previous edition: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
2nd Round Pick: Cordrea Tankersly, CB, Clemson (58th)
Especially if the Richard Sherman trade rumors come to fruition, depth is needed in Seattle’s once fearsome secondary.
- Kansas City Chiefs (12-4): Kevin King, CB, Washington
While a number of reports have connections between the Chiefs and a quarterback, there are more pressing needs in Kansas City. Marcus Peters has cemented himself as one of the best playmaking defensive backs in the league, but they need help across from him in Arrowhead. King would complement the young star well, as the 6’3” Washington product is better suited for tall receivers that may present the shorter Peters with matchup issues. The Washington secondary is going to have a heavy presence in this draft, which overshadowed King’s potential until late in the draft process.
Other options: Wilson, Kizer; Lamp; Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
Previous edition: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
2nd Round Pick: Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee (59th)
The Chiefs have been sniffing around for a new quarterback, as Alex Smith is nearing the end and is a game manager at best.
- Dallas Cowboys (13-3): Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
Harris is a fast-rising prospect at the moment, and it will be very unlikely for the Cowboys to pass on the talented pass-rusher. The offense is almost entirely set, so Dallas will have a defensive-focused draft class. Getting to the quarterback is the principal concern, with Randy Gregory and Greg Hardy gone as well as Demarcus Lawrence’s unreliableness. Harris is an athletic edge rusher who could provide sneaky value against the run, and would play often as a rookie for Dallas.
Other options: Wilson, Tre’Davious White, CB, Louisiana State; Davis
Previous edition: Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
2nd Round Pick: Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington (60th)
With almost all of the premier corners off the board, the ‘Boys finally give Dez Bryant a quality complementary wideout in the underrated Kupp.
- Green Bay Packers (10-6): Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Cook has undergone a steep fall in this draft, and could easily be a top 15 pick talent-wise. The Florida State star comes with serious baggage, as his character concerns have dogged him for years. Cook was unspectacular at the Combine and at his pro day, allowing Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey to separate themselves from him in the minds of NFL executives. This late in the first round, however, the running back-needy Packers would pounce on Cook. Converted wideout Ty Montgomery can’t be depended on as the primary ball-carrier over the course of an entire season, and power back Cook would allow for a threatening committee backfield.
Other options: Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee; Charlton; Jackson
Previous edition: TJ Watt, DE/OLB, Wisconsin
2nd Round Pick: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA (61st)
A potential first round pick until a recent injury setback, Moreau would be a boost to one of the league’s most depleted secondaries.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5): David Njoku, TE, Miami
Pittsburgh badly needs help at outside linebacker, but with Takkarist McKinley, Watt and Harris off of the board, Mike Tomlin will take the athletic tight end from Miami and find pass-rushing help later in the draft. The Steelers have arguably the league’s top offense, but they are missing a big receiving threat up the seam. Jesse James was solid at times last year, but the position needs an upgrade. The 6’4”, 246-pound Njoku is an elite athlete but is still not technically sound on the nuances of the game, though he will get plenty of chances to learn in the Steelers’ high-flying aerial attack.
Other options: Charlton; Davis; White; Wilson
Previous edition: Charles Harris, DE/OLB, Missouri
2nd Round Pick: Derek Rivers, DE/OLB, Youngstown State (62nd)
The Black and Gold find their next pass-rusher in local boy Rivers, who is flying under the radar and could wind up a first round pick.
- Atlanta Falcons (11-5): Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
After a big Combine performance, it is unlikely that Lamp would be available for the Falcons to take without a trade up. However, there is a low premium on guards in today’s NFL, allowing for a possible slip to the back end of the first round. The Falcons have one of the most complete rosters in the league, allowing them to take the best player available. However, they do need depth at guard, and Lamp could be good enough to take over immediately from Andy Levitre or Hugh Thornton. Lamp displayed athleticism rare for an offensive lineman at the Combine by running a 5.00s 40 yard dash, and has the technical ability to be a plug-and-play starter at the NFL level.
Other options: Charlton; McDowell
2nd Round Pick: Tim Williams, DE/OLB, Alabama (63rd)
The Falcons could use another pass-rusher to pair with Vic Beasley, and they would form one of the fastest combinations in the NFL.
- New Orleans Saints (7-9): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Armed with an additional first round pick after dealing wideout Brandin Cooks to New England, the Saints continue their defensive overhaul by taking one of the best players on the board. At 6’6” and 277 pounds, Charlton is an ideal fit for the Saints’ 4-3 scheme. With the 3-4 growing in popularity, Charlton is prone to a slide down the boards. However, the All-Big Ten player proved his value by racking up 9.5 sacks last year as well as demonstrating an uncommon arsenal of athletic ability. Across from Cameron Jordan, opposing quarterbacks would have trouble dealing with that kind of size coming from the end positions.
Other options: Kizer; Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi; Budda Baker, S, Washington
Previous edition: (Patriots held this pick) Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
2nd Round Pick: Aforementioned in Part One
Teams without a first round pick
Los Angeles Rams (4-12): Budda Baker, S, Washington (2nd Round, 37th overall)
The Rams are short on draft picks in the near future, which is problematic for a team so full of holes. Baker gives the Rams an energetic play-maker in the secondary in the mold of Bob Sanders.
Minnesota Vikings (7-9): Dan Feeney, G/C, Indiana (2nd Round, 48th overall)
After dealing their first round pick to the Eagles for Sam Bradford, the Vikings revamp one of the league’s worst offensive lines by drafting the versatile Feeney.
New England Patriots: Do Not Own a Pick in Top 2 Rounds
The defending Super Bowl champs have made moves this offseason, though they have come at the cost of their draft. However, with trade bait in Jimmy Garoppolo and Malcolm Butler, the Pats could move up fairly easily.