2022 NFL Draft Day 3 Takeaways: Patriots continue to surprise, punters are popular picks and the Ravens plan at receiver

NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft. After all, the draft is finally here! Check back in tomorrow for another entry.

The Patriots drafted Mac Jones in the first round just a year ago. (Wikimedia Commons)

Interesting approach in New England continues
The Patriots have made headlines the past few days for shocking everyone with some of their early picks. Saturday didn’t generate any headlines, but it was still a surprising afternoon. New England took Bailey Zappe in the fourth round, ahead of Sam Howell. I supposed the Pats view Zappe, who broke several D-1 passing records at Western Kentucky, as a backup quarterback to Mac Jones. I definitely would have expected Bill Belichick to bring in a veteran to back up Jones. That pick was sandwiched by a pair of running backs. This made absolutely no sense to me. New England has Damien Harris and James White as veteran backs. Rhamondre Stevenson was a third-round selection last year. They also have depth with J.J. Taylor still on the roster. I can’t envision a scenario where the Patriots keep six running backs. White did miss most of this past season with a hip injury, so perhaps this is the end of his time in New England.

A run on punters
Well, that’s probably untrue. It wasn’t so much a run, as much as it was surprising to see two punters selected as early as they were. For the first time since 2007, two punters were selected in the first four rounds. Jordan Stout and Jake Camarda were joined later in the draft by Matt Araiza, the booming punter from San Diego State, and Trenton Gill. That made it the most punters taken in one draft since 2018. Not a huge storyline, but something draft nuts like me are interested in.

Speaking of punters
While the unexpected number of punters coming off the board in the fourth round was fun, it did raise some interesting questions in Baltimore. The Ravens traded away Marquise Brown on Thursday night to acquire a first-round pick, which eventually, following a trade down with the Bills, turned into Tyler Linderbaum. Lamar Jackson was notably unhappy with the decision to move on from Brown and he made it clear on Twitter.

Yeah, definitely not a good sign for the Ravens. Jackson and Brown were very close, so this was obviously tough to swallow. Baltimore could have made it a bit easier to swallow by finding a new receiver for Jackson. However, despite having seven Day 3 picks, including six in the fourth round, the Ravens did not draft a receiver. Before you panic, the Ravens are actually flush with young mid-round receivers. They have taken Devin Duvernay, Tylan Wallace and James Proche over the past two drafts. That is in addition to taking Rashod Bateman in the first round in 2021. It seems like they are counting on one of them to step up. There are also veterans receivers like Jarvis Landry, T.Y. Hilton and Odell Beckham Jr. still available. I have a feeling that is how Baltimore plans to address the position.

Sam Howell has a chance to start sooner than you might think
The Commanders grabbed Sam Howell with the first pick of the fifth round, stopping the slide for a player that entered the college season as a projected first-round pick. Most quarterbacks taken in the fifth round are not taken with real hopes of starting in the NFL. Strange things happen though. Mike White, a fifth-round pick in 2018, started for the Jets this past season when injuries popped up. Gardner Minshew was a sixth-round pick in 2019. However, I think there is a chance Howell could be in contention to be Washington’s 2023 starter. First of all, he is reunited with one of his college wide outs in Dyami Brown. Second, the Commanders can release Carson Wentz after this season with ZERO dead money. It’s a move that would save the team about $26.1 million in cap space. Now, if Wentz is able to reclaim the form he showed early in his NFL career with the Eagles, this won’t even be a question. But if he struggles again like he did down the stretch with the Colts, this could get interesting, especially if Washington is not in a position to take one of the top quarterbacks in the 2023 draft. Just some food for thought regarding a quarterback I had an early third-round grade on. I think he has starter potential in the league.

Georgia sets a new benchmark
In 2020, 14 LSU players heard their name called, matching Ohio State in 2004 for the most players selected in a seven-round draft. Georgia surpassed that on Saturday. Derion Kendrick and John FitzPatrick went with back-to-back picks in the seventh round to set a new record with 15 players drafted from one school in a single draft. It underscores just how talented the Bulldogs were this season and how much Kirby Smart will have to replace this upcoming season. I have a feeling the Dawgs will be moving up in my Pro Potential Power Rankings.

The Steelers do it again
Pittsburgh made a sixth-round selection that probably didn’t turn too many heads, but continues a fun trend for this Steelers team. They selected Connor Heyward, a fullback out of Michigan State. He is the brother of Cam Heyward, the Steelers’ stalwart defensive tackle. It actually gives the team four sets of brothers on the roster. Just a fun nugget from today’s draft coverage that gives a bit more context and intrigue to the selection of a sixth-round fullback.

The Jets had a good draft
I want to close this out by talking about my team a bit. Part of the reason that I am such a huge fan of the NFL draft is because I’m a Jets fan. When your team is regularly not in the playoffs, you start to think about the future and what could be. Browns and Lions fans know what I’m talking about. There is always hope, followed by bitter disappointment. For the first time in a long time though, I think I might be willing to let myself be optimistic. The Jets crushed this draft on paper. They found value, filled needs and navigated the board with a veteran savvy that felt very out of place given how this team has been run for the past decade. I certainly don’t think the Jets are Super Bowl contenders, but they might actually be a year away from legitimately competing. They rounded out their draft by taking Max Mitchell from Louisiana and Micheal Clemons from Texas A&M. Mitchell has the potential to kick inside in the NFL, which would fill a need for the Jets. Meanwhile, Clemons brings some pass rushing depth to the roster.

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2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Takeaways: Quarterbacks continue to slide, Nakobe Dean’s unexpected drop and length draft pick announcements

NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft. After all, the draft is finally here! Check back in tomorrow for another entry.

Ridder was the second quarterback selected in the draft at No. 74 overall. (Wikimedia Commons)

If we thought yesterday was rough for quarterbacks…
Kenny Pickett was the only quarterback taken on Thursday. We all assumed there would be a flurry early in the second round that would see Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, Matt Corral and Sam Howell all come off the board. Instead, it took until 10 picks into the third round for another quarterback to come off the board. It was the longest we had to wait for the second quarterback to be selected since 1996. Perhaps even more surprising, it was Ridder, not Willis who landed with Atlanta. We knew this quarterback class was not thought of too highly by decision makers in the league, but this was ridiculous.

Willis lands in a great spot
Jon Robinson said earlier this offseason that he wanted to find Ryan Tannehill’s successor in this draft. Well, now we know who they intend that to be. Willis will get the chance to sit and learn during his first year or two in the NFL. Tannehill’s contract runs through 2023. Willis has a tremendous amount of upside with his strong arm and mobility. However, he has no pocket awareness and needs to learn how to process at an NFL level. Given Tannehill’s struggles in the postseason each of the past two years, the Titans clearly feel they needed to work on a succession plan. Willis, who was the No. 20 player on my board, has the potential to be better than Tannehill ever was.

Nakobe Dean’s unexpected fall
Five Georgia defenders were selected on Day 1. As it turned out, we had to wait until the middle of the third round for the next one to be selected. Nakobe Dean was frequently projected to go late first-round, early second-round. His tumble confounded draft analysts and fans alike. Reports started to surface that Dean passed up shoulder surgery this offseason after coming off pectoral and knee injuries. Those injury concerns caused a massive drop. This is a good situation for Dean though, who will get to play with Jordan Davis again in the NFL. He will also not be asked to start in 2022, allowing him to get healthy.

Belichick traded down three times already in the 2022 draft. (Wikimedia Commons)

Bill Belichick marches to the beat of his own drum
I have learned better than to really question what Belichick does. That being said, it seems like the Patriots are picking off a very different board than the rest of the league. Cole Strange in the first round was a bit of a stunner. Tyquan Thornton might have been even more surprising. He went ahead of George Pickens, Skyy Moore and Alec Pierce, among others. Marcus Jones in the third round was pretty on par with expectations. New England clearly had a very different board from many others out there. That being said, both players are good scheme fits and should be productive early in their careers. It was just a surprise to see the Patriots take these players where they did.

No one navigates the draft like Eric DeCosta
After having Kyle Hamilton fall into their lap and trading back into the first round to take Tyler Linderbaum, the Ravens landed another elite prospect in David Ojabo. He unquestionably comes with injury concerns and will miss much of this season after tearing his Achilles in March at his pro day, but the upside is incredible. He was regularly mocked to go in the top 15 prior to the injury. Baltimore took it a step further in the third round when it grabbed Travis Jones. They didn’t panic, they simply retooled their defense with a number of players that will help them in 2022 and beyond. Linderbaum replaces one of their biggest free-agent losses. With six, yes that’s right six, fourth-round picks, the Ravens will continue to rebuild the depth on their roster and potentially add some 2023 draft capital if they trade a couple of those selections.

Extending their fives seconds of fame
If you were watching the draft, you witnessed some very long lead ups to the announcement of the pick. With celebrities and former players announcing several of the Day 2 selections. For the most part, it went well. There were a couple of slip ups, like Elvis Dumervil calling it the 2002 NFL Draft. However, there were a few notable announcements that took WAAAAAY too long to get to the pick. Former Vikings player turned actor Ed Marinaro took over two minutes to read the name on his card. So long in fact, that the NFL sent a runner on stage to ask him to wrap it up. Kyle Brandt and The Miz took their time, going as far as to declare the Bills and Browns respectively the future champions of Super Bowl LVII. It was probably the worst part of the draft. Just get on the stage, say hi to the fans and read the card. It’s not that hard.

Best players available
As you would expect, the consensus started to fall apart on Day 2. Plenty of players expected to go on Day 3 found their way into Day 2 and vice versa.

47. Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
52. Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
59. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
64. Sam Howell, QB, UNC
66. Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech
67. Cade Otton, TE, Washington
69. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
82. Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
84. Domonique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (Ohio)
87. Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
91. Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
93. Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State
94. Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
95. Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
97. Tyler Goodson, RB, Iowa
98. Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
99. Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State

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Draft Season Never Ends: First Round Recap and Day 2 Preview

New episodes dropping every Friday! The draft is finally here! Chris goes through each pick of the first round and breaks down the best selections and most surprising moves from a wild first day of the draft. Be on the lookout for a special post draft episode on Monday this week.

You can find every episode on Anchor, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube or wherever you find your podcasts. As always, I appreciate reviews, feedback and when you hit that subscribe button.

2022 NFL Draft Day 1 Takeaways: Willis reaches Day 2, receivers go early and often, staggering number of trades

NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft. After all, the draft is finally here! Check back in tomorrow for another entry.

Willis was the No. 15 player on NFL Mock Draft Database’s Consensus Big Board. (Wikimedia Commons)

Rough day for quarterbacks as Malik Willis drops to Day 2
Kenny Pickett became the first (and only) quarterback selected at No. 20 overall. That was the latest the first passer came off the board since 1997. Pickett ended up being the only quarterback selected in the first round as well, the first time that has happened since 2013. It was a bit of a shock given the hype around Malik Willis leading into the draft. He is a high-character guy with great arm strength and impressive mobility. He is a bit of a project, but I have a feeling he won’t last long on Day 2. Tampa, Seattle, Tennessee and maybe the Giants are all in play in the first 10 picks of the round as it currently stands. I am stunned that he is still on the board. He is my top remaining player.

Receivers fly off the board
We knew this was a good receiver draft. The NFL is treating it like a great receiver draft. Four receivers went in the top 12 picks. Six went in the top 18. A.J. Brown and Marquise Brown also got traded (more on that in a moment). The Eagles immediately paid A.J. $100 million. In short, it was another wild day of receiver movement. The offseason saw Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill moved followed by mega extensions. That came on the heels of huge contracts for Mike Williams and Christian Kirk. With the cost of keeping good receivers skyrocketing, it should come as no surprise that receiver prospects are in high demand. Perhaps the most surprising move was Jahan Dotson going at No. 16. The Commanders clearly covet speed, but it was a bit of a surprise to see him go ahead of Treylon Burks. Dotson was also the biggest reach of draft slot versus ranking on my board.

Questionable trades by the Cardinals and Vikings

I can’t figure out what the Cardinals are playing at. Sure, Hollywood Brown might be better than some of us think and a good fit for the offense, but why on Earth are you parting with a first-round pick to acquire a receiver who has averaged 51.3 yards per game in his career. This is also just one year after selecting Rondale Moore, who has a very similar skill set. I don’t question the fit. I do question the value proposition here. Especially when you see what A.J. Brown was traded on the same day. The Ravens have the best front office in football.

Then there are the Vikings, who traded down 20 spots AND gave up their second-round selection and only received a pair of Day 2 picks to do so. It was such an odd trade, no matter how you slice it. For one, they did not recoup enough draft capital in the move. Secondly, they allowed their division rival to grab one of the most explosive and dynamic players in this draft. What was the biggest need Minnesota had heading into the draft? Cornerback. So they allowed their rival to grab a receiver they do not have anyone to cover. Not sure what the thinking was there.

Trades, trades and more trades
A whopping NINE trades went down on Day 1 of the draft. This is just two years removed from a draft where we had zero trades in the first round. I think it really underlines how much opinions vary on this draft class. Keep in mind, we already had a ridiculous number of trades leading up to this draft. In the end, only 23 teams made a first-round selection.

Aidan Hutchinson became the highest drafted Michigan player since 2008. (Wikimedia Commons)

Defense reins supreme early
Five defensive players opened the draft. It was the first time since 1991 that we had at least five straight defensive players selected. There were six straight that year. In a loaded draft of corners and edge rushers, it should not be a huge surprise, but given how much the NFL has shifted towards the offense in the past 20 years, this is a huge departure from the norm. We did immediately go on a run of seven straight offensive players. I don’t think this is a sign of things to come. It simply highlights how talented this draft is from a defensive perspective.

Jermaine Johnson II’s surprising slide
Johnson was the No. 10 player on my board. He was No. 11 on the NFL Mock Draft Database consensus big board. With plenty of teams needing edge rushers (Eagles, Ravens, Texans and Cowboys), it was a big surprise to see him fall all the way to the 26th pick. As a Jets fan, I’m thrilled New York traded back into the first round to grab him. There is no question that Johnson was not quite at the same level as his counterparts when it came to winning consistently in pass-rush situations. Still, I think he is the best run defender of any of the top four edge players (Walker, Hutchinson and Thibodeaux). He wasn’t bad as a pass rusher either, posting 11.5 sacks this season. He just might not be elite. Either way, this was one of the biggest surprises of the night outside of Willis.

Best players available
I actually feel pretty good about how my board lined up with the league’s. Only Kenny Pickett, Jahan Dotson, Tyler Smith, Lewis Cine and Cole Strange fell outside my top 32 prospects. I fully expected Pickett and Dotson to go in the first. Smith and Cine were a little more unexpected, but not shocking. Strange was really out there. I like him a lot as a prospect, but I thought he would go at the end of the second round, not the end of the first. Here are my top remaining prospects.

20. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
21. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson (first-round cut off)
24. David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan
29. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
32. Arnold Ebiketie, EDGE, Penn State
33. Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
34. Jaquan Brisker, S, Penn State
35. Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
36. Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
38. George Pickens, WR, Georgia
39. Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
41. Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
42. Sean Rhyan, OL, UCLA
43. Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington
44. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State
46. Travis Jones, DL, UConn
47. Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
48. Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
50. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
52. Darian Kinnard, OL, Kentucky
53. Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
54. Jalen Pitre, S, Baylor (2nd-round cut off)
55. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
56. Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
57. John Metchie III, WR, Alabama
58. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn
59. Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota
60. Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin
61. Nik Bonitto, EDGE, Oklahoma
62. Logan Hall, DL, Houston
63. DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M
64. Sam Howell, QB, UNC
65. Phidarian Mathis, DL, Alabama
66. Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech
67. Cade Otton, TE, Washington
68. Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
69. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A&M
70. Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
71. Channing Tindall, LB, Georgia
72. Josh Paschall, EDGE, Kentucky
73. Nicholas Petit-Frère, OT, Ohio State
74. Cameron Jurgens, C, Nebraska
75. Jelani Woods, TE, Virginia Tech
76. Cordale Flott, DB, LSU
77. Dylan Parham, G, Memphis
78. Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
79. Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
80. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss
81. James Cook, RB, Georgia
82. Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
83. Nick Cross, S, Maryland
84. Domonique Robinson, EDGE, Miami (Ohio)
85. Wandale Robinson, WR, Kentucky
86. Sam WIlliams, EDGE, Ole Miss
87. Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
88. Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
89. Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
90. Greg Dulcich, TE, UCLA
91. Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
92. Bryon Cook, S, Cincinnati
93. Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State
94. Calvin Austin III, WR, Memphis
95. Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
96. JT Woods, S, Baylor
97. Tyler Goodson, RB, Iowa
98. Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State
99. Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State
100. Brian Asamoah, LB, Oklahoma

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2022 NFL Predictive Mock Draft: Walker goes No. 1, Steelers and Seahawks trade up for quarterbacks

NFL Draft Daily looks at top stories, historical trends, player performances and more all through the lens of the NFL Draft. After all, it is draft day! Check back in tomorrow for another entry.

Draft day is finally here! We made it. At the end of the night, we will have a lot more answers and probably several more questions. I can’t wait.

Throughout the entire pre draft process, I have put out mock drafts based on what I would do as the general manager of the team. Now, I am trying to get inside the heads of these GMs with my first and only predictive mock draft. I projected a pair of trades, but let’s be honest, this is nearly an impossible exercise. Hopefully, I get at least one pick right. Let’s get started.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
I have finally bought into all the smoke. Walker is a physical edge rusher with a ridiculous amount of versatility. Him going No. 1 is all about the projection for him to turn his incredible traits into production at the next level.

2. Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Brad Holmes is turning in the card immediately if Hutchinson is on the board. Keeping the local kid in town is appealing in its own right. However, Hutchinson is incredibly pro ready and fills a big need. He will be an instant impact player for the Lions.

3. Houston Texans – Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
I’m buying into the late hype here. Perhaps it is a smokescreen, but Stingley answered a lot of questions with how he tested at his pro day. If he can stay healthy, he has a chance to be the best corner in the NFL. That’s a huge risk, but one the Texans are willing to take.

4. New York Jets – Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati
Another corner here, it will be a bit of an upset at this point if Derek Stingley Jr. comes off the board first, but that won’t impact the Jets. Gardner has the length and speed to be a true lockdown corner. New York has not had that in a really long time.

5. New York Giants – Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
In this scenario, the Giants get their pick of the top tackles. I know they have been linked with Charles Cross, but I think Ekwonu will be the top option on most boards. He will start at right tackle from Day 1 for New York.

6. Carolina Panthers – Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
Trading down is certainly an option, but I think Neal on the board means Carolina stays put and grabs their left tackle of the future. I expect the Panthers to swing a trade for either Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo. Neal would fill a huge void that this team has needed to fill for a couple seasons now.

7. New York Giants via Chicago Bears – Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
This feels like a slam dunk at this stage. Thibodeaux is a twitchy edge rusher with a ton of upside. He reportedly did not have a great pre draft process, but I don’t think he will slide much further. Joe Schoen does what Dave Gettleman always said he was going to: build in the trenches.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State
This is another potential quarterback spot, but I think Atlanta will opt for a receiver at this spot instead. While not the top receiver on my board, I think Wilson will entice NFL teams with his speed, quickness and polish. He would immediately be the Falcons’ top receiver and potentially create an exciting pairing if Calvin Ridley returns in 2023.

9. Seattle Seahawks via Denver Broncos – Jermaine Johnson II, EDGE, Florida State
Nope, still no quarterbacks. Johnson feels like a great fit in Seattle, who moved on from Carlos Dunlap this offseason. He is strong and dominates against the run. He also had some impressive production as a pass rusher. With a lot of extra draft capital though, don’t rule out a move back into the first round if a quarterback is sliding.

10. New York Jets via Seattle Seahawks – Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
If not for a torn ACL, perhaps Williams would have been the first receiver taken. He still might be. In this case, the Jets will be thrilled to find a weapon for Zach Wilson to grow with. They can target edge rushers in the second round.

11. Washington Commanders – Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
This one feels pretty much set as stone, weirdly enough. Washington needs a playmaker on the backend of its defense. Hamilton is absolutely that. I think he will be a Commander by the end of the night.

12. Minnesota Vikings – Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington
This is a bit earlier than I think he should go, but McDuffie is an aggressive and instinctive corner. He is a bit undersized, but Minnesota historically hasn’t had an issue with that. The new front office might feel differently, but for now, I think he slots in here.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers via Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns – Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
The first trade and the first quarterback. Pittsburgh won’t wait any longer to move up for their quarterback of the future. I’m not buying the buzz that they only like Kenny Pickett. I think Willis would be given a chance to sit behind Trubisky for a season before taking the reins in year 2.

14. Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
Maybe not their biggest need, but he would have the biggest (literally) impact of pretty much any player they could take in this slot. Davis is a space eater and an athletic phenom. There are concerns about his pass rushing impact, but he will be at minimum a dominant two-down player with the potential to develop into a true three-down guy.

15. Philadelphia Eagles via Miami Dolphins – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The top three corners are gone, as are the top four edge rushers. That points to the Eagles going receiver. Olave is a speedster with the ability to impact this offense immediately. Pairing him with DeVonta Smith would create a fun and exciting duo.

16. New Orleans Saints via Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts – Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State
I think we could see Cross slide a bit. The Saints would be happy to stop that slide though. After losing Terron Armstead, Cross would be in line to start from Day 1 on the left side. He is a proven pass protector, even if he might be a bit limited in the run game.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa
He might not be the most pro ready, which will annoy Chargers fans, but they need offensive line help desperately. Penning is a physical, nasty blocker with a huge frame. Protecting Justin Herbert is priority number one.

18. Philadelphia Eagles via New Orleans Saints – Daxton Hill, S, Michigan
Let’s go with a dynamic defensive back who can line up in a couple different spots for the Eagles. Hill has experience at either safety spot and nickel corner. Philly desperately needs someone with his type of playmaking ability in the secondary.

19. New Orleans Saints via Philadelphia Eagles – Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
I don’t think the Saints should do this, but I can’t see them passing on Pickett twice. He could find success in this offense, especially playing in a dome stadium for half the year. It will be interesting to see what happens with Jameis Winson at this point.

20. Houston Texans via Pittsburgh Steelers – Drake London, WR, USC
After moving down, Houston can still grab a talented receiver for Davis Mills. London is my favorite receiver in this draft, but I think we could see him slide after he did not run during the pre draft process. Him and Brandin Cooks would be a really impressive combination for a team still trying to replace DeAndre Hopkins.

21. New England Patriots – Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
I’m buying this hype right now. Walker is built like your prototypical NFL linebacker, with good size, impressive speed and good coverage ability. I think Bill Belichick will be eager to grab a pro ready impact defender.

22. Green Bay Packers via Las Vegas Raiders – Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas
The streak could finally come to an end. The Packers haven’t drafted a first-round receiver since Javon Walker 20 years ago. Burks fits the Packers mold for a big body receiver with plus athleticism.

23. Arizona Cardinals – Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
Arizona has to protect Kyler Murray. Each of the past two seasons, he has struggled with nagging injuries. Minimizing the number of times he gets hit by adding Johnson feels like a smart move. Johnson has the versatility to play all three interior offensive line positions, which makes him even more valuable.

24. Dallas Cowboys – Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
Dallas’ offensive line lost a lot this offseason. Green can help soften the blow. He has experience at both tackle and guard, with him more naturally fitting into the latter. Expect him to be a Day 1 starter.

25. Buffalo Bills – Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson
Buffalo needs some help in the secondary. Booth is a bit of an unknown given his offseason surgery that cost him the entire pre draft process. I think he will still go in the first round and could start opposite Tre’Davious White when they are both back to full strength.

26. Tennessee Titans – Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
A popular pick in this spot, Dotson would be a great slot receiver for the Titans. He has solid speed, incredible hands and a good feel for how to get open. Even after adding Robert Woods, Tennessee seems intent on finding more receiver help.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devonte Wyatt, DL, Georgia
This almost feels unfair. Wyatt won’t be on the same level as Ndamukong Suh, but he will come close to matching the production we saw from him as an aging player. He is pro ready and fits the timeline Tampa Bay has with Tom Brady in his final season under contract.

28. Green Bay Packers – Boye Mafe, EDGE, Minnesota
With Za’Darius Smith now in Minnesota, Green Bay will turn to Minnesota for his replacement. Funny how these things work out. Mafe is strong and athletic. I think he will work his way into the first round.

29. Kansas City Chiefs via Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers – Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
Receiver is certainly an option, but I think Kansas City might trust in their ability to find another mid-round impact player. Instead, they can target the defense, adding a corner to replace Charvarius Ward. Elam is a tall, fast corner who excels in bump-and-run coverage.

30. Kansas City Chiefs – George Pickens, WR, Georgia
I strongly considered David Ojabo here, but I think Kansas City will jump at adding Pickens. He is big and athletic, but very unproven after missing almost his entire junior season. The upside is enticing, but there is a lot of risk.

31. Seattle Seahawks via Cincinnati Bengals – Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati
Another trade and one last first-round quarterback. Ridder interviewed well this offseason and has some enticing physical traits. He is just going to need time to get up to speed in the NFL and work on some mechanical things in his game, but I like his upside.

32. Detroit Lions via Los Angeles – Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
This one was tough. I thought about doubling up on Michigan edge rushers, but I think the Lions will go for a dynamic linebacker instead. Lloyd is a much better player than this draft slot would indicate, but he could slide because the league does not prioritize off-ball linebackers.

Follow the Aftermath via email to get every article delivered right to your inbox. Enter your email in the text box to subscribe. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also check out our weekly podcast Draft Season Never Ends with new episodes every Friday, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.