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    ImposterCauster

    [2022] ImposterMockster's Mock Draft (Pre-Combine)

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    Sup.

    Probably gonna do a second one of these right before the draft depending on if anything changes via trades/FA/Combine.

     

    Also important to note that I'm listing not only a pick, but options that should be considered, including trades and even trade partners. The picks listed are assuming that this will be the order on draft day, which will almost certainly not be the case.

     

    1. :chargers: Los Angeles Chargers - DE Timothy Key 6-2 240 R Florida [Contain] [-1] 83

    So I want to make something very clear. The Chargers should ABSOLUTELY trade this pick unless they are 100% certain that they are moving on from Matty Swift. Bryant might be versatile enough to play in the 3-4 to which the Chargers changed last season, but the clear best pick in this draft would do worlds better in a 4-3.My bet is that the Chargers stick with Swift after finally giving him a good WR2 in Greg Cobb. That said, trade this pick. The Vikings desperately need a defensive end in Bryant and they're sitting at #9. They would easily be the best trade partner for the right price. Someone will want to trade up for Matt Jones, and while Buffalo needs a QB, they'd be foolish to go under 3 picks in this first round. 

    Preferred Option: Trade to Vikings or a DE/QB-needy team (likely DE-needy).

     

    2. :giants: New York Giants - DE Khairi Bryant 5-10 263 R Ohio State [Blitz] [0] 83

    Easily the best player in this draft, and unless someone not named the Giants steps up to #1, his destination will be East Rutherford. The Giants weren't particularly good in the pass rush last year, and their leading sack-producer in LB Kenyatta Henderson is here no more. Bryant fills in perfectly in this 4-3 defense and will be an immediate impact for the Giants, who are rumored to also be considering Matt Jones, to no one's surprise. Best case scenario is that someone trades up and makes the choice for the Giants, but #2 seems to be a really good place to pick right now.

    Preferred Option: Draft whoever isn't picked at #1 between Bryant and Jones. If both are available, draft Bryant.

     

    3. :bengals: Cincinnati Bengals - QB Matt Jones 6-3 208 R Purdue [Pocket] [0] 83

    Here me out, because I know everyone's curious at this pick, plus it's fun to mix things up. Bengals have had Joel King on the block all offseason. Joel King is unhappy in Cincinnati. Joel King has not been great for the Bengals in his three seasons so far. I don't buy the Bengals to take guard Noah Barney with the third pick of the draft if Matt Jones is still on the table, and I'm certain the Bengals would like to make the most of their time with stud receiver Adrian Jankowski.

    Preferred Option: If Jones is available, draft Jones and either trade King or move King to QB2. If Jones is not available, draft Barney or trade down.

     

    4. :bills: Buffalo Bills - RB Kenyon Randall 5-6 209 R LSU [Power] [-1] 83

    I want to make another thing pretty clear. I think Trevon Yeldon will be the biggest hit of the running backs, not Randall. That said, I don't think the Bills would be the best fit for Yeldon, and it'll be hard to turn down Randall's pre-combine progression. In any case, this should absolutely be a running back for the Bills, and and whichever they choose should be an absolute hit, presuming they can make the versatile Randall work.

    Preferred Option: Running back. No ifs, ands, or buts. Do not trade this pick. Just...running back.

     

    5. :bills: Buffalo Bills - OG Noah Barney 6-1 336 R Ohio State [Pass Blocking] [0] 82

    With a running back in the cards, the Bills' next step should be to patch up that offensive line. With Rob Lipscomb nearing the end of his prolonged career, this should be another easy pick for the Bills to make, assuming they do decide to hold on to this. Barney shows a lot of promise and is far and away the best guard in this draft, and I'd be shocked if the Bills moved to pick literally any other position outside of corner, where the Bills in theory could take Kenyon Justice if they don't want to keep with the project that is Sean Taylor.

    Preferred Option: Draft Barney. If you're ABSOLUTELY desperate for a QB this draft, you could leverage one of the next two picks (5 and 7) to move down to take Harris or Culver - more on that later - but don't sacrifice both of these picks to move up for Jones.

     

    6. :cardinals: Arizona Cardinals - DT Shamar Ware 6-5 278 R Penn State [2-Gap] [0/C] 82

    I don't like the DT class all that much and would rather the Cardinals trade this pick, but since I'm not mocking trades, this would be a clear-cut pick after the Cardinals made moves for Davenport and Dess in FA. I'd seriously recommend moving down since drafting an OLB or FS at this position would be a massive reach given the state of both positions this draft. With Yeldon falling, a team like Washington would be the absolute ideal pick as I'd predict no OLBs or free safeties to be taken before 19, and you can make a good bit off that movement down the draft. Assuming the Cards stay though, Ware would likely be the pick of choice as the ever-so strong defensive tackle out of Penn State should be able to perform well despite playing in the 4-3 in the desert. 

    Preferred Option: I'd really put the odds at the Cards trading this pick at 85%. Washington would be the best choice seeing as they're desperate for a good back, and the Pats also need a step up over Daniel Hutchins. Saints are one pick further but are rumored to be interested in DEs. Titans are too far down in the draft for a move in my opinion but a good option could be there regardless. If by some chance you don't trade, I wouldn't really understand any other move over Ware. Don't reach for an OLB or FS.

     

    7. :bills: Buffalo Bills - ILB Tyrese Thompson 6-3 228 R Auburn [Mike] [-1/C] 82

    Captain Thompson is on the board, and with Mike Bledsoe calling it quits in the next year or two, I can't imagine the Bills not taking a chance on another promising SEC prospect. Richard Suarez doesn't seem to be the proper heir to Bledsoe, nor would he be the commanding presence that Thompson will almost certainly be in the middle of the field. I brought up earlier another potential pick in another Auburn player, oddly enough, in Kenyon Justice, but I do think the Bills should stick with Sean Taylor, even if he was a disaster this past season. Besides, the Bills did just sign D.J. Reed so it wouldn't make a lot of sense to take Justice now, I don't think.

    Preferred Option: There are three real options, but the other two don't make nearly as much sense as drafting Thompson. You can take Justice and develop him into the star he will become, or you can trade this pick in the exact same manner that I'm recommending for the Cardinals. I'd bank on Markus Golden being available in the late-teens in this draft, though I don't believe he'd fall as deep as 19.

     

    8. :jaguars: Jacksonville Jaguars - CB Kenyon Justice 6-1 177 R Auburn [Zone Coverage] [-1] 82

    Oops. Jags get their shot at another surefire star in the pros, although believe it or not I'd also recommend that they trade this pick. Jay Wade is developing nicely as a first-choice corner and Justice seems bound to do the same, which is why this isn't a complete sell for me. It doesn't make sense for the Jags to draft Harris or Culver this early, and similar to the Cardinals, this is way too early to draft an OLB or one of the other DTs. If they do stick here though, which I seriously doubt as Yeldon keeps falling, their best value option would be Justice by far. 

    Preferred Option: Trade with Washington or New England or a DE-needy team. The former two mainly because of Yeldon falling, but the latter because the Vikings are up next and they absolutely need a defensive end - more on that in a second. I honestly don't like any option here if the Jags stay as they'd almost certainly have to remove Wade or put him at CB2 where I don't think he'll be as effective or, more importantly, as happy. Like the Cardinals, do not reach on an OLB.

     

    9. :vikings: Minnesota Vikings - DE Sebastian Smallwood 6-1 254 R Alabama [Blitz] [-1/C] 82

    Controversy! The Vikings clearly need a defensive end, but they also clearly need a running back. I've been so high on Yeldon, so why not now? I'm also very high on Smallwood, and with Justin Glass, who is really not good despite being the #1 DE on that roster, ready to hang up the laces, the Vikings would be ill-advised to pass up on someone as good as Smallwood given the depth of this DE class. There's no wrong choice here between Smallwood and Yeldon of course, and I wouldn't fault the Vikes for taking Yeldon, but Smallwood remains a very promising prospect in the shadow of likely one of the greatest ends to enter the draft in Bryant. Speaking of, if you can afford the move, trading up to the Chargers isn't all that bad an option.

    Preferred Option: Take it any way you want it, but if I were the Vikings GM, I'd move on Smallwood in a heartbeat. Chances of Yeldon being here are slim, but he'd put some thought into this decision were he to be available, but I would still take Smallwood. Trading up to the Chargers shouldn't be a thought that's passed over, but I'd understand if the price is off-putting.

     

    10. :49ers: San Francisco 49ers - DE Parker Holmes 6-3 247 R Tennessee [Contain] [0] 81

    Everyone seems to be mocking the Niners with Parker Holmes, and for good reason. Between three defensive ends already being taken, Bill Young ready to call it quits, and Dennis Niland getting up in age despite being happy, the Niners would be borderline crazy not to take Holmes. I don't like Yeldon as a replacement to the uncharacteristic Troy McCray, so the Niners probably shouldn't consider that move even if they might if he were to be here.

    Preferred Option: To keep it short, Holmes and the Niners seem to be a perfect marriage.

     

    11. :bears: Chicago Bears - OT Brian Chavez 6-1 299 R Baylor [Pass Blocking] [0] 82

    The Bears really made this an easy choice, filling important holes at running back and receiver by signing Vaughan Abraham and Charlie Paul in FA. Mo Foster and Abraham are gonna need a line to work behind though, so the choice really just comes down to where they want to strengthen between tackle and center. I'd imagine the Bears would want to strengthen the outside after giving up the second-most sacks in the NFL last season, so Chavez should get the nod over the hot prospect of Xavier Cuellar. Both will almost certainly end up here either way.

    Preferred Option: Two of these really. Take Chavez to shore up a weak pass rush defense, or take Cuellar to strengthen up the middle of a somewhat soft line. Bets are on the former, but I don't hate either one.

     

    12. :browns: Cleveland Browns - SS Shaq Turner 5-9 192 R Texas State [Zone Coverage] [-1] 82

    A bit of an overdraft mainly because I know the Browns have been looking to trade this pick to move down, and I would absolutely agree the way this draft has been moving. Washington, the Saints, and the Rams come up as partners to keep an eye on as Yeldon is still on the board (likely won't be if some moves happen up top of course). But I still have to mock a pick and Shaq Turner really comes up as the only one I can see being drafted here. Andrew Wade hasn't really panned out and Turner, while having questions mark coming out of Texas State and the inferior competition they played, should fall in as an improvement at worst. Special shouts to an OLB in either Evan Walsh or Jabari Fletcher because if you're overdrafting on Turner, why not overdraft on an OLB? Only reason I'd favor Turner is because Caleb McNamara was drafted around this point in the draft last season.

    Preferred Option: The things Washington would do for a good back. I keep bringing this up despite me constantly saying someone will trade up earlier for Yeldon, but I always have to keep these open. In more realistic terms, a team needing a QB or a tackle, or even a center wouldn't be a bad team to trade down with given the availability at this point in the draft. If for some reason the Browns stay, make it count with Turner as an improvement over Wade.

     

    13. :patriots: New England Patriots - RB Trevon Yeldon 6-0 233 R Oregon [Power] [-1] 82

    How awful of me to say that Yeldon is the best running back in this draft and have him fall to 13th at the same time. I want to make it clear that this is insanely unlikely (not as unlikely as Bryant falling to 9th though) and the Patriots would be better suited in trading with the Cardinals to make this same pick, but since I'm not drafting based on trades, Yeldon ends up at 13. Special shouts to either Evan Walsh or Jabari Fletcher as slight overdrafts at OLB but necessary moves if they don't end up with Yeldon. A QB to develop behind Watkins could also be the move, in which I'd actually recommend Tucker Dowden but he should be available towards the end of the round. Worst-case move is to draft a corner if Justice isn't available.

    Preferred Option: Trade up for Yeldon. Don't let the fact that his name has ended up here at 13 make you find safety in staying at 13. If you don't move up, there's a plethora of teams that would be willing to move up, namely Washington and the Rams. If you stay with Yeldon and Justice off the board, you're in the weird position of overdrafting or picking someone that wouldn't start immediately, though you'd probably be better off trading down or taking a QB in Harris or Culver if you don't buy into Dowden later in the round. Maybe take an OLB?

     

    14. :fibur: Detroit Lions - QB Donald Culver 6-1 192 R Utah [Pocket] [+2/C] 81

    Another semi-odd pick, especially given some options available at this point. I really don't envy the Lions' position in this draft as they're choosing between their QB for the future (LeCount is certainly reaching the end and his backups are no longer around) and the offensive weapons that they've lacked since losing Gary Faneca and pre-injury James Otero. The running backs aren't good enough to step in over Logan Pruitt (this should be looked into regardless), and while I really like Jarvis Ward, I do think we'll see more of Jeremy Cook and Rex Walsh with a healthy LeCount; consequently, the Lions should end up with their future quarterback. The Mormon Lasercannon strikes me as the safer option between him and Ryan Harris, who despite being a powerful force in the Mountain West, never really came off as the second-best quarterback in this draft (and certainly didn't have the hype that someone of his caliber should have). Culver has the higher ceiling for me while also appearing to be the safer pick of the two.

    Preferred Option: I don't know if I prefer one or the other between quarterback and playmaker, in all honesty. If you go quarterback, I'd favor Culver over Harris. If you go offensive playmaker, take Ward. There's also the very Lions-esque pick of a tackle now that Tai Burns has hit the market and found a new team; in this case, I'd recommend D.J. Franklin over the man with two first names, Kyle Will.

     

    15. :chargers: Los Angeles Chargers - WR Jarvis Ward 5-9 189 R Texas A&M [Speed] [0] 82

    For all the talk of Cobb and bad O-Lines and not Top-5 talents, you would imagine the Chargers would take a lineman here, and that would absolutely be true if any of the other guards were draftable at this position of the draft. The Chargers could also go for a tackle to patch up their league-worse line in terms of sacks allowed, but something tells me that the focus of the line will be on guards and not tackles. Worry not, because the Chargers will likely land their guard with the 34th pick of the draft. The idea behind this is fairly similar to that of the Bengals with Jones. Trade an unhappy player (M.L. Kriewaldt, entering his 8th year) for a decent fortune and draft his replacement as an immediate starter. You paid good money for Greg Cobb but I see more value in moving MLK and drafting Ward over overdrafting a good-at-best guard.

    Preferred Option: I like the move for Ward, but in the event that you prefer keeping MLK and not grabbing Ward to play as a slot receiver (not his forte so don't draft him for that), you should either take your chances on one of three notable guards available: Josh Jones (slight overdraft), Angelo Denny (hard overdraft), and Fletcher Joyner (slight overdraft?). Evan Grant and DeSean Dockery are also available here if you want another option aside from Frederick Chacon (he's not the answer I promise). 

     

    16. :giants: New York Giants - WR Tevin Lattimore 6-2 225 R Missouri [Target] [-1] 81

    The Giants will be hugely disappointed that Ward doesn't fall here after whiffing on Greg Cobb in FA. It's clear they've been trying to make amends in the receiver department but those plans just haven't come together, and I expect them to take a chance on the scrappy Lattimore. I'd argue that drafting a QB here would be a bad idea given the state of their receivers, as that's what's really set back Mike Thomas and formerly Paul Davenport last season. Lattimore won't be Greg Cobb off the back, but he could provide a spark in that receiving corp that could very well save their offense. 

    Preferred Option: There's not a moves that I like here. I think getting a playmaker for whoever you play at quarterback is the best move, but I can totally see you drafting Walsh or Fletcher to take the place of Kenyatta Henderson and get a proper fit in the 4-3. If Shaq Turner falls he could be a decent choice, but the move almost certainly has to be on the offensive side of the ball.

     

    17. :falcons: Atlanta Falcons - ILB Markus Golden 6-5 240 R Ole Miss [Mike] [0] 81

    The Falcons are in a similar situation to the Lions in my opinion. This time, however, I'll side against drafting a QB for the future as they can probably acquire Jordan North or Will Chacko later in the draft, though there's really no right time to draft a quarterback. Enter Golden, who slots in as first-choice inside linebacker over Marcus Grant with some promising upside behind that nasty pass rush. If I wasn't shaky on Omar Adcock I'd suggest him here despite the Falcons continuously saying that they don't need a defensive tackle. 

    Preferred Option: If you want to put your faith in him, Ryan Harris as the heir to AJJ wouldn't be a bad move, but my preferred move is Golden for a boost in the middle of that front seven. Shawn Gunderson isn't bad but you probably could use improvement there and Adcock would be that improvement. I also don't hate trading here seeing as there's not a lot you really need to draft as first choice here. More picks later to prepare the replacements to these really good but aging players in the secondary would be ideal.

     

    18. :chiefs: Kansas City Chiefs - OG Josh Jones 6-4 308 R Missouri [Pass Blocking] [+2/C] 80

    Jones is my preferred #2 guard in this draft, and boy are the Chiefs about to be hurting for a guard. Henry Badanjek is on his last legs and Boyd Buckley isn't enjoying it on this run-happy team. I think this is an overdraft but there's not too much I see the Chiefs doing otherwise with both top receiver prospects off the board. Picking Morgan Patton would make sense but I feel he'd be a bit of a reach here. This is well and truly a move for the future that the Chiefs should capitalize on.

    Preferred Option: I don't know why you wouldn't take Jones unless you wanted to trade down to take a guard or receiver later. Not that it matters given the offense but McCready is fine as your 10-throws-a-game quarterback and drafting someone else at that position would be really just an awful idea.

     

    19. :redskins: Washington Franchise - RB Evan Grant 6-0 194 R Georgia State [Power] [0] 81

    This is probably a bit underwhelming, but I fully expect Washington to make a move up the draft for either Yeldon or Randall. They have other options here, of course, but I don't think drafting either free safety or one of the top coverage OLBs would help in the way that a good RB would help. Not that it's too much of a secret but Ricardo Reed doesn't really work in that backfield with Bowman. While Grant went wild against Sun Belt opposition last year, he has proven pedigree against some tougher competition in the years before the move to the Sun Belt. I'd favor Grant as a more traditional back to go with Bowman's more tradition style of quarterback play. That said Yeldon does this but way better so....why not trade up?

    Preferred Option: Easily trading up into the Top 10. Yeldon is likely the perfect fit for Washington, and give this franchise's history of running backs and the fact that they're so close to being a playoff regular, I'd imagine it's worth it to make the jump for Yeldon. If not, Grant would suffice but I really think they'll miss out if they can't get Yeldon, or at least Randall as a consolation.

     

    20. :saints: New Orleans Saints - OLB Phillip Davenport 5-11 226 R Arizona [Blitz] [0] 80

    Is this a cover-up? Who knows? The Saints badly need a second defensive end, so Miles Slater clearly makes sense, but a second OLB to partner the impressive Austin Olson and fill in for the newly-retired Ray Flores could also go a long way. Any OLB could go here really as Evan Walsh has a fairly good record of getting to the quarterback albeit in the Mountain West, and Jabari Fletcher is just solid all around. That said Davenport fills what the Saints are looking for most and that's a good blitzing outside linebacker to rival Olson, and Davenport should be able to bring that, regardless of college production in a wrong fit. 

    Preferred Option: Based on the top talent at both positions, the Saints will likely end up with either a choice of their OLB or Miles Slater. In that scenario they can't really go wrong, but the lack of depth at DE is very concerning to say the least. That said, so is the depth behind Olson at OLB, with the recently-acquire Jamir Sample being the go-ahead starter opposite of Olson as it stands. The heir to Sterling Brown also remains unanswered with a few more running backs certainly available at this point in the draft. I'll let y'all figure it out from there, because honestly I don't know yet.

     

    21. :steelers: Pittsburgh Steelers - C Xavier Cuellar 6-3 249 R Florida [Run Blocking] [+2/C] 82

    Been a while since you've heard this name, huh? Cuellar is just as likely to be taken here as he is to be drafted in the Top 12 honestly, as center is probably one of the most polarizing positions in the league, oddly enough. While either top free safety prospect is available here and wouldn't be a reach, the Steelers would be fools to pass up the leadership and protection that Cuellar is going to bring to whichever team he joins. I have him being picked at 21 like many others, but I'd honestly expect him to go higher, especially if his combine in particular ends up to be just as amazing.

    Preferred Option: Cuellar. Take him and run. If for some reason he's not here, you will be better off taking free safety Khalil Dennis just for the scheme fit. But this is one of those no-brainers if for some reason Cuellar falls here.

     

    22. :broncos: Denver Broncos - OLB Evan Walsh 5-11 218 R Nevada [Coverage] [0] 81

    Truth be told, I strongly dislike what the Broncos have at linebacker right now. With Ray Truax on another team via FA, the Broncos were left with Joe Palmer and a mix of Lamar Tennell and Shamar Addison as their OLB2. Enter Walsh, who will almost certainly be an upgrade on all of them and is well-rounded enough to be solid in the coverage that the Broncos will demand of him while also being decent enough to join Charles Johnson and Deyontae Davis in applying pressure to opposing backfields on blitzes. Walsh might have been underrated a bit due to the lower rating but make no mistake: whatever team lands him will enjoy him.

    Preferred Option: I didn't really highlight much else outside of Walsh, who I think is a clear pick over either of the free safeties, but Khalil Dennis or Seth Scott could both slot in nicely into a starting role in the secondary. Fletcher is a more than decent substitute to Walsh of coure, but I'd imagine Walsh is the preferred OLB of choice. 

     

    23. :cowboys: Dallas Cowboys - ILB Kieran Brooks 6-1 239 R Charlotte [Mike] [0] 81

    The departure of Abraham and the trade for Rodney Montgomery make the offense a little difficult to call, but chances are this pick ends up being used on the defense. The defense is getting older, particular in the middle with storied leader Cleo Blair ready to call his retirement after this season. The Cowboys would absolutely love it if Markus Golden fell here, but I don't think Brooks, despite being from a very very poor Charlotte side, is that bad of a pick here, though he's likely not destined to be the leader and lynchpin that Blair always was for this defense.

    Preferred Option: It was a weird pick but Brooks is definitely a pick for the future. Rumors of the 'Boys boosting their offensive line again could certainly come true with the drafting of a starting RT in one of D.J. Franklin or Kyle Will, both of who have evaded getting drafted so far somehow. Surely one gets picked right?

     

    24. :rams: Los Angeles Rams - RB DeSean Dockery 5-10 201 R Louisville [Speed] [-2] 81

    Chad Dess? Gone. Frederick Chacon? Gone. If I'm being completely honest, I don't know what the Rams have been doing with their running game this offseason, and failure to even attempt to sign Abraham or Dess back makes the following even more of a certainty: the Rams are drafting a running back. At some point, the Rams are gonna run out of time to challenge for a title, and running back has consistently been a hole to fill in LA. While I'm having them take the speed demon himself in Dockery, who ran amok in the ACC for two years, it would make more sense for the Rams to trade up to take a surefire thing in either Yeldon or Randall. Adding Yeldon or Randall almost certainly makes this team a true favorite in a stacked NFC, whereas adding Dockery, while not a bad pick, just keeps them in the same conversation they've been in for years: "can the Rams make a run?"

    Preferred Option: Whether you trade up for a big boy back or take Dockery or Vega or whoever here, there is no other alternative to drafting a running back. 

     

    25. :panthers: Carolina Panthers - C David Sutton 6-1 273 R Louisiana Tech [Pass Blocking] [+3/C] 81

    While I normally don't prefer seeing two centers in a draft, Sutton is something special. Sutton is a natural-born leader and a pleasure to have in the locker room, and that's something the Panthers oddly lack. Throw in the fact that the Panthers desperately need a center, and I can't think of a better fit at this point in the draft. Alternatively, the Panthers can add to their receiving corp with Ja'Waun Howard or Tyler White, as Jermaine Bishop and Troy White are just okay. ILB depth is also pretty poor in this 4-3 but that's more than likely a problem for later in the draft.

    Preferred Option: Honestly, this is probably my favorite pick in this draft. Whereas Holmes and the Niners would be a perfect marriage, I wouldn't know what to call the Panthers and Sutton. Sutton is pure class on and off the field and the Panthers would be unwise to skip out on him.

     

    26. :titans: Tennessee Titans - RB Ricky Vega 5-10 214 R Penn State [Speed] [+1] 80

    I'm not copying you, serwendel, I swear. Despite any offsetting words of Vega being wasted in college, Vega has a good bit of potential that hopefully the Titans can unearth and develop over the coming seasons. Chris Bell doesn't seem to have panned out and he now wants out. Vega is my personal wild card pick in this draft - he's either going to develop into someone that can be relied on regularly, or he's going to prove his doubters right by never really finding his footing in the league. Alternatives here could be one of the aforementioned receivers from the Panthers' blurb, or even a guard opposite of Ian Braden, with both Angelo Denny and Fletcher Joyner available deep into this first round.

    Preferred Option: I don't think it's as bad as it is in Washington or both sides of LA, but the Titans really do need a running back and they'll be hopeful that Grant or Dockery can make it to 26. That said, they shouldn't be turned off by Vega by any means. I think guard is the second-best option here, though a decent receiver could help sort out the jumble of old receivers hanging around below Kevin Williams. 

     

    27. :buccaneers: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - C Javon Hargrove 6-3 251 R Houston [Pass Blocking] [+1] 80

    I actually thought this was a unique pick but serwendel also did it...I swear I'm not. Three centers in the first is nearly unheard of, but it's hard to see where else the Bucs can improve. They could use another defensive tackle but I'm cautious of Omar Adcock as an improvement and I'm absolutely not sold on Marlon Bailey as the next-best DT in this draft. Outside of that though, corners are a very risky buy here. Hargrove seems like the play to help out with DNJ and this awesome running game that has developed.

    Preferred Option: Hargrove is a clear first-choice move here as a boost to an already solid OL. Adcock would be a clear second-choice though I'm sure they'll pick Hargrove over Adcock if it comes to that.

     

    28. :jets: New York Jets - DT Omar Adcock 6-5 311 R Fresno State [1-Gap] [+1] [80]

    Losing Bob Ballard hurts. A lot. A second defensive tackle really is needed to pair up next to Kyle Pratt, and Omar Adcock finally is able to find his place as a day one starter. There will definitely be questions over his level of play against weaker competition over the past few seasons, but Adcock has the potential to put those questions to rest. I can't see the Jets taking a RB here based on who's been taken so far, though I wouldn't entirely rule out the drafting of Vega or Grant if they were to fall. With Kwazi Robb off the books and Daquan Darcey taking over as first-choice OLB, it's also plausible to see Jabari Fletcher taken here.

    Preferred Option: In the order that I listed in the blurb, Adcock first over a running back over Fletcher. I don't think the Jets really need to do much, though if neither Adcock or a running back are here, trading back wouldn't really be a bad move given the turmoil around Marlon Bailey recently. 

     

    29. :packers: Green Bay Packers - WR Morgan Patton 6-3 193 R Penn State [Target] [0] 81

    Honestly receivers after the top two seem pretty lackluster, but the champs from two seasons ago could find a decent replacement for Tom Grant, or even a long-term solution for when Nomellini eventually retires, which is almost certainly soon. Whereas Justin McCain will ultimately usurp Nom and become the #1 receiver, Patton could be prepped into the role that McCain is playing right now and make a career off of being a WR2, which is really all I can see for him. The Packers could also line up a replacement for Mart Bassett this draft, but Marlon Bailey has lost some of his appeal, and the Packers seem pretty set on keeping their scheme strict.

    Preferred Option: I like Patton over Ja'Waun Howard, Mike Miller, and the declining stock of Daniel Hobbs, but I'm not thrilled about any of the receiver picks. That said, it's a better fill here than say Bailey as a long-term replacement for Bassett. That said I'd highly disagree from moving from this spot.

     

    30. :patriots: New England Patriots - DE Miles Slater 6-1 248 R Washington [Contain] [0] 80

    Bet you thought I forgot Slater, huh? The Pats might benefit from this slide from Slater presuming the Saints don't swoop him up and no team trades up for him, as the Pats, similar to the Viking, desperately need an end. Half of the DE depth on this roster is ready to retire and the other half wouldn't be a starter on any other NFL roster. Slater is an immediate fix to a problem in dire need of a solution, and the Pats should be fortunate that they have this pick.

    Preferred Option: I would say this is similar to the case of the Rams and running backs, but there's not much to follow up Slater. If Slater doesn't fall, you're overdrafting on an end that fits your scheme. Heck, you're overdrafting on any end if Slater isn't here. A good backup pick here would be Fletcher for the rather poor OLB depth or maybe even one of the defensive tackles seeing as Rich Moore is ready to retire. That said, it's hard to ignore a defensive end if he falls.

     

    31. :eagles: Philadelphia Eagles - FS Khalil Dennis 6-2 219 R Vanderbilt [Zone Coverage] [0] 81

    Scheme fit for a team not really missing much of anything. Kevin Hartley is average at best and Leonard Tice is ready to retire so Dennis is at worst better depth and at best a way better safety than Hartley. It wouldn't be out of the question to prepare a receiver for the inevitable departure of Christopher Johnson, though they do have a guy lined up in Chameron Whelehan to replace him as the WR2....unless the Eagles think one of the aforementioned receivers can fill that role better, which is entirely plausible. That said, the #1 choice right now seems to be a free safety free.

    Preferred Option: I mean there's not much else I'd recommend. Dennis seems like the clear choice among the free safeties and should be the top choice on your draft board. If Dennis isn't here, which is also possible, then yeah take a receiver and develop him to either be a slot guy or a WR2, or even trade down! This is arguably one of the more complete teams in the league right now.

     

    32. :raiders: Las Vegas Raiders - TE Jahmir Rolle 6-1 216 R Georgia Tech [Receiving] [0] 80

    Bryan Gary is ready to hang up his cleats, so the Raiders would be more than wise to get his replacement early. Sure enough, there are two tight ends that are capable of filling that role, and both are from the ACC. Most will figure Manny Ferguson, who finished second in the ACC in receiving yards as a tight end, which is very impressive. What's more impressive is that the guy he finished behind was Rolle, who turned out to be an absolute force last season while also having fewer drops than his Boston College compatriot. While Ferguson is going to be very good in his own right, I feel that Rolle is going to be a grand slam pick for the Raiders, or any team searching for a receiving tight end. In any case, the Raiders can't really go wrong here.

    Preferred Option: While on the surface it comes down the Rolle vs Ferguson, there's also the outside option of the Raiders taking Jabari Fletcher as a pick to solidify an already solid linebacker group. Fletcher would come in as an immediate improvement over Alexander Baumgartner. Outside of that though, there's really not much to do for the defending champs. It looks like tight end or bust with the very slight chance of picking Fletcher. 

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