New Orleans Saints
Ash’s Pick: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Brandon’s Pick: Jamal Adams, Hybrid, LSU
Adam’s Pick: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
There are several brutal secondaries in the NFL, the Saints certainly boast one of them and have for some time. Brandon went the most interesting route, slotting Jamal Adams in with New Orleans after they already added stalwarts Kenny Vaccaro and Von Bell in recent drafts. He sees Adams though as more of a hybrid linebacker then a true safety. He can come in for nickel packages or even some base sets as an undersized coverage linebacker and help prevent teams from moving up and down the field with ease through the air. Ash and I both went corner here as getting some help for the oft injured Delvin Breaux is the more blatant need. Humphrey and Wilson are both pretty similar players and they both have the physicality and toughness that hopefully can matchup with Julio Jones, Kelvin Benjamin, and Mike Evans twice a year. Ash prefers Humphrey for the pedigree and technique, I’ll take Wilson for the playmaking ability and potential upside.
Ash’s Pick: Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Brandon’s Pick: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Adam’s Pick: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
With the Browns second pick in the top 15 they now need to look on the other side of the ball for some offensive support. The first inclination there would be to try and get a desperately needed quarterback. Brandon sees the future there for Cleveland in Deshaun Watson who Hue Jackson would certainly be interested in as potentially the next RG3, the player he wanted so bad to rehabilitate. While I gave Cleveland Trubisky as the default selection after Watson and Kizer left the board, reports have indicated he’s Jackson’s preferred option anyways. As someone they even debated taking over Garrett at one, so if they could get him at 12 I’m sure they would be ecstatic. Ash decided to go in a different direction with Cam Robinson at tackle for a very fair reason; Cleveland knows what happens when you draft a new quarterback and cant protect them. Focusing on plugging holes on the offensive line before bringing in a rookie signal caller is a smart way to look at things especially considering they have a long way to go still before being a contender anyways.
Ash’s Pick: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
Brandon’s Pick: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Adam’s Pick: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Arizona has to make moves here to try and pry open the very last seconds of their championship window. It seems like Fitzgerald, Palmer, and Ariens are in for one last ride to try and get a title and to do that they are going to need some weapons. Brandon and I both got Corey Davis, the slowly becoming consensus best receiver in the draft. Filling Michael Floyd’s departed role opposite Larry Fitzgerald to serve as an immediate upgrade on the outside, and learn from Fitzgerald to become the future number one after he’s gone. Ash’s pick of OJ Howard would be a great pick as well as the Cardinals haven’t had really good tight end play in a long time. He could help improve blocking for David Johnson in the run and provide an option over the middle in the passing game to help take over some of John Brown’s production who’s never been the same after his cycle cell diagnosis. That might just give the Cardinals the most bang for their buck after Howard showed why he’s a special tight end in the senior bowl.
Ash’s Pick: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida St
Brandon’s Pick: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Adam’s Pick: Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee
The Colt’s are completely devoid of talent throughout their roster thanks to the ineptitude of ex-GM Ryan Grigson so really almost no selection here is bad. Dalvin Cook, as Ash pointed out, if available could be a huge help to their run game taking pressure off of Luck and a weak offensive line especially considering Frank Gore is there to help mentor the young speed back. Brandon chose to go more methodically here, identifying the Colt’s biggest need as the line and targeting it. Ramczyk can come in and be a starting quality piece for them somewhere on their offensive line, and gives them the flexibility to move a promising tackle prospect inside while they groom a LaRaven clark to take over the left tackle spot for Castonzo sooner rather then later. I see the most obvious spot to address in this draft though is at edge rusher, especially when you consider Robert Mathis’s retirement. The best edge rusher they currently have signed is rookie undrafted free agent Curt Maggit, that needs to be changed. Bringing in fellow Vol Derek Barnett would be a great value for Indy here and provide an immediate upgrade on the uninspiring mess the Colts displayed last season.
Ash’s Pick: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Brandon’s Pick: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio St
Adam’s Pick: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Watching the Eagles last year it was painfully clear that they had to upgrade their skill position talent. Their cornerbacks are uninspiring and their receivers all need counselling for various reasons. Needless to say this is where they should focus their efforts if possible. Jordan Mathews is a nice piece but he’s more of an underneath WR2 then a true number one and I have no faith in Agholor or DGB long term at this point. If Mike Williams made it down to 15 I’m sure they would run the pick up to the podium. Brandon and Ash both rightfully saw a need at corner and both plugged their best available corners in to Philadelphia. Lattimore provides the best upside, while Sidney Jones probably offers the most refined, pro ready product of any corner in this draft, excelling in both man and zone schemes.
Ash’s Pick: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Brandon’s Pick: Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Adam’s Pick: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Baltimore is a team at this point with some talent at a lot of positions but they aren’t really elite or even dramatically above average in any one area. Expect Ozzie Newsome’s best player available strategy to be clear at work here taking the best player that falls to them. In Ash’s mock he sees that guy as Mike Williams who would create a very nice long term pairing with Breshad Perriman to help deal with the loss of Steve Smith. Brandon went with Tim Williams to help provide some youth on the pass rush as that is a huge need and starters Suggs and Dumervil are both on the decline at this stage. Based on what played out in my mock I like Marlon Humphrey here. Since moving Ladarius Webb to safety the Ravens have been light at the corner position and need a starter opposite Jimmy Smith to lock things down on the other side of the field.
Ash’s Pick: Zach Cunningham, ILB, Vanderbilt
Brandon’s Pick: Solomon Thomas, OLB, Stanford
Adam’s Pick: Solomon Thomas, OLB, Stanford
Washington has largely ignored their defense over the last few years as far as the draft has been concerned and this should be the time to address major needs. They would be absolutely thrilled to take Solomon Thomas here and bolster an already strong pass rush. While it may not be a major need Ryan Kerrigan is a bit injury prone and the value for the selection here would be just too much for Washington to ignore. Ash went with more of a blatant need in inside linebacker Zach Cunningham, who would immediately upgrade coverage ability and athleticism on the Redskins defense at a position that desperately needs it.
Ash’s Pick: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Brandon’s Pick: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
Adam’s Pick: OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
On top of having no corners, the Titans didn’t have much in the way of quality targets for Marcus Mariota last season. They smartly gave up on projects Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham but now they need to get some more players for their young quarterback to throw to, especially if Kendal Wright leaves in free agency. Corey Davis if available would be an obvious selection at this stage as he would walk in to the WR1 job. A really interesting fit though that both Brandon and I jumped on was OJ Howard. Delanie Walker doesn’t have many years left and Anthony Fasano is hitting free agency. Howard could serve as the heir apparent to the starting tight end role and give Tennessee hands down the best tight end duo in the league for a year or two until Walker’s career winds down.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ash’s Pick: John Ross, WR, Washington
Brandon’s Pick: Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio St
Adam’s Pick: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan St
Tampa Bay is an exciting young team and a good draft here could really be huge for them heading into next season. Malik McDowell is a bit of a wildcard but he fills the Buccaneers biggest need of defensive line help and Gerald McCoy could help mentor him on how to be a pro, creating a better version of Suh and Fairley from Detroit in years past. Safety is also something that should be addressed and if injury concerns pushed Malik Hooker down this far it would be absolutely massive for Tampa. Ash’s pick of John Ross might have the largest immediate impact for this team as a speedy route runner that compliment’s the bigger Mike Evans very nicely.
Ash’s Pick: Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan St
Brandon’s Pick: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
Adam’s Pick: Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
The Broncos need help in the trenches above all else this offseason in order to protect their young quarterbacks and get to other peoples. Ash went to provide a ‘Malik replacement’ finally fixing the end position Jackson vacated with McDowell which could go a long way to bringing back the dominant defense the Broncos displayed in their Super Bowl run. Brandon and I both gave Denver our best remaining offensive linemen, both of which would plug immediately into their starting lineup. Feeney seems to be far and away the best guard prospect in the draft at this point and still offers good value in the mid 20’s. I dropped Ramczyk a little here because I worry about his short arms and durability but his talent is more then worth Denver taking a shot on at this point in the draft.
Ash’s Pick: Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio St
Brandon’s Pick: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Adam’s Pick: Zach Cunningham, MLB, Vanderbilt
The first of the playoff teams to be up, Detroit will focus on defense with this selection as they have needs at almost every position group on that side of the ball. Ash’s selection of Malik Hooker sliding to them would be an absolute dream for the Lions, who don’t have a bad safety group currently but would be getting absurd value should Hooker fall that far on medical concerns. Brandon went with a recently popularized selection of Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton to help bolster a Detroit pass rush that struggled to do much of anything last year. He’s a powerful explosive pass rusher that has a nose for getting to the quarterback when given the opportunity. I had Zach Cunningham still on my board and saw no way based on what was left that Detroit could pass him up at 21. Their largest need on the team arguably is the linebacker position, and Cunningham gives them a fast, athletic middle linebacker that would drastically upgrade Detroit’s coverage ability and shore up a major hole from last season.
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