The Browns need to add some offensive line talent. They could use an upgrade at right tackle and an understudy to Joe Thomas.
O'Neil (6-6, 305) is an interesting athlete. He played wide receiver in high school before going to Pittsburgh as a tight end. After redshirting as a tight end, O'Neil switched to offensive tackle and gained a lot of weight. In 2015 and 2016, he was the starting right tackle for Pittsburgh. With Adam Bisnowaty moving on to the NFL, O'Neil was the left tackle in 2017 and had a fine season.
66.New York Giants:Geron Christian, OT, Louisville
The Giants could grab an athletic tackle to develop.
Christian was not expected to enter the 2018 NFL Draft, and evaluators feel that he should have returned to school to get better before going pro. That being said, there are sources who feel that Christian has a good physical skill set with big upside. They believe he has lots of tools to work with, including impressive athletic ability for a 6-foot-5, 300-pound tackle. They say Christian has excellent quickness, agility and athleticism. He isn't a first-rounder, however, because he gives up some bad pressures. Christian is slow to redirect back to the inside, slow to counter inside moves, and too often oversets to the outside. One college scouting director said Christian has terrible technique, is really raw, and needs a lot of work. Still, Christian has the skill set to become a starting left tackle in the NFL. They compared him to Duane Brown coming out of Virginia Tech in 2008.
The Colts could use a corner to pair with Quincy Wilson.
McFadden totaled 30 tackles with 10 passes broken up and zero interceptions in 2017. Sources from multiple teams are down on McFadden and are not grading him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. They say that his film is very underwhelming, and he is getting some second-day grades just because of his skill set. They felt that McFadden gives up too much downfield and struggles with balls over his head. Some sources think that McFadden's vision and eye discipline are severely lacking, and are some of the reasons for why he gives up too much downfield.
McFadden was up and down in 2016, too, but he has a ton of talent to grow into a better player. Sometimes that season, he looked great, but other times, he seemed lost. McFadden still tied for the nation's lead in interceptions with eight, although part of that was because he had a lot of opportunities as teams targeted him. He also recorded 20 tackles and six passes broken up.
McFadden is a huge press-man corner. He is a prospect with similar strengths and weaknesses to David Amerson. At 6-foot-2, 198 pounds, McFadden has great size with upside to improve.
Click links to see the Colts' picks across all rounds:
While he comes with serious off-the-field concerns, sources have raved about the talent and skill set of Jackson. The 6-foot-1, 193-pounder has excellent athleticism to go along with speed and good size. In 2017, Jackson totaled 40 tackles with seven passes broken up and three interceptions. He recorded 40 tackles with six breakups and a pick in 2016.
Jackson was kicked out of the Florida Gators program in 2015 following an armed robbery - for which he was ultimately acquitted. There was also another incident in late 2014 during which Jackson was shot at - with a bullet grazing his eye lid - and a companion of his was shot in the face. The off-the-field issues are going to be vetted heavily, but Jackson has the physical talent to be an early-round pick for the NFL.
Click links to see the Texans' picks across all rounds:
Crosby (6-4, 319) turned in a solid senior year, protecting the quarterback and opening holes for Royce Freeman. Sources at the Senior Bowl said that Crosby helped himself with his performance in Mobile. They like his quick feet, athleticism and agility, but they do have concerns about Crosby lacking length and said he has a bad body that needs work in a pro strength program. Still, Crosby possesses the athletic upside to develop into a starter.
Previous Mock Selections: 2/12-Geron Christian, OT
2/5-Martinas Rankin, OT
1/29-Chad Thomas, DE/3-4OLB
1/19-Royce Freeman, RB
1/12-Akrum Wadley, RB
1/5-Ronald Jones II, RB
12/29-Mitch Hyatt, OT
12/22-Chad Thomas, DE/3-4OLB
Click links to see the Buccaneers' picks across all rounds:
70.San Francisco 49ers:Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State
The 49ers need to improve their backfield weapons for Kyle Shanahan.
Ballage was part of a running back-by-committee approach in college, but he is a tough runner with a powerful build and surprising quickness for such a big back. The 6-foot-2, 222-pounder had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl, displaying his downhill running style with a burst to hit the hole. He also showed some receiving ability. As a senior, Ballage averaged 4.3 yards per carry on 157 attempts for 669 yards with six touchdowns. He had 14 touchdowns as a junior and caught 44 passes for 469 yards and a score that season. Ballage is sleeper back who could be a nice value pick.
71.Denver Broncos:Christian Campbell, CB, Penn State
WalterFootball.com was first to report that the Broncos could move on from Aqib Talib this offseason. Here's more corner talent for Denver.
The 6-foot, 192-pound Campbell has excellent size to defend big receivers in the NFL. The senior had a solid 2017 season, notching 45 tackles with 12 passes broken up and one interception. As a junior, he totaled 31 tackles with six breakups and an interception. Campbell is said to run really fast in the 40, but doesn't play up to his track speed.
Click links to see the Broncos' picks across all rounds:
The Jets grab more running back talent to go with Bilal Powell.
In 2017, Freeman averaged 6.0 yards per carry for 1,475 yards with 14 touchdowns. The senior took 14 receptions for 164 yards as well. A thickly built back who has some quickness and athleticism, Freeman served as the bell-cow back for the Ducks for the past few seasons. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry in 2016 for 945 yards with nine touchdowns. As a junior, he had 23 catches for 144 yards as well.
Freeman impressed as a freshman by averaging 5.4 yards per carry for 1,365 yards with 18 touchdowns while also picking up 16 receptions for 158 yards and a score. He was even better as a sophomore, averaging 6.5 yards per carry for 1,836 yards with 17 touchdowns. Freeman added 26 receptions for 348 yards and two scores as well.
The Dolphins grab a back to pair with Kenyan Drake.
Wadley averaged 4.4 yards per carry in 2017 for 1,109 yards with 10 touchdowns. He also had 28 receptions for 353 yards and three touchdowns. In 2016, he averaged 6.4 yards per carry for 1,081 yards with 10 touchdowns. Wadley also showed receiving skill with 36 receptions for 315 yards and three touchdowns that season.
Team sources have said that Wadley has impressed them and is a talented running back. The 5-foot-11, 191-pounder could use more weight on his frame, but he is dangerous with the ball in his hands.
The 49ers could use more receivers to go with Marquise Goodwin.
Chark is a quick receiver who is a threat to challenge defenses downfield. In 2017, he had 40 receptions for 874 yards and three touchdowns despite LSU having an inconsistent quarterback. That quarterback issue held back Chark, Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural. In 2016, Chark notched just 26 receptions, but averaged almost 18 yards reception to total 466 yards with three touchdowns. Chark (6-2, 196) also brings special teams value as a returner.
Click links to see the 49ers' picks across all rounds:
The Raiders could use more interior defensive line talent and run stuffers.
Phillips (6-3, 303) turned himself into an NFL prospect with a tremendous senior season. He had 103 tackles with 17 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks and two forced fumbles on the year. In speaking with a director of college scouting who scouted Stanford, they felt that Phillips is a mid-rounder. They said that Phillips struggles with double teams and has limitations as a pass-rusher for the NFL that push him down, but he thinks Phillips is a good run stuffer for the next level. They said his game is similar to former Stanford nose tackle David Parry. Others will probably grade Phillips higher. As a junior, Phillips had 46 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks. He missed his sophomore season with an injury after backing up as a freshman.
Click links to see the Raiders' picks across all rounds:
Brown totaled 46 tackles with 10.5 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 2017. In 2016, he was at his best playing inside as a three-technique working to get upfield. Brown totaled six sacks, 13 tackles for a loss and 38 tackles that season.
Entering the 2017 season, scouting sources said that Brown possessed a first-round skill set, but they had concerns about his dedication to football and why he played so little as a freshman and sophomore when he was clearly more talented than the players ahead of him. Brown is a great athlete with excellent speed to fire past linemen. He can be a real threat at the point of attack to knife into the backfield. Brown could use more strength and improvement at holding his gap when runs come at him.
The 6-foot-3, 294-pounder could be a base end in a 4-3 who moves inside in passing situations. He also could serve as a three-technique defensive tackle full time, and adding weight for that role would make sense. The senior has the length to be a five-technique in a 3-4 as well.
Click links to see the Packers' picks across all rounds:
77.Cincinnati Bengals:Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T
The Bengals could use more tackle talent and competition.
Parker (6-7, 303) is a prospect who impressed area scouts this fall and followed it up with a solid Senior Bowl performance. Teams think he has developmental potential to be a starter in the NFL. They like his size and length to protect on the edge. Sources say that Parker has received some mid-round grades, and after his time in Mobile, he could end up being a third-round pick.
78.Kansas City Chiefs:Marcel Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State
The Chiefs grab another receiving weapon for Pat Mahomes.
In speaking with a director of college scouting, they had a higher grade on Ateman than they did on fellow Cowboys wide receiver James Washington. They had Washington as a mid-rounder with Ateman having second-day potential in the 2018 NFL Draft. In 2017, Ateman recorded 59 catches for 1,156 yards with eight touchdowns. He averaged 19.4 yards per catch. The 6-foot-4, 220-pound Ateman displays mismatch size with the ability to make plays downfield. The 2018 NFL Draft isn't especially strong at receiver, so Ateman had a shot to rise with a strong Senior Bowl. He was solid, but unimpressive, in Mobile.
Click links to see the Chiefs' picks across all rounds:
79.Arizona Cardinals:Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
The Cardinals grab a potential upgrade at right tackle.
The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Rankin had a quality 2016 season as a run blocker and pass protector for Mississippi State. He received a second-round estimation from the NFL Draft Advisory Board for the 2017 NFL Draft. Team sources are comparing Rankin to Troy's Antonio Garcia, a third-round pick of the Patriots in the 2017 NFL Draft, and think that Rankin could go in the same range. They say that Rankin is a great kid, so they think he will work hard to become a more complete player as a pro.
Rankin played well at left tackle in 2017, but he needs to get stronger for the NFL. In Week 3, he had some wins and losses against LSU's Arden Key, but Rankin was steady on the blind side all year. He is quick, athletic, and has a good build, but he has to up his strength. Rankin gets knocked on the ground too much and will get pushed around in the NFL.
The Texans never found a replacement for Quintin Demps. Here's more talent at safety.
Elliott enjoyed a breakout 2017 season as one of the nation's leaders in interceptions with six. The junior also recorded 63 tackles and nine passes broken up on the year. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has NFL size with good instincts. He fits as a free safety for the pro game, and sources have told me that they've given him a second-day grade. They say that Elliott lacks the elite athletic ability and speed to be a first-round pick, but he makes plays in coverage and is a willing participant against the run. It would have been hard for Elliott to duplicate his production if he had returned for his senior year, so it was in his interest to declare for the 2018 NFL Draft - like he did.
The Cowboys can't count on Randy Gregory going forward, so here's a third rusher to go with DeMarcus Lawrence and Taco Charlton. That assumes Lawrence is re-signed.
Sweat totaled 56 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 12.5 tackles for a loss and three passes batted in 2017. The junior has a lot of talent and was starting to flash as a sophomore in 2016. He totaled seven sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss, 41 tackles and one forced fumble that year.
Sources say the 6-foot-5, 250-pounder has a first-round skill set, but teams have major concerns about baggage around a knee injury. Florida State tried a variety of methods to treat the lingering knee issue, which happened during Sweat's senior year of high school, but the injury hasn't healed and he has instability in a few areas. He labors through the knee issue and hopes to play as long as possible. Thus, sources were saying months ago that Sweat planned on entering the 2018 NFL Draft to play to maximize his career. He could be a one-contract player as a pro.
Click links to see the Cowboys' picks across all rounds:
Nnadi notched 53 tackles with 3.5 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble and a pass batted in 2017. He played well, causing notable disruption. In 2016, Nnadi totaled 44 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks on the year. The 6-foot-2, 304-pounder is at his best when he is using his speed to work upfield.
The Ravens could use multiple wide receivers to upgrade their passing attack. Jeremy Maclin could be a cap casualty, and Mike Wallace is a free agent. Even if Wallace is brought back, Baltimore needs more play-makers for Joe Flacco.
Miller played really well for Memphis, showing good route-running, quickness, good hands, and elusiveness after the catch. He totaled 92 receptions for 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2017. Miller came up huge to help Memphis upset UCLA. He has created some positive buzz in the scouting community and is viewed as more of a second-day talent who could be a weapon as a slot receiver in the NFL. In 2016, Miller totaled 95 receptions for 1,434 yards with 14 touchdowns.
The Chargers could use more cornerback talent. Jason Verrett is nearing the end of his contract and has been prone to injury.
Dawson is a feast-or-famine defender who makes some big plays and gives up some plays. The senior notched 34 tackles with nine passes broken up and four interceptions in 2017. In 2016, he totaled 24 tackles, seven passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder is quick with the athleticism to run with receivers, prevent separation, and has good ball skills. For the NFL, Dawson is a slot corner. He is good when plays are in front of him. He also has instincts and a good concept of route combinations. Dawson transitions well with above-average speed to carry verticals, but he is also tight and struggles to open his hips. Sources have told me they are grading Dawson as a third- or fourth-rounder.
85.Carolina Panthers:James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
The Panthers could use multiple young wide receivers.
The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Washington can stretch teams vertically with his speed. Some team sources told me they graded him as a mid-rounder. Washington has a running back-like build and is not really twitchy. He is still deceptively fast, but that is speed he builds up rather than quick explosiveness. They say that Washington has good hands, but doesn't really make players miss after the catch. One team source said they graded Washington as a late fourth-rounder for the 2018 NFL Draft.
In 2017, Washington caught 74 receptions for 1,549 yards and 13 touchdowns. He made 71 receptions for 1,380 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016. As a sophomore, Washington snagged 53 passes for 1,087 yards with 10 scores.
Click links to see the Panthers' picks across all rounds:
The Chiefs grab an outside corner to go with Marcus Peters and Kendall Fuller in the slot.
In 2017, Toliver totaled 28 tackles, one interception and 10 passes broken up. Some sources were down on Toliver, saying he has first-round talent, but doesn't play up it or work to maximize his ability. They are critical over his lack of instincts as well. The 6-foot-2, 193-pounder is a big corner who can run, but is an underachiever. He also was suspended for the 2017 season opener. In speaking with one director of college scouting, they were optimistic that Toliver could be coached out of problems and was worthy of a mid-round selection.
Toliver impressed as a freshman and sophomore. Considering the amount of talent the Tigers' secondary has produced, it is a serious statement that he played immediately at LSU. In 2015, the freshman had 35 tackles with five breakups and an interception. As a sophomore, he totaled 21 tackles with one breakup across seven games.
Click links to see the Chiefs' picks across all rounds:
The Rams could use more edge-rushing talent across from Robert Quinn. This is a good fit for Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme.
Sources tell me that the 6-foot-5, 277-pound Thomas is really talented physically, but he didn't put it all together on the field. There were flashes of excellence and stretches of doing nothing while looking clueless. They say that Thomas lacks instincts as well. However because of his great skill set, grades are going to be all over the board on Thomas, with some high and some low. In speaking to evaluators at a few teams, they think Thomas will end up being a third- or fourth-round pick. Thomas totaled 30 tackles with 8.5 for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2017. In 2016, he collected 37 tackles with 11 for a loss, four sacks and three passes broken up.
88.Carolina Panthers:DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State
The Panthers could use multiple wide receiver upgrades.
Hamilton totaled 53 receptions for 857 yards and nine touchdowns for 2017. At the Senior Bowl, he displayed that he is a good route-runner capable of generating separation and has generally reliable hands. Hamilton (6-0, 202) also contributed as a junior (34-506-1), sophomore (45-580-6) and freshman (82-899-2).
Click links to see the Panthers' picks across all rounds:
Whitehead (5-11, 190) is a physical safety who has good instincts. He broke out as a freshman with 108 tackles, six passes broken up, one interception and one forced fumble. In 2016, Whitehead had 65 tackles with two breakups and an interception while missing multiple games with an arm injury. He hurt his draft stock with a suspension to open the 2017 season and split time between running back and safety over the course of the year. At the former position in 2017, Whitehead totaled 22 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns. He recorded 60 tackles with four passes broken up and one interception at the latter on the season.
The Falcons moved on from Jalen Collins and could use some cornerback depth. It also would make sense to add a corner with some size.
Averett recorded 48 tackles, eight passes broken up and an interception in 2017. He totaled 48 tackles with eight passes broken up, zero interceptions and two forced fumbles in 2016.
One team source thought Averett might end up going in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but sources from five different teams said they have Averett as a second-day-caliber player. A lot of team sources see problems with Averett. They think that he is not a play-maker on the ball and is not a finisher. He's intelligent and was more consistent within the scheme, which earned him playing time over the more physically gifted Tony Brown, but sources from each team said they didn't like how Averett played the ball. One general manager said that weight is an issue with Averett, who has been in the 180s. At the Senior Bowl, Averett checked in at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds. Another general manager said that Averett being a narrow-framed guy who doesn't play the ball well is a concerning combination for the NFL. Thus, this GM said that the highest they could see Averett going was the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, although the third round is a definite possibility.
Click links to see the Falcons' picks across all rounds:
The Saints could use a tackle to pair with Sheldon Rankins.
Thompson totaled 38 tackles with 3.5 for a loss and zero sacks in 2017, but he also missed multiple games with a knee injury. Thompson was a tough defender for Georgia in 2016, recording 56 tackles with 9.5 for a loss and five sacks. The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder has upside to develop. Thompson could fit well as a 3-4 defensive end or as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. Scouting sources have said that Thompson has a first-round skill set, but he is inconsistent and doesn't play up to his potential.
The Steelers could use a third edge rusher to go with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree.
Carter (6-6, 242) was improved as a senior and is still full of athletic potential. He showed dangerous edge-rushing skills against Notre Dame and made a lot of big plays to help the Bulldogs win in South Bend. Sources say they are giving Carter third- or fourth-round grades, although the team that likes him enough to draft him could take him earlier.
In 2017, Carter totaled 61 tackles with 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 7.5 tackles for a loss. He recorded 44 tackles with five sacks and two forced fumbles in 2016. Carter notched 4.5 sacks as a freshman.
93.Jacksonville Jaguars:Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia
The Jaguars could use more talent on their offensive line.
Harrison (6-7, 300) was part of the Texas program before being dismissed by then-coach Charlie Strong. Failed drug tests were the reason for Harrison's dismissal. He landed at West Georgia, where he played well for the Wolves. Team sources say that Harrison has the skill set of a first- or second-round pick. He has NFL size, quickness, athleticism and length. Team sources say they don't think Harrison will get out of the second day of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Click links to see the Jaguars' picks across all rounds:
Smith is a solid player who is well-balanced as a run blocker and pass protector. The 6-foot-6, 303-pounder has NFL size, quickness and athleticism. He is a quality run blocker who was solid in pass protection for Auburn. Smith is a safe pick to be a quality NFL starter for a long time.
95.New England Patriots:Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Patriots grab a backup quarterback for Tom Brady. They will probably turn around and trade this backup for a higher draft pick.
Rudolph is very much a love/hate prospect in scouting circles. Some team sources think he could justifiably go in the second round. Then again, I've also heard grades deep into Day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft because of the amount of quarterback-needy teams, I could see a team reaching for him on Day 2 during the 2018 NFL Draft.
For the NFL, Rudolph (6-4, 229) has some serious limitations. He is not very athletic and isn't a running threat, while his arm strength is just average. Rudolph also needs to improve his accuracy and terrible anticipation. Routinely, Rudolph doesn't pull the trigger on a throw until his receiver has long since gotten wide open rather than anticipating the play to get the ball out faster. The length of time he holds the ball in the pocket is going to be a problem in the NFL. Rudolph is also inconsistent with his field vision as he can work off his first read, yet other times he stares down targets. His games against West Virginia and Texas provided other examples of him struggling to throw into tight windows.
In 2017, Rudolph completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,904 yards with 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,091 yards with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2016. Rudolph ran for six scores as well that season.
The Bills could move on from Cordy Glenn, and Richie Incognito is aging. Here's a blocker who could help Buffalo at guard or tackle.
Jones (6-5, 310) is a smooth player who is balanced as a run blocker and pass protector. He is not a twitchy athlete who is especially powerful or heavy-handed, so he isn't a first-round talent. Still, Jones was a solid blind-side protector for the Buckeyes throughout his time with Ohio State. He allowed a sack in the 2017 season opener against Indiana, but he was dependable for Ohio State. Jones also should have the flexibility for the NFL to move over to right tackle or guard if necessary.
I have it on good authority that the Texans are getting a third-round compensatory pick for not signing any free agents from other teams in the applicable window while losing free agents who received big or significant contracts like A.J. Bouye, Quintin Demps and John Simon.
Houston could use a tight end upgrade, and with all the concussions C.J. Fiedorowicz has had, the team needs depth at tight end even if Fiedorowicz comes back in 2018.
Scouts have told me that they like Schultz and see him as a do-it-all Y tight end similar to Jason Witten. They say that Schultz is a good route-runner, excellent at catching the ball, and a really good blocker. This season, Stanford used Schultz's blocking skill to help open holes for Bryce Love. In the Cardinal's ground-based offense, Schultz had 22 receptions for 212 yards and three touchdowns during 2017. The 6-foot-6, 242-pounder is a sleeper prospect who team evaluators really like.
Click links to see the Texans' picks across all rounds: