It looked like it was going to be sunshine and rainbows once Melvin Gordon exited the game vs the Colts during the Wildcard. Unfortunately, it was not. Austin Ekeler stepped into the game and continued to thrash the Colts in front of their fans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Jabaal Sheard isn’t getting any younger and their best defensive end beyond Sheard is the 5 year vet Kemoko Turay who didn’t have a single tackle last season. Expect the Colts to spend a pick on an EDGE rusher early in the draft such as Mase Funa, who is one of the best tacklers in the draft and excels against the pass.
22. Redskins: Michael Ezeike, WR, UCLA
Antonio Brown and Terry McLaurin had nearly identical stats this past season, both hauling in 45 receptions and amassing just under 700 yards each. Defenses continue to key in on the McLaurin as he undeniably the team’s best playmaker. It’s time the team finally addresses their passing game and grab an equal to Terry McLaurin. Michael Ezeike is a huge target with decent athleticism, catches a lot of balls in traffic, and would be solid target for Dwayne Haskins early on.
23. Texans: Zachary Evans, HB, LSU
The Texans started winning games once they were able to start moving the ball with the ground game. It all came to a halt once Matt Breida was lost to injury. Zachary Evans is probably the most talented running back in this class. He can run through or around anyone on the field. If Breida goes down again, the Texans might find themselves at the very least, a solid replacement.
24. Raiders: Chase Kline, EDGE, Michigan State
If there’s one thing the Raiders love, it is speed. Chase Kline is a combination of size, speed, and power who is great against the pass. The Raiders schedule next season features QBs like Patrick Mahomes, Mitchell Trubisky, Drew Lock, Khalil Tate, Josh Allen, and Emory Jones. An EDGE like Kline would be a solid addition to a core that already includes Clelin Ferrell, Charles Snowden, and Merlin Robertson.
25. Jets: Haynes King, QB, Rice
Yes, the Jets are led by one of the most athletic up and coming quarterbacks in the league in Emory Jones. Yes, they love running the ball with their QB. Emory Jones was the second leading rusher on the team with 458 yards on 76 carries. It makes since that the Jets may spend an early pick on some insurance in case they lose Jones for any amount of time. King is mobile and is great at throwing on the run.
26. Eagles: Trace Ford, LE, Oklahoma State
The Eagles were really good against the run last season, but were near the bottom of the league when it came to defending the pass. It would be wise for the Eagles to spend a pick or two on a pass rusher like Trace Ford. Ford is recognized as a finesse specialist, but he’s also really good against the run.
27. Chiefs: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
The Chiefs have one of the deepest rosters in the league and have some freedom to pick the best player available this late in the draft without worry about a need. The Chiefs could select a physical corner here which they could line up against and try to contain talented WRs like Shi Smith and Emanuel Hall.
28. Ravens: Stacey Wilkins, RT, Oklahoma
The Ravens had a great season. Michael Carter became a sensation and led the team to the divisional round of the playoffs. Expect the Ravens to grab a piece that will help Carter and Lamar Jackson continue their success into the next season – Stacey Wilkins is as a great at run blocking as he is at pass blocking.
29. Chargers: Trente Jones, LT, Michigan
In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death, taxes, and the Chargers adding offensive lineman from the draft. This is a deep offensive lineman draft and Jones is probably the best fit for the Chargers since they LOVE to run the ball. I imagine the Chargers would be ecstatic getting such a great run blocker this late in the first round.
30. Falcons: Bryce Benhart, RT, Nebraska
Behart is one of more well-rounded offensive lineman in the draft and would most likely be a day one starter for the Falcons at right tackle. The Falcons could also spend this pick on a speedy runner as insurance for Ito Smith, but it may be too early here.
31/32. Giants: Mike Jones Jr, SS, Clemson
This is a luxury pick for the Giants as the roster has very few holes. Mike Jones Jr not only has a great name, he has the size and speed that the Giants covet. Jones is a big hitter and could be the ideal sub-LB the Giants are looking to add to an already stacked defense.
31/32. Dolphins: Darnell Washington, TE, Alabama
The Dolphins spent 2 picks on tight ends in the draft last season, but Washington might be too good to pass up this late in the first. Washington may not be known for being extraordinary at one specific skill, however he makes up for it with his remarkable size, standing 6’8 at 260+ lbs.