12.*TRADE* INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: LB- Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech
Big Dick Ballard has been around some very talented defenses in his history in the NFL. In each one of those defenses they had game changing talent at the line backer position. Ballard understands the importance of the position in the defense that the Colts will be running. Currently the Colts have one of the worst LB corps in the NFL and they will address it on day one by selecting Tremaine Edmunds from VT. Edmunds is a rare athlete who has a very unique skill set and would thrive in the new cover 2 scheme the Colts will be running. Ballard finds his Urlacher to lead this defense in Indy.
13.WASHINGTON REDSKINS: RB- Derrius Guice – LSU
I firmly believe that the Redskins trading for Alex Smith was Jay Gruden and the Washington brass showing their hand in the type of team they want to be. They are going to want to slow the game down and win football games on the ground. Chris Thompson is a very good talent but is not a bell cow back. Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley aren’t the answer. The Skins will get their answer at the running back spot with Derrius Guice from LSU. Guice is a 3 down work horse back who the Redskins can run their offense through and change the course of this franchise. The NFL is a copy cat league and the Redskins have been paying attention to what the stud RB taken in the first round has done for teams.
14.GREEN BAY PACKERS: DB- Minkah Fitzpatrick – Alabama
Packers fans should be demanding that they continue to address a secondary that is known for getting torched in the playoffs. They took a step in the right direction with drafting Kevin King and Josh Jones last season but it’s not enough. With the 14th overall pick the Green Bay Packers select Minkah Fitzpatrick. Minkah is a versatile defender who slid in the draft a little bit because of not having a legit position. The Packers tend to like players like Minkah and can play some slot corner and play when the Packers have 3 safeties on the field. Hes a good replacement for recently departed Morgan Burnett.
15.ARIZONA CARDINALS: QB- Lamar Jackson -Louisville
The Cardinals are in a tough spot. Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer are gone and this team should be rebuilding. They brought in Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, both of whom aren’t the long term answer. They need to find a long term answer at the QB spot. The Cardinals are going to roll the dice and draft Lamar Jackson from Louisville. Cardinals brass is going to fall in love with the thought of Lamar and David Johnson in the back field together. They need to take a page from Bill O’Brians play book and build this offense around Lamar. If they do that he can be successful.
16.BALTIMORE RAVENS: OT- Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame
Last year the Ravens used the draft to replenish the defensive side of the ball and the defense improved a lot. The draft this year needs to focus on the offense. Before free agency the WR group needed a big make over. The Ravens have appeared to use free agency to give the unit a face lift and will wait until day two to add some more youth. The Ravens will focus on the offensive line and draft OT Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame. Pairing him with former Notre Dame teammate Ronnie Stanley will add some stability to the tackle position.
17.LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: DT- Vita Vea- Washington
The Chargers are missing one piece to possibly having a truly dominant defensive line. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are two dominant ends and Corey Luiget is still an above average 3tech. They need a big body who can occupy blocks and create disruption as well. Vita Vea from Washington is the pick here for the Chargers. Vita is still quite raw but the 6’4 350 mammoth has the skill set to be quite dominant especially playing along side of 3 other pro bowl caliber players.
18.*TRADE* NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: LB- Leighton Vander Esch
Since 2013 the SeattleSeahwks have drafted in the first round 1 time. Their MO is to trade out of the first round and gather more picks. Its going to happen again this season. They are currently without a day two pick so this trade back is a necessity for them to replenish the struggling roster. The New England Patriots will send the Seahawks picks 31 and 41 to move up to select LB Leighton Vander Esch. LVE is a player who can be groomed to be the leader of this defense. Vander Esch possesses all the tools to be a big time player in the Patriots LB friendly system.
19.DALLAS COWBOYS: WR- Calvin Ridley – Alabama
It will be interesting to see the Dallas Cowboys suit up week 1 of the NFL without star WR Dez Bryant on the team. He has been one of the focal points of this team since 2010. The Cowboys need to find his replacement and find Dak Prescott some more weapons. Allen Hurns was brought in to be that possession WR and the Cowboys will select Calvin Ridley to be their new number one option. Ridley is the best route running and most pro ready WR in this draft class. His age will make a few teams skittish to draft him, but Dallas gets the best WR in this class at pick 19.
22.*trade* INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: CB- Isaiah Oliver - Colorado
With the trade back with the Buffalo Bills, the Colts get the opportunity to fill up their roster with quality talent. This team has a ton of holes to fill and the two first round picks will help this team out a lot. With the 22nd pick the Colts address a big time need on the defense with the selection of Corner Back Isaiah Oliver. Oliver isn’t getting a ton of love right now but fits the mold of boundry corner that Chris Ballard loves. 6’1 ft with extremely long arms. The longest wingspan of any corner in this draft class. The Colts have met with Oliver twice so far in the draft process and the pick helps add some depth to a pretty weak corner back position.
23.NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: OT- Kolton Miller – UCLA
With the trade of Brandin Cooks, the New England Patriots got this pick. With holes at premier positions to fill, its essential that they get someone in the draft to replace Nate Solder at Tom Bradys blind side. The Patriots will draft a tackle, similar to Nate Soldier coming out of college that has the length and athletically gifted enough to play the blind side. Kolton Miller of UCLA is built in the same mold as Soldier when he was coming out of college. Has tremendous length and size to hold up and play out on an island at the Left Tackle position for the Patriots.
24.CAROLINA PANTHERS: CB- Josh Jackson – IOWA
The Carolina Panthers are on the clock. Last season we saw them address the offensive side of the ball early and often. Surrounding Cam Newton with talent was smart. This season though, they need to address some spots on the defensive side of the ball. The Panthers have pretty much ignored the cornerback position since Josh Norman left for the Washington Redskins. They need to put some talent next to James Bradberry. The Panthers were lucky to have a ball hawk corner who excels playing in off man and zone coverage in Josh Jackson fall to them. He is an ideal fit in their defensive scheme and will help the defense out a lot in the tough NFC South.
25.TENNESSEE TITANS: WR: Courtland Sutton - SMU
Last season, the last player to visit the Tennessee Titans was WR Corey Davis. Their first overall pick in the NFL draft was Corey Davis. This season, the player who visited the Titans last was EDGE rusher Josh Sweat from Florida State. I don’t think the Titans will pull the trigger on Sweat this early but will once again get some more talent around their QB and select WR Courtland Sutton. This move will show that the Titans are filling to surround Mariota with talent and will give them possibly two dominant outside WR for the next 10 years.
26.ATLANTA FALCONS : DL: Da’Ron Payne - Alabama
Dontari Poe was a one year rental and losing him creates a big time hole in the front 7. Adding another body who can stop the run and rush the passer is essential for this defense. At pick 26, the Falcons fill that hole with DL Da’Ron Payne from Bama. He has the potential to be an immediate impact DL with a high floor and ceiling to provide solid pass rushing and solid run stuffing ability.
27.NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: LB- Rashaan Evans – Alabama
The Saints hit a ton of home runs in the draft last season. Adding talent along the offensive and more importantly the defensive side of the ball. The defense improved to 10th in the league in scoring and were a freak play away from the NFC championship game. The one missing piece to this defense that might make it elite is a line backer who possesses side line to side line speed and a nose for making big plays. LB Rashaan Evans from Bama is a perfect fit for what the Saints are doing right now. He is an attacking line backer whos very athletic and violent.
28.PITTSBURGH STEELERS: S- Justin Reid – Stanford
The Steelers defense improved last season but two glaring needs right now are in the secondary and an inside backer. The loss of Ryan Shazier has hurt this defense but with how the board is right now, no line backer is worth this pick. They will address the safety position who brings the versatility of a Minkah Fitzpatrick but who has shown that he can consistently play the safety position. Justin Reid from Stanford is an instinctive free safety prospect who can also play in the box and cover slot WR and TE. He will give the Steelers some much needed versatility and consistency in the secondary.
29.JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: OG- Isaiah Wynn - Georgia
The Jaguars are almost complete building a monster. They addressed the tackle position early in the draft last season and invested heavily in Andrew Norwell in Free Agency. They are one guard away from truly being potentially dominant in the trenches on both sides of the football. At pick 29, they get the second best guard in this class Isaiah Wynn from Georgia. He adds versatility and is a day one starter for this line.
30.MINNESOTA VIKINGS: OG- Frank Ragnow – Arkansas
I will be surprised if the Vikings leave day one without addressing the interior of their offensive line. They have a 3 year window with Cousins to compete and win a super bowl. The defense is improved with the addition of Sheldon Richardson and need a pro ready guard. This will be a surprise for some people but I am giving the Vikings Guard Frank Ragnow from Arkansas. He has tremendous size and would be a day one starter who would improve the pass protection and running game for the Vikings. This pick makes the Vikings better.
31.*TRADE* CLEVELAND BROWNS: CB: Jaire Alexander – Louisville
John Dorsey strikes again and moves up to the end of the first round to get another premier position. The Browns send picks 33 and 125 to the Seahawks to move up a few spots. The Browns go out and get a new CB1 in Jaire Alexander. If it wasn’t for injuries Alexander would be in talks for the best CB in this class. Alexander does everything at a high level and has the mentality to be a dominant lock down corner in the NFL.
32.*TRADE* TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS- RB – Sony Michel – Georgia
The Eagles are without any day two pick so trading out of the first round will be an option. The Bucs will be interested in moving up and with their first trade down, they make the call and offer pick 38 and 108 to move up to pick 32. With this pick, the Bucs are targeting a game changing running back to help complete their offense. Sony Michel from Georgia is the guy. He isn’t the prototypical bell cow but will be the Bucs version of Alvin Kamara who can help improve the receiving game as much as the running game. This move will make the Bucs more explosive and help Jameis Winston take the next step of development.