17. Carolina Panthers – Jaelen Strong – WR – Arizona State – Scouting Report
Kelvin Benjamin has progressed faster than expected, but Cam Newton still needs more weapons. Strong isn’t receiving the attention that Amari Cooper has this year, but he actually fits the mold of the No. 1 receiver better than the Alabama star. Strong and Benjaming would give Newton two strong possession receivers to target on the outside.
18. Detroit Lions – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford – Scouting Report
Riley Reiff has been a disappointment at left tackle and it may lead the Lions to reshuffle their offensive line during the offseason. Peat is an elite talent but hasn’t fully lived up to expectations would could allow him to be available for someone in the latter half of the first round.
19. Chicago Bears – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – CB – Oregon
Personally, I have some concerns about Ekpe-Olomu’s lack of size and lack of elite instincts to make up for it, but the consensus still has him as a first-round prospect so I’m leaving him in the mock draft. Kyle Fuller was a nice addition this past offseason, but the Bears secondary still needs some work. If nothing else, Ekpe-Olomu should develop into an adequate nickel corner.
20. Atlanta Falcons – Devin Funchess – TE – Michigan – Scouting Report
Levine Toilolo is a nice backup tight end, but he isn’t the Tony Gonzalez replacement Atlanta needs. Funchess is playing wide receiver this year at Michigan, but that’s basically all Gonzalez did late in his career anyway. Blocking isn’t his strength, but the Falcons can make up for that in other ways. He’s capable of creating mismatches for opposing defense, exactly as Gonzalez did for years.
21. San Diego Chargers – Benardrick McKinney – DE/LB – Mississippi State
The Chargers have a terrible track record selecting pass-rushers in recent years, but they have to keep trying. McKinney has been a huge reason for Mississippi State’s success this season and put on a show against Texas A&M. He is a fast riser and could climb even higher the way his season is going.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Spencer Drango – OT – Baylor
Ricky Wagner has been solid so far, so maybe this won’t be necessary. But for now, I’m still betting on the Ravens looking for an upgrade at right tackle this offseason. Drango reminds me of Zach Martin, who the Cowboys selected in the first round last year. Some may view Drango as a guard, but I believe he has the ability to play right tackle in Baltimore.
23. Greeo Bay Packers – Hau’oli Kikaha – DE/LB – Washington – Scouting Report
Julius Peppers is a short-term answer but the Packers need to add some more youth to the front seven. Kikaha has a long injury history which definitely factors into his draft stock, but he appears fully healthy this year and is one of the nation’s most dangerous pass-rushers.
24. Arizona Cardinals – La’el Collins – OT – LSU – Scouting Report
The Cardinals have to upgrade the offensive line if they’re going to continue to stick with Carson Palmer at quarterback. Collins may not be a left tackle at the next level, but in Arizona he would offer a major upgrade at right tackle over Bobby Massie.
25. New England Patriots – Danny Shelton – DT – Washington
The Patriots have a ton of holes to fill and it’s tough to guess at this point what position they’ll choose to address. Obviously they need help on offense, but Belichick will never reach to fill a need. The depth in this class may dictate they address their front seven with an interior pass-rusher like Shelton.
26. New Orleans Saints – Shaq Thompson – LB – Washington
The Saints defense remains a weakness, partially due to the fact that they simply don’t have a playmaker in the middle. Thompson is the type of undersized, speedy linebacker that is drawing more and more interest from NFL teams in recent years and would be a nice upgrade in New Orleans.
27. Cincinnati Bengals – Ty Montgomery – WR – Stanford – Scouting Report
The Bengals need to add a new dimension to their offense in order to take the next step. Montgomery would essentially fill the Andrew Hawkins role, albeit at a much higher level. This would sort of be a luxury pick, but considering how close the Bengals are to playing at a championship level, it would probably be a smart gamble.
28. San Francisco 49ers - Leonard Floyd – LB – Georgia
Depth in the front seven has already proven to be a weakness of the 49ers this season. Floyd is having a breakout year for Georgia and is starting to gain some national attention for his performance. He is quickly rising up draft boards and should remain in the first-round conversation.
29. Indianapolis Colts – P.J. Williams – CB – Florida State
Fringe first-round defensive backs are tough to predict, but Williams is in the mix. Whoever ends up being graded in this area by the Colts front office will definitely be an option for them in the first round. For the second consecutive years Greg Toler has been a liability and an upgrade is needed.
30. Philadelphia Eagles – Dorial Green-Beckham – WR – Oklahoma
Chip Kelly does his own homework on all prospects with character concerns, so it’s possible DGB won’t been his standards. But if he passes the test, this would be exactly the type of gamble Kelly would make. No receiver in this class has DGB’s upside, not even Amari Cooper, and someone could get a steal in the late first or second round.
31. Denver Broncos - Mario Edwards Jr. – DE – Florida State
Denver’s biggest weakness on defense this year has been their inability to generate a consistent pass-rush. Edwards isn’t having the dominant year that some expected of him and has even missed some time due to injury. But he’s a good bet to be in the late first round range based solely on his raw athleticism and potential.
32. Seattle Seahawks – A.J. Cann – OG – South Carolina
The Seahawks have survived with a patchwork line due to Marshawn Lynch’s power running style and Russell Wilson’s incredible ability to get rid of the ball just in time. But the Seahawks can’t ignore the line forever, especially as Lynch gets older. Cann’s ability as a power run blocker makes him a nice fit in Seattle.