Originally posted: April 29, 2017
NFL Nation reporters assess every first-round pick:
1. Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
Why they did it: The Browns need help all over the field, so any position selected would have been a positive. With the first pick, though, a team has to take a player, not a project. Garrett is the consensus best player in the draft. He can rush the passer and play the run. He’s an immediate boost for a growing defense that had just 26 sacks in 2016.
Biggest question: Garrett will have to prove he is not a guy who takes plays off. Many NFL folks shrug at that criticism, saying any defender in college football goes through fatigue because college offenses run 80 to 100 plays per game and they run them quickly. An NFL defense may be on the field for 65 snaps and Garrett may be there for 40. In theory, that should help his production.
— Pat McManamon
2. Chicago Bears (from 49ers)
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Why they did it: To make a splash and hopefully lock up their quarterback of the future. Mike Glennon is making $16 million guaranteed in 2017, but he won’t be the starter for the long term. Trubisky is the future — ready or not.
Biggest question: Is Trubisky really worth the second overall pick? He started only 13 games in college. The Bears passed on quality defensive prospects such as Solomon Thomas and Jamal Adams to take a player with numerous question marks. Risky move.
— Jeff Dickerson
3. San Francisco 49ers (from Bears)
Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford
Why they did it: The Niners had the worst run defense in the NFL last season and were fifth worst in the NFL in pressures generated per dropback. Thomas is capable of helping them improve in both areas in new coordinator Robert Saleh’s 4-3 defensive scheme. Beyond that, Thomas is considered one of the cleanest picks in the draft and the type of guy who can help establish the culture that general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan seek.
Biggest question: Where will he line up? While the Niners aren’t so strong at any position on the defensive line that anyone’s spot is safe, the Niners could really use a true right defensive end (also known as the “Leo” or “Elephant” in Saleh’s scheme). Thomas has versatility and projects best as a left defensive end on running downs and a 3-technique defensive tackle on passing downs, according to scouts I spoke with before the draft. But if Thomas can prove to be an effective pass-rusher from the other defensive end spot, it would be a boon for the Niners.
— Nick Wagoner
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
Why they did it: The Jaguars have been the NFL’s worst rushing team over the past five seasons (92.1 yards per game). Last season, T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory both averaged less than 4 yards per carry. The 6-foot, 228-pound Fournette ran for 3,840 yards and 40 touchdowns and averaged 6.2 yards per carry in three seasons at LSU, so he was incredibly productive in arguably the best conference in the country (SEC). He gives the Jaguars a physical back who fits the ball-control, play-action offense that coach Doug Marrone wants to run. The Jaguars are hoping for an Ezekiel Elliott-type impact, though Fournette certainly won’t be running behind the caliber of line that Elliott did last season.
Biggest question: Fournette had an ankle injury that lingered throughout the 2016 season (he missed five games), and there’s some concern that will be something he’ll have to deal with as a pro. Fournette also struggled against Alabama’s defense: 145 yards and one TD on 57 carries in three games. Fournette is not exactly an elusive back. He’s a physical runner — you can waste a lot of time on YouTube watching him run over guys — and those kind of backs have a much shorter shelf life.
— Mike DiRocco
5. Tennessee Titans (from Rams)
Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
Why they did it: They Titans long have lacked a legitimate No. 1 receiver, and Davis has drawn comparisons to players such as Terrell Owens and Dez Bryant. He’s an explosive player coming off an ankle injury whom the Titans clearly have judged to be fast enough. They aren’t concerned with speed or size as much as they are concerned with dependable routes, minimal drops and solid blocking. Davis is 6-foot-3, 218 pounds and athletic.
Biggest question: How does he run? The Titans saw plenty of film on him, but an ankle injury prevented the league from getting an official 40-yard time on him. The other concern is that he didn’t play against premier competition in the MAC. But the production at that level was superb: 326 catches, 5,212 yards and 51 touchdowns in four seasons — and that’s enough for GM Jon Robinson to project him as a great weapon for quarterback Marcus Mariota.
— Paul Kuharsky
6. New York Jets
Jamal Adams, S, LSU
Why they did it: The Jets’ pass defense stunk last season — 30 touchdown passes, only eight interceptions. Adams was the consensus No. 1 safety in the draft, a terrific value with the sixth pick. He will be an immediate starter, probably alongside Calvin Pryor. Adams isn’t a ball hawk, a la Malik Hooker, but he’s a sideline-to-sideline defender. He could be the Jets’ version of Landon Collins. Scouts describe him as a natural-born leader and that will help a locker room sorely lacking in that area.
Biggest question: QB Deshaun Watson was still on the board, so the Jets can expect eternal second-guessing if he develops into a winning quarterback. In this case, they made the wise move. Watson would’ve been a reach at No. 6; he has great intangibles and a winning pedigree, but he hardly was a sure thing. The Jets will devote 2017 to developing Christian Hackenberg. If he bombs, they can draft a quarterback next year.
— Rich Cimini
7. Los Angeles Chargers
Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Why they did it: Keenan Allen is the team’s No. 1 receiver, but he’s coming off ACL surgery that forced him to miss most of the 2016 campaign. Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin also missed time with injuries last season, so Williams gives veteran quarterback Philip Rivers another playmaker who can win contested catches on the perimeter.
Biggest question: Williams suffered a neck injury two years ago that forced him to miss the entire 2015 season, but he came back to play every game in 2016. Speed, crisp route running and creating separation also are things Williams will have to work on so he can consistently get open at the next level.
— Eric Williams
8. Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Why they did it: The Panthers hadn’t drafted a running back in the first round since Jonathan Stewart in 2008. They needed a future replacement for Stewart (30), whose contract runs through 2018. But more importantly they needed a dynamic, speedy, change-of-pace player who could be a threat as a receiver out of the backfield to complement Stewart and take the pressure off quarterback Cam Newton to run. Few backs in this draft are more dynamic — as well as versatile — as the son of former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey.
Biggest question: Durability. At 5-foot-11, 202 pounds, McCaffrey’s ability to handle the load of a three-down back has come into question. General manager Dave Gettleman didn’t seem concerned before the draft, reminding us that McCaffrey had 590 carries and 82 catches over the past two seasons. “He certainly has showed he can carry the load at Stanford,’’ Gettleman said. But the bigger question may be how Gettleman passed on two stellar defensive players, Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen and Ohio State safety Malik Hooker. It shows just how dedicated he is to turning this offense around.
— David Newton
9. Cincinnati Bengals
John Ross, WR, Washington
Why they did it: The Bengals desperately needed an element of speed in their wide receiver group. Although they drafted Tyler Boyd in the second round last year, Boyd cannot match the record 4.22-second 40-yard-dash speed that Ross brings. Ross can immediately bring another element to an offense that relied too much on A.J. Green last year and was at times completely stagnant. Last season, Ross had 51 receptions that either went for a touchdown or a first down, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He will be half of a formidable duo next to Green.
Biggest question: Ross’ speed is unquestionable, but what about his medical history? At 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, there likely will be questions about his durability. Ross missed the 2015 season with a meniscus and ACL injury. He also has had labrum surgery. The Bengals might have to be careful with how much they use him in the years to come.
— Katherine Terrell
10. Kansas City Chiefs (from Bills)
Patrick Mahomes II, QB, Texas Tech
Why they did it: The Chiefs haven’t drafted a quarterback in the first round since 1983, so it was time. The Chiefs can afford Mahomes the luxury of a year or two on the bench to learn his craft because Alex Smith has two more seasons remaining on his contract. The Chiefs, who moved up from 27 to 10 in a trade with the Buffalo Bills to get him, believe Mahomes has the ability to be their long-term solution at quarterback.
Biggest question: The Chiefs relinquished their first-round pick next year and a third-rounder this year to move up to get Mahomes. That’s not a huge cost if Mahomes develops into a productive player, but it is if he’s a bust. Can the Chiefs get a return on this investment? Mahomes played in a spread offense at Texas Tech, and quarterbacks coming from the spread don’t have a good track record in developing into productive pro players.
— Adam Teicher
11. New Orleans Saints
Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Why they did it: The Saints’ desire to land a top cornerback was obvious. They had the No. 32 pass defense in the NFL last season, and they spent this offseason considering trades for Patriots CB Malcolm Butler and Rams CB Trumaine Johnson after making a strong run at Josh Norman last spring. They must be thrilled that they held off on overpaying for those veterans after the top cornerback fell into their lap after two quarterbacks, two receivers and two running backs went in the top 10. Plus, they love Ohio State players after scoring with WR Michael Thomas and S Vonn Bell in Round 2 last year.
Biggest question: Lattimore comes with injury concerns after he missed much of his first two seasons at Ohio State with significant hamstring issues. He was healthy last year and played great with four interceptions. Then he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at the scouting combine. But ESPN’s Jon Gruden warned that he still has some developing to do after just one full year of college experience.
— Mike Triplett
12. Houston Texans (from Browns)
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Why they did it: The Texans’ quarterback play — and offense overall — was abysmal last season. They will return most of their AFC South championship team next season and are in great position to win now. Watson had a great pre-draft visit with the Texans, who clearly think they have found their guy to end the quarterback carousel that has plagued the team since 2002.
Biggest question: Is Watson considered the favorite to start in Week 1? General manager Rick Smith and head coach Bill O’Brien have reiterated this offseason the Texans were comfortable with Tom Savage as their 2017 starting quarterback. They also have said it’s tough for a rookie quarterback to start in this league. But the Texans gave up their 2017 and 2018 first-round picks to draft Watson, so they clearly like what they have seen from the national champion quarterback. But what does that mean in 2017?
— Sarah Barshop
13. Arizona Cardinals
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Why they did it: Reddick is a multidimensional linebacker who can play inside, a need since Karlos Dansby is on a one-year deal. He also can contribute outside and rush the passer. He can be used in the Cardinals’ three pass-rush sets and can be moved all over the field.
Biggest question: How much will he actually play with Arizona having two elite pass-rushers in Chandler Jones and Markus Golden, and sitting behind Dansby?
— Josh Weinfuss
14. Philadelphia Eagles
Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
Why they did it: The Eagles needed a pass-rusher to fuel a Jim Schwartz scheme that is dependent on the front four getting home without the blitz, and they landed one of the most productive in college football. Barnett finished his career at Tennessee as the school’s all-time sacks leader (32), passing former Eagle and first-ballot Hall of Famer Reggie White.
Biggest question: There is some concern about how well Barnett’s game will translate to the next level. His athletic measurables aren’t elite. Some evaluators had a difficult time making sense of how he was able to rack up such impressive stats.
— Tim McManus
15. Indianapolis Colts
Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
Why they did it: Safety was an area the Colts needed to upgrade after not bringing back veteran Mike Adams earlier in the offseason. Second-year player T.J. Green struggled during his rookie season. Clayton Geathers, the most skilled safety on the roster, missed seven games last season because of injuries. Veteran Darius Butler made the transition from cornerback to safety this offseason.
Biggest question: The Colts had bigger issues at pass-rusher. Defensive end Charles Harris and linebacker Tak McKinley were still available. Alabama teammates Reuben Foster and Jonathan Allen, both projected top-10 picks, also were on the board.
— Mike Wells
16. Baltimore Ravens
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Why they did it: The Ravens continue their trend of building one of the NFL’s top secondaries. Baltimore takes the draft’s second-best cornerback in Humphrey after signing safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Brandon Carr in free agency. It’s interesting that Humphrey is often compared to Jimmy Smith, the last cornerback selected by the Ravens in the first round (2011).
Biggest question: Why didn’t the Ravens address a more immediate need on defense? The Ravens could’ve selected two other Alabama prospects — defensive end Jonathan Allen or inside linebacker Reuben Foster — who would’ve filled voids in the starting lineup. It’s surprising Baltimore didn’t trade back in the first round and get more picks.
— Jamison Hensley
17. Washington Redskins
Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
Why they did it: The Redskins largely have ignored their defensive line in the draft for years, last selecting a defensive lineman in the first round in 1997 (Kenard Lang). Allen has top-five talent and can impact the run and pass. He’s only 286 pounds, but he runs well and can play end in base and nickel sub-packages. He can impact the pass game.
Biggest question: How serious are Allen’s health issues? He needed surgery on his left shoulder in 2014 and hurt it again a year later, needing more surgery in January 2016. There are some concerns about his size.
— John Keim
18. Tennessee Titans
Adoree Jackson, DB, USC
Why they did it: Cornerback is the biggest hole on the Titans’ roster, even after the free-agent addition of Logan Ryan. Jackson is a phenomenal athlete who ran a blazing 4.42-second 40 and has a track background that includes a 10.38-second 100-meter dash. That means he can run with blazers and catch up to them if they break beyond him. The Titans have added a great deal on special teams, and Jackson was PFF’s highest-rated college returner in 2016. Over his career, he averaged 27.1 yards per kickoff return and 12.6 yards on 46 punt returns, with a total of eight TD returns.
Biggest question: Is he big enough? He’s 5-foot-10, 186 pounds, and the Titans want their corners to be willing and able tacklers. While scouts and analysts say they saw good growth in Jackson as a senior, players like receiver Corey Davis, the Titans’ No. 5 pick, should have a chance to post him up and win. That might mean Jackson starts off in the slot, or shifts there in nickel.
— Paul Kuharsky
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
Why they did it: Tight end Cameron Brate may have tied for a league-leading eight touchdowns, but the Bucs want a tight end who can serve as an in-line blocker and vertical threat. Howard fits the bill and gives Jameis Winston another big red zone target.
Biggest question: The only concern about Howard has been his production. Alabama coach Nick Saban used Howard quite a bit as a blocker in the run game, which took away from Howard’s availability as a pass-catcher.
— Jenna Laine
20. Denver Broncos
Garett Bolles, T, Utah
Why they did it: Western Kentucky guard/tackle Forrest Lamp and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster would be two players who carried higher draft grades, but Bolles is one of the best left tackle prospects on the board. He’s athletic, moves well and plays with a fierceness offensive line coaches love.
Biggest question: Sometimes Bolles’ emotions get the best of him and he takes silly penalties and costs his team field position. There was some feeling among talent evaluators that defensive linemen would bait him, especially early in his career, to see if he can play with some composure once the play is over.
— Jeff Legwold
21. Detroit Lions
Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Why they did it: The Lions needed to add speed and talent to the front seven and had two strong options to address their biggest need: linebacker. Reuben Foster and Jarrad Davis both made sense, but Davis is the cleaner player. He’ll likely be a starter, either on the outside replacing DeAndre Levy or in the middle, pushing Tahir Whitehead to the outside.
Biggest question: There will be some questions as to why the Lions went with Davis over Foster, particularly if Foster ends up being a top-level player. The ankle injury Davis dealt with throughout his 2016 season also could be a concern.
— Michael Rothstein
22. Miami Dolphins
Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Why they did it: The Dolphins clearly needed help for their 29th-ranked defense from a year ago. Harris will add youth, athleticism and playmaking ability to an aging defensive end group. Harris also has the versatility to play outside linebacker at the next level.
Biggest question: Was it wise to pass up former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster? He was a projected top-10 talent available at No. 22 because of character concerns. Foster had a diluted urine sample at the NFL combine and a shoulder injury. However, Foster would have been an ideal fit to help Miami’s linebacker group.
— James Walker
23. New York Giants
Evan Engram, TE, Mississippi
Why they did it: He’s a dynamic, super-athletic tight end who should add a new dimension to the Giants’ offense. He has 4.42 speed, can get down the field and is a matchup nightmare.
Biggest question: Engram isn’t known as much of a blocker. He’s more of a slot receiver from the tight end position. He’s not going to be much help to the league’s 29th-ranked rushing attack.
— Jordan Raanan
24. Oakland Raiders
Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
Why they did it: The Raiders had only the 24th-ranked passing defense a year ago and allowed a league-high 61 completions of at least 20 yards despite handing out big contracts to cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson. They also allowed former first-round pick DJ Hayden to walk in free agency, so they need a slot corner. Conley had four interceptions and eight pass breakups at Ohio State last season, so he addresses a need.
Biggest question: Will he be around? Conley has been accused of sexual assault, partly why he lasted until No. 24. While no charges have been filed, the pick seemingly goes against the Raiders’ recent run of staying away from players with questionable baggage. Still, Conley has maintained his innocence — taking and passing a polygraph test, per his agent — and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said he likes to go with his “gut” on certain players.
— Paul Gutierrez
25. Cleveland Browns (from Texans)
Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Why they did it: Safety was a glaring need when the draft started and Peppers fills that need. He can play strong safety, he can tackle and return kicks. Peppers is more of a tackler than a cover guy, so he’ll need to refine his safety skills. But he adds energy, return ability and a physical presence to the secondary.
Biggest question: In college, Peppers was used all over the field — safety, linebacker, cornerback, running back and even receiver. He also returned punts and kicks. He’ll now have to learn to play strong safety in the pros and refine his cover skills. The half-full view is Peppers had to spread himself too thin with Michigan and should get better when he focuses on one position. The concern: Will he be good enough at any one position to succeed, and will he grow in coverage to be able to play against NFL tight ends?
— Pat McManamon
26. Atlanta Falcons (from Seahawks)
Takkarist McKinley, LB, UCLA
Why they did it: The Falcons needed another edge rusher to pair alongside Vic Beasley Jr. They traded up from the 31st overall pick, swapping first-round picks with Seattle and trading this year’s third-round pick and seventh-round pick to the Seahawks. Offense wasn’t the primary issue for the Falcons, although the thought of adding Forrest Lamp to potentially start at right guard had to be tempting. Dan Quinn is a defensive-minded coach and always talks about everything starting up front with the pass rush. McKinley has a high motor and the speed to make plays. He and Beasley together could be a devastating combo.
Biggest question: McKinley is coming off shoulder surgery and might not be ready immediately. And such a surgery makes him somewhat of a risk. But, obviously, the Falcons felt comfortable with his medical report and feel confident that he’ll be able to contribute during the 2017 season.
— Vaughn McClure
27. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs)
Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
Why they did it: Stephon Gilmore had $65 million reasons to bolt to New England, leaving the Bills with a gaping hole at cornerback. Buffalo likes 2015 second-round pick Ronald Darby and was encouraged last season by 2016 sixth-round pick Kevon Seymour, but it needed more help at the position. White is considered a good fit for Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier’s zone-coverage scheme.
Biggest question: The Bills addressed one of their top positions of need with this pick, but fans ultimately will judge this pick based on the success of Patrick Mahomes II in Kansas City. Buffalo traded with the Chiefs from No. 10 to No. 27, picking up a 2017 third-round pick and 2018 first-round pick in the process, but it left Mahomes and Deshaun Watson on the board. If either becomes a franchise quarterback, this pick will be questioned.
— Mike Rodak
28. Dallas Cowboys
Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
Why they did it: The Cowboys’ top priority in the offseason has been to address the pass rush. Charlton’s sack total increased every year with 9.5 in 2015, his lone year as a full-time player. He can play right end and left end and potentially could move inside on passing downs. Charlton was a player the Cowboys liked throughout the draft process.
Biggest question: Was Charlton their top pass-rusher, or was he the best guy remaining with Takkarist McKinley and Charles Harris going before the Cowboys picked? Is he a “war daddy” Jerry Jones craves, or will he need time?
— Todd Archer
29. Cleveland Browns (from Packers)
David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)
Why they did it: The Browns need receivers, playmakers and guys who can score. Njoku had eight touchdowns last season for Miami and had 64 receptions the past two seasons. He also averaged 16.2 and 17.2 yards per catch. Hue Jackson said in March the tight end position needed an upgrade; they traded up in the first round to get Njoku.
Biggest question: It’s the same question that’s been asked about every tight end or receiver who has joined the Browns the past few seasons: Who’s the quarterback? The Browns traded out of taking Deshaun Watson and are looking at a competition between Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler at the team’s most important position.
— Pat McManamon
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
T.J. Watt, LB, Wisconsin
Why they did it: It was no secret the Steelers were looking for pass-rush help. Watt can develop into an eventual replacement for James Harrison. He brings, size (6-foot-4, 252 pounds), athleticism and tenacity to Pittsburgh. Overcoming a knee injury and a position change from tight end, Watt recorded 11.5 sacks in his only full season as a collegiate pass-rusher.
Biggest question: Why did the Steelers feel Watt — whom some NFL personnel evaluators gave a second-round grade — was a better option than Washington corner Kevin King, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster and other defensive playmakers? The perceived knock on Watt is he’s not a quick-twitch athlete, which the Steelers coveted in former first-round linebacker Bud Dupree. Does Watt have the NFL skill set to overcome that?
— Jeremy Fowler
31. San Francisco (from Seahawks)
Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
Why they did it: More than anything, the Niners believed Foster was one of the most talented players in the draft and saw an opportunity to get him late in the first round while surrendering only a fourth-round pick acquired from Chicago to land him. Foster is the type of hard-nosed linebacker the Niners have been building defenses around for years, and they view him as the next in an evolving lineage that includes Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman.
Biggest question: Foster comes with a few questions, most of which have little to do with football. He tested positive for a diluted urine sample at the scouting combine and was involved in an argument with a hospital worker during his medical check in Indianapolis. Perhaps more pressing is a shoulder issue that also contributed to his slide in the first round.
— Nick Wagoner
32. New Orleans Saints (from Patriots)
Ryan Ramczyk, T, Wisconsin
Why they did it: The Saints ended the first round quietly by filling one of their underrated needs. Starting right tackle Zach Strief is 33 years old, and coach Sean Payton made it clear he wanted to get a lineman at some point in this draft. Ramczyk (6-6, 310) was a first-team All-American after playing just one year at Wisconsin and was a projected first-rounder.
Biggest question: The biggest issue with this pick is it won’t help a defense that ranked 31st in points allowed last season. But the Saints weren’t going to force themselves to use all five of their picks in the first three rounds on defense. The other concerns with Ramczyk are he played just one year at the FBS level after transferring from UW-Stevens Point and battled a hip injury last season.
— Mike Triplett
NFL Nation reporters assess every second-round pick.
33. Green Bay Packers
Kevin King, CB, Washington
Why they did it: When you fielded the 31st-ranked pass defense last season, what choice do you have but to pick a cornerback? And this isn’t just any cornerback. It’s a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder who ran a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine. He becomes the Packers’ biggest cornerback, one inch taller than LaDarius Gunter. The Packers gave up 26 passing touchdowns to wide receivers last season, most in the NFL, and they had only seven interceptions on passes to receivers last season, tied for the second fewest in the NFL.
Biggest question: What does this mean for Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins? It was only two years ago when the Packers used their first- and second-round picks on those two cornerbacks. After promising rookie seasons, they regressed last season in part because of injuries. The Packers also brought back veteran cornerback Davon House, who spent the past two seasons in Jacksonville after four years in Green Bay.
— Rob Demovsky
34. Jacksonville Jaguars
Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Why they did it: The Jaguars’ offensive line needed an upgrade, especially in terms of size and toughness, with the 310-pound Robinson. GM Dave Caldwell said Robinson will stay at left tackle and compete with Branden Allen, whom the team traded for in March, for the starting job. The Jaguars have had the NFL’s worst ground game (92.1 yards per game) since 2012 and Robinson pairs with first-round pick Leonard Fournette to give the Jaguars an upgrade.
Biggest question: He’s starting his career at left tackle, but if he loses the battle to Albert, does he move inside to guard? There’s some thought he might be better off playing guard for a year a two and then moving outside. Robinson had some off-field issues (an arrest for marijuana and weapons possession, but he wasn’t charged), but the Jaguars say they investigated thoroughly and believe he won’t be a problem.
— Mike DiRocco
35. Seattle Seahawks
Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
Why they did it: The Seahawks need to get younger on defense — specifically up front. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril are Pro Bowl-caliber players, but both guys are 31 years old. McDowell (6-foot-6, 295 pounds) gives them a talented defensive tackle who should be able to contribute as an interior pass-rusher immediately and eventually move into a starting role.
Biggest question: Should they have addressed the offensive line instead? Guard Forrest Lamp was still on the board even after the Seahawks traded back three times. McDowell is considered a talented prospect, but he had only 1.5 sacks last season. Reaching for positional needs can lead to mistakes, but it’s fair to wonder if the Seahawks could have waited until later in the draft to add a defensive tackle.
— Sheil Kapadia
36. Arizona Cardinals
Budda Baker, S, Washington
Why they did it: Arizona lost Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger in free agency, but adding Baker will give the Cardinals another versatile option — the type of safety they covet. Baker is small — 5-foot-9, 195 pounds — but he’s able to play deep safety as well as play in the slot in sub packages.
Biggest question: The immediate question surrounding Baker in Arizona’s defense will be how well he’ll adjust to being a multidimensional safety at the NFL level. There are questions about his hitting ability, but if Tyrann Mathieu remains healthy, where and how Baker will fit on the field remains to be seen.
— Josh Weinfuss
37. Buffalo Bills
Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
Why they did it: Coach Sean McDermott said he would be lying if Bills wide receivers coach Phil McGeoghan’s familiarity with Jones did not help in making this pick. McGeoghan was Jones’ position coach last season at East Carolina. The Bills had a need for a No. 2 receiver after losing Robert Woods in free agency. Jones is not a lock to fill that spot immediately, but he will at least compete with free-agent additions Andre Holmes and Philly Brown for a role.
Biggest question: The Bills felt the ranks of wide receivers were thinning as the second round began, which prompted them to trade picks 44 and 91 for 37 and the Rams’ fifth-round selection (No. 149). However, giving up the third-round pick could prove a steep price to move up only eight spots for Jones.
— Mike Rodak
38. Los Angeles Chargers
Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
Why they did it: The Chargers had trouble keeping quarterback Philip Rivers upright last season and Lamp should help in that regard. Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said the team will have an open competition at all three interior offensive line positions, and Lamp could start at any of those three spots. Lamp also has enough athleticism to play tackle at the next level.
Biggest question: Lamp did not play against top-level competition while competing for the Hilltoppers, so how he transitions to the NFL could be an issue. At 6-foot-4, 309 pounds, with shorter arms, how he handles taller, quicker pass rushers inside also is something to watch as Lamp transitions to the NFL.
— Eric Williams
39. New York Jets
Marcus Maye, S, Florida
Why they did it: They don’t believe in Calvin Pryor, a former first-round pick entering the final year of his rookie contract. By picking safeties in the first and second round — Jamal Adams and Maye — the Jets almost certainly will trade (unlikely) or release Pryor. Injured Marcus Gilchrist also is on thin ice. Maye is a versatile player who can play strong and free safety, even some slot corner. By picking two defensive backs, the Jets confirmed what the entire world knew last season: The secondary was a train wreck.
Biggest question: Frankly, this seems like overkill. General manager Mike Maccagnan shouldve used the pick on an offensive skill-position player, not another safety. They still have a glaring need at tight end. On the positive side, at least they didn’t waste a pick on another quarterback project.
— Rich Cimini
40. Carolina Panthers
Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
Why they did it: Samuel is a playmaker and the Panthers are looking for players to take the pressure off quarterback Cam Newton as this offense evolves. Much like first-round pick Christian McCaffrey, Samuel is versatile, a jack-of-all trades. He was the only player in college football during the 2016 season to record at least 700 yards rushing and receiving. He also adds speed to an offense in need of that after losing wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. in free agency. Samuel ran the 40-yard dash in 4.31 seconds.
Biggest question: His size (5-11, 197) and exactly where he fits in. He’ll probably compete immediately for the slot receiver spot and replace another former Ohio State product, Philly Brown, who wasn’t re-signed. He hasn’t always proven to have the best hands, but that’s something the Panthers can teach.
— David Newton
41. Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Why they did it: The Vikings have shifted their philosophy at the running back position, and Dalvin Cook comes to the team as the kind of back who can fit in Pat Shurmur’s offense as a receiving option out of the backfield. The Vikings’ offense is short on playmakers, and Cook could provide a big-play option for a team that sorely needs them.
Biggest question: He slipped out of the first round because of off-field concerns, and was arrested in 2015 on misdemeanor battery charges, though he was found not guilty. He fumbled 13 times at Florida State, and had a history of injuries in college.
— Ben Goessling
42. New Orleans Saints
Marcus Williams, S, Utah
Why they did it: Easy — the Saints had the No. 32-ranked pass defense in the NFL last year, and they need as many impact playmakers as they can find. That’s exactly what Williams (6-1, 202) is – a free safety who had 10 interceptions over the past two years and four forced fumbles in his three-year career.
Biggest question: The Saints have an awful lot of safeties now, with veterans Kenny Vaccaro and Rafael Bush and last year’s second-round pick Vonn Bell, among others. But they’ll find room for Williams if he flashes playmaking skills early, and they often use three-safety packages. The Saints also went secondary with their No. 11 pick — cornerback Marshon Lattimore. But one huge need area where they have still come up short so far this offseason is edge rusher.
— Mike Triplett
43. Philadelphia Eagles
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Why they did it: The Eagles were very interested in drafting Jones in the first round before he ruptured his Achilles at Washington’s pro day. The front office knows they are not quite championship caliber, and can take the long view here with the hopes that one of the top talents in the draft makes a full recovery and shines in 2018 and beyond.
Biggest question: Will Jones ever be the same player? Achilles injuries are serious, and it’s fair to wonder if there will be any long-term impact. Cornerbacks depend on their speed and explosiveness, obviously, and Jones will need every ounce of his to compete at a high level in the NFL. This is a boom-or-bust selection.
— Tim McManus
44. Los Angeles Rams
Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
Why they did it: Look no further than last year’s Redskins offense, overseen by former coordinator Sean McVay. No team received more yards out of tight ends, and with the Rams, McVay needed another one to complement last year’s fourth-round pick, Tyler Higbee. Like Higbee, Everett has size (6-foot-3, 239 pounds) and is a major threat in the passing game.
Biggest question: Everett, like Higbee, needs to improve as a blocker. Another concern would be the Rams’ overall youth at that position after cutting ties with veteran Lance Kendricks earlier this offseason. Their only pass-catching tight ends — Everett, Higbee and Temarrick Hemingway — have combined for 11 NFL receptions. But maybe Everett is McVay’s new Jordan Reed.
— Alden Gonzalez
45. Chicago Bears
Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
Why they did it: Shaheen is 6-foot-6, 278 pounds, but he can also catch the football. The ceiling looks to be sizable. And while Chicago signed veteran tight end Dion Sims in free agency, Zach Miller is coming off yet another injury. Tight end depth was a problem for the Bears in 2016.
Biggest question: Shaheen played at Division II Ashland. That’s a serious jump up in competition. For all the size and athleticism — Shaheen has plenty of both — he still falls into the category of project. Don’t the Bears have enough of those already? Plus, the Bears missed out on adding another defensive back. Aaron Rodgers is probably happy about that.
— Jeff Dickerson
46. Indianapolis Colts
Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Why they did it: The Colts’ cupboard was basically empty at cornerback. They’ve been desperate for a second cornerback to go with Vontae Davis, once a back-to-back Pro Bowler. There have also been failed experiments with veteran Greg Toler and Patrick Robinson, who was released earlier this offseason. Wilson, a physical cornerback, will be given every opportunity to be the Week 1 starter for the Colts.
Biggest question: Wilson uses his strength to mask what isn’t considered blazing speed. He struggles if he doesn’t get a good jam on the receiver at the line scrimmage. Wilson ran a 4.54 40-yard dash during the combine.
— Mike Wells
47. Baltimore Ravens
Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston
Why they did it: The Ravens addressed one of the biggest priorities on the team. Baltimore had to improve getting to the quarterback after finishing 24th in the league with 31 sacks last season. So, the Ravens grab one of the most explosive pass-rushers in Bowser, who totaled 8.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss in only eight games last season. The Ravens selected Bowser over two other highly rated pass-rushers, Kansas State’s Jordan Willis and Alabama’s Tim Williams.
Biggest question: When are the Ravens going to help out Joe Flacco and the offense? So far this offseason, Baltimore has added only running back Danny Woodhead and backup quarterback Ryan Mallett. The Ravens have needs at wide receiver, offensive line and running back. At this pick, Baltimore chose Bowser over USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
— Jamison Hensley
48. Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
Why they did it: The Bengals have made no secret of their wish to upgrade their offense, with an emphasis on the running backs. Mixon was ranked the No. 2 running back on their board, so to get him midway through the second round was a dream scenario for Cincinnati. On the field, Mixon can essentially do it all, and he will come to Cincinnati during a time when Jeremy Hill is going through some struggles and Giovani Bernard is coming off an ACL tear. Mixon would have been a sure first-rounder if it were not for character concerns and off-the-field issues. Going purely on his talents, he is one of the best players in the draft.
Biggest question: Can the Bengals afford to take a chance on another player with character concerns? Mixon punched a woman in the face, breaking bones in her jaw, after a verbal altercation occurred in a bar in 2014. Mixon, 18 at the time of the incident, was suspended for a year and reached a plea agreement in the case. He recently settled with the woman. But while the Bengals say the incident is behind him, drafting Mixon comes at a time when they are already dealing with the fallout of Adam Jones’ arrest in January. Drafting Mixon comes with its questions, and it certainly will come with some deserved scrutiny.
— Katherine Terrell
49. Washington Redskins
Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama
Why they did it: Junior Galette hasn’t played in two years, Trent Murphy is suspended for the first four games and is a pending free agent, and Preston Smith hasn’t quite developed the way the Redskins had hoped. With Anderson, Smith could end up rushing more inside where he can be effective. So adding Anderson — considered a leader who is great with his hands — gives the Redskins a chance to be more versatile defensively and gives them another young pass-rusher.
Biggest question: He’s not a burner and he does not have great length, two attributes that help any pass-rusher. Will that diminish his ability to work the edge? There are questions about his ability to play in coverage, though how much he’ll have to do that early remains to be seen.
— John Keim
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
Why they did it: Bucs safeties struggled significantly last year in the first half of the season and they lost Bradley McDougald. They replaced him with free agent J.J. Wilcox, but they needed another coverage safety. Evans gives them great range and ball skills, along with consistent, all-out effort.
Biggest question: Evans is sometimes too aggressive and gambles, which means he could be susceptible to biting on play-action and being out of position. He’s also prone to missed tackles.
— Jenna Laine
51. Denver Broncos
Marcus Walker, DE, Florida State
Why they did it: John Elway’s top priority of the offseason was for the Broncos to stay great on defense. Denver thought more highly of Walker than some in the league. But there is no question Walker gets to the quarterback. He had 16 sacks on the season, including a 4.5-sack game against Mississippi.
Biggest question: Walker didn’t always show the kind of explosiveness against more athletic blockers. Some scouts say he didn’t always play to his potential, but for the Broncos that’s defensive line coach Bill Kollar’s department.
— Jeff Legwold
52. Cleveland Browns
DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Why they did it: The Browns knew they needed to come out of this draft with a quarterback. They didn’t get one on Day 1 despite having three first-round picks. In the second round, they waited until the 52nd pick to take Kizer, who joins Cody Kessler, Brock Osweiler and Kevin Hogan on the roster. The position is wide open. The Browns took a shot they needed to take.
Biggest question: How long will it take him to be ready? Kizer looked like a standout in 2015 and early in 2016, but the bottom dropped out in the second half of the season. He’ll need his confidence rebuilt and he’ll need to answer why Notre Dame went 4-8 last season. At his best, Kizer has prototype size and arm strength for the NFL. But he has to prove himself on the field and in an NFL offense to realize that potential.
— Pat McManamon
53. Detroit Lions
Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Why they did it: The Lions needed to upgrade their secondary and Tabor fits the size Detroit likes at 6-foot-1, 199 pounds. The No. 9 cornerback in this class, he can defend short routes, and he also can be a good run-stopper on the outside. Considering the Lions gave up an NFL-record completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks last year, he’s a player that makes sense for Detroit.
Biggest question: His speed. His 4.62 40-yard dash is a concern, and how he’s able to handle speedy downfield guys with height also might be a problem. How fast he will play will be a question since the Lions have Nevin Lawson and signed D.J. Hayden in the offseason.
— Michael Rothstein
54. Miami Dolphins
Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
Why they did it: The Dolphins needed help at linebacker and finally got it in the second round. McMillan will compete immediately with incumbent outside linebacker Koa Misi, who has struggled with injuries and inconsistency the past couple of seasons. Miami was 30th against the run last year and needs to get more physical in the front seven.
Biggest question: How high is McMillan’s ceiling? He was the fifth- or sixth-best player on Ohio State’s defense last season, according to most draft projections. Is that worthy of a second-round pick? The Dolphins need impact players immediately on defense and McMillan too often didn’t stand out among other stars with the Buckeyes. It will be interesting to see if that changes with the Dolphins.
— James Walker
55. New York Giants
Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
Why they did it: Tomlinson (6-3, 310) is big and tough. It’s going to be hard to run against him and Damon Harrison in the middle of the Giants’ defensive line. The Alabama product is their Johnathan Hankins replacement. Hankins signed recently with the Indianapolis Colts.
Biggest question: He doesn’t get off the line quickly and isn’t much of a pass-rusher. The Giants still need to find someone on the interior to get after the quarterback. They also passed on an athletic linebacker (something they’ve needed for years) with Zach Cunningham still on the board.
— Jordan Raanan
56. Oakland Raiders
Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
Why they did it: The Raiders, despite going 12-4, had only the 24th-ranked passing defense in the NFL last season. And while Oakland did use its first-round pick on strong safety Karl Joseph a year ago and free agent Reggie Nelson went to the Pro Bowl, Nelson turns 34 in September and the Raiders need depth in the secondary.
Biggest question: At 6-foot-3, 217 pounds, and with a 4.40-second 40-time, Melifonwu is a genetic freak, as analysts say. But is he more workout warrior than football fiend? He had eight interceptions in four seasons at UConn, with four last year, and was credited with 118 tackles as a senior.
— Paul Gutierrez
57. Houston Texans
Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Why they did it: Texans general manager Rick Smith said in his pre-draft news conference that Houston would pick the best player available instead of focusing on team needs. That appears to be the case with Cunningham. The Texans lost inside linebacker John Simon in free agency, but have a strong group at inside linebacker with veteran Brian Cushing and Benardrick McKinney, who took an impressive step forward last season. In three seasons at Vanderbilt, Cunningham had 295 tackles, including 39.5 for loss and seven forced fumbles.
Biggest question: Cunningham said one area he needs to improve is limiting missed opportunities down the field, especially with tackling. While Cunningham will be a good addition to the Texans’ 2016 first-ranked defense, there is a question if this is the biggest need for Houston right now. The Texans also have a need at right tackle and safety.
— Sarah Barshop
58. Seattle Seahawks
Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
Why they did it: It’s no secret the Seahawks need to upgrade their offensive line. Versatility has been a theme as of late. One thing Seattle liked about free agent Luke Joeckel was that he could play guard or tackle. Pocic has experience playing center, guard and tackle. He was a three-year starter and should get a chance to compete for playing time.
Biggest question: Where will he play? Pocic’s best position in college was at center, but Justin Britt played extremely well there for the Seahawks last season. It’s worth noting that Britt is scheduled to be a free agent after 2017, and Pocic could be an option to replace him if he walks. As for the upcoming season, perhaps Pocic could compete for playing time at guard or even tackle.
— Sheil Kapadia
59. Kansas City Chiefs
Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova
Why they did it: The Chiefs lost one defensive lineman, Dontari Poe, to free agency and released another, Jaye Howard. The Chiefs face a potential shortage of linemen at the end of the season when Bennie Logan can be a free agent. So the Chiefs are going to need some bodies to add to their playing rotation and Kpassagnon will be given a chance to fill that role.
Biggest question: When will he be ready for NFL football? Kpassagnon played FCS football at Villanova. That’s a big leap. The Chiefs won’t need him to contribute much as a rookie as long as starting ends Chris Jones and Allen Bailey stay healthy. But he’ll need to be up to speed by the 2018 season.
— Adam Teicher
60. Dallas Cowboys
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
Why they did it: The Cowboys made their intentions known Thursday when they took defensive end Taco Charlton in the first round. Cornerback was their target and remained their target throughout the round despite seeing four corners go off the board in the second round before them. Awuzie played all over the field for four years. He can play as an outside corner, but he also was able to excel in the slot, especially as a blitzer where he had nine sacks. He forced five fumbles and had 26 tackles for loss.
Biggest question: Is he an immediate starter? In some respects he does the some of the same things as Orlando Scandrick, who will be better in his second year removed from knee surgery. The Cowboys also signed Nolan Carroll in free agency to a three-year deal, and have Anthony Brown, a sixth-round pick from last year, who exceeded expectations.
— Todd Archer
61. Green Bay Packers
Josh Jones, S, N.C. State
Why they did it: They’re serious about improving their secondary. After taking cornerback Kevin King at No. 33, they used their other second-round pick on another defensive back. And like King, Jones has speed. Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf said after picking King they planned to make a concerted effort to get faster. Safe to say they’ve done that. Jones ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the combine, and King did it in 4.43 seconds. Though safety might not have been among their top needs, Jones could be a replacement for the departed Micah Hyde after the versatile defensive back signed with the Bills in free agency.
Biggest question: When will the Packers draft a running back? At this point, they still only have Ty Montgomery, Christine Michael and Don Jackson as ball carriers. They’d like Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine but if they don’t trade up from No. 93 overall, there’s a chance they’ll miss out.
— Rob Demovsky
62. Pittsburgh Steelers
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Why they did it: With Martavis Bryant more bonus than guarantee coming off suspension, the Steelers wanted to add a playmaker somewhere in the first three rounds. The championship window won’t be open forever, and 35-year-old Ben Roethlisberger needs more options. Smith-Schuster has adequate size at 6-foot-2, specializes in the contested catch and turned 20 in November. The Steelers like to develop young players.
Biggest question: One knock on Smith-Schuster is his game lacks the wow factor downfield, and the Steelers have a vertical passing offense. But the Steelers like his passion, overall skill set and productivity (3,092 yards, 25 touchdowns in three seasons). Another question: What does Smith-Schuster’s arrival mean for former third-round pick Sammie Coates, who struggled while playing through injury a year ago? The Steelers wanted to create competition and did just that.
— Jeremy Fowler
63. Buffalo Bills
Dion Dawkins, G, Temple
Why they did it: Buffalo had a need at right tackle because of three factors: 1. Jordan Mills, who started all 16 games at right tackle last season, struggled and finished 64th at his position in Pro Football Focus rankings. 2. Top swing tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is recovering from offseason hip surgery resulting from a fall at home. 3. Seantrel Henderson, the Bills’ starting right tackle in 2015, has five games remaining on a 10-game drug policy suspension and missed significant time last year after undergoing surgery for Crohn’s disease.
Biggest question: In trading up 12 spots for Dawkins, the Bills gave up three picks to Atlanta: Nos. 75 (third round), 149 and 163 (both fifth round). That leaves them without a third- or fourth-round pick in this draft. With depth issues across their roster and a continuing need for a weakside linebacker, doing a 1-for-3 swap of picks in this trade makes it tougher for coach Sean McDermott to build out his roster.
— Mike Rodak
64. Carolina Panthers
Taylor Moton, T, Western Michigan
Why they did it: The Panthers needed to upgrade the depth at tackle with the future of Michael Oher, still in the concussion protocol, somewhat in doubt. They don’t need Moton (6-foot-5, 319 pounds) to start, but they needed a player to develop, probably at right tackle where Moton started 52 games.
Biggest question: Would the Panthers have gone with Temple guard Dion Dawkins had former Panthers defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, now the head coach at Buffalo, not traded for the pick ahead of Carolina? He was on their board. Could make the conversation before these teams meet in Week 2 interesting.
— David Newton
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