17) Dallas Cowboys: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU
The Cowboys jump at the chance to pair K’Lavon Chaisson with DeMarcus Lawrence. While Chaisson needs some work, the intangibles are enticing enough to take him here.
18) Miami Dolphins: Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
The Dolphins snag one of the more reliable pass catchers in the draft to aid Herbert. Justin Jefferson is a polished wide receiver with good body control and an innate feel for spacing. He offers inside-outside versatility, wins contested catches, and should serve as a security blanket for Justin Herbert.
19) Las Vegas Raiders: Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
Raiders GM Mike Mayock hit home runs on most of his draft picks in 2019, particularly on the defensive side, adding impact players in the back end and on the defensive line. While they’ve added Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski to the second level, drafting Kenneth Murray, a fast-flowing, run-and-hit defender, gives them one of the strongest linebacking units in football.
20) Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Jones, OT Houston
Jacksonville added a critical defensive piece to solidify the back end, and now adds one of the more intriguing offensive tackles to shore up a largely inconsistent offensive line. Josh Jones will pair with Jawaan Taylor to give the Jaguars one of the better young pairings of offensive tackles in the NFL.
21) Philadelphia Eagles: Jaylon Johnson, CB Utah
With Jefferson off the board, the Eagles opt to add some length and size to the cornerback room for new defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel. Jaylon Johnson, who has garnered some first-round buzz late in the draft process, met with the Eagles at the NFL Combine.
22) Minnesota Vikings: Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
I originally wanted to slot Jaylon Johnson here, but Kristian Fulton is no small consolation. The LSU product gives a Vikings team, absent two starters from a season ago, a technically sound perimeter defender with length and plus ball skills.
23) New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB Utah State
With Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer currently atop the Patriots quarterback hierarchy, there is a clear-cut need for a long-term option at the position. While I’m not sold that Stidham can evolve into that caliber of player, I feel confident that Jordan Love can. The Utah State signal caller has the prototypical size, mobility, and a big enough arm to make all the throws at the next level.
24) New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen, LB LSU
The Saints’ linebacking corps feels like more of a MASH unit than a group that can be counted on to withstand the rigors of a full NFL slate in its current state, as Kiko Alonso and Alex Anzalone have both had their bouts with injury. Patrick Queen, a local prospect, gives the Saints a rangy, instinctive player with plus athleticism on the second level, and he should be an early contributor as a rookie.
25) Minnesota Vikings: Jalen Reagor, WR TCU
With Johnson and Fulton off the board, the Vikings address their wide receiver vacancy by selecting explosive TCU wideout Jalen Reagor to pair with Adam Thielen. Reagor gives Minnesota the vertical speed element they lost when they shipped Stefon Diggs to Buffalo.
26) Miami Dolphins: Austin Jackson, OT USC
The Dolphins bolster the protection up front for their young quarterback, adding one of the more athletic offensive tackles in the class.
27) Seattle Seahawks: Jeremy Chinn, S Southern Illinois
Deep into opening night, it’s Jeremy Chinn who becomes the first safety off the board. Built similarly to former Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, Chinn fits the bill for what Seattle looks for in defensive backs. At 6-foot-3, 221 pounds, the versatile defender boasts the athleticism, coverage acumen, and football intelligence to play single-high, defend the slot, play in the box, or be deployed as a linebacker. The small school phenom is among my favorite prospects in this class.
28) Baltimore Ravens: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
The Ravens add another edge rusher to their stable. Yetur Gross-Matos has the size and athleticism teams covet at the position, and has yet to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame. The former Nittany Lion plays with great agility, speed, and bend off the edge. He should thrive in a rotational role with Matthew Judon and Jaylon Ferguson.
29) Tennessee Titans: A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson
Five cornerbacks have now been taken, as Tennessee takes Clemson standout A.J. Terrell to invigorate a position in dire need of a top-level cover man. Terrell has the intangibles to develop into of the top cornerbacks in this class in time.
30) Green Bay Packers: Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
It is no great secret that the Packers have struggled to find an adequate running mate opposite Davante Adams in recent years, relying on the likes of Geronimo Allison and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to exceed expectations. After Jeudy, Lamb, and Ruggs, the argument could be made that Mims has among the highest upside of the remaining wide receivers.
31) San Francisco 49ers: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE Iowa
DeForest Buckner’s departure leaves an immense void along San Francisco’s vaunted defensive line — both literally and figuratively. Epenesa (6-foot-5, 275) slips a little further than expected, and will be a rotational player as a rookie, but has the size to potentially kick inside on third downs. The 49ers effectively address their two major needs in the first round, coming away with the draft’s premier deep threat and stumbling on value in in the latter stages of opening night.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Zack Baun, LB Wisconsin
The reigning Super Bowl Champions have few pressing needs to speak of, but their underwhelming linebacking corps could use an upgrade. Baun, who registered 12.5 sacks in 2019, adds even more juice to a pass rush that finished 11th in the NFL in team sacks in 2019 (45).