17) Dallas Cowboys: Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama (pick by Pauline)
Signing Ha Ha Clinton Dix helps fill a need in the secondary, but there’s a big hole at cornerback in large part due to the departure of Byron Jones. Diggs is a good corner and a terrific athlete with huge upside. He could become a dominant starter in the near future.
18) Miami Dolphins: Austin Jackson, OT USC (pick by DiCecco)
The Dolphins land some protection for Tua in Jackson, perhaps the most underrated offensive tackle in this loaded class. Jackson, a rapid riser, is a bit of a raw prospect. But his nimble feet, lateral quickness, and overall athleticism potentially gives him the highest ceiling of any of the tackle prospects.
19) Las Vegas Raiders: Jordan Love, QB Utah State (pick by Pauline)
With the top three cornerbacks off the board, Love is the pick at this spot. The Utah State junior gives Jon Gruden a talented passer he can mold. And while Love needs work, he has huge upside. Plus, does anyone really believe Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota are the future of the Silver and Black?
20) Jacksonville Jaguars: Patrick Queen, LB LSU (pick by DiCecco)
Jacksonville has a penchant for targeting fast-flowing linebackers that swarm to the football. The opportunity to pair Queen with Myles Jack to sure up the second level might be too tempting to pass up.
21) Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR LSU (pick by Pauline)
I really want to put K.J. Hamler here. But the fact the Penn State product, who I believe is a better receiver than Jefferson, never worked out at the NFL Scouting Combine is a concern as we have no true marks for him. Jefferson won’t have to be a number one wideout, which will ease some of the pressure, and he brings the speed Howie Roseman wants. In the end, I believe the Eagles will move this pick if the opportunity presents itself.
22) Minnesota Vikings: Kristian Fulton, CB LSU (pick by DiCecco)
The Vikings recently parted ways with long-time starting cornerback Xavier Rhodes, and his sidekick, Trae Waynes, signed with the Bengals in free agency. Fulton gives Minnesota a physical, fundamentally sound perimeter defender with solid ball skills and an impressive football IQ.
23) New England Patriots: Raekwon Davis, DT Alabama (pick by Pauline)
The knee jerk reaction would be to slide Jacob Eason in this slot, but I’ve been told the team does like Jarrett Stidham and I don’t see Eason as a sure thing. A.J. Epenesa and Yetur Gross-Matos also received consideration, but Davis is more of what the Patriots have drafted in round one when they’ve selected on the defensive line. Plus, he’s excellent value at this pick.
24) New Orleans Saints: K.J. Hamler, WR Penn State (pick by DiCecco)
As Tony stated, Hamler is a risky pick — as he didn’t perform at the Combine — but the Saints are in desperate need of a downfield presence to complement Michael Thomas and newly signed Emmanuel Sanders. The diminutive pass-catcher possesses game-changing speed and would add a different element to the Saints offense.
25) Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE Iowa (pick by Pauline)
With Hamler off the board as well as all the top offensive tackles, the Vikings turn their sights to Epenesa. The departure of Everson Griffin leaves a hole on the defensive line. And while Ifeadi Odenigbo had a terrific season, I believe he’s better coming off the bench. Epenesa is near the top of my board for players still available and he adds the element of a three-down defender in addition to the intensity he brings to a defense.
26) Miami Dolphins: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU (pick by DiCecco)
Prior to the Dante Fowler signing, I had Chaisson slotted to come off the board at 16 to Atlanta, but his tumble ends here. The Dolphins get tremendous value in Chaisson, one of the premier pass rushers in this class, adding to what has been an impressive offseason overhaul for Brian Flores’ defense.
27) Seattle Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State (pick by Pauline)
Considering they’ve not yet traded for Yannick Ngakoue and the fact Jadeveon Clowney is still available, coupled with the fact I reported the Seahawks will address the lines of scrimmage early and often in the draft, Gross-Matos makes the most sense. He’s an athletic 6-foot-5, 266-pound pass rusher who will only get better as he gets stronger.
28) Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma (pick by DiCecco)
Murray is a tenacious second-level defender that moves well in space and thrived as a run-and-hit linebacker at Oklahoma. Murray plays a physical brand of football, so he would be an ideal fit with the Ravens.
29) Tennessee Titans: Tee Higgins, WR Clemson (pick by Pauline)
I’d prefer a right tackle or cornerback or edge rusher in this spot, yet any player at those positions would be a reach based on my board – hence the selection of Higgins. Receiver may not be a need for the Titans, though depth at the position must be addressed and it’s never a bad thing to give the quarterback you just signed to a monster deal another weapon.
30) Green Bay Packers: Denzel Mims, WR Baylor (pick by DiCecco)
Whether it’s been Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, or Allen Lazard, Green Bay has struggled to find a viable second option opposite Davante Adams. Mims, who has seen his draft stock skyrocket over the past two months, has the size, speed, and athleticism to flourish under second-year head coach Matt LaFleur.
31) San Francisco 49ers: Ezra Cleveland, OT Boise State (pick by Pauline)
Like the Titans, a cornerback would be a good fit here. But none on the board are worthy of the 31st selection. I also considered Cesar Ruiz, but the Niners signed Ben Garland to a one year deal last week. My thinking with Cleveland is 1) Joe Staley’s best days are behind him; and 2) Even if Justin Skule shows himself worthy of holding down the left tackle spot, Cleveland can play guard.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin (pick by DiCecco)
The Super Bowl Champions have few needs to speak of, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Nabbing Taylor to close out the opening round, however, gives Kansas City a three-down workhorse – which would allow Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson to serve in complementary roles where they are best suited.
Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s Chief Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Andrew DiCecco is PFN’s Senior Draft Analyst. Follow him on Twitter @ADiCeccoNFL. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365.
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