Last week, according to our friends over at Tankathon, the Packers were slated to draft at number 27. Thanks to the Washington Redskins loss to the Eagles, the Packers jumped back into the playoffs but still fell to number 22 after their loss to the New Orleans Saints.
As an added twist, I decided to make my life a whole lot easier by using 1 big board, rather than an aggregate system. This week I chose to stick with DraftTek.
1. Cleveland Browns
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Last week: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The first 4 picks of the draft are the same teams but for the sake of being different, I’ll do my best to make different selections.
Although Darnold is technically top of our board I’m going to just pretent that isn’t the case and make a different selection. I could have gone with something other than quarterback but if would just be stupid. All teams need a quarterback to win and the Browns have been through about 40 just in the last week.
We take the top quarterback on the board, no questions asked.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Last Week: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
I wanted to get away from QB but any time a quarterback deficient team is able to draft the top Quarterback on their board they need to do it, especially if it’s their top overall player on their board. That’s the situation here so the 49ers pull the trigger.
3. New York Giants
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Last Week: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
In terms of our board we have a safety and a quarterback ahead of Barkley. Safety is an option but we like our defense. They aren’t playing as well as 2016 but we know the potential is there. Perhaps we look to turn over some coaches before we look to draft new players.
As far as Josh Rosen is concerned, there were some heated arguments going on about who to draft but we have Eli Manning until 2020. He’s the laughing stock of the league at times but we know the guy can take the team all the way if the right pieces are in place.
We have a great defense, a great WR corps, adding an elite RB to the group can make this team unstoppable. Assuming we find the right coaching staff that is.
4. TRADE: Indianapolis Colts to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derwin James, S, Florida State
Indianapolis will receive a 3rd round pick from Tampa
Last Week: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabamap
The Colts wanted Barkley bad but weren’t able to strike a deal. With Barkley off the board they decide to fall back and look for some help on offense.
Tampa paid a heavy price but their need for safety help is dire and James is a freak at the position. They knew he wouldn’t last any longer and were fortunate to find a willing trade partner in the Colts.
5. Cincinnatti Bengals
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Last Week: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Unfortunately for Tampa, Cincinnati wasn’t really interested in James either. They need a lot of help on offense and if James had fallen, may have looked to trade back.
Although they aren’t following their board to the letter, McGlinchey is their top rated lineman in a talented offensive line draft. They aren’t willing to lose him by trading and decide to pull the trigger.
6. TRADE: Indianapolis Colts (Tampa) to New York Jets
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Indianapolis Colts receiver a 2nd round pick
Last Week: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Colts got bit hard by trading away their pick, not expecting McGlinchey to go at number 5 overall. They have options but when the Jets call and offer their second 2nd round pick (56 overall), the Colts can’t turn it down.
The Jets see Josh Rosen, their #4 overall player on their board fall to number 6 and are starting to hyperventilate. With Arizona on the clock next it’s likely now or never. We can wait for Luke Falk but this is quarterback we’re talking about. If this guy has a chance to be our franchise quarterback, a second 2nd round pick is easy to give away.
7. Arizona Cardinals
Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
Last Week: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State
The Cardinals have needs all over but our top edge rusher is on the board at a great value. Landry plays most of his snaps with his hand in the ground but at 6’3, 250 pounds he’s an ideal candidate for a 3-4 OLB.
Although our defense still needs help, having Landry play opposite Chandler Jones gives us a pair of really scary pass rushers.
8. Baltimore Ravens
Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
Last Week: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
The Ravens fell from 11 to 8 which gives them a great opportunity to draft a great defensive back. Although I’m not sure why two great safties have completely fallen off a cliff in 2017, it seems as though the Ravens could use help at the position.
If for whatever reason the safety play comes back up in 2018, Fitzpatrick is also a great corner prospect. He can be used at whatever DB position is weakest to elevate the play of the defensive back unit.
9. Oakland Raiders
Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State
Last Week: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Arden Key and Darrius Guice are tempting here but both of those positions are serviceable. We have a quarterback we believe can take us all the way and he’s now been knocked out with injury twice. More than anything we have to be able to protect him.
Our left tackle, Donald Penn, is a stud but at the right tackle spot we are in a lot of trouble. We have a great opportunity to shore that up, protect our quarterback, and help our run game all at once. It’s a great pick for us.
10. Indianapolis Colts (Jets)
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Last Week: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
For the second time they missed out on a lineman but grabbing Guice here is actually pretty awesome. The Colts not have two early round picks to help with several needs including offensive line, they were still able to stay in the top 10, and they grabbed a very good running back which will help the offense tremendously, especially their quarterback who is hit constantly by defenses that don’t have to fear a running attack.
A great back can also help the defense by sustaining drives with a slower and more balanced attack. The defense stays off the field, stays fresh, and starts to play better.
11. Los Angeles Chargers
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Last Week: Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Chargers are finding ways to win some games and it’s largely because of the play of their defense. Although offense should probably be the focus, they do have a need along the defensive line. Wilkins is a fantastic value here at 11 and gives them a scary defensive line with Bosa, Liuget, and Ingram.
12. Chicago Bears
Arden Key, EDGE, LSU
Last Week: Arden Key, OLB, LSU
It’s the same pick as last week but this pick couldn’t be any easier. Key is a good value at 12, is the highest player on our board, plays a premium position, and is a need.
The Bears defense is maybe the most underrated in the NFL. With a guy like Key, they won’t exactly be the monsters of the midway but they won’t be easily ignored.
13. Dallas Cowboys
Micah Kiser, ILB, Virginia
Last Week: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Taking an inside linebacker this early in the first seems a little weird but he’s a player we really like a lot and it’s a position we need a lot of help with. We considered trading back but nobody was calling.
Jaylon Smith is playing terrible but he’s young and we really like him. If he can take a second year leap in 2018 and Kiser is able to play well, this defense will look very different next year. That’s the hope anyway.
14. Denver Broncos
James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
Last Week: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
A couple good wide receivers and a decent running back are pretty much all this offense have to be happy about. Unfortunately, Sanders and Thomas are both 30ish years old and have contracts expiring after 2019.
Although a guy like Kirk can slide in as a slot receiver and play right away, Washington is higher on our board and is a pick that is looking to the future, not the immediate.
15. TRADE: Cleveland Browns to Atlanta Falcons
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Browns receive a 4th and 5th
Last Week: Trey Adams, OT, Washington
The Browns have a million picks once against but they need a million and 1 players so it makes sense.
From the Falcons standpoint, giving up 2 picks when you only have 7 is awfully steep but the Falcons have a pretty well rounded team. The addition of a guy like Kirk can take this already elite offense and make it other-wordly. With the Lions up next, it’s not impossible they take away Kirk.
Considering their GM’s well known strategy of drafting for need, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
16. Detroit Lions
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Last Week: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
2018 isn’t nearly as good of a draft for cornerback as 2017 was but Jaire is our top guy. At 16 taking the top corner in the draft isn’t the worst thing ever.
Darius Slay and Quandre Diggs have been great so far this year but D.J. Haden is terrible. He’s always been terrible and it’s time to move on. They drafted one of my favorite corners from 2017, Teez Tabor, but the fact that he hasn’t found the field isn’t promising.
In a division with Aaron Rodgers, having a top corner is essential. Even if Teez steps it up in 2017, doubling down with a guy like Jaire won’t be a regrettable decision.
17. Cleveland Browns
Trey Adams, OT, Washington
Last Week: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
The Browns drafted their quarterback of the future (again) and need to build around him. Wide receiver is always what people think of but there’s more to it than that and nothing is more important than wide receiver.
At 6’7, Adams is an absolute monster. Assuming Joe Thomas comes back healthy and strong next year, this is a pretty good offensive line. Add a couple more pieces and the Browns might win a few games.
18. Washington Redskins
Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State
Last Week: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Redskins have some talent along the defensive line but not nearly enough. Specifically, Terrell McClain has been a massive disappointment and needs to be replaced. Nnadi at 6’1 303 pounds fills that role quite nicely.
19. Tennessee Titans
Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
Last Week: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
With guys at premium positions starting to slip, teams phones are ringing off the hook with teams wanting to get guys they didn’t think would be available. Still, for the Titans, we see a guy that’s arguably the best corner in the draft sitting there and we know we need his help. It’s an easy call.
20. TRADE: Carolina Panthers to Miami Dolphins
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Carolina will receive a 3rd round pick
Last Week: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida St
The Dolphins will sell it to Tannehill and the media as a security play. We see how much it hurt when Tannehill isn’t around and we need to help secure that position, blah blah blah, but we all know what this is. You don’t trade up this far in the first round and trash a third round pick on quarterback depth.
The Dolphins have lost faith that Tannehill is their franchise quarterback and really, how can you blame them. Falk is ranked as their 16th best player on the board and available to them at 20. If they want a shot at him, they need to strike before the Jaguars pick.
21. TRADE: Jacksonville Jaguars to Los Angeles Rams
Marquis Haynes, EDGE, Ole Miss
Jaguars receive a 3rd round pick
Last Week: Marquis Haynes, OLB, Ole Miss
The Rams desperately need help at outside linebacker. Glover Quin and Connor Barwin are big names but they haven’t been good players in a long time. They need to get better and they need to get younger.
At 21 there is an edge rusher and he’s number 13 on our board. With the Packers up next there’s no way we can risk losing this guy. It’s a high cost play but it’s one we can’t pass up.
22. Green Bay Packers
Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Ohio State
Last Week: Malik Jefferson, ILB, Texas
Although there doesn’t seem to be an open starter position, there is virtually no depth behind Clay and Perry. Furthermore, having both on the field, healthy, and playing well has never really happened before this year. With Clay’s contract up in 2018 it’s a wise investment.
A further observation, some have said that the concern with moving on from Capers is the fact that the team will likely revert back to a 4-3 defense. With the exceptions of Clay Matthew’s the team would likely transition seamlessly but it would be wise to grab a guy like Hubbard who can play OLB in a 3-4 but has the build to play as a 4-3 end. Just sayin, Clay was brought in at a high price to be the 3-4 OLB that Dom needed. It would almost be poetic for Dom to be shown the door as they let Clay’s contract expire.
To get even more specific and borderline conspiratorial, there is an out in Clay’s contract after this year. It’s entirely possible for the Packers to fire Capers this year and start to look for trade partners for Clay who’s value is going through the roof this year. Again, just sayin…
23. Seattle Seahawks
Malik Jefferson, ILB, Texas
Last Week: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Seahawks want desperately to trade back but nobody will bite. They consider reaching for Quinton Nelson but the GM has the final call and decides to stick to the board.
Jefferson is a very athletic guy that at one time was considered a top 10 pick. Yes the Seahawks have Wagner but outside of him we aren’t exactly talking about elite players. Take the best player available, upgrade your linebacking group, and keep this defense fed with monsters.
24. Buffalo Bills
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Last Week: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma St.
The Bills are pretty upset at losing Jefferson but let’s face it, it’s the offense that needs help. This team has a very good defense, a great running back, and maybe the most underrated quarterback in the NFL. They just can’t seem to hit on a receiver. Watkins was good when he was healthy but this year has been tough.
Zay Jones hasn’t been much this year but you can always hope for a second year leap. Even if he does, Jordan Matthews adds nothing to this team and neither does anyone else at the position. They need to get better.
25. Carolina Panthers
Bradley Chubb, EDGE, N.C. State
Last Week: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
The Panthers don’t have much talent on the edges outside of 400 year old Julius Peppers. Chubb is an obsolute monster and an instant starter.
The trade back worked out quite well for Carolina. They were able to grab a pick and still draft a great player at a premium position.
26. New Orleans Saints
Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
Last Week: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The Saints have done a great job of turning around the defense and with this pick, adding to what they already have at corner and defensive line, you have to wonder if the team that has had the worst defense over the last ten years is not a defensive powerhouse.
You also have to wonder if it’s a little to late with Brees’ contract status still unknown beyond this year.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Last Week: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi St.
The Jaguars had their quarterback stolen from them. Once it happened they started taking calls. The Jaguars are reaching here but they don’t care. This team is angry and they are hungry.
They went out and bought an elite defense, they have a great running back, and they’re stuck with Bortles. It’s time to finish building this team. We are drafting for our last few needs and we’re going to win a Super Bowl darn it!!
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Last Week: Dorance Armstrong Jr., OLB, Kansas
The Steelers have a couple good defensive linemen with Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt but Tuitt is hurt (a little) and Heyward is old. There isn’t much depth beyond that. Payne is a big Alabama boy that can step in and play next to these fine gentlemen week 1.
29. Minnesota Vikings
Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss
Last Week: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Vikings have a great defense but it’s cornerbacks are a frail bunch. Trae Waynes has been a massive disappointment, Terrence Newman will be 40 next year, leaving Xavier Rhodes as the only real talent at the position.
The Vikings need to start backfilling and fast.
30. New England Patriots
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Last Week: Micah Kiser, ILB, Virginia
The Patriots are a disciplined team and teams like the tend to stick to the board. Hurst is number 24 on our board and is available at 30. That’s great value.
I’m not sure how good of a fit Hurst is, being a little undersized for a Patriots DT but if he can get the job done, weight isn’t really an issue.
31. Buffalo Bills
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Last Week: Ken Webster, CB,Ole Miss
This was a tough call as not a lot of value lined up with need. They could double down at wide receiver and take Deon Cain but the Bills decide to turn back to defense.
The Bills have hit it big in the last few years with E.J. Gains and Tre’Davious White but have nobody behind them. They need the depth as well as a guy that can step in in nickle and dime situations.
32. Philidelphia Eagles
Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
It’s slightly surprising how well this team is playing despite all the gaps in talent they have. Most notably the absolute lack of any talent at wide receiver. They Eagles have a quarterback that is looking to become the next great and they can’t put any talent around him except a tight end? Give me a break. It’s time to get this man a receiver.