What Every NFL Team's Rookie Class Must Accomplish in 2017

Marcus Mosher@@Marcus_MosherFeatured Columnist IMay 5, 2017

What Every NFL Team's Rookie Class Must Accomplish in 2017

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    The draft is one of the most exciting times of the year in the NFL, but now it's time to dissect every pick and look at how each team's new players figure to impact the 2017 season.

    Some teams selected multiple players who should start in Week 1 (looking at you, Cleveland), while others aren't expecting to get much out of their rookie class right away (Patriots).

    Every team has different expectations for their rookie class and for each individual player. Here's how I see it.

Arizona Cardinals

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    1 (13) Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
    2 (36) Budda Baker, S, Washington
    3 (98) Chad Williams, WR, Grambling State
    4 (115) Dorian Johnson, G, Pittsburgh
    5 (157) Will Holden, OT, Vanderbilt
    5 (179) T.J. Logan, RB, North Carolina
    6 (208) Rudy Ford, S, Auburn

    The Cardinals were in a strange situation heading into the 2017 draft. Do they try to reload around 37-year-old Carson Palmer or find his eventual replacement in the first round? As you can see, the Cardinals wanted to make a run for the Super Bowl one last time with Palmer as the quarterback. 

    Arizona grabbed two of the better defenders on tape in Haason Reddick and Budda Baker. Both players should compete for starting jobs early and should secure them by the end of the season. The Cardinals already have one of the more talented defenses in the NFL, but adding two studs to the back seven will only help.

    As an annual Bruce Arians tradition, the Cardinals grabbed a receiver in the third round in Chad Williams. He will likely sit for a year behind Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown and J.J. Nelson as the team's fourth receiver in 2017. Offensive linemen Dorian Johnson and Will Holden are talented players, but neither is expected to start right away. However, they both should make the team as reserves.

    Running back T.J. Logan will compete for the backup job to David Johnson, as Andre Ellington has been moved to receiver for the 2017 season. Auburn safety Rudy Ford will be in for a battle to make the 53-man roster, as the Cardinals have one of the deepest safety corps in the league. 

Atlanta Falcons

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    1 (26) Takkarist McKinley, Edge, UCLA
    3 (75) Duke Riley, LB, LSU
    4 (136) Sean Harlow, G, Oregon State
    5 (149) Damontae Kazee, CB, San Diego State
    5 (156) Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming
    5 (174) Eric Saubert, TE, Drake

    The NFC champion Falcons had one clear goal in mind: add more speed to their defense. After not re-signing Dwight Freeney, the Falcons needed to find another edge-rusher opposite of Vic Beasley, and they did so in the first round. Atlanta traded up for Takkarist McKinley, one of the fastest rushers in the class. He wins with speed and hustle, which makes perfect sense in the Falcons' 4-3 defense. 

    McKinley recently had shoulder surgery and could miss some time to begin the season. However, he should be back by the midpoint of the year and could be a big factor in December and in the playoffs. With their next selection, the Falcons grabbed another speedy linebacker from LSU in Duke Riley. It wouldn't be a surprise if Riley beats out starting middle linebacker De'Vondre Campbell by the end of the year. 

    Guard Sean Harlow should compete with Wes Schweitzer for the swing guard position as a rookie. Cornerback Damontae Kazee will compete with veteran Brian Poole as the team's nickelback. Brian Hill and Eric Saubert will both look to finish third on the depth chart at their respective positions. 

Baltimore Ravens

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    1 (16) Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
    2 (47) Tyus Bowser, Edge, Houston
    3 (74) Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
    3 (78) Tim Williams, Edge, Alabama
    4 (122) Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
    5 (159) Jermaine Eluemunor, G, Texas A&M
    6 (186) Chuck Clark, S, Virginia Tech

    The Ravens wanted to get back to their roots in the 2017 draft by rebuilding their defense. In 2016, they lacked the blue-chip stars on defense, which is why they struggled against good offenses, such as when they faced the Steelers, Patriots and Cowboys. 

    With their first four picks in the draft, the Ravens selected defensive players who could challenge for starting spots as soon as Week 1. Marlon Humphrey has the physicality and ball skills the Ravens look for in their cornerbacks and should be able to start over Brandon Carr right away. Edge-rushers Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams both struggle against the run, but they can bend around the edge. Both should see plenty of snaps as rookies on third downs. Chris Wormley should help replace Timmy Jernigan inside. 

    Guards Nico Siragusa and Jermaine Eluemunor will compete against one another for the swing guard spot and may eventually challenge starter Alex Lewis down the road. Safety Chuck Clark will have a hard time making the 53-man roster with the Ravens' deep secondary. Clark will compete with Sheldon Price for the final safety spot on the roster. 

    For this class to be successful, the Ravens will need at least two of their first four selections to crack the starting lineup by 2018. Williams and Bowser both have the potential to replace Terrell Suggs as the team's primary pass-rusher. 

Buffalo Bills

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    1 (27) Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
    2 (37) Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina
    2 (63) Dion Dawkins, G, Temple
    5 (163) Matt Milano, LB, Boston College
    5 (171) Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh
    6 (195) Tanner Vallejo, LB, Boise State

    The Bills roster was gutted this offseason; the team lost Stephon Gilmore, Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, among others. In the first round, the Bills selected cornerback Tre'Davious White from LSU to play opposite of Ronald Darby in the secondary. White is a technician who wins with balance and excellent footwork. He should slide right in and start for the Bills from the first day of training camp.  

    Entering the draft, Sammy Watkins was the only lock to make the Bills roster at receiver heading into the season. The team lost its No. 2 and No. 3 receiver in the offseason, so the selection of Zay Jones in the second round made perfect sense. Jones is a natural fit as a Z-receiver and should be able to start right away.

    Second-round pick Dion Dawkins should be able to compete for a starting role by the end of his rookie season. Linebackers Matt Milano and Tanner Vallejo will be competing with Max Valles for the final linebacker spot on the 53-man roster. 

    In the fifth round, the Bills also selected quarterback Nathan Peterman, who will compete with Cardale Jones for the backup quarterback spot behind Tyrod Taylor. Peterman has a much better feel for the quarterback position than Jones, and his accuracy should allow him to rise up the depth chart. He has Kirk Cousins-type upside. 

    Overall, the Bills need White and Jones to seize jobs early in their rookie seasons, while the rest of their draft picks fill depth. The Bills also acquired an extra first-round pick in 2018 by moving down in the first round as the Chiefs jumped up to grab their quarterback. 

Carolina Panthers

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    1 (8) Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
    2 (40) Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State
    2 (64) Taylor Moton, OG, Western Michigan
    3 (77) Daeshon Hall, Edge, Texas A&M
    5 (152) Corn Elder, CB, Miami (Fla.)
    6 (192) Alexander Armah, FB/LB, West Georgia
    7 (233) Harrison Butker, K, Georgia Tech

    After having the No. 1 offense in 2015, the Panthers fell all the way to the 15th in 2016. The team relied far too much on Cam Newton saving them, so they grabbed two of the best offensive players in the draft in Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel. Both are at their best when they are used all over the field.

    On Day 2, the Panthers grabbed two players who will contribute early and could possibly start by 2018. Taylor Moton was one of the best tackles in the class, and he has the versatility to kick inside to guard if need be. Defensive end Daeshon Hall has all the talent to be a double-digit sack guy in the NFL, but he's going to need time to develop. 

    Corn Elder is one of the best slot cornerbacks in the draft, and it wouldn't be a shock if he started there by Week 1. Alexander Armah will look to make a name on special teams, and kicker Harrison Butker will compete with Graham Gano for the starting job.

Chicago Bears

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    1 (2) Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
    2 (45) Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland
    4 (112) Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
    4 (119) Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T
    5 (147) Jordan Morgan, G, Kutztown (Pa.)

    The Bears had one of the most interesting drafts. The team moved up one spot to pick No. 2 to select North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. While the Bears brought in Mike Glennon to be a bridge quarterback for the next few years, it's possible Trubisky could beat him out in camp.

    If Trubisky does in fact sit for the 2017 season behind Glennon, there is a chance the Bears did not select another starter in the draft. Tight end Adam Shaheen will compete with Dion Sims for the second tight end role behind Zach Miller. Shaheen is an athletic marvel, but he is making the big leap from Ashland to the NFL. He's going to need some time to get adjusted to the league and its play speed. 

    Eddie Jackson should be able to see the field as a situational safety and as a punt returner, but there are quite a few names ahead of him on the depth chart in Chicago. Running back Tarik Cohen should get snaps on third down as a receiving back, but he too will need to compete with the likes of Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey. Guard Jordan Morgan is likely destined for the team's practice squad. 

    Any time a team selects a quarterback in the first round, especially one the club moves up to get, the draft class will hinge on the success of said player. If Trubisky hits, the draft was a win for the Bears. However, don't expect a lot of production from any of these players in year one.

Cincinnati Bengals

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    1 (9) John Ross, WR, Washington
    2 (48) Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
    3 (73) Jordan Willis, Edge, Kansas State
    4 (116) Carl Lawson, Edge, Auburn
    4 (128) Josh Malone, WR, Tennessee
    4 (138) Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan
    5 (153) Jake Elliot, K, Memphis
    5 (176) J.J. Dielman, C, Utah
    6 (193) Jordan Evans, LB, Oklahoma
    6 (207) Brandon Wilson, CB, Houston
    7 (251) Mason Schreck, TE, Buffalo

    After scoring just the 24th most points in 2016, the Bengals' draft plan was clear: add playmakers for Andy Dalton. Overall, the Bengals drafted a running back, two receivers and a tight end in the 2017 class. Not only did they add weapons to their offense, but they also spent a fifth-round pick on a kicker to help shore up their ever-shaky kicking game.

    John Ross and Joe Mixon should be immediate starters for the Bengals on offense, and both are good bets to win Rookie of the Year honors. Ross is a perfect fit as a No. 2 receiver opposite A.J. Green, and Mixon should quickly become the second-best running back in the AFC North. Both are spectacular players who should provide instant offense.

    While the Bengals have one of the better defensive lines in the NFL, they needed to add depth behind Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson. Both Jordan Willis and Carl Lawson should be able to find the field as rookies and bring pressure off the edge. 

    Receiver Josh Malone will likely compete with veteran Brandon LaFell for snaps on the outside. Defensive tackle Ryan Glasgow and 2016 fourth-round pick Andrew Billings will both look to find snaps as a rotational nose tackle. Kicker Jake Elliot will compete with veteran Randy Bullock for a job and should be able to beat him out in training camp. 

    J.J. Dielman, Jordan Evans, Brandon Wilson and Mason Schreck are all on the edge of the roster and will likely be destined for the practice squad as rookies. Overall, there is a lot to be excited about in this class, as the Bengals' top four selections should all see the field as rookies. 

Cleveland Browns

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    1 (1) Myles Garrett, Edge, Texas A&M
    1 (25) Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
    1 (29) David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)
    2 (52) DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
    3 (65) Larry Ogunjobi, DT, Charlotte
    4 (126) Howard Wilson, CB, Houston
    5 (160) Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State
    6 (185) Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida
    7 (224) Zane Gonzalez, K, Arizona State
    7 (252) Matthew Dayes, RB, NC State

    Not only did the Browns have a great draft, but they also selected at least three players who will start from day one of training camp. Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku should all start at their respective positions as soon as they touch the field.

    Quarterback DeShone Kizer will compete with Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler to be the team's starting quarterback, but the team will likely be cautious and sit him for a while. Defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi could start inside at 3-technique, as well as Howard Wilson at cornerback. 

    Caleb Brantley was one of the best defensive tackles in the class, but off-field issues dropped him significantly. If everything checks out off the field, he could be the steal of the draft. 

    Cleveland will need its rookies to contribute early, but it's a talented group that should have no problem getting on the field in 2017. Look for this group to make an immediate impact for the Browns.

Dallas Cowboys

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    1 (28) Taco Charlton, Edge, Michigan
    2 (60) Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
    3 (92) Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
    4 (133) Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina
    6 (191) Xavier Woods, S, Louisiana Tech
    7 (216) Marquez White, CB, FSU
    7 (228) Joey Ivie, DT, Florida
    7 (239) Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State
    7 (246) Jordan Carrell, DT, Colorado

    In 2016, the Cowboys got instant production from their draft class as Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott, Maliek Collins and Anthony Brown all became starters in their first seasons. Dallas is hoping it can strike gold again with yet another talented draft class. 

    Dallas entered the 2017 draft looking for playmakers on the defensive line and in the secondary. And with its first three picks, the Cowboys were able to grab three players who should contribute as rookies and possibly start as soon as Week 1. 

    On the third day of the draft, Dallas was able to add receiver Ryan Switzer, who will compete with Lucky Whitehead for the punt-return job. Sixth-round pick Xavier Woods will compete with Jeff Heath and Kavon Frazier for a starting safety spot. The rest of the selections were depth picks.

    It's clear Dallas needed to upgrade its defense in the draft, as the team lost numerous starters in free agency. The expectations are that at least three of the defensive players find their way onto the field as rookies.

Denver Broncos

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    1 (20) Garett Bolles, OT, Utah
    2 (51) DeMarcus Walker, Edge, FSU
    3 (82) Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech
    3 (101) Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar
    5 (145) Jake Butt, TE, Michigan
    5 (172) Isaiah McKenzie, WR/KR/PR, Georgia
    6 (203) De'Angelo Henderson, RB, Coastal Carolina
    7 (253) Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss

    The Broncos have one of the league's best defense, but it was their offense that kept them from getting into the playoffs in 2016. Of their eight selections, six were used on offense.

    With their first pick, the Broncos selected the best offensive lineman in the draft in Garrett Bolles. While it's not a lock he starts at left tackle right away in 2017, he will find himself in the starting lineup somewhere by Week 1. 

    Second-round pick DeMarcus Walker led the nation in sacks in 2016, but he's going to be just a rotational player in 2017. He's likely going to be making the transition to 3-4 defensive end. His best spot might be as an inside player in nickel situations. 

    Receiver Carlos Henderson is a versatile player who can play in the slot or on the outside for the Broncos. He's an ideal fit as the third receiver and has Jarvis Landry-like upside. Cornerback Brendan Langley is in a nice spot for a rookie, as he shouldn't be relied on in 2017. He'll likely be the fourth cornerback at best during his rookie season. 

    Tight end Jake Butt fell due to an ACL injury, but the Broncos will be patient with him in 2017. It wouldn't be a surprise if he didn't see the field as a rookie. Denver selected return specialist Isaiah McKenzie in the fifth round, and he will challenge Emmanuel Sanders for punt-return duties as a rookie. Mr. Irrelevant Chad Kelly has all the talent in the world, but it's unlikely he's ever able to put it all together in the NFL. 

    Bolles and Henderson should play a lot as rookies while Walker and Langley fight for playing time as reserves. It was a nice haul by John Elway, and it's one that could help the Broncos get back into the playoffs if Bolles can shore up the left tackle spot. 

Detroit Lions

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    1 (21) Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
    2 (53) Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
    3 (96) Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois
    4 (124) Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee
    4 (127) Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo
    5 (165) Jamal Agnew, CB, San Diego
    6 (205) Jeremiah Ledbetter, Edge, Arkansas
    6 (215) Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami (Fla.)
    7 (250) Pat O'Connor, Edge, Eastern Michigan

    If the Lions want to get past the Packers in the NFC North, they will need to improve their defense. Detroit knew this and with its first two picks selected two Florida defenders in Jarrad Davis and Jalen "Teez" Tabor. Davis and Tabor should both step in and start right away. 

    Wide receiver Kenny Golladay has a large catch radius and could work himself into the No. 3 receiver spot by the end of his rookie season. Jalen Reeves-Maybin is buried on the depth chart, but he will make his money on special teams as a rookie. Tight end Michael Roberts has red-zone ability and should be able to beat out veteran Darren Fells for the second tight end spot by the middle of the year. 

    The rest of the picks project as depth players going forward, including quarterback Brad Kaaya. He will likely enter the year as the third quarterback behind Matthew Stafford and Jake Rudock. The Lions' draft will be judged by the two Florida defenders, and the expectation is that both players come in and start right away.

Green Bay Packers

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    2 (33) Kevin King, CB, Washington
    2 (61) Josh Jones, S, NC State
    3 (93) Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn
    4 (108) Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin
    4 (134) Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU
    5 (175) DeAngelo Yancey, WR, Purdue
    5 (182) Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP
    6 (212) Kofi Amichia, C, South Florida
    7 (238) Devante Mays, RB, Utah State
    7 (247) Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU

    If the Packers want to take the next step and challenge for a Super Bowl, they need to upgrade their defense on all three levels. And that's exactly what they did in the 2017 draft. With their first four picks, the Packers added defenders who all could challenge for playing time in their rookie seasons. 

    Kevin King was the best cornerback on the board at the top of the second round, and he makes sense in the Packers' aggressive defense. King's only real competition for starter snaps is Davon House, and King is expected to beat him out in camp.

    Safety Josh Jones can do a little bit of everything for the Packers, and he's a lock to be the team's third safety heading into the year. He won't start, but he should see a lot of snaps in nickel situations for the team. Defensive tackle Montravius Adams will challenge Christian Ringo for the starting nose tackle position as soon as Week 1. 

    Linebacker Vince Biegel was productive at Wisconsin, and he will be playing the same position in the NFL. He's not expected to play much as a rookie, but he provides quality depth behind Clay Matthews and Nick Perry at linebacker. 

    The Packers took three running backs on Day 3, as well as two receivers, and all five will compete for roster spots.

Houston Texans

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    1 (12) Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
    2 (57) Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
    3 (89) D'Onta Foreman, RB, Texas
    4 (130) Julie'n Davenport, OT, Bucknell
    4 (142) Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
    5 (169) Treston Decoud, S, Oregon State
    7 (243) Kyle Fuller, C, Baylor

    The Texans have a Super Bowl-caliber roster, outside of quarterback. They knew this, as did the rest of the league. So it wasn't a surprise when the Texans moved up in the first round to select Deshaun Watson. The expectation is that he will come in and compete with Tom Savage for the starting quarterback job. 

    Watson won't be asked to do much as the starter, but he will be relied on to make big plays at times.

    Other than quarterback, linebacker was another position of need for the team entering the draft. The Texans addressed that by selecting Zach Cunningham in the second round. Cunningham's best fit is inside in a 3-4, and he may be the eventual replacement for Brian Cushing. Expect him to find the field as a rookie in sub-packages. 

    D'Onta Foreman is a talented runner who will be the thunder to Lamar Miller's lightning for the Texans. He has the size and speed to be a nice rotational back. Julie'n Davenport will provide solid depth on one of the league's best offensive lines, and Carlos Watkins will compete for snaps as the team's starting nose tackle. Treston Decoud and Kyle Fuller both will compete for jobs on the 53-man roster. 

    Ultimately, this draft is expected to produce at least two starters at areas of need for the Texans. The expectation is that Watson wins the starting quarterback job in camp. Cunningham and Foreman should both play a lot as rookies.

Indianapolis Colts

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    1 (15) Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
    2 (46) Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
    3 (80) Tarell Basham, Edge, Ohio
    4 (137) Zach Banner, OT, USC
    4 (143) Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida
    4 (144) Grover Stewart, DT, Albany State (Ga.)
    5 (158) Nate Hairston, CB, Temple
    7 (161) Anthony Walker Jr., LB, Northwestern

    Under new general manager Chris Ballard, the team has looked to upgrade the defense. In free agency, the Colts brought in numerous defenders to add depth, and they added top-end talent in the draft. With their first three picks, they selected defenders, all whom could start by the end of their rookie seasons.

    Safety Malik Hooker would have been a top-10 selection if not for a shoulder injury, but he should be ready to go by the season opener. Cornerback Quincy Wilson has the size of a safety, but he's a perfect fit as a No. 2 cornerback in the NFL. He should start as well in 2017. 

    Defensive end Tarell Basham is a better fit as a strong-side player, but he will be used all over. He'll be one of the team's best edge-rushers right away.

    In the fourth round, the Colts selected mammoth offensive tackle Zach Banner to compete for the starting right tackle job. He's raw and needs work, but he may be forced into the lineup a little sooner than he's ready for. Running back Marlon Mack figures to see a lot of snaps early in his career as he backs up Frank Gore. 

    With the Colts' final three selections, the team added more depth on defense with Grover Stewart, Nate Hairston and Anthony Walker Jr.

    Indianapolis should be happy with this haul. At least three of its picks should become starters in 2017, and many more will contribute early.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    1 (4) Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
    2 (34) Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
    3 (68) Dawuane Smoot, Edge, Illinois
    4 (110) Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
    5 (148) Blair Brown, LB, Ohio
    7 (222) Jalen Myrick, CB, Minnesota
    7 (240) Marquez Williams, FB, Miami (Oh.)

    After adding numerous big names to their defense in free agency, the Jaguars took the Dallas Cowboys' approach and added the draft's best running back with the fourth overall pick. Leonard Fournette will be fed early and often, and the idea is that if the team can control the clock with Fournette and its defense can keep the Jaguars close in games, they should be able to be grind out wins. 

    However, Fournette is not in the same situation as Ezekiel Elliott was a year ago, so the expectation that he will lead the league in rushing should go away. He will be the focal point of the Jaguars offense, but that doesn't mean his stats will necessarily reflect his impact on the team. He should see a ton of touches as a rookie, but don't expect him to be anything close to Elliott in 2017.

    Alabama's Cam Robinson was selected in the second round to be a punishing tackle for the Jaguars. He's likely to start at right tackle as a rookie, but it shouldn't be long before he pushes to be the team's starting left tackle. Dawuane Smoot is a speed-rusher who figures to fit somewhere in the team's deep rotation of defensive linemen. 

    On Day 3, the Jaguars took Dede Westbrook and Blair Brown. Both are talented players who bring speed to their respective positions. Neither figures to start in 2017, but both could push for playing time by the end of the season. Jalen Myrick and Marquez Williams will each compete for roster spots on the 53-man roster.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    1 (10) Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
    2 (59) Tanoh Kpassagnon, DL, Villanova
    3 (86) Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo
    4 (139) Jehu Chesson, WR, Michigan
    5 (183) Ukeme Eligwe, LB, Georgia Southern
    6 (218) Leon McQuay III, S, USC

    Like the Texans, the Chiefs have a roster ready to compete for a Super Bowl, and their quarterback is the only thing holding them back. While Alex Smith is a much better option than anything the Texans have, he's not good enough to get them over the hump. 

    That's why the Chiefs made the risky move to trade up in the first round to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes from Texas Tech. He has all the talent in the world, but he needs to learn before he's ready to play in the NFL. He's not expected to play at all in 2017, and that's perfectly fine with Andy Reid and the Chiefs.

    In the second round, the Chiefs took a raw defensive lineman from Villanova in Tanoh Kpassagnon. His best fit may be as a 4-3 left defensive end, but he will be used all over in the Chiefs defense. He's expected to be a part of the rotation as a rookie. 

    In the third round, the Chiefs selected running back Kareem Hunt from Toledo to compete with Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West for snaps. He could become the team's starter by the end of the season, as he's the most talented back on the roster. 

    In the fourth round, Kansas City added more receiver depth in Jehu Chesson. He gives the Chiefs another outside receiver who can help out on special teams. With their final two picks, the Chiefs added linebacker Ukeme Eligwe and safety Leon McQuay III to fight for roster spots.

    This group may not yield a starter in 2017, but there are numerous players who could fill rotational roles. However, the success of this class will rely on Patrick Mahomes and his development as a franchise quarterback.

Los Angeles Rams

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    2 (44) Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama
    3 (69) Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
    3 (91) John Johnson, S, Boston College
    4 (117) Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M
    4 (125) Samson Ebukam, Edge, Eastern Washington
    6 (189) Tanzel Smart, DT, Tulane
    6 (206) Sam Rogers, FB, Virginia Tech
    7 (234) Ejuan Price, Edge, Pittsburgh

    Operating without a first-round pick, the goal for the Rams was clear: add weapons for Jared Goff for his development. With the team's first four selections, the Rams selected three targets for their second-year quarterback. 

    With their first selection, the Rams picked tight end Gerald Everett from South Alabama. Built more like a receiver, Everett should see the field quickly as a rookie. He'll likely play out of the slot and can make plays after the catch. He's a perfect fit for Goff, as he gets open quickly and will be a mismatch nightmare in the NFL.

    In the third round, the Rams took slot receiver Cooper Kupp from Eastern Washington. While he's not the traditional small slot receiver, his best work comes in the middle of the field where he can use his big body to shield defenders from the ball. He has Eric Decker-like upside in the NFL. And with the Rams' mediocre receiving corps, he should have no problem rising on the depth chart and starting by the end of the year. 

    Third-round pick John Johnson is buried on the safety depth chart, and his biggest impact might come on special teams as a rookie.

    The team also added another receiver in the draft in fourth-round pick Josh Reynolds. He is more of a traditional outside receiver, and it shouldn't be long before he passes Mike Thomas and Bradley Marquez on the depth chart. Expect him to play a lot on the outside as a rookie.  

    The Rams also added two defensive ends in Samson Ebukam and Ejuan Price. Both are better fits as outside linebackers in Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense. Both are pass-rush specialists who will be fighting against one another for a spot on the 53-man roster. Fullback Sam Rogers is a versatile player who doesn't specialize in any one thing. However, he's the only fullback on the roster and should start from day one. 

    The Rams were able to find numerous players in this draft who have a chance at starting by the end of their rookie seasons. Everett, Kupp and Reyolds should all find their way into the starting lineup.

Los Angeles Chargers

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    1 (7) Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
    2 (38) Forrest Lamp, G, Western Kentucky
    3 (71) Dan Feeney, G, Indiana
    4 (113) Rayshawn Jenkins, S, Miami (Fla.)
    5 (151) Desmond King, CB, Iowa
    6 (190) Sam Tevi, OT, Utah
    7 (225) Isaac Rochell, DE, Notre Dame

    As Philip Rivers enters the last few years of his career, the Chargers are trying to give him every opportunity to succeed with their 2017 draft. The team drafted Mike Williams in the first round, and it now gives him a deep and talented receiving corps, health permitting.

    Williams is a jump-ball receiver who can be a No. 1 in the NFL due to his size and leaping ability. He figures to start right away opposite of Keenan Allen. Williams will be an immediate target in the red zone and should give Rivers a nice target down the sideline. 

    On Day 2, the Chargers grabbed two of the best interior linemen in Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. Both will compete for starting jobs on offense, and it's expected that both find their way into the starting lineup at some point during their rookie seasons.

    Rayshawn Jenkins and Desmond King will both start their careers as reserves, but both figure to play on sub-packages for the Chargers. Sam Tevi and Isaac Rochell will both be competing for spots on the 53-man roster at their respective positions. 

    The Chargers had one of the better drafts, as they selected three players who should start in their rookie years. If they can get any production from Jenkins or King, this team should be much improved heading into 2017.

Miami Dolphins

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    1 (22) Charles Harris, Edge, Missouri
    2 (54) Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
    3 (97) Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
    5 (164) Isaac Asiata, G, Utah
    5 (178) Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU
    6 (194) Vincent Taylor, DT, Oklahoma State
    7 (237) Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech

    The Dolphins allowed the fourth-most yards in the NFL in 2016, so it was clear the team needed to add defensive talent to the roster. The draft fell perfectly for Miami, as it was able to grab three players at positions of need who could all start on day one.

    With their first pick, the Dolphins grabbed defensive end Charles Harris from Missouri. While he's not the best player against the run, he knows how to get to the quarterback. He and Cameron Wake will make terrific bookends at defensive tackle. Harris should start right away for the Dolphins and contribute. 

    In the second round, the Dolphins addressed one of their biggest areas of need with linebacker Raekwon McMillan. His best spot may be as a weak-side linebacker, but the team will find a way to get him on the field as a rookie. 

    Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley was one of the best press-man cornerbacks in the class, and he shouldn't have a problem finding the field as a rookie. He's a much better player than starter Xavien Howard. 

    On Day 3, the Dolphins added guard Isaac Asiata to compete for a swing-guard role, while defensive tackles Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor should have no problem making the 53-man roster in 2017. Wide receiver Isaiah Ford joins a crowded receiver corps; his most likely destination is on the practice squad.

    Overall, the Dolphins did well for themselves. If any of their Day 3 picks can contribute, this will be a much-improved team in 2017. 

Minnesota Vikings

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    Nick Lisi/Associated Press

    2 (41) Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU
    3 (70) Pat Elflein, C, Ohio State
    4 (109) Jaleel Johnson, DT, Iowa
    4 (120) Ben Gedeon, LB, Michigan
    5 (170) Rodney Adams, WR, South Florida
    5 (180) Danny Isidora, G, Miami (Fla.)
    6 (201) Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
    7 (219) Stacy Coley, WR, Miami (Fla.)
    7 (220) Ifeadi Odenigbo, Edge, Northwestern
    7 (232) Elijah Lee, LB, Kansas State
    7 (245) Jack Tocho, CB, NC State

    Operating without a first-round pick due to the Sam Bradford trade, the Vikings were still able to grab numerous players who should be able to contribute in 2017.

    Getting running back Dalvin Cook in the second round was a steal. He should be able to come in right away and seize the starting gig. He has everything you would want in a running back and should be an outstanding fit in Pat Shurmur's offense. He's a dark horse to win Rookie of the Year honors in Minnesota. 

    In the third round, the Vikings grabbed center Pat Elflein, who should push starter Joe Berger for a job. It wouldn't be shocking if Elflein beat Berger out for a job in training camp. 

    After the first two days of the draft, the Vikings took numerous players with high ceilings who could find roles in 2017. Jaleel Johnson is a penetrating defensive tackle who could play either 1- or 3-technique for the Vikings. He's expected to get into the rotation early in his career. 

    The Vikings also took three pass catchers, including Bucky Hodges at tight end. While he's more of an outside receiver, he's a mismatch nightmare in the red zone. None of the three receivers are guaranteed roster spots, however. 

    Viking fans should see at least Cook, Elflein and Johnson on the field as rookies in 2017, while numerous other players could find roles as well. It was a deep class by the Vikings, and it should produce multiple starters for the team down the road.  

New England Patriots

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    3 (83) Derek Rivers, Edge, Youngstown St.
    3 (85) Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
    4 (131) Deatrich Wise, Edge, Arkansas
    6 (211) Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA

    The Patriots made the fewest selections in the 2017 draft, picking just four players. What is even stranger is that the four players came at just two positions: defensive end and offensive tackle. The team didn't have many needs, but the players it selected have a good chance at making the 53-man roster heading into the season.

    Derek Rivers is a perfect fit in the Patriot's' hybrid defense, as he can play both 4-3 defensive end and 3-4 outside linebacker. He will likely find the field as a rookie as a pass-rush specialist.

    With their second pick, the Patriots selected tackle Antonio Garcia, who will likely be the team's swing tackle behind Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon. He also has the versatility to kick inside to guard if the team wants to use him that way. 

    Defensive end Deatrich Wise is a much bigger player than Rivers, and he's expected to be a left-side defensive end for the Patriots and should find his way into the rotation as a rookie. He doesn't have the athleticism to be a high-end rusher in the NFL, but he'll provide a tough, physical presence to the defensive line. 

    In the sixth round, the Patriots selected developmental tackle Conor McDermott. He lacks the functional strength to play tackle in the NFL right away, and he'll likely sit on the team's practice squad in 2017.

    The Patriots were able to grab three players who should make the roster and find the field as rookies, even if they aren't starters.

New Orleans Saints

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    1 (11) Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
    1 (32) Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
    2 (42) Marcus Williams, S, Utah
    3 (67) Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
    3 (76) Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida
    3 (103) Trey Hendrickson, Edge, Florida Atlantic
    6 (196) Al-Quadin Muhammad, Edge, Miami (Fla.)

    Knowing full well that the defense is holding them back from being a playoff team, the Saints used two picks in the top 45 to address their secondary play. With their first Round 1 pick, the Saints selected the best cornerback in the draft in Marshon Lattimore. Assuming he's healthy, he'll start from day one opposite of Delvin Breaux. He should be a high-quality starter early in his NFL career.

    The second defensive back the Saints selected was safety Marcus Williams. He's a true center fielder who specializes in taking the ball away. He'll play right away in nickel packages, and it wouldn't be surprising if he pushed 2016 second-round pick Vonn Bell down the roster. Williams is just so much better in coverage than Bell. 

    Not only did the Saints grab two talented defenders, but they also added to their offense as well. First-round pick Ryan Ramczyk may not start as a rookie, but he's the eventual replacement for Zach Strief at right tackle. Ramczyk figures to open the season as the team's third tackle. 

    Despite signing Adrian Peterson before the draft, the Saints took a chance on Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara. While he's probably not an every-down back in the NFL, Kamara is one of the better receiving backs in the class and should find himself in the Pierre Thomas role as a rookie. Kamara could be a dangerous weapon on screens for the Saints in 2017. 

    The Saints also added linebacker Alex Anzalone in the third round to compete with A.J. Klein and Manti Te'o for a reserve role on the roster. He has the ability to blitz and cover, making him an ideal fit as a nickel linebacker. The team also selected Trey Hendrickson at the bottom of the third round to help rush the passer as a rookie. He could fit into the rotation right away as a left defensive end. 

    The Saints grabbed numerous players on offense and defense who should be able to compete for starting roles in 2017. Lattimore, Williams and Kamara should all see the field immediately. 

New York Giants

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    Thomas Graning/Associated Press

    1 (23) Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
    2 (55) Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
    3 (87) Davis Webb, QB, California
    4 (140) Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
    5 (167) Avery Moss, Edge, Youngstown St.
    6 (200) Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh

    The Giants had one of the league's best defenses in 2016, so they turned their attention to offense in the first round of the draft. Surprisingly, they selected a tight end instead of an offensive lineman, as they took Evan Engram from Ole Miss. 

    Engram is more of a receiver than a traditional tight end and figures to play most of his snaps out of the slot in 2017. He's a mismatch nightmare, as he's too big for cornerbacks but too athletic for linebackers and safeties. He will start right away as the team's No. 1 tight end. 

    In the second round, the Giants replaced the loss of Johnathan Hankins with Dalvin Tomlinson. He offers more run-stuffing ability than Hankins, but he doesn't generate the same penetration up the field. Tomlinson should start next to Damon "Snacks" Harrison in 2017. 

    Quarterback Davis Webb was the team's third-round pick, and he's expected to sit behind Eli Manning for at least the next few seasons. It would be a shock to see him on the field for meaningful snaps in 2017. 

    In the fourth round, the Giants grabbed do-it-all running back Wayne Gallman to pair with Paul Perkins in the backfield. Gallman will likely be a backup in 2017, but if Perkins struggles as a full-time starter, the Giants won't hesitate to insert Gallman into the lineup. 

    In the fifth round, the Giants selected talented yet troubled defensive end Avery Moss. He should be able to find his way onto the field as a designated pass-rusher on the Giants' defensive line. Tackle Adam Bisnowaty will likely compete for a spot on the 53-man roster with Martin Wallace and Michael Bowie. 

    Overall, Engram and Tomlinson are probably the only season-opening starters in the group, but Gallman and Moss could find roles by the middle of the season. Quarterback Davis Webb may be the team's eventual franchise quarterback, but he's a few years away from seeing the field. 

New York Jets

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    Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

    1 (6) Jamal Adams, S, LSU
    2 (39) Marcus Maye, S, Florida
    3 (79) ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama
    4 (141) Chad Hansen, WR, California
    5 (150) Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
    5 (181) Dylan Donahue, Edge, West Georgia
    6 (188) Elijah McGuire, RB, UL-Lafayette
    6 (197) Jeremy Clark, CB, Michigan
    6 (204) Derrick Jones, CB, Ole Miss

    The Jets had one of the more curious drafts in the NFL, as the team doubled up on safeties and receivers with their first four selections. Safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye were two of the better players available when the Jets drafted, but their fit together is odd. Both are better as box safeties but could play free safety if need be. It's expected that both Adams and Maye play early and often in their rookie seasons. 

    In the third and fourth rounds, the Jets took receivers ArDarius Stewart and Chad Hansen. Stewart is a yards-after-catch specialist, while Hansen makes a living hauling in passes deep down the sideline. With Eric Decker near the end of his time in New York, it wouldn't be surprising if both players started at some point in 2017. Tight end Jordan Leggett should start immediately, as he's easily the most talented player at the position. 

    With the rest of the team's draft, the Jets selected four players who will all compete for spots on the 53-man roster. Of the four, running back Elijah McGuire could see the field the soonest, as Matt Forte and Bilal Powell both enter the last few years of their NFL careers.

    The Jets grabbed a number of players who should start as rookies, but the positions they selected came as a surprise. As many as six rookies could find the field in their rookie seasons. 

Oakland Raiders

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    BRADLEY LEEB/Associated Press

    1 (24) Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
    2 (56) Obi Melifonwu, S, Connecticut
    3 (88) Eddie Vanderdoes, DT, UCLA
    4 (129) David Sharpe, OT, Florida
    5 (168) Marquel Lee, LB, Wake Forest
    7 (221) (from Arizona via Chicago) Shalom Luani, S, Washington State
    7 (231) (from Arizona) Jylan Ware, OT, Alabama State
    7 (242) Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina
    7 (244) (from Seattle) Treyvon Hester, DT, Toledo

    The Raiders have one of the best rosters in the NFL, but they needed to add defensive talent to one of the worst units in the NFL. In 2016, they gave up the seventh-most yards in the league. They desperately needed to add defensive help, specifically in the secondary, and that's what the Raiders did in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. 

    With their first pick, the Raiders selected cornerback Gareon Conley from Ohio State. There are questions off the field about him, but on the field, he has the potential to be a No. 1 cornerback in the NFL. He should step in right away and seize a starting job in his rookie year. 

    In the second round, the Raiders grabbed one of the most players in the class in Obi Melifonwu. Reggie Nelson turns 34 in September, so it wouldn't be shocking if Melifonwu eventually replaced him. But as a rookie, he should find his way onto the field in sub-packages and nickel situations. 

    Eddie Vanderdoes was the team's third selection, and he figures to challenge Darius Latham for a starting spot for the team's 1-technique defensive tackle. When healthy, Vanderdoes is a much more talented player, and he should be able to grab that job the end of his rookie season. 

    Fourth-round pick David Sharpe will compete for the swing tackle job, and linebacker Marquel Lee will have to make a name for himself on special teams as a rookie. The Raiders had four seventh-round picks and none is guaranteed to make the team. They will all compete for jobs on the 53-man roster.  

    The Raiders grabbed three defenders in the first three rounds, and all should start at some point in their rookie season. If they can get anything out of their Day 3 selections, it'll be a very successful draft.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    1 (14) Derek Barnett, Edge, Tennessee
    2 (43) Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
    3 (99) Rasul Douglas, CB, West Virginia
    4 (118) Mack Hollins, WR, North Carolina
    4 (132) Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State
    5 (166) Shelton Gibson, WR, West Virginia
    5 (184) Nathan Gerry, S, Nebraska
    6 (214) Elijah Qualls, DT, Washington

    In free agency, the Eagles loaded up on receivers (Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith) to aid quarterback Carson Wentz's development. In the draft, Philadelphia grabbed three defenders in the first three rounds to match up against the explosive NFC East. 

    With its first selection, the team drafted Derek Barnett. The Tennessee alum figures to be a part of the Eagles' deep rotation at defensive end. However, it wouldn't be surprising if he beats out Chris Long and Vinny Curry in camp. He's a solid run defender who fits perfectly in coordinator Jim Schwartz's attacking defense. 

    Sidney Jones was one of the best cornerbacks in the country before a torn Achilles knocked him to the second round. He's not expected to contribute at all in 2017. However, the Eagles covered themselves by selecting another cornerback in Rasul Douglas in the third round. He should find his way onto the field in nickel situations as a rookie. 

    On Day 3, the team added offensive playmakers, selecting two receivers in Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson. Both are buried on the depth chart, but each has the talent to rise. Shelton will likely see the field sooner, as he has the speed (4.5-second 40-yard dash) to take the top off the defense.

    In the fourth round, the Eagles selected Darren Sproles' eventual successor, Donnel Pumphrey. He'll likely find work on third downs and on special teams in his first year. Defensive players Nathan Gerry and Elijah Qualls will both fight for spots on the 53-man roster.

    With Jones likely missing the season, Barnett is the only player from this draft who is expected to start in 2017. But this is a talented group that could find playing time as the campaign rolls along.  

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    1 (30) T.J. Watt, Edge, Wisconsin
    2 (62) JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
    3 (94) Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
    3 (105) James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh
    4 (135) Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee
    5 (173) Brian Allen, CB, Utah
    6 (213) Colin Holba, LS, Louisville
    7 (248) Keion Adams, Edge, Western Michigan

    Needing to upgrade the team's pass rush, the Steelers selected Wisconsin's T.J. Watt to play outside linebacker. While Pittsburgh has Bud Dupree and James Harrison as its starting tandem on the edge, it is expected that Watt will push Harrison into more of a reserve role by the middle of the season. Watt will need time to develop, but he's a nice fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. 

    The Steelers entered the draft with one of the league's best offenses, and they only added to it. With their second-round pick, they selected JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC. While the team is deep at receiver, the expectation is that offensive coordinator Todd Haley will find a role for him, whether that be in the slot or as a backup outside receiver. He won't be expected to be a reliable target every week, but he should play some as a rookie.    

    James Conner is expected to be Le'Veon Bell's backup as a rookie, while Josh Dobbs should be the team's third quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger and Landry Jones. Brian Allen, Colin Holba and Keion Adams will all fight for jobs on the 53-man roster. 

San Francisco 49ers

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    1 (3) Solomon Thomas, Edge, Stanford
    1 (31) Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
    3 (66) Ahkello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado
    3 (104) C.J. Beathard, QB, Iowa
    4 (121) Joe Williams, RB, Utah
    5 (146) George Kittle, TE, Iowa
    5 (177) Trent Taylor, WR, Louisiana Tech
    6 (198) D.J. Jones, DT, Ole Miss
    6 (202) Pita Taumoepenu, Edge, Utah
    7 (229) Adrian Colbert, S, Miami (Fla.)

    In John Lynch's first draft as a general manager, he added three defensive players with the first three picks. The 49ers traded down one spot in the first round and still managed to pick up the prospect they coveted the most: Solomon Thomas. His best fit is inside as a 3-technique, but he will likely start at defensive end in the 4-3 defense. 

    At the end of the first round, the 49ers traded up to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. When healthy, Foster was one of the top five players in the nation. But questions about his shoulder allowed him to free-fall in the first round. If he's healthy enough to play in 2017, Foster should step right into the starting lineup and perform well. 

    Ahkello Witherspoon is a longer (6'3") cornerback who should find himself in the starting lineup early in 2017. New head coach Kyle Shanahan handpicked quarterback C.J. Beathard, and that alone should allow him to see the field at some point during his rookie year. 

    Joe Williams is another player the new regime picked, and he may be the most talented runner on the roster. It wouldn't be a surprise if Williams surpassed Carlos Hyde on the depth chart. 

    George Kittle and Trent Taylor will both be depth players on offense as rookies, but each could contribute in a limited role as receivers. 

    The 49ers drafted numerous players who could start by the end of Year 1, but that's to be expected for one of the worst rosters in the NFL. 

Seattle Seahawks

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    2 (35) Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State
    2 (58) Ethan Pocic, C, LSU
    3 (90) Shaquill Griffin, DB, Central Florida
    3 (95) Delano Hill, S, Michigan
    3 (102) Nazair Jones, DT, North Carolina
    3 (106) Amara Darboh, WR, Michigan
    4 (111) Tedric Thompson, S, Colorado
    6 (187) Michael Tyson, CB, Cincinnati
    6 (210) Justin Senior, OT, Mississippi State
    7 (226) David Moore, WR, East Central (Oklahoma)
    7 (249) Christopher Carson, RB, Oklahoma State

    While many thought the Seahawks would use this draft to bolster their offensive line, four of the team's first five selections came on defense. The first was Malik McDowell from Michigan State, who was one of the best players in the nation during the first half of the year. Effort and maturity concerns dropped him to the second round. Under Pete Carroll, McDowell could unlock his potential and become a terror in Seattle. 

    The Seahawks only selected one offensive lineman inside the top 200: Ethan Pocic. While he's listed as a center, his best fit in the NFL might come at tackle. He's expected to find a starting spot somewhere on the team's offensive line. 

    The Seahawks also selected four defensive backs, and it's anyone's guess as to where they end up when the season starts. However, the expectation is that the team can find one to start in its nickel defense at cornerback and one will be the primary backup for Earl Thomas at free safety. 

    Wide receiver Amara Darboh is buried on the Seahawks' depth chart, but he's a natural fit on the outside. He could challenge Jermaine Kearse for the No. 4 receiver spot. McDowell and Pocic should start right away, and the team needs one or two of the secondary picks to play at some point in 2017. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    1 (19) O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
    2 (50) Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M
    3 (84) Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
    3 (107) Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU
    5 (162) Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
    7 (223) Stevie Tu'ikolovatu, DT, USC

    This offseason has been all about finding more weapons for Jameis Winston. It started with wide receiver DeSean Jackson's addition in free agency, and it continued with O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin in the draft. Howard is an excellent fit in the Bucs offense as he can block in-line, but the tight end can also be flexed out to the slot or to the outside. Howard will start right away, and it's not unrealistic that he could score eight touchdowns as a rookie. 

    Safety Justin Evans is a heat-seeking missile who often misses in the open field, but he and J.J. Wilcox will form one of the more athletic, hard-hitting safety tandems in the NFL. Evans will play a majority of the defensive snaps as a rookie. Godwin is a physical, athletic wideout who can play all three receiver positions. He'll be the long-term option opposite Mike Evans.  

    Linebacker Kendell Beckwith is rehabbing an ACL injury and may not see the field in 2017. Running back Jeremy McNichols is an athletic wonder, but he is buried behind Doug Martin and Charles Sims on the depth chart. However, his athletic ability may allow him to find the field at some point during his rookie season. Defensive tackle Stevie Tu'ikolovatu will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster as a 1-technique.  

    Howard and Godwin should be nice secondary pieces in 2017 as they eventually grow into their roles. This draft class has the potential to have three starters right away in Howard, Evans and Godwin. That's not something every team can say.  

Tennessee Titans

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    1 (5) Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
    1 (18) Adoree' Jackson, CB, USC
    3 (72) Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky
    3 (100) Jonnu Smith, TE, Florida International
    5 (155) Jayon Brown, LB, UCLA
    6 (217) Corey Levin, G, UT-Chattanooga
    7 (227) Josh Carraway, LB, TCU
    7 (236) Brad Seaton, OT, Villanova
    7 (241) Khalfani Muhammad, RB, California

    The Titans had a clear plan to get Marcus Mariota some playmakers. With their first four picks, they drafted three receiving options, and that doesn't even include corner Adoree' Jackson, who could see time on offense. 

    Wide receivers Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor should start right away as rookies, and tight end Jonnu Smith should see the field behind Delanie Walker. Davis and Taylor are dynamic weapons who can make plays after the catch. 

    Linebacker Jayon Brown is a playmaker, but he lacks the size (6'0", 231 lbs) to hold up in the run game. He'll need to make a name for himself on special teams as a rookie. Offensive linemen Corey Levin and Brad Seaton are both buried on the depth chart, and it'll be a shock if either sees the field as a rookie.

    Josh Carraway will play on the edge for the Titans, but he's behind Brian Orakpo and Kevin Dodd for snaps. He may be stashed on the practice squad for the 2017 season. Running back Khalfani Muhammad has a chance to be the team's third running back behind DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. 

    The Titans added numerous weapons, and they will need them to make plays early and often if they want to win the AFC South title. This team should have numerous rookies on the field in 2017. 

Washington Redskins

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    Matt Rourke/Associated Press

    1 (17) Jonathan Allen, DE, Alabama
    2 (49) Ryan Anderson, LB, Alabama
    3 (81) Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA
    4 (114) Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma
    4 (123) Montae Nicholson, S, Michigan State
    5 (154) Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas
    6 (199) Chase Roullier, C, Wyoming
    6 (209) Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
    7 (230) Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville
    7 (235) Joshua Holsey, CB, Auburn

    The Redskins had one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL in 2016, but it was their anemic defense that caused them to miss the playoffs. They needed to add talent on that side of the ball in the draft, and that's exactly what they did. 

    Defensive lineman Jonathan Allen was one of the top five players in this draft, but he fell due to concerns about his arthritic shoulders. The Redskins were able to steal Allen at No. 17, and he's expected to start right away as a 5-technique. Allen can play all over the defensive line and should be one of the team's best defenders by the end of his rookie year. 

    In the second round, the Redskins took Alabama linebacker Ryan Anderson. While he lacks the athleticism to be a dominant rusher, he has the football IQ to find a role. His best spot may be inside in the Redskins 3-4 defense. Third-round pick Fabian Moreau is nursing a torn pectoral muscle, and it may limit his effectiveness as a rookie.

    One of the best value picks in the entire draft was running back Samaje Perine in the fourth round. He's the most talented running back on the roster and should start for the team sooner rather than later. Montae Nicholson will compete for the third safety spot behind Su'a Cravens and D.J. Swearinger. Jeremy Sprinkle is an excellent blocker and will compete with Niles Paul for the third tight end job. 

    The rest of the picks will compete for spots on the 53-man roster and should add depth. Allen and Perine may be the only rookies who start in 2017, but this class is loaded with potential, and it could be much better a few years down the road. 


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