Re-Drafting the 2017 NFL Draft

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2018

Re-Drafting the 2017 NFL Draft

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    At times in life, we wish for a reset button. As the league prepares to welcome the 2018 NFL draft class Thursday, let's grant teams hindsight looking back at their 2017 first-round selections. 

    The 2017 re-draft marks nearly a year since Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium to announce the No. 1 overall pick for the Cleveland Browns. When turning back the clock, would teams make the same decisions? How would the first round pan out?

    Assessments on certain picks have certainly changed over the year. Who moves up the draft board? Which players fall out of the opening round?

    Before going into fantasy mode, we'll go through the ground rules: Clubs cannot trade, which means a team that held a first-round pick will make a selection in its initial slot. These decisions were made with current rosters in mind.

    Now, let's shuffle the deck and put front offices back on the clock. Who goes where in the 2017 re-draft?

1. Cleveland Browns

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    Original selection: Myles Garrett, DE

    Re-draft selection: Deshaun Watson, QB

    At the time, with so many questions about the top quarterback prospects, the Browns seemingly made the right decision in choosing the top pass-rusher in the draft class. It worked out well, but they still went winless in 2017.

    If Cleveland selected the top signal-caller, the fanbase would've likely celebrated a few wins and an end to futility at the position with Deshaun Watson under center.

    A torn ACL derailed Watson's rookie season, but he showed enough in his seven games to suggest there's enough potential to blossom into a franchise signal-caller. The Clemson product went drive-for-drive with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Russell Wilson in a Week 8 shootout.

    Watson finished with 402 passing yards, four touchdown passes and three interceptions in a 41-38 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. However, he showcased his talent against the defense known as the Legion of Boom when it was at full strength.

    With Watson, the Browns would've been a viable team in their division just as the Houston Texans were in the AFC South.

2. San Francisco 49ers

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    Original selection (by Chicago via trade): Mitchell Trubisky, QB

    Re-draft selection: Myles Garrett, DE

    As a rotational pass-rusher, Elvis Dumervil led the San Francisco 49ers in sacks with 6.5 in 341 snaps. Brian Hoyer didn't last as the stopgap quarterback, but he served his purpose in six starts. The regime felt comfortable being patient in finding a franchise signal-caller and snagged Jimmy Garoppolo midseason.

    Since Watson headlines the 2017 re-draft class, the 49ers should take the best defensive lineman to bolster their pass rush. Lost in the Browns' winless season, Garrett logged seven sacks for an underrated defense that ranked No. 7 in rushing yards allowed and No. 14 in total yards surrendered.

    The Texas A&M product didn't disappoint. Blame the worst-scoring offense in the league for the Browns' historically poor season.

    San Francisco couldn't do any better in the win-loss column (5-0) with a different pick and Garoppolo under center, but Garrett would've been a cornerstone asset and set the 49ers up for a bigger jump in 2018.

3. Chicago Bears

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    Original selection (by San Francisco via trade): Solomon Thomas, DL

    Re-draft selection: Mitchell Trubisky, QB

    Last April, general manager Ryan Pace didn't receive a lot of grade-A marks for trading up to the No. 2 slot in exchange for a third- and fourth-rounder in that draft along with a third-round pick in the upcoming selection process.

    Trubisky didn't look as explosive as Watson, but he had lesser offensive assets at his disposal. Kendall Wright finished as the Chicago Bears' top wideout with 614 yards, and he only started four games.

    Despite losing wideout Cameron Meredith to the New Orleans Saints, the Bears look ready to roll out Phase 2 in Trubisky's development by adding pass-catchers. Assuming Allen Robinson II fully recovers from a torn ACL, he'll lead the wide receiver group. Don't sleep on tight end Trey Burton as a reliable receiver all over the field.

    Finally, the fanbase is crossing its fingers in hopes that 2015 No. 7 overall pick Kevin White stays healthy and contributes as a complement to Allen on the perimeter.

    Beyond his box score numbers, Trubisky didn't look small on the professional stage. Once he stepped in for quarterback Mike Glennon, the North Carolina product looked comfortable in the huddle. At times, he utilized his athleticism to make something out of nothing.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Original selection: Leonard Fournette, RB

    Re-draft selection: Leonard Fournette, RB

    Last January, Tom Coughlin rejoined this organization as the executive vice president of football operations. His hard-nosed influence trickled down to the field. He steered the Jacksonville Jaguars back into the playoff picture with a basic but effective approach. 

    During free agency and into the 2017 season, the Jaguars added several key players on defense and picked a physical running back in Leonard Fournette with the No. 4 overall selection. In other words, Jacksonville set out to rough up its opponents on both sides of the ball.

    Offensively, the coaching staff simplified the game plan, which aided quarterback Blake Bortles.

    Fournette averaged a little more than 20 rush attempts per contest and reached 1,040 yards on the ground in 13 appearances.

    Kansas City Chiefs ball-carrier Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing yards with 1,327. However, he also recorded fewer than 50 yards on the ground five times in a seven-game stretch, which would've crippled an offense that's heavily reliant on drawing an extra body into the box.

    Unlike Hunt, Fournette never finished with fewer than 10 carries in a game. His ability to handle the pounding in high volume became part of the Jaguars' offensive identity. In this scenario, it's a stylistic fit that makes sense even a year later.

5. Tennessee Titans

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    Original selection: Corey Davis, WR

    Re-draft selection: Marshon Lattimore, CB

    The Defensive Rookie of the Year wouldn't fall past No. 5. The Tennessee Titans went with a wide receiver in this spot and chose cornerback Adoree' Jackson to address their secondary 13 slots down at No. 18.

    In hindsight, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and standout safety Kevin Byard would've locked down sections of the field. The tandem could've turned Dick LeBeau's defense into a takeaway factory.

    The Ohio State product became a playmaker once he stepped on the field with the Saints, which would've elevated their defense. The Titans struggled on the back end, which explains their move to acquire cornerback Malcolm Butler during the offseason.

    Corey Davis had a hamstring injury during his rookie year, but he flashed some potential late in the regular season and the playoffs. It was not a total miss, but if Tennessee knew Lattimore would become a standout rookie pass defender, he'd don Titans colors for the upcoming season.

6. New York Jets

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    Original selection: Jamal Adams, S

    Re-draft selection: Tre'Davious White, CB

    Most New York Jets fans wouldn't trade Jamal Adams for any other safety. Beyond his solid play on the field, the LSU product brings toughness and character to the locker room. He's the guy who's going to hold his teammates accountable at every turn.

    However, the Jets could've selected a different LSU prospect to strengthen the secondary. Tre'Davious White took the field and performed to the level of a clear-cut No. 1 cornerback who can go one-on-one with the opposition's best wideout. He's a solid alternative to Lattimore among the rookie cornerbacks and placed second in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting.

    White snagged four interceptions and broke up 18 passes with the Buffalo Bills. He made all 16 appearances as a consistent obstacle for pass-catchers throughout the 2017 term.

    When choosing between a standout cornerback and safety, select the former, who's directly responsible for locking down a receiver. In order to take the AFC East crown, the Jets need cornerbacks to slow down New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

7. Los Angeles Chargers

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    Original selection: Mike Williams, WR

    Re-draft selection: Kareem Hunt, RB

    The Los Angeles Chargers selected wide receiver Mike Williams at No. 7. He didn't move the needle at all in 10 appearances. Fortunately, wideout Keenan Allen suited up for all 16 games. The passing attack finished No. 1 in yards.

    The Chargers run defense ranked 31st, but general manager Tom Telesco could've addressed that issue with a linebacker in the second or third round instead of double-dipping for offensive guards.

    For the third consecutive season, running back Melvin Gordon failed to average four yards per carry. On the bright side, he put together his most productive season with 1,581 yards from scrimmage. However, Los Angeles still finished with the No. 24 rushing offense in the NFL.

    Hunt led the league with 1,327 rushing yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. With Gordon and Hunt, the Chargers offense would've scorched defenses like the Saints' running back duo during the previous campaign. Head coach Anthony Lynn could work wonders with two high-end dual-threat tailbacks—especially the one who can move the ball more than four yards per carry.

8. Carolina Panthers

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    Original selection: Christian McCaffrey, RB

    Re-draft selection: Alvin Kamara, RB

    Running back Alvin Kamara produced the numbers many thought Christian McCaffrey would achieve as a ball-carrier with solid route-running skills. The Tennessee product broke out as the best receiving tailback in the 2017 class.

    Once the Saints traded Adrian Peterson in October, Kamara emerged as a matchup nightmare for defenses. Quarterback Drew Brees targeted him 100 times as a receiver. He finished with 81 catches for 826 yards and five touchdowns. By the way, the versatile tailback led the league in yards per carry with 6.1.

    McCaffrey came close to Kamara as a pass-catcher with 80 receptions for 651 yards and five scores, but he fell further behind as a ball-carrier with 435 yards, averaging 3.7 yards per rush attempt.

    It's important to note the Saints have better inline blocking, but the Offensive Rookie of the Year looked a bit more explosive and elusive with the football in space. Kamara would've also compensated for the Carolina Panthers' lack of reliable pass-catching options.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Original selection: John Ross, WR

    Re-draft selection: Ryan Ramczyk, OT

    Washington wideout John Ross ran into the NFL Scouting Combine record book when he logged the fastest 40-yard dash time at 4.22 seconds. However, he failed to leave a single footprint on his rookie campaign.

    Ross recorded one carry for 12 yards and didn't reel in a single catch on two targets with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017. Right now, he looks like combine hype as opposed to a promising asset at wide receiver.

    It's still early in the development process. Nonetheless, the Bengals would likely go with a top-tier perimeter protector in a division with defenses that can wreck quarterbacks in a hurry. Cincinnati offensive tackles struggled to shield the pocket.

    Ryan Ramczyk played on the left and right sides as a starter through 16 games with the Saints. Opposite Cordy Glenn, whom the Bengals acquired via trade with the Bills, Cincinnati wouldn't have to worry about edge-rushers constantly breaking down its protection on the ends.

10. Buffalo Bills

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    Original selection (by Kansas City via trade): Patrick Mahomes, QB

    Re-draft selection: Patrick Mahomes, QB

    The Bills may have made a big mistake by moving out of the No. 10 spot. After the trade, the Chiefs picked quarterback Alex Smith's successor in Patrick Mahomes.

    In one start, the Texas Tech product completed 22 of his 35 passes for 284 yards against the Denver Broncos with both their Pro Bowl-caliber cornerbacks on the field.

    Despite the small sample size, Kansas City felt comfortable trading Smith and turning the reins over to Mahomes for 2018.

    Tyrod Taylor played quarterback on thin ice with the Bills over the past couple of seasons. The organization showed little conviction in him as the long-term starter, which became evident when rookie Nathan Peterman logged a start over the healthy 28-year-old during the previous term.

    Buffalo could've had a better plan in place with Mahomes waiting to take over for Taylor, who's since been dealt to the Browns. It makes even more sense in hindsight when considering the Bills hold the No. 12 spot without a clear shot at a top signal-caller in the upcoming draft.

11. New Orleans Saints

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    Original selection: Marshon Lattimore, CB

    Re-draft selection: Marlon Humphrey, CB

    Three of the Saints' draft picks have come off the board within the top 10 selections, which leaves general manager Mickey Loomis scrambling for replacements.

    Based on two of New Orleans' top three 2017 draft picks, it's clear the front office wanted to tighten up the back end of the defense. Sticking with that theme, cornerback Marlon Humphrey would be an appropriate choice at No. 11.

    His rookie campaign doesn't compare to Lattimore's stellar season. However, the Alabama product showed the ability to start on the perimeter. He logged two interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 16 appearances, including five starts.

    Humphrey played 54.5 percent of the defensive snaps with the Baltimore Ravens during the previous term. Lattimore saw the field in 71.0 percent of the time.

    If he were a consistent starter in a full season, it'd be fair to expect a slight spike in Humphrey's production as a pass defender.

12. Cleveland Browns

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    Original selection (by Houston via trade): Deshaun Watson, QB

    Re-draft selection: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR

    At the top of this re-draft, the Browns corrected their wrong and netted Watson with the No. 1 overall pick. Next, he'd need some weapons.

    Only one pass-catcher in Cleveland finished with more than 40 catches and 400 yards last year. Running back Duke Johnson racked up 74 receptions for 693 yards. With Watson already in the fold, wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster would complete a solid one-two punch in the passing attack.

    It's a hard pill to swallow for Browns fans, who watched Smith-Schuster dominate in a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform, but he finished the 2017 campaign as the most productive rookie wide receiver. He compiled 58 catches for 917 yards and seven touchdowns in 14 games as a secondary option.

    In Cleveland, on the receiving end of Watson's passes, Smith-Schuster could've been in the Pro Bowl conversation. He's also a willing downfield blocker who isn't afraid to challenge a linebacker in efforts to spring a teammate on the run.

13. Arizona Cardinals

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    Original selection: Haason Reddick, LB

    Re-draft selection: Jamal Adams, S

    The Arizona Cardinals decided to cut ties with LSU product Tyrann Mathieu because of financial differences. Why not acquire a cheaper option at safety from the same program in Jamal Adams? As mentioned, he brings character to a locker room along with versatility.

    As a strong safety, Adams' rookie numbers don't stand out, but he can line up in various spots. The new coaching staff could use him in tight end-coverage assignments or near the box for support against the run.

    That versatility increases his scope of capability. Furthermore, he'd be a quality replacement for an All-Pro defensive back who went elsewhere.

    Without a reliably healthy starter under center, the Cardinals need to strengthen their pass defense with the improved offenses in the NFC West. Having Adams and Patrick Peterson patrolling the secondary would help the defense when facing off against the 49ers' Garoppolo and the Los Angeles Rams' Jared Goff.

14. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Original selection: Derek Barnett, DE

    Re-draft selection: Derek Barnett, DE

    Throughout the 2017 season, many overlooked the Philadelphia Eagles defense. The unit allowed 33 points to the New England Patriots but came up huge in the closing moments of Super Bowl LII. Brandon Graham's strip-sack and Derek Barnett's fumble recovery helped deliver a title to the City of Brotherly Love.

    Barnett didn't start a single contest, but he logged five sacks during his rookie campaign. A defense can never have enough effective pass-rushers in a game in which an offense can run up and down the field at will. However, as Super Bowl LII proved, one timely turnover can change the complexion of the biggest of contests.

    Because of the legal proceedings surrounding defensive end Michael Bennett and the decision to cut Vinny Curry, it's a smart move to keep a young pass-rusher in the rotation. Barnett has the ability to become a double-digit sack artist with an increased workload.

15. Indianapolis Colts

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    Original selection: Malik Hooker, S

    Re-draft selection: T.J. Watt, OLB

    The Indianapolis Colts wanted a ball hawk on the back end and selected safety Malik Hooker in the first round. The Ohio State product entered the league with question marks about his durability because of surgeries to correct a sports hernia and repair a torn labrum.

    Hooker appeared in the first seven games but tore his ACL and MCL, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, which shortened what looked like the start of a promising rookie campaign. He logged three interceptions during his time on the field.

    Without quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts didn't have a shot at challenging for the AFC South title. The previous season marked a good year for Indianapolis to develop young defenders. In addition to a playmaker in the secondary, the roster needed a consistent pass-rusher.

    Linebacker T.J. Watt racked up seven sacks, displayed his pursuit ability against ground attacks and broke up seven passes with the Steelers in 2017. The Colts add a durable and versatile asset to the front seven at No. 15. It's an acquisition that will help this unit shed the label of being a soft defense.

16. Baltimore Ravens

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    Original selection: Marlon Humphrey, CB

    Re-draft selection: Solomon Thomas, DL

    In this selection scenario, the Saints took Humphrey with the No. 11 pick. As a result, the Ravens pivot to address the interior of the defensive line.

    Terrell Suggs continues to wreak havoc on quarterbacks. Matthew Judon joined him in the pocket-pressure frenzy with eight sacks in the previous term. Defensive lineman Solomon Thomas could become the third component to Baltimore's relentless pass rush.

    The Stanford product moved up draft boards as the vetting process progressed during the previous year. He didn't wreck the league and whiffed on a lot of tackles, but there's some potential present in his game. The 22-year-old logged three sacks, and his career arrow as an interior pass-rusher points up.

    Thomas would complement Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce, who impressed as run defenders in the previous season. Suggs and Judon receive some help in tracking down opposing quarterbacks.

17. Washington Redskins

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    Original selection: Jonathan Allen, DE

    Re-draft selection: Dalvin Cook, RB

    Running back Dalvin Cook played just four contests, but he showed enough to warrant a first-round selection. The Florida State product ranked third in the NFL among ball-carriers in rushing yards with 354 before a torn ACL derailed his rookie term.

    The Washington Redskins put their hopes behind fourth-rounder Samaje Perine as a workhorse tailback late in the 2017 season. He struggled to move the ball, averaging 3.4 yards per carry. The front office will likely look for another running back in the upcoming draft to further bolster the backfield.

    With a second chance, Washington selects Cook to avoid the question marks at running back. Smith, the new quarterback in town, would have a dynamic tailback in place similar to Hunt with his previous team.

    Cook's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and lead the ball-carriers as the featured option gives the Redskins a chance to compete in a tough division.

18. Tennessee Titans

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    Original selection: Adoree' Jackson, CB

    Re-draft selection: Cooper Kupp, WR

    There's no way Cooper Kupp falls to the third round. He's a precise route-runner with good hands, which meshes with any offensive scheme, though it's fair to say the Eastern Washington prospect benefitted from playing under Rams head coach Sean McVay.

    Similar to Kupp, Davis came into the league from a program outside the Power Five conferences, but there was a focus on his size as a big-body target for quarterback Marcus Mariota.

    Kupp stands 6'2" and weighs 205 pounds, which isn't far from Davis' 6'3", 209-pound stature. Of course, play style also factors into becoming a reliable target in the red zone.

    At No. 18, the Titans provide Mariota with a receiver who's trustworthy in his routes. There's a strong likelihood the two establish chemistry quickly on the field. Kupp led all Rams receivers with 869 receiving yards and logged a 66.0 percent catch rate in 2017.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Original selection: O.J. Howard, TE

    Re-draft selection: Christian McCaffrey, RB

    McCaffrey didn't hit the ground running as a ball-carrier in Carolina. It's unlikely he would've experienced better results behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line. However, he'd be a bailout option for quarterback Jameis Winston in the short passing game when the ground attack hits a wall.

    The Buccaneers offense heavily utilized their tight ends. O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate combined for 1,023 yards and notched six touchdowns apiece as a solid tandem. However, Tampa Bay could also benefit from an effective intermediate receiving target to supplement a subpar rushing attack.

    McCaffrey would add another wrinkle that's not already present. A consistent contributor in the backfield may also open up space for receivers downfield, which compensates for passing on Howard.

    Until the Buccaneers improve their offensive line, head coach Dirk Koetter should rely on passes to the flats and screens to an elusive receiver as a supplement to running the ball. McCaffrey fits the bill.

20. Denver Broncos

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    Original selection: Garett Bolles, OT

    Re-draft selection: Garett Bolles, OT

    Nothing changes for the Denver Broncos. Quarterback Case Keenum needs protection and offensive weapons to succeed. The front office must start with keeping him upright with a clean jersey.

    Offensive tackle Garett Bolles took his lumps during the previous term as a rookie. However, the Utah product showed his toughness when he managed to play through an ankle ailment early in the season. Players take the field hurt all the time. The team had to bring the cart out for the injury, but he started the following week. It's all about setting the tone in the locker room.

    If Bolles continues to struggle on the left side, the coaching staff may opt to flip him and Jared Veldheer, who had success on the blindside early in his career with the Oakland Raiders and Cardinals.

    Despite picking from a weak pool of offensive tackles, the Broncos can't overlook the pressing need across the front line with a new quarterback taking over the reins.

21. Detroit Lions

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    Original selection: Jarrad Davis, LB

    Re-draft selection: Jarrad Davis, LB

    The Detroit Lions revamped their linebacker corps over the past two offseasons. After serving as a defensive coordinator with the Patriots for six seasons, Matt Patricia replaced Jim Caldwell as head coach. He'll groom a new crop of assets at the position.

    Linebacker Jarrad Davis flashed his capabilities as a downhill run defender during his rookie season. The Florida product came into the league with concerns about durability but logged 14 starts in his first year as a pro. The coaching staff would probably like to see him improve as a pass defender, but for the most part, the 22-year-old held his own in the middle of the Lions defense in 2017.

    Expect Davis to take another step in his development under Patricia. According to NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein, coaches raved about his leadership skills, which holds significant importance for a centerpiece of a defense. It's also a quality trait that doesn't show up in box scores, but it's coveted around the league.

22. Miami Dolphins

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    Original selection: Charles Harris, DE

    Re-draft selection: Marcus Williams, S

    The last time we saw safety Marcus Williams, he whiffed on a game-winning tackle in the NFC Divisional Round against the Minnesota Vikings. However, it's a play sequence that doesn't tell the full story about his season.

    Before that missed assignment, Williams put together an exemplary rookie campaign with the Saints. He compiled four interceptions and seven passes defensed in 15 starts.

    The Utah product mirrored the same deep coverage skills he showed as a collegian. But we all remember the one play that led to the Minnesota Miracle and unfairly defined his season.

    Williams, however, performed to the level of a first-round prospect. Next to Reshad Jones, the Miami Dolphins could use help at safety.

    Initially, the Saints acquired Williams as the No. 42 overall pick, but he's worth a 20-spot push up the draft board for a club with breakdown issues in the secondary.

23. New York Giants

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    Original selection: Evan Engram, TE

    Re-draft selection: Takkarist McKinley, OLB

    The New York Giants didn't miss on their 2017 first-round pick. In actuality, it worked out perfectly. Wideout Odell Beckham Jr.'s ankle injury cost him most of the season. Big Blue needed someone to beat coverage downfield in the passing attack.

    Tight end Evan Engram came to the rescue in a lost season and led the team in touchdown receptions with six. However, assuming Beckham returns for a full season, the Mississippi product's receiving numbers will drop. Wideout Sterling Shepard's production should also increase in his third season.

    The new coaching staff should focus on acquiring defenders to aid James Bettcher's transition from Arizona to New York. The defensive scheme will undergo notable changes with the new regime.

    Takkarist McKinley cracked the rotation in Atlanta as an efficient pass-rusher who logged six sacks in 401 snaps during the previous season. The Giants traded defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and need another defender to assist Olivier Vernon with pressuring the pocket. In a full-time role, the UCLA product could become a household name.

24. Oakland Raiders

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    Original selection: Gareon Conley, CB

    Re-draft selection: Adoree' Jackson, CB

    The Raiders have high hopes for cornerback Gareon Conley coming into the 2018 campaign, but he only took the field for 92 snaps because of a shin injury. Even though he showed flashes early in the previous season, it's still an optimistic projection based on a small sample.

    It's possible Conley may compare closely to Lattimore as a starting boundary cornerback in his first full season. However, it's still an uncertainty.

    Jackson may have slightly exceeded outside expectations as a starting cornerback. When breaking down his USC film, no one denied his athleticism and playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. However, questions about his awareness as a cornerback likely dropped him to a mid-first-round prospect.

    The Raiders need healthy bodies with some sort of proven track record in the secondary. Jackson tied for 11th in the NFL in pass breakups as a rookie with 17. On the downside, he didn't log a single interception, but that doesn't suggest he's been ineffective in the Titans secondary.

    Oakland cut bigger cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson. Jackson possesses the makeup speed to close gaps if a receiver gains an early step on him. He's also a top-notch return man capable of replacing wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, who went to the Patriots with a sixth-rounder in exchange for a fifth-round pick.

25. Houston Texans

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    Original Selection (by Cleveland via trade): Jabrill Peppers, S

    Re-draft selection: Cam Robinson, OT

    The Houston Texans desperately need starting talent on the offensive line. Cam Robinson experienced his struggles with the Jaguars, but he's an upgrade on the personnel in place.

    The Texans opted to trade left tackle Duane Brown to the Seahawks after he ended his holdout, which leaves a huge void in pass protection. The front office essentially cleared the position of previous starters with the likely intention to add talent at both perimeter spots.

    Julie'n Davenport, a fourth-rounder from the previous draft, may develop into a starting-caliber player. That said, it doesn't hurt to add a second-round prospect with upside despite an inconsistent first year in the league.

    It's a weak draft pool for offensive tackles, but Robinson would have an immediate opportunity to start on the right side, and he has the size to move inside if necessary. 

    It's worth mentioning the Texans entire offensive line struggled during the previous term. Perhaps the team needs changes in the position coaching ranks to spark overall improvement within the unit.

26. Seattle Seahawks

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    Original Selection (by Atlanta via trade): Takkarist McKinley, DE

    Re-draft selection: Evan Engram, TE

    As expected, the Seahawks lost tight end Jimmy Graham during free agency. Ed Dickson isn't going to compensate for even half the loss in receiving production.

    Without a trade option, the front office goes with a younger receiving tight end to help Russell Wilson in the passing attack. Like they have done with Graham, analysts have criticized Engram's blocking on the edge. He has also drawn parallels as a mismatch creator with reliable hands. 

    It's a tall task to replace Graham's 10 touchdown receptions from the previous season. The Seahawks can come close with Engram's ability to beat defenders one-on-one and reach paydirt. 

    Wilson would have a legitimate threat to rely on as Seattle's offense places a heavier responsibility on the passing attack. They need to add fuel to the offense to make up for the subtractions on the defensive side of the ball. 

    The Seahawks will have to score a lot of points to keep up with the Rams and 49ers. 

27. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Original Selection (by Buffalo via trade): Tre'Davious White, CB

    Re-draft selection: Gareon Conley, CB

    For re-draft purposes, the Chiefs make a selection at No. 27 in hopes of shoring up their secondary.

    Kansas City acquired cornerback Kendall Fuller in the trade that sent Alex Smith to Washington. He broke out in his sophomore term with four interceptions and 10 passes defensed with the Redskins. The third-year cornerback out of Virginia Tech can also play on the inside and outside. 

    After Fuller on the cornerback depth chart, expectations drop a bit. Steven Nelson, a third-rounder from the 2015 draft, missed nearly half of the previous season with an abdomen injury. He's experienced ups and downs as a defender who can line up in the slot or on the outside.

    After signing a four-year extension with the Raiders during the 2016 offseason, David Amerson's play steadily took a downturn until injuries kept him on the sideline. It's anyone's guess as to what the Chiefs have in the 26-year-old with a long history of concussions.

    Conley didn't show much during his rookie campaign, but Kansas City has enough depth at the position to wait for full clearance on the shin injury. It's a value pick when considering his potential, but he's not a lock to become a top-tier defensive back.

28. Dallas Cowboys

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    Original Selection: Taco Charlton, DE

    Re-draft selection: Corey Davis, WR

    The Cowboys need a No. 1-caliber receiver after releasing Dez Bryant. In this scenario, Davis slips all the way to 28th pick and is asked to fill Bryant's shoes in his second season. 

    Based on his production at Western Michigan, accumulating 1,400-plus yards in three consecutive campaigns, he seems to be up for the challenge. The big-body pass-catcher showed flashes during the postseason and doesn't shy away from the ball under the bright lights. 

    Davis has the potential to lead the Cowboys receiving corps across all notable statistical categories as long as he stays healthy. Injuries and the Titans' stagnant offense under the previous regime contributed to his re-draft fall.

    A club that needs a wideout with an ability to dominate shouldn't ignore Davis' individual traits as a physical target who can win the 50-50 jump balls in tight coverage.

29. Green Bay Packers

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    Original Selection (by Cleveland via trade): David Njoku, TE

    Re-draft selection: Mike Williams, WR

    The Green Bay Packers front office should take advantage of another first-round talent falling late on Day 1 because of an underwhelming rookie year. 

    Clemson prospect Mike Williams suffered a herniated disc during organized team activities and then played through an ailing knee down the stretch in 2017. Assuming he can put the injury bug behind him, the Packers would acquire a late-first-round steal.

    Williams would take the field and affect outcomes of games right away with quarterback Aaron Rodgers under center. 

    Wideout Randall Cobb goes into a contract year with a $12.7 million cap hit, per Spotrac. A rookie addition at the position gives the Packers a high-potential secondary receiving option on books past the 2018 season. Team brass would also have leverage at the negotiating table with Cobb next year. 

    Rodgers may not have been fond of Jordy Nelson's departure, but he'd gain two red-zone targets in Jimmy Graham and Williams in this scenario.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Original Selection: T.J. Watt, LB

    Re-draft selection: Malik Hooker, S

    In a perfectly healthy league, Hooker doesn't fall this far down the draft board. He had solid production in seven games, with three interceptions and four passes defensed. Injuries put a cap on his rookie season, but there's a premium on players who can erase a drive with a takeaway. 

    Within a year, Hooker has dealt with shoulder and significant knee injuries, which raises questions about his durability. Still, his talent outweighs the what ifs and question marks. The Steelers have the ideal situation at safety when considering a probable injury-prone prospect. 

    Hypothetically, ninth-year veteran Morgan Burnett would start at safety until Hooker can suit up. The 28-year-old isn't far over the hill, and he's serviceable in the meantime. 

    In the best-case scenario, the Steelers could experiment with a three-safety look if the veteran plays well and Hooker remains available. 

    Pittsburgh cut ties with Senquez Golson, who looked like a ball-hawking defensive back with 10 interceptions as a senior at Mississippi but didn't play a single down in three NFL seasons. The front office would have a long-term replacement (hopefully), with better luck in conditioning.

31. Atlanta Falcons

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    Mark Tenally/Associated Press

    Original Selection (by San Francisco via trade): Reuben Foster, LB

    Re-draft selection: Jonathan Allen, DE

    The Falcons won't have a second crack at McKinley, who's paired with the Giants. Though, general manager Thomas Dimitroff should keep his attention on the front seven. It's another high-value selection based on potential.

    Jonathan Allen only suited up for five games in Washington. A Lisfranc sprain eventually put him on injured reserve. We only saw a glimpse of the Alabama product as a pro, but he's worth a gamble from his steady development into a complete interior defender on the collegiate level alone. 

    Atlanta could move Allen inside on a four-man front or experiment with him off the edge. It's not necessarily ideal, but the plan is worth a shot with a quality player who slips this far in the draft order.

    The Falcons need help on the interior. The 6'3", 288-pounder flashed power and a good use of his hands at Alabama. The combination may translate into success as a 3-technique defensive tackle under astute defensive mind Dan Quinn.

32. New England Patriots

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    Original Selection (by New Orleans via trade): Ryan Ramczyk, OT

    Re-draft selection: Carl Lawson, DE

    The Patriots conclude first-round selections with a proven pass-rusher who's just scratching the surface as a pro.

    Quietly, defensive end Carl Lawson emerged as a middle-round steal of the 2017 draft class. He racked up 8.5 sacks with the Bengals, and the coaching staff plans to increase his role for the upcoming season.

    New England finished tied for seventh in total sacks for the 2017 season with 42 but lacked a consistent pass-rusher to count on in critical moments. To mask the struggles of their pass defense, which ranked 30th in yards allowed, the Patriots would've benefitted from a ferocious front seven putting opposing signal-callers under immense pressure.

    The fourth-rounder sees a significant boost in draft placement with a shot at a starting job in New England. Lawson only played 41.6 percent of the defensive snaps in Cincinnati. The Auburn product would likely step into a bigger role with his re-draft team, which makes a double-digit sack season a strong possibility for the pass-rusher.


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