2021 NFL Draft: 1 Surprise Prospect Every Team Could Target

Brent Sobleski@@brentsobleskiNFL AnalystJanuary 21, 2021

2021 NFL Draft: 1 Surprise Prospect Every Team Could Target

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    With three games left to play in the 2020 NFL campaign, most teams around the league and fans have turned their attention to the 2021 draft, which will be held April 29 through May 1 in Cleveland.

    Next week, draft season kicks off in full force with the Senior Bowl. The scouting process will be different this year since the combine will be held virtually next month because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but scouts and talent evaluators still have plenty of work to do over the next three months.

    Prospects will have the opportunity to impress decision-makers at all-star games, interviews and pro day workouts. The perception of certain players will change as draft boards morph based on new information. 

    Some teams may go away from their biggest area of need or take a prospect not considered the top name at a particular position. While picking potential surprises, we'll stay within the realm of the first round (or the highest pick each team has) since those are the most important selections.

    The draft never goes according to plan, so don't be surprised when an unexpected name or two pops up along the way.

Arizona Cardinals: WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    The Arizona Cardinals might not prioritize adding another wide receiver in the draft given their needs elsewhere, especially at cornerback.

    But this is a team now built around Kliff Kingsbury's vision and quarterback Kyler Murray.

    Sure, the Cardinals already have DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella on their roster. However, Larry Fitzgerald is a free agent, and he might decide to retire. The Cardinals employed more 10 personnel (one running back and four wide receivers) than any other offense this season, per Sharp Football's Warren Sharp

    Alabama's Jaylen Waddle is a dynamic playmaker in space and is deadly with his ability to create separation, although an ankle injury slowed him over the second half of this past season. His quickness and explosion would add a completely different wrinkle to the Cardinals offense. 

Atlanta Falcons: QB Zach Wilson, Brigham Young

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    George Frey/Associated Press

    Matt Ryan isn't the long-term answer for the Atlanta Falcons under center anymore, and they could take his heir apparent with the fourth overall pick. However, Ryan figures to remain their starter in 2021, largely because of his contract.

    Even if the Falcons trade Ryan with a post-June 1 designation, they'll eat $35.8 million in dead cap hits over the next two years. New head coach Arthur Smith also intimated the team will move forward with Ryan. 

    "We're gonna play to Matt's strengths..." Smith told reporters. "But I'm obviously, looking forward to getting in there and coaching Matt when the time comes."

    Still, the Falcons have to seriously entertain taking a long-term approach with the No. 4 pick. BYU's Zach Wilson has an argument as the second-best quarterback prospect in the class and eventually could be Ryan's successor.

Baltimore Ravens: C Landon Dickerson, Alabama

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The potential pairing of the Baltimore Ravens and Alabama center Landon Dickerson is less surprising because of need or quality of prospect and far more about his current medical standing. 

    Despite leading the NFL in rushing for the second straight season, the Ravens desperately need to improve their offensive interior. Matt Skura, Trystan Colon-Castillo and Patrick Mekari didn't get the job done at center. 

    Dickerson is easily the top available pivot as long as he's medically cleared to play by the start of next season. The Rimington Trophy winner is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in the SEC championship game. His toughness and tenacity earned him legendary status among tape hounds on social media. 

    With the 27th overall pick, the Ravens could land the best blocker in the class.

Buffalo Bills: TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

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    Barry Reeger/Associated Press

    The Buffalo Bills offense catapulted this season with quarterback Josh Allen entering the MVP conversation, wide receiver Stefon Diggs leading the league with 127 receptions for 1,535 yards and the entire unit tying for second in total offense. 

    However, the Bills offense can be even better.

    Tight end may not be a priority, but another threat from the position could make the offense even more dangerous. Dawson Knox, Tyler Kroft and Lee Smith combined for 40 catches for 442 yards during the regular season. 

    Penn State's Pat Freiermuth could add another potential mismatch to an already explosive offense. Freiermuth has the size (6'5" and 258 pounds), athleticism and body control to dominate the middle of the field. He's also an in-line option and excellent red-zone target, although he's still recovering from an undisclosed shoulder injury that required season-ending surgery. 

Carolina Panthers: OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    The Carolina Panthers drafting an offensive tackle wouldn't be a surprise. Right tackle Taylor Moton is a free agent, and left tackle Russell Okung turns 33 later this year and played in only seven games this season. 

    The surprise would be the Panthers entering another year without a long-term quarterback plan in place. Carolina has plenty of areas where it can improve, but it starts behind center. 

    Teddy Bridgewater is a solid placeholder, and he's under contract through the 2022 campaign. However, he isn't the type of quarterback who elevates everyone around him. With the eighth overall pick, the Panthers should be in position to select a top quarterback prospect. 

    So, Rashawn Slater's placement here has nothing to do with him as a prospect. He'd make sense in Carolina. The logic behind such a selection is flawed, though. 

Chicago Bears: Edge Azeez Ojulari, Georgia

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    Michael Woods/Associated Press

    The Chicago Bears are paying a lot of money to get not a lot of sacks.

    Khalil Mack managed a respectable nine-sack campaign and regularly created pressure, but Robert Quinn registered only two sacks. The two have a combined $41.4 salary-cap hit in 2021. The overall level of production coming from the position, particularly Quinn, isn't good enough. 

    General manager Ryan Pace knows how he wants to build his team. 

    "It's a passing league, [and] if you hit the quarterback, your corners are better, your safeties are better," Pace told reporters at the start of the season. 

    However, the Bears must find more ways to harass opposing quarterbacks.

    Georgia's Azeez Ojulari is a hybrid defender who's capable of dropping in space, running down ball-carriers and streaking across the face of offensive tackles. His speed and quickness would add more flexibility to Chicago's front alongside Mack and Quinn. 

Cincinnati Bengals: WR Ja'Marr Chase

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    Thomas Graning/Associated Press

    If the Cincinnati Bengals don't take an offensive lineman with the fifth overall pick, it'll be a major upset. Their primary goal this offseason should be to protect last year's No. 1 overall pick, quarterback Joe Burrow, who suffered a torn ACL and MCL in late November.

    Oregon's Penei Sewell should be the overwhelming favorite for Cincinnati if he's still on the board, but he might be among the top four selections. If so, the Bengals could decide to pass on the position and take the best available prospect elsewhere. 

    The idea of pairing Burrow with his favorite target at LSU, wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, does have some appeal. The 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner led major college football with 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdown catches with Burrow under center that season.

    With A.J. Green almost certainly on his way out of Cincinnati, a trio of Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd might be too tempting to pass up.

Cleveland Browns: WR Terrace Marshall Jr.

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    L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

    With so many issues on defense, the Cleveland Browns figure to spend the No. 26 pick on that side of the ball. However, they could decide to bolster their receiving corps depending on what happens with Odell Beckham Jr.

    Beckham suffered a torn ACL in Week 7, and quarterback Baker Mayfield fared surprisingly well without him in the ensuing weeks. However, the Browns' lack of speed at receiver was on full display during their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC divisional round.

    Even if Beckham returns at full strength, Cleveland could use another target capable of stretching the defense. Perhaps another LSU receiver is the answer. 

    Terrace Marshall Jr. is an excellent downfield option with the size (6'4" and 200 pounds), body control and ball tracking to be a significant threat, as his 23 touchdown receptions in his last 19 games attest. 

Dallas Cowboys: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    The Dallas Cowboys could go in myriad directions after their disastrous 2020 season.

    First, they must decide what to do with quarterback Dak Prescott, though he figures to be back one way or another. However, the defense is in shambles, and left tackle Tyron Smith's status remains unknown after yet another injury-plagued season. 

    Tight end won't come to the forefront of the Cowboys' problem areas. However, they can't overlook the possibility of adding a prospect the caliber of Florida's Kyle Pitts with the 10th overall selection.

    Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz are solid contributors, but Pitts is a difference-maker as the premier mismatch in the upcoming draft class. Putting him alongside wide receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb with Ezekiel Elliot at running back would give Prescott an embarrassment of riches. 

Denver Broncos: Edge Kwity Paye, Michigan

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Denver Broncos adding yet another edge defender when they already have Bradley Chubb and Von Miller seems like overkill. But they must keep a long-term plan in mind with the No. 9 overall pick. 

    Michigan's Kwity Paye is arguably the best edge defender in this year's class. He's powerful at the point of attack and has a relentless motor. He consistently won one-on-one matchups during his final season on campus. 

    Miller is turning 32 in two months and didn't play at all in 2020 because of a season-ending ankle injury. The 10-year veteran is also heading into the last year of his contract. Denver can move forward with the eight-time Pro Bowler this fall at $22.1 salary-cap hit or release him and save $18 million.

    These types of decisions aren't easy, but the idea of replacing an all-time great with a top-notch prospect certainly helps. 

Detroit Lions: QB Trey Lance, North Dakota State

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    Sam Hodde/Associated Press

    At this point, no one knows which direction the Detroit Lions will go at quarterback. 

    General manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell just took over the reins. It isn't a foregone conclusion that they'll move on from longtime starter Matthew Stafford, who has a $33 million cap hit in 2021. 

    If the Lions do decide to cut or trade him, they'll eat anywhere between $13-19 million depending on whether he gets a post-June 1 designation. Either way, they should consider taking his eventual successor with the seventh overall pick.

    North Dakota State's Trey Lance may be Detroit's ideal selection since he doesn't turn 21 until after the draft and could use a year or two behind a veteran. The Lions will probably go in another direction unless they move on from Stafford, but drafting Lance would help them in the long term. 

Green Bay Packers: OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    The Green Bay Packers likely won't be drafting a quarterback in the first round this year. They already surprised everyone by doing so during last year's draft. 

    The Packers could finally invest in a skill-position standout to help Aaron Rodgers, but the MVP front-runner might like the idea of another dominant blocker just as much. 

    Not a single Packers offensive lineman started at the same position all season despite the unit's dominant performance. Green Bay's ability to rearrange those big boys up front and still produce at an elite level can't be overlooked. 

    Drafting this year's Outland Trophy winner, Alabama's Alex Leatherwood, would make the group even stronger. Leatherwood could start at tackle or guard, or he could be a swing lineman as a rookie and wait his turn until an injury inevitably happens. 

Houston Texans: WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

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    Matthew Putney/Associated Press

    Wide receiver is the last position the Houston Texans likely want to address with Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb and Keke Coutee still on the roster. Their lack of first- and second-round picks limits what they can do from a draft perspective, though. 

    If the Texans stick to their board, a potential instant-impact wideout will likely be available when they're finally on the clock at No. 67.

    Oklahoma State's Tylan Wallace is excellent at making contested catches. He could help stretch the field even more for Houston's offense. If he's off the board, the Texans could look at other quality options like North Carolina's Dyami Brown, Auburn's Seth Williams or Western Michigan's D'Wayne Eskridge. 

    Besides, it can't hurt to get Deshaun Watson more weapons (if he's still around) to make him happy. 

Indianapolis Colts: DE Joseph Ossai, Texas

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Philip Rivers' decision to retire changes the Indianapolis Colts' entire offseason. 

    The draft seems like the most logical place for them to find their next starting quarterback, but all five of the top prospects might be off the board by the time they're on the clock at No. 21 overall. 

    If general manager Chris Ballard finds a quarterback in free agency or via trade, he'll have plenty of other draft options. A quarterback might still be on the table at No. 21, but the Colts could move on to other positions like left tackle after Anthony Castonzo's retirement. 

    Defense seems like less of a priority, but Texas defensive end Joseph Ossai fits the Colts mold of a relentless and technically sound defender with leadership traits. Justin Houston is a pending free agent, so they may be looking for his long-term replacement. 

Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Justin Fields, Ohio State

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    The Jacksonville Jaguars are almost certain to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler already reported that new head coach Urban Meyer "has long been enamored with" him.

    However, Meyer's ties to the Ohio State Buckeyes remain strong. Current Ohio State head coach Ryan Day served as Meyer's offensive coordinator, and the praise he'll offer about quarterback Justin Fields could have some influence on the Jags' decision.

    Plus, Fields showed he's no consolation prize with his six-touchdown performance during the Sugar Bowl.

    Lawrence might be the obvious choice here, but he shouldn't be considered a lock quite yet.

Kansas City Chiefs: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Kansas City Chiefs adding even more playmakers to their already potent passing attack would be a frightening proposition.

    The defending champion Chiefs are still alive in the playoffs primarily due to quarterback Patrick Mahomes, tight Travis Kelce and a bevy of receivers who run extremely well. Two of those targets could be stepping away after this season, though, as both Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson are pending free agents.

    General manager Brett Veach might decide his offensive interior or defense are bigger needs. However, the idea of a receiver like Purdue's Rondale Moore adding even more explosive qualities to the offense might be too tempting not to strongly consider. Moore is special working in space.

    With him working alongside Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman, Chiefs opponents would be in a bind at all times. 

Las Vegas Raiders: LB Zaven Collins, Tulsa

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    Brody Schmidt/Associated Press

    The Las Vegas Raiders spent a combined $56.3 million on linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski during free agency last year. Neither played particularly well in 2020, and both underwhelmed relative to their contracts. 

    With the transition under new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, the Raiders could use more help at linebacker, especially since they aren't locked into either Littleton or Kwiatkoski beyond the 2021 campaign. 

    Tulsa's Zaven Collins is different than any other linebacker in this class. He's listed at 6'4" and 260 pounds, yet he easily runs sideline-to-sideline as a complete three-down defender. He can be used in multiple different schemes in differing roles because he has the physical traits to do almost everything. 

    When a team is trying to make major changes on defense—which the Raiders areit can't pass on a talent like Collins. 

Los Angeles Chargers: CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    The Los Angeles Chargers already feature the league's most versatile secondary, and new head coach Brandon Staley will almost certainly ask the unit to do even more during his watch. 

    "When he asked me, philosophically, as you're getting into an interview, 'OK, what's important to you on defense,' just from a schematic standpoint, my big belief system is 1-on-1s in the run game and 2-on-1s in the passing game," Staley told The Athletic's Robert Mays. "It all starts there."

    Staley's approach becomes much simpler when he has a cornerback who can shadow an opponent's top receiver, but Casey Hayward Jr. and Chris Harris Jr. are both on the wrong side of the 30. South Carolina's Jaycee Horn is the most competitive corner in the class with true man-to-man coverage skills, and Staley could use him similarly to how he employed Jalen Ramsey with the Los Angeles Rams. 

    Left tackle and an edge-rusher opposite Joey Bosa may be bigger needs, but Staley will want to set a certain standard in his new secondary. 

Los Angeles Rams: QB Kyle Trask, Florida

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Two words could change the entire Los Angeles Rams franchise. 

    When asked by reporters if Jared Goff will remain the Rams' starting quarterback, head coach Sean McVay answered, "Yeah, he’s the quarterback. Right now." 

    With that, the door flung wide open for quarterback controversy, and it could be blown off the hinges during the draft. 

    Financially, the Rams are locked into Goff's contract through at least the 2021 campaign. Thus, their options are limited, especially since the franchise lacks a first-round draft pick. However, the team has a second-round selection and a third, and it's projected to get a third-round compensatory pick. 

    If the opportunity arises to take a quality prospect, McVay and general manager Les Snead should consider their options. Florida's Kyle Trask emerged as a proficient passer with outstanding production this past season, though the Rams could want a more mobile option. If Jamie Newman emerges at the Senior Bowl, he'd be worth a look as well. 

Miami Dolphins: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

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    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    The Miami Dolphins might be the most intriguing team in this year's draft class because they finished 10-6 yet own a pair of first- and second-round picks, including the third overall selection, thanks to the Laremy Tunsil deal. 

    While a pairing of Alabama's DeVonta Smith to Miami seems great at face value, it's not a slam dunk.

    The reigning Heisman Trophy winner worked his way into being the top wide receiver prospect after entering this season a later first-round projection. His slight frame and Alabama's excellent system are arguments against being a top-10 selection, hence why Oregon's Penei Sewell and Penn State's Micah Parsons often pop up with Miami's initial draft pick. 

    The Dolphins need a consistent running mate for DeVante Parker. It'll be interesting to find out how the decision-makers within the organization view Smith. 

Minnesota Vikings: OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    A pairing between the Minnesota Vikings and offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi may be somewhat surprising on two fronts. 

    First, the Vikings have a bigger need at guard after Dakota Dozier's disappointing campaign. Second, Cosmi isn't necessarily considered a top-15 talent. This particular setup is about fit and where the Vikings can go in future years. 

    Head coach Mike Zimmer entertained the possibility of moving Riley Reiff to guard in 2019. The organization drafted Ezra Cleveland in last year's second round, but he found a home at right guard. 

    The addition of an offensive tackle could bump Reiff inside during the veteran's contract year and set the team up long term on the blindside. Cosmi is interesting because he's one of the most athletic tackles in the class. What he lacks in upper-body strength, he can make up for in lateral agility playing in the Vikings' zone-heavy scheme. 

New England Patriots: QB Mac Jones, Alabama

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    A single cringeworthy stat shows how badly the New England Patriots missed Tom Brady this season. The all-time-great quarterback has thrown 44 touchdown passes (and counting). New England's cadre of misfit toys behind center managed 10 total. 

    No one can go into another season assuming whatever Bill Belichick does will work out in the Patriots' favor.

    The Patriots aren't well-positioned to draft a top quarterback prospect, though. Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State's Justin Fields, BYU's Zach Wilson and North Dakota State's Trey Lance should be off the board when New England picks 15th overall. Belichick is a master of manipulating the draft. Maybe he swings a trade. 

    Or New England can stand pat and choose Nick Saban's latest prized protege, Mac Jones. The Heisman Trophy finalist may not be the most gifted passer or athlete, but he's extremely efficient, and Belichick would certainly know what he's getting once he talked to Saban. 

    An argument can be made this is too early for Jones, but the Patriots are desperate. 

New Orleans Saints: WR Kadarius Toney, Florida

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas isn't happy and he let everyone know about it. 

    "The world would not know Jesus Christ if there was never Judas. This knife that’s in my back will be the truth that introduced us," Thomas tweeted

    The cryptic message came shortly before ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the standout receiver needed two surgeries this offseason after playing through pain because his coaches asked him to do so. 

    The situation has the potential to fester. As a result, the Saints could very well look at another wide receiver with the 28th overall selection. 

    Florida's Kadarius Toney is nearly uncoverable thanks to short-area quickness. He could be implemented in multiple yards-after-catch situations to help whoever starts behind center next season since that person might not have Thomas as a security blanket. Even with Thomas, Tony would be a welcome addition. 

New York Giants: CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    The New York Giants have holes everywhere on offense. The unit will get help with Saquon Barkley's return from a torn ACL, but wide receiver and tight end to a lesser degree remain problematic. 

    Even if a few of the young players improve, the Giants need help on that side of the ball. A defensive player might not make the most sense with the 11th overall pick, but this selection shouldn't be automatically earmarked for the offense. 

    Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham did a wonderful job designing his scheme and building around the talent already on New York's roster. However, the unit is not settled at cornerback opposite James Bradberry. Safety Julian Love moved to corner late in the season. Fellow safeties Jabrill Peppers and Logan Ryan spent plenty of time covering the slot as well. 

    Another long and physical outside corner like Virginia Tech's Caleb Farley might be exactly what the Giants need to make a very good defense even better. 

New York Jets: OT Penei Sewell, Oregon

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    Penei Sewell is arguably the best non-quarterback prospect in this year's draft class. But the idea of the New York Jets passing on a quarterback at No. 2 may be difficult to grasp, even though it shouldn't be.

    ESPN's Rich Cimini reported that new Jets head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur "have watched a lot of Sam Darnold tape and they believe he has untapped potential."

    The bigger question is whether general manager Joe Douglas can trade down

    If not, Sewell was as dominant of a blocker as anyone has seen in recent years during his final season (2019) on campus. He and Mekhi Becton would form the most naturally gifted tackle tandem in the league.

    Behind an impenetrable front, Darnold should excel and finally realize his potential. 

Philadelphia Eagles: LB Micah Parsons, Penn State

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    Barry Reeger/Associated Press

    The Philadelphia Eagles are a mess.

    They dismissed head coach Doug Pederson less than three years after he helped them win their first Super Bowl. The quarterback situation is a minefield the next coach must navigate by rehabilitating Carson Wentz without estranging Jalen Hurts. 

    When it comes to the draft, general manager Howie Roseman can look to wide receiver, the offensive line and cornerback. He probably won't look at linebacker because it's a position the franchise doesn't highly value. Maybe it should. 

    With the sixth overall pick, Penn State's Micah Parsons could be available to form an exciting duo alongside Alex Singleton. Singleton is the proverbial "see ball, get ball" linebacker who racks up tackle after tackle. Parsons is an exceptional athlete who doubles as an adept blitzer and pass-rusher.

    The Eagles' second line of defense would surely look much better than it did most of this past season (and the year before that one).  

Pittsburgh Steelers: DT Christian Barmore

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The addition of another front-seven defender is simply in the Pittsburgh Steelers' DNA.

    Decades of success won't be washed away because of a declining (and possibly retiring) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a non-existent running game and question marks along a decaying offensive front. Each of those positions is in play with the 24th overall pick. 

    However, the defense will lead the team into the future, as it has done throughout the past. 

    The Steelers are positioned to lose their starting nose tackle in each of the last two seasons. Javon Hargrave signed with the Philadelphia Eagles last offseason. Tyson Alualu (10 starts) and Chris Wormley (one start) are free agents this year. 

    Alabama's Christian Barmore dominated during the Crimson Tide's national championship run. He's yet to put together a full season at such a level, but his potential is enormous. He could be the ideal addition between Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt. 

San Francisco 49ers: OG Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The potential surprise in this scenario is Alijah Vera-Tucker going higher than most probably suspect since the San Francisco 49ers own the 12th overall pick. 

    Generally, interior blockers don't come off the board during the first half of the opening frame unless they're special. Vera-Tucker is special in that he should be an immediate starter at guard or tackle. He also has outstanding lateral movement skills—which makes him an ideal fit in Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme. 

    The offensive line definitely became an area of concern this season. Right guard remains an issue that affected right tackle Mike McGlinchey's performance. Left tackle might be open as well depending on what Trent Williams decides to do as a pending free agent. 

    Vera-Tucker can solve either problem depending on what happens with Williams this offseason. 

Seattle Seahawks: RB Michael Carter, North Carolina

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    What was old is new again for the Seattle Seahawks. 

    "We have to run the ball better, not even better, we have to run it more," head coach Pete Carroll told reporters after the Seahawks' 30-20 playoff loss to the rival Los Angeles Rams.

    Apparently, the organization will overcorrect after letting Russell Wilson cook this past season since Carroll remains steadfast in his belief systemwhich means a running back addition shouldn't be overlooked. 

    Seattle doesn't own a first-round pick thanks to the Jamal Adams trade. But a quality running back can be had in the second round. North Carolina's Michael Carter showed the best vision of any runner in college football this past season. Despite sharing the backfield with Javonte Williams, Carter finished fourth overall with 1,245 rushing yards. He can now share the backfield with Chris Carson if the team re-signs its leading rusher.  

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Najee Harris, Alabama

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    As one of the final four still standing, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will pick near the end of the first round. A year ago, the Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, took the opportunity to select who they believed to be the top running back in the draft. Tampa Bay should consider a similar path despite the potential to add elsewhere. 

    With Leonard Fournette set to enter free agency and Ronald Jones II's inconsistency, the organization could land a true workhorse in Alabama's Najee Harris. 

    Harris finished his college career as a two-time national champion, Doak Walker Award winner, unanimous All-American and Alabama's all-time leader in rushing yardage (3,843) and touchdowns (46). 

    His combination of size (6'2" and 230), quickness and elusiveness makes him a special runner. At worst, the Buccaneers would have an outstanding one-two punch in the backfield. 

Tennessee Titans: WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    Defensively, the Tennessee Titans never put it all together this past season and it showed. The unit ranked 29th in total defense and failed to consistently provide quarterback pressure with only 19 sacks. 

    Defensive help would be the logical starting point, right? Maybe. Or, maybe not. 

    The Titans' success over the last two seasons has been built on the shoulders of running back Derrick Henry and quarterback Ryan Tannehill. While the defense definitely needs help, adding to the offense to keep that side of the ball performing at a high level is another path toward progress. 

    Potentially losing Corey Davis in free agency and A.J. Brown's double knee surgery should place wide receiver firmly in the conversation. 

    Minnesota's Rashod Bateman is a complete target capable of stepping into multiple roles. He could immediately replace Davis and take some pressure off Brown.  

Washington Football Team: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    The Washington Football Team is clearly built around its defensive front seven, so some may question why it would add more pieces there. 

    Quarterback, wide receiver and offensive line are all major concerns. But sometimes it is worth building upon a strength instead of addressing a weakness.

    With Marty Hurney's recent hire in Washington after his dismissal as Carolina Panthers general manager and seeing how Jeremy Chinn performed for the Panthers this past season, Notre Dame's Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah can bring a similar skill set to Washington as a safety/linebacker hybrid.

    Today's defenders must display three-down traits or risk being exposed. Owusu-Koramoah is the perfect talent to play behind Washington's defensive front if he's available with the 19th overall pick.