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2018 NFL Mock Draft

April 26, 2018 by Steel Haven

Round 1

1. Cleveland Browns

QB Sam Darnold - USC

Rumors continue to fly concerning this pick. A week or so ago this appeared to be a choice between Darnold or Allen with Darnold as the clear front runner. Neither Darnold nor Allen had a great final college season for various reasons. Darnold has relatively small hands and turns the ball over too much which could be an even bigger issues late in the season on the banks of Lake Erie. Allen lacks accuracy and failed to dominate at a lower level of competition. Both have all the physical skills to succeed at the next level. Mayfield emerged as a dark horse candidate a few days ago and is now being touted by some like beat writer Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as at the least a co-favorite with Allen, Darnold having dropped out of the running. Mayfield lacks the physique, physical skills of Darnold and Allen yet easily out performed both on the way to the Heisman Trophy. Option of taking Chubb or Barkley and a QB with the fourth pick seems like a long shot at best. At this point in the process lets ignore the smoke screen and stick with Darnold.
  • Needs: QB, OT, DE, M/OLB, DT, WR
  • Other Options: QB J Allen, RB S Barkley, DE/OLB B Chubb, QB B Mayfield

2. New York Giants

RB Saquon Barkley - Penn St

Todd McShay says this pick appears inevitable. Barkley is a versatile, dynamic play maker with the ability to dominate as a runner, receiver and kick returner. Still, taking a back this high no matter how much he looks like a sure thing is always a gamble given the punishment most take on a week-to-week basis. Passing on a QB with the aging, rapidly declining Eli Manning on top of the depth chart seems like a big mistake.
  • Needs: QB, G/C/RT, OLB, CB/S, RB, DE
  • Hope might be available: QB S Darnold
  • Other Options: QB J Allen, OLB/DE B Chubb, QB J Rosen, trade down

3. New York Jets (from Indianapolis)

QB Baker Mayfield - Oklahoma

Traded two second rounders this season and another next to swap picks with the Colts to get ahead of the Browns and Broncos to pick their QB of the future. Not having to get into the top two saves next year's first rounder, although they still pay a premium to move up three spots. Heisman Trophy winner Mayfield has the best accuracy among the top prospects. His cocky attitude is quite frankly more a help than hindrance.
  • Needs: QB, OLB, RT/G, TE, DE, RB
  • Hope might be available: QB S Darnold
  • Other Options: QB J Allen, QB J Rosen

4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston)

DE/OLB Bradley Chubb - North Carolina St

A dynamic edge presence to play opposite Myles Garrett in the aggressive defense of coordinator Gregg Williams. A trade down here to the Bills or Cardinals is a distinct possibility.
  • Hope might be available: RB S Barkley
  • Other Options: OG Q Nelson, trade down

5. Denver Broncos

QB Josh Allen - Wyoming

Allen (and Mayfield) were coached by the Broncos at the Senior Bowl. Allen rehabilitated his draft stock in the off season after a sub par season. His physical attributes are impossible to ignore. Signing Kase Keenum to a short term deal after his breakout second half last season gives John Elway plenty of options. Elway is on record that he will consider a trade up or down.
  • Needs: QB, CB, WR/TE, RB, DE, T/G
  • Hope might be available: RB S Barkley, OLB/DE B Chubb, QB B Mayfield
  • Other Options: OG Q Nelson, QB Josh Rosen, CB D Ward, trade up/down

6. Indianapolis Colts (from NY Jets)

M/OLB Roquan Smith - Georgia

Traded down with the hope that four QBs would go in the first five picks. Slightly disappointed that either Barkley or Chubb is unavailable. The ultra-athletic Smith is a fine option for the new 4-3 defense being installed by Matt Eberflus that needs a talent infusion on all three levels.
  • Needs: CB, DE, M/OLB, RT/G, WR, RB
  • Hope might be available: RB S Barkley, DE/OLB B Chubb
  • Other Options: OG Q Nelson, CB D Ward, trade down

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

SS/CB Derwin James - Florida St

The versatile James is a local product that can play in the box, the slot, outside or as a coverage backer in sub-packages. Like all the other teams picking in this range a trade down with a team targeting Rosen has to be considered
  • Needs: LT, RT/G, CB, SS, RB, DT
  • Hope might be available: RB S Barkley
  • Other Options: OT M McGlinchey, OG Q Nelson, CB D Ward, trade down

8. Chicago Bears

OG Quentin Nelson - Notre Dame

The no brainer of all no brainers if Nelson is available. Kyle Long can't stay healthy. Josh Sitton was released. Nelson is a plug-and-play, immediate starter to help protect Mitch Trubisky, open up running lanes for Jordan Howard.
  • Needs: OG, OT, OLB, ILB, WR, CB
  • Hope might be available: ILB R Smith
  • Other Options: I/OLB T Edwards, OT M McGlinchey, CB D Ward, trade down

9. San Francisco 49ers

O/ILB Tremaine Edmunds - Virginia Tech

Domestic violence charges against Rueben Foster could lead to a suspension or even more likely his being released. Already lacked talent on the outside for the 4-3 scheme implemented last season. The ridiculously athletic Edmunds is only 19 years old and could conceivably play at any of the linebacker spots depending on how things shake out.
  • Needs: OLB, MLB, CB, OG, WR, RB
  • Hope might be available: OG Q Nelson, ILB R Smith
  • Other Options: FS/CB M Fitzpatrick, CB D Ward, trade down

10. Oakland Raiders

OT Mike McGlinchey - Notre Dame

The top two inside linebackers being off the board is a bitter pill to swallow. McGlinchey fills an immediate need on the right side replacing free agent departure Marshall Newhouse. The current possible replacements on the roster Vadal Alexander, David Sharpe and Breno Giacomini are all terrible options. McGlinchey would also be the heir apparent to 35 year old Donald Penn on the left side. McGlinchey has experience on both sides of the line.
  • Needs: ILB, OLB/DE, CB, OT, DT, WR
  • Hope might be available: I/OLB T Edmunds, I/OLB R Smith
  • Other Options: DT V Vea, CB D Ward, OT K Wong, trade down

11. Miami Dolphins

QB Josh Rosen - UCLA

Fairly adamant they will not take a QB. Rosen falling into their laps could change the minds of Executive VP Mike Tannenbaum, GM Chris Grier and HC Adam Gase. Ryan Tannehill will be 29 at the start of the season, missed all of last year with a knee injury. He wasn't that good before the injury. Rosen drops because of his own injury concerns including past concussions. He appears to be the most ready of the top QB prospects to be able to step in immediately.
  • Needs: QB, DT, TE, RB, RT/G, O/MLB
  • Hope might be available: OT M McGlinchey, LB T Edmunds
  • Other Options: RB D Guice, DT V Vea, CB D Ward, trade down

12. Buffalo Bills (from Cincinnati)

QB Lamar Jackson - Louisville

Most likely to trade up into picks four to ten for Allen or Rosen. Signed AJ McCarron as a veteran stopgap after releasing Tyrod Taylor. The perceived ability of Rosen to step in immediately would be a lure to trade up for him. Jackson needs more time to develop. He also would benefit greatly from an offense tailored to his athletic skill set.
  • Needs: QB, WR, CB, M/OLB, DE, T/G
  • Hope might be available: QB J Rosen, LB T Edmunds, OT M McGlinchey
  • Other Options: WR C Ridley, CB D Ward, trade up

13. Washington Redskins

NT Vita Vea - Washington

Been trying to solidify their interior defense seemingly since Joe Gibbs retired. Vea is a huge bodied interior mauler with surprisingly light feet and the ability to create havoc in the backfield.
  • Needs: NT, WR, G/C, CB, RB, S
  • Hope might be available: S/CB D James
  • Other Options: RB D Guise, WR C Ridley, CB D Ward

14. Green Bay Packers

CB Denzel Ward - Florida St

Aging, inconsistent corner corps needs an infusion of youth, talent. Ward could arguably go as high as the fifth pick. His combination of speed, athleticism and feel for the game should make him an immediate contributor. Has the skills to play outside. Quick feet and lack of top size might make him even better in the slot
  • Needs: OLB, CB, G/C, S, OT, WR
  • Hope might be available: OLB T Edmunds, OT M McGlinchey
  • Other Options: CB/S M Fitzpatrick, OLB H Landry, OT K Wong, G/C I Wynn

15. Arizona Cardinals

S/CB Minkah Fitzpatrick - Alabama

Tyrann Mathieu was released opening up a hole at free safety. Fitzpatrick could step in immediately or be tried at corner on the edge opposite Patrick Peterson. Finding a QB of the future obviously remains a top priority despite signing Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon. Former coach Bruce Arians preferred big, strong armed pocket passers. New staff may be more flexible making Jackson a possibility if he falls.
  • Needs: QB, OT, CB, G/C, WR, S
  • Hope might be available: QB L Jackson, CB D Ward
  • Other Options: WR C Ridley, OT K Wong, G/C I Wynn, trade up

16. Baltimore Ravens

OT Kolton Wong - UCLA

Still hard to believe they choked away a playoff spot in the final week of the season in Cincinnati. Replacing the ridiculously over paid, over rated Joe Flacco would be ideal yet highly unlikely. Protecting Flacco and hoping for a resurgence is another more realistic option. The ultra-athletic Wong has seen his draft stock sore. Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable is said to be enamored with him so he could even go higher.
  • Needs: QB, OT, G/C, WR/TE, I/OLB, DT
  • Hope might be available: QB L Jackson, OT M McGlinchey
  • Other Options: ILB R Evans, WR C Ridley, G/C I Wynn

17. Los Angeles Chargers

LB Rashaan Evans - Alabama

Move to Los Angeles was a disaster off the field, yet worked out decently enough on the field. Defense is set on the edge with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram plus a young, deep group of corners. Looking to improve in the interior especially against the run. Evans is a sideline-to-sideline every down middle or strong side defender in this scheme that will help in all facets of the game.
  • Needs: OT, NT, M/SLB, QB, WR, RB
  • Hope might be available: QB L Jackson, NT V Vea, OT K Wong
  • Other Options: RB D Guice, NT D Payne, WR C Ridley

18. Seattle Seahawks

CB Josh Jackson - Iowa

Their only pick on day one. Acquisition of Duane Brown and DJ Fluker at least nominally helps an offensive line that still needs a right tackle and another guard. Perhaps just as disconcerting at least for defensive minded head coach Pete Carroll is the dismantling of the legion of boom. Richard Sherman is off to Santa Clara. Jackson's combination of size, speed and athleticism make him a viable immediate replacement.
  • Needs: RT/G, CB, DE, DT, RB, WR/TE
  • Hope might be available: DT V Vea, OT K Wong
  • Other Options: RB D Guice, DE H Landry, DT D Payne, OG I Wynn

19. Dallas Cowboys

DE Harold Landry - Boston College

Value over immediate need. Can't ignore athletically gifted edge rusher that slides a bit due to a drop off in production his final season. Make the pick despite drafting Taco Charlton in the first round last year. Landry does provide future value with both Demarcus Lawrence and David Irving slated for free agency next off season.
  • Needs: WR, M/SLB, S, DE, DT, RB
  • Hope might be available: LB R Evans, DT V Vea
  • Other Options: WR C Ridley, LB L Vander Esch

20. Detroit Lions

DT Da'Ron Payne - Alabama

Replacement for Haloti Ngata. Payne lost weight without losing strength as his career progressed in Tuscaloosa which should help him develop into more than just a two down run stuffer. Would join former teammate A'Shawn Robinson inside for the Lions.
  • Needs: TE, RB, DT, OLB, DE, CB
  • Hope might be available: LB R Evans, DE H Landry
  • Other Options: TE M Gesicki, RB D Guice, LB L Vander Esch

21. Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo)

G/C Isaiah Wynn - Georgia

Should be set on the left side with Clint Bolling and Cordy Glenn if he can stay healthy. The rest of the line is a shambles. Lost four year starting center Russell Bodine to the Bills as a free agent. Wynn dominated at tackle on the left side at the highest level of college football. He was recruited as a guard and a lack of length makes a move inside a probability in the pros.
  • Needs: C, RT/G, S, OLB, WR, QB
  • Hope might be available: LB R Evans, OT K Wong
  • Other Options: G W Hernandez, WR C Ridley, OT C Williams

22. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City)

WR Calvin Ridley - Alabama

The first wideout in a pedestrian class doesn't come off the board until the early twenties. The slightly overage Ridley is a crisp route runner that consistently gets separation with both his technical proficiency and speed. Natural pass catcher that can be forced into drops by big hits. A finished product without much developmental upside, thin build a concern.
  • Hope might be available: CB J Jackson, OG I Wynn
  • Other Options: DE M Davenport, WR DJ Moore, OT C Williams

23. New England Patriots (from LA Rams)

T/G Connor Williams - Texas

Lost both Nate Soldier and Cameron Fleming to free agency. Williams is an early entrant that started on the left side as a true freshman. Stock declined somewhat due to an injury plagued final season. Short arms a concern.
  • Needs: OT, LB, CB, DE, OG, QB
  • Hope might be available: LB R Evans, CB J Jackson
  • Other Options: DE M Davenport, CB M Hughes, LB L Vander Esch

24. Carolina Panthers

WR DJ Moore - Maryland

Somewhat shockingly traded away top receiver Kelvin Benjamin in mid-season. Speed outside was a concern even before the move. Early entrant Moore's stock has soared. Big Ten receiver of the year despite Maryland being forced to start four QBs last season due to injuries.
  • Needs: OT, G/C, WR/TE, DE, CB/S, RB
  • Hope might be available: WR C Ridley, OT C Williams, G/C I Wynn
  • Other Options: C J Daniels, DE M Davenport, G W Hernandez, CB M Hughes

25. Tennessee Titans

OLB Marcus Davenport - Texas San Antonio

Brian Orakapo and Derrick Morgan aren't getting any younger. Former first rounder Kevin Dodd appears to be a bust. This is a best case, probably unlikely scenario for the Titans. Edge rushers usually don't slide on draft day without some off the field or injury concerns. Davenport has neither.
  • Needs: OLB, RT/G, ILB, C, DT/E, WR
  • Hope might be available: DT D Payne, OT C Williams, G/C I Wynn
  • Other Options: C J Daniels, G W Hernandez, OLB S Hubbard, ILB L Vander Esch

26. Atlanta Falcons

DT Taven Bryan - Florida

Almost too good a fit between need and player skill set. Bryan is an athletic, penetrating interior defender perfect for the 3-technique role in Dan Quinn's defense.
  • Needs: DT, DE, WR, G/C, CB, M/OLB
  • Hope might be available: DE M Davenport, WR DJ Moore
  • Other Options: C J Daniels, G W Hernandez, DE S Hubbard, OLB L Vander Esch

27. New Orleans Saints

DE/OLB Sam Hubbard - Ohio St

Hubbard is a consistent, high motor every down performer that will finish off ball carries and relentlessly pursue the QB. Lack of explosiveness an issue. More worker than top athlete. At the least starts off as a two down edge setter allowing undersized Hau'oli Kikaha to assume a role as a situational pass rusher. Work ethic, instincts and intelligence should keep Hubbard in the league for a long time.
  • Needs: DE, TE, WR, OLB, DT, CB
  • Hope might be available: DT T Bryan, DE M Davenport, WR DJ Moore
  • Other Options: TE M Gesicki, DT M Hurst, OLB L Vander Esch, trade up

28. Pittsburgh Steelers

I/OLB Leighton Vander Esch - Boise St

Fluid former basketball player with only a year of starting experience at the major college level. Quickly developed into an instinctive play maker both against the run and the pass. Versatile with the ability to play inside or outside in multiple schemes. Reportedly has been removed from multiple draft boards due to a supposed neck/spinal issue. That allows him to fall this far. Steelers met with him multiple times and brought him to Pittsburgh. How they view his medical results is anybody's guess.
  • Needs: ILB, FS, OLB, CB, WR, NT/DE
  • Hope might be available: ILB R Evans
  • Other Options: CB J Alexander, CB M Hughes, S J Reid, QB M Rudolph

29. Jacksonville Jaguars

CB Mike Hughes - Central Florida

Loss of Aaron Colvin leaves next to nothing behind quality outside starters Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye. Hughes lacks length but has a stout build and can play outside or in the slot. He lacks experience after being suspended as a freshman at North Carolina before going the JC route. Came out early despite only playing a year at the bowl sub-division level.
  • Needs: LT, CB, M/OLB, RT/G, WR, QB
  • Hope might be available: OT C Williams, OLB L Vander Esch
  • Other Options: CB J Alexander, G W Hernandez, QB M Rudolph, WR C Sutton

30. Minnesota Vikings

G Will Hernandez - UTEP

Immediate replacement for retired Joe Berger allowing Mike Remmers to remain outside at right tackle. Hernandez is an experienced, mauling interior presence with the feet to also excel in pass protection. Possesses the upside of a multi-year Pro Bowler.
  • Needs: RT/G, DE, CB, OLB, DT, WR
  • Hope might be available: DE S Hubbard, CB M Hughes, OLB L Vander Esch
  • Other Options: CB J Alexander, DE R Green, DT M Hurst

31. New England Patriots

CB Jaire Alexander - Louisville

Allowed Malcolm Butler to walk after sitting him in the Super Bowl with disastrous results. Free agent signee Jason McCourtney is an aging short term stopgap. Alexander blew up at the combine after coming out early despite missing time in his final season due to injury.
  • Hope might be available: G W Hernandez, DE S Hubbard, I/OLB L Vander Esch
  • Other Options: DE R Green, RB D Guice, I/OLB U Nwosou, QB M Rudolph

32. Philadelphia Eagles

RB Derius Guice - LSU

A value pick for the Super Bowl Champions. Lost LaGarrette Blount to free agency and Darren Sproles to injury. Of course still have Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, Donnel Pumphrey and Wendell Smallwood on the depth chart.
  • Needs: LT, CB, S, G/C, RB, TE
  • Hope might be available: CB J Alexamnder
  • Other Options: C J Daniels, TE M Gesicki, S J Reid

Round 2

33. Cleveland Browns - DT Maurice Hurst - Michigan
Drops out of 1st round after being flagged for irregular heart beat at combine.

34. New York Giants - C James Daniels - Iowa
Replacement for free agent loss Richburg.

35. Cleveland Browns (from Hou) - WR Courtland Sutton - SMU
Big outside receiver a nice compliment to Landry, Coleman and Gordon.

36. Indianapolis Colts - CB Carlton Davis - Auburn
Released Davis in season, Melvin left as a free agent.

37. Indianapolis Colts (from NYJ) - DE Rasheem Green - USC
Young, developing edge presence that can move inside in sub-packages.

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - RB Ronald Jones - USC
Being compared to former Chiefs/Broncos all purpose back Charles.

39. Chicago Bears - OLB Josh Sweat - Florida St
Long, athletic edge rusher could drop farther due to concerns about his knee.

40. Denver Broncos - CB Isaiah Oliver - Colorado
Traded Talib to the Rams, need a replacement.

41. Oakland Raiders - I/OLB Uchenna Nwosu - USC
Looking to replace Whitehead inside and/or James on the weak side.

42. Miami Dolphins - DT Harrison Phillips - Stanford
Suh released for cap relief.

43. New England Patriots (from SF) - QB Mason Rudolph - Oklahoma St
Again looking for long term Brady replacement after trading Garoppolo.

44. Washington Redskins - WR Christian Kirk - Texas A&M
A weapon for newly acquired Smith.

45. Green Bay Packers - S Ronnie Harrison - Alabama
In the box replacement for free agent loss Burnett.

46. Cincinnati Bengals - S Justin Reid - Stanford
Still looking to replace Nelson after 2 seasons.

47. Arizona Cardinals - WR DJ Chark - LSU
Deep speed opposite Fitzgerald for depleted receiver corps.

48. Los Angeles Chargers - NT Tim Settle - Virginia Tech
Mauling interior presence to push aging Mebane.

49. Indianapolis Colts (from Sea/NYJ) - T/G Tyrell Crosby - Oregon
Need to protect Luck when he finally comes back.

50. Dallas Cowboys - WR Equanimeous St. Brown - Notre Dame
Big outside receiver to replace Dez.

51. Detroit Lions - TE Mike Gesicki - Penn St
Athletic former volleyball player a weapon in the passing game.

52. Baltimore Ravens - TE Dallas Goedert - South Dakota St
Former 2nd rounder Williams never developed.

53. Buffalo Bills - CB Donte Jackson - LSU
Undersized, athletic slot prospect fills an immediate need.

54. Kansas City Chiefs

OLB Arden Key - LSU

Gamble on high upside edge rusher with the cornerback class having already been thinned rapidly.
  • Needs: CB, OLB, G/C, NT, ILB, WR

55. Carolina Panthers - G/T Martinas Rankin - Mississippi St
JC transfer and two year starter in SEC at LT offers 5 position versatility.

56. Buffalo Bills (from Rams) - M/OLB Malik Jefferson - Texas
Possesses the top athleticism McDermott prefers in his linebackers.

57. Tennessee Titans - C Billy Price - Ohio St
Immediate upgrade over Jones in the pivot.

58. Atlanta Falcons - WR Anthony Miller - Memphis
Lack depth behind Jones, pedestrian Sanu.

59. San Francisco 49ers (from NO) - RB Sony Michel - Georgia
Could drop farther due to concerns about bone spur in knee.

60. Pittsburgh Steelers

S Jesse Bates - Wake Forest

Versatile free agent signee Morgan Burnett best suited to play in the box. Sean Davis is more a nickel safety and backup to Burnett and Mike Hilton in the slot than a pure free safety. Bates is the type of instinctive, fluid coverage safety the roster has been missing for years. Somewhat surprising early entrant that lacks bulk, experience.
  • Others: RB N Chubb, NT BJ Hill, ILB M Jefferson, OLB J Sweat, WR J Washington

61. Jacksonville Jaguars - OG Braden Smith - Auburn
Mauler fits scheme, provides competition for Cann.

62. Minnesota Vikings - DT BJ Hill - North Carolina St
Richardson signed only a one year deal to play next to Joseph.

63. New England Patriots - DE/OLB Lorenzo Carter - Georgia
Edge rusher that can play standing up or with hand on the ground.

64. Cleveland Browns (from Phi) - RB Nick Chubb - Georgia
Depth behind recently signed injury prone Hyde.

Round 3

65. Buffalo Bills (from Cle) - DE/OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo - Oklahoma

66. New York Giants - WR Michael Gallup - Colorado St

67. Indianapolis Colts - RB Kerryon Johnson - Auburn

68. Houston Texans

NT/DE Nathan Shepherd - Fort Hays St

Versatile, high upside Canadian defensive lineman provides depth in the short term.
  • Needs: OT, TE, OG, NT/DE, OLB, QB

69. New York Giants (from TB) - G/C Frank Ragnow - Arkansas

70. San Francisco 49ers (from Chi) - WR James Washington - Oklahoma St

71. Denver Broncos - WR Dante Pettis - Washington

72. New York Jets - TE Hayden Hurst - South Carolina

73. Miami Dolphins - TE Mark Andrews - Oklahoma

74. San Francisco 49ers - CB Quenton Meeks - Stanford

75. Oakland Raiders - CB Anthony Averett - Alabama

76. Green Bay Packers - OLB Kemoko Turay - Rutgers

77. Cincinnati Bengals - OLB Fred Warner - BYU

78. Kansas City Chiefs (from Was) - G/C Austin Corbett, Nevada

79. Arizona Cardinals - OT Brian O'Neill - Pitt

80. Houston Texans (from Sea) - TE Ian Thomas - Indiana

81. Dallas Cowboys - S Marcus Allen - Penn St

82. Detroit Lions - RB Rashad Penny - San Diego St

83. Baltimore Ravens - DT/DE Trenton Thompson - Georgia

84. Los Angeles Chargers - OT Chukwuma Okorafor - Western Michigan

85. Carolina Panthers (from Buf) - DE DaShawn Hand - Alabama

86. Kansas City Chiefs - CB Duke Dawson - Florida

87. Los Angeles Rams

I/OLB Genard Avery - Memphis

Versatile fast riser that will provide a presence against the run next to Mark Barron. Could also contribute on the edge where he reportedly prefers to play.
  • Needs: OLB, ILB, OG, S, CB, RB

88. Carolina Panthers - RB Royce Freeman - Oregon

89. Tennessee Titans - OT Orlando Brown - Oklahoma

90. Atlanta Falcons - DE Jalyn Holmes - Ohio St

91. New Orleans Saints - WR Deon Cain - Clemson

92. Pittsburgh Steelers

RB/FB/TE Jaylen Samuels - North Carolina St

A swiss army knife, Samuels is a pounding runner and solid blocker that complimented Nyheim Hines in the backfield in Raleigh. Samuels also played move TE displaying excellent route running ability and hands. Can be used all over the field in the short term if Bell and Conners are healthy. Provides more traditional RB depth long term should Bell leave in '19 and/or Conner continue to be injury prone. The Steelers sent college scouting coordinator Phil Kreidler to the North Carolina State pro day.
  • Others: S M Allen, CB D Dawson, ILB D Leonard, DT D Ndani, I/OLB F Warner

93. Jacksonville Jaguars - O/MLB Jerome Baker - Ohio St

94. Minnesota Vikings - WR DaeSean Hamilton - Penn St

95. New England Patriots - M/OLB Darius Leonard - South Carolina St

96. Buffalo Bills (from Phi) - G/T Jemarco Jones - Ohio St

97. Arizona Cardinals (comp) - OT Geron Christian - Louisville

98. Houston Texans (comp) - OLB Jeff Holland - Auburn

99. Denver Broncos (comp) - RB Nyheim Hines - North Carolina St

100. Cincinnati Bengals (comp) - WR Tre'Quan Smith - Central Florida

Day 3

5 148 Pittsburgh Steelers (from San Francisco)

OLB Kylie Fitts - UCLA

Dropped 20 slots to acquire TE Vance McDonald from the 49ers. Fitts had trouble staying on the field in Westwood due to a myriad of injuries. Top recruit with excellent physical traits. Could create a niche as a pass rush specialist if durability concerns persist. New DB coach Tom Bradley was his coordinator the last 3 seasons.
  • Others: S T Edmunds, S T Moore, ILB D O'Daniel, CB MJ Stewart, S K White

5 165 Pittsburgh Steelers

NT/DT Bilal Nichols - Delaware

Lightly recruited TE/DE prospect that added bulk and developed at a lower level of competition. Tested much better at the combine than expected with a 4.95 40 and 29 bench press reps. High effort developmental prospect with the upside to become more than just a two-gap run stuffer.
  • Others: S T Apke, NT PJ Hall, WR Q Henderson, NT K Norton, WR J Watson

7 220 Pittsburgh Steelers (from NY Giants)

WR Russell Gage - LSU

Confused a little by this pick. Reports had the 7th rounder acquired from the Giants for CB Ross Cockrell being upgraded to a 6th rounder based on playing time. That would give the Steelers the 176th pick instead of the 220th pick. That upgrade has not been reflected in the draft tracker at or any other draft site. Gage is a high upside possible Darius Heyward-Bey replacement. He's a fluid athlete that made his mark on special teams coverage units. Ultra competative, been described as fearless. Got lost in a poor passing game in Baton Rouge with only 26 career catches.
  • Others: RB/WR R Bonnafon, ILB S Dion-Hamilton, WR/RB R James. ILB M Thomas

7 246 Pittsburgh Steelers

OT Jordan Mailata - None

A huge framed, ultra-athletic Samoan pro rugby player. Steelers attended his pro day and invited him for a visit. Has no football experience. A toy for line coach Mike Munchak.
  • Others: DE C Cothran, CB T Johnson, S T Flowers, OLB M Weaver, ILB C Worley
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