With the NFL season now five weeks in, we get a much better understanding of who has a chance at the playoffs and who’s competing for the number one overall pick in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. New York Jets, you’re on the clock.
1) New York Jets – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
I know, I know. You guys are all thinking with the first overall pick, why not draft a generational quarterback in Trevor Lawrence? The issue isn’t Sam Darnold. The issue is the Jets’ head coach, Adam Gase. If Gase goes, Darnold should thrive in any other system. Give him a weapon, and he’ll have a career year. Chase is the clear pick here for me. Give Darnold a weapon and he’ll make plays happen. Chase is arguably the most freakishly talented receiver to come out of this year’s draft.
2) New York Giants – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Lawrence is the pick here for the Giants. Daniel Jones has no idea what he’s doing running the offense in New York. He has plenty of weapons around him and just isn’t a starting-caliber play-caller in the NFL. Lawrence comes in and immediately makes every pass catcher and offensive player on the Giants relevant.
3) Miami Dolphins (via HOU) – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
This is the clear pick here for a Dolphins team that practically has zero offensive line help. Given the injury history to future franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, they need to do anything they can to protect him. Protecting Tua at all costs should be the number one priority here for the Dolphins, and they fix that need precisely with Sewell.
4) Atlanta Falcons – Micah Parsons, OLB, Penn State
Four weeks into the NFL season and the Falcons have already blown several large leads with a few minutes left in the fourth quarter. They need defensive help, and it’s no surprise. Besides Dante Fowler and Deion Jones, they have no other defenders capable of helping. Parsons brings a much-needed boost to this defense and might even make them a streaming option next season for fantasy purposes. He is as explosive as they come, and his arsenal will be on full display
5) Dallas Cowboys – Gregory Rousseau, EDGE, Miami
The Cowboys defense isn’t the best, and this pick can help solidify their pass rush need. They have big-time players such as Everson Griffen and DeMarcus Lawrence causing chaos, and all they are missing is Rousseau to make it complete hell for the opposing quarterback. Rousseau is fire when he comes off the corner and is the missing puzzle piece to the Cowboys defense
6) Washington Football Team – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Washington has no weapons outside of Logan Thomas and Terry McLaurin. Haskins has tons of potential and getting every chance he can to develop and show he’s a starting-caliber quarterback. They finally get him some help here in Waddle and he’ll help open up the field. Waddle’s athleticism will be on full display, and he will put on a show in the NFL
7) Los Angeles Charges – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
The Chargers defense is fairly decent with Derwin James anchoring the defense. However, James can’t guard everyone at the same time. Surtain will help and be more than an above-average cornerback in the NFL. With James and Surtain in the secondary, opposing quarterbacks will think twice before letting it fly
8) Detroit Lions – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
The Lions have zero defense, and it’s no secret. Quarterbacks pick apart the Lions secondary every game and it’s finally time to fix that issue. Yes, they took Jeff Okudah in last year’s draft, and they’ll take another cornerback here to help solidify that secondary. Farley and Okudah will be a force to be reckoned with next season.
9) Miami Dolphins – Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama
The Dolphins have a few pretty good players in DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki. They need another explosive weapon for Tagovailoa to throw to, and Smith is that player. He has great speed, vision, and he’s a very smart player. These four players will create a nice arsenal for the Dolphins for years to come, especially with how young they all are. Gesicki, Parker, and Williams are all entering their primes. Smith isn’t as raw as other receivers in the draft and could prove to be a vital part of this team.
10) Denver Broncos – Dylan Moses, ILB, Alabama
Moses is a beast. Plain and simple. Put him on the defensive side with other stars such as Bradley Chubb and Von Miller, and the Broncos have a similar-type of elite defensive play they had a few years ago. Moses has a knack for getting to the quarterback and will continue to do so during his NFL career. Moses, Chubb, and Miller will become one of the most dynamic defensive trios in the NFL.
11) Jacksonville Jaguars – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
Protect Gardner Minshew. Cosmi is a monster, and that is what the Jaguars lack on the offensive line. The Jaguars have no one on the offensive line to protect Minshew, or even create a bit of running space for their running backs. James Robinson is doing the best he can, but he is not getting that offensive line push he needs. Cosmi will be able to finally create that push that the offensive line needs. He is a strong player and will not be pushed around.
12) Minnesota Vikings – Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Remember Griffen? He is now causing chaos dominating the defensive line on the Cowboys. Here is where the Vikings get his replacement. Wilson will be sliding right next to Jaleel Johnson and Shamar Stephen to form a nice trio on the defensive side. Those three should, and will get to the opposing quarterback plenty of times together.
13) Cincinnati Bengals – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Joe Burrow. That is the most important name this Bengals franchise has to remember, protect, and love. They will be protecting him in this year’s draft by selecting a monster in Leatherwood. Burrow is already thrown under the fire, and doing the best he can behind a very bad offensive line. Leatherwood will make sure Burrow is healthy and has plenty of time in the pocket to find studs Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and A.J. Green. Leatherwood will finally be able to open up holes for Joe Mixon and let him run wild once again. The Bengals could be a force next year, especially if they can give Burrow protection.
14) Carolina Panthers – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Fields is a very good QB. He has excellent footwork, vision, and a nice arm. He isn’t scared to let it fly. With Teddy Bridgewater already at the helm, he is an ideal mentor for Fields. Bridgewater can take him under his wing for a year or two until Fields is ready to take over. Pair a lethal Fields with players such as Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, and of course, Christian McCaffrey, and the Panthers will make a run in the playoffs in a few years.
15) Arizona Cardinals – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
The Cardinals are stacked with talent but lack talent at one position and one position only: tight end. Kyler Murray has all the toys in the world at his disposal, such as Deandre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, and future Hall of Famer, Larry Fitzgerald. Cardinals go with the pass-catching tight end, Pitts, and officially have a weapon at every offensive position. Oh, mind you, they have a top-15 running back out of the backfield in Kenyan Drake too. Pitts is the pick here.
16) Las Vegas Raiders – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
The Raiders have zero help in the secondary outside of Lamarcus Joyner. Wade here is the correct pick as it helps bolster the secondary and prevents teams from picking on Damon Arnette and Trayvon Mullen. Wade is an aggressive player and won’t be pushed around. He will win the difficult jump balls and give the Raiders a sense of comfort in the secondary with him and Joyner.
17) New England Patriots – Christian Barmore DT, Alabama
The Patriots are known to have a pretty hungry defense always ready to attack the opposing quarterback. Barmore is a monster on the defensive line and will make life extremely difficult for anyone facing the New England pass rush. Pair him with guys like Adam Butler and Beau Allen, and that front seven is going to be filthy.
18) San Fransisco 49ers – Wyatt Davis OL, Ohio State
Davis is a ferocious player. Outside of Trent Williams, they don’t have much else on the offensive line. Davis can come and help take a load off of Williams. With a revamped offensive line, the 49ers will not only improve drastically but certainly make a run at another Super Bowl next year. Davis also gives running backs Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon more room to run.
19) Philadelphia Eagles – Jevon Holland, S, Oregon
It’s no secret that the Eagles lack talent in the secondary outside of Darius Slay. Even so, Slay isn’t going to set the world on fire and has been shred by opposing receivers quite often. Philadelphia needs a boost to its secondary, and Holland is an upgrade. He is an extremely smart player as he uses his feet extremely well, and won’t back down from any challenge. The Eagles take Holland and try to piece together missing pieces to their defense.
20) New Orleans Saints – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
The run of high-quality defenders continues, and the Saints pair star-studded cornerback, Marshon Lattimore with Adebo. Both of these defenders are physical and don’t like to lose. Lattimore is a number one corner, and it is expected that Adebo can take the leap and become a lockdown corner like Lattimore. A freak at his position, Adebo will make an already harassing Saints defense even more powerful. The duo of Lattimore and Adebo will become the focal point of the defense for years to come.
21) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Creed Humphrey, OL, Oklahoma
When you have Tom Brady as your quarterback, you will do anything you can to protect him. He is no longer young, but he can win a Super Bowl if he’s healthy. Humphrey is the pick here and is in the conversation as the best offensive linemen to come out of this draft. He is a wall and will protect Brady at all costs. The Bucs don’t have much of an offensive line, so this will be a welcomed addition. Brady would much rather have Humphrey protecting him than guys like Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa.
22) Cleveland Browns – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Baker Mayfield is a legitimate quarterback, playing at an extremely high level carrying the Browns to a 3-1 record so far. However, Lance is an up-and-coming superstar that plays at an extremely high level as well. He’s smart, calm, and poised in the pocket. The Browns would be smart to lock up Lance and have him develop and learn from Mayfield in the coming years. Lance has great vision and patience as a quarterback, and that should translate fairly well in the NFL.
23) Indianapolis Colts – Rondale Moore, WR, Purdue
It is quite obvious that T.Y. Hilton is no longer the elite receiver he once was. He has lost his speed, his footing isn’t as strong, and he isn’t as comfortable as he used to be with Philip Rivers as he was with Andrew Luck. Moore is an easy pick here for the Colts as they are desperate for wide receiver help. With other pass-catchers such as Jack Doyle and Parris Campbell being labeled injury-prone, Moore should easily find the field and make eye-opening plays. He is as talented as they come, and given the situation, he should thrive.
24) Baltimore Ravens – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
The Ravens lack pass-catchers outside of Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin. Paring a guy like Bateman with Lamar Jackson will have a huge impact on the offense as a whole. Throw in the talented J.K Dobbins, and the Ravens are contenders yet again. This is as easy as a pick as there is for this organization. Jackson to Bateman going to be one of the best duos in the NFL.
25) Chicago Bears – Trey Smith, OL, Tennessee
The Bears offensive line is in complete shambles, and as a result, the play is affected by it. A talented runner like David Montgomery can’t seem to find any running room this year behind a distraught offensive line. Enter Smith, who is a freak of nature and is a force to be reckoned with. He will open up massive lanes for Montgomery, protect Mitchell Trubitsky, or Nick Foles, and give some breathing room to the offense.
26) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
We finally have running back selected, and the landing spot couldn’t be more perfect. Etienne is a fierce, hard downfield runner. Once the Jaguars lost Leonard Fournette, the running back position has been complete garbage. Robinson has been doing well, but let’s be real, he’s not the future. Etienne is a workhorse back and should be fed the ball 25+ times a game.
27) Pittsburgh Steelers – Walker Little, OT, Stanford
This should come as no surprise as the Steelers have a lackluster offensive line. Pittsburgh’s number one priority should be to protect Ben Roethlisberger, who is coming off of an elbow injury. If he gets time to throw, Roethlisberger is arguably a top-ten quarterback. He has plenty of weapons around him, and all he needs is protection. He gets that here with Little.
28) Tennessee Titans – Carlos Basham Jr. EDGE, Wake Forest
The Titans have a smothering defense. There is no denying that, however, seeing a player of Basham’s caliber still on the board here late in the first is a no brainer. Pair him with a guy like Harold Landry and Vic Beasley. and the Titans, who already have a very good front seven is now elite. This is a no brainer here for the Titans.
29) Kansas City Chiefs – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
The Chiefs have absolutely no secondary outside of Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu is all over the place on defense, and he needs help. He gets that and more in Campbell. He is fast, quick, explosive, and would fit perfectly right next to Mathieu. Not only that, teams won’t be picking on the swiss-cheese Chiefs defense all game long.
30) New York Jets (via Seattle) – Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
The Jets have already drafted Chase with the first overall pick, and go another star receiver here. New York needs all the weapons on the outside they can handle and are off to a great start in the first round. Pairing Chase with Jamison Crowder and Olave, Darnold finally has the toys and weapons to thrive in the NFL. This is a perfect scenario for the Jets.
31) Green Bay Packers – Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
It is no secret the Packers don’t have good safeties. Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage are somewhat decent, but none of them compare to Cisco. He can change the dynamics of the secondary by himself due to his athleticism, speed, and toughness. Having him in the secondary should give the entire Packers defense some confidence that someone somewhat competent is back there.
32) Buffalo Bills – Nick Bolton, OLB, Missouri
Buffalo’s defensive unit as a whole is terrifyingly good. They are arguably the best defensive unit in the NFL and get better here by drafting Bolton. He is lighting fast and can get to the quarterback with ease. Pairing him with other elite linebackers on the Bills makes this unit scarier and a whole lot better. Could this be the year the Bills make the Super Bowl?
Follow Josh Livi on Twitter @GangGreenNYK
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