11. Cincinnati Bengals
Devin White, LB, LSU
Finally; finally, Bengals fans, you have been freed of the shackles of imprisonment that came with Marvin Lewis’ tenure down the stretch. Can you feel that? That’s the feeling of free air. Freedom at las–oh, Lord, they’re interviewing Hue Jackson.
The Bengals have quite a few holes on their roster that they could address here, but Devin White really is likely the best option. It’s a common pick for the Bengals in mock drafts, and likely will continue to be. But don’t get bored of him too quickly. He’d be perfect for Cincinnati.
12. Green Bay Packers
Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
With Mike McCarthy officially out in Green Bay, it’s time for a new era. Whoever captains the Packers’ ship on its next sail must address the lack of edge rushing, at some point, whether in free agency or the draft. If that need persists into April, and if a guy like Brian Burns is available, they should look no further.
13. Miami Dolphins
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
With Adam Gase out in Miami, the team could go a few different directions. With their quarterback Ryan Tannehill not exactly looking like the franchise guy either, it makes sense for them to pair a new offensive head coach with a new rookie quarterback. However, with the quarterback scarcity in this class, even if they go offensive minded with their head coach hire, there’s no guarantee there would be a quarterback available to pair him with.
If they can’t get their hands on a quarterback, they, too, are a team in desperate need of edge rushing consistency. Ferrell is having the most quiet double digit sack season I think I’ve ever seen. He has the size and all-around game to be a true three-down player.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Raekwon Davis, iDL, Alabama
If the Falcons had lost their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17, do you know where they would be picking? (Look away, Falcons fans.) They would be picking No. 8 overall.
But, if the board falls like this, they won’t have too much regret. Davis, at 6-foot-7, 300 pounds, is one of the best run stopping interior players in the country, and would likely be a Top 5 player on their board anyways. To get him at No. 14 would be a blessing, but if quarterbacks and edge rushers command most of the Top 10, it could happen.
15. Washington Redskins
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Whatever Washington does at quarterback this offseason, they have to get their guy some upgraded weaponry, especially in the aerial attack department. Metcalf’s sample size from his one year of real production at Ole Miss is small, but when he was on the field, he showed some rare traits as a potential WR1 at the next level. I think the Redskins need to pull the trigger on Metcalf, if he is there.
16. Carolina Panthers
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Jeez, what a disaster of a season the Panthers had down the stretch. After starting the year 6-2 and looking prime for a playoff position already in October, the Panther went on to drop seven games in a row and finish the year 7-9.
The Panthers did good for themselves by picking up Eric Reid, but he is still more of a support safety than a deep safety. By drafting Thompson, the Panthers will have a nice pairing of safeties to both cover and come up and hit. I think Thompson is one of the top five players in this class, but I’ve heard the NFL isn’t as high on him. That could lead to him being more of a mid-to-late first round pick, one the Panthers will surely enjoy.
17. Cleveland Browns
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Now, do I really think the Browns will be this lucky getting Greedy Williams this far down in the draft? No, it’s likely not going to happen. However, perhaps the universe uses this pick as the final piece of the karma puzzle for them losing out on LeBron for the second time in one career.
Williams is likely going to be the first cornerback taken in this draft, but I really do think the logic (and somewhat craziness) in the previous picks makes sense for the teams that did the picking, so Greedy happened to fall in this mock.
Greedy and Denzel Ward? The best two man coverage corners in each draft class? You’re welcome.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Dalton Risner, OT/iOL, Kansas State
You watched the Vikings down the stretch. You know what the problem was.
It was Kirk Cousins — wait, what, sorry.
Until the Vikings put together a better offensive line, they will not achieve the talented ceiling the rest of their roster can unlock. Risner can be a good tackle and guard option, as a player who shows versatility with athleticism for a big man. I’m higher on him than most people are, it seems.
19. Tennessee Titans
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
I still have faith that Corey Davis will come along to be the kind of dynamic outside WR1 the Titans need, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help him out with an offensive pick here.
I do think Arcega-Whiteside has some WR1 potential, but I would really love to see this pairing of Davis on one side and Arcega-Whiteside on the other. If both continue to progress towards their talent ceilings, Davis can be the big-play guy while Arcega-Whiteside can be the red zone and third down Mr. Reliable.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
On talent alone, Polite deserves to go much higher than this. However, there will be teams that question what kind of a three-down player he is or how well his body might hold up, and there has even been some whispers that he didn’t make as many friends as he should have in Gainesville among the football staff. But here’s the thing: at the end of the day, talent will win out. The Steelers need speed help off the edge badly. If they get the best of Polite, this would be a home run for talent and fit.