11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU
Bengals fans, I wish I had more for you, my people. But this pick makes too much sense. The Bengals have a sore need for more athleticism and explosiveness at linebacker.
In White, the Bengals can add the ferocity of Vontaze Burfict but with much, much more athleticism. And fewer bonehead plays. Consider White a “plug and play” starter who has the upside to be an All-Pro in the NFL. Not much wrong with that, right?
12. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The Packers quietly enjoyed a breakout season from OLB Kyler Fackrell (10.5 sacks) but you can’t convince me the team doesn’t need more reinforcements. First of all, Fackrell logged 6 of his sacks last season against Buffalo and Seattle in two games. Second, the rest of this pass rush group is aging…and expensive.
Florida State’s Brian Burns would be neither. Burns is more flexible than Gumby and he’s got the most diverse pallet of pass rush counters out of anyone in this year’s class. Anyone.
Weight is the popular concern for Burns, but in an odd front Burns can play at wider angles and be assisted in his leverage in the run game.
13. Miami Dolphins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Tell me Murray isn’t a Miami type of play. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Miami has endured years of immobile quarterback play and terrible decision-making under pressure.
The Dolphins are a star-starved franchise who have been an essential league afterthought for years.
But with Murray? Everyone is paying attention to the Dolphins. And the Dolphins are committed to a long-term rebuild (finally). So Murray can grow into this role as the team grows into a competitor.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, iDL, Clemson
Here for this one, personally. Wilkins next to Grady Jarrett and alongside Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley? Be still, my beating heart!
The Falcons could certainly use another presence up front to help keep the chaos thriving on defense and keep their speedy linebackers clean. Wilkins can fill either role and really let this front seven pop.
15. Washington Redskins: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
The Redskins are in a bit of a pickle. The Alex Smith situation doesn’t have a solution in sight, nor should it. Alex has bigger fish to fry than football.
But where does this team go from here? A free agent addition at quarterback feels likely for this team, given the QB class and Washington’s positioning in the order.
So why not go get a potential volume pass catcher to add to the fray? With fragile WRs like Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson leading the receiver room, it is time for some fresh blood
16. Carolina Panthers: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
No one helped their stock more at the 2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl than Kansas State’s Dalton Risner. Risner was widely perceived as a guard convert entering the week. And heck, he still might be. But one that that’s certain either way is this dude is mean as hell and he’s got the kind of mauler mentality you absolutely love.
The Panthers are facing some changes up front and Cam Newton’s health has been an area of concern in recent years. Investing up front to get the line right is a must. Risner can feasibly play Center, Guard or Tackle at a high level.
17. Cleveland Browns: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Browns’ offense under Baker Mayfield and Freddie Kitchens last year: awesome. Rookie CB Denzel Ward last year: awesome. The Browns’ opposing cornerback last year: not awesome. Byron Murphy: awesome.
Problem solved. The mold has already been set for Cleveland, they selected a smaller than ideal cornerback in the top five last year. What if I told you Murphy is nearly on the same level (in my personal opinion) as a player?
Murphy and Ward would be a phenomenal pairing in the secondary.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Chris Lindstrom, iOL, Boston College
The Vikings’ offensive line is lingering as a bit of a sore spot. 2017 rookie Pat Elflein slipped after a strong second half of his rookie season and the Guard spots are both in need of upgrades.
Enter Chris Lindstrom. The Boston College product would immediately be the best player on the interior for the Vikings and would help kick-start their rushing attack.
19. Tennessee Titans: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Polite is one of the darlings of Draft Twitter. And that’s okay! Am I especially sold that Polite is going to be a rock star, especially fresh out the gate? No.
Polite has a potent first step and speed to burn off the edge. The Titans would put that to good use, he’d be a great replacement for Brian Orakpo as a rush OLB for the team. But Polite isn’t as good of a run defender as some of his more enthusiastic fans would suggest, so Polite would benefit from the Titans’ base alignments just as much as the Titans would benefit from Jachai’s pass rush potential.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Pittsburgh’s hunt for an heir to Ryan Shazier continues for another off-season. Devin Bush has the goods to deliver. I’m a big fan of Bush’s burst, explosiveness and range. And the last time the Steelers took an undersized Big-10 linebacker in the first round, it was *squints* Ryan Shazier.
Bush has sideline to sideline speed and would thrive in a system with the kind of horses up front that Pittsburgh features along the defensive line.