The first round of the draft went largely as expected on Thursday night (aside from Green Bay's stunning trade up for quarterback Jordan Love). We even saw a classic trade back from the Patriots, who are one of seven teams that didn't make a pick on Day 1 and are hoping to make a splash on Friday.
Below is our instant analysis and grades for every pick from Rounds 2 and 3.
33. Cincinnati Bengals: WR Tee Higgins
This speaks to the Bengals’ concerns about incumbent wide receivers John Ross and especially A.J. Green staying healthy. They made this move despite having glaring needs on defense. Higgins, with his 6'4" frame, wide catch radius and perimeter ball-attacking ability, is much more similar to Green, who will be 32 come Week 1 and is coming off a season-long foot injury in 2019 after missing seven games the previous year. One important note: Higgins improved in his last year at Clemson, including as an inside receiver. In Taylor’s play-action heavy offense the receivers often align in tight splits, working the middle of the field.
34. Indianapolis Colts (from Washington): WR Michael Pittman
After a mostly unsuccessful one-year stint with free agent Devin Funchess last season, the Colts are taking another stab at a long-bodied perimeter target. Pittman gives them a nice stylistic complement to explosive movable chess piece T.Y. Hilton, who likely now will play full-time in the slot in three-receiver sets. (Hilton has seen plenty of action here in recent years already; third-year pro Zach Pascal is likely to continue getting opportunities as the other outside receiver.) Philip Rivers has thrown to big targets throughout his career: Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, etc. Pittman is a good stylistic fit.
35. Detroit Lions: RB D'Andre Swift
Try, try again. That’s what the Lions have been doing at running back ever since Barry Sanders’s unexpected retirement 21 years ago. Swift was a highly refined zone runner at Georgia and will operate mainly out of those designs in coordinator Darrell Bevell’s offense. He has the lateral agility to create his own space, and his potential explosiveness as a receiver could do wonders for a Lions offense that must regain some aerial balance after becoming heavily skewed toward vertical throws in 2019. With sustaining third-year back Kerryon Johnson aboard, expect Swift to fill an Alvin Kamara type role.
36. New York Giants: S Xavier McKinney
Consider McKinney a catch-all solution for a Giants secondary that was quietly better inside than people realize. Or, potentially better, since they’re counting on last year’s fourth-round free safety, Julian Love, building on his intriguing rookie season and former Browns first-round strong safety Jabrill Peppers performing at a star level. In today’s NFL you need three quality safeties, and it really helps if one of those safeties can play the slot, as that provides answers inside against both three-receiver and two-tight end personnel. McKinney offers diverse value.
GiantsCountry: X Marks the Spot: Giants Pluck Alabama's Xavier McKinney
37. New England Patriots (from LA Chargers): S Kyle Dugger
This one is a bit of a head-scratcher for the simple reason that the Patriots entered this draft with four quality safeties already: the recently re-signed Devin McCourty, do-it-all box player Patrick Chung, grossly underrated ex-Charger Adrian Phillips and the lesser-known Terrence Brooks, who performed nicely as Chung’s backup last season. Brooks is signed through 2020, while the other three are under contract through 2021. But few teams have made better use of diverse secondary talent, which is precisely what Dugger brings. He doesn’t fill a need, but there is no question he fits the scheme.
PatriotMaven: Patriots Take Lenior-Rhyne Safety With First 2020 Pick
38. Carolina Panthers: EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos
It’s looking more and more like first-time NFL defensive coordinator Phil Snow will start his scheme with an aggressive four-down, gap-penetrating front four—a philosophy the Panthers have relied on for years and one that Snow coached under in his last NFL stint as Rod Marinelli’s linebackers instructor in Detroit (2006-08). After snatching behemoth defensive tackle Derrick Brown in Round 1, the Panthers found a classic, imposingly built 4-3 style defensive end who, thanks to the departure of veterans Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin, will likely assume a significant rotational role right away.
AllPanthers: Meet the Newest Panther, EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos
39. Miami Dolphins: OT Robert Hunt
This pick is not overkill after the Dolphins took USC left tackle Austin Jackson in Round 1. They entered this draft with glaring needs at both tackle spots, considering that young veterans Julie’n Davenport and Jesse Davis are both better suited for utility backup roles. Davenport and Davis, stylistically, have traits that could transition well to guard, and so does Hunt, who at 6'5", 323 and with just 33.5-inch arms has a compact build. But given that free agent Ereck Flowers was just signed to a surprisingly expensive contract to play left guard, and Michael Deiter was drafted in the third round last year to play right guard, the plan at this point is likely for Hunt to be a right tackle.
AllDolphins: Instant Reaction: Dolphins Draft Robert Hurt
40. Houston Texans (from Arizona): DT Ross Blacklock
Felling Houston down the stretch last season was a putrid pass rush that, at times when J.J. Watt was out, bordered on downright irrelevant. Some see Blacklock as the best pure pass rushing defensive tackle in this draft. He aligned primarily over the center at TCU, both as a 0-tech (directly over the center) and 1-tech (shaded over the center’s shoulder). But elite athleticism—including much-coveted short-area lateral quickness—suggests he can play 3-tech in the NFL. Blacklock’s game is not built on power, so he himself won’t fill the void left by free agent D.J. Reader’s departure, but his presence allows Reader’s in-house replacement, Brandon Dunn, to focus almost solely on the nose position.
State of the Texans: Blacklock Gives Much-Needed Boost to Texans' Interior
41. Indianapolis (from Cleveland): RB Jonathan Taylor
NFL Films’s Greg Cosell has described Taylor as an Ezekiel Elliott level of runner. Taylor weighs 225, runs a 4.39 in the 40 and is both efficient and explosive working downhill. He does not offer Elliott’s receiving prowess, but the Colts already have Nyheim Hines to handle their third down duties. Taylor may have just been too much value for the Colts not to pursue early in the second round, but also consider this: Marlon Mack is scheduled for free agency after this season. Colts head coach Frank Reich comes from the Eagles, a franchise that has prioritized having running backs on cheap rookie deals. If Mack departs in 2021, the Colts now have a ready-made starter in Taylor at an affordable rate for the next three years—maybe four, if Taylor performs really well. (And that’s not to say Taylor can’t contribute immediately in 2020.) At that point, the Colts could repeat the cycle all over again, drafting Taylor’s replacement and letting Taylor leave. Because the one blemish on the stud runner: He already has the tread of 926 carries from his time at Wisconsin.
42. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Laviska Shenault Jr.
D.J. Chark is on his way to becoming a No. 1 receiver, and now he may have an equally talented sidekick. Shenault wowed with his straight-line explosiveness and versatility at Colorado. And stylistically, he gives Jacksonville another big-bodied target after this offense has been stuck playing with mostly thinner-framed, finesse-oriented guys. It might take Shenault a year or two, though. One concern is he needs some polish and refinement. New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden’s scheme is sharply built but dependent on smart, precise route running.
JaguarReport: Jaguars Select Shenault in Second Round
43. Chicago Bears (from Las Vegas): TE Cole Kmet
In part due to injuries, things never fully worked out with intriguing 2018 free agent signing Trey Burton, who was recently released. And 2017 second-rounder Adam Shaheen officially became a bust last season when he too often failed to get on the field ahead of low-pedigreed, workman tight ends like Ben Braunecker and J.P. Holtz. Kmet is as classic a tight end as you’ll see, which allows recently signed veteran Jimmy Graham to play more of a receiving role. And don’t be surprised if the Bears go with more three-tight end sets this season. Creative offensive architect Matt Nagy understands that those packages make a defense slower and more predictable, and with ex-Chief Demetrius Harris already aboard, Kmet now gives this team three tight ends who can align almost anywhere as receivers.
BearDigest: The Irishman: Bears Draft Notre Dame's Cole Kmet
44. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis): S Grant Delpit
The Browns signed ex-Raider Karl Joseph and ex-Viking Andrew Sendejo in free agency, but only because they wanted to be sure to have a couple of hard-hitting veterans who can immediately patrol the alleys against the run and play match-zone coverage out of the Cover 4-heavy scheme that this new coaching is likely to install. Both Joseph and Sendejo are on one-year deals and it’s likely at least one will be allowed to walk in 2021, given that Delpit is expected to be a full-fledged starter by then (if not sooner). Delpit is rangy and athletically diverse. His draft stock tumbled from a high first-round projection last season after missing too many tackles and taking too many poor angles in run defense. Such mistakes are especially problematic in Cover 4, where the safeties are often solely responsible for a run gap along the edges.
BrownsDigest: After Trading Down, Browns Draft LSU Safety Grant Delpit
45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Antoine Winfield Jr.
Safeties are important in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’s scheme. Incumbent 2017 second-rounder Justin Evans flashed decent range in 2018 but spent last season on IR. Versatile 2019 third-round pick Mike Edwards is intriguing, but was taken off the field at times in passing situations. Jordan Whitehead, a fourth-rounder in 2018, has some coverage versatility and at times flashes good closing speed, but he can’t quite be viewed as a cornerstone starter at this point. By drafting Winfield, the Bucs—theoretically—stabilize one safety spot, which, given their decent options in the players outlined above, makes it easier to stabilize the other safety spot.
46. Denver Broncos: WR KJ Hamler
The Broncos entered the draft with a prototypical “X” receiver in big-bodied perimeter weapon Courtland Sutton. In Round 1 they found a prototypical movement “Z” in the highly refined Jerry Jeudy. And now in Round 2 they’ve added a prototypical super-shifty slot receiver in Hamler. It won’t be hard to predict where Denver’s wide receivers will line up on any given play, but it will be hard to stop them.
Mile High Huddle: Broncos Add More Receiver Help for Drew Lock
47. Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Marlon Davidson
In some ways, Davidson—who played in Derrick Brown’s shadow at Auburn and was somewhat underappreciated—gives the Falcons another, more innately versatile version of Takk McKinley. He is a defensive end who has the tools to work off the edge or slide inside and play defensive tackle. That’s for 2020. For 2021 and beyond, Davidson potentially fills the role that the 2017 first-rounder McKinley, whose fifth-year option has not been picked up, has yet to fully maximize. After quietly going 6-2 in the second half of this season, this talented team is in “win now” mode. It needed more defensive line depth. A versatile player like Davidson can potentially solve multiple problems.
Falcons Report: Falcons Select Pass-Rushing Partner for Dante Fowler Jr.
48. Seattle Seahawks (from NY Jets): EDGE Darrell Taylor
The Seahawks think highly of defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and are giving him a talented but unrefined specimen to develop. Hurtt best get results sooner than later; Seattle’s four-man rush—which is vital in their zone scheme—was nowhere near good enough last season and has since said goodbye to its top force, Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney remains unsigned, in part, because he’s not a truly bendable edge player. Taylor, on the other hand, has those traits in spades. But they must be honed.
SeahawkMaven: Seahawks Trade Up to Boost Pash Rush
49. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Chase Claypool
Pittsburgh’s offense is heavy on isolation routes, which means it’s dependent on having wide receivers who can win. Right now, there’s really only one: JuJu Smith-Schuster. Last year’s third-rounder, Diontae Johnson, showed encouraging flashes as a rookie, and 2018 second-round speedster James Washington made far fewer of the mistakes that marred his rookie season, but neither guy is a sure thing No. 2 receiver. (Or even No. 3 receiver.) With a Super Bowl-caliber defense and 38-year-old quarterback, the Steelers need their young wideouts to make plays right away.
50. Chicago Bears: CB Jaylon Johnson
Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano likes to bring pressure and/or employ Cover 4, where each defensive back plays match-zone in a deep quarter of the field. Those match-zones require sound man coverage technique, and most blitzes, because of how quickly they force the ball out, demand straight man coverage on the back end. And so it was critical that Chicago find a talented specimen to slide into the right corner spot that was vacated by Prince Amukamara’s release. Johnson has the assertive, physical press coverage acumen to fill the role nicely.
51. Dallas Cowboys: CB Trevon Diggs
Right corner Byron Jones departed in free agency this year, and next year the Cowboys face losing left corner Chidobe Awuzie and/or slot/utility corner Jourdan Lewis, as both are finishing up their rookie deals. Don’t be surprised if Awuzie is retained and Lewis walks. But even if both return, an immediate and direct replacement for Jones is prudent, since it would allow Lewis to keep providing valuable, versatile depth on the back end. Diggs is a long-armed, physical corner and is stepping into a Mike Nolan-led scheme that, thanks to its expected emphasis on blitzing, will feature press-man on the outside. Dallas hit another home run in this draft, filling an important, specific need with a top-level talent at a later-than-expected draft slot.
CowboyMaven: Cowboys Use No. 51 Pick on Alabama CB Diggs
52. Los Angeles Rams: RB Cam Akers
Explosive 2019 third-round pick Darrell Henderson still has much room to develop and may not be ready for a full-time role in 2020. Soon-to-be 27-year-old Malcolm Brown is a very serviceable rotational back but is in the final year of his contract. And so the Rams used their first pick on a more direct replacement for Todd Gurley, whom they likely expect to compete for a starting job right away. Akers was a mature, gliding runner at Florida State, showing nuance and an understanding of how to read defensive fronts. If that translates to the NFL, he’ll be a perfect fit in Sean McVay's outside zone running game.
53. Philadelphia Eagles: QB Jalen Hurts
Carson Wentz has obviously been injury prone, but it’s highly unlikely that Philadelphia would spend a second-round pick on an insurance policy here, and it is inconceivable that they’d even contemplate replacing a 27-year-old QB who has superstar traits. Most likely, Hurts is here to be a utility gadget player for offensive scientist Doug Pederson. But don’t make any Taysom Hill comparisons; Hurts is merely a dual-threat QB, he’s not a blocker or receiver on top of that. This is a strange pick by a ready-to-win-now team that could still use another wide receiver and needs a potential starting linebacker.
EagleMaven: Trying to Make Sense of Taking Jalen Hurts
54. Buffalo Bills: EDGE A.J. Epenesa
You wonder if the Bills might run into the same problem with Epenesa that they had with former first-rounder Shaq Lawson: a lack of top-flight explosiveness. Like Lawson, Epenesa does not quite wow you with his flexibility or second- and third-step burst. But Lawson’s downfall was he never became technically savvy enough to fully overcome his pass rushing limitations. Epenesa, on the other hand, has drawn praise for his technique. Still, with Buffalo’s one-gap attacking 4-3 scheme, this doesn’t appear to be an ideal player and scheme fit. But if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s Bills GM Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott. Their defense performed like one of the best-coached and constructed units in football last season.
55. Baltimore Ravens (from New England via Atlanta): RB JK Dobbins
The Ravens absolutely love Mark Ingram because he is a highly professional runner. He goes exactly where the play is designed to go, he gets there with just the right tempo and he consistently finishes with enough power and tenacity to muster an extra yard or two. When you have one of the best-designed ground games in football, that’s all you could want from a back. Almost certainly, the Ravens see Dobbins in a similar light as Ingram (who, it should be noted, will turn 32 in December and is in the final year of his contract next year).
RavenCountry: Ravens Boost Record Rushing Attack with Dobbins
56. Miami Dolphins (from New Orleans): DT Raekwon Davis
Davis is a somewhat less-heralded prospect, but he has potentially explosive trench-fighting traits and is built for the gritty, two-gap plugging tactics that Miami’s scheme often calls for on first and second down. Before the draft, the only real scheme fits in this sense on Miami’s roster were last year’s first-rounder Christian Wilkins and space-clogging nose tackle Davon Godchaux.
AllDolphins: Instant Reaction: Dolphins Draft DT Davis
57. Los Angeles Rams (from Houston): WR Van Jefferson
What many scouts like most about Jefferson is his route running prowess. Not coincidentally, that happens to be one of the traits L.A. values most in a wide receiver. Some see Jefferson more as a slot weapon, though it’s hard to envision the Rams moving Cooper Kupp out of that role. But remember, the slot designation does not matter quite as much in this scheme, as so many of its passes come on play-action and off route combinations that all originate from tight splits inside.
58. Minnesota Vikings: OT Ezra Cleveland
Is this curtains for left tackle Riley Reiff? The Vikings could dump his $13.2 million cap number this year at a cost of just $4.4 million in dead money. More likely, though, Reiff will be on the outs next year, when his cap number rises to almost $14 million and his dead money drops to just $2.2 million. Cleveland has many of the desired traits you look for in a left tackle, though some observers were concerned about what they perceive as his inconsistent competitiveness. But Cleveland’s high-level athleticism will fit well in a scheme that’s predicated on quickness and agility along the O-line.
InsideTheVikings: Minnesota Takes Tackle Ezra Cleveland in Second Round
59. New York Jets (from Seattle): WR Denzel Mims
On the rare snaps where Adam Gase’s scheme did not look to deliberately help its wide receivers through design, New York’s lack of perimeter talent and depth at this position was grossly exposed. And that was with a quality “X” receiver in Robby Anderson. Now Anderson is a Panther, leaving New York in need of a pure outside weapon to pair with newcomer Breshad Perriman. Mims gives Sam Darnold a well-sized target, though that target may need some refining in Year 1. Don’t be surprised if the Jets draft at this position again in the next few rounds.
JetsCountry: How Denzel Mims Fits on the Jets
60. New England Patriots (from Baltimore): LB Josh Uche
New England has a sound front seven given the context of their scheme, but it could stand to have more athleticism on the edges. The Patriots made a similar pick here last year, taking Uche’s former teammate, Chase Winovich, in Round 3. Don’t be surprised if those two are both on the field in obvious passing situations down the stretch this season.
PatriotMaven: What to Know About Patriots' Pick Michigan LB Josh Uche
61. Tennessee Titans: CB Kristian Fulton
There were some concerns about Fulton’s inconsistent balance and technique at LSU, but he often compensated with his late recovery ability. Those recovery skills may not transfer cleanly to the much more competitive NFL, but the good news is Fulton steps into a scheme that features a lot of disguised zone coverage, including heavy doses of Cover 2. That can hide some of his warts.
AllTitans: Tennessee Drafts LSU CB Kristian Fulton
62. Green Bay Packers: RB AJ Dillon
The trend right now is to not pay a running back for a second contract unless he is truly special. Aaron Jones could be deemed worthy when his rookie deal expires after this season, but it’s unlikely his sidekick, Jamaal Williams, will also be. Hence the addition of Dillon.
BCBulletin: AJ Dillon Drafted by Packers in the Second Round
63. Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco): Willie Gay Jr.
Gay has prototypical linebacker size but, more importantly, he plays with sideline-to-sideline speed, which is something Kansas City’s linebacking corps lacked last season. This pick was made with the hope that the Mississippi State product will eventually play all three downs. Don’t be surprised if that happens sooner than later.
Arrowhead Report: Gay Is A Potential Steal for Chiefs
64. Carolina Panthers (from Kansas City via Seattle): S Jeremy Chinn
Free agent pickup Juston Burris quietly did some very nice things for Cleveland last year and deserves a chance to start alongside free safety Tre Boston, but it’s wise of Carolina to invest in a third option, especially given that Burris is versatile and may wind up playing multiple positions in a “big nickel” or dime sub-package anyway. Of note: Chinn played a lot of Quarters coverage at Southern Illinois. That matchup-zone coverage is one this Panthers secondary has played in recent years and one new defensive coordinator Phil Snow may put in the arsenal.
AllPanthers: Carolina Drafts Versatile Defender in Chinn
65. Cincinnati Bengals: LB Logan Wilson
There were some who thought Wilson was almost on LSU first-round linebacker Patrick Queen’s level in terms of pass coverage potential. If the Wyoming product pans out, he gives the Bengals the top-flight coverage prowess that they were hoping to get from third-rounder Germaine Pratt last year. Pratt played a much more prominent role in the second half of last season and will have every opportunity to take a big step forward in 2020. If Wilson can, too, the Bengals will be very comfortable playing nickel defense.
66. Washington: WR Antonio Gibson
When healthy, you can argue that scat back Chris Thompson has been one of Washington’s three most valuable offensive players. The problem is Thompson has not been healthy nearly often enough, missing at least five games in each of the last three seasons. So, Washington has drafted a younger version of Thompson; a dynamic receiving back can be a good friend for a young pocket passer like Dwayne Haskins.
RedskinsReport: Washington Takes a 'Swiss Army Knife' in Gibson
67. Detroit Lions: EDGE Julian Okwara
Julian is a different style of defensive lineman than his older brother Romeo, whom he’ll now be teammates with in Detroit. While Romeo is a long and somewhat thick-bodied moderate NFL-caliber athlete who is highly dependent on his mechanics, Julian is more of a dynamic edge defender, with the length, burst and flexibility to turn the corner and reach the quarterback. Guys with those attributes are not usually available in Round 3. The Lions desperately needed to buttress their pass rush; you’ll likely see Julian Okwara in a passing down sub-package specialist role in 2020.
AllLions: Lions Draft Okwara to Improve Pass Rush
68. New York Jets (from NY Giants): S Ashtyn Davis
This pick might add to the speculation that Jamal Adams will eventually be traded since it is hard to immediately decipher where, exactly, Davis will play in New York’s defense. Adams is a first-class strong safety and Marcus Maye is a quality free safety. But Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has never hesitated to put extra defensive backs on the field, and given his predilection for playing Cover 2 out of so many different formats and disguises, having a third dynamic safety could be of real value. It’s also possible that the Jets have decided they’ll let Maye hit free agency after this season. He fits the profile of the free agent who gets away, as he’s not quite good enough to franchise tag but too good to re-sign at a team-friendly price.
JetsCountry: Jets' Selection of Davis a Surprising Choice
69. Seattle Seahawks (from Carolina): OG Damien Lewis
At first glance, this might look like an unofficial admission that 2017 second-round pick Ethan Pocic has not fully panned out. But more likely this pick is a response to veteran guards Mike Iupati and D.J. Fluker being in contract years. At 6' 2", 327 pounds, Lewis, though not quite as big as Iupati or Fluker, has the sheer bulk that Seattle has come to value at guard.
SeahawkMaven: Seattle Trades Down, Acquires Offensive Line Depth
70. Miami Dolphins: S Brandon Jones
Adrian Colbert and Steven Parker were not bad playing free safety for Miami down the stretch last season, but neither is a surefire starter (though Parker is young and worth monitoring). Expect Jones to get a long look in centerfield first and foremost.
AllDolphins: Miami Takes Another Defensive Back in Third Round
71. Baltimore Ravens (from LA Chargers via New England): DT Justin Madubuike
Baltimore is loaded along the D-line after acquiring ex-Bronco Derek Wolfe and ex-Jaguar Calais Campbell, but they needed more run-stuffing depth to pair with (and push) Justin Ellis.
RavenCountry: Ravens Add to D-Line Depth With Texas A&M Lineman
72. Arizona Cardinals: OT Josh Jones
This is much later than many expected the Houston product to go. With Marcus Gilbert being 32, having some injury history and entering the final year of his contract, this was a no-brainer selection for Cardinals GM Steve Keim.
73. Jacksonville Jaguars: DT DaVon Hamilton
Hamilton projects as an athletic nose shade tackle, lining up over the shoulder of the center and playing either one or two gaps, depending on the situation. He can develop comfortably because the Jaguars still have Abry Jones for this role in 2020, as well as recently-signed veteran Rodney Gunter. Jones will likely be allowed to walk in 2021, making room for Hamilton to join the back of the rotation.
JaguarReport: Hamilton Will Beef Up Middle of Jags' Defense
74. New Orleans Saints (from Cleveland): LB Zack Baun
Baun will likely play up on or near the line of scrimmage in New Orleans’s base defense. It’s a 4-3 scheme but the duties won’t be wildly different from what he did in Wisconsin’s 3-4. But really the intrigue here is in passing situations. Baun showed some pass rushing juice as a Badger, and the Saints like to play with two linebackers on all passing downs (even if they’re in dime defense, where they’ll go with just three D-linemen), and they often send one of them after the quarterback.
Saints News Network: Saints Deal Future Third-Rounder to Move Up for Wisconsin LB
75. Detroit Lions (from Indianapolis): OG Jonah Jackson
The Lions invested in their long-stagnant run game early on Friday, drafting Georgia’s D'Andre Swift. Then, they did it again, taking Jackson, who has a chance to start immediately at right guard ahead of middling veterans Oday Aboushi and Kenny Wiggins (who can be a high quality backup). It’s always great when one draft pick can boost another.
76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Ke'Shawn Vaughn
Vaughn was a straightforward, one-path runner at Vanderbilt, which means the Bucs see him as a base down player. Is he here to add backfield depth? Or does Tampa Bay’s brass envision Vaughn challenging Ronald Jones?
77. Denver Broncos: CB Michael Ojemudia
Denver’s No. 2 corner position was a revolving door all season last year; it’s possible Ojemudia was selected to be a potential starter sometime in the near future. One thing about Vic Fangio’s scheme: with all of its blurry two-deep safety looks, it does a lot to help and hide cornerbacks.
Mile High Huddle: Broncos Turn to Defense in Third Round
78. Atlanta Falcons: C Matt Hennessy
Stud center Alex Mack has shown flickers of decline. He’ll be 35 at the end of this season and no longer under contract. And so Hennessy steps into an ideal scenario: a starting job waiting in the wings, with a chance first to learn as an understudy to one of the game’s great veterans.
Falcon Report: Falcons Select Interior Lineman Out of Temple
79. New York Jets: EDGE Jabari Zuniga
Our friend Greg Cosell has cited Zuniga as a possible dark horse star. He played several positions at Florida, flashing terrific explosiveness both outside and inside, particularly as a pass rusher. Many (including yours truly) felt before the draft that New York’s biggest need on defense was cornerback. But with the amount of Cover 2 the Jets play, their corners often have help….just as long as the pass rush can get there. Zuniga aids that.
JetsCountry: Jets Draft Explosive Edge Rusher Out of Florida
80. Las Vegas Raiders: RB/WR Lynn Bowden
This pick was likely made with the return game and offensive gadget plays in mind, given that Las Vegas’s receiving corps is fully, and very clearly fledged out (Tyrell Williams is the X, Henry Ruggs the Z, Hunter Renfrow the slot and Zay Jones and Nelson Agholor the depth providers).
81. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): WR Bryan Edwards
Well, and, um, this pick . . . um . . . this pick must also have been made with the return game in mind since, as we said, Las Vegas’s receiving corps is very clearly fledged out. Except that doesn’t make sense because Edwards had minimal punt return contributions at South Carolina. Well then, maybe this pick is about replacing Zay Jones, who really only runs shallow crossing routes. Or maybe what we’re dealing with is some sort of addiction as this marks three wide receivers taken in Las Vegas’s first five picks.
82. Dallas Cowboys: DT Neville Gallimore
Gallimore was yet another Cowboys selection whom many expected to be taken a lot higher. He is not a particularly large or long-limbed man, and so quickness and mechanics are key to his success. He showed those traits at Oklahoma; if he plays with more consistent leverage, he has a chance to be a contributing pass rusher.
CowboyMaven: Gallimore Joins Defensive Tackle Rotation in Dallas
83. Denver Broncos (from Pittsburgh): C Lloyd Cushenberry
Drew Lock must be doing cartwheels. First the Broncos get him two sharply defined wide receivers in Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler, then they find a man to snap him the ball and protect him up the middle. They did, however, sign ex-Lion Graham Glasgow in free agency, so it’s possible they see Cushenberry as a right guard, where he’d compete with converted tackle Elijah Wilkinson (though Glasgow can also play guard). However it shakes out, another weakness on offense has been addressed.
Mile High Huddle: Cushenberry a Great Value Pick for Broncos
84. Los Angeles Rams: EDGE Terrell Lewis
Lewis has a long body and the desired traits to be a quality NFL pass rusher. Injuries were a concern at Alabama, which is why the Rams are finding the talented specimen so late in the draft. He fills one of several needs for this defense.
85. Indianapolis Colts (from Philadelphia via Detroit): S Julian Blackmon
Indy’s depth at safety is sound with George Odum operating behind strong safety Khari Willis and free safety Malik Hooker, but considering how much three-safety dime personnel coordinator Matt Eberflus employs, it’s important to be four-deep at this position.
AllColts: Lots to Like About Colts' Draft So Far
86. Buffalo Bills: RB Zack Moss
This likely means the end for future Hall of Famer Frank Gore in Buffalo. Moss was a steady, workmanlike back at Utah and has even draw some comparisons to Gore (stylistically). He’s a smart investment by the Bills because their top running back, Devin Singletary, does not quite have the build to play more than 50 snaps week in and week out.
87. New England Patriots: EDGE Anfernee Jennings
Just in case late second-rounder Josh Uche doesn’t deliver. You can afford to draft for depth when you have over a dozen picks. This particular pick is an excellent scheme fit; Jennings’s sound technique has earned him comparisons to Kyle Van Noy.
PatriotMaven: Patriots Select Alabama Linebacker Anfernee Jennings
88. Cleveland Browns (from New Orleans): DT Jordan Elliott
Elliott intrigues with his potential as a pass rusher, where scouts believe his development hinges on whether he can continue to build on his effective hand usage. One concern: The Browns don’t have a lot of gap-penetrating depth at D-tackle, and Elliott might not have the initial quickness to change that.
BrownsDigest: Cleveland Plucks DT Elliott Out of Missouri
89. Minnesota Vikings: CB Cameron Dantzler
We covered this on the Jeff Gladney blurb in Round 1: Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer does not like to play rookie defensive backs. But given Minnesota’s paucity of talent here, it’s possible Dantzler could see significant playing time in 2020. Ideally, though, he’ll follow the traditional Zimmer route and develop from the bench early on, as his game needs some polish. Best case scenario is he plays outside in nickel situations, where he is physical and competitive.
InsideTheVikings: Dantzler Is a Physical, Undersized Corner
90. Houston Texans: EDGE Jonathan Greenard
One of Greenard’s biggest selling points is his positional versatility—a strength the Texans usually put to good use in their interchangeable front seven. Don’t be surprised if he plays multiple positions off the bench in his first couple of seasons.
State of the Texans: Seven Things to Know About Jonathan Greenard
91: New England Patriots (from Houston via Seattle and Las Vegas): TE Devin Asiasi
Though not quite possessing ideal length, Asiasi intrigues as a route runner, particularly down the seams and on play-action—a tactic the Patriots, out of gap-scheme run looks, use a lot for feeding their tight end.
PatriotMaven: Patriots Trade Up for UCLA TE Asiasi
92. Baltimore Ravens: WR Devin Duvernay
It’s a little surprising the Ravens did not address the wide receiver position earlier considering that their top target, Hollywood Brown, would be fantastic as a dynamic No. 2 option. As it stands, they don’t have a proven big-bodied X-receiver to align opposite Brown. Duvernay will likely be lining up inside of Brown, as a slot weapon who possesses run-after-catch ability. It’s possible the plan is to let Willie Snead walk in free agency next year.
RavenCountry: Ravens Fill Need With Texas WR Devin Duvernay
93. Tennessee Titans: RB Darrynton Evans
Evans has big-time home-run hitting ability, and Tennessee’s wide-zone rushing attack presents opportunities for him to find space on the perimeter. He’ll fill departed veteran Dion Lewis’s old role and, given Derrick Henry’s passing game limitations, likely get every chance to earn the third-down duties.
AllTitans: Appalachian State RB Gives Titans Options
94. Green Bay Packers: TE Josiah Deguara
Green Bay drafted Jace Sternberger in the third round last year, but considering that “12” personnel is a meaningful part of their offense, and that the recently resigned Marcedes Lewis is nearing his end, it makes sense to invest in depth at this position.
PackerCentral: Packers Add Undersized, Athletic Tight End Out of Cincinnati
95. Denver Broncos (from San Francisco): DT McTelvin Agim
Agim moved from defensive end to defensive tackle last year; it will be interesting to see where he plays in Denver. He might have an opportunity to develop through trial and error, as last year’s third-round pick, Dre’Mont Jones (and, likely, DeMarcus Walker), will be ahead of him in the rotation.
MileHighHuddle: Broncos Get An Athletic D-Lineman to Mold
96. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Lucas Niang
Scouts are intrigued by Niang’s athleticism as a run-blocker, but there are some concerns about his footwork and quickness as a pass-blocker. This makes him like a lot of mid-round right tackles. Fortunately, the Chiefs are sound and deep along the O-line and likely won’t need to call on Niang in 2020.
Arrowhead Report: Chiefs Get Talented Tackle Who Has Suffered With Injuries
97. Cleveland Browns (from Houston): LB Jacob Phillips
Don’t be surprised if the Browns take one more linebacker at some point, just to give themselves more options. As it stands, they have a nice three-down player in 2019 fifth-rounder Mack Wilson and possibly in 2019 third-rounder Sione Takitaki, but aside from ex-Packers thumper B.J. Goodson, they have no other proven players here. Even if they’re high on former Giants pass defending linebacker Tae Davis, they need more options.
BrownsDigest: Cleveland Takes Run-Stuffing Linebacker Out of LSU
98. Baltimore Ravens (from New England): LB Malik Harrison
It’s not out of the question that Baltimore will trot out two rookie linebackers on base downs in Week 1. Harrison plays with more physicality than fellow rookie Patrick Queen (the 28th overall pick) but might not quite be an NFL cover linebacker.
99. New York Giants: OT Matt Peart
When they took Andrew Thomas fourth overall, the analysis essentially said: They needed a right tackle in 2020, and they might need a left tackle in 2021. Apparently, GM Dave Gettleman agrees.
GiantsCountry: New York Doubles Down on Offensive Line Rebuild
100. Las Vegas Raiders (from New England): S Tanner Muse
Muse is a safety-linebacker hybrid player. The Raiders likely see him as a potentially dynamic special teamer early on given that they already spent big money on capable cover linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski.
101. New England Patriots (from Seattle via NY Jets): TE Dalton Keene
The Patriots appear to be drafting positions in pairs this year. That makes sense at tight end given that incumbents Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo are not surefire 40-snaps-a-game types.
PatriotMaven: Patriots Give Jets Three Picks to Trade Up for TE Keene
102. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Alex Highsmith
With T.J. Watt aboard and Bud Dupree a somewhat surprising franchise tag recipient, it’s clear the Steelers are drafting for depth at outside linebacker, both now and for the future.
103: Philadelphia Eagles: LB Davion Taylor
Taylor is perceived to be a raw but potentially explosive prospect. Such a project is probably not what linebacker-hungry Eagles fans want for 2020, but as we highlighted in Philadelphia’s “team needs” before the draft, the defensive staff has good reason to be comfortable with young incumbents T.J. Edwards and Nathan Gerry as their starting nickel options. And if they take the long view, the fans have plenty to look forward to given the upside that comes with having 4.39 speed.
104. Los Angeles Rams: S Terrell Burgess
Don’t be at all surprised if Burgess plays significant snaps right away. The Rams are very thin at linebacker and, in recent years, have preferred to play a three-safety dime package, keeping just one LB on the field. With Taylor Rapp being a dynamic box player, John Johnson being better down near that area as well and no proven depth behind those two, the runway is clear for Burgess to slide in as the centerfielder on passing downs.
105. New Orleans Saints (from Minnesota): TE Adam Trautman
Trautman might not see much playing time this season, but with the final year of starting tight end Jared Cook's contract voidable after this season, an opportunity could be on the horizon.
Saints News Network: Saints Trade All Their Day 3 Picks to Draft Dayton Tight End
106. Baltimore Ravens: OG Tyre Phillips
Hi Tyre, welcome to the Ravens. Your job is to replace future Hall of Famer Marshal Yanda, who was a crucial component of our dominant rushing attack last season. But this is only assuming you beat out last year’s fourth-round pick, Ben Powers.
RavenCountry: Ravens Find OL Help With Phillips
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