The Chargers get the hometown defensive tackle in this draft to boost their anemic run defense. Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane are both getting older too. Corey Liuget failed a drug test too and will miss the first four games of the 2018 NFL Season.
The 6-3 307 lb Harrison Phillips dominated the 2018 NFL Combine to the point where he moved up my board a lot. Harrison Phillips dominated Mobile and came in with 10 1/2 inch hands. Phillips also had 37 solo tackles, 65 assisted tackles, 102 total tackles, 16.5 tackles for a loss, and 7.5 sacks as one of Stanford's captains in 2017.
Seattle can take the best pass rusher with Michael Bennett being traded, best cornerback with Richard Sherman being released, or the best right tackle on the board at 18. LSU cornerback Donte Jackson had a tremendous 2018 NFL Combine and as a result has now moved into my top 20 after I previously had a late first round grade on him. He followed that up with an even better Pro Day dominating LSU's Pro Day too.
Dallas will get a defensive tackle at 19. Taven Bryan is the top defensive tackle on the board. With three other defensive tackles off the board, Dallas rolls up their sleeves and selects Bryan at 19 to solidify what they have on the defensive line.
Detroit is moving left guard Graham Glasgow to center. They draft a new left guard here with the 6-3 327 lb Will Hernandez at 20. Hernandez dominated the 2018 Senior Bowl and the 2018 NFL Combine.
Detroit has Taylor Decker at left tackle, Will Hernandez at left guard, Graham Glasgow at center, T.J. Lang at right guard, and Ricky Wagner at right tackle. With this offensive line, Matthew Stafford will have all the time in the pocket if all five starters stay healthy.
Cincinnati got Cordy Glenn as a left tackle. They replaced Andrew Whitworth who signed with the Los Angeles Rams in the 2017 Free Agency Period. Now they get my top ranked offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey as a bookend offensive tackle to compliment Glenn on the opposite side. If Glenn and McGlinchey both stay healthy in 2018, Cincinnati has enough talent to challenge Pittsburgh for the AFC North. A poor offensive line was the huge reason Cincinnati struggled last year.
The Patriots got this pick in the Brandin Cooks trade. They get their blindside to replace Nate Solder with this pick. Connor Williams is a tremendous value pick this late in the first round. Antonio Garcia lost 40 lbs after he had blood clots in his lungs as a rookie so he's now 252 lbs. If he puts the weight back on, he could be great, but I'm not that confident that Garcia will put that weight back on at the moment so I'm giving the Patriots Garcia.
The Panthers ignore need and take the best player on the board. Denzel Ward would be a great cornerback next to James Bradberry now that Daryl Worley got traded to the Eagles for Torrey Smith. Breeland did not pass his physical so Carolina released him which means Denzel Ward is still in play at 24. Ohio State has produced a factory of first round corners, but he's not this top 10 corner the media is hyping him out to be. Ward dominated the 2018 NFL Combine and while he's now my fourth best cornerback. I now have a first round grade on Ward, but I still like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Josh Jackson, and Donte Jackson better just based on the tape I've seen.
Tennessee gets a 3-4 middle linebacker with Avery Williamson being a Free Agent. Tennessee should take the top outside linebacker in Marcus Davenport here if they want to draft for value. If they want to draft for need, the pick will be Leighton Vander Esch. I'm not as high on his tape as most, but he did well in the 2018 NFL Combine and dominated Boise State's 2018 Pro Day so he gets picked by the Titans at 25.
Atlanta is hell bent on taking a defensive tackle at 26 unless they want to move up for Payne or Vea in a trade. Ricardo Allen can remain at free safety for now and Atlanta got Brandon Fusco as a right guard. Maurice Hurst is my top ranked defensive tackle on the board making him the pick here at 26. Hurst ran a 4.97 at Michigan's Pro Day despite getting dismissed from the 2018 NFL Combine due to a heart condition. Atlanta takes Hurst here knowing all the other four defensive tackles they wanted are gone.
Pittsburgh signed Morgan Burnett to pair with Sean Davis. With no middle linebackers worth taking here, Pittsburgh goes with DeShon Elliott out of Texas because he's someone who could be a long-term upgrade over Burnett once he gets faster and improves the way he moves his hips since he's pretty complete in coverage already.
Jacksonville no longer needs a left guard since they secured the top left guard in Free Agency with Andrew Norwell while re-signing Marqise Lee. Now Jacksonville has Allen Hurns, Marqise Lee, and Dede Westbrook locked up as Blake Bortles wide receivers until 2021.
Jacksonville also got Austin Seferian-Jenkins as their new starting tight end. They also still have Marcedes Lewis and Ben Koyack for depth behind ASJ. I still don't trust any of those three tight ends, but Jacksonville addressed all of their needs and can take the best player on their board at 29 regardless of who it is.
Luckily for Jacksonville, Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki emerged into a first round prospect at the 2018 NFL Combine and built off his brilliant week in Mobile during the 2018 Senior Bowl. Jacksonville gets their starting tight end and another weapon for Blake Bortles at 29 here. Fournette is already an elite runner. Can you imagine how much more lethal he will be with a blocker at tight end like Gesicki? Gesicki also pass catches like a wide receiver catching short, medium, and deep routes so this is an awesome pick for Jacksonville. Jacksonville has great depth at the tight end position if Gesicki doesn't win the starting job, but I believe Gesicki has a chance to be special.
The Patriots use their pick at 31 on a pass rusher with 4.4 speed in Lorenzo Carter. New England has a lot of talent on their front 7, but they lack someone with Carter's speed off the edge and Carter could line up at 3-4 right outside linebacker off the edge or play 4-3 right outside linebacker next to Dont'a Hightower.