Last week I previewed the top half of the 1st round of the draft:
This week I’ll take a look at the bottom half, and the players the Packers may have to select from.
- Washington Redskins
WR John Ross – Washington
Ross provides Kirk Cousins with the electric playmaker he will miss with Desean Jackson in Tampa Bay. Ross has problems catching the ball at times, but you can’t teach 4.22 speed.
- Tennessee Titans
LB Zach Cunningham
Cunningham is a plug-and-play interior linebacker, and represents the instinctive physical player Dick LeBeau loves at the position.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
RB Christian McCaffrey – Stanford
The Bucs have a need at RB and at slot receiver. McCaffrey can help them out in both areas. He’s a versatile weapon that would aid in Jameis Winston’s development.
- Denver Broncos
OT Cam Robinson – Alabama
The Broncos greatest need is offensive line, and they nab the best o-line prospect at 20. Robinson is probably a better fit at Guard, but the Broncos could certainly use him there and see if he can develop into a Right Tackle.
- Detroit Lions
S/LB Jabrill Peppers – Michigan
Peppers gets to stay in Michigan to play his pro ball. The Lions have needs all over their defense, but getting playmakers may be as important as anything. To match up with the Packers new two TE sets, they are going to need players who can cover and play the run. Peppers fits the bill.
- Miami Dolphins
TE David Njoku – Miami
The one thing the Dolphins haven’t given Ryan Tannehill is a good TE. The Jordan Cameron experiment failed. This may be the last year Tannehill has to prove himself, and now the Dolphins need to surround their QB with talent.
- New York Giants
DL Caleb Brantley – Florida
The Giants are currently in a stalemate negotiating with Johnathan Hankins. If they can’t resign him, Brantley would make a tremendous replacement.
- Oakland Raiders
LB Hassan Reddick – Temple
Reddick represents the best value at this point. Reggie McKenzie likes taking the best player available, and adding an explosive playmaker at ILB, will help the Raiders defense continue to grow.
- Houston Texans
QB Desean Watson – Clemson
While the Tony Romo soap opera continues, the Texans have nothing at the QB position (sorry, Tom Savage). Even if the Texans acquire Romo, Watson would be a good insurance policy against the fragile Romo, and also be the QB of the future. There’s a chance he’s gone before 25 if a team decides to trade up above the Texans, or if the Giants feel Eli Manning is near the end of his career.
- Seattle Seahawks
OT Garrett Bolles – Utah
There’s a reason Bolles has been connected to the Seahawks for awhile. He fits their top need (o-line), and he fits the type of player they like as a Tackle (long and athletic). He’s raw, but the Seahawks have started converted defensive linemen before, so that probably won’t bother John Schneider and Pete Carroll.
- Kansas City Chiefs
WR Corey Davis – Western Michigan
I would have thought Davis would be a top 15 pick, but injury concerns have him dropping. While the Chiefs have Tyreek Hill, Jeremy Maclin, and Chris Conley, drafting Davis would allow them the opportunity to turn a position of weakness into one of strength in just a couple of years.
- Dallas Cowboys
CB Gareon Conley – Ohio State
Every year is seems the guy I want the Packers to draft goes the pick before they select. This is the case again in this draft, as the Cowboys have major needs across their defense, and Conley provides the best value at this spot. The Cowboys are going to have a major rehaul in their secondary, and Conley could be a really good CB in the near future.
- Green Bay Packers
If this scenario were to play out the Packers would have several interesting choices. TJ Watt could provide the outside pass rush they need. Forrest Lamp would be a great replacement for TJ Lang. But I’m going with:
CB Ahkello Witherspoon – Colorado
Witherspoon is 6’3” and ran a 4.45 40 yard dash. He posted a 40.5 inch vertical and ran a 11.60 second 60 yard shuttle. He is a freak athlete. And his tape shows amazing fluidity in his hips, and ability to shadow receivers. He’s got a major weakness in defending the run game, but I think that’s something the Packers can live with if he can be a true cover CB. Witherspoon is raw, but has the skills to be the rare NFL CB who can play both off and press coverage.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
LB TJ Watt – Wisconsin
The Steelers have been relying on James Harrison for way too long. Watt would provide a great fit as a developmental pass rusher in a scheme reliant on them.
- Atlanta Falcons
G Forrest Lamp – Western Kentucky
With Chris Chester gone, the Falcons could use some help at Guard. Lamp is the best interior o-lineman in the draft, and could have a Zach Martin-like impact on the Falcons line.
- New Orleans Saints
CB Tre’Davious White – LSU
The Saints may trade this pick back to the Patriots to get Malcolm Butler, but if not, they could use a CB. White provides good value in a draft chalk full of good CBs.
Andrew Mertig is a a lifelong Packers fan and draft enthusiast. He has covered the NFL draft for radio and television stations in Green Bay. He is currently a host of the Pack-A-Day podcast and a writer for PackersTalk.com. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewmertig