Every Team’s Biggest Need Heading Into the NFL Draft and Who They Should Get

Arizona Cardinals

Biggest Need: Safety

Who To Draft: Malik Hooker, Ohio State

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Ballhawk with incredible instincts who can make plays despite his average speed.  Strong hands and can hit as hard as anyone in the country.  He is a raw player but with the loss of Tony Jefferson and D.J Swearinger they will be looking for an aggressive play maker to take snaps opposite of Mathieu.  He is projected to go higher than their 13th selection but he is exactly the type of player they need to add to their dynamic defensive backfield.

2016 Stats: First Team All-American, First Team All-Big Ten, 74 Tackles (5.5 for loss), and 7 INTs

Measurements: 6′ 1″, 206 lbs, 10 3/4″ hands, limited combine participation

Atlanta Falcons

Biggest Need: Guard

Who To draft: Dion Dawkins, Temple

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Big bully of a lineman who can push people around with his impressive upper-body strength even without leverage.  Has incredible footwork and experience as a 3-year starter and also has experience in a zone and gap running schemes.  Good core strength to protect against bullrush and impressive quickness to keep up with faster linemen in the NFL

2016 Stats: First Team All-AAC

Measurements: 6′ 4″, 314 lbs, 5.11 40, 26 reps BP, 26″ vert, 106″ broad jump, 7.3 sec cone drill

Baltimore Ravens

Biggest Need: Wide Receiver

Who To Draft: Corey Davis, Western Michigan

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Big, possession receiver who is extremely aggressive to the football and effective in the intermediate and deep ball range.  Has the occasional case of dropitis but is dominate in the redzone.  Baltimore needs a play maker for the “elite” Joe Flacco to throw to and Davis could be just that player.

2016 Stats: Third Team All-American, Mid-American Conference Player of the Year, 97 catches, 1,500 yards, and 19 TDs

Measurements: 6′ 3″, 209 lbs, did not participate in the combine

Buffalo Bills

Biggest Need: Wide Receiver

Who To Draft: Mike Williams, Clemson

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Perfect body for a wide receiver and uses every bit he can of that 6′ 4″ frame.  Long arms and big hands allows him to snag balls away from DBs that not many other players are capable of.  Impeccable body control and is not afraid to come across the middle.  Very shifty and can usually make the first man miss.

2016 Stats: Second Team All-American, First Team All-ACC, 84 catches, 1,171 yards, and 10 TDs

Measurements: 6′ 4′, 218 lbs, 15 reps BP, 32.5″ vert, 121″ broad jump, 4.5 40

Carolina Panthers

Biggest Need: Offensive Tackle

Who To Draft: Cam Robinson, Alabama

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Punishes defensive ends and tackles alike with his scary combination of speed, strength, and explosiveness.  Works very effectively in run and pass blocking and has no problems coming across the line to blindside a poor defensive lineman.  Very long and aggresive and will fight for every inch until the whistle blows.

2016 Stats: First Team All-American and First Team All-SEC

Measurements: 6′ 6″, 322 lbs, 5.15 40, 26″ vert, 106″ broad jump, 7.81 cone drill

Chicago Bears

Biggest Need: Defensive Back

Who to Draft: Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State

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Athletic freak who loves to be physical with receivers.  Good timing and uses his explosiveness to jump into passing lanes to break up passes and has good enough hands to make plays.  Physical with blocks and can break up wide receiver screens and support the run defense.  Fundamental tackler and rarely if ever misses an open-field tackle.

2016 Stats: 45 tackles, 4 INTs, 4 PBUs

Measurements: 6′ 0″, 193 lbs, 4.36 40, 38.5″ vert, 132″ broad jump

Cincinnati Bengals

Biggest Need: Edge Rusher

Who To Draft: Johnathan Allen, Alabama

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Physical player who can play outside or inside and uses his hands very well.  Quick to diagnose plays on the edge and uses his speed down the line to get to the ball.  Fast enough to take a tackle on the outside and strong enough to overpower a guard to the inside.  Feet never stop moving and consistently showed good leadership skills for the Tide.

2016 Stats: Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Award Winner, 69 tackles (16 for loss), and 10.5 sacks

Measurements: 6′ 3″, 286 lbs, 5.00 40, 21 reps BP, 30″ Vert, 108″ Broad jump, 7.49 3 cone drill

Cleveland Browns

Biggest Need: Everything

Who To Draft: Myles Garrett

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Julius Peppers type athlete, with a chiseled physique and plenty of strength.  An uber-athlete who terrorized SEC quarterbacks all year long.  Has a quick explosion off the line and scary acceleration that allows him to disrupt an entire offensive play in as little as 3 steps.  Cleveland needs all the help they can get and snagging the best player in the draft will get them moving in the right direction.

2016 Stats: First Team All-American, First Team All-SEC, 15 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks while playing in just 11 games, starting 9.

Measurements: 6′ 4″, 272lbs, 4.64 40, 33 reps BP, 41″ vert, 128″ broad jump

Dallas Cowboys

Biggest Need: Defensive Back

Who To Draft: Adoree’ Jackson, USC

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One of the best athletes in college football and will bring his electric return skills along with his coverage skills to the Cowboys.  Plays in a variety of techniques and has the tools to play anywhere in the secondary although his size may be a factor.  Aggressive ball skills and with 8 INT returned for a TD it’s obvious he loves to make plays on defense.  Solid, consistent tackler who will get the job done in bringing the ball carrier down.

2016 Stats: Jim Thorpe Award Winner, First Team All-American, First Team All-Pac-12, 55 tackles, 5 INTs, 11 PBUs

Measurements: 5′ 10″, 186 lbs, 4.42 40, 36″ Vert, 122″ broad jump

Denver Broncos

Biggest Need: Offensive Tackle

Who To Draft: Ryan Ramcyzk, Wisconsin

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Explodes out of stance and is aggressive with his hands.  Extremely quick and surprisingly athletic and is urgent in getting to his blocks.  Excellent awareness and usually saw the blitzes coming before his fellow Badgers did.  Equally as effective in power and zone run plays and you can use his athleticism to move him down the line.

2016 Stats: First Team All-Big Ten, AP All-American

Measurements: 6′ 6″, 310 lbs, 25 lbs, hip surgery kept him out of bowl game and limited his combine participation

Detroit Lions

Biggest Need: Edge Rusher

Who To Draft: Jordan Willis, Kansas State

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Very smart edge player who 99% of the time sees the mesh point and tries to make a play.  Aggressive player that will play until the whistle.  Strong tackler who will almost never allow a ball carrier to escape his big hands.  Proficient use of hands and uses leverage and technique to compensate for his size.

2016 Stats: Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Third Team AP All-American, 52 tackles (17.5 for loss), 11.5 sacks

Measurements: 6′ 4″, 255 lbs, 4.53 40, 24 reps BP, 39″ vert, 125″ broad jump, 6.85 sec 3 cone drill, 4.28 20 Yd shuttle

Green Bay Packers

Biggest Need: Cornerback

Who To Draft: Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

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Fluid, smooth corner who will fit nicely into Dom Caper’s defense.  Can play equally as well in the slot or outside and they can utilize him like they did Micah Hyde.  Dangerous as a slot blitzer.  Athletic, with a sudden burst to the ball and with impressive ball-hawking skills.  Confident with no safety help and can get his head around and make plays on deep balls.

2016 Stats:  Second Team All-Pac-12, 65 tackles (6 for loss), 1 INT, and 12 PBUs

Measurements:  6′ 0″, 202 lbs, 4.43 40, 16 reps BP, 34.5″ vert, 132″ broad jump, 6.81 sec 3 cone drill, 4.41 sec 20 yard shuttle

Houston Texans

Biggest Need: Quarterback

What To Draft: Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina

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Good athlete who can move around in the pocket and get away from the first blitzer.  Solid mechanics and is very proficient out of the pocket and on intermediate throws.  Talented arm who as the potential to be a quality starter in the NFL.  Smart in the pocket and reads the safeties and middle linebackers very well.

2016 Stats:  Third Team All-ACC, 3,748 yards, 30 TDs, 6 INTs, 68.0 completion percentage

Measurements: 6’2″, 222 lbs, 4.67 40, 27.5″ vert, 116″ broad jump, 6.87 sec 3 cone drill, 4.25 20 yard shuttle

Indianapolis Colts

Biggest Need: Inside Linebacker

Who To Draft: Reuben Foster, Alabama

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Ferocious hitter who puts anyone with the ball in their hands on notice.  Incredible athlete with elite sideline-to-sideline speed.  Tough as nails and plays tough downhill on defense and can get his hands dirty in the trenches.  Impressive pass defense skills but will need to improve instincts at the next level.

2016 Stats: First Team All-American, First Team All-SEC, 115 tackles (13 for loss), 5 sacks

Measurements: 6′ 0″, 229 lbs, limited combine participation

Jacksonville Jaguars

Biggest Need: Running back

Who To Draft: Leonard Fournette, LSU

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This dude is a goddamn grown man.  Looks like a linebacker with the speed of a receiver.  Fantastic acceleration to get to the corner and powerful running when he needs to get tough yardage straight ahead.  Violent runner who always finishes his runs falling forward.  Loves to run behind his pads and punish anyone who is in front of him.  Solid hands in the passing hands just needs to work on making people miss in the open field.

2016 Stats: 843 yards, 8 TDs, on 129 attempts in just 7 games

Measurements:  6′ 0″, 240 lbs, 4.51 40, 28.5″ vert

Kansas City Chiefs

Biggest Need: Inside Linebacker

Who To Draft: Haason Reddick, Temple

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Excellent athlete with explosive acceleration and great reaction time.  Always moving his feet and has a knack for getting in the backfield and taking down the ball carrier for a loss.  Was recruited as a DB so he has legit coverage skills across the middle.  Is a bit on the small side but his athleticism in space should give him the advantage on a lot of blockers in this league.

2016 Stats:  First Team All-AAC, 65 tackles (22.5 for loss), 9.5 sacks, 1 INT

Measurements: 6′ 1″, 237 lbs, 4.52 40, 24 reps BP, 36.5″ vert, 133″ broad jump, 7.01 3 cone drill, 4.37 20 yard shuttle

Los Angeles Chargers

Biggest Need: Safety

Who to Draft: Jamal Adams, LSU

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Well-rounded safety who is definitely not afraid to hit anyone.  Loves to crash down on run support and break up screen plays.  Well-built player who plays with balance in coverage and rarely blows an assignment.

2016 Stats: First Team All-American, Second Team All-SEC, 76 tackles (5.5 for loss), 1 INT, 4 PBUs

Measurements: 6′ 0″, 214 lbs, 4.56 40, 18 reps BP, 31.5″ vert, 120″ broad jump, 6.96 3 cone drill, 4.13 20 yard shuttle

Los Angeles Rams (No 1st round pick)

Biggest Need: Edge Rusher

Who To Draft: T.J Watt, Wisconsin

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The Rams would love for Watt to slip to them in the 2nd round.  Hard nose player who uses his hands well and creates space for himself.  Can pursue outside runs and blitz the middle equally as well and can be used in many different packages.  Uses his awareness and technique to make up for his average speed.

2016 Stats: Second Team All-American, First Team All-Big Ten, 63 tackles (15.5 for loss), and 11.5 sacks

Measurements: 6′ 4″, 252 lbs, 4.69 40, 21 reps BP, 37″ vert, 128″ broad jump, 6.79 3 cone drill, 4.13 20 yard shuttle,

Miami Dolphins

Biggest Need: offensive line

Who To Draft: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky

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The 30th ranked offensive line in the league needs a little extra beefing up, and this is the man for the job.  Nimble feet on a strong body is a scary combination for a Guard.  Very strong lower body and rushers rarely get leverage on him.  Smart use of hands and quick moves that confuse linemen and linebackers alike.

2016 Stats: First Team All-Conference USA, Third Team All-American

Measurements: 6′ 4″, 309 lbs, 5.00 40, 34 reps BP, 27.5″ vert, 110″ broad jump, 7.55 3 cone drill, 4.62 20 yard shuttle

Minnesota Vikings (No 1st round pick)

Biggest Need: Defensive Tackle

Who To Draft: Malik McDowell, Michigan State

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Long athlete who can slip through the line and make plays.  Explosive play maker who can get sacks and loves to knock the ball free from the ball carrier.  Quick, strong hands that allow him to bull rush and has nimble enough moves for finesse moves.  Sloppy footwork and technique will make him drop to the 2nd round but he still has unlimited potential with that athleticism.

2016 Stats: 34 tackles (7 for loss), 1.5 sacks (9 games)

Measurements: 6′ 6″, 295 lbs, 4.85 40, 23 reps BP, 28.5″ vert, 112″ broad jump

New England Patriots (No 1st round pick)

Biggest Need: Edge Rusher

Who To Draft: Derek Rivers, Youngstown State

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The 18th rated front 7 needs a new play maker and Rivers could be just that.  Good speed and able to create plays in the back field.  Very consistent player who had adequate production throughout his career.  Needs to work on his technique but has a chance to be a quality player for the Super Bowl champs.

2016 Stats: Third Team FCS All-American, 58 tackles (19.5 for loss), 14 sacks

Measurements: 6′ 4″, 248 lbs, 4.61 40, 30 reps BP, 35″ vert, 123″ broad jump, 6.94 3 cone drill, 4.4 20 yard shuttle

New Orleans Saints

Biggest Need: Defensive Back

Who To Draft: Budda Baker, Washington

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Explosive athlete with solid ball skills.  Former track star and plays off the edge with blazing speed.  Good instincts allow him to compensate for his average size and break on the ball.  Not easily pulled by bait routes and sticks to his assignment.  Aggressive player with excellent tackling ability and usually finishes plays.

2016 Stats: First Team All-Pac-12, 71 tackles (10 for loss), 2 INT, 6 PBUs

Measurements: 5′ 10″, 195 lbs, 4.45 40, 15 reps BP, 32.5″ vert, 115″ broad jump, 6.76 3 cone drill, 4.08 20 yard shuttle

New York Giants

Biggest Need: Offensive Tackle

Who To Draft: Garett Bolles, Utah

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Elite athlete with the best footwork in the draft.  His movements are smooth and there’s almost no blocks he can get to.  Quick burst out of stance allows him to track for blitzes and stunts.  Plays mean and loves to finish blocks with the defender in the ground

2016 Stats: First Team All-Pac-12

Measurements: 6′ 5″, 296 lbs, 4.95 40, 28″ vert, 115″ broad jump, 7.29 3 cone drill, 4.55 20 yard shuttle

New York Jets

Biggest Need: Quarterback

Who To Draft: Deshaun Watson, Clemson

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Great leader and winner.  Has excellent poise and athleticism that allows him to be comfortable in the pocket.  Throws with touch and can throw just as well on the run.  Solid throwing mechanics.  Dual threat weapon in the redzone that gives team more chances to score.  Needs to work on consistency and deep ball accuracy.

2016 Stats: Second Team All-American. 4,593 yards, 41 TDs, 17 INTs, 67.0 completion percentage, 629 rushing yards

Measurements: 6′ 2″, 221 lbs, 4.66 40, 32.5″ vert, 119″ broad jump, 6.95 3 cone drill

Oakland Raiders

Biggest Need: Linebacker

Who To Draft: Jarrad Davis, Florida

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Long arms and a chiseled physique.  Solid sideline-to-sideline speed that allows him to chase ball carriers all over the field.  Great leader that had scouts and management raving about his character.  Athleticism allows him to spy mobile quarterbacks.  Adequate tackler who gets the job done at an exceptional rate.

2016 Stats: 98 tackles (11 for loss), 3.5 sacks, 4 PBUs

Measurements: 6′ 1″, 238 lbs, limited combine participation

Philadelphia Eagles

Biggest Need: Corner back

Who To Draft: Tre’Davius White, LSU

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Experienced outside corner who has experience with working in the slot as well.  The Eagles lost two of their starting corners last year so his versatility will help them with depth.  Very patient in coverage and rarely makes a mistake in timing when breaking to the ball.  Impressive quickness to catch up to receivers.  Strong on inside intermediate routes.  Used as a return man over his 3 years with a return TD in each year.

2016 Stats:  First Team All-American, First Team All-SEC, 34 Tackles, 2 INTs, and 14 PBUs

Measurements: 5′ 11″, 192 lbs, 4.47 40, 16 reps BP, 32″ vert, 119″ broad jump, 6.9 3 cone drill

Pittsburgh Steelers

Biggest Need: Defensive Back

Who To Draft: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan

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Elite, versatile athlete that can play many positions on defense.  Has blazing closing speed and is willing to sacrifice his body to make a play.  Ability to be a star in man defense is there but scouts do worry about his coverage skills as a whole.  With only 1 INT and 10 PBUs in his career his ball skills are in question as well.  Electric return man who will add instant excitement and juice to any team he’s on and can change the game in the blink of an eye.

2016 Stats: First Team All-Big Ten, 72 tackles (16 for loss), 4 sacks, 1 INT

Measurements: 5′ 11″, 213 lbs, 4.46 40, 19 reps BP, 35.5″ vert, 128″ broad jump

San Francisco 49ers

Biggest Need: Edge Rusher

Who To Draft: Solomon Thomas, Stanford

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Well-built athlete who is absolutely relentless on the defensive line.  Can overpower or out-finesse any lineman who is unlucky enough to match up against him.  Attacks with a variety of moves that always keeps the offensive line guessing.  Very good pursuit and range as a play maker on the line.  Bit of a tweener on the line but will fit very well as a defensive end in the 49ers new 4-3 system.

2016 Stats: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-American, 62 tackles (15 for loss, and 8 sacks

Measurements: 6′ 3″, 273 lbs, 4.69 40, 30 reps BP, 35″ vert, 126″ broad jump, 6.95 3 cone drill

Seattle Seahawks

Biggest Need: Offensive Tackle

Who To Draft: Taylor Moton, Western Michigan

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A big bear with strong paws and one of the most overlooked prospects in the draft.  Huge frame that allows him to push around anyone that gets in front of him.  The Seahawks line ranked dead last this past year and adding a monster like Moton will beef up the line.  Needs to work on his footwork but has the ability and build to be a dominant tackle.

2016 Stats: First Team All-Mac, Multiple All-American honors

Measurements: 6′ 5″, 319 lbs, 5.18 40, 23 reps BP, 30.5″ vert, 4.58 20 yard shuttle

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Biggest Need: Defensive Back

Who To Draft: Kevin King, Washington

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Very tall defensive back who combines this with a unique combination of size and speed.  Plays all 4 spots in secondary and some slot play as well.  Quick hands and good technique and beats the receiver to the high point with his height.  Instinctive with a good ability to break to the ball and break up passes or get interceptions.  In a division with Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Cam Newton, adding another talented DB to the mix will be a big plus.

2016 Stats: Honorable Mention All-Pac-12, 44 tackles (3.5 for loss), 3 INTs, and 13 PBUs

Measurements: 6′ 3″, 200 lbs, 4.43 40, 11 reps BP, 39.5″ vert, 6.56 3 cone drill, and 3.89 20 yard shuttle

Tennessee Titans

Biggest Need: Playmaker on offense

Who To Draft: John Ross, Washington

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Home-run speed that allows him to stretch the defense vertically.  Dangerous change of speed moves that let him blow by corners and safeties alike.  Easily shakes off the first contact and will get plenty of YAC.  Best athlete in the draft with an explosive combine performance but shows solid ball skills and route running to go with his athleticism.  Will add dynamic return game to the Titans as well who was ranked 29th in the league in returning.

2016 Stats: Second Team All-American, First Team All-Pac-12, 81 catches, 1,150 yards, and 17 TDs

Measurements: 5′ 11″, 188 lbs, 4.22 40 (combine record), 37″ vert, 133″ broad jump

Washington Redskins

Biggest Need: Defensive back

Who To Draft: Gareon Conley, Ohio State

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Good length and size for an NFL corner.  Has ability to be an uber-talented man coverage player and excellent zone coverage.  Great burst to the ball and uses his length to make plays.  Washington ranked dead last in QB completion percentage and adding a talented corner to replace DeAngelo Hall will help.

2016 Stats: Second Team All-Big Ten, 26 tackles, 4 INTs, 8 PBUs

Measurements: 6′ 0″, 195 lbs, 4.44 40, 37″ vert, 129″ broad jump, 6.68 3 cone drill

 

 

 

 

 

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