The NFL postseason is now in full swing, and the draft order is slowly coming together as teams are eliminated. As the declaration deadline is past us, we can now begin to see how the draft boards are shaping up, and which stocks are rising or falling.
Our scouts Derek Worley and Courtlandt Griffin have done their homework and have narrowed down where this year’s top prospects will fall in the draft. Here’s picks 17-32:
Round 1, Pick 17. Las Vegas Raiders
Courtlandt Griffin: Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
The Raiders are a team in need of a star off the edge. Paye is just that: his quick hands and pursuit make him a player that can be moved up and down the front seven to get to the quarterback.
Derek Worley: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
Had Collins played in a more lucrative program, he’d be a top ten pick without question. Jon Gruden loves players that can impact the game in more ways than one. Collins can make tackles in space, rush the passer and get hands in the passing lane. If Collins is still on the board at 17, he’ll be a Raider.
Round 1, Pick 18. Miami Dolphins
Courtlandt Griffin: Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
After taking a receiver with their first pick, the Dolphins double down on weapons for Tua Tagovailoa with Pitts. Pitts is a big target who moves like a receiver and can block well in the run game.
Derek Worley: Trevon Moehrig, Safety, TCU
The Thorpe winner is extremely talented in all phases of the game. His read and react skills are elite and he always seems to play downhill to be the hammer and not the nail. Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe weren’t terrible last season, but Moehrig would be a massive upgrade to the safety position in Miami.
Round 1, Pick 19. Washington Football Team
Courtlandt Griffin: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Trask is a pro ready quarterback that can make every throw in the NFL route tree. With a plethora of weapons waiting on him in Washington, he should see instant success. His performances against some of the top defenses in college football are enough to warrant a name call on day one.
Derek Worley: Kyle Trask, QB, Florida
Trask throws with the best anticipation of anyone in the class. The nightmare performance against Oklahoma just showed that a lack of chemistry really can dismantle an offense. Regardless, Trask always is poised in the pocket and displays great accuracy.
Trask would really benefit from another year of Alex Smith to learn how to become a pro QB, but he already has all the tools to succeed.
Round 1, Pick 20. Chicago Bears
Courtlandt Griffin: Wyatt Davis, G, Ohio St.
The Bears were anemic on offense and part of it was due to the protection and run blocking up front. Davis can provide a solid blocker in both facets of the game and bolster Matt Nagy’s offense.
Derek Worley: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Bears will undoubtedly grab a quarterback and quite honestly they probably move up to do so. Jones can make all the throws but it’s hard not to wonder how he’ll fare without his players getting schemed open. Tua Tagovailoa struggled immensely in year one due to not having players running free. Jones possesses more ability as a thrower, so he may be just fine.
Round 1, Pick 21. Indianapolis Colts
Courtlandt Griffin: Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
Phillip Rivers is on his last leg and may retire this offseason or next. Drafting Jones here would give the Colts a young quarterback to mold for the future.
Derek Worley: Daviyon Nixon, DT, Iowa
There’s talk about how high Nixon’s football IQ is because he plays so instinctively. Nixon shoots gaps effectively and is a ruthless tackler. It’s incredible how Nixon turns his quickness at the snap into power. He’ll fit right into the Colts’ defense and be a major disruptor.
Round 1, Pick 22. Tennessee Titans
Courtlandt Griffin: Joe Tryon, Edge, Washington
The Titans were dead last in the league in sacks with just 14 on the season. Tryon will come in and immediately add an athletic pass rusher opposite Harold Landry. His ability to play with speed and power is a valuable asset to a Titan team in desperate need of pass rush versatility.
Derek Worley: Joseph Ossai, Edge, Texas
If you pinpoint a weakness for the Titans, it would be getting to the quarterback as they only collected 19 sacks. Watching Lamar Jackson scamper all over them in the playoffs after failed pass rushing attempts only magnified the issue. Ossai is lethal in the pass rush and can also play coverage if needed. Having him should help immediately in the sack category.
Round 1, Pick 23. New York Jets (via, SEA)
Courtlandt Griffin: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
After addressing the offensive line, a weapon for Sam Darnold is a must. Waddle offers speed, route discipline, and big play ability to an offense in desperate need of it. Waddle is a threat to lead the team in receiving and return yardage, as he is one of the best in the draft at both facets.
Derek Worley: Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Before the ankle injury, Waddle was seen as the number one wideout on some draft boards. Regardless, he’ll come back healthy and demonstrate what made him so great. He possesses elite speed and shiftiness that make tackling him a nightmare.
It’s very possible that the average human couldn’t touch Waddle when together in a phone booth. He’s just that elusive.
Round 1, Pick 24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Courtlandt Griffin: Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
Ben Roethlisberger is aging and the Steelers need to get his replacement now rather than later. Lance is a strong athletic quarterback reminiscent of a young Roethlisberger. Allowing him to sit for a year behind the future hall of famer will benefit him greatly.
Derek Worley: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Steelers dealt with so many injuries last season in the linebacker room but they should come back healthy. Ben Roethlisberger could retire but the Steelers don’t need to flip the panic switch. Mason Rudolph should get a fair shot while the Steelers address the back end of the defense. Horn will help lock up number one receivers, forcing teams to try and go into the teeth of the healthy Steelers’ defense.
Round 1, Pick 25. Jacksonville Jaguars (via, LAR)
Courtlandt Griffin: Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
The Jaguars have a promising young defensive unit and with the addition of Horn alongside C.J. Henderson, this secondary could be one of the best in the league, again.
Derek Worley: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
Campbell has really picked up steam in the draft stock department. He can flat out fly and is a sure tackler on the perimeter. At 6’2” he can matchup with any wideout on the outside, and he possesses good enough ball skills to cause incompletions.
Round 1, Pick 26. Cleveland Browns
Courtlandt Griffin: Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami
The Browns have a decision to make: pay for an aging Oliver Vernon or draft a young stud who can do exactly what he does for cheaper? The Browns take the latter here with the young pass rusher Phillips.
Derek Worley: Carlos Basham, DL, Wake Forest
The Browns could possibly be losing Olivier Vernon and Larry Ogunjobi in the offseason. With the being said, getting a defensive lineman that can essentially play both spots is ideal here. Basham has a great blend of speed and strength to be effective anywhere in a 4-3 defensive front.
Round 1, Pick 27. Baltimore Ravens
Courtlandt Griffin: Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
The Ravens are a running football team, but they need to balance out their attack. Getting Moore here gives Lamar Jackson another speedy playmaker alongside Hollywood Brown to throw to.
Derek Worley: Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State
Lamar Jackson needs some other weapons outside of the backfield that aren’t named Mark Andrews or Hollywood Brown. With the way the Ravens attack the defense, Olave makes perfect sense. He’s a technician who can work the sideline or middle of the field.
Jackson can easily look to a dependable target like Olave to sit in holes against the zone, or beat the defender in man coverage.
Round 1, Pick 28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Courtlandt Griffin: Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
The Bucs need to address the interior defensive line this offseason with Vita Vea recovering from a broken leg and Ndamukong Suh being an unrestricted free agent. Wilson is an athletic defensive lineman that can play either the 3-technique or 0-technique defensive tackle spots.
Derek Worley: Jay Tufele, DL, USC
Tufele opting out in favor of draft preparation may have paid dividends. Tufele is the most productive defensive lineman who played in a 3-4 defense still on the board. His transition to the Bucs 3-4 scheme should be smooth and Tufele can take over for the aging Ndamukong Suh.
Round 1, Pick 29. Buffalo Bills
Courtlandt Griffin: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
The Bills’ linebackers were exposed in coverage by the Colts in their Wild Card matchup. Dylan Moses possesses the athleticism to cover sideline to sideline and match up with tight ends in coverage for this Bills’ defense.
Derek Worley: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame
Owusu-Koramoah is straight up scary when he comes downhill. He’s one of the most effective blitzers and is a fierce tackler when he finds the ball. He can play pass coverage well enough to become an every down linebacker at the next level.
Round 1, Pick 30. New Orleans Saints
Courtlandt Griffin: Andre Cisco, Safety, Syracuse
Malcolm Jenkins is getting older and the Saints will need to replace him with a playmaker once he hangs them up. Cisco is a ball hawk and a thumper in the secondary. He can be a starter early or a sub package coverage guy.
Derek Worley: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
Freiermuth is looking to follow the path of success like his predecessor, Dolphins’ tight end Mike Gesicki. Drew Brees may retire and Jared Cook only has a few years left. Even if he’s still on the roster there’s a chance that Freiermuth becomes the starter.
He’s great at high pointing the football and dangerous with the ball in his hands. A safety valve like Freiermuth for Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston can only be a good thing.
Round 1, Pick 31. Green Bay Packers
Courtlandt Griffin: Christian Barmore, DL, Alabama
The Packers have a formidable defensive front, but strengthening a strength is never a bad thing. Barmore is a beast as an interior pass rusher and will improve as a run defender over time.
Derek Worley: Christian Darrisaw, Tackle, Virginia Tech
After watching how quickly things change with David Bakhtiari going down with an injury, the Packers may want to acquire offensive line depth. There’s very few holes in this Packers’ roster and having another first round caliber tackle will only help in protecting Aaron Rodgers for the long run.
Round 1, Pick 32. Kansas City Chiefs
Courtlandt Griffin: Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Chiefs lack playmakers at the linebacker position and Collins is a just the remedy for that. He can play as a pass rusher, a middle linebacker, or in coverage in multiple fronts for this Chiefs’ defense.
Derek Worley: Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami (FL)
Phillips finally lived up to the hype that made him the number one high school player in the country in 2017. The Chiefs’ defense could become great if they can get a player to mimic Frank Clark’s production on the other side of the defensive line. Phillips is quick off the edge, but also has an uncanny ability to get skinny and slip through the cracks on the line.