I covered the construct of this exercise in part one, which contained picks 1-16 and links to the data sources used (namely Jeremiah's top 50 board and Brandt's Top 3 Needs per team list). Now let's get into 17-32. Here is the table and following it is the discussion/rationale.
|1||TB||OL, PR, QB||Winston, Jameis||QB||6||-5|
|2||TEN||QB, PR, CB||Mariota, Marcus||QB||11||-9|
|3||JAX||OT, CB, RB||Williams, Leonard||DE||1||2|
|4||OAK||PR, CB, WR||White, Kevin||WR||3||1|
|5||WAS||PR, DB, OT||Gregory, Randy||OLB||2||3|
|6||NYJ||QB, CB, OT||Waynes, Trae||CB||12||-6|
|7||CHI||PR, LB, DB||Shelton, Danny||NT||5||2|
|8||ATL||PR, TE, DB||Fowler, Jr., Dante||OLB||7||1|
|9||NYG||PR, OL, ILB||Ray, Shane||DE||8||1|
|10||STL||QB, CB, RB, (WR)||Cooper, Amari||WR||4||6|
|11||MIN||OT, RB, CB||Clemmings, T.J.||OT||15||-4|
|12||CLE||WR, ILB, DL||Parker, DeVante||WR||9||3|
|13||NO||CB, PR, QB||Armstead, Arik||DT||13||0|
|14||MIA||LB, CB, OT||McKinney, Benardrick||ILB||16||-2|
|15||SF||QB, OL, DL||Peat, Andrus||OT||19||-4|
|16||HOU||QB, WR, OT||Scherff, Brandon||OT||21||-5|
|17||SDG||CB, NT, OL||Brown, Malcom||DT||20||-3|
|18||KC||WR, OT, CB||Green-Beckham, Dorial||WR||17||1|
|19||CLE||WR, ILB, DL||Goldman, Eddie||DT||22||-3|
|20||PHI||CB, S, OLB||Collins, Landon||SS||18||2|
|21||CIN||CB, S, PK, (PR)||Harold, Eli||DE||25||-4|
|22||PIT||S, DL, CB||Williams, P.J.||CB||30||-8|
|23||DET||CB, DL, PK, (OL)||Dupree, Bud||OLB||26||-3|
|24||ARI||DL, OLB, ILB||Perryman, Denzel||ILB||27||-3|
|25||CAR||PR, OT, CB||Collins, La'el||OT||32||-7|
|26||BAL||PR, RB, OL||Gordon, Melvin||RB||10||16|
|27||DAL||CB, DL, TE||Peters, Marcus||CB||31||-4|
|28||DEN||DL, LB, TE/WR||Funchess, Devin||WR||24||4|
|29||IND||OL, ILB, S||Beasley, Vic||OLB||28||1|
|30||GNB||ILB, DL, TE||Smith, Preston||DE||37||-7|
|31||SEA||TE, OL, DL, WR||Smith, Devin||WR||23||8|
|32||NWE||WR, DL, RB||Strong, Jaelen||WR||29||3|
#17 San Diego Chargers: Malcolm Brown, DT - Texas
San Diego really blew a golden opportunity to make the playoffs. They would have been a good test for Pittsburgh, too. Thankfully for us, that didn't happen. Eric Weddle is one of my favorite non-Ravens though and I wouldn't mind seeing more of him. San Diego has really been knocking on the door into the AFC's elite for a while now after being a part of it in the mid-2000s. They could take an RB here because they need one but Brandt didn't have it as a need. Brown is the best available pick at a need position (DL).
#18 Kansas City: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR - Oklahoma
Perhaps the most interesting player in the draft. He feels like either a home run or strikeout type of pick. He actually would be a very intriguing pick for Baltimore at 26. But Kansas City threw zero touchdowns to wide receivers in 2014. Even teams in the 1930s could throw passing TDs to receivers. Andy Reid is not afraid to take DGB though and I actually thought KC would take a receiver last year. The Chiefs actually beat both Super Bowl participants so they obviously had a deep and balanced team, but what they couldn't do was beat you deep. They were a dink, dunk and Charles team and that's not a recipe for getting big plays when you need them. Their losses to Arizona and Oakland highlighted that.
This pick belongs to Cleveland due to the Sammy Watkins trade. Buffalo had better hope Watkins plays at a star level because it was an insane risk. Beckham's play sure makes it look like Doug Whaley needs a sideline concussion test after making that trade. I'm sure the Giants are pretty happy with Beckham while retaining their 1st round pick this year. Anyway, Cleveland filled the WR void and will look to improve its defense. They may also do something crazy like trade up for Mariota. There's no limit to Haslam's insanity.
#20 Philadelphia Eagles: Landon Collins, SS - Alabama
Alabama players sometimes get unfairly criticized for not all being studs but generally speaking that's because they are probably overhyped to begin with. Alabama produces a lot of quality football players though. The Eagles won 10 games and still missed the playoffs. That stings. One of those six losses came when their safety allowed Arizona to throw a bomb over their heads for a go-ahead touchdown in the waning moments in improbable fashion. They should stop doing that. They should also stop reaching for players like Marcus Smith last year.
#21 Cincinnati Bengals: Eli Harold, DE - Virginia
The Bengals have two problems. Andy Dalton and no pass rush. I am tired of hearing about their injured weapons. Yeah, that was a tough spate of luck there but come on. They got trounced by a team who lost by 38 a few weeks later. However, the Dalton/Lewis roadshow continues for at least another year. Meanwhile, they'd better find a way to get more pass rush. Brandt didn't have it as a need but that's because he put placekicker up there....so I'll help him out: Cincy needs a pass rusher. Eli Harold fits the bill as the best available player at a need.
#22 Pittsburgh Steelers: P.J. Williams, CB - Florida St.
Pittsburgh's slow fall from one of the best defenses to the worst has at least been consistent and steady. From 1st to 7th to 13th to 19th to 26th to 31st, Pittsburgh somehow became an offensive team despite drafting heavily for defense with their 1st round picks of late. Their secondary remains perhaps their biggest weakness (Right Tackle is another). Polamalu and Taylor are not long for the B&G. Williams would be an immediate help. I actually think Pittsburgh will go after another pass rushing linebacker like Bud Dupree if they are rated near the best available DB, but we'll stay true to Brandt's 3 identified needs and therefore give them the defensive back.
#23 Detroit Lions: Bud Dupree, OLB - Kentucky
Ndmakong Suh is a great player but he's likely to chase the dollars (by his own admission). Detroit is probably best served by letting someone else drop $100 million on him while they pay down their subprime mortgage debt that they had to take out for Stafford and Johnson in prior years. Teryl Austin did fantastic work with this group last year and luckily for them, it looks like he'll be back. They could use a DB because Rashean Mathis is on AARP by now but Dupree would be a nice replacement for the soon-departing Suh. Detroit's pass rush pressure was awesome in their Wild Card loss (and nearly carried the day) and it would be painful to lose Suh without a viable backfill.
#24 Arizona Cardinals: Denzel Perryman, ILB - Miami
Is Larry Fitzgerald the most star crossed elite player in football? While undeserving players like LeGarrette Blount shadily engineered his departure from Pittsburgh to then get a ring with New England, the future Hall of Famer has languished in Arizona. Finally, though they have a coach and defense to do damage. They were unlucky to lose their quarterbacks last year but they overcame the defensive injuries. I think RB would make sense for them here, too, because Ellington has been unimpressive but their needs are on defense evidently. Also Daryl Washington is one misstep away from the NFL death sentence.
#25 Carolina Panthers: La'el Collins, OT - LSU
The most predictable pick in the draft to me feels like the Panthers picking an offensive lineman. They need OL help. They might get it in Free Agency (which is when we'll need to revisit this exercise), but for now, they direly need a lineman. Cam Newton has actually really been impressive and his health is a huge driver of their success. They were better than 7-8-1 but they stood no chance against Seattle. It's a flawed team and Gettleman can't point the finger at Marty Hurney anymore. It's time to get that team right.
#26 Baltimore Ravens: Melvin Gordon, RB - Wisconsin
At last, the Ravens are on the board. Gordon is rated as the 10th best player and therefore, by BPA he would be our pick here if forced to choose. However, I tend to wonder if they don't look to trade back and get him anyway. There are a lot of RB-needy teams though especially high in the 2nd. Jacksonville for instance needs one. I think Baltimore is not going to be able to choose a receiver here because the value proposition against a more highly rated player like Gordon, or even Gurley, is too high.
Moreover, Ozzie Newsome has said repeatedly that he wants solid doubles in the first round. Not home runs. Swinging for the fences can pay dividends but it can also result in a strikeout. DGB to me is probably the most intriguing pick we could make here if he's available and if he passes their screening. However, he feels like a contradiction to the Ravens stated strategy: DGB is a home run or strikeout, not a solid double, if you ask me.
Now it remains to be seen if Gordon will last this long but Gordon is in a spot where he should make it to us unless an RB-needy team high in the draft trades down too. Gurley is perhaps an even more interesting player but his ACL Injury seems again to violate the "Solid Double" mantra espoused by Baltimore. He could be AP on his return, or he could be Marcus Lattimore. Too much risk at 26 certainly.
Now, if Gordon is gone, I think either Devin Smith or Jaelen Strong will be very plausible picks here at 26. The remaining players that I think will be here aren't as critical a need as a top playmaking WR. It will be one of the most interesting draft decisions in some time. But for now, following our model, it's Melvin Gordon without thinking twice.
#27 Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Peters, CB - Washington
Dallas was the most impressive team last year in my book. Arizona was getting by on a heavy degree of luck if you ask me while Dallas was actually trouncing teams and winning the way a dominant team should. I still can't understand how their Defense wasn't awful but they found a way. I wouldn't hope for a repeat of that without another talent infusion. Demarco Murray will almost certainly be gone but they'll be fine with Randle.
#28 Denver Broncos: Devin Funchess, WR/TE - Michigan
I think Julius Thomas is a lock to play elsewhere while DT should get the tag. Denver is still stacked at receiver so it's hard to fathom why WR is considered a high need for them. But Funchess is in that gray area between TE and WR and would fit the bill as a big bodied pass catcher to replace Thomas. Denver's defense was actually good in their playoff defeat and because they are pretty deep therefore it's a hard team to figure out what their most critical needs are. I don't see many better options for them though for now, barring a horrible Combine for Funchess killing his stock.
#29 Indianapolis Colts: Vic Beasley, OLB - Clemson
Sorry but losing by 38 in the AFC Championship is just sad. Chuck Pagano is a defensive coach and the Colts have spent a lot of Free Agency dollars on defenders. It hasn't worked and it better start working or Pagano is going to be looking for work himsef. They still get rolled by average talents like LeGarrette Blount, who they made look like Jim Brown yet again. They need to go hard for elite defenders in free agency and then again in the draft. Andrew Luck will make do with what he has on offense. They were fortunate that Denver collapsed in epic fashion behind Manning's injury or aging or whatever it was because this team is far from a Super Bowl contender unless they hit on some picks.
#30 Green Bay: Preston Smith, DE - Mississippi St.
Good god has any team choked away a game as badly as Green Bay did in the NFC Championship. I don't even... Mike McCarthy was awful in that game and coached like he could just go into a shell for 5 minutes and pull it out. It didn't work. GB improved their run defense significantly later in the season but could do more. Preston Smith is a bit of a reach here so I would look for Thompson to trade back. Corner is another possible need here though they were great at Seattle.
#31 Seattle Seahawks: Devin Smith, WR - OSU
What can I say about this team that hasn't been said? They blew it. Dear god did they blow it. And they need receiver help in a huge way. It's one thing to make do with two #2's but they have none of that. They have a bunch of #3s if even that. It cost them big-time. Paul Richardson may yet be an answer if he's healthy and so maybe is Chris Matthews. Whatever, get another one. And don't let 5th string DB's beat you on 2nd and goal from the 1 to lose a Super Bowl. Side question though: how many bandwagon fans did Seattle lose do we think? Did they all return to the Miami Heat?
#32 New England Patriots: Jaelen Strong, WR - Arizona State
I can't really talk about the Patriots without launching into a diatribe into their shadiness in acquiring Blount, obvious exploitation of the rules to gain competitive advantage with the ball deflation scandal (adding -gate to every scandal should be a slap to the face offense). There are a lot of apologists out there now that they've won the Super Bowl. Sports media really is the worst. Anyway, so let's talk about their draft pick. The Patriots got by with dink and dunk yet again but they still can't beat you outside reliably. Brady's deep ball is still not good and, deflated footballs aside, he's not going to get better. Still, ignoring a chance to improve their outside receiving game would be a mistake. They don't have a lot of weaknesses though (obviously) so almost any pick would be good here if its a best player available and Strong fits the bill here.
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