Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 50 Overall – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah – Likely to be a situational corner early on with Kyle Fuller, Artie Burns, and Buster Skrine the corners ahead of him, Johnson will have a shot to leap ahead of Skrine this season and become the nickel back on a great defense. He has good size and toughness that will allow him to play press and line up against big receivers and even a tight end when needed.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 43 Overall – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame – I love the player, but this is early even for me and it gives the Bears something like 10 TEs on their roster. With Jimmy Graham in the twighlight of his career, Kmet could easily be the top TE on the team by mid-season, but Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles means the team is still going to struggle.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 5, Pick 155 Overall – Trevis Gipson, Edge, Tulsa – He can play with his hand in the dirt or upright as a blitzing backer, Gipson gets to learn from the best in the league Khalil Mack and another who is no slouch in Robert Quinn. He is a pass rush only type guy, so he will be situational, but has the upside to become a productive member of the Bears D.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Trevon McSwain, DT, Duke – More of a tweener on the defensive line as he is not a run stuffer given he is 6’6” and weighed in at 285 lbs., but not really a natural pass rusher. He will likely be a running game option as depth on the back end of the roster.
Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 3 Overall – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State – Hands down the best defensive back in the draft, Okudah goes to a Lions team that desperately needed corner help. The Lions gave up the most passing yards per game and tied for last in interceptions, they con only go up from there and Okudah is just the kind of guy to help.
Least Favorite Pick: None – The day two selections for the Lions were D’Andre Swift, Julian Okwara, and Jonah Jackson, all guys I really like. Swift will likely be the lead back early on given his biggest competition is Kerryon Johnson, while Jackson could be leading the way for him as the best guard on the roster. Okwara will have to overtake his brother, Romeo, on the defensive line to earn himself a starting gig, but the brotherly competition should be fun to watch.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 5, Pick 166 Overall – Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin – Cephus was not the most highly touted receiver in this deep draft class, and there was plenty of inconsistencies from him in a run first offense, but he flashed brilliance. There was always one or two plays a game in Madison that made you sit up and take note of Cephus, the question is can he do it consistently, and if he can that ceiling is massive.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington – I felt there was a better chance Bryant went on day two than go undrafted, so this had to be the top target for the Lions. With Jesse James and TJ Hockenson ahead of him on the depth chart, he will be a matchup third option early on, but could easily surpass James early in the season.
Green Bay Packers
Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 62 Overall – A.J. Dillon, RB, Boston College – Despite popular reaction, I easily could have gone Jordan Love here although, that may just be an indictment on how poor the draft as a whole was for the Packers. Dillon is a huge, bruising back that can pound the rock. He can carry a heavy workload, but he really does not help much in the passing game so his fit with Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones remains to be seen.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 94 Overall – Josiah Deguara, H-Back, Cincinnati – He was listed as a tight end when drafted, but in reality he is a receiving fullback. The highest of upsides for him is to be a poor man’s Kyle Juszczyk…which isn’t worth a third-round pick.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 6, Pick 192 Overall – Jon Runyan, G, Michigan – A college tackle with great bloodlines, Runyan moving inside to guard becomes incredibly intriguing. They did go with a trio of interior offensive linemen in the sixth round, with Jake Hanson and Simon Stepaniak drafted later in the round, but it is Runyan I believe is the hit if there is only one in the group.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: A likely late round draft pick until he ran the slowest 40-yard dash among any corner, 4.65, but he had a good final season at Florida State. He is long but lean, so he isn’t much of a tackler, but his big hands allow him to win contested balls that typically go to the receiver. He will likely fit in as the last DB on the roster but could surprise people with a pick or two this season.
Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 22 Overall – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU – Good route runner who can go up and the contested ball. At LSU he worked primarily as a slot receiver, a position Adam Thielen plays often, but he saw plenty of time out wide. He will immediately step in to the Stefon Diggs role and, while it will take time, he can get to that level.
Least Favorite Pick: None – Jeff Gladney may have been better suited as an early round two pick, but no way he gets back to the Vikings and this was a position of need, so I really have no issues with any of their picks in the first three rounds.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 132 Overall – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon – A guy I expected to go day steps into a veteran heavy linebacking group he can learn from. His size and ability to cover ground screams safety, but he is more of a linebacker in overall abilities. Look for him to be a backer who sees coverage on the tight end often, while being a sure-fire tackler in the run game.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Another slot receiver to the Vikings may not seem like the greatest fit, but Davis has a shot to make it as a sixth receiver. He runs decent enough routes and relies on quickness over speed despite good length for a slot option. Nothing special, but easily a guy who could have been drafted on day three without anyone giving it a second thought, so this could be a sneaky pick up for the Vikings.