Just for fun, I repeat, fun, here’s a second-round projection for 2017 NFL Draft, which starts at 6 p.m. Friday on ESPN and NFL Network.
33. Green Bay Packers (from Cleveland): CB Kevin King, Washington
Florida State’s Dalvin Cook or Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie would also be nice selections.
34. Seattle Seahawks (from San Francisco): T Cam Robinson, Alabama
The Seahawks have to protect the quarterback better.
35. Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Jordan Willis, Kansas State
Tom Coughlin is serious about building a big, stout defense and Willis fits the mold of a classic end from one of his old Giants teams.
36. Chicago Bears: WR Zay Jones, East Carolina
Whoever the Bears’ new quarterback will be will need better targets than they’ve currently got.
37. Los Angeles Rams: G Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky
A receiver is an option too but the best way to help Todd Gurley and Jared Goff is to protect them with the draft’s best guard.
38. Los Angeles Chargers: S Bishard “Budda’ Baker, Washington
Baker is a road runner who can play the Earl Thomas spot in new coordinator Gus Bradley’s defense.
39. New York Jets: RB Dalvin Cook, Florida State
The Jets have to win now to save their jobs and Cook is an immediate-impact pick.
40. Carolina Panthers: T/G Dion Dawkins, Temple
The Panthers have to do a better job protecting Cam Newton and Dawkins offers the ability to play guard or tackle.
41. Cincinnati Bengals: DE Tanoh Kpassagnon, Villanova.
Super-sized defensive end with quickness is a nice fit in the rough-and-tumble AFC North.
42. New Orleans Saints: DE Tarell Basham, Ohio
The Saints’ front seven needs more edge rush juice.
43. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Joe Mixon, Oklahoma
The Eagles’ cornerback situation is a trainwreck but Mixon has Pro Bowl talent and the Eagles need to support Carson Wentz.
44. Buffalo Bills: WR/RB JuJu Smith-Schuster, Southern California
Better get Tyrod Taylor some more weapons if they want it to work out.
45. Arizona Cardinals: DT Dalvin Tomlinson, Alabama
The Cardinals need to solidify the interior of the defense and Tomlinson is a war daddy against the run.
46. Indianapolis Colts: OLB Tyus Bowser, Houston
The Colts took Malik Hooker in the first round and help the edge rush with a talented physical prospect in Bowser.
47. Baltimore Ravens: OLB Tim Williams, Alabama
First-round talent with off-field issues, Williams can help improve the Ravens’ pass rush.
48. Minnesota Vikings: OG Dan Feeney, Indiana
The Vikings have a hole on the interior and Feeney could be an interesting pick. He’s smart, tough and durable.
49. Washington: OLB Ryan Anderson, Alabama
Anderson is a well-built pass rusher who can provide some much-needed edge-rush protection.
50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: RB Alvin Kamara, Tennessee
Kamara is a marvelous do-it-all back who coach Dirk Koetter can have a lot of fun with.
51. Denver Broncos: DE Chris Wormley, Michigan
Good tester who adds some sorely-needed athleticism and depth to the Broncos’ front.
52. Cleveland Browns: QB DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame
If Kizer, who boasts lots of physical gifts, can get it together mentally, he has the talent to be the best quarterback in this class. The Browns have a need, too.
53. Detroit Lions: DE DeMarcus Walker, Florida State
Walker has a great feel for rushing the passer and can help an edge rush that needs a complement to Ziggy Ansah.
54. Miami Dolphins: DT Malik McDowell, Michigan State
A safety like Marcus Williams from Utah would be ideal but the Dolphins need d-line help and this is a week d-line draft.
55. New York Giants: LB Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
The Giants could use linebacker help and Cunningham is the best left on the board.
56. Oakland Raiders: LB Alex Anzalone, Floridda
The Raiders’ linebackers need help, and Anzalone has range and athleticism and would be a nice fit.
57. Houston Texans: S Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
Outstanding combination of size, athleticism and range will get him taken in this round.
58. Seattle Seahawks: RB/WR Curtis Samuel, Ohio State
Samuel, as a slot receiver and change-of-pace back, would be nasty. His 4.31-second 40-yard dash is real, folks, and he could help the Seahawks as a zone-runner.
59. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Quincy Wilson, Florida
Not a bad scenario for the Chiefs, who have three of the top corners —UCLA’s Fabian Moreau, Colorado’s Chidobe Awuzie and Florida’s Quincy Wilson — remaining on the board. This one is a toss up, especially because we know they like Moreau and Wilson, who they formally interviewed at the combine.
So this is not an easy decision, because I could easily see Moreau or Awuzie being the pick. But while Wilson isn’t quite the athlete Awuzie and Moreau are, he is the biggest of the bunch (6-2, 211), has better career ball production (six career picks compared to three and three, respectively) and might be the most confident and competitive (check out his quotes from this story).
If you add him to the mix with Marcus Peters, Steven Nelson, Terrance Mitchell, Phillip Gaines and D.J. White, trust me, your swag level would be — as Sean Smith used to say — through the roof right now.
Besides, I believe you want your group of corners to look like a basketball team, and while the Chiefs already have their share of wings (Peters, Gaines) and points (Mitchell/White), they could use a Smith-like power forward (with 32-inch arms, by the way) to match up with bigger receivers.
But if they pass on Wilson — and they always could, this is just a projection — I like Awuzie (6-0, 202), an aggressive, edgy player that some teams even like as a safety. He also tested really well from an athletic standpoint, and while his arms are short — 30 5/8 inches — they’re the same size as Nelson’s, which tells me that passes the bar. This guy is a good tackler and blitzer (four sacks and 10 for his career!) who defensive coordinator Bob Sutton could have some fun with.
Moreau (6-1, 206) is the best athlete of the bunch, slightly edging out Awuzie, and he has superior length (31 3/8-inch arms), too. The ball production is a bit of a concern, though, and I do think the Chiefs would like whoever lines up across from Peters to be able to create turnovers, too. But again, we’ll see.
Also keep an eye here on Melifonwu and Samuel, who interviewed with the Chiefs at the combine. Melifonwu, in particular, could be an intriguing conversion candidate to corner. Washington’s Sidney Jones, a first-round pick before he tore his Achilles, would be a sleeper pick, as would an edge rusher like Bowser or Basham.
Kamara would also be a nice fit if he’s on the board, as would Tomlinson.
60. Dallas Cowboys: CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
The Cowboys have a need here and Awuzie could go way higher.
61. Green Bay Packers: RB Samaje Perine, Oklahoma
Perine is a salt-of-the-earth tough guy who can compliment Ty Montgomery with his between-the-tackles running style.
62. Pittsburgh Steelers: S Marcus Maye, Florida
Has good instincts and loves football. Steelers fans will love him.
63. Atlanta Falcons: S Marcus Williams, Utah
Centerfield-type who can add more versatility to the Falcons’ defense.
64. Carolina Panthers (from New England): ILB Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
Luke Kuechly has had concussion issues and Thomas Davis is a free agent next year.