23. New England Patriots: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
A lot of people will have the New England Patriots taking a quarterback in this draft, especially with their first pick, as they may move on from Tom Brady this offseason. However, even if they did, who would he throw it to?
I don’t think Tom Brady is done with the Patriots, especially the way he lost. The New England defense was one of the best I’ve seen in a while, and if that defense can stay healthy and play the same way they did this past season, then a wide receiver will do wonders for this offense.
Tee Higgins is a 6’4” mammoth with a huge wingspan. The junior is averaging 20.8 yards per catch and has the highest receiving grade of any Power-5 receiver per PFF. Although the Patriots did take a wideout last year, they need to keep on improving the talent around Brady.
24. New Orleans Saints: DT Jordan Elliott, Missouri
The Saints just came off a tough loss to a really good defensive team in the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round. That loss is an indicator that unless you have a really good defense to match the Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and the improving Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, you will lose in the first round again next year.
Fill in Jordan Elliott of Missouri, and incredibly gifted defensive tackle. After Derrick Brown, Elliott is the next best interior defensive lineman in this draft class. He should help the Saints get much better on the inside of that defense.
25. Tennessee Titans: OT Austin Jackson, USC
This team has impressed so many people this season, and are still dancing, after beating the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round on the road. Ryan Tannehill looks like the real deal, but he does need better protection.
That would lead the Titans to select USC’s Austin Jackson, one of the best offensive tackles in this draft class. Jackson is a great athlete with very quick feet. He excels in pass protection and should only get better as a run blocker.
26. Minnesota Vikings: CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford
The Vikings could easily take an offensive tackle here, but with the shocking decline of Xavier Rhodes this past season, the Vikings should take the best corner available here, Paulson Adebo. Adebo brings to the table excellent instincts, a history of really good ball skills with both pass breakups and interceptions.
27. Miami Dolphins (f/HOU): OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
The Dolphins traded away their starting offensive tackle, so to replace him, they will take Mekhi Becton from Louisville. If the Dolphins want a quarterback to succeed in this system, they will have to protect him, and Becton has the talent to be a Day 1 starter at the NFL level.
The 6’7” 350-pound offensive tackle is surprisingly very quick with his feet and is a dominating run blocker. Per PFF, Becton had the second-most big-time blocks of any offensive tackle in the FBS.