By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.
In Part 3 of our mock draft, we get into the second half of the first round. Gone are the draft’s biggest names – Thibodeaux, Hutchinson, Neal, Hamilton, etc. – but there is still plenty of talent remaining for NFL teams to improve their roster. Let’s go.
17. L.A. CHARGERS: CHRIS OLAVE, WR, OHIO STATE. The Chargers were one win away from the playoffs last season, and their future is bright. QB Justin Herbert could use more weapons, however, and the 6’1”, 190-lb. Olave would be a solid addition to the receiving corps, especially if free agent Mike Williams departs. Adding an offensive lineman could also be an option here.
18. NEW ORLEANS: CARSON STRONG, QB, NEVADA. Hawaii fans have seen what Strong is capable of, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him selected by the QB-needy Saints. The 6’5”, 225 Strong has the prototypical physical tools you’d want in an NFL QB, including perhaps the best arm among this yrear’s QB class.
19. PHILADELPHIA: LEWIS CINE, S, GEORGIA. We had the Eagles addressing their defensive and offensive lines with their first two picks in the opening round. Now, they scoop up the hard-hitting Cine to bolster their secondary. The 6’1”, 200-lb. playmaker is largely considered to be the draft’s top safety after Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton.
, 20. PITTSBURGH: TYLER LINDERBAUM, C, IOWA. Yes, the Steelers need to replace Ben Roethlisberger. But it would be unwise to reach for a QB here, with the best QBs already taken earlier in this round. Besides, the Steelers need to fortify their offensive line, and the 6’3”, 290-lb. Linderbaun is considered a can’t-miss prospect. Pittsburgh is not sold on Kendrick Green, who struggled as a rookie last season and might be more suited at a guard position.
21. NEW ENGLAND: TREYLON BURKS, WR, ARKANSAS. The Patriots haven’t had much luck in drafting receivers in recent years – N’Keal Harry, anyone? – but the team has found its next franchise QB in Mac Jones and needs to give him weapons to thrive. Some scouts think the 6’3”, 225 Burks might be the true gem of this year’s receivers class.
22. LAS VEGAS: JORDAN DAVIS, DT, GEORGIA. Despite making the playoffs for the first time since 2016, the Raiders have so many needs at key positions. The guess here is that the new regime will attempt to address the team’s holes on the offensive line and at cornerback during the free agency period. That would allow them to draft the 6’6”, 340-lb. Davis, who could be the disrupting force in the middle that the team has lacked for some time.
22. ARIZONA: JERMAINE JOHNSON, EDGE, FLORIDA STATE. With all the Kyler Murray drama seemingly settled, Arizona can now focus on patching up some of the holes on the defensive side of the ball. The Cardinals could really use a difference maker at the edge position, and the 6’4”, 260-lb. Johnson is rising up the draft boards. One scout has compared him to the Raiders’ Maxx Crosby.
23: DALLAS: KENYON GREEN, OT, TEXAS A&M. The offensive line is an area of need for the Cowboys, and left tackle in particular could use an upgrade. The 6’4”, 325-lb. Green had three stellar seasons for the Aggies, and has the tools to transition to the pro level. He is a versatile lineman who can play several positions and has a solid football IQ.