15) Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (6-4, 218)
Ideal team fit: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have turned to veteran quarterbacks in recent years, signing Philip Rivers in free agency and then trading for Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan. In Hooker, they get both a rookie and a veteran, as the sixth-year senior turns 25 in January and has four years of starting experience at Virginia Tech and Tennessee. Like Ryan, he can throw lasers from the pocket when his first read is available, and like Wentz, he can challenge defenses with strong running if things break down. Hooker could become a Day 2 treasure if he’s able to improve his movement within the pocket and make more off-platform throws.
14) Zach Harrison, Edge, Ohio State (6-6, 272)
Previous rank: Not ranked
Ideal team fit: New Orleans Saints
This is the easiest pick in the bunch in terms of pure fit within a defensive scheme, as the length and power Harrison possesses is exactly what the Saints have coveted on the edges for years. Cameron Jordan is in his 12th year in the league, and the team has decisions to make about impending free agents Marcus Davenport and Tanoh Kpassagnon. While Harrison doesn’t win one-on-one as often as you’d expect, given his frame, he flashes quickness off the snap, holds the edge in the run game and wraps up quarterbacks trying to escape the pocket.
13) Tyler Davis, DL, Clemson (6-2, 300)
Ideal team fit: Carolina Panthers
Pairing 2020 first-round selection Derrick Brown with Davis would help the Panthers take a leap on defense. The Clemson DT makes impacts in the run game by winning gaps with quickness and chasing down ball-carriers. Quarterbacks don’t get a break when they drop back, either, as Davis can beat guards with various pass-rush moves. Considering that Carolina does not produce many sacks inside and struggles against the run, I think Davis would be an excellent fit early in the second round.
12) Derick Hall, Edge, Auburn (6-3, 256)
Ideal team fit: Houston Texas
It seems likely the Texans will address their moribund offense in the first round. They could add another pass rusher in the second round, with Rasheem Green approaching free agency. Hall’s a linebacker in Auburn’s scheme, but he is capable of playing with his hand on the ground, attacking his man with a powerful long-arm move and also turning the corner well when in a 9-technique alignment. Hall’s reliable playing the run on the edge, too, so he won’t have to be a pass-rush specialist as a rookie.
11) Mekhi Garner, BC, LSU (6-2, 217)
Ideal team fit: arizona cardinals
Arizona defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is known for employing man coverage, but the Cardinals have been forced to use zone almost exclusively at times with their current roster. Garner’s size and length give him a chance to be an excellent press cover man in the NFL, and he possesses enough speed to stay with receivers while engaged. He has stood up to SEC competition in his first year with the Tigers after previously suiting up at Louisiana and Navarro College. The Cardinals’ need for corner talent could be exacerbated if Byron Murphy and Trayvon Mullen walk in free agency.