Road to Miami: 2019 NFL Free Agency Winners & Losers

As teams begin to shift their focus toward the 2019 NFL Draft, we’re looking back at the free agency winners and losers on the Road to Super Bowl 54 in Miami.


Cleveland Browns

“The Browns are building a powerhouse. Believe it. Those are words that don’t seem to go together, but General Manager John Dorsey continues to push the right buttons. He gave up plenty to the New York Giants in the trade for wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., but it was well worth it. The Browns get perhaps the game’s most dynamic player.

They’ll have to deal with expectations, for a change, and they’ll have a rookie head coach in Freddie Kitchens. But having expectations is a good problem to have.” — Mark Maske, Washington Post

Green Bay Packers

“The Packers ranked 22nd in points allowed, 22nd in rushing yards allowed, 19th in turnover differential and just weren’t able to get enough key stops on defense when it mattered most. As a result, we saw a rare strategy from Green Bay: spend big in free agency.

The Packers added linebackers Preston Smith (four years, $52 million) and Za’Darius Smith (four years, $66 million), as well as safety Adrian Amos (four years, $37 million) to help fix a mediocre to below-average defense. Amos’ addition also hurts the Packers’ biggest rival and top competitor in the NFC North division, the Chicago Bears.” — Nick Goss, NBC Sports

Indianapolis Colts

Selective and patient. Colts general manager Chris Ballard didn’t let last season’s 10-6 record and playoff appearance dictate how he would attack the offseason. He has been selective in how he has used the NFL’s most salary-cap space by signing just two outside free agents — defensive end Justin Houston and receiver Devin Funchess. He has remained patient and is committed to continuing to build the roster through the draft. The Colts currently have nine picks later this month.” — Mike Wells,

New York Jets

“Winning free agency in March rarely translates into winning games between September and December. But the Jets, like the Raiders, were in desperate need of upgrading the roster, and they have taken positive steps by adding running back Le’Veon Bell, wide receiver Jamison Crowder and linebacker C.J. Mosley.

On offense, it’s all about aiding the development of young quarterback Sam Darnold. And the arrivals of Bell and Crowder help greatly in that regard.” — Mark Maske, Washington Post


New York Giants

“If the best organizations follow a clear vision, what can we say about the Giants?

The Giants now have one of the NFL’s least-talented rosters, and hope for improving it is limited by their decision to let Collins walk away (rather than making a trade) and settling for a modest return in the Beckham trade. They don’t seem to be following a linear plan and are years late on initiating a succession plan at quarterback. It is as though the Giants — and general manager Dave Gettleman in particular — are operating in a long-discarded era of NFL team building.” — Kevin Seifert,

Pittsburgh Steelers

“The Steelers acquired just third- and fifth-round draft picks, as well as no salary cap relief, from the Raiders in exchange for Antonio Brown (arguably the league’s top wide receiver). Pittsburgh also wasn’t able to re-sign star running back Le’Veon Bell, and there are no running backs on the free agent market capable of adequately replacing him. The Steelers haven’t added any key pieces to a defense that was mediocre last season, either.

Could we finally be seeing the end of the Steelers’ run as a top contender in the AFC? It sure looks like it.” — Nick Goss, NBC Sports

Tennessee Titans

“The Titans were one of the most active teams in the NFL, making three major deals by signing offensive lineman Rodger Saffold, receiver Adam Humphries and defensive end Cameron Wake while also re-signing Vaccaro at safety. I’m just not certain what to make of it.

On the one hand, giving Wake $10 million guaranteed at age 37 seems excessively hopeful. But on the other, giving relatively inaccurate quarterback Marcus Mariota a productive slot receiver in Humphries seems like a good idea. Saffold, assuming he is healthy, fits the smashmouth run style the Titans are expected to pursue.

I understand the Titans’ incentive after they were in the AFC South division race until Week 17 last season. But will this eclectic haul do anything to push them past the Texans and Colts?” — Kevin Seifert,

Washington Redskins

“[Safety Landon] Collins is an excellent player who will help the defense. But $84 million to a safety? Some in and around the league were baffled about that.” — Mark Maske, Washington Post



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2019 NFL Free Agency Preview

With the 2019 NFL Combine officially behind us, the next step on the Road to Super Bowl 54 in Miami in 2020 is the beginning of the new league year, and the free agency season. What teams are positioned to be buyers and sellers, and what players might command the most attention as the new year begins on March 13th at 4:00 p.m. ET?

Top Teams

While many people generally see teams with open cap space and teams that struggled the previous season as one in the same, the Indianapolis Colts, after a surprising 11-5 season that saw the team make the divisional round of the playoffs, hold the most cap space with $105.8 million in free money.

While many peg the team to make a big splash acquisition like former Steelers teammates, running back Le’Veon Bell and/or wide receiver Antonio Brown, there are plenty of other players commanding far less attention/money that fit the team’s style nicely.

Other top teams with cap space: New York Jets ($99 million), Houston Texans ($83.3 million), Buffalo Bills ($77.3 million) and Cleveland Browns ($77.2 million)

Top Free Agents

Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers — 2017*: 321 RUSH, 1,291 YDS, 9 TD | 85 REC, 655 YDS, 2 TD

One of the most talked about names in the free agency market for a handful of years now, former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, after holding out the entire 2018 season, is officially a free agent. Potential suitors for Bell have been mentioned as possibly being the New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, among others.

Trey Flowers, DE, New England Patriots — 2018: 57 TKL, 7.5 SACKS, 3 FF

The 25-year-old Super Bowl champion defensive pass rusher, coming off a career year in 2018, is due for one of the biggest paydays of the open market. With potential free agent defensive pass rushers like Jadeveon Clowney and Grady Jarrett being franchise tagged, the market thinned early, meaning don’t be surprised if Flowers brings in a massive deal with a new team.

Landon Collins, S, New York Giants — 2018: 96 TKL, 5 TFL, 1 FF

A 25-year-old three-time Pro Bowler, safety Landon Collins is the type of versatile defensive back that can completely re-shape a team’s secondary identity. Though he’s slightly struggled in the past few seasons (hampered by an injury in 2018), Collins was in the NFL Defensive Player of the Year conversation in 2016, and will be a big prize for some lucky team in free agency.

C.J. Mosley, LB, Baltimore Ravens — 2018: 105 TKL, 6 TFL, 0.5 SACK, 1 INT

After not receiving a franchise tag from the Ravens, four-time Pro Bowl selection C.J. Mosley is poised to hit the open market as one of the premier linebackers available. Granted, inside linebackers don’t sport the flash they used to, but three-down playmakers like Mosley pose a valuable threat to any defense looking to take their unit to the next level.

Earl Thomas, S, Seattle Seahawks — 2018**:22 TKL, 3 INT

Thomas can be considered as nothing less than one of the most prolific safeties of this generation of defense. His unique abilities have allowed the Seahawks to be very aggressive on defense, knowing that Thomas was deep in the secondary to clean up any mistakes over the top. Coming off a season-ending leg injury, and at 30 years old, Thomas is hard to count out and will be a soldi defensive addition to any secondary looking for veteran leadership.

Tevin Coleman, RB, Atlanta Falcons — 2018: 167 RUSH, 800 YDS, 4 TD | 32 REC, 276 YDS, 5 TD

One of the more interesting names on the thin running back market, Coleman has been a solid contributor out of the Falcons backfield, especially in 2018 with start Devonta Freeman missing most of the season. It’s unclear whether Coleman has the ability to be a team’s workhorse, three-down back, but will be a solid addition to any teams backfield and offensive showcase.

Nick Foles, QB, Philadelphia Eagles — 2018**: 72.3% COMP, 1,413 YDS, 7 TD, 4 INT

The most intriguing name to hit the market, Super Bowl LII MVP quarterback Nick Foles is finally free of Philadelphia and looking for a starting gig—reportedly heading to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the opening of free agency. Foles and Jacksonville are a perfect fit, as the Jaguars are looking to move on from Blake Bortles, and Foles is looking for a reliable starting gig and a team to lead.

*  — Missed 2018 season | ** — Didn’t play entire 2018 season



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Road to Super Bowl 53: AFC North Preview

With teams beginning to report for mandatory organized team activities (OTA’s), we get closer to kicking off the Road to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. Taking a quick look at how the AFC North stacks up compared to 2017, and which teams might surprise in 2018.

Pittsburgh Steelers

2017 Record: 13-3, AFC North Champions

A relatively quiet offseason for the Steelers in 2018 was headlined by the expected news of the return of quarterback Ben Roethlishberger,  but the future remains unclear for the team. With the core of Roethlisberger, wide receiver Antonio Brown and a disgruntled running back Le’Veon Bell still on the roster, the team still boasts the potential for an explosive offense. But losing wide receiver Martavis Bryant and a trio of defensive backs in Mike Mitchell, William Gay and Robert Golden leaves the team’s defensive identity and subsequent success hanging in the balance.


Baltimore Ravens

2017 Record: 9-7

An offseason of turnover for the Baltimore Ravens, headlined by an unclear direction for the team’s quarterback position, leaves fans wondering what the team might look like heading into the 2018 regular season. The Ravens have Joe Flacco, a Super Bowl winning quarterback, currently as their starter. However, that didn’t stop the team’s front office from both only signing Robert Griffin III this offseason, but trading into the first round to grab Louisville’s Lamar Jackson as well.

The team’s receiving corps also sports a new look, with 2017 wide receivers Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and Chris Matthews being replaced by Michael Crabtree (OAK), Willie Snead (NO) and John Brown (AZ).


Cincinnati Bengals

2017 Record: 7-9

The trend of a relatively quiet offseason in the AFC North continues in Cincinnati, where the team didn’t make many moves to improve or hurt their depth chart. The team’s biggest transactions this offseason came in the form of signing tight end Tyler Effect to a one-year contract extension and trading for Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Cordy Glenn, adding some much needed depth on the front lines following the loss of offensive linemen Eric Winston, Russell Bodine and Andre Smith.


Cleveland Browns

2017 Record: 0-16

Arguably the team with the biggest makeover of the 2018 NFL offseason, the Cleveland Browns have (rightly so) completely revamped their roster. Holding the #1 and #4 overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Browns were able to grab two players they believe can be the cornerstones of a turnaround in quarterback Baker Mayfield and defensive back Denzel Ward, pairing the two first-round picks with the 2017 #1 overall pick Myles Garrett. But it wasn’t just the draft where the Browns looked to improve.

The team was also incredible active on the trade and free agency markets before the draft, acquiring Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry from the Miami Dolphins, quarterback Tyrod Taylor from the Buffalo Bills and defensive back Damarious Randall from the Green Bay Packers. The team was also able to bring in former 49ers running back Carlos Hyde, defensive back E.J. Gaines and defensive end Chris Smith through free agency.



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2018 NFL Draft Winners, Losers & Maybes

With April’s 2018 NFL Draft officially in the rearview mirror, teams are beginning to set their sights on Atlanta for the pinnacle, Super Bowl 53 in 2019. What teams walked away from the draft winners, losers and maybes?


Arizona Cardinals: On the hunt for a franchise quarterback after the retirement of Carson Palmer, the team managed to not only move up five spots by giving up just a third- and fifth-round pick, but they also manage to snag one of the consensus top three quarterbacks on the board. Former UCLA standout Josh Rosen, who has arguably been one of the more outspoken quarterbacks in this draft, fell right into their lap. And general manager Steve Kim wasn’t done adding wide receiver Christian Kirk out of Texas A&M, and a solid, versatile offensive lineman in Mason Cole.

Indianapolis Colts: For second-year general manager Chris Ballard, the emphasis for the Colts seemed to be clear in this draft; solidify the front lines on both sides of the ball. Ballard took arguably the best physical prospect in this draft, Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson, when the offensive linemen fell to them at #6, and continued the run, grabbing Auburn’s Braden Smith in the second round. Ballard’s moves proved to be fruitful for the team’s draft positioning, with five picks in the first two rounds, and the team used the remaining three to round out the defense with linebacker Darius Leonard(LB, South Carolina State), Kemoko Turay (DE, Rutgers), and Tyquan Lewis (DE, Ohio State).


Oakland Raiders: In a draft that many expected to see the Raiders and new head coach Jon Gruden stand out, the team was seemingly quiet. After starting the draft dropping five spots and only receiving a third- and fifth-round pick in return from the Arizona Cardinals, the team took offensive tackle Kolton Miller out of UCLA. While Miller is a solid prospect, the Raiders have gaping needs on the defensive side of the ball, and plenty of defensive talent was on the board. The Raiders then flipped their third-round pick to the Steelers for controversial wide receiver Martavis Bryant, who, though has tremendous upside, has had his fair share of controversies.

New Orleans Saints: Although the Saints were able to grab one of the top defensive prospects in this draft in UTSA’s Marcus Davenport, the team paid a pretty penny to grab him, giving up two first-round picks to acquire him. Pair that with the team’s lack of a second-round pick in this year’s draft, and the Saints ultimately give up two first round picks to come away with just one player in the first two rounds, and a player who, though raw, has solid potential at best.


Cleveland Browns: The jury is still out. While the Cleveland Browns held both the #1 and #4 overall picks in this year’s draft, it felt as though they still managed to shock the country and experts alike, taking Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and following that up with a first-round stunner in Ohio State defensive back Denzel Ward at #4. Both players have tremendous upside and athletic ability, but because they’re the Cleveland Browns, we’ll wait to judge this draft until we see the finished products.

New York Jets: One could argue that the New York Jets were one of the winners of the draft, given the team’s having USC quarterback Sam Darnold falling to them at #3, despite many considering Darnold the top quarterback prospect in the draft class. However, Darnold’s 22 turnovers (13 interceptions, nine fumbles) have to leave Jets fans skeptical of Darnold becoming the quarterback of the franchise. But the real loss comes at the price the Jets paid for Darnold, giving up the #6 pick, as well as the #37 and #49 overall picks, and a 2019 second-round pick, just to move up three spots. And as the draft began to unfold, it became increasingly clear a quarterback would have probably been available at #6, albeit hypothetical.



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2018 NFL Expert Mock Draft: Picks 1-5

As teams get set for the month of April, the next step on the journey toward Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta involves invigorating the team’s rosters with an infusion of youth; the 2018 NFL Draft. We’re gathering some of the top experts from around the NFL world and taking a look at who they predict will go where, starting with picks 1-5.

#1: Cleveland Browns

CBS Sports: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming | Bleacher Report: Sam Darnold, QB, USC | Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Although a quarterback feels like the consensus #1 pick here,’s Charles Davis feels differently. “In the Browns’ history, when they have been really good, they have been powered by runners: Marion Motley, Jim Brown, Ernie Davis (would have been a huge star if not for his passing at the age of 23), Leroy Kelly, Kevin Mack, Earnest Byner. Add the do-it-all dynamo from Penn State to the pantheon.” – Charles Davis,


#2: New York Giants

CBS Sports: Sam Darnold, QB, USC | Bleacher Report: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State | Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

There are a lot of directions, including trading down, that the New York Giants could go with the #2 overall pick, but Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller thinks they go defense. “Chubb is an ideal weak-side linebacker fit in the Giants’ new 3-4 scheme. Pairing him with Olivier Vernon would give new head coach Pat Shurmur a stud defensive duo. That might also help give quarterback Eli Manning a little bigger window to win a third ring before retiring.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report


#3: New York Jets (from IND)

CBS Sports: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA | Bleacher Report: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming | Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

The one area where all experts seem to agree in this draft is at the #3 pick, where the New York Jets are expected to take a quarterback. “The trade-up for the Jets was all about getting into position for a quarterback, and if they can find a franchise signal-caller here, it’s well worth the overpay to move up a couple spots. Walter Football’s Charlie Campbell compares Rosen to Jay Cutler, a quarterback with which new Jets offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates has plenty of experience. Rosen could be the best fit for the Jets moving forward.” – R.J. White, CBS Sports


#4: Cleveland Browns

CBS Sports (traded to Buffalo Bills): Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma | Bleacher Report: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State | Sam Darnold, QB, USC

After taking a risk on a running back and waiting it out,’s Charles Davis thinks Browns still get their man at #4. “The man that many have written in as the top selection for the Browns still lands in Cleveland. Of course, he will be strongly considered for each of the top three picks, but Browns owner Jimmy Haslam (who sat in the rain to watch Darnold’s pro day at USC on Wednesday) gets a new face of the franchise in an unexpected way.” – Charles Davis,


#5: Denver Broncos

CBS Sports: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State | Bleacher Report: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma | Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

Finally, controversial quarterback Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma finds a home at #5. “Mayfield is a fiery prospect with an exciting track record on the field but a personality off it that might rub teams the wrong way. Broncos president John Elway probably cares more about getting back to his winning ways. Mayfield can help him get there.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

To see full mock drafts:

For Matt Miller and Bleacher Report’s full 2018 NFL Mock Draft, click here.

For Charles Davis and’s full 2018 Mock Draft, click here.

For R.J. White and CBS Sports’ full 2018 NFL Mock Draft, click here.



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Colts Weekly Update: vs Cleveland Browns

Week 3 in the NFL! As the Indianapolis Colts hosted the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium, both teams were looking to secure their first win of the 2017 NFL Season. What we learned from the Colts’ 31-28 victory over Cleveland in Week 3.

Brissett Shines

As the Indianapolis Colts continue to await the clearing of quarterback Andrew Luck to return to the field, QB Jacoby Brissett has officially taken the reins of the team, and is filling in quite nicely. Brissett had a career day on Sunday, throwing for 259 yards and one touchdown, while also gathering two touchdowns on the ground. Brissett became the first quarterback to throw for one touchdown and rush for two in the same game since 1974.


Young Defense in Motion

Despite almost blowing a lead late in the game, the Colts youthful defense once again looked like a unit full of potential in Week 3. Leading the way was cornerback Rashaan Melvin, who intercepted two Browns passes, as well as newcomer John Simon with one sack, and rookie Malik Hooker with his second-straight game with an interception.

Among others who had strong showings was linebacker Jon Bostic, who swatted down a couple of passes, and standout rookie cornerback Nate Hairston, who had a couple of pass deflections in the game.

Latest on Luck

As the season progresses, the hottest news item of the season continues to be quarterback Andrew Luck’s rehab from offseason shoulder surgery. On Sunday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that he believes the team could be targeting a Week 6 return against the Tennessee Titans.

Looking Forward

The Colts will travel in Week 4 to face one of their toughest tests of the season, facing the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on Sunday Night Football, before returning home in Week 5 for the reveal of former quarterback Peyton Manning’s statue and jersey retirement ceremony.




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2017 NFL Offseason Headlines: Week of June 12

The “Road to the Super Bowl” begins behind the scenes through the months of June and July for all NFL teams. However, “behind the scenes” can make for quite a boring offseason for football fans everywhere. We’re taking a look at the biggest stories from the week of June 12, 2017, in the league that never sleeps.

Former No. 2 Overall Pick Traded

With the 2nd overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams select offensive tackle Greg Robinson out of Auburn. And after just three seasons with the team, Rams general manager Les Snead traded Robinson to the Detroit Lions on Thursday in exchange for a 2018 6th-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Robinson’s arrival in Detroit comes on the heels of an announcement that Detroit’s starting left tackle, Taylor Decker, could miss four to six months with a torn labrum.

2017 No. 1 Pick Myles Garret Sidelined

On Wednesday during the Cleveland Browns’ team minicamp drills, the first overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett, went down on the field with what would later be revealed as a foot injury, leaving Browns fans to worry about the severity of the injury.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, despite sitting out Thursday’s activities, Garrett is “fine,” and the injury to the linebacker is just a minor setback.


Odell Beckham Jr. Makes Statement with Cleats

After it was reported last week that New York Giants star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was unhappy with his current contract situation, and the media frenzy surrounding his choice to not attend voluntary offseason organized team activities, Beckham was in attendance for the team’s mandatory minicamps on Tuesday. But per usual with Beckham, it wasn’t without a catch.

The 24-year-old All-Pro wide receiver donned cleats during the practice that seemed to make a nice gesture toward the media, choosing to “let his cleats do the talking.”


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Indianapolis Colts Season Preview: Weeks 1-4

As we embark upon the quietest months of the NFL’s offseason, teams get to work behind the scenes preparing for the road to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. We’re taking a look at the Indianapolis Colts 2017 schedule, the marquee games, matchups and moments looking forward.

Week 1: Indianapolis Colts @ Los Angeles Rams – Sept. 10, 4:05 p.m. ET (CBS)

The Colts will travel to Los Angeles, California for the first time in decades to face the LA Rams, the newly-relocated team that formerly called St. Louis, Missouri home. Los Angeles is boasting a new head coach and a re-vamped roster, offering the also renovated Colts roster their first test of the 2017 NFL season. Fans will get a good early window into the re-tooled Colts defense as one of the best running backs in the entire league, Todd Gurley III, will look to lead the offensive attack for the Rams, lining up behind second-year quarterback Jared Goff.

Week 2: Arizona Cardinals @ Indianapolis Colts – Sept. 17, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

A homecoming of sorts in Week 2, as former Colts offensive coordinator (and interim head coach) Bruce Arians leads his Arizona Cardinals into Lucas Oil Stadium for the home opener. Arians led the Colts to a 9-3 record in 2012 while current head coach Chuck Pagano underwent cancer treatment, instrumental in helping lead the team to their 2012 playoff berth. This game marks the second matchup between the two as head coaches, with the Cardinals taking a 40-11 victory against the Colts in 2013.

Week 3: Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts – Sept. 24, 1 p.m. ET (CBS)

The #1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Myles Garrett, makes his way to Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 3, in a game that Colts fans hope to seldom hear his name called. This will be the third time the Browns and Colts have met during current head coach Chuck Pagano’s tenure, with the Colts winning both previous meetings. Who will be lining up at quarterback for the Browns remains to be seen, but Colts fans hope quarterback Andrew Luck can take advantage of the Browns defense that helped lead the team to a 1-15 record in 2016.

Week 4: Indianapolis Colts @ Seattle Seahawks – Oct. 1, 8:30 p.m. ET (NBC)

Arguably one of the most anticipated matchups of the 2017 NFL season, the two brightest (QB) members of the 2012 draft class square off in a Sunday Night Football battle. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck holds a 1-0 advantage over Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, a 34-28 victory in 2013. This time, however, the teams meet at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, considered one of the most hostile environments in all the NFL, a game that is sure to test the Colts in communication, and a difficult matchup for the team’s young defense.

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2017 Expert NFL Mock Draft (#11-15)

With NFL teams fine tuning their strategies for the upcoming season, sights are set on Super Bowl LII in Houston in 2018. A look at some of the expert predictions for the teams selecting #11-15 in this months NFL Draft from Philadelphia.

#11: New Orleans Saints

CBS Sports, Bleacher Report: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan | MMQB: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford

“Here’s all you need to know: 30th, 32nd, 31st — that’s where the Saints’ defense has finished the last three years. So it stands to reason that they continue to add defensive playmakers early in the draft, which is why defensive end Taco Charlton — who has drawn comparisons to Chandler Jones — is the pick here.” – Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

#12: Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)

CBS Sports: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama | Bleacher Report: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama | MMQB: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

“Securing a starting quarterback and a generational talent like Garrett would be a home run of a draft for the Browns’ front office. Don’t mess this up, Sashi Brown. Among the top QB prospects, it feels like Kizer is the guy talked about least. He has traits to be a strong pocket passer and is the biggest of the first-round candidates.” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

#13: Arizona Cardinals

CBS Sports: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington | Bleacher Report: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan | MMQB: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

“The Cardinals need help in the secondary and Jones is a rangy cornerback who plays like a receiver when the ball is in the air. He’s been compared to Marcus Peters, the Chiefs’ 2015 first-round pick.” – Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

#14: Philadelphia Eagles (From Minnesota)

CBS Sports: John Ross, WR, Washington | Bleacher Report: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson | MMQB: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

“Williams is a specialist in traffic and excels at making the tough grade with defenders all around him. He’s not the fastest player in the class by any means, but he is the best overall wide receiver on my board. His route-running, size and length all add up to making him a true No. 1 wideout prospect.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

#15: Indianapolis Colts

CBS Sports: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee | Bleacher Report: Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri | MMQB: Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama

“One of the reasons Chris Ballard was attracted to the Indy GM job was Andrew Luck. So Ballard must do everything he can to ensure that Luck is in the best position to succeed—and for Indianapolis, that means addressing an Achilles heel: the offensive line. Pair Robinson with his former Crimson Tide teammate Ryan Kelly, and the Colts are getting back on track.” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

Full 2017 NFL Draft 1st-Round Mock Drafts.

For Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft, click here.

For Matt Miller’s Bleacher Report mock draft, click here.

For Emily Kaplan’s MMQB mock draft, click here.

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2017 Expert NFL Mock Draft (#1-5)

Now in the second week of the NFL’s free agency period, teams are beginning to finalize their roster decisions for the 2017-18 NFL season. And with sights set on Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis, the next step is determining which of the incoming rookies best fit each team’s needs. Here are some of the experts’ thoughts on the top five picks in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.

#1: Cleveland Browns

Consensus Pick: Myles Garrett, OLB/DE, Texas A&M

“This should be a no-brainer for the Cleveland Browns after the three years Myles Garrett put on tape at A&M and the all-world performance he showed at the combine. But these are the Browns we’re talking about, and no one in the NFL has much faith in the team to do the right thing.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

#2: San Francisco 49ers

CBS Sports: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina | Bleacher Report: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU | MMQB: Marshon Lattimore, DB, Ohio State

“John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan might figure out a way to snag Kirk Cousins from perennial franchise tag-dom in D.C.—I have a feeling trade rumors will persist—but I’m more inclined to believe the new regime will try to build the roster elsewhere. That said, the rebuild may be a slow burn, and that means Lynch might not over-draft for a quarterback here. Instead, how about addressing the secondary? Former first-rounder Jimmie Ward might be switching to safety in San Francisco’s new Cover 3-heavy defense, and Lattimore would be a stud starter to plug in at cornerback, for 2017 and many years to come.” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

#3: Chicago Bears

CBS Sports: Jamal Adams, S, LSU | MMQB & Bleacher Report: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

“Trubisky has the best accuracy in the 2017 class, and while he won’t have the best 40 time or strongest arm, NFL evaluators I’ve spoken to in the last week raved about his leadership and football IQ. If general manager Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox see those same traits, they should be all over Trubisky as the new franchise quarterback.” – Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

#4: Jacksonville Jaguars

CBS Sports & Bleacher Report: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford | MMQB: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

“The Jaguars are in desperate need of a pass rusher and there’s an argument that Thomas is the best defensive player in this draft. He’d join a defense that drafted Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack last season and Dante Fowler in 2015.” – Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports

#5: Tennessee Titans

CBS Sports: Marshon Lattimore, DB, Ohio State | Bleacher Report: Jamal Adams, S, LSU | MMQB: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

“In Hooker, the Titans address their biggest weakness, the secondary. Scouts rave about his ball skills and instincts—he gets Ed Reed comparisons. With two picks in the first round, and three top-tier wide receiver candidates available, Tennessee will grab a go-to target for Marcus Mariota later (see pick No. 18).” – Emily Kaplan, MMQB

Full 2017 NFL Draft 1st-Round Mock Drafts.

For Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft, click here.

For Matt Miller’s Bleacher Report mock draft, click here.

For Emily Kaplan’s MMQB mock draft, click here.

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