USA TODAY Sports’ Lorenzo Reyes says that the first-round picks of these three teams could alter the course of the 2017 NFL season.

Instant pick-by-pick analysis of the 2017 NFL draft’s second and third rounds, which are taking place Friday night in Philadelphia:


62. Pittsburgh Steelers — JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Southern California: A very tough player whose name is typically linked to Anquan Boldin’s as a comparison. Smith-Schuster’s production dropped in 2016, yet he gleefully noted USC’s resurgence as a program and was only too happy to be part of a winner. He can make chain-moving catches for Ben Roethlisberger when coverages have rolled toward Antonio Brown and/or Le’Veon Bell. A good insurance policy, too, as Martavis Bryant works his way back from suspension.



33. Green Bay Packers (from Cleveland Browns) — Kevin King, CB, Washington: A big (6-3, 200), athletic defender, King would help remedy the secondary woes that sunk the Pack in the NFC Championship Game. He looks like an ideal Seattle corner, too, but comes off the board right before the Seahawks were originally scheduled to pick.

34. Jacksonville Jaguars (from San Francisco 49ers via Seattle Seahawks) — Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama: The Jags enlisted support for QB Blake Bortles in Round 1 by taking RB Leonard Fournette. Now they move up one slot to get additional help for both players by reinforcing the offensive line with Robinson, a left tackle in college who seems likely to start his pro career at guard. But if Robinson proves he can handle NFL edge rushers, maybe he takes over for new LT Branden Albert in the not-too-distant future.

35. Seahawks (from Jaguars) — Malik McDowell, DT, Michigan State: Interesting choice here. There’s no denying McDowell’s talent improves the effectiveness and depth of Seattle’s D-line as he’s arguably the best defensive tackle in the whole draft. However there have been questions about his motor and football desire, so he’ll have to quickly answer the naysayers amid a team culture based on competitive spirit.

36. Arizona Cardinals (from Chicago Bears) — Budda Baker, DB, Washington: He and Tyrann Mathieu will help form what’s becoming a very kinetic secondary. Baker plays with a ferocity atypical of a 5-10, 195-pound defensive back. He will fly into any area of the field to make a play in run support or coverage. He’ll probably need to pack on some more weight to survive as an NFL safety. Thankfully, his skill set should also allow him to thrive as a nickelback in the interim.

37. Buffalo Bills (from Los Angeles Rams) — Zay Jones, WR, East Carolina: Their wideout room was raided of depth this offseason, and holdover Sammy Watkins hasn’t exactly proven reliable from a durability perspective. Jones certainly did in college, where he became the all-time FBS leader for receptions (399), including a mind-boggling single-season record 158 (13.2 per game) in 2016. His speed and hands should make him a starter Day 1. His father, Robert Jones, and uncle, Jeff Blake, both played in the NFL for at least a decade.

38. Los Angeles Chargers — Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky: An excellent college tackle likely to man an interior position as a pro, Lamp is another asset obtained for QB Philip Rivers after WR Mike Williams went in Round 1. Lamp could immediately replace departed D.J. Fluker at guard.

39. New York Jets — Marcus Maye, S, Florida: The Jets suddenly have a new safety tandem, with Maye teamed with first rounder Jamal Adams. Maye was a versatile piece to the Gators’ standout secondary and seems to always be around the ball. His acquisition further fuels rumors the Jets are looking to deal former first rounder Calvin Pryor.

40. Carolina Panthers — Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio State: Think Percy Harvin. Samuel can play in the slot or backfield. His 4.31 time in the 40-yard dash at the combine was overshadowed by John Ross but nevertheless is indicative of big-play ability. Samuel and first rounder Christian McCaffrey form quite a versatile duo with a certain amount of interchangeability, not to mention insurance neither is overused.

41. Minnesota Vikings (from Cincinnati Bengals) — Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State: It seems pretty clear questions about wear and tear on his body and potential off-field red flags got him barred from the first round. But Cook is a do-it-all back now part of a potent committee with newly signed Latavius Murray. Good news for the Vikes, who ranked dead last in rushing offense in 2016. A great home-run threat for QB Sam Bradford, who threw a ton of checkdowns last year.

42. New Orleans Saints — Marcus Williams, S, Utah: They continue revamping the pass defense, which was the NFL’s worst in 2016. An explosive player, Williams joins first rounder Marcus Lattimore as New Orleans hopes to stem the bleeding in a pass-heavy division.

43. Philadelphia Eagles — Sidney Jones, CB, Washington: He might have been the No. 2 corner in this draft had he not been waylaid by an Achilles tear during his pro day. Still, he might be ready to play in the latter half of the upcoming season and seems like a pretty good value for a team that desperately needs corners.

44. Rams (from Bills) — Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama: A highly athletic player who would surely have been a mismatch even if he wasn’t playing against Sun Belt competition. Everett could be a nice intermediate target for QB Jared Goff amid a corps of receivers that lacks a standout. A former hoopster, Everett could be a star if he puts it all together.

45. Bears (from Cardinals) — Adam Shaheen, TE, Ashland: This 6-6, 278-pounder could not be contained on the Division II stage, where he overmatched the competition on his way to accumulating 26 TDs over the last two seasons. Shaheen also has a basketball background and should post up quite a few linebackers with his huge body before escaping some with surprising 4.79 speed. Must navigate a large learning curve in the NFL, but maybe he and new QB Mitchell Trubisky will jell into a deadly combo in the Windy City.

46. Indianapolis Colts — Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida: New GM Chris Ballard continues overhauling a secondary that picked off just seven passes in 2016 and ranked 27th in pass defense. Wilson should start opposite Vontae Davis with first-round S Malik Hooker backing them up.

47. Baltimore Ravens — Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston: They had to get younger on the edge after releasing Elvis Dumervil and with Terrell Suggs now 34. Bowser is explosive but inconsistent but will get the opportunity to learn from quite a mentor in Suggs.

48. Bengals (from Vikings) — Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma: Maybe not a stunner since the Bengals have a longstanding reputation for taking in players with checkered histories. Mixon’s heinous assault of a woman in 2014 (caught on video) is infamous, and Cincinnati should prepared for a PR hit. From a football standpoint, he might be the best back in the draft, a dual threat (1,274 yards rushing last year, 538 receiving) who could immediately supplant Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard atop the depth chart.

49. Washington Redskins — Ryan Anderson, OLB, Alabama: They needed another pass rusher given the secondary’s struggles, not to mention Trent Murphy’s four-game suspension to start the 2017 season. Anderson had 8½ sacks for the Tide in 2016.

50. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M: At 6-0, 199 pounds, he’s not the biggest guy in the bunch yet is athletic, aggressive and fearless. Probably not someone suited to playing in the box very extensively at the NFL level, but the Bucs may not ask him to, either.

51. Denver Broncos — DeMarcus Walker, DE, Florida State: He had 25 sacks over his final two years with the Seminoles and could be a real factor in sub packages as learns the professional ropes. At 6-4, 280 pounds, it’s probably a stretch to think he can be an every-down linebacker and could be too light to be a base end. Nevertheless, he should earn an important role as a rookie.

52. Browns (from Tennessee Titans) — DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame: Apparently the value was too good to pass up here after the Browns steered clear of Carson Wentz last year and Deshaun Watson last night. Kizer, an Ohio native, has all the talent in the world and has even been mentioned in comparison to Cam Newton. However he was far less effective in 2016 after losing the best parts of his supporting cast (Ronnie Stanley, Will Fuller, C.J. Prosise) in last year’s draft. But if Kizer can put it all together under Hue Jackson’s tutelage, especially his accuracy and decision making, it’s certainly plausible that Cleveland may have finally solved its long-standing problem.

53. Detroit Lions — Teez Tabor, CB, Florida: He didn’t run well at the combine and was even worse at his pro day, and those performances may have dropped him from first-round consideration. But Tabor is a two-time all-SEC performer who promises to be much better in a football uniform than spandex for a defense that gave up 33 passing TDs in 2016.

54. Miami Dolphins — Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State: A decent athlete and good player who solidifies a pedestrian linebacking corps. McMillan could challenge Koa Misi to start on the strong side of a defense that finished 30th against the run last year.

55. New York Giants — Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama: New York always favors deep talent on its defensive line, and Tomlinson certainly checks that box. The Giants also had a need after Johnathan Hankins’ recent defection to the Colts.

56. Oakland Raiders — Obi Melifonwu, DB, Connecticut: He’s got freakish athleticism (4.4 40-yard dash, 44-inch vertical leap, 11 feet-9 inch broad jump — the latter two figures combine bests in 2017), especially given his 6-4, 224-pound build. A four-year starter at UConn, Melifonwu is willing to play outside corner, slot or safety. Raiders DC Ken Norton will surely find an ideal home for him in a secondary that needs help. Melifonwu’s ability to quickly diagnose plays and react will have to improve while he’s taking a huge step up in competition level.

57. Houston Texans — Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt: At 6-3, 234 pounds, he isn’t exactly a thumper, but Brian Cushing and Benardrick McKinney have that covered in Houston. But Cunningham is very good athlete who racked up tackles for the Commodores. He might start out playing mostly on passing downs.

58. Seahawks — Ethan Pocic, OL, LSU: A center for the Tigers, he could assume that role in Seattle and allow Justin Britt to go revert to tackle or guard. Blocking had to be a priority for the Seahawks after the abuse QB Russell Wilson absorbed last year as well as the running game’s unusual ineffectiveness.

59. Kansas City Chiefs — Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova: A sculpted athlete at 6-7 and 289 pounds who could develop into a special base end for K.C.’s three-man front. Of African descent, he told USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero, “I wasn’t the greatest player ever when I started. I just liked playing. It was my way of making friends here. It was really good for me all around. I just stuck with it and I’m here today.”

60. Dallas Cowboys — Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado: After losing four key defensive backs during free agency, including both starting corners, this is a gift for Dallas. Awuzie is excellent in the slot, though Orlando Scandrick effectively usually plays inside. Regardless, Awuzie is a talent who will doubtless step into the starting lineup somewhere.

61. Packers — Josh Jones, S, North Carolina State: He put on a show at the combine (4.41 40-yard dash, 37½-inch vertical). At 6-1, 220 pounds, Jones is an enforcer but no liability in coverage, which is key as Green Bay continues upgrading its shaky secondary.

62. Pittsburgh Steelers — JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Southern California: A very tough player whose name is typically linked to Anquan Boldin’s as a comparison. Smith-Schuster’s production dropped in 2016, yet he gleefully noted USC’s resurgence as a program and was only too happy to be part of a winner. He can make chain-moving catches for Ben Roethlisberger when coverages have rolled toward Antonio Brown and/or Le’Veon Bell. A good insurance policy, too, as Martavis Bryant works his way back from suspension.

63. Atlanta Falcons — 

64. Panthers (from New England Patriots) — 


65. Browns —

66. 49ers —

67. 49ers (from Bears) —

68. Jaguars —

69. Rams —

70.Jets —

71. Chargers —

72. Patriots (from Panthers) —

73. Bengals —

74. Ravens (from Eagles) —

75. Bills —

76. Saints —

77. Cardinals —

78. Ravens —

79. Vikings —

80. Colts —

81. Redskins —

82. Broncos —

83. Titans —

84. Buccaneers —

85. Lions —

86. Vikings (from Dolphins) —

87. Giants —

88. Raiders —

89. Texans —

90. Seahawks —

91. Rams (from Chiefs via Bills) — 

92. Cowboys —

93. Packers —

94. Steelers —

95. Seahawks (from Falcons) —

96. Patriots —

97. Dolphins (compensatory) —

98. Panthers (compensatory) —

99. Eagles (compensatory from Ravens) —

100. Titans (compensatory from Rams) —

101. Broncos (compensatory) —

102. Seahawks (compensatory) —

103. Saints (compensatory from Patriots via Browns) —

104. Chiefs (compensatory) —

105. Steelers (compensatory) —

106. Seahawks(compensatory) —

107. Jets (compensatory) —


Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

PHOTOS: First-round picks


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