13. Washington Redskins: DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
It’s looking more and more likely that the Redskins are going to land one of the elite players in this draft. In this scenario, Minkah Fitzpatrick falls into their laps, and they will happily take him here.
Fitzpatrick was a field general at Alabama, and he played all over the secondary. Fitzpatrick has excellent coverage skills, and should fit in as a safety/slot corner hybrid at the NFL level. He would take over the slot position right away for the Redskins and would see a lot of action in the nickel, just as Kendall Fuller did.
If the Redskins don’t want Fitzpatrick, they will probably consider Da’Ron Payne here. But, it’s more likely that they go with the best player available. The four options to watch here are Fitzpatrick, Payne, Vita Vea, and Derwin James.
14. Oakland Raiders (via GB): OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The Raiders have shown an interest in upgrading their tackle position in recent weeks. They have been tied to Mike McGlinchey and Kolton Miller. By trading down to 14, the team gets the man they want while picking up an extra asset.
The Raiders need to add a tackle, as they had problems on the right side of the line for most of last season. Furthermore, left tackle Donald Penn is turning 35 this offseason and he might not have a lot left in the tank. McGlinchey could start his career at right tackle for the Raiders and then take over at left tackle once Penn decides to call it quits. McGlinchey makes a lot of sense, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Raiders make this type of move.
15. Arizona Cardinals: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
With pick 15, the Cardinals go with a quarterback. They have Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon on their roster, but they need to add somebody who can compete with them and to develop in the future. Lamar Jackson would give them that.
Jackson was a great quarterback at Louisville, and he has a bit of Michael Vick in his game. Jackson has great athletic ability and a quality arm, and he will just need to improve his accuracy for the next level. He seems like a lock for the top 20 picks at this point and should go here.
If the Cardinals decide they don’t like Jackson, they could try to trade the pick to a quarterback-needy team. The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, and New Orleans Saints are all possible trade partners who could move up into the teens to get a shot at Jackson. So, perhaps the Cardinals will move down if they don’t like Jackson. Or, they could consider a nose tackle like Da’Ron Payne or one of the top receivers.
16. Baltimore Ravens: NT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
On the surface, the Ravens don’t need a nose tackle. But, the team likes Alabama products and they soon could lose Brandon Williams. For that reason, the team may consider grabbing a high-upside guy like Da’Ron Payne here to improve their unit.
Payne is one of the better nose tackles in this draft, and some argue that he’s better that Vea. Payne has superb athletic ability and can play almost any position on a defensive front. He has a quick first step and solid size at 6-foot-2, 311 pounds. He might not have the pass rushing production one looks for in a prospect, but he still has upside in that department and could be a quality player in the NFL. He just has to develop that portion of his skill set a bit.