53. Philadelphia Eagles (via BAL) – Minnesota LB Blake Cashman
After losing starting linebacker Jordan Hicks to the Arizona Cardinals in free agency, the Eagles need to find a player who can fill his role in the NFL Draft. While an immediate replacement for Hicks won’t be found this late, Minnesota’s Blake Cashman is a player who could become a long-term starter for Philadelphia. His game I.Q. is through the roof, and he’s a very productive linebacker who has the speed to go sideline-to-sideline. He’s not the biggest player, but he has an undeniable impact.
54. Houston Texans (via SEA) – West Virginia OT Yodny Cajuste
The Texans’ offensive line overhaul continues, this time with West Virginia tackle Yodny Cajuste. Cajuste projects well as a starter in the NFL. His size and length are exceptional, and while he’s not a top-shelf athlete, his footwork is solid, and he’s coming to the NFL Draft as an ascending offensive line prospect. The Texans have had a lot of NFL Draft whiffs at the offensive tackle position. For Deshaun Watson’s sake, hopefully Cajuste will stick.
55. Houston Texans – Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence
The Texans could double down on offensive linemen here, but instead, they picked a defensive tackle to strengthen the depth behind D.J. Reader. Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence has been hyped as a first-round NFL Draft pick in some circles. While I don’t think he should be considered in that range, he offers nice size as a potential nose tackle, and his brute strength will be an asset for him at the next level.
56. New England Patriots (via CHI) – Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox
Out with Gronk, in with Knox. The Patriots couldn’t have been surprised when Rob Gronkowski retired on Sunday afternoon. The future Hall of Famer has taken a beating over the course of his NFL career. But with him gone, the Patriots have a massive hole to fill on offense. They’ll do their best to prepare Dawson Knox to pick up where Gronk left off. Knox didn’t produce as much as some would like at the collegiate level, but he flashed impressive strength and athleticism for a tight end. He certainly looks the part. Now the Patriots just have to make him *be* the part. That’s never been a problem for them.