19. New Orleans Saints: OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan
Terron Armstead signing a five-year, $75 million deal with the Dolphins has left a glaring hole in the Saints’ offensive line. New Orleans addresses the need and find a more than serviceable replacement in Raimann. The Central Michigan product is a prospect who has all the physical tools to become a very good left tackle in the NFL. At 6’6” and 303 pounds, Raimann is a natural mover and offers athletic ability in space. In pass sets, Raimann is efficient with his steps, having smooth feet to glide into different areas of the field.
20. Carolina Panthers (via trade with Steelers): QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh
While trading back and accumulating draft capital, the Panthers get the guy they were probably going to draft at six anyway. It is win-win trade as the Steelers get their future quarterback, and Carolina picks up additional picks in the process. Pickett can easily step in and be the day one starter for the Panthers this season. Sam Darnold is clearly not the answer, and Matt Rhule is on the hot seat. In addition to filling a position of need, Carolina drafts a quarterback that has a lot of familiarity with the head coach. Rhule recruited Pickett at Temple before Pickett ultimately committed to Pittsburgh. Pickett blew up in his fifth year at Pittsburgh, throwing for 4,319 yards and 42 touchdowns. The 23-year-old quarterback is the most NFL-ready in this draft class but does not possess a high ceiling. Nonetheless, the Panthers desperately need a quarterback, and this pick makes perfect sense.
21. New England Patriots: CB Kyler Gordon, Washington
In the past, we have seen New England trade back in the first round and still end up with the player they want, but the Patriots stay put and draft a position of need. Gordon is a prospect that has picked up steam in recent weeks. College teammate Trent McDuffie is the prized cornerback out of Washington, but there are people in the league that prefer Gordon over McDuffie. With the departure of J.C. Jackson to the Chargers, New England is currently looking at Jalen Mills and Malcolm Butler as the starting corners. Gordon is an explosive athlete with dynamic movement and is a force in stopping the run. The 5’11”, 194-pound cornerback is an underrated tackler, showing the ability to bring down players in open space. The Washington product also does a great job in staying with his assignment, making plays on the ball consistently. Gordon is a great fit with New England, and the Patriots replenish in the secondary.