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NFL Draft Off the Clock (Picks 29-32): David Njoku, T.J. Watt, Reuben Foster, Ryan Ramczyk
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8 May 2017 01:52 PM EST

-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Miami tight end David Njoku. (Image Source: Getty Images)

Here’s a breakdown of picks 25-28 of the 2017 NFL Draft (Picks 1-4, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16, 17-20, 21-24, 25-28)

29. Cleveland Browns (trade from Packers): TE David Njoku, Miami

Cleveland traded into the first round to make their third selection of Day 1 of the draft. Like Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers, the Browns added an elite athlete when they selected the Miami tight end. Among tight ends, Njoku received the second-highest SPARQ score and he was also very impressive at the NFL Scouting Combine. His 4.64 40-yard dash was very strong, while his 37 ½” vertical jump and 11’1” broad jump were elite numbers and indicative of the type explosion that translates to the tight end position. More of a move tight end, Njoku is undersized at just 246 pounds, but he does bring very long arms (35 ¼”; 97th percentile among tight ends). That wingspan not only translates to a large catch radius, but also will come into play when blocking once he gets stronger. Right now, the ACC product is much further along in his development as a pass catcher, where his potential is immense. The following day, veteran Gary Barnidge was released so there’s an open path for Njoku to start immediately.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers: OLB T.J. Watt, Wisconsin

Not everyone had Watt graded as a first-round prospect, but I really liked this selection. As a junior, he broke out and had a fabulous 2016 season, particularly as a pass rusher. Not only productive, the Badger grades out very highly in the measurables department. He has size, 6’4”/252 pounds, with long arms, and massive hands (11”). The ability to set the edge against the run, battle in the trenches, and get off blocks is there. Moreover, he’s athletic. While his straight-line is about average for a linebacker, Watt is explosive, quick, changes directions well, and is fluid in his movement. Other than his 40-yard dash, Watt had some of the best combine numbers among the linebackers and he has the fourth-highest SPARQ score when compared to edge pass rushers. The Steelers are in need of a pass rusher and Watt can learn from veteran James Harrison, who led the club with just five sacks last season.

31. San Francisco 49ers (trade from Seahawks through Falcons): ILB Reuben Foster, Alabama

Another pick I love. A top-10 talent with the skill set to make an immediate impact, if he can get on the field. Foster has character concerns but questions surrounding his shoulders, which could keep him out for the entire season in a “worst-case scenario” according to head coach Kyle Shanahan, was the biggest culprit in his drop. When he gets healthy, Foster will be an instant difference maker for the 49ers defense. Already experienced as a 3-4 inside linebacker, the Alabama man can handle sifting through the trash, as well as covering sideline-to-sideline with his speed and athleticism. Not just elite against the run, Foster is a three-down linebacker, who can make plays against the pass. A fluid athlete, Foster is very comfortable dropping back in coverage and he’s an effective blitzer.

32. New Orleans Saints (trade from Patriots): OT Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin

You have to love what the 49ers did, grabbing a player who many believe is the best offensive tackle in this class with the last pick of the first round. He’s very quick and athletic with the fancy footwork to mirror pass rushers coming off the edge, as well as the agility to get to the next level of a defense. That’s what the scouts love. What coaches see is a strong technician who appears ready to play right away despite just one year of major college football. He also plays with more drive than people expected at “just 310 pounds” (37th percentile among offensive tackles). Why did it take so long for his name to be called? A couple of reasons. He’s coming off arthroscopic surgery on his hip to repair a torn labrum, which limited him during the offseason. In addition to being light in the pants, Ramczyk has extremely short arms (29th percentile), but he does have very large hands (92nd). His size has many projecting the Wisconsin product as either a right tackle or a guard in the NFL.

Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email:

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