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Published: Oct. 26, 2017 at 01:36 p.m.
Updated: Nov. 2, 2017 at 01:35 p.m.

2018 NFL Draft: One senior prospect fit for every AFC team

As we approach the halfway point of the 2017 NFL season, teams are starting to show their strengths and weaknesses. My colleague Lance Zierlein has already unveiled his initial look at the top 3 needs for each team.

College football is well into the second half of its schedule, and most of the nation's top-rated senior prospects are performing at the high level NFL scouts expect from them.

With that in mind, I'm marrying these two universes by identifying the perfect first- or second-round fit between an NFL team and a senior prospect in a two-part series (see the NFC here). Consideration was given to impending free agents for each pro squad.

16 Photos Total

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Baltimore Ravens<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 107 carries for 688 yards (6.4 average), 8 TDs.<br><br>
Chubb presents a combination of the best traits of each of the backs the Ravens currently have on the roster. If he's available in the second round, he would be a steal as a potential bellcow back to complement Joe Flacco. 16

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia

    Team fit: Baltimore Ravens

    2017 stats: 107 carries for 688 yards (6.4 average), 8 TDs.

    Chubb presents a combination of the best traits of each of the backs the Ravens currently have on the roster. If he's available in the second round, he would be a steal as a potential bellcow back to complement Joe Flacco.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Buffalo Bills<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 68 carries for 492 yards (7.2 average), 6 TDs.<br><br>
Two Georgia backs on this list? Yep. Michel's a dual threat in the backfield, much like LeSean McCoy, who will turn 30 years old in the summer. 15

    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Sony Michel, RB, Georgia

    Team fit: Buffalo Bills

    2017 stats: 68 carries for 492 yards (7.2 average), 6 TDs.

    Two Georgia backs on this list? Yep. Michel's a dual threat in the backfield, much like LeSean McCoy, who will turn 30 years old in the summer.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Cincinnati Bengals<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 24 catches for 228 yards (9.5 average), 4 TDs.<br><br>
Tyler Eifert is due to become a free agent, and his injury-riddled career could be in jeopardy as he's out for the season after undergoing back surgery. Gesicki is an excellent athlete and receiver who could earn looks in the first round. 14

    Chris Knight/Associated Press

    Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State

    Team fit: Cincinnati Bengals

    2017 stats: 24 catches for 228 yards (9.5 average), 4 TDs.

    Tyler Eifert is due to become a free agent, and his injury-riddled career could be in jeopardy as he's out for the season after undergoing back surgery. Gesicki is an excellent athlete and receiver who could earn looks in the first round.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Cleveland Browns<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 27 tackles (2 for loss), 1 INT, 4 pass breakups.<br><br>
I won't be surprised if the Browns find a solid outside cornerback like Averett to bolster the secondary in the second round. 13

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama

    Team fit: Cleveland Browns

    2017 stats: 27 tackles (2 for loss), 1 INT, 4 pass breakups.

    I won't be surprised if the Browns find a solid outside cornerback like Averett to bolster the secondary in the second round.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Denver Broncos<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 25 catches for 350 yards (14 average), 3 TDs.<br><br>
No matter whom the Broncos choose to be their quarterback in 2018, he will need another weapon. Virgil Green is due to become a free agent, so picking up a tough, sure-handed tight end like Fumagalli in the second round would seem appropriate. 12

    Andy Manis/Associated Press

    Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin

    Team fit: Denver Broncos

    2017 stats: 25 catches for 350 yards (14 average), 3 TDs.

    No matter whom the Broncos choose to be their quarterback in 2018, he will need another weapon. Virgil Green is due to become a free agent, so picking up a tough, sure-handed tight end like Fumagalli in the second round would seem appropriate.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Houston Texans<br><br>
The Texans do not have a first-round pick in next year's draft right now (they gave up that pick to trade up for Deshaun Watson this year), but it looks as though Watson might be worth the investment. In the second round, they might look to replenish their talent at tackle. Jones has great potential as a starter on either side of the line. 11

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State

    Team fit: Houston Texans

    The Texans do not have a first-round pick in next year's draft right now (they gave up that pick to trade up for Deshaun Watson this year), but it looks as though Watson might be worth the investment. In the second round, they might look to replenish their talent at tackle. Jones has great potential as a starter on either side of the line.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Indianapolis Colts<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 24 tackles (2 for loss), 2 INTs, 7 pass breakups.<br><br>
Starter Vontae Davis is among the Colts CBs due to hit free agency after the season. Dawson's looking to follow his former Gator teammates, Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor, to the NFL and could be a second-round pick. 10

    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Duke Dawson, CB, Florida

    Team fit: Indianapolis Colts

    2017 stats: 24 tackles (2 for loss), 2 INTs, 7 pass breakups.

    Starter Vontae Davis is among the Colts CBs due to hit free agency after the season. Dawson's looking to follow his former Gator teammates, Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor, to the NFL and could be a second-round pick.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Jacksonville Jaguars<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 38 catches for 914 yards (24 average), 6 TDs.<br><br>
If the Jaguars keep winning, perhaps Blake Bortles will keep the starting job heading into next season. He might need to find some new receivers, though, because Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson both have contracts that will expire after the season. Washington is one of the best and most productive receivers in the game. 9

    Brody Schmidt/Associated Press

    James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State

    Team fit: Jacksonville Jaguars

    2017 stats: 38 catches for 914 yards (24 average), 6 TDs.

    If the Jaguars keep winning, perhaps Blake Bortles will keep the starting job heading into next season. He might need to find some new receivers, though, because Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson both have contracts that will expire after the season. Washington is one of the best and most productive receivers in the game.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Kansas City Chiefs<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 28 tackles (2 for loss), 2 INTs, 7 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble.<br><br>
The secondary could be the biggest question mark for Kansas City heading into 2018. Each year, a small but tough and athletic corner is selected in the second round -- Nichols fits that description. 8

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Pres

    Deatrick Nichols, CB, South Florida

    Team fit: Kansas City Chiefs

    2017 stats: 28 tackles (2 for loss), 2 INTs, 7 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble.

    The secondary could be the biggest question mark for Kansas City heading into 2018. Each year, a small but tough and athletic corner is selected in the second round -- Nichols fits that description.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Los Angeles Chargers<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 27 tackles, 5.5 for loss (1 sack), 1 forced fumble.<br><br>
The Chargers have one of the worst run defenses in the league, so finding the active Nnadi available in the middle of the first round would make for an easy choice. 7

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State

    Team fit: Los Angeles Chargers

    2017 stats: 27 tackles, 5.5 for loss (1 sack), 1 forced fumble.

    The Chargers have one of the worst run defenses in the league, so finding the active Nnadi available in the middle of the first round would make for an easy choice.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Miami Dolphins<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 41 tackles, 4 for loss (1 sack), 1 INT, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles.<br><br>
Nate Allen is due to hit free agency, and selecting another Allen (no relation) would make sense. Marcus Allen's ability to play the run and pass make him worthy of a first-round selection. 6

    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Marcus Allen, S, Penn State

    Team fit: Miami Dolphins

    2017 stats: 41 tackles, 4 for loss (1 sack), 1 INT, 4 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles.

    Nate Allen is due to hit free agency, and selecting another Allen (no relation) would make sense. Marcus Allen's ability to play the run and pass make him worthy of a first-round selection.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> New England Patriots<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 21 tackles, 4.5 for loss (3 sacks), 3 fumbles recovered, 2 forced fumbles.<br><br>
Carter has real value as a pass-rush prospect, but also has the athleticism to handle other duties at the linebacker spot. If he works out well at the NFL Scouting Combine, teams will view him as at least a late first-round talent. 5

    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia

    Team fit: New England Patriots

    2017 stats: 21 tackles, 4.5 for loss (3 sacks), 3 fumbles recovered, 2 forced fumbles.

    Carter has real value as a pass-rush prospect, but also has the athleticism to handle other duties at the linebacker spot. If he works out well at the NFL Scouting Combine, teams will view him as at least a late first-round talent.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> New York Jets<br><br>
Whoever is playing QB for the Jets next season will need to be protected, and the sturdy Okorafor fits the bill as a potential second-rounder. 4

    David Dermer/Associated Press

    Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan

    Team fit: New York Jets

    Whoever is playing QB for the Jets next season will need to be protected, and the sturdy Okorafor fits the bill as a potential second-rounder.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Oakland Raiders<br><br>
Improving the offensive line would make Derek Carr and his receivers even more dangerous. Rankin would improve the stability of the pocket and also create running lanes. 3

    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State

    Team fit: Oakland Raiders

    Improving the offensive line would make Derek Carr and his receivers even more dangerous. Rankin would improve the stability of the pocket and also create running lanes.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Pittsburgh Steelers<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 72 tackles, 6 for loss (5 sacks),  3 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovered.<br><br>
Pittsburgh has selected a linebacker early in the draft in four of the last five years. Kiser is one of the most productive players in the country, and could play inside or outside for the Steelers. 2

    Bill Sikes/Associated Press

    Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia

    Team fit: Pittsburgh Steelers

    2017 stats: 72 tackles, 6 for loss (5 sacks), 3 pass breakups, 1 fumble recovered.

    Pittsburgh has selected a linebacker early in the draft in four of the last five years. Kiser is one of the most productive players in the country, and could play inside or outside for the Steelers.

  • <b>Team fit:</b> Tennessee Titans<br><br>
<b>2017 stats:</b> 11 tackles, 1.5 for loss (1 sack), 1 fumble recovered.<br><br>
Starting DE DaQuan Jones is due to become a free agent. Hand's size and power will remind Titans fans of Jones, so this would be a natural fit in the second round if the veteran moves on. 1

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Da'Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama

    Team fit: Tennessee Titans

    2017 stats: 11 tackles, 1.5 for loss (1 sack), 1 fumble recovered.

    Starting DE DaQuan Jones is due to become a free agent. Hand's size and power will remind Titans fans of Jones, so this would be a natural fit in the second round if the veteran moves on.