Through the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, fans have witnessed unexpected trades, picks, and antics. We’ve been tracking each pick and have inputted the results into our analytics-based model. The model accounts for several inputs, namely weight-adjusted speed, agility, strength, and collegiate productions. Here’s a brief overview of the Top 5 drafts, by defense.

Defense:

  1. Green Bay Packers: Kevin King, CB (Pick 33), Josh Jones, FS (61), Montravious Adams, DT (93)
  2. New Orleans Saints: Marshon Lattimore, CB (11), Marcus Williams, FS (42), Alex Anzalone, OLB (76),  Trey Hendrickson, DE (103)
  3. Indianapolis Colts: Malik Hooker, FS (15), Quincy Wilson, CB (46), Tarell Basham, DE (80)
  4. Baltimore Ravens: Marlon Humphrey, CB (16), Tyus Bowser, OLB (47), Chris Wormley, DE (74), Tim Williams, OLB (78)
  5. Oakland Raiders: Gareon Conley, CB (24), Obi Melifonwu, FS (56), Eddie Vanderdoes, DE (88)

After a tough loss in the NFC Championship, the Green Bay Packers addressed their secondary by adding Kevin King and Josh Jones. King, who ranked in the 95th percentile in Speed Score and Agility Score, is arguably the best athlete in the draft. Likewise, Jones is an excellent athlete. Both King and Jones did not grab many interceptions in college, so ball skills will be a priority. Adams was the third ranked defensive tackle in a weak class, but should help generate inside pressure.

The New Orleans’ Saints has been a laughing stock, but four new additions will try to change that. Lattimore is an excellent athlete and is one of the best playmaking corners in recent memory. Alike, Williams showed his play-making ability by grabbing eight interceptions in 2016. Anzalone is a speedy outsider linebacker that graded highly as a coverage player. Hendrickson is undersized as a defensive end, but showed big time production at Florida Atlantic. Will that carry over to the NFL? That remains to me seen!

With new General Manager, Chris Ballard in tow, the Colts have gone ‘all-in’ on defense in free agency and in the draft. In the draft, the Colts’ added the best free safety in recent memory, Malik Hooker. Hooker slid in the draft due to some injury concerns, but he’s a flat out stud that ranked in the 87th percentile (or above) in Speed Score and Production Score. Joining Hooker in the secondary will be, Quincy Wilson, a playmaking corner from Florida. Wilson ranked in the 78th percentile of Speed Score and 85th percentile in Agility Score. The Colts rounded out their first three picks by taking defensive end, Tarell Basham. Basham, alike Hendrickson, is undersized, but displayed playmaking ability at Ohio University.

The Baltimore Ravens keep churning out strong draft after strong draft. Humphrey ranked in the 80th percentile of Production Score, Speed Score, and Agility Score. He’ll play immediately and Baltimore got a steal at Pick #16. Bowser ranked in the 75th percentile of Production Score, Speed Score, and Agility Score. He reminds me of Brian Cushing. Baltimore finished their first three rounds of picks by selecting Wormley and Williams. Wormley, a large, productive defensive end from Michigan, ranked in the 90th percentile for Speed Score and Agility Score. Williams, who has some off-field concerns, was a bit of a reach, but shows playmaking ability.

The Oakland Raiders round out the Top 5 with three intriguing picks. As a player, Conley, a ball-hawing corner from Ohio State, graded out as a 2nd rounder after posting a 72th percentile Speed Score and 71th percentile Production Score. Melifonwu, a 225-pound safety who can also play corner, is big, fast, and intimidating. Melifonwu ran a 4.40 40-yard dash and a 7.09 3-cone. Vanderdoes, a former 5-star recruit, ranked in the 78th percentile in Speed Score.