2012 NFL Final Mock Draft – Round 2

Well on Friday we saw how the first 32 picks played out and now we’re on to the next 31 (the Saints second round pick was forfeited as part of “Bountygate”).  The last 37 picks of my mock draft top 100 will come out on Wednesday.   The second round means the Atlanta Falcons fans finally get to see their team make a pick and teams such as the Rams, Eagles, and Patriots have the opportunity to build up their team with multiple picks.  Who has slipped into the second round and how will your favorite team follow up their first round draft selection(s)?

Without further ado, let’s find out!

PREVIOUS PICK: LaMichael James, RB – Oregon

Jeff Fisher recognizes that his new team has two franchise players – Steven Jackson and Sam Bradford – and the best thing he can possibly do is provide Bradford some pass protection and find an offensive lineman that can open up running lanes for Jackson.  At the 33rd overall pick of the draft, Massie is the best offensive tackle on the board.  He is a good pass blocker and was great at run blocking for the Rebels.  While I see him being a better fit as a right tackle in the pros, he will significantly upgrade the Rams’ offensive line.   He is a large-bodied, hard nosed tackle, with great strength and long arms.

PREVIOUS PICK: Nick Perry, DE/OLB – USC

The Colts have a plethora of needs and at this point they are just selecting the best player on the board.  I believe that if Coby Fleener falls this far (which could easily happen) the Colts will elect to pair Andrew Luck with his favorite college target.  However since he is off the board, the Colts will address their pass rush by taking Nick Perry.   My personal opinion is that outside of Melvin Ingram and Chandler Jones, there is not a better pure pass rusher on the board than Perry.  Putting pressure on opposing QBs is a big need for the Colts and Perry is an excellent value at 34 overall.

PREVIOUS PICK: Stephon Gilmore, CB – South Carolina

The Vikings’ two primary concerns after selecting Kalil are their secondary and receiving corps.  GM Rick Spielman loves to draft Notre Dame players and if Harrison Smith falls to Minnesota here, I believe that he’s the pick.  Another tendency that the Vikings have though is using top 40 draft picks on South Carolina wide receivers.  They selected Troy Williamson and Sidney Rice.  They even offered Green Bay practice squad member Tori Gurley a contract last season.  Now the Vikings love affair with South Carolina wideouts continues with the selection of Alshon Jeffrey.   Jeffrey is a physical possession receiver who does have the ability to pick up large amounts of yards after the catch.  He also has the size, hands, and speed to be a legitimate deep threat for the Vikings.  He is the kind of receiver who can use his size to win jump ball battles down the field.

PREVIOUS PICK: Andre Branch, DE/OLB – Clemson

The Buccaneers probably go running back here but when Andre Branch falls to them, I don’t think the Bucs pass him up.  Andre Branch has the versatility to be either utilized as a defensive end or an outside linebacker.  After drafting Claiborne and Bowers last year, the Buccaneers will probably elect to use Branch as an outside linebacker.   He is a ferocious pass rusher and the addition of Claiborne and then Branch could go a long way to restoring the reputation of the Buccaneers’ defense.

PREVIOUS PICK: Lamar Miller, RB – Miami

I absolutely love Brandon Weeden.  He’s a smart QB with great accuracy and a big arm.  There’s only one problem – he’s 29.  If Weeden were 5-7 years younger, I am pretty confident he would be the  3rd overall pick of this year’s draft.  He’s a mentally tough leader with a quick release and the best part is, I really believe that Weeden could start Week 1.  It’s risky to take a 29 year old rookie but Weeden will push Colt McCoy from Day 1 and whoever wins the QB battle, Cleveland will be better off for it.

PREVIOUS PICK: Alshon Jeffrey, WR – South Carolina

If you can name two or more wide receivers that were on Jacksonville’s roster last season, you are probably a Jaguars fan.  The Jaguars have signed Laurent Robinson and Lee Evans in the offseason to bolster their receiving corps but they need to find a possession type receiver for Blaine Gabbert to throw to.  Sanu fits the mold of being a big receiver with good hands who can go up and catch a ball down the field.  The Jaguars moved up last year to select Blaine Gabbert and now they must give him some weapons.

PREVIOUS PICK: Kendall Reyes, DT – Connecticut

I’m pretty confident the Rams are going to use this pick to focus on their defensive line or to address their pass rush.  The Rams have shown a lot of interest in Jerel Worthy but when Reyes falls to this spot, I don’t believe St. Louis will hesitate to grab him.

PREVIOUS PICK: Mohammed Sanu, WR – Rutgers

Minus the off-the-field issues; I love Janorris Jenkins.  Unfortunately off-the-field issues have been the difference between playing in the SEC and losing in the Division II playoffs.  They’ve been the difference between being a top 10 to 15 pick and sliding to pick #40.  Regardless, the Panthers get an absolute steal by picking up one of the best cover corners in the draft in the second round.  The selections of Dontari Poe and now Jenkins gives this defense an entirely new feel for 2012.

PREVIOUS PICK: Jared Crick, DT/DE – Nebraska

There’s no doubt that Josh Robinson is raw but he has good ball skills and excellent instincts.  He is a hard worker and a natural leader.   And with a 4.33 40, he is the fastest player in the draft and I believe someone will take a chance on him in the 2nd round.

PREVIOUS PICK: Terrell Manning, OLB – NC State

Last season, we saw three NFL quarterbacks throw for over 5,000 yards (when only two quarterbacks had ever hit that mark).  One of those was of course, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.  As the league becomes more pass-happy and with an elite QB like Brady in their division, the Dolphins are in desperate need of pass-rush help.  As his name suggests, Mercilus is a violent and explosive player who can get to the quarterback.  He is a first round caliber player who the Dolphins are happy to find in the 2nd round.

PREVIOUS PICK: Vinny Curry, DE – Marshall

The Seahawks already had a glaring need in their interior offensive line and now with the departure of Robert Gallery, guard becomes an even greater need.  Zeiter is the 3rd best available guard in the draft and Seattle will select him hoping he can provide the stability to their line that future Hall of Famer Steve Hutchinson once did.

PREVIOUS PICK: Alameda Ta’amu, NT – Washington

The nose tackle position remains a primary need for the Chiefs but there is no one on the board worth taking at this pick (but I would not be surprised if the Chiefs decided to reach for Alameda Ta’amu).  However, the Chiefs do need to find an answer at quarterback and have already hosted Osweiler at their facility.  They will be thrilled to find him available here.  He’s a big quarterback (6’6″) who has surprising mobility and tremendous arm strength.  He’s incredibly raw but definitely someone that could be developed into an NFL starting quarterback.

PREVIOUS PICK: Ben Jones, C – Georgia

Last year in the draft, the Cowboys resisted their usual temptation to pick up a flashy playmaker and instead addressed their offensive line with the selection of Tyron Smith – and it paid dividends for them.  Now the Cowboys continue to address the interior offensive line, which is awful, with the selection of Silatolu.  He’s a raw talent that has the potential to be a dominant guard in this league.

PREVIOUS PICK: Ronnell Lewis, OLB – Oklahoma

I am really shocked to find Lavonte David still on the board at this point and the Eagles will be too.  Though Philadelphia probably has their sights set on Lewis or Manning here, with a first round caliber talent like David still on the board – they won’t hesitate to take him.  David is a great tackler with top end speed who goes 100% and plays sideline to sideline on every single down.

PREVIOUS PICK: Zebrie Sanders, OT – Florida State

The Jets decided to pass on Michael Floyd in the first round and instead opted to address their pass rush but they must bolster their wide receiving corps here.  Whether Sanchez or Tebow plan to line up behind center, they must have someone else to throw the ball to besides Holmes.  Little-known Brian Quick has great size and an ability to separate from defenders that makes him a potential deep threat for the Jets.

PREVIOUS PICK: Jayron Hosley, CB – Virginia Tech

The Patriots have 5 picks in the first three rounds of the draft and they must use the majority of those to address their defensive woes.  Lucky for New England there is unbelievable depth at the cornerback position in this draft and at 48th overall they find a ballhawk like Hosley who runs a 4.4 40 and can also be dangerous in the return game.

PREVIOUS PICK: Alfonzo Dennard, CB – Nebraska

Due to durability issues, the change to being a pass-first game, and the recent success of late round/undrafted runners, the running back position has been highly devalued.  As a result the Chargers find the 2nd best running back in the draft at the 49th overall pick.  James is a runner with great vision who can also catch balls out of the backfield.  He fits San Diego’s offensive style perfectly.

PREVIOUS PICK: Bobby Massie, OT – Ole Miss

The Bears have some major needs on their offensive line.  They have a dangerous two-headed monster in Matt Forte and Michael Bush and a quarterback with a big arm in Jay Cutler.  Now the Bears will select local talent Jeff Allen to come solidify their line.  Allen is an excellent pass blocker who leaves something to be desired in the run game but he’s a tough player who can read the defense and the best pick for Chicago at this juncture.

PREVIOUS PICK: Brock Osweiler, QB – Arizona State

This pick should not surprise anyone.  The Eagles have been rumored to have interest in potentially trading up with Minnesota or Cleveland to draft Ryan Tannehill.  This is the team that drafted Kevin Kolb with a 2nd round pick and signed Michael Vick when Donovan McNabb was still going to Pro Bowls.  The Eagles will use this pick to grab Kirk Cousins, who they believe, to be the best available quarterback on the board.

PREVIOUS PICK: Mike Brewster, C – Ohio State

Kelechi Osemele was great for Iowa State at the left tackle position but like many, when I look at him, I see someone who can be an ok right tackle or someone with the tools to be a phenomenal guard.  The Titans will draft him for that reason with their second round pick.  They are in desperate need of some help on their interior line and Osemele is someone that is really good at pass  protection and at opening up the run game.  He reads defenses very well and is a good addition to the Titans line with this pick.

PREVIOUS PICK: David Wilson, RB – Virginia Tech

Dennard is a little shorter than you would traditionally want a cornerback to be but the same people who have that hesitation with Dennard probably felt the same way about Antoine Winfield.  The Bengals are in need of secondary help and Dennard is a great locker room guy with good instincts with terrific coverage skills and body control.  There remains much to be desired in his ability to make a play on a ball but overall a good cover corner who can defend the run and the pass.

PREVIOUS PICK: Chandler Jones, DE – Syracuse

Early on, there were many (myself included) that thought Curry would be an early second round pick and could potentially sneak up into the end of the first round.  There’s no doubt that the Lions need help with their pass rush.  Curry is a great locker room guy and a ferocious pass rusher with excellent instincts and hustle.  He’s a great fit for this Detroit team.

PREVIOUS PICK: Dwayne Allen, TE – Clemson

This is one pick that I have not budged from.  While the Falcons have defensive issues that need to be addressed, the fact is that in Matt Ryan’s 0-4 playoff start to his career, the Falcons have struggled to score points.   The Falcons currently have the greatest tight end of all time on their roster but Tony Gonzalez is getting up there in year and when Dwayne Allen falls here the Falcons are not going to pass up the chance to give this Falcons offense yet another weapon and to develop Gonzalez’s heir.

PREVIOUS PICK: Jerel Worthy, DT – Michigan State

Please explain to me how Jerel Worthy falls this far.  Many have him projected to go late in the first round or in the top 10 picks of the second round but I believe he falls to Pittsburgh here.  The Steelers are trying to get younger on both sides of the line of scrimmage and when you have a physical tackle like Jerel Worthy who is great at stopping the run and can put pressure on the QB, he’s a great value this late in the draft.

PREVIOUS PICK: Chris Givens, WR – Wake Forest

John Elway got his dream quarterback and shipped Tebow out of Denver but now he must surround Peyton Manning with some weapons because as we all know, the window is incredibly small.  Chris Givens is a small, speedy receiver with great hands who is a perfect replacement for the recently departed Eddie Royal.

PREVIOUS PICK: Kelechi Osemele, OT/OG – Iowa State

The Texans traded DeMeco Ryans to the Eagles because they didn’t feel that, even though he’s a great player, he fit their defensive scheme.  While the Texans could go nose tackle here, with Kendricks on the board they will address this new need.  Kendricks is a middle linebacker who is a phenomenal tackler with great instincts and awareness.  He is excellent against the run but has shown that he can be effective on passing plays as well.

PREVIOUS PICK: Mitchell Schwartz, OT – California

And with the 59th overall pick of the draft, the Green Bay Packers continue to do what they do best – find value in the draft.  Devon Still is a defensive tackle who I originally projected to go in the top 12 picks of the draft.  In recent weeks Still has fallen, but not because his stock has dropped but more so, because the stock of other tackles has risen.  Regardless, Devon Still is one of the best run-stopping tackles in the draft and with a division that includes Adrian Peterson, Matt Forte, and Michael Bush,  Still is exactly what the Packers need.

PREVIOUS PICK: Mychal Kendricks, ILB – California

If Mychal Kendricks is available here, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the pick.  However since he is not the Ravens will be excited to address their pass rush by selecting Ronnell Lewis with this pick.   Ronnell Lewis has pro-typical size, is one of the best tacklers in the draft, and is a great 3rd down outside linebacker who is an absolute steal at this point in the draft.

PREVIOUS PICK: Josh Chapman, NT – Alabama

The 49ers biggest need at this point is nose tackle as they have not yet recovered from the departure of Aubrayo Franklin after the 2010-11 season.  Ta’amu is the 2nd best pure nose tackle in the draft after Poe.  He is a big physical tackle who can plug up the middle of the offensive line and is outstanding versus the run.  He is pure hustle and while his pass rush skills leave much to be desired he is the perfect pick for San Francisco.

PREVIOUS PICK: Devon Still, DT – Penn State

I agree with Mel Kiper that Derek Wolfe is incredibly underrated and also agree with Kiper that the Patriots will select him; I just happen to have it happening a whole round later than Mel does.  As the Patriots continue their defensive overhaul they must find someone to put next to Wilfork.  Wolfe is the best defensive lineman left on the board at this point and a pick that makes a lot of sense for New England.

PREVIOUS PICK: Doug Martin, RB – Boise State

The days of Earth, Wind, and Fire are long gone for the New York Giants.  The Giants are still a team with a run-first mentality but they lack any running back depth.  Martin is a top 5 running back in this class who many believe will go early in the 2nd round.  Thanks to the recent devaluation of the position, Doug Martin falls to the champs here.  He is a hard nosed runner with a never-say-die attitude who has great acceleration and can be extremely effective in the passing and screen game.  The Giants are not going to hesitate to draft him when he falls all the way to 63.  Don’t be surprised to see the Giants try to trade up to make sure they land the Boise State back.

Questions? Comments? Snide Remarks? Let me hear ‘em!
As always, please follow me @can_of_corn


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