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!
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2012 NFL Mock Rough Draft

I think everybody knows what this so I do not see the need for a lot of build-up.  Now that we are officially in the offseason and the draft order has been set, I can look into the future and see how I believe the NFL Draft will play out at this time.  This is my rough draft, the sports landscape can change and so I will likely adjust what I see happening as the draft nears.  There are always injuries, trades, and free agent moves that could affect these things but as the NFL Landscape stands now, this is how I believe the draft will play out.  Unlike most mock drafts, I plan to also give you the 2nd round of the draft as well (with minimal commentary on those picks for the sake of article length).  This will give every NFL fan a chance, unless your team is the ultra-foolish Raiders that don’t have a pick until Round 5, to see at least one pick that your team will make in this year’s draft.

*While I understand teams have multiple needs I identified (in most cases) what I saw as the 3-4 biggest needs for each team.  Also note that when I say a team is in need of a position I could be referring to depth at a position and not a starter – with a lot of teams this is the case at positions like running back and quarterback.

THE 1ST ROUND

It has become pretty obvious to me that Peyton Manning will not be with the Colts next season (unless he retires and is a member of the coaching staff) and I believe that he will eventually land with either the Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, or San Francisco 49ers.  That being said, the Colts find themselves in good fortune.  In the 1980′s they had the #1 overall pick to be able to take John Elway, in the 90′s it was the can’t-miss Peyton Manning #1 overall and now in the 2010′s the Colts will take Andrew Luck, the best rookie QB prospect that we have probably seen since Manning.  Since I do not see the Colts dealing this pick or maintaining Manning when they have the chance to take Andrew Luck here – this is what I see happening with this pick.

There are a lot of people who see the Rams trading this pick, which would not be a bad move considering the number of needs this team has.  There are some who have the Rams taking WR Justin Blackmon but in my humble opinion, he is a receiver, that while talented, is not worthy of being selected in a Calvin Johnson/Larry Fitzgerald-type position.  I believe that Jeff Fisher understands that his new team is about two major pieces – Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson.  He understands he needs to create wider running lanes for Jackson and protect Sam Bradford.  Kalil is an OT that like Jake Long and Joe Thomas is can’t-miss and with Andrew Luck off the board, ANY team that passes on Kalil (regardless of need) is foolish.  The addition of Kalil and placing him at Left Tackle could make the Rams woeful offensive line a very formidable unit.

TRADE ALERT! The Washington Redskins have already made it clear that they will find a quarterback for the team this season.  It’s clear that Beck and Grossman are not the answer.  I do not believe the Redskins have a shot at Manning nor do I believe they will be very active in the Matt Flynn sweepstakes which means taking the 2nd best QB in the draft before he falls to the Browns at #4 overall.  The Vikings have 3 or 4 players they are interested but with Kalil off the board will be looking to trade down within the top 10.  So when the Redskins offer a 1st, 2nd, and 4th to move up 3 spots to take RG3, the Vikings will not hesitate to pull the trigger.

The Browns are in a very good draft position given their needs.  They know Andrew Luck and Matt Kalil are not options but know that out of Morris Claiborne, Justin Blackmon, and Robert Griffin III – at least one of these three players will be waiting for them.  While the smartest pick for the Browns here would probably be Morris Claiborne, the Browns will not hesitate to take the best WR in the class.  The Browns have never had a true #1 receiver since the departure of Braylon Edwards and really need someone for Colt McCoy to throw to to see what they have in the kid.  The Browns really were hoping to get A.J. Green out of last year’s draft and this year will be excited when the best WR in the draft falls to them.

For the 2nd year in a row, a cornerback out of LSU that might be the best overall athlete in the draft, will go #5 overall.  Tampa Bay is a team desperately in need of some help in their secondary and Claiborne is an unbelievable prospect who can step in for the Bucs and start from Day 1.  With Justin Blackmon off the board, this becomes a very easy decision for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Last season the Minnesota Vikings lost 13 games, 9 of these were by a margin of less then 7.  They led at halftime in each of their first 4 losses.  This is a team that is very talented but has a few gaping voids in their roster.  The Vikings have one of the most intriguing quarterback competitions in the NFL with Christian Ponder and Joe Webb.  The key to the Vikings now is to protect their young quarterback (whichever one they choose).  There are no worthwhile wide receivers here (plus the wide receiver position is one of the deepest in the draft and free agency)  and with this being a deep cornerback draft, the Vikings will make the pick here they may have made anyway with the #3 overall pick.  Reiff is a tough, physical tackle who should fill the void left by Bryant McKinnie quite nicely.

There seems to be a few trends in the NFL Draft and I would swear that every year the Jacksonville Jaguars use a top 10 draft pick on a defensive end.  This year shouldn’t be any different.  While the Jaguars have obvious needs at wide receiver and cornerback, this is a deep draft for both positions and the Jaguars could easily find #1 caliber at both of these positions in the 2nd round.  However, they have a chance to get an elite pass rusher here in Coples and won’t pass on that chance.   The Jaguars will cross their fingers, hope the 3rd time really is the charm and take Coples.

The Panthers have a very young and talented roster that could use some depth at many positions.  The Panthers really could use some help on their defensive line but with Dre Kirkpatrick still on the board will not pass on the opportunity to take the cornerback out of Alabama.  While there are character concerns with Kirkpatrick, Rivera will be excited to get a big corner opposite Chris Gamble who can not only tackle well but should match up well with the big time receiving targets that the Saints and Falcons have.

Philbin has already said that he plans to convert the Dolphins to a 4-3 defense which makes a defensive lineman the popular choice here and while there are doubts about a number of positions the best option here for the Dolphins is to take Jonathan Martin out of Stanford and give themselves one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.  While there will be 4 teams in play for Green Bay’s Matt Flynn (Jets, Dolphins, Browns, and Seahawks) I think the Dolphins will be the winner of those sweepstakes and with Reggie Bush coming off the best year of his career the best thing the Dolphins will be able to do for Flynn and Bush is protect them.  Martin represents a good value pick for the Dolphins at 9 and could be the difference maker in their offense.

The Buffalo Bills have some interesting plans for 2012.  They plan to go back to a 4-3 defense, but with their personnel there is also a lot of potential for the Bills to throw some 3-4 looks out there.  The Bills have a huge need for someone who can rush the passer.  While Upshaw was mostly a linebacker at Alabama, he does have experience at the defensive end position and has a knack for finding the ball in the backfield.  He would be a great and necessary addition to what has the potential to be a very potent Buffalo defense.

The future is very bright for the Kansas City Chiefs as they boast one of the youngest, most talented rosters in the NFL.  With injuries to 5 of their top 6 players last season, the Chiefs still managed to fall just one game shy of making the playoffs for the second consecutive year.  There have been many who have cried for a new quarterback in Kansas City but the right pick for KC in the first round is clearly some help on the offensive or defensive line.  With Kalil, Reiff, and Martin off the board, Devon Still out of Penn State makes the most sense for the Chiefs.  I believe that Still is not only the most NFL ready defensive lineman in the draft, but he also the best all-around defensive lineman in the draft and should be taken ahead of the highly touted Michael Brockers.  Still also is the best player on the board to plug up the middle of the line in Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defense.

The biggest need the Seattle Seahawks have is quarterback.  Tarvaris Jackson does not appear to be the answer and I know that the answer is definitely not Charlie Whitehurst.  However, the Seahawks are not going to find the solution to their problem here.  The second biggest need the Seahawks have is a pass rusher and while Upshaw and Coples figure to go higher, I believe Melvin Ingram is the best defensive end in the draft.  Carroll needs a player who can get to the quarterback and Ingram is not only a great defensive end but an athlete who is flexible enough to excel at the outside linebacker position.  Plan on seeing Seattle take Ingram with this pick.

WAIT JUST A SECOND – Alabama Running Back Trent Richardson is still on the board?

Every year on the first night of the draft there are the big stories in regards to “the reach” and “the slide”.  This year the slide will be Trent Richardson.  Richardson is the best running back prospect I’ve seen since Darren McFadden but McFadden’s draft is the reason that Richardson will slip.  McFadden is a good running back but keep in mind he was taken #4 overall in 2008.  Then keep in mind that Chris Johnson and Rashard Mendenhall were taken #24 and #25 overall respectively in the same draft.  Matt Forte and Ray Rice were #44 and #55 overall.  Arian Foster went undrafted in 2009.  The running back position has been highly devalued.  Many experts have him going to Cleveland or Tampa but I expect him to slide based on the devaluation and the fact that the top half of the draft has much more pressing needs than running back.

In the eyes of many, the Arizona Cardinals are a step back from where they were a year ago.  They needed a quarterback and broke up the best pair of young cornerbacks in the league when they sent Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philadelphia in exchange for Kevin Kolb.  So far that appears to have been a very bad move.  The answer to the Cardinals quarterback problem is not here but North Alabama’s Janorris Jenkins could give the Cardinals a highly touted corner opposite Patrick Peterson.  It’s not every day that you see a Division II player go in the first round but keep in mind that there are character issues with Jenkins that landed him at N. Alabama in the 1st place.  Either way, this kid can flat out play and would complement Peterson nicely.

In Dallas the mindset still exists that anything short of a Super Bowl is a failure, in spite of the fact that Dallas has only won one playoff game this century.   The Cowboys made the right pick with OT Tyron Smith last season and if they are smart will take DeCastro this year to give their super powered offense one of the best young offensive lines in the league.  They clearly need some help in their secondary but this is a deep draft for cornerbacks and there is no one on the board worthy of this pick.  It may not be a flashy pick but DeCastro is the right pick for the Cowboys.

If DeSean Jackson does leave via free agency, wide receiver becomes a top need for this team but with the Eagles still having Jeremy Maclin, I still believe their middle linebacker situation is much more dire (plus the wide receiver position can be addressed in the 2nd round where the team has 2 picks or via free agency).  Casey Matthews was not the answer for the Eagles last season.  Luke Kuechly is by far the best middle linebacker in this year’s draft.  Kuechly has great instincts, is a phenomenal open field tackler, and could be the solution to a number of Philadelphia’s defensive woes.

Rex Ryan loves his pass rushers and at this point in the draft there’s none better on the board than Nick Perry.  Perry is a natural pass rusher who could probably use some bulking up but nonetheless he could be a great asset to that Jets’ defense.  The Jets could also take Mark Barron here but I see Rex Ryan really liking what Perry has to offer him.

And the slide of Trent Richardson has finally stopped! The Bengals were excited to turn a quarterback that wasn’t even playing into a 1st and 2nd round pick but now they get to convert their pick from the Palmer deal this year into the best running back in the draft and a great athletic talent.  Combining Trent Richardson with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green could give the Bengals their own version of “The Triplets” going forward and allows the Bengals an impressive start to this year’s draft.

The Chargers secondary was a big concern for them in a much-improved AFC West.  Phillip Rivers is no longer the only quarterback in this division and while the team has bigger needs, an opportunity to take the best safety in the draft is one that San Diego will not pass on.  Barron is strong, quick, and has great instincts. He has the potential to be a Pro Bowl safety going forward for the Chargers.

A few years ago the Bears gave up two first round picks to bring in Jay Cutler but since they got themselves a quarterback they’ve had no one for Cutler to throw the ball to.  The Bears will not hesitate to take a wide receiver with their first round pick and I believe the Bears will choose Michael Floyd over Alshon Jeffrey.

The Titans have committed to Jake Locker as their quarterback of the future and Matt Hasselbeck is clearly the QB of the present.  While there are a number of needs for this team, the most glaring one is the interior offensive line.  For the Titans this will mean a choice between Glenn and Peter Konz, the center out of Wisconsin.  Glenn is a very strong guard who also has experience on the edge of the offensive line.  He is believed to be maybe the safest offensive line pick on the board aside from Kalil and should fit the Titans scheme nicely.

A year ago, the Bengals were worried about their offense but after taking Andy Dalton and A.J. Green last year and already getting Trent Richardson in this draft, the Bengals can turn their focus back to defense.  They would’ve loved to see Cordy Glenn still on the board here but with him gone, Alfonzo Dennard at cornerback is a pretty obvious choice.  The Bengals could use some help in their secondary and Nate Clements is getting up there in years.  Dennard is a physical cover corner who can help some in his rookie year as they develop him behind Clements and makes sense for this young Bengals team.

The Browns had the opportunity to take Julio Jones last season and their reward was Justin Blackmon this season and now the chance to take the second best running back in the draft in Lamar Miller.  Lamar Miller is a running back that has big run potential and can catch passes out of the backfield.  With all the questions surrounding Peyton Hillis and the lack of production from Montario Hardesty, this pick makes perfect sense for the Browns and represents a good value for Cleveland.

The past few years the Lions have drafted really well and found good value in the draft but have neglected to address their offensive line issues.  Jeff Backus has had a great career but he’s getting older and in order for the Lions to continue to compete they are going to need a young left tackle.   There are a number of picks that make sense here for the Lions but with Mike Adams sitting here and the depth at other positions, the Lions will probably act and grab Adams here.

The Steelers have a lot of needs along their offensive and defensive lines because they are getting much older along the lines.  With Dontari Poe, a nose tackle who would fit Dick LeBeau’s scheme perfectly just sitting here, the Steelers will not hesitate to draft him, especially with Mike Adams off the board.   Poe would be an obvious heir apparent to Casey Hampton and a much more physical presence at that who can plug up the middle of the line.

The Broncos have a number of needs that are bigger than wide receiver but they are going to see Alshon Jeffrey as someone that could be great opposite Demaryius Thomas.  Jeffrey is a big, physical receiver who took a step back in his final year at South Carolina but he attacks the ball and could be a big help for Tim Tebow and help alleviate some of the coverages that Thomas can expect to see after a breakout year.  Jeffrey is the type of receiver who can go up for a jump ball in the endzone over several defenders and will come down with it.  This isn’t necessarily the best pick for Denver but it’s a good one and one I believe they will make.

The Texans are really in need of a wide receiver to place opposite of Andre Johnson.  This is a team that is poised to make a Super Bowl run and with Matt Schaub, I believe they were far and away the best team in the AFC but they need another target besides Johnson.  Kendall Wright is a smaller, speedier receiver that was overlooked because of the season that Justin Blackmon had in the Big 12, he has breakaway speed very reminiscent of Percy Harvin of the Vikings.  He would provide the perfect complement to Andre Johnson.

The Patriots really need some help with their pass rush and must get younger along the defensive line.  Michael Brockers is a top-10 caliber talent that will likely fall to the Patriots at 27 and Bellichick will not hesitate to take the young defensive lineman.  Brockers is a very versatile athlete that could potentially be a defensive end or outside linebacker but as a defensive tackle he is a force to be reckoned with on the interior and could spell trouble for the run games of the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills.

The Green Bay Packers defense was absolutely abysmal last season and had the lowest sack rate in the NFL.  Few realized this because of how explosive the offense was.  The Packers could not create any pressure on opposing passers without sending blitzers which forced the offense to have to put up 30 + a game to win.  Mercilus is a linebacker that lives up to his name.  While he played defensive end in college, many see him being an outside linebacker in the NFL.  He’s an explosive player who knows how to get to the quarterback and that could serve the Packers very well in trying to re-vamp this defense.

Ray Lewis is not getting any younger.  At some point, the Ravens have to think about Lewis’s heir to the most sacred position in Baltimore Ravens history.  He is a perfect replacement to be mentored by Ray Lewis.  He is explosive, a proven leader, and has a bit of a mean streak.  To some he’s a dirty player but there’s no doubt he is an aggressive competitor who has a natural awareness of where the ball is.  This pick would be a slam dunk for Baltimore.

Anyone who watched the NFC Championship knows that receiving corps for the 49ers is very weak.  The team only converted one third down and Alex Smith didn’t complete a pass to a wide receiver until the 4th quarter.  The 49ers were hoping Wright or Jeffrey would fall to them here but with both off the board they will grab the speedy receiver out of Rutgers.

The Patriots would like to find a young wide receiver or a young safety here to help out their team but they could definitely use some help on the pass rush and would be excited to get AndreBranch.   Branch is an absolute beast.  He’s around 6-5, 260 lbs and is pure athlete.  He is a pure pass rusher who can find the quarterback but while he’s ready for the NFL now, it seems that he has potential to grow into an even greater player.

Last year the Giants overspent on David Baas to alleviate their center woes and while the Giants won the Super Bowl, they could really use some help along the interior line.  The Giants are going to be excited to see a strong, athletic center like Peter Konz available to them at the 32nd pick and won’t hesitate to grab him here.

THE 2ND ROUND

The Colts have a gaping need in their secondary, especially when their division now has the likes of Matt Schaub, Jake Locker/Matt Hasselbeck, and Blaine Gabbert. Minnifield is a 1st round caliber player that the Colts can’t pass up here.

The Rams were probably thinking wide receiver with this pick but with Zach Brown somehow still on the board and the ability to grab a solid receiver early in the 3rd round, they won’t hesitate to make this pick.

The Vikings definitely need to upgrade their cornerback position.  Antoine Winfield is getting old, Cedric Griffin is injury prone, and Chris Cook’s future is uncertain. Gilmore is a great value at #35 overall.

The Browns will be in on the Matt Flynn sweepstakes but won’t get him and they need someone to compete with Colt McCoy.  They saw the top WR in the draft and a young 2nd round QB from Texas pay dividends for their cross-state rivals last season.  They are hoping for the same success with their picks.

Morris Claiborne solidified the secondary.  Now Hightower, a 1st round caliber talent will give them the middle linebacker presence they sorely need.

The Vikings were fortunate to net the Redskins 1st and 2nd round pick in the move up for RG3. Criner is a big target with speed who should complement Harvin and that pair of tight ends Minnesota has nicely.

The Jaguars are in desperate need of somebody for Blaine Gabbert to throw the ball to and Toon is the best receiver left on the board at this point.

Most believe that Fletcher Cox could go in the top 15 but I think he slides to the Panthers here and they won’t hesitate to strengthen their front four.

Bruce Irvin can play as a defensive end in Philbin’s new 4-3 scheme or as an Outside Linebacker in a 3-4 and would be a great pick-up for Miami.

Having taken Upshaw the Bills have other needs in the 2nd round but Curry is too good for them to pass on and gives the Bills a very nice pair of defensive ends if they choose to use Upshaw that way.

The depth at offensive tackle is unreal.  The Chiefs need to solidify a questionable offensive line and a physical tackle like Zebrie Sanders is a perfect find in the 2nd round.

There are questions surrounding whether or not Marshawn Lynch will be back.  The fall of Richardson allows David Wilson to fall to the 2nd round where Seattle will be most fortunate to draft him.

The Eagles were supposed to be a dream team but they were more of a dream and less of a team.  Jerel Worthy is a perfect fit for Philly’s defense.

The Cowboys could really use some help in their secondary and Hosley is the man for the job.

2nd round quarterback when they have an established starter?  Here the Eagles go again…

Attention Mark Sanchez, you are officially on the hot seat.

The Patriots have to find a solution to their strong safety need, Harrison Smith makes perfect sense.

Phillip Rivers needs to be better protected and to find a tackle like Osemele (who will likely play guard) at the 50th pick is a steal.

The Bears need help in their secondary and on the O-Line but Thompson is one of the best defensive tackles available and could really help the Bears put pressure on Rodgers and Stafford.

The Titans continue the rebuilding of their interior offensive line by following up the selection of the 2nd best guard in the draft with the 2nd best center.

The Bengals are doing it again – finding exceptional value in the 1st and 2nd rounds. They now have a receiver with much promise to pair with A.J. Green.

The Falcons have the greatest tight end of all-time on their roster but Tony G. is getting up there in years and the best tight end on the board gives them a perfect opportunity to develop Gonzalez’s heir.

Cliff Avril had a big year but is going to demand a huge contract.  The Lions need somebody to pair up with Kyle Vanden Bosch and Chandler Jones is the best DE left on the board.

The Steelers are getting old along the offensive line and Andrew Datko appears to be the perfect fit for Pittsburgh here.

For now the Broncos are invested in Tim Tebow and want to give him more options on offense.  The 2nd best tight end in the draft with their 2nd round pick does not seem to be a bad way to go.

Wade Phillips’ defense was a force to be reckoned with last season but they are in need of a big nose tackle who can plug up the middle.  Ta’amu is going to be that man for Houston.

Marques Colston and Robert Meachem are both unrestricted free agents which could leave the Saints vaunted receiving corps quite depleted.  Jarius Wright is a fast physical receiver who could play Week 1 for NOLA.

Ted Thompson has been successful because he takes the best player available regardless of position. Looks like LaMichael James will still be wearing Green and Yellow for at least a little while longer.

The Ravens had a great offensive line this year but All-Pro Jeff Birk is likely retiring meaning Baltimore must find a centerpiece for their offensive line NOW.

The 49ers have some needs along the interior of their offensive line and Zeiter is a good value at 62 overall.

Whether or not Wes Welker returns (which I believe he will), the Patriots are still in need of receivers that don’t drop the ball. The speedster from Arkansas is a bit of a reach but a good fit for Bellichick’s offense.

The Giants are a great team without a true #1 running back.  Brandon Jacobs is on the decline and a team as complete as the Giants need a better #1 option than Bradshaw.  New York will be excited to find Martin waiting for them here.

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? SNIDE REMARKS?
Let me hear ’em!

Courtesy of Devan Dignan+