17. Pittsburgh Steelers
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (SCOUTING REPORT)
If Mike Wallace isn’t re-signed – I doubt he is – then the Steelers are going to need another target for their offense. “Nuke” Hopkins had an incredible 2012 season and is poised to contribute as a rookie in the 2012.
18. Dallas Cowboys
DJ Fluker, OT, Alabama (SCOUTING REPORT)
The Cowboys are going to draft a big human being – either on the offensive or defensive line. I think there is more depth at DT than OT in this draft, so they take Fluker here. He is a pure right tackle that can maul in the run game and hold his own in pass protection.
19. New York Giants
Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame (SCOUTING NOTES)
After losing multiple tight ends to injury and the waiver wire, they reload at the increasingly important position by drafting Eifert. His strong hands and ridiculous catch radius will give Eli Manning a nice security blanket on passing downs.
20. Chicago Bears
Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia (SCOUTING NOTES)
Ogeltree is an absolute athletic freak. Another couple of years at linebacker – he started as a safety – and Bears fans will not notice that Mr. Urlacher is gone.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Keenan Allen, WR, California* (SCOUTING REPORT)
When healthy, Allen is perhaps the best receiver in this draft. Put him next to AJ Green and you’ll see Green, Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones improve even more with the attention payed to Allen.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)
Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU (SCOUTING REPORT)
Ansah has endless promise but seriously lacks experience. One anecdote from the Senior Bowl was that he didn’t know the difference between a 2, 3, or 4 point stance. If he can learn to get off blocks at the next level, Ansah has All Pro potential.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Cordarelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee (SCOUTING REPORT)
The Vikings need to revamp their wide receiving corps this off-season, through the draft and free agency. Patterson has all the physical traits you want to see coming out of college.
24. Indianapolis Colts
Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama (SCOUTING NOTES)
As long as Jones’ medicals check out good enough at the combine, I don’t think this pick will change for me. Andrew Luck needs his very own Jeff Saturday and that is Barrett Jones in this draft.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue (SCOUTING REPORT)
Short has really turned it on his senior year, showing a better motor and a bigger variety of moves and counters. If a team wants a versatile defensive lineman to contribute for 30-35 snaps a game, Short will make an impact.
26. Green Bay Packers
Jarvis Jones, OLB/ILB, Georgia (SCOUTING REPORT)
Jones’ spinal stenosis is going to keep him out of my top 20 until I hear differently at the NFL Combine. He is a top 20 talent – not top five for me – if healthy, but has the potential to have a Da’Quan Bowers-esque fall come April.
27. Houston Texans
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia (SCOUTING REPORT)
Austin can contribute on special teams, from the slot, and from the backfield. He is a weapon that opposing defenses will have to keep track of. Constraint plays with Austin will open things up for Arian Foster inside.
28. Denver Broncos
Quinton Patton, WR, LA Tech
Patton is fundamentally sound. He runs good routes. He has good hands. He blocks down the field. He will fit in very well with what Peyton Manning and the Broncos try to do on offense.
29. New England Patriots
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA (SCOUTING REPORT)
The Patriots might have to end up trading up a bit to get Jones, but this athletic monster can play nearly anywhere (I’d love him at the 5-tech) and really get after the passer. He uses his quickness inside, has natural strength, and is addicted to football. The two Jones’ could wreak havoc in the AFC East for years.
Defensive back could be an option here as well, but with Talib a possibility to come back and Ras-I Dowling still a factor when healthy, I think they might wait. Devin McCourty has been very good at safety and Alfonzo Dennard has played well above his pay grade.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma* (SCOUTING REPORT)
I’m admittedly higher on Jefferson than most and think he can be an immediate starter in the NFL. He loves playing in the box, but makes plays in coverage and gets his hands on a lot of footballs. Atlanta has multiple free agents (William Moore, Chris Hope, Brent Grimes) in the backfield, two of which are safeties.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Jonathan Cyprien, SS, FIU
Cyprien was a great secret coming into the Senior Bowl, but he spoiled that with his great play. The 49ers could use some additions to their secondary, especially if Goldson walks in free agency.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State (SCOUTING REPORT)
Brown has good range and coverage ability, while also having the instincts, speed and strength to fill against the run. Ray Lewis is going to retire, might as well bring in his replacement.