17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Jarvis Jones, OLB/ILB, Georgia (SCOUTING REPORT)
This seems like a match made in heaven. Take over for James Harrison and get after quarterbacks.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Kenny Vaccaro, CB/S, Texas (SCOUTING REPORT)
Vaccaro has been my top safety for the last two years, I just love the way he can cover the slot – invaluable in today’s NFL. Add in his special teams prowess and that makes this pick a no-brainer for me.
19. New York Giants
Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State* (SCOUTING REPORT)
It seems like every year the Giants have a defensive lineman fall into their lap. Werner seems like a workhorse to replace Osi Umenyiora.
20. Chicago Bears
Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia (SCOUTING REPORT)
Ogletree is an athlete playing football. If he can learn to use his hands on the field and how not to get in trouble off the field, he is a top ten talent.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Jonathan Cyprien, SS, FIU (SCOUTING REPORT)
Cyprien is a player that I was first exposed in the run up to the Senior Bowl – his play there certainly made an impression around the league. I think either he or Eric Reid is the pick here for Cinci.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (SCOUTING REPORT)
Hopkins is one of the more polished receivers in this draft – along with Robert Woods and Quinton Patton. Unless teams were turned off by potential – and I stress potential – recent off-the-field issues, he will be a great pick here.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee (SCOUTING REPORT)
Hunter has athleticism to spare. Adding a talented downfield receiver is exactly what Christian Ponder needs – hopefully Hunter can improve his consistency.
24. Indianapolis Colts
DJ Hayden, CB, Houston
Hayden is another injury risky, but he is a special player. I stopped evaluating him after his injury, and like many media members and NFL employees alike, was very surprised and happy to see him cleared.
25. Minnesota Vikings (via SEA)
Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame (SCOUTING REPORT)
I was very tempted to put Arthur Brown here, as I like him better as a prospect, but I’m thinking the Vikings are leaning towards the bigger Te’o.
26. Green Bay Packers
Xavier Rhodes, CB/S, Florida State
Rhodes is a grown man playing corner. He has the physicality to fill the Charles Woodson role as a safety/press corner. Syracuse’s Justin Pugh was my second choice here.
27. Houston Texans
Robert Woods, WR, USC
I hoped that Woods would make it down to where the Patriots are picking, but the Texans should take the opportunity to add a number two option to complement Andre Johnson. Woods will develop into a number one right when Johnson starts to lose a step.
28. Denver Broncos
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington (SCOUTING REPORT)
A talented corner like Trufant would be music to Broncos fans ears – although eventually replacing Champ Bailey is no easy task.
29. New England Patriots
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA (SCOUTING REPORT)
If Jones falls within range of the Patriots, expect them to make him the second Jones in a row picked in the first round. He and Chandler Jones will be a force to be reckoned with. Robert Woods and Kawann Short are trade up and trade down options respectively.
In the second and third round, I see the Patriots picking up two receivers – Da’Rick Rogers of Tennessee Tech and Markus Wheaton of Oregon State. As for the 7th, Sean Renfree (QB, Duke) and MarQuies Gray (TE, Minnesota) are my picks.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State (SCOUTING REPORT)
I see the Falcons going up and getting a replacement for John Abraham in Tank Carradine. How much they’ll have to spend remains to be seen.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Sylvester Williams, DT/DE, North Carolina (SCOUTING REPORT)
I think the 49ers will package some picks and go get a defensive tackle like Williams. Kawann Short and Jamar Taylor could also be possibilities here.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Watson has incredible athleticism and upside, but he isn’t a polished football player by any means. I think Baltimore can develop him into a Pro Bowl player. Trading out here for a QB needy team is a distinct possibility as well.