Note: I wrote up my first round mock draft a few weeks ago and there are already some changes I would likely make to it, but I will wait till the combine to do a re-do, so this mock will be a follow up to that original first round. Without further adieu…
33. Detroit DJ Moore CB Vanderbilt – The Lions secondary may be their worst unit, and boy is that saying something. After releasing Leigh Bodden and Dwight Smith they are really thin in the defensive backfield. Moore is an excellent athlete and a very talented football player, he would be their number 1 corner from day 1 as well as their best option at punt and kick returning, not to mention the fact that he has played some offense and the Lions current #2 WR is some guy named Standeford, so he could even find some time there too.
34. Kansas City Paul Kruger DE Utah – The Kansas City Chiefs had 10 sacks last year… as a team! That is not a good thing if you are a Chiefs fan. Kruger is a young man who has faced some adversity in his life, getting run over by a jeep when he was 13 losing his kidney and spleen to that accident and then just a year ago was jumped by some hoodlums and repeatedly beaten and stabbed, and yet despite these setbacks he has persevered and become an outstanding football player. He is said to be equally adept at handling the run and rushing the passer. He is young and has time to fill out and become a very good starting DE.
35. St. Louis Macho Harris CB Va Tech. The Rams are another team with a mess in their secondary, their only good player is Oshi Atogwe, who is a free agent, their corners are Fahkir Brown and Ron Bartee – so improving this are is a must. Harris has been starting for VT for what seems like 5 years now and is extremely well prepared to play right away in the pros. He excels in man coverage and is a very good punt returner to boot. This would be a slam dunk pick for the Rams.
36. Cleveland Larry English DE/OLB No. Ill. – Let me start by saying I do not like the pick I made for the Browns in round 1. I gave them Aaron Curry and I think there are bigger holes to fill than one of the MLB spots, I’d probably give them Jenkins right now. That said, I am sticking to the picks I made for the time being and this pick still makes a ton of sense. Willie McGinest is a FA and I think he’ll retire, even if he comes back the Browns need someone to start opposite Kamerion Wimbley, who has not played well the past couple seasons himself. English put up 22.5 sacks the past 2 seasons for a No. Illinois team that had no other good d-linemen. He should excel in Mangini’s system.
37. Seattle Duke Robinson OG Okla. – The Hawks run game has not been right since Hutchinson skipped town for the Vikes. Robinson is easily the best guard in this draft and could even sneak his way into the first round despite making a number of mistakes in the national championship game. He has both the size and athleticism to become one of the best guards in the league in a short amount of time. Putting Robinson next to Walter Jones would make for an excellent weak side of the line.
38. Cincinatti Shonn Greene RB Iowa – The Bungles have lots of needs up and down their depth chart. One of the biggest needs is finding who will be their primary ball carrier. Ced Benson showed some life at the end of the year, but he is a free agent and there has to be some trepidation about whether he can bring it when he has a nice fat signing bonus in his back pocket. Greene had a monster year for Iowa this past season, going over 100 yards rushing in every game and ending the year with over 1800 yards and 20 TDs. He isn’t the shiftiest guy but he comes in at about 235 lbs. and really can lay the smack. He’ll have a lot of work to do in the passing game as he only caught 8 passes this past season, but he has the makings of a workhorse.
39. Jacksonville Kenny Britt Rutgers – Reggie Williams is a free agent, Jerry Porter is a china doll, and Matt Jones is a cokehead , but none of them are any good. Britt is about 6’4” 215 lbs. and knows how to use his size, which is obviously the type of receiver this team likes. He has put up big numbers for a Rutgers team that has struggled some lately. He is only a junior but shows good polish and could have an instant impact for a team that could really use some at the receiver spot.
40. Oakland Sean Smith CB/S Utah – Sean Smith is a big DB at 6’3” 215 lbs. but he is a fluid enough athlete that he has played a lot of corner in college as well as free safety, and has excelled at both positions. Many scouts thought Asomugha would have to play safety in the pros and he has proven them wrong, he is also a free agent this off-season and while its likely that he’s franchised, if he does make it out of Oakland this kid could be a good replacement. If he isn’t taking over for Asomugha he could take over for certified bust Michael Huff who is likely to be cut.
41. Green Bay Clint Sintim OLB UVA – The Pack are making the move to a 3-4 defense this offseason and the move should actually be a fairly easy transition. Ryan Pickett and John Jolly make for a good NT tandem while Cullen Jenkins and Justin Harrell should hold down the end spots. The one missing piece is a good pass rushing OLB to pair with Aaron Kampman who is making the move to rush linebacker. Sintim is a gifted pass rusher but also a solid all around linebacker who was a 4 year starter at UVA. He has the kind of football IQ that should make him a great fit for Green Bay’s new scheme.
42. Buffalo Brandon Pettigrew TE OK St. – The Bills get the best tight end in the draft in the second round, a great pick-up for them as they desperately need an upgrade at the position. Some pundits even have The Bills taking Pettigrew in the first, which seems like a huge reach for a TE that is far from a game breaker, but is a very good traditional tight end who is a monster blocker and a very adept receiver. Jason Peters led the league in sacks allowed last year and his future with the Bills is a bit up in the air, having a guy like Pettigrew in the line-up gives whoever plays tackle for the Bills a great safety net, while he also gives young Trent Edwards a safety valve in the passing game.
43. San Francisco Hakeem Nicks WR UNC –The Niners went with Sanchez in the first round and now need to get him a receiver who he can grow with as a pro. Nicks gives them great value here as many draftnicks have him going in the first. He isn’t a deep threat but has good size and has produced for all 3 years he has played at UNC. He should start right away for the niners and could end up becoming the number 1 somewhere down the road, though he seems more like a good #2.
44. Miami Clay Mathews LB USC – This would mark one of the best value picks in the draft thus far. Mathews has flown under the radar for most of his career thanks to bigger name teammates Mualaga and Cushing, but he is one of the most talented LBs in the nation. He has the natural pass rush instincts that will help him fit in well in the fins scheme, also learning from and playing across from Joey Porter should greatly help his adjustment to the pro game.
45. New York Giants Louis Murphy WR UF – Some may call this a reach and that would be understandable. Murphy never put up eye popping numbers at UF, part of that had to do with playing behind some of the best talent in college football, we should also factor in Tebow’s inability to throw the deep bombs. Murphy is a legit 6’3” and runs somewhere around a 4.3 fourty yard time, which is just a ridiculous size/speed ratio. Eli throws a very nice deep ball so Murphy should fit in well with The G-Men. He has a long ways to go to become a complete receiver, but his athletic skills are rare.
46. Houston Louis Delmas S W. Mich – Some draft pundits think Delmas is the top safety in the draft so this would make for a good value pick for the Texans, it also fills a hole that the Texans have had since their inception as they have never had even an above average safety in their backfield. Delmas is sort of a jack of all trades, he isn’t super fast or super big but he can do all the things that a safety needs to do.
47. New England Juaquin Iglesias WR Okla. – The Pats have one of the best WR tandems in the league in Randy Moss and Wes Welker, but their #3 WR Jabar Gafney is a free agent and the other receivers on the roster are not utilized much in the offense. Iglesias is a similar receiver to Gafney, decent size, decent speed, but very polished for a young receiver – runs crisp routes, is fearless over the middle, and is a good blocker – all traits The Pats value in their receivers.
48. Denver Connor Barwin DE Cincy – Barwin is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft. He played tight end his first 3 years while also doubling as a forward for Cincy’s basketball team. Before his senior season he was moved to defensive end and proceded to lead the big east in sacks with 11 while also contributing 3 blocked punts and 8 pass break-ups, doing all of this mostly off pure athleticism. He is obviously still quite raw and would have yet another new position to learn as he would be playing OLB in The Broncos new 3-4 defense. Its exciting to think what this guy could become with some good coaching.
49. Chicago Rashad Johnson S ‘Bama – Kevin Payne is quietly one of the best young safeties in the league, but Danieal Manning has not given the team a whole lot of production over the past few years, he really may be a better fit for the nickel corner role which would create a need at FS for The Bears. Rashad Johnson is the ballhawkin-est safety in this draft notching 11 INTs over the past two years, he is a bit small at 185 lbs and isn’t the best in run support, but the Bears put a lot of value on creating turnovers and that is Johnson’s forte.
50. Tampa Bay Sen’Derrick Marks DT Auburn – The Buccaneers starting DT’s registered a combined 1 sack last season, which as Warren Sapp will tell you, aint gonna cut it in Tampa. The Bucs defense will be making a transition this year, playing less of the Tampa -2 principles which we have known under former co-ordinator Monte Kiffin for what seems like eons , but that change doesn’t mean we won’t be looking for more playmaking from the defensive line next year. Marks is a guy that has been moving up a lot of people’s boards as his athleticism is rare in a DT, he made the move from DE to DT this past season and still lacks the bulk to be much of a run stopper, but he has the frame to continue to pack some weight on while keeping the athleticism that has gotten him noticed.
51. Dallas Fili Moala DT USC – Starting DE Chris Canty is a free agent as is Tank Johnson who played a lot last year, neither player is a lock to return by any means so getting some linemen is a must for the Cowboys. Moala is probably best off as an end in a 3-4 where he can use his athleticism to make plays, but he can easily swing over to tackle on passing downs and provide some interior rush, which is exactly what the ‘Boys need.
52. New York Jets Mike Mickens CB Cincy – Dwight Lowery was a nice find last year for The Jets, but he really is better off in a nickel role. Mickens, a 4 year starter for Cincy, is a big (6’0 ft 190 lbs.) corner with excellent ball skills, fluid hips, and an ability and willingness to come up in run support. The reason he isn’t ranked higher is that his 40 times are less than impressive and he sometimes takes too many chances and gets left out to dry, but with this kid’s size, fluidity, and ball skills he should make for a great pro.
53. Philly Phil Loadholt OT Okla. – After taking William Beatty in the first one might assume there is no reason to take another tackle in the second round, but they would be wrong. Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are both well past their prime and are also both free agents, so its far from a lock that both men will be back. Anyone who saw Winston Justice against The Giants a season ago will tell you the guy is not someone I would want protecting my quarterback. Loadholt is a giant of a man and the definition of a road grader in the run game, if Runyan comes back he would make for the perfect mentor for this young man and if Runyan leaves Loadholt is probably ready to contribute right away.
54. Minnesota Darius Butler CB UConn – Butler is really really fast, and would give the Vikings a big boost in their kick return game. He also may be an upgrade at corner depending on how you view Cedric Griffen, at the very least Butler makes for an excellent nickelback. His uncle played in the league 10 years and he’s the cousin of Willis McGahee, so he has the NFL pedigree.
55. Atlanta Patrick Chung S Oregon – The Falcons are in desperate need of safety help and get good value as Chung is climbing up a lot of boards. He has good size at 6’0”/210 and is a physical specimen. Though he may need a year to acclimate to the league, he definitely will be a special teams ace right away.
56. Miami Ramses Barden WR Cal-Poly – It doesn’t take a keen football mind like Bill Parcells to see that this guy is a freakish athlete, pretty much anyone with eyes can see that. He goes 6’6”/227 while still running around a 4.6 fourty time and has the athleticism of a basketball star, which he was in high school. He absolutely owned the opposition in Division I-AA as he put up over 2,700 yards and 36 TDs the past 2 seasons. He will need to get coached up as he was able to get by on talent alone in college, but has the makings of a future star if he can make the necessary adjustments.
57. Baltimore Asher Allen CB UGA – Chris McAlister was recently released, Samari Rolle is well beyond his prime and is hurt all the time, Fabian Washington was a nice find last year but they need to find his future running mate. Allen is only a junior but was UGA’s top corner the past couple of seasons and has been going up against the elite of the SEC. Allen is a bit short at 5’10” but he weighs 200 lbs. and likes to play physically which should play well next to the more finesse oriented Washington.
58. New England Coye Francies CB San Jose St. – New England took a couple of corners in last year’s draft, but are still thin in their secondary. Francies has flown under the radar playing at San Jose State but he has a lot of talent. He started out in JUCO, transferred to Oregon St. and got busted for a firearms charge, thus he had to transfer again and has put a big red flag on his draft card. Bill Belichek often will overlook some red flags where he can find value and Francies represents just that. He has good size at 6’1” – 185, and loves to be physical with wide outs, and can also be used in the return game.
59. Carolina Robert Ayers DE Tenn. – Julius Peppers is all but gone from Carolina and neither Charles Johnson nor Tyler Bratton will strike fear into opposing OTs. Ayers has a lot of athleticism for the DE position running the 40 in the 4.7 range, and it showed in his senior year when he led the SEC in tackles for loss with 15 and a half. He struggled early in his college career, but locked down a starting role in his senior year and has taken off earning defensive MVP honors at the senior bowl and is moving up many draft boards.
60. New York Giants Jamon Meredith OT South Carolina – The Giants are in an enviable position with a well filled out depth chart and 3 picks in the first 2 rounds. Meredith doesn’t fill a big need as the Giants are well set at OT with David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie, but the depth behind those two is not particularly good. Meredith also has played some guard in college and can easily back up those positions as well, making him a valuable player for the G-men. He has good size and very good athleticism, and did well in the classroom.
61. Indianapolis Brian Robiskie WR Ohio St. – The Colts need to get ready for life without Marvin Harrison soon and Robiskie should make for a good replacement. Robiskie is known as a terrific route runner which is trait that is highly valued in Indy, he also has prototypical size to play out wide, where his former teammate Anthony Gonzalez is really better suited to the slot. Roiskie won’t wow you with his 40 times, but he has the kind of football IQ that should make him a very good player for the Colts.
62. Tennessee Evander Hood DT Missouri – Albert Haynesworth is the biggest free agent on the market and may not be back with The Titans. Jason Jones showed promise as a rookie, but is severly under-sized and is better suited to spot duty. “Ziggy” Hood is an excellent talent who was overshadowed by his team’s explosive offense, he is an extremely hard worker who can do a little bit of everything and proved his talent with 5 sacks his senior year. He impressed many scouts at the senior bowl and should make for a good fit for The Titans whether Haynesworth returns or not.
63. Arizona Cody Brown DE UConn – Arizona is in dire need of pass rush help as both Bert Berry and Antonio Smith are free agents. Brown has been extremely productive notching 11 sacks his senior year, 7.5 as a junior and 4.5 as a soph. He has excellent athleticism, running a 4.7 forty time, and has the versatility to line up at OLB. He isn’t as high on boards because he lacks bulk and has had some injury issues in his career, but his production shows a guy that has a knack for getting at the QB.
64. Pitt Troy Kropog OT Tulane – Pittsburgh began their OL transformation by taking Mack in the first, here they grab the last good LT prospect left on the board. Kropog has been a 3 year starter at LT and has become proficient in both the pass game and the run game. He has good athleticism, better than Pitt has had at LT in some time. He could be a difference maker early and may need to be as both Max Starks and Marvel Smith are free agents.