17. San Francisco 49ers – Trent Williams OT Okla. – The Niners have a nice collection of young talent at the skill positions on offense, now they need to get some hog mollies up front. Williams has the physical traits of a top flight LT, though he looked a whole lot more comfortable on the strong side in college, so like Bulaga he has a chance to be a good LT and if that doesn’t work out he will make for a terrific RT.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers – Earl Thomas S Texas – Ryan Clark is a unrestricted free agent and Polamalu is always hurt, so bringing in a starting safety is high on the Steelers list. Thomas is a fantastic football player with great instincts and a ball hawking attitude. Thomas, like Eric Berry, is a tad smallish for the safety spot and has the ability to play corner if his team wants to sustain his career, either way he is a natural in coverage and has the all out style of play to make a difference in run support as well.
19. Atlanta Falcons – Brandon Graham DE Michigan – Most scouts seem to think he will work best as a 3-4 OLB, but The Falcons don’t mind undersized linemen, and Graham is a pass rush terror who can help the Falcs right away as they are really starved for more pressure from their linemen. Graham is a bit short for a full time DE, but he is a relentless worker who makes plays in the running game and the pass rush.
20. Houston Texans – Brian Price DT UCLA – The Texans have been striking out on DT’s over and over, but Price sure looks like the real deal, he had a tremendous junior season for UCLA putting pressure on QB’s and meeting RB’s in the backfield on a regular basis. The Texans have a nice collection of young defenders, but Price can help take the defense up a notch by getting consistent pressure from the interior and by pushing former first rounder Amobi Okoye to new heights.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma – Not exactly a shocking pick here as many mocks on the internet have this same choice, its just a perfect marriage of need and value. The Bengals surprisingly don’t have a lot of holes on the roster, what they do need is guys for Palmer to throw to and since there aren’t any WR’s worthy of this pick, you take a guy who can have a Dallas Clark or Jason Witten-like effect on the pro passing game. Gresham has the size, athleticism and instincts to be a major difference maker from the first game. He still needs work in the run game, but is a willing blocker with the frame and footwork to get better.
22. New England Patriots – CJ Spiller RB Clemson – The Patriots finally add a dynamic RB that can take some pressure off Brady and the passing game. Spiller is lightning in a bottle fast and will remind some people of league MVP Chris Johnson. He will add a game breaking talent to whatever team he goes to and if he makes it to The Pats defenses league wide will be shaking in their cleats.
23. Green Bay Packers – Charles Brown OT USC – The packers have been looking at Brown for some time now and for good reason. Aaron Rodgers had a breakout season last year despite running for his life most of the season thanks to a patchwork O-Line, so upgrading the pass protection is going to be a major key to their off-season. Brown is a converted TE who has arguably the quickest feet of any tackle in this vaunted OT class, there were some worries about Brown’s ability to hold good weight, but he showed up to the combine with plenty of bulk while retaining his athleticism. He should help keep Rodgers upright for many years.
24. Philadelphia Eagles – Sean Weatherspoon LB Mizzou – The Eagles have long passed on taking LB’s in the early rounds and it has caught up with them as their LB corps lacks playmakers and is often exploited by opposing offenses. Weatherspoon is the athletic playmaker this defense is lacking and his versatility will allow the defense to fit him into whichever LB role they need him at. Another good marriage of need and value.
25. Baltimore Ravens – Jared Odrick DT Penn St. – The Ravens tend to pick the best player available and really don’t miss on first round picks despite picking in the lower half of the first round for the past 10 years or so. Odrick is an excellent football player who was extremely productive this past season for The Nittany Lions, he isn’t an eye popping athlete like the DT’s taken before him, he is simply a long limbed playmaker who looks like a prototypical 3-4 end which is something the Ravens could use.
26. Arizona Cardinals – Sergio Kindle OLB Texas – The Cardinals are really hurting for LB’s, both outside rushers and inside guys since Dansby is surely out the door. There aren’t any MLB’s of value at this pick, but Kindle is great value for this pick, and provides the team with a young talented pass rusher. Kindle is a an absolute pass rush terror who was the lone bright spot for Texas in the national championship game.
27. Dallas Cowboys – Mike Iupati OG Idaho – Jerry Jones gets his guy as all signs point to if he is here this is who the ‘Boys will be taking. Jones has always liked gigantic OL and that’s what Iupati is, a true giant. What makes Iupati such a good prospect is that despite being 340+ lbs. he moves like a man 70 lbs. lighter than that, and is a true terror for defenses in the run game. He may even have the ability to move outside to tackle in time, since he is tall and long enough, but he needs work in pass pro before that can be considered.
28. San Diego Chargers – Ryan Mathews RB Fresno St. - Mathews is moving up draft boards as Dwyer and Best fall thanks to a poor combine and injury worries respectively, while Mathews showed good bulk, strength , speed, and agility at the combine. Ryan also showed he was a smooth receiver out of the backfield despite not being asked to do much of that in college. The Chargers need a new lead back with the release of LT, and Mathews fits the bill to a T.
29. New York Jets – Patrick Robinson CB FSU - As soon as the season was over everyone was in complete agreement that Pat Robinson was the second best corner in this draft after Haden, and despite playing well in the senior bowl and showing excellent athleticism at the combine he has fallen behind Kyle Wilson and in some cases Devin McCourty on many draft boards. Robinson has the best physical attributes of any corner in this draft and was extremely productive in college despite less than stellar coaching. The Jets could use a better corner across from Revis and with Robinson they would have a defense for the ages.
30. Minnesota Vikings – Kyle Wilson CB Boise St. – The Vikes have a pretty loaded roster, especially if old man Favre comes back next year. Winfield and Griffin are a solid starting duo but The Vikes could use depth at the position and if Griffin was pushed to nickel it would probably be for the best. Wilson is an instinctual corner with the short area quickness that allows him to make plays on the ball. Wilson is not the fastest corner around but makes up for it with physicality and solid ball skills.
31. Indianapolis Colts – Maurkice Pouncey OG UF – One thing The Colts really need is help on their O-line, especially along the interior. Pouncey is big and athletic and has the ability to swing over to center when Jeff Saturday finally hangs them up. If Pouncey is here at this pick I’d be shocked if they went another way with it.
32. New Orleans Saints – Navorro Bowman OLB Penn St. - One area that the world champs could use an upgrade is the LB corps. Bowman is a slightly undersized playmaker with outstanding athleticism and range. Bowman is a great tackler and very good in coverage, though lacks physicality, thus he should fit well in The Saints system.