The 2013 Niners Nation NFL mock draft is officially a wrap. Big thanks to all the community members who took part. This was as efficient a mock as I've run, as we were able to get through two full rounds over the course of three weeks. Huzzah!
Tre9er covered the 49ers picks this year, and his three-person class included safety Jonathan Cyprien, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and safety Bacarri Rambo. The 49ers need to add safety depth, and this certainly works to address that. The team also needs defensive line depth, and Hankins could be an intriguing possibility all along the line. While there will always be disagreement on the players chosen, these picks potentially address the two biggest needs entering the draft.
Here is a rundown of the 62 picks of the two rounds. Below that is each pick with analysis from Trevor and Nick. Give it a look, and let us know your thoughts on the mock. There were some surprises, and obviously there will be picks with which you disagree, but all in all, I think there were legitimate reasons for virtually all of the picks listed.
Niners Nation Mock Draft, Round 1
- Kansas City Chiefs -- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah [Explanation]
- Jacksonville Jaguars -- Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia [Explanation]
- Oakland Raiders -- Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon [Explanation]
- Philadelphia Eagles -- Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M [Explanation]
- Detroit Lions -- Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan [Explanation]
- Cleveland Browns -- Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama [Explanation]
- Arizona Cardinals -- Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas [Explanation]
- Buffalo Bills -- Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU [Explanation]
- New York Jets -- Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama [Explanation]
- Tennessee Titans -- Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida [Explanation]
- San Diego Chargers -- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma [Explanation]
- Miami Dolphins -- Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina [Explanation]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State [Explanation]
- Carolina Panthers -- Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee [Explanation]
- New Orleans Saints -- Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU [Explanation]
- St. Louis Rams -- Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri [Explanation]
- Pittsburgh Steelers -- Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia [Explanation]
- Dallas Cowboys -- D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama [Explanation]
- New York Giants -- Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia [Explanation]
- Chicago Bears -- Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia [Explanation]
- Cincinnati Bengals -- Arthur Brown, ILB, Kansas State [Explanation]
- St. Louis Rams -- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson [Explanation]
- Minnesota Vikings -- Keenan Allen, WR, Cal [Explanation]
- Indianapolis Colts -- Datone Jones, DE, UCLA [Explanation]
- Minnesota Vikings -- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington [Explanation]
- Green Bay Packers -- Damontre Moore, DE/OLB [Explanation]
- Houston Texans -- Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee [Explanation]
- Denver Broncos -- Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State [Explanation]
- New England Patriots -- Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist [Explanation]
- Atlanta Falcons -- Tank Carradine, DE/OLB, Florida State [Explanation]
- San Francisco 49ers -- Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International [Explanation]
- Baltimore Ravens -- Matt Elam, S, Florida [Explanation]
- Jacksonville Jaguars -- Alex Okafor, DE, Texas [Explanation]
- San Francisco 49ers -- Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State [Explanation]
- Philadelphia Eagles -- Kyle Long, OL, Oregon [Explanation]
- Detroit Lions -- Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State [Explanation]
- Cincinnati Bengals -- D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina [Explanation]
- Arizona Cardinals -- Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame [Explanation]
- New York Jets -- Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford [Explanation]
- Tennessee Titans -- Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, Connecticut [Explanation]
- Buffalo Bills -- Matt Barkley, QB, USC [Explanation]
- Miami Dolphins -- Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State [Explanation]
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State [Explanation]
- Carolina Panthers -- Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina [Explanation]
- San Diego Chargers -- Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia [Explanation]
- St. Louis Rams -- Eric Reid, S, LSU [Explanation]
- Dallas Cowboys -- Barrett Jones, C, Alabama [Explanation]
- Pittsburgh Steelers -- Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama [Explanation]
- New York Giants -- Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State [Explanation]
- Chicago Bears -- Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame [Explanation]
- Washington Redskins -- Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State [Explanation]
- Minnesota Vikings -- Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama [Explanation]
- Cincinnati Bengals -- Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina [Explanation]
- Miami Dolphins -- Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA [Explanation]
- Green Bay Packers -- T.J. McDonald, S, USC [Explanation]
- Seattle Seahawks -- Kawann Short, DT, Purdue [Explanation]
- Houston Texans -- Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU [Explanation]
- Denver Broncos -- Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin [Explanation]
- New England Patriots -- D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston [Explanation]
- Atlanta Falcons -- Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State [Explanation]
- San Francisco 49ers -- Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia [Explanation]
- Baltimore Ravens -- Jon Bostic, ILB, Florida [Explanation]
Trevor Woods: Interesting choice. While YoungAnalyst feels Lotulelei is "hands down" the best defensive lineman in the draft, most draft analysts say Sharrif Floyd is the hands down best. Lotulelei's stock was hurt at the combine by the discovery of a heart condition. Floyd went on to have a tremendous combine performance, and Star wasn't able to participate in any drills. He met with the Eagles this week, so teams drafting in the top five have some interest in him. No one really knows what direction the Chiefs will go with pick one, and it very well could wind up being Lotulelei, or he could fall out of the top ten. I do not think this is the player the Chiefs will draft, but I won't count it out either. I consider Luke Joeckel and Sharrif Floyd more likely options for the Chiefs.
Nick Chiamardas: This is certainly a surprise. Don't get me wrong, Loutelelei has about as much upside as anyone in the draft. He's a big, strong, physical defender capable of paying all three positions along the line. Even though I think Shariff Floyd is the top defensive lineman, I like that YoungAnalyst avoided him given that Floyd is likely best suited for a 4-3 defense. I understand the reasoning here in going with Loutelelei, I'm just not sure I buy the Chiefs passing on Luke Joeckel. Sure Brandon Albert is a great LT, but he's only signed through the year. Selecting Joeckel and putting him at RT would maximize protection for Alex Smith. It would also give the Chiefs leverage next year should they decide to let Albert walk after franchising him this year.
Trevor Woods: The problem with the Jaguars is it seems they have been in a constant state of rebuilding over the past six seasons or so. Should they really go quarterback again two seasons removed from drafting Blaine Gabbert in the first round? I am not sure. I don't think drafting Smith would necessarily be a mistake, but the Jaguars are a team with many needs. As bad as Gabbert has looked, it would be wise for the Jaguars to give him one more shot. This season will end up being for naught for the Jags, as they cannot realistically contend for a Super Bowl in 2013. The best thing they can do is fill a need while also snagging the best player available. BPA here is debatable, but I would like to see them go with Oregon OLB Dion Jordan. Jordan is a freak at 6'6" 248 lbs. He ran a 4.54 forty at the combine. The Jaguars could use a legitimate pass rusher who can also cover. I would bet the Jaguars have a top ten selection next season, and next year's draft will have more desirable options at QB (if Gabbert falters).
Nick Chiamardas: This pick makes perfect sense. Jacksonville gambled on Blaine Gabbert and it appears that their gamble backfired. It's time to move on. With emerging wideouts like Cecil Shorts andJustin Blackmon and the impending return of All-Pro Maurice Jones-Drew, selecting the draft's top quarterback is a match made in Jaguar heaven.
Trevor Woods: I am not going to try to steal Roy's thunder, I like the pick and his explanation was a great one. I do not think Floyd will be the dud that he mentioned, but he strikes a good point of why they should go outside pass rush over defensive line. Jordan can cover and I believe he can become a heck of a pass rusher in the NFL. He is 6'6" and 248 lbs, and can run a 4.54 forty. Jordan already is a decent coverage linebacker, and with his size/speed combination, he can cover tight ends. The Raiders have many holes and this would fill one of the many. Good pick Roy.
Nick Chiamardas: I really like Dion Jordan. He might be the best pass rushing OLB available and offers tremendous upside. The biggest question here is if the Raiders will finally commit to a switch from the 4-3 base defense to a 3-4. If they do, Jordan is a great fit. If not, I would have preferred Floyd here. Of course, passing on Joeckel is tough to do as well. Even though Roy_from_Israel indicated that the OL wasn't terrible, a franchise LT can be hard to find.
Trevor Woods: Not a sexy pick, but not a bad choice either. With Joeckel still on the board, it would make sense for the Eagles to improve upon their porous offensive line. Chip Kelly will more than likely adapt his scheme for the pros, but if he wants to run any fast-paced attack, he must find some physical offensive linemen that have a high motor. Joeckel possesses a high motor. Another pick to consider here would be Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, but Joeckel is the best player available here, and that was BearAKA's choice.
Nick Chiamardas: BearAKA had to be doing flips when Joeckel fell. The Eagles have to address major needs on the OL. What better way to begin filling holes than with the top tackle in the draft? Joeckel is a perfect fit for Chip Kelly's spread and up-tempo offense, having played in a similar offense and blocking for Heisman Winner Johnny Manziel. He should thrive in Philadelphia.
Trevor Woods: Reggie Bush and Matthew Stafford would like this selection. Fisher is a Central Michigan product, a college that has a Pro Bowl offensive tackle in the NFL, Joe Staley. Fisher could turn out to be as good of a player as Staley is. This would improve an area of concern for the Lions, but the most pressing need is in the secondary and pass rush. In the 2011 Wild Card round, I rememberDrew Brees making the Lions secondary look silly. The secondary looking foolish was something that carried into last year, and was a big reason for the Lions disappointing season. Dee Milliner is still on the board and he would provide an immediate upgrade for the Lions to help them win some games. Another route they could go is finding a pass rusher. Dion Jordan is off the board, but Barkevious Mingo, Jarvis Jones, and Ezekiel Ansah are all legitimate options at pick five.
Nick Chiamardas: I love Teeejayyy's pick here. Some believe the more athletic Fisher might be better than Luke Joeckel. He certainly outperformed him during the combine. The Lions have big needs on defense but addressed some secondary concerns via free agency. This allows them some flexibility here to draft the best player available and fill a major need. The Lions lost both starting tackles this year and haven't signed any replacements via free agency as of yet. Fisher to the Lions is a great pick.
Trevor Woods: Milliner would provide a good book end opposite Joe Haden at cornerback. The Browns could have favored a pass rusher here, but I like the choice of Milliner more. He played for National Championship teams at Alabama, knows what winning is all about and I would be shocked if he were to become a bust. Brett makes a good point about the AFC North; They have become more pass happy, so getting the best corner in the draft would be a smart decision.
Nick Chiamardas: Should the Browns land Milliner here it will make for one of the most formidable cornerback duo's in the game. With Joe Haden on one side and Milliner on the other the Browns' defense would take a giant leap in the right direction. There are certainly some offensive players that make sense as well, and the Browns are in need of some play-makers. If they stay at six, however, the value in Milliner is unbeatable.
Trevor Woods: I agree with Chris that this is a reach. It would fill a need for the Cardinals, but does Vaccaro warrant a top 10 selection? This is a deep safety class in which the talent gap from Vaccaro and other safeties isn't a big one. The Cardinals could draft a safety in round two (Eric Reid, Jonathan Cyprien, D.J. Swearinger, and others) and fill another need in round one. I would have liked to see Arizona nab an offensive lineman here, Oklahoma's Lane Johnson. There also are good pass rushers on the board still available.
Nick Chiamardas: I agree that Vaccaro is the best safety in the draft. But not by much. This pick, while certainly filling a need and giving the Cards a defensive starter from day one is, as chriscream admits, a reach. Instead, the Cards could look to shore up one of the worst offensive lines in the league and go with either G Chance Warmackor T Lane Johnson.
Trevor Woods: As we witnessed in 2012 when the Bills played the 49ers, Buffalo's defense needs improving, and Ansah would improve it. The Bills are switching to a hybrid defense, this would allow Ansah to get in on more downs, play both OLB and DE. I really like this pick and feel this could be a very likely selection come draft day. Other options would be Barkevious Mingo and Jarvis Jones.
Nick Chiamardas: Ziggy Ansah might be the most hyped player in this year's draft next to Margus Hunt. I'm not saying the hype isn't worth it. He's a phsycial freak and capable of lining up just about anywhere in the front seven. Finding a position for Ansah will be priority one for what ever team he lands on. In Buffalo, he wouldn't have to start at OLB right away which could benefit his progression. He could be used in a variety of ways along the line and in passing situations. Great fit for the Bills, but very risky for a team that hasn't exacltly hit homeruns in recent draft history.
Trevor Woods: The Jets are going to have to shift their offensive philosophy next season, and snatching Warmack could help that. With David Garrard or Mark Sanchez likely to be the starting quarterback, pass-protection and a run game are very important. Warmack would help them in both areas on offense. It makes a lot of sense to me to draft an offensive lineman in round one, then pick a running back with one of their next two selections. Good pick EastBay. Other choices here could be Jarvis Jones, Bjoern Werner, and Barkevious Mingo.
Nick Chiamardas: EastBay is right, this pick is a bit of a reach BUT it's a perfect fit for the Jets. Most feel pass rusher or OL is the way to go with this pick and with Jordan and Ansah gone, Warmack is a better pick here than taking a risk on Barkevious Mingo. Warmack would be an immediate starter and a perfect fit for the Jets who always promise to return the ground and pound style. I'm not usually a fan of guards going this high but it makes too much sense to be overly critical.
Trevor Woods: Floyd falls to tenth, very surprising, but his fall ends with the Titans getting the biggest steal of the draft thus far. I have Floyd going in the Top 3 selections on draft day, and highly doubt he makes it this far when the real draft happens. This isn't only drafting the best pick still available, this pick also fills a need for the Titans at the same time.
Nick Chiamardas: There is little doubt the Titans will be looking at DT with the 10th pick. This is an absolute perfect fit. Floyd is my number one overall prospect and the Titans strike gold here. Floyd is a wonderful fit for the Titans 4-3 defense as it will allow him to play the 3-technique where he can utilize his pass rushing skills to wreak havoc in the backfield. The Titans haven't had anyone anchor the line like Floyd will since Albert Haynesworth.
Trevor Woods: The Chargers offensive line sure is terrible, and Phillip Rivers has no mobility to escape an immediate pass rush. Many times, the offensive line couldn't maintain a clean pocket for even a full tenth of a second, leading to the defense immediately breaking through and getting to Rivers. This lead to a lot of back pedaling throws that were errant, leading to interceptions and incompletions. Johnson wouldn't solve all of the woes for the Chargers on the offensive line of course, but you have to start somewhere. This should be the clear choice at pick eleven.
Nick Chiamardas: Just about every mock draft out there agrees with this pick. It makes sense. The Chargers OL was awful last year and if Johnson falls, it's a perfect match, right? The Chargers did just agree to pay former Eagles LT King Dunlap up to $6 million dollars over the next two years. Dunlap could probably be moved to RT if the Chargers select Johnson. The Chargers could look at guard Jonathan Cooper with this pick, although typically guards are not drafted this high. Pass rusher would be another key area the Bolts could look to fill with this pick.
Trevor Woods: I wouldn't have minded Boss being bold and going with Trufant here. Surprises do happen (A.J. Jenkins). With that said, Cooper is a solid choice that will provide Ryan Tannehill more time to make some magic happen to Mike Wallace for years to come. As Boss stated, he fits the 'Phins scheme and would show they are "all in" on improving their offense.
Nick Chiamardas: Cooper to the Dolphins is a bit unexpected. But I actually like the pick. Boss did a great job defending it and I agree with just about everything he said. Many of the next 10 prospects are fairly equal. I would say Cooper is probably the safest pick; or in other words, the least likely to be a bust. I disagree that Rhodes couldn't play zone. He's actually quite similar in skill set to former Dolphins corner Sean Smith. Still, adding Cooper with pick No. 12 is smart and gives the Phins one of the better offensive lines in the AFC, even after losing Jake Long.
Trevor Woods: It appears the Bucs will be the frontrunners for Revis, if they decide to trade for him. They have not made the trade yet though, and Rhodes makes the most sense out of the picks available. Rhodes to the Buccaneers is one of the more common picks you will see in mock drafts, but that is with good reason. They need a cornerback and Rhodes is the best one on the board.
Nick Chiamardas: I'm not sure there is really anything more to add after geminator's precise breakdown. Should the Bucs hold onto pick No. 13, there is little doubt they'll be addressing the defensive side of the ball. Rhodes gives them a tall, lanky corner with tremendous athleticism and physicality. For a team that desperately needs cornerback help, the second-rated corner in the draft is a logical selection. I wouldn't be surprised if the Bucs also looked at Rhodes' FSU teammate, Bjoern Werner. Werner would be a perfect replacement for the departed Micheal Bennett.
Trevor Woods: Although Sheldon Richardson is the best player available and it would fill a need for the Panthers, getting Patterson could be a good idea. Cam Newton has not had a legitimate weapon to use at receiver besides Steve Smith. Patterson would turn the Panthers passing game into a dangerous one fast. With Steve Smith,Greg Olsen and Patterson, watch out.
Nick Chiamardas: The Panthers selection of Patterson could trigger a run on receivers in the middle of round one. JMichael is right in his assessment of Patterson; His skill set would be a nice compliment to the aging Steve Smith. At 6'2", 216lbs Patterson would give the Panthers the No. 2 receiver they've been desperately searching for the last few years. It would also give Patterson a chance to go somewhere without having to be a teams top receiving threat thereby, perhaps, relieving some pressure on the young receiver. It'd be hard to pass on the extremely athletic Richardson though.
Trevor Woods: A logical choice for New Orleans. The Saints will need a pass rusher in their new scheme, and Mingo could provide that. I do not see the Saints drafting a position other than a pass rusher at pick No.15, and the pickins are getting slim for value here. The only other choice would be Jarvis Jones, who I have ranked higher.
Nick Chiamardas: Most believed the Saints would be looking pass rusher with the 15th pick. The Victor Butler signing coupled withJunior Galette give the Saints a formidable OLB pairing for the new 3-4 scheme. That's not to say Mingo couldn't be the pick. I may not be the biggest fan of Mingo but there is no doubting his athleticism and potential -- two words that will always lead to a player being selected in the first round.
Mingo's biggest concern is what position he'll play at the next level. Depending on which scout is giving the report, Mingo could be a pass rusher in a 3-4, an outside linebacker in a 4-3, heck, I've even seen one report projecting him as middle linebacker in a 4-3. Couple that with little collegiate output and Mingo has bust written all over him. If the Saints go pass rusher at 15, I'd like to see them go with Jarvis Jones from Georgia. I think safety could very will be the pick, however.
Trevor Woods: I'm a little surprised that Richardson slipped this far in the mock draft. The Rams take the best player available here at pick No. 16. He would become a Ndamakong Suh like force for the Rams, wreaking havoc against the pass and run. The other selection I would not have minded here would have been Tavon Austin. Austin would have been a great replacement for Amendola. With that said, I do like the pick; Richardson is a heck of a player. You can check out my scouting report on Richardson.
Nick Chiamardas: I really hope this scenario doesn't play out. Add Richardson to a defense that already gives the 49ers fits and you have a haunting for years to come. Richardson is certainly the best player available as TheFreakSFG points out, however, I don't think the Rams would pass on a receiver here. The only exception would be if Vaccaro or one of the two guards is still around.
Trevor Woods: The slide of Jarvis Jones in the first round ends. While I do like the selection, I believe the Steelers have their starting outside linebacker of the future already in Jason Worilds. Worilds is expected to replace James Harrison, who is now a free agent. I envision Jarvis to be an outside backer in the pros, so I do not feel he will be a replacement for Foote in the near future. He could replace Woodley however if the Steelers decide to cut him after the 2013 season. Jones is the best player available here at pick 17, and Dick Lebeau would find ways to utilize Jones and to get him on the field during his rookie campaign. Other possibilities would include Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker, and West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin.
NIck Chiamardas: Great pick. Jones was thought to be a top 5-10 pick early on in the process. His stock dropped after deciding not to participate in February's combine. Some point to Jones' spinal stenosis as a reason the star pass rusher has dropped. The condition clearly wasn't an issue at Georgia where Jones tallied 28 sacks and 44 tackles for loss in just two years. There's no questioning his playmaking skills and the Steelers find the perfect fit into a once daunted 3-4 front.
Trevor Woods: The Cowboys shelled out big bucks to Tony Romo last month, so it would be wise to find a tackle to protect him. With Romo getting older, he will not be able to scramble and avoid mayhem like he has been able to do in his career; The offensive line must be upgraded. Fluker was dominant in his Alabama career, looking like a man amongst boys. This pick makes sense and is one that could happen in the real round one.
Nick Chiamardas: I agree with albert.55 that the Cowboys would love to grab Warmack, Cooper, or Vaccaro. The biggest needs appear to be offensive line and defensive line, given the Cowboys move to a 4-3 front. There are still some solid defensive ends on the board: Datone Jones and Bjoern Werner would be nice strong side compliments to DeMarcus Ware, while Tank Carradine would add another pass rusher opposite of Ware. Fluker isn't a sexy pick by any means (something the Cowboys are known for making) but he's a smart choice. As albert.55 pointed out, the Cowboys struggled to protect turnover-prone Tony Romo in 2012. Doug Free currently lines up at right tackle but is capable of playing on the left side. Fluker is almost exclusively a right tackle and reminds me a bit of the 49ers Anthony Davis.
Trevor Woods: As highlighted by NEBraves33, the Giants may shy away from a player with a checkered past like Ogletree. Getting past that issue, Ogletree would be a welcome addition to the Giants linebacking corps. He would be an upgrade right off the bat over Dan Connor, and would push Keith Rivers for his job too. I think he would be a starter week one. If it wasn't for some character concerns Ogletree would be a definite top fifteen selection; The risk is worth it here.
Nick Chiamardas: Solid pick here by NEBravesFan33. Ogletree and Arthur Brown are without a doubt the drafts top middle linebackers. What I like about this pick is what NEBraves33 pointed out above: Ogletree is a former safety and is very familiar with dropping into coverage. Ogletree does have some off-field concerns, but he'd be joining a strong looker room and a head coach that doesn't put up with distractions. Other picks I think the Giants might consider here would be safety Jonathan Cyprien or tight end Tyler Eifert.
Trevor Woods: Last season, the Bears offense had only one legitimate receiving option in Brandon Marshall. The selection of Austin would provide another solid option for Jay Cutler to work with. The Bears still have big offensive line issues, but with D.J. Fluker off the board, any lineman selected here would be a bit of a reach. Marc Trestman is an offensive minded head coach, and it would make sense to upgrade at receiver here. Austin would bring a lot to the table and make the Bears offense dangerous. I like this pick a lot. I am also glad Austin didn't make it to the Rams at pick No. 22.
Nick Chiamardas: I'm think the Bears will be hoping a tackle or guard falls to them at 20. The biggest issue in Chicago since the arrival of Jay Cutler has been the offensive line. With all of the linemen worthy of a first round pick already taken save Florida State's Menalik Watson, nic2116 selects Tavon Austin. Austin will bring instant game-breaking athleticism to a Bears team that already features Brandon Marshall. Austin could be everything the Bears wanted Devin Hester to be on the offensive side of the ball. I agree with everything nic2116 says about what Austin would do for Chicago's offense. I'm just not sure it's smart to pass on offensive line (Watson) or a middle linebacker to replace Brian Urlacher (Arthur Brown).
Trevor Woods: Has anyone else heard of the 60's band, The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown who had the song "Fire"? I guarantee Chris Berman cites this at some point in Brown's career. Anyway, this is a very likely pick and fills a glaring need for the Bengals. Brown is a willing tackler who is always ready to engage with ferocity. He plays well in space and moves well sideline to sideline. Ray Maualuga was re-signed last month, and is expected to stay at inside linebacker. With that said, a selection of Brown could change that. Maualuga was downright awful last season in coverage; He couldn't cover a tight end whatsoever. In the playoffs, Owen Daniels made him look foolish time after time. If the Bengals want to attempt a Super Bowl run, they need to upgrade the position, and Brown would do that. I like the choice.
Nick Chiamardas: As Rocket0348 points out, the Bengals are likely to be looking for an inside linebacker or safety with their first round pick. I like Brown going here. I actually think he's the best 4-3 linebacker in the draft. Brown can easily play all three linebacker spots for the Bengals and should be an immediate starter. Very interesting comparison to Bowman. They have similar size and build and many thought Bowman was going to be a 4-3 outside linebacker. If Brown turns out to be half as good as Bowman, it's a great pick.
Trevor Woods: With the losses of Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson, the Rams need help at receiver. Hopkins has a lot of potential and he doesn't drop many balls; The comparison to Roddy White is a good one. TheFreakSFG is also correct in his assessment of the LSU game, which was the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve. Hopkins hauled in a whopping 13 receptions for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Hopkins is the reason Clemson won the game 25-24. Being that St. Louis is a division rival, I really don't like that the Rams have picked up both Sheldon Richardson and now Hopkins. With that said, TheFreakSFG is doing well to improve the Rams roster.
Nick Chiamardas: TheFreakSFG's gamble to pass on a receiver at 16 pays off. Hopkins is considered a top receiver in the class, although he doesn't really stand out in any one area. Despite not having elite ability in any single area of his game, that never slowed Hopkins down during his time at Clemson. The biggest question surrounding Hopkins is whether or not he was simply a product of a prolific passing offense. I would have preferred Keenan Allen in this spot but Hopkins is a solid all-around receiver that could replace Danny Amendola well in the St. Louis offense.
Trevor Woods: Not too long ago, Keenan Allen was the top ranked receiver in this draft class. A lingering knee injury has pushed his draft stock down a couple of notches. A team will have to be certain Allen's knee is 100% healthy before they are willing to part with their first round pick for him. Allen is actually holding a workout for teams today, which could decide whether he is drafted in round one or not. While Allen wouldn't be a player that could do the things Percy Harvin did for the Vikings, he could become a receiving threat of the Sidney Rice mold. The Vikings did sign Greg Jennings, and re-signed Jerome Simpson as well, so I am not sure if they will go receiver with their first selection. This is a deep receiving class, so the Vikings could find a receiver in round two if they wanted and pick up someone here to help their defense. The Vikings could go cornerback or linebacker here instead.
Nick Chiamardas: Absolutely love this pick. The Vikings need to find out if Christian Ponder is the answer at quarterback. The best way to do that is to provide him with weapons and turn him loose. Signing Jennings was a great start, and drafting Allen would give them a true vertical threat. The Cal receiver was widely considered to be the best in this year's class prior to an injury that kept him from working out for scouts this offseason. Allen, Jennings, Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson give Ponder plenty of offensive firepower.
Trevor Woods: For a team that made the playoffs, the Colts have needs at a lot of positions. Brett is spot on with his assessment of the Colts, and improving the defensive line is a must for Indy. The Colts are in a division that has Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew and Chris Johnson. It would be quite beneficial to plug in a rookie that can help improve their run defense, and I believe Datone Jones can do just that. Jones also has exceptional speed for a defensive lineman to go along with his 6'4" 284 lb frame, running a 4.75 forty at the combine. This pick isn't a reach, but I could also see the Colts going after a cornerback, possibly Desmond Trufant or Jamar Taylor.
Nick Chiamardas: This pick will make many 49er fans unhappy. But it's a great pick. The Colts are still trying to adjust their roster to fit a 3-4 scheme. Jones gives them a versatile 5-technique end that could slide inside in nickel situations. He only had one productive year at UCLA but it was a doozy, posting 19 tackles for a loss as Brett points out. This pick will immediately upgrade the Colts' poor defensive unit which is all you can ask for this late in round one.
Trevor Woods: The Vikings will have to improve their secondary if they want to get to the playoffs for the second year in a row. The selection of Desmond Trufant here would bolster their secondary. Trufant excels in zone coverage, and the Vikings run quite a bit of zone coverage from time to time. I agree with Brett with his reasoning for taking a cornerback, the NFC North has legitimate quarterbacks and receiving threats, so the Vikings need more corners who can stop (limit) their production. Trufant had a heck of a week at the Senior Bowl, and followed that up with a strong showing at the combine.
Nick Chiamardas: Karl is putting together one heck of a team with the Vikings first two picks (Keenan Allen at 23). Not only have the Vikings filled needs but they've done so with arguably the top talent at each position. Desmond Trufant is one of my favorites. He's the type of player you absolutely hate, unless he's on your team. Karl said it perfectly, in a division feating three stud quarterbacks, talent in the secondary is a must. Trufant is a star in the making and he'll have plenty of opportunities to prove it in the pass-happy NFC North.
Trevor Woods: Before the combine, Damontre Moore was on most analysts top 10 lists, then he had a bad combine and his stock plummeted. Moore being selected in this range is not a reach, but the Packers certainly have other needs before drafting an outside linebacker that wouldn't be a starter. Nick Perry and Clay Matthewsare the future for the Packers at OLB. Twenty two year old Perry should be full systems go for the start of next season after suffering a wrist injury last November, and Matthews won't be leaving Green Bay anytime soon either. A more likely selection here would be running back or safety. Possibly RB Eddie Lacy, or safety Jonathan Cyprien, or Eric Reid.
Nick Chiamardas: Demontre Moore was once considered a top 5 pick. Poor workouts results at the combine and during the Texas A&M pro day along with questions about his work ethic have caused Moore's stock to tumble. Still, as London_9er points out, Moore's film is quite impressive. While the Packers have a few needs that might be more pressing, adding another pass rusher couldn't hurt. Safety might be a more pressing need and with Jonathan Cyprien on the board, that would have been a nice alternative.
Trevor Woods: With this selection, Andre Johnson finally has a receiver that will take some pressure off him. Not only would this prevent some teams from doubling Johnson, it would provide another deep threat for the Texans, which they have always seemed to lack. I liked what I saw from Hunter at the combine. He impressed me in the gauntlet drill where he appeared to be very fluid. Hunter could wind up being a better NFL player than his teammate Cordarrelle Patterson.
Nick Chiamardas: I'm not sure I'd go as far as to classify this wide receiver class as "putrid". I can see why it may seem that way when trying to draft for need vs. the best player available. WR is a need for the Texans and Hunter is a nice, but risky pick. As Ni9er points out, Hunter has all the intangibles to be an elite receiver. I have Quinton Patton and Robert Woods higher than Hunter but I do believe the ceiling for Hunter is higher; However, his floor is also much lower. So Ni9er is right, it's risky but it could pay off. I would have liked to see the Texans address defensive line depth with either Jesse Williams or Jon Hankins or perhaps a middle linebacker like Kevin Minter.
Trevor Woods: This is a logical selection for the Broncos 4-3 defense. Werner projects as solely a 4-3 end in the pros, so a landing spot in Denver would be good for him. Werner put up some monster numbers at Florida State (he registered 13 sacks in 2012), and he can be a productive pass rusher in the NFL.
Nick Chiamardas: This will be one of the more entertaining picks come draft night. SigepPT9er points out all the needs for the Broncos and he's spot on. The Broncos will probably hope that either Arthur Brown or Alec Ogletree will be available here. If not, I think DE is the way to go. I think the choice comes down to two fellow Seminoles. Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine. Carradine, if not for the ACL injury, would probably be a top 10-15 pick and still could be the best pure pass rusher in the draft. Werner is a solid pick and will compliment Von Miller nicely. He's not a legitimate pass rusher but he will help solidify the strong side with his excellent rush defense and refined instincts.
Trevor Woods: Good teams gamble on players whom are raw but have high potential, and that is exactly what the Patriots do year in and year out in the draft. The selection here would not be a surprise. Hunt has draft grades anywhere from the late first round to late second. I believe Hunt will be drafted by the mid second round, the Patriots drafting Hunt here is a good pick. Certain teams can draft a raw player because they have the coaches who are able to coach the player up and make them better. Love him or hate him, Bill Belicheck is that kind of coach. Hunt looks like he could be an arch nemesis of Rocky Balboa or Thor, and he could wreak havoc in the NFL. Although his game needs fine tuning, if Hunt can put it all together, he will be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. Needless to say, I like this pick.
Nick Chiamardas: Another pick that will make 49er fans unhappy. The Patriots have traditionally been a multiple front team, meaning they employ a variety of looks from a 4-3, 3-4, or 2-5-4. I'm not sure Hunt has the type of versatility to play in multiple fronts just yet. After all he's still learning the game. However, should the Pats decide to utilize the 3-4 more this year than in recent years, Hunt would be a nice fit at the 5-technique end next to Vince Wilfork in the middle. If the Pats do select Hunt, my feeling is it would have more of a long term impact than immediate. He could become that versatile play maker capable of lining up in multiple looks, but it would be wise to bring him along slowly without overwhelming the giant from Estonia.
Trevor Woods: Steph is correct that if "Tank" had not suffered an injury, he would be higher on the draft board. This is a position of need for the Falcons, and they also get a player who has a high ceiling. Carradine is a smart player with a high motor and a lot of strength behind it. A cornerback could be a choice here, possibly Jamar Taylor, or as Steph mentioned, Alex Okafor. Another position of need for the Falcons is inside linebacker, but no player would be worthy of getting here with Arthur Brown and Kevin Minter both off the board.
Nick Chiamardas: I think SoCalSteph just hit a home run. The Falcons have a real need at defensive end and are able to snag perhaps the best true 4-3 end in the draft. I had the pleasure of watching Tank Carradine play the last two years at Florida State. Tank tallied 11 sacks and 13 TFL in 2012 and was an absolute force opposite Bjoern Werner. He has a rare combination of size 6-4 276lbs), speed (4.75 - prior to knee injury), and strength (32 reps at FSU pro day) and really gets after the quarterback. Perhaps even more impressive to scouts has been Carradine's work ethic post-ACL surgery. The surgery was performed by the famous Dr. James Andrews and Carradine has been rehabbing the knee three times a day for five days a week since. In fact, he's expected to have a full workout later this month (4/20) just five months after injury.
Trevor Woods: A favorite of the Niners Nation community is selected here by the 49ers. Cyprien could very well end up being the best safety selected in this years draft class. Tre's assessment of Cyprien is spot on. Although there are some things Cyprien will have to work on as Tre points out, his skills are undeniable. Cyprien would be able to start from day one and would not be a major project that needs time to develop before seeing game action. That is very important because the 49ers are more than likely going to rely on a rookie safety to start. Cyprien possesses good coverage ability; better than another option at pick No. 31 in LSU safety Eric Reid. Obviously there are other options the 49ers could consider here. Kawann Short, Jesse Williams, John Jenkins and Johnathan Hankins all could be options here as well.
Nick Chiamardas: If the 49ers see Cyprien fall to them at No. 31, they'd be hard pressed not to take him. The late riser showed incredible ball skills and tenacity during the week long Senior Bowl practices and really won scouts over with his versatility. He would be an excellent replacement for Dashon Goldson and like Tre, I think he'd be a starter from day one.
Trevor Woods: The Ravens are replacing Bernard Pollard here with another safety who hits very hard. Elam would actually be an improvement over Pollard in the coverage department, even though Elam has some work to do there as well. Safety makes a lot of sense here, but they could also draft a receiver to replace Anquan Boldin. I do not see the Ravens taking Te'o.
Nick Chiamardas: The Ravens will be looking to fill quite a few wholes in this draft after losing S Ed Reed, S Bernard Pollard, MLBRay Lewis, OLB Paul Kruger, and WR Anquan Boldin. I've been adamantly against Elam being a first rounder for some time. However, with signing of rangy Micheal Huff at FS, Elam would be a nice compliment at SS for the Ravens. He is, perhaps, the most physical safety in the draft and arguably the biggest hitter. He would immediately become the physical presence on defense lost with the departure of Pollard an Lewis. He'd be a tremendous asset against he run and over the middle. He'll still need to work on deep coverages but may not be asked to do much of that in the revamped Ravens defense.
Trevor Woods: The Jaguars defense needs some serious rebuilding, and Okafor will help do that. The Jaguars probably should have went best player available in the first round as well, but I agree they should go BPA here, and Okafor is arguably the BPA on defense in this spot. Okafor was a nightmare for quarterbacks during his time at Texas and it is a good possibility he will do the same thing in the pros.
Nick Chiamardas: Okafor is an interesting pick for Jacksonville. He projects best as a strong side defensive end in a true 4-3 defense. New Jags head coach Gus Bradley ran a multiple front defense last year in Seattle and could use Okafor similar to how he used Bruce Irvin last year. Okafor his better against the run than the pass so I'm not sure where he'd fit in long term should the Jags make a move toward a 3-4 scheme. I'd have to disagree that he's the best player available on defense. Brother Girth did a good job breaking down the no name secondary, that's probably where I would have gone with this pick. Perhaps Jamar Taylor, corner from Boise. Of course, Sylvester Williams is still on the board too, another possibility at 33.
Trevor Woods: The 49ers are having a nice mock draft to say the least. Hankins is a mammoth defensive lineman with versatility. He would become the favorite to replace Isaac Sopoaga and start from day one. Nose tackle is an area of concern for the 49ers, and Hankins would solve that problem. The 49ers just drafted a solid run defender that can play everywhere on the line. He reminds me a bit of Vince Wilfork. Wilfork is 6'2" 325 lbs, and Hankins is 6'3" 320 lbs.
Nick Chiamardas: The Niners deployed a nickel defense 56% of the time in 2013. If the 49ers are to draft a defensive lineman, versatility is key. As Tre points out, Hankins can pretty much play any position along the line. He's capable of lining up at nose tackle in base formations as well as more of a traditional 3-technique in the nickel. I don't think he'll develop into much of a pass rusher at his size but he will be a known presence against the run. Tre passed again on two fan favorite tight ends, but I can't blame him. I like the value here and there are still plenty of solid TEs left that will be available later in round two.
Trevor Woods: BearAKA has a strategy to keep Michael Vick healthy. The Eagles had one of the worst offensive lines last season and will need to upgrade it if they want to improve their passing game, as Vick needs more time to operate. Long has a great pedigree and is quite physical. It helps that he already has experience in Kelly's fast-paced offensive scheme. The range here isn't unrealistic; Long could be selected around pick No. 35.
Nick Chiamardas: As BearsAKA acknowledges, this is a bit of a gamble. BUT if it pays off, the Eagles will point to this draft as to where it all began. Kelly loves athletic big men along the line. Here he gets his former lineman to help solidify what could have been considered the worst OL in the league. I think Long will have a long, successful career in the NFL. However, I would have liked to see the Eagles address another position of need ... cornerback. The Eagles lost both Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in the offseason. There are still some talented CBs out there including Jamar Taylor and Blidi Wreh-Wilson. Long is still an understandable pick that I don't think anyone would blame Kelly for making.
Trevor Woods: The Lions are doing a nice job of filling needs early in the draft; first with Eric Fisher, and now Banks. The cornerback position must be improved upon if the Lions want any legitimate shot at competing in the NFC North. While the selection of Banks doesn't solve all of Detroit's woes in the secondary, it will certainly strengthen it. The Lions like physical players, and Banks fits the bill.
Nick Chiamardas:Teeejayyy is right about the Lions secondary, they need help. A young corner figures to be the way the Lions go with one of their first two picks. Johnthan Banks was a guy I was high on early in the draft process. But after learning more about him, I feel he needs to go to a team that will ask him to play a lot of zone like cover 2. The Liions are mostly a man-to-man team but head coach Jim Schwartz has showed a willingness to deploy a defense that would best suit his personal. Banks is a big, aggressive corner with a knack for causing turnovers and would be a nice addition to a team that won't put him in too many man situations.
Nick Chiamardas: Swearinger is a kid I like more and more as draft day approaches. I do think he actually projects best as a free safety but with most NFL schemes utilizing their safeties interchangeably, it doesn't really matter. Swearinger has great ball skills and can really lay the lumber. Tauhue Cha is doing a great job of shoring up the Bengals defense in this draft.
Trevor Woods: While Eifert may be the best player available at this point, I am not sure if this is the route the Cardinals should go here. Don't count out a tight end they already have on their roster having a bigger impact next season, Rob Housler. Housler had 45 receptions in nine starts last season, and can run a sub 4.5 forty. Offensive line will have to be upgraded if they want to give Carson Palmer a chance at having success. Tackles Justin Pugh and Menelik Watson could be options here.
Nick Chiamardas: Smart pick by chriscream. I wasn't surprised to see Eifert fall and would be shocked if a similar fall happened in the real draft. The tight end class is extremely deep and there are some really talented prospects to be had later in the draft. However, Arizona gets an immediate impact starter that will own the middle of the field and take pressure off Larry Fitzgerald. Consider that new Cards QB Carson Palmer completed more passes last year to his tight ends than any other position in Oakland last year. Eifert could be in for a big time rookie year if he heads to Arizona.
Trevor Woods: I like the Jets draft strategy so far. In the first round they bolstered the offensive line, and now they add a player that will improve the passing game. Whether it is Mark Sanchez or David Garrard at quarterback for the Jets, Ertz will become one of their favorite targets. Although Ertz isn't the fastest tight end, he is a legitimate receiving threat and good route runner. After losing Dustin Keller, they will have to find a suitable replacement. I like this pick at No. 38. Another position of need the Jets will have to address is outside linebacker, but a selection of one here would require reaching for a player they could get possibly draft in the third.
Nick Chiamardas: In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not an Ertz fan. In fact, he'd probably be the 4th or 5th tight end on my board. This is a position of need for the Jets but I would have liked to see them use a later pick on a guy with bigger upside. Ertz is big but slow and not very athletic. He's sure handed enough to be a nice security blanket for Sanchez (or whoever wins that QB job).
Trevor Woods: Wreh-Wilson may be two inches taller than Jamar Taylor, but he is slower as well. Taylor tan a 4.39, while Wreh-Wilson posted a 4.53 forty. While speed isn't everything, it is a big asset at the position, and something the Titans will be weighing here. Both cornerbacks are physical, I have the higher draft grade for Boise State's Jamar Taylor (late 1st). With that said, Wreh-Wilson played well in his college career and couold turn out to be productive for the Titans. Tennesee could also draft a receiver here (Quinton Patton,Aaron Dobson, Markus Wheaton, Robert Woods).
Nick Chiamardas: I'm a bit surprised that Wreh-Wilson is going before Jamar Taylor. However, Wreh-Wilson has the size scouts covet at the cornerback position. He's not the fastest corner but does is physical enough to jam receivers and knock them off their routes. Solid pick here for Tennessee.
Trevor Woods: The Bills will now have a three horse race in training camp to determine who is the starter. Matt Barkley would be able to handle running the hurry up offense Doug Marrone is installing. It is hard to believe a player that was once believed to a certain top ten selection falls all the way down to pick No. 41, but this is what will end up happening to Barkley on draft day. I believe Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib could be a choice here as well. Barkley may be the bigger name, but Nassib has been ascending up draft boards this off-season and was the quarterback for former Syracuse coach Doug Marrone.
Nick Chiamardas: WiseGuy545 is a wise guy with this pick. I know most of you think Barkley is a bum and that Barkley won't amount to anything in the NFL. I'm on the other side of that and think he'll be a solid pro. Not great, but better than anything Buffalo has had in recent years. He's got all the intangibles and is very football smart. He'll have a solid running game and could very well end up a 'game manager' type QB. Great pick here for the Bills.
42. Miami Dolphins -- Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State [Explanation]
Trevor Woods: The Dolphins are doing their best to make up for the mistake of trading Vontae Davis last preseason. With the signing ofBrent Grimes and now the selection of Taylor, the Miami secondary is looking a lot better. Taylor is the best corner available and is a good selection for the Dolphins. Jamar can run a sub 4.4 forty and frustrate receivers physically as well.
Nick Chiamardas: If the Dolphins could replace Jeff Ireland with Boss Clifford for the real draft, I think they would. Boss went outside of the box taking G Jonathan Cooper in round one, curiously passing on one of their more pressing needs at corner. It turns out to be a genius move because Jamar Taylor lasted this long. Taylor is the fourth ranked corner on my board and the difference between him and No. 2 is marginal. I love Taylor's physicality and speed which allow him to be a bit more aggressive at the line of scrimmage. A huge gamble pays off and the Dolphins have the making of an impressive class thus far.
Trevor Woods: Germinator's plan would most definitely strengthen the Bucs secondary, with cornerbacks drafted with their first two picks. Amerson is the highest ranked cornerback I have still available at pick No. 43. Other options at cornerback would include Johnathan Banks and D.J. Hayden. The Buccaneers could also decide to grab a tight end or defensive lineman with this pick.
Nick Chiamardas: Amerson fits a new mold of corners that GMs everywhere are hoping to land. Big, physical corners can take away match up advantages created by big, physical wide receivers. The Bucs landed Xavier Rhodes in the first round of the Niners Nation community mock and Bucs GM germinator makes a compelling argument to once again go corner. I'm not a fan of drafting the same position with two consecutive picks. Sure the Niners took two offensive linemen in 2010, but G and T two different positions. Rhodes and Amerson are similar in their playing style and corner is certainly the top need (as the Bucs roster exists today) so it's not a terrible idea. Still the Bucs do have a pressing need along the defensive line at either end or tackle having lost two previous starters there. With Kawann Short and Sylvester Williams on the board I would have like to have seen the Bucs address their need there rather than duplicating their first round pick.
Trevor Woods: JMicheal39 puzzled a lot of us passing on Sheldon Richardson in the first in favor of Cordarrelle Patterson. He obviously knew what he was doing and gets great value at No. 44 with Sly Williams. Williams has borderline first round value with tons of talent and tremendous upside. The biggest issue surrounding Williams was his motor and desire to play football. His film indicated he liked to take some plays off and didn't exactly give 100% effort once he was engaged with a blocker. He must be saying all the right things in interviews because many are hearing he's likely to be a late first round or early second round pick. The Panthers get a steal in the mid second round and fill a major need.
Nick Chiamardas: Williams put up some impressive numbers at North Carolina last season, racking up six sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. The Panthers opted to pass on Sheldon Richardson in the first round to give Cam Newton a receiving threat, and it all works out here by finding good value in Williams. A possible first round selection, Williams is quick enough, strong enough and fast enough to have a productive NFL career. I like the pick and feel this is the position to draft at pick No. 44.
Trevor Woods: Jenkins has been linked to the 49ers, and some consider him a likely first round selection. He does possess a high motor and does not give up on plays. I like his pursuit of the quarterback and his willingness to give it his all each and every play. Most of the season he looked like a man amongst boys, but he did struggle against Alabama; Jenkins was bottled up for much of that game. The Chargers get a prospect in Jon Jenkins who is willing to work hard and has the drive to improve upon the flawed areas of his game.
Nick Chiamardas: The Chargers could go a number of different directions with their second pick. With needs at corner, OL (despite drafting T Lane Johnson in round one), WR, DL and LB they'll have plenty of options in round two. I like the Jenkins pick because it might present the best value. It'd be a tough choice over WR Robert Woods but Jenkins can play multiple positions along the Chargers front and fill an immediate need. I wouldn't be shocked at all if the Chargers went with a guard like Larry Warford from Kentucky. Even with two free agent signings at guard this offseason, protecting Phillip Rivers has to be priority number one.
Trevor Woods: Very logical pick by the Rams here. Reid is the best safety left on the board and will be a big, physical presence in the Rams secondary. TheFreakSFG has filled some holes for the Rams nicely in the first two rounds. Reid would be an upgrade over former Ram and current 49er Craig Dahl. I like Reid and feel he is one of the better all around safeties in the draft, being both a good run and pass defender.
Nick Chiamardas: TheFreakSFG continues to bolster the Rams roster with day one starters. Reid is an excellent value pick lasting until the middle of round two AND he fills a need in the Rams secondary. The Rams released Quintin Mickell and lost Craig Dahl in free agency so this move gives them one of the top safety prospects in the draft. It also provides them some flexibility in the secondary. Most defenses now have gone away from traditional free and strong safety roles, choosing to mix up schemes in order to try and confuse a more pass prolific league. Reid is probably best suited for free safety but can play either position, allowing the Rams to look for the best available compliment later in the draft or via free agency.
Trevor Woods: It is very interesting what Albert has done with his first two picks for the Cowboys. He's improved their offensive line a heck of a lot by drafting two Alabama offensive lineman. Barrett Jones is going to be a fine NFL Center for years to come. As Albert pointed out, Jones isn't necessarily the strongest center, but where he lacks strength he has a high Football I.Q. Look for Jones and Fluker to give Tony Romo some extra time to operate, and to really improve the Cowboys running attack.
Nick Chiamardas: Not a bad pick although I think Jones would have been available when the Cowboys pick in the third round. Jones provides an instant leader for an offensive line that desperately needs one. The 'Boys did just sign Mackenzy Bernadeau to a four-year $11 million deal in hopes he could line up at center. But Bernadeau is injury prone so a guy like Jones could be quite handy. Jones or Bernadeau could slide over and play guard as well. If the Cowboys do address the offensive line again at 47, I'd expect it to be guard Larry Warford. The Cowboys also have needs along the defensive front as they've recently switched to 4-3. With guys like Jesse Williams andKawann Short still on the board, it would make sense if DT was the selection.
Trevor Woods: The Steelers are getting a smash mouth power back here. Lacy fits the mold of a couple Steelers legends, Franco Harris and Jerome Bettis. Lacy doesn't have big time speed but has lots of power, good vision, and quick feet. TryAndCatchVD's selection of Lacy will allow the Pittsburgh offense to rely less on the pass, as they can now move the chains running the ball. The fact Pittsburgh retained Emmanuel Sanders lessens the chance of them going for a receiver here, although that is still an option.
Nick Chiamardas: Not a bad value pick in the middle of the second for Lacy, who was once thought to have first round talent. A lingering hamstring injury has scared away a lot of teams, causing his stock to fall rapidly. I wouldn't be shocked if Lacy isn't the first back off the board in 2013. Lacy, if healthy, provides excellent talent to a team looking to get back to it's roots of a hard-nosed ground game. Lacy is a legitimate three down back that could provide stability to what's become a revolving door in Pittsburgh's backfield. Given the depth of the running back class, I'd like to see the Steelers look to fill another need, maybe wide receiver or defensive line. Both Robert Woods and Brandon Williams are still available and would be smart picks in the second round.
Trevor Woods: I'll make it clear, Nick Chiamardas is the Florida State expert, but I like Watson quite a bit. He is raw, but he has a lot of upside as well. Watson is from England and was originally a basketball player when he headed to the United States. He only has a few years of football experience, so he is a work in progress. Watson is one of the stronger lineman in the draft, and if he puts it all together, he will be a force to be reckoned with.
Nick Chiamardas: I'm surprised Watson lasted this long. I don't believe that will hold true a week from now as I think he'll go late first round. The Giants get a steal here on a guy that may be raw but in physically impressive. He'll need to improve technique before he earns a starting spot. Going to the Giants will allow Watson to sit a year to refine his technique while he learns from veteran right tackle David Diehl (signed to a one year deal) and left tackle William Beatty. Watson has tremendous upside given his relative lack of experience playing football. This could be the steal of the community mock so far.
Trevor Woods: I will agree with Nic2116 on the value here. Te'o was once considered a top ten choice, and now he is a middle second round selection. He does fill a need for the Bears, and would be an adequate replacement for Urlacher, the past his prime Urlacher that is, not the twenty five year old version. This comes down to if you like Te'o or not, and I do not. I can see him getting thrown around by NFL lineman, being juked out badly by NFL running backs, and being unable to cover tight ends. I could be wrong though, and Nic2116 could have found him a steal in the second round. In the real draft I doubt Te'o makes it this far so some NFL team will have an evaluation of the Notre Dame product that is better than mine.
Nick Chiamardas: Finally we see the much maligned Te'o off the board. The Bears have a giant whole to fill with the departure ofBrian Urlacher. nic2116 gambled in the first by passing on a MLB but with Tavon Austin staring at you with pick 20, I can't blame him. Te'o has gotten a bad rep for his game against Alabama. His stock has mimicked that of an oft ridden roller coaster but at the end of the day the guy can play football. There's no way he lasts this long come next week's draft (I again believe he'll go in the first round). He'll go to a cover two system in Chicago that will allow him to work in space. While he may not be fastest sprinter, he does play faster on tape and I think the system will suite him well. Solid pick this late into round two.
Trevor Woods: BringDaRuckus did his research and gave us a mountain of facts. The fact is, the Redskins secondary was horrible last season, and their safeties were dreadful. There is no way to go but up for this group, and Thomas would have them trending in that direction. Ruckus did point out Thomas' game against Oregon, and it is very troubling. Yes, it is just one game, but it's the best competition he has ever faced in college, and failed the test (missed tackles, bad angles, bad coverage, overpursuit, juked in open field). A lot of scouts probably forgot about that game after he put together an impressive week at the Senior Bowl. Thomas has put up some fine numbers in his college career, the numbers reflect the fact he's a hard hitter who also has coverage skills. This is a pick I could see happening when the real pick No. 51 rolls around.
Nick Chiamardas: I was really high on Thomas coming into this years draft and thought he could be one of the best in the class. After watching more film on him my opinion changed slightly. I still think he can be one heck of a ball-hawking safety but he's not the best tackler or the most physical safety in the draft. He seemed to shy away from contact and didn't look great fighting through traffic to help in run support. However, when it comes to pure ball skills, there may not be a better safety in the draft. It's a slight reach but it's the Skins' first pick and they need to fill a need so it makes perfect sense. Other options could be MLB with Kevin Minter still available or OL with combine stud tackle Terron Armstead also still available.
52. Minnesota Vikings -- Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama [Explanation]
Trevor Woods: Karl gets one of the biggest "steals" of this mock draft. I am surprised Williams fell so far down the board, but the Vikings get some great value. Williams can play multiple positions on the d-line and in multiple schemes, his versatility will serve him well in the NFL.
Nick Chiamardas: Karl Cuba continues his impressive drafting selecting Williams this late in the second round. Williams is thought to be more of a fit for a 3-4 defense where he can play NT or either side of the line at the 5T. Williams is verstile enough to potentially fit nicely into a 4-3 and the value here is insanely good.
Trevor Woods: I have Bernard ranked as my No. 2 running back in the draft, and the Bengals could certainly use him. While Green-Ellis isn't a liability fumbling the football, he isn't an elite running back; just middle of the pack at best. If the Bengals want to make a serious run at the AFC North crown, they will have to bolster their running back corps. Bernard would push Green-Ellis for the starting job immediately, and would give the Bengals a good one-two punch at RB.
Nick Chiamardas: The Bengals recently re-signed back up RBBernard Scott so I'm not sure they'll look to add a third RB this early. However, Giovani Bernard is a talented back that could ultimately become a starter. He doesn't have game changing speed but he's quick enough through the hole to be reliable.
Trevor Woods: With Giovani Bernard going off the board here, the Dolphins find a running back plenty capable of replacing Reggie Bush. Franklin is an elusive runner that can break tackles, run north-south well, and has good vision. The other choice at running back here would be either Montee Ball or Le'Veon Bell.
Nick Chiamardas: The third running back comes off the board late in the second. Franklin has been a steady riser throughout the draft process and mid-to-late second round is a very possible destination for the UCLA product. The 'Phins really like Lamar Miller and still have high hopes for Daniel Thomas. Adding Franklin would likely mean the end of the line for one of the two. Franklin could be a true three down back over time. He's a sharp, one-cut back that's not as powerful as I would like for a back that lacks top-end speed, but has great lateral quickness that helps him avoid tacklers.
Nick Chiamardas: I'm very surprised McDonald goes this early. I project him more as a 4th or 5th round pick (3rd round at best). McDonald certainly has the pedigree as London_9er points out. He's an aggressive player that could fit well into the Packers system. He tends to be overly aggressive at times and may become a target by offenses early on in the season. If safety is the pick here it'd be hard to pass on Bacarri Rambo who is probably the best safety left on the board.
Nick Chiamardas: Short is believed to have first round talent so snagging him late in the second is a steal, especially considering they don't have a first round pick. Their biggest need is probably defensive tackle and Short is one of the best. He'll provide immediate pass rushing help and he'll fit well into their multiple front scheme. Great pick.
Nick Chiamardas: ILB might be the biggest needed of all for the Texans. Waiting until the second round pays off as they get one of the top inside linebackers in the draft. Minter is a perfect fit for the Texans and figures to fit best into a 3-4 defense. He's a physical, attacking style linebacker capable of shedding blocks and getting to the ball carrier. Minter won't fall this far in real life but in our community mock it's an absolute steal.
Trevor Woods: The Broncos find their running back of the future at pick No. 58. Ball put up monster numbers at Wisconsin and hardly ever stopped. While Ball doesn't have impressive speed, all of his other intangibles receive high grades. Peyton Manning will allow Ball a great opportunity to see, setting up the run with a passing game. Denver doesn't have too many holes to fill, so going running back here is the best option.
Nick Chiamardas: At first glance running back doesn't appear to be a need for the Broncos. However, when you consider McGahee is 32 and Knowshon Moreno's knee injury the situation becomes less stable. This might be a bit of a reach but Ball has produced every year at Wisconsin. He does have a lot of wear and tear for an early round back but fits nicely into Denver's zone blocking scheme.
Trevor Woods: Sleeper Alert! D.J. Hayden could turn out to be the best cornerback in this draft class. Bill Belichick realizes the upside of a player with Hayden's ability. Hayden has sub 4.4 forty speed and great coverage skills along with it. Some health concerns after a freak injury scared some teams off and knocked him down that draft board. Now he is at full health and has his stock is continuing to rise. This pick makes the Patriots better and I feel that Hayden is the best player available right here.
Nick Chiamardas: The Pats have a big need in the defensive backfield despite last year's acquisition of Aqib Talib. Hayden is a really late riser after experiencing a unique and life-threatening injury. After being medically cleared and impressing during his pro day, scouts have taken notice. Now healthy, Hayden is thought by some to be the best corner in the draft, making this selection in the late second round a tremendous value pick.
Trevor Woods: The Falcons miss D.J. Hayden by one pick, but still find a quality corner. Physical and smart, Jordan Poyer will improve a mediocre Falcons secondary. Poyer compares to Cortland Finneganand has great instincts and awareness. Poyer will need to work on his tackling if he wants to find success in the NFL, as it is not sound and can be a bit sloppy. Besides the tackling issue, Poyer can do everything else well and can jump right into a zone or man scheme. If the Falcons are to compete for Lombardi Trophy, they will have to improve their defense, and the first two picks will do that.
Trevor Woods: While Tre's plan will give the 49ers depth for the future at safety, I am not sure getting another safety here is the way to go. The 49ers still have needs at other positions to address. Other needs include tight end -- (Travis Kelce, Vance McDonald, Gavin Escobar are options at pick No. 61), and defensive lineman, receiver, cornerback, and possibly center. The 49ers have a lot of picks but they need to make sure that they make quality picks and draft the players they want. Rambo is a good pick and he could even be part of a platoon at safety with Cyprien. If two rookie safeties are added like Tre is proposing, competition would ensue, making both players better. I don't think the 49ers will be drafting two safeties with their first three picks, but if they do, you heard it first from Tre.
Nick Chiamardas: If you follow Tre on Twitter you know he's a proponent of drafting two safeties in this class. With pick 61 he sticks to his guns by selecting Rambo to pair with first round pick Jonathan Cyprien. Rambo is another combo style safety that might project better as a free safety due to his above average ball skills. If this scenario plays out, it certainly would be interesting to see how the 49ers would handle the two young defensive backs.
62. Baltimore Ravens -- Jon Bostic, ILB, Florida [Explanation]
Trevor Woods: You could call this pick a reach, but Bostic is the best ILB available, and the Ravens need to fill this position. Bostic is a hard hitter who packs a punch, and has speed to go along with it as well. Bostic can play sideline to sideline and takes good angles to get to the ball carrier. Right out of the gate Bostic should be a capable run defender ready to contribute to an NFL defense. Bostic is versatile and can play special teams as well, something John Harbaugh values very much.
Nick Chiamardas: I like Bostic and think he'll have a solid career in the NFL. He's quick enough to cover RBs and TEs and physical enough against the run. He's also a vocal leader on defense, something the Ravens will miss after Ray Lewis' retirement. I think grabbing someone like Quinton Patton or Robert Woods at this spot would have been tough to pass up but Dave makes a good argument as to why taking Bostic this early is smart.