2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT 2.0
By ROBERT WAUGH
Special to DraftAmerica
1. HOUSTON TEXANS – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo – No QB this time around and no Clowney either. Whether they are warranted or not, work ethic questions shouldn’t surround a top overall pick. Although not a physical freak like Clowney, Mack might be the best all-around football player in the draft.
2. ATLANTA FALCONS (From STL for 2015 1st-Rd. Pick and 2014 2nd-Rd. Pick) – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina – The Falcons need help rushing the passer and drafting the most physically gifted athlete to come out in the last 10+ years is worth the cost of trading up.
3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – Although the need for a QB is there and they have their pick of the litter, Watkins is the best WR prospect since Calvin Johnson and would be an enormous upgrade over Cecil Shorts.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS (From TB for 2014 2nd-Rd. and 4th-Rd. Picks) – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – Cleveland gains picks and Tampa Bay gets a much needed WR. Pairing Evans with V-Jax gives the Bucs two big wideouts for McCown/Glennon/unnamed rookie to throw the ball to.
5. OAKLAND RAIDERS – Blake Bortles, QB, USF – The first QB off the board goes to the Raiders. Oakland has holes all over the field and decides to draft (hopefully) their QB of the future. Adding Schaub to the roster gives Oakland the time to allow Bortles to hold the clipboard for a while and not get thrown into the fire too soon.
6. ST. LOUIS RAMS (Via ATL) – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – Adding OL help through free agency was good but getting someone with Orlando Pace comparisons to bookend the line is what every team wants. St. Louis is lucky enough to get one of the top two tackles in the draft even after trading down.
7. CLEVELAND BROWNS (Via TB) – Darqueze Denard, CB, Michigan St. – Some bad publicity just came out on him but Cleveland loves his man coverage skills and he has the best game tape of any CB in the draft. Pairing him with Joe Haden could really open up what the defense can do.
8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S, Alabama – Minnesota’s defense was quietly one of the worst in the league. Dix is arguably the best safety in the draft and would really help the back end of the defense.
9. BUFFALO BILLS – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M – Ebron looks nice here as does Evans but selecting the most polished tackle in the draft and having that position taken care of until 2020’s is the way to go here.
10. DETROIT LIONS – Eric Ebron, TE, UNC – I really wish the Lions would draft a CB here, but they are determined to upgrade Stafford’s weapons. They missed out on the top two WRs in Watkins and Evans but decide to go with the most athletic TE. Yes, they resigned Pettigrew, but he is not a weapon by any means.
11. CHICAGO BEARS (From TEN for 2014 and 2015 2nd-Rd. Picks) – Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh – No way Chicago can wait to see if he falls to them. This guy is explosive and dominated the Senior Bowl. He should be a staple in the middle of their D-line and has the skill set to get double-digit sacks as a rookie.
12. NEW YORK GIANTS – Zach Martin, OL, Notre Dame – Lewan could be the pick here as well but with off-the-field issues and Martin’s versatility to play anywhere along the line, Martin gets the nod.
13. ST. LOUIS RAMS – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville – A big, rangy safety that can cover and play center field with the best of them is a big need for the Rams and Pryor fills it.
14. TENNESSEE TITANS (Via CHI) – Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech – Fuller could end up being the best CB in the draft. He played very well against some of the best receivers in this draft. So long, Alterraun Verner, hello future.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State – Corner is a big area of need for Pittsburgh and Gilbert, although a little stiff in the hips, should transition to covering NFL receivers very well. He should be able to help out from the slot if not from the outside.
16. DALLAS COWBOYS – Dee Ford, OLB, Aubrun – He can’t fill the void left by Demarcus Ware but he can definitely get after the passer and help a weak defense.
17. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan – Lewan dropped a bit but the tackle-needy Ravens won’t let him fall any farther. The stability in the locker room will help this talented lineman get his act together and make his off-the-field issues a thing of the past.
18. NEW YORK JETS – Odell Beckham, WR, LSU – Decker won’t be the only pass-catcher that the Jets add. Beckham is a great receiver who will fight for the ball when it’s in the air. He also helps to upgrade their return game.
19. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia Tech – After last season’s bullying fiasco the Dolphins need OL help like nobody’s business. Moses is a behemoth who will help Tannehill not be the most-sacked QB in the NFL again.
20. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – Carson Palmer can’t play forever, but he still has another year or two to give Bridgewater a chance to study the game and bulk up a little.
21. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois – Safety is a big need for Green Bay and Ward is shooting up draft boards. He would be a nice fit for this defense.
22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA – Barr has a ton of potential and is as physically gifted as just about anyone in this draft class, but he is also raw and inexperienced. Those factors allow him to fall to Philly, who will need to replace Trent Cole next year. Barr should be a monster on special teams and a great rotational pass rusher from the get go.
23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – C.J. Mosley, LB, Alabama – Mosley would be the best player left on the board and there’s no way KC can pass on him. He can do anything that’s asked of him on the football field and will help an already-talented linebacking core be even better.
24. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – Not an immediate need here and it’s doubtful that Johnny Football drops this far, but if he does, Cincy won’t be able to pass up the replacement for an underwhelming Andy Dalton.
25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State – It’s nice when a need and a top three talent on your board coincide. The Chargers need help on the D-line and Jernigan fits the bill.
26. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State – The wide receiver pool is extremely deep this year and Derek Carr could be the pick here, but Cooks was highly productive in college and pairing his elite speed with Josh Gordon’s top-tier talents will give defensive coordinators fits.
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State – Rob Ryan will be drooling if Shazier is waiting for the Saints at this pick. With Shazier’s 4.36 40 speed, Ryan is going to have a blast scheming plays for this freak athlete. He has Rookie of the Year candidate written all over him.
28. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA – Carolina has holes everywhere, meaning a repeat of their NFC South title will be tough. Their biggest need is on the O-line, and Big X can step in and help improve a unit that lost one of their best players to retirement in Jordan Gross.
29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri – This is a no-brainer pick. The best player available who also fills a need. This pick is too easy for a defensive guru like Bill Belichick to pass up.
30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU – San Francisco has very few holes, andh there will be a run on the best player available here. With the new rookie wage scale, a first-round pick is too valuable to trade out of, so don’t expect anyone this late dropping out of the first round and into the second. Verrett is undersized but has as much talent as any CB in this draft.
31. DENVER BRONCOS – Joel Bitonio, OT, Nevada – Like Jimmie Ward, Bitonio is flying up draft boards. Though the Broncos don’t need an OT, they could easily move Bitonio to guard or shuffle around their line and plug him in at right tackle. Either way, he helps last year’s record-setting offense.
32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Marqise Lee, WR, USC – A would-be Top 10 pick in last year’s draft, Lee fell off this past season, dropping 12% of the passes thrown his way. He still has the talent and athletic ability and should fight for snaps as a rookie, and let’s be honest, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse aren’t really filling up the stat sheets.
2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
By ROBERT WAUGH
Special to DraftAmerica
1 Houston – Blake Bortles, QB, USF – The similarities between Bortles and Luck and the draw of having a franchise QB for the next 10 years is too much to pass up.
2 Atlanta (trade with St. Louis for Atlanta’s 2015 first round pick) – Jadeveon Clowney, DE,South Carolina Atlanta had no pass rush last year so taking the best defensive prospect in 10+ years is well worth the price of next round pick year’s first.
3 Jacksonville – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo – They could literally take anyone here but a solid pass rusher that actually works hard is someone Gus Bradley will love.
4 Cleveland (traded to TB for next year’s first-round pick) – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – Cleveland has needs and knows it is still a few years from taking the AFC North so dropping a few picks to get two more first-round selections next year sounds good to Mike Pettine. As for Tampa, they get an immediate playmaker who could be the best wide out since Calvin Johnson.
5 Oakland – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – A great pro day and the Raiders’ love for attention makes them take the player that will bring excitement and the circus with him to Oakland.
6 Atlanta (via St. Louis) – Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn – St. Louis was going to take him at two so they are pumped he fell to them at 6. Robinson is aggressive which Jeff Fisher likes and he gives the Rams bookend tackles. Sorry, Jake Matthews, but the Fisher/Matthews family ties end here.
7 Tampa Bay (via Cleveland) – Darqueze Denard, CB, Michigan St. – Some bad publicity just came out on him but Cleveland loves his man coverage skills and paired with Joe Haden, he could really open up what the defense can do.
8 Minnesota – Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St. – A reach? Probably, but Norv Turner needs someone who can run his offense and with a great running game they can ease Carr into the offense.
9 Buffalo – Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M – Ebron looks nice here as does Evans but selecting the most polished tackle in the draft and having that position taken care of until the 2020’s is the way to go for Buffalo.
10 Detroit – Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State – Detroit’s secondary is shaky at best and with Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler in the division, they need to sure up the back end of their defense.
11 Chicago (trade with Tennessee for this year and next year’s second round pick) – Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt – No way Chicago waits to see if he falls to them. This guy is explosive and dominated the Senior Bowl. He should be a staple in the middle of their D-line and has the skill set to get double digit sacks as a rookie.
12 New York Giants – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan – Eli Manning has had his ups and downs, but he’s a lot better when he has time in the pocket. Taylor’s size and attitude will help set the tone on their O-line for the next few years.
13 St. Louis – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M – The Rams couldn’t be happier. They get a monster tackle and the second-best WR in the draft. Evans is the reason Manziel was so good and he should be able to do the same for Sam Bradford.
14 Chicago (via Tennessee) – Kyle Fuller, CB, VA Tech – Fuller could end up being the best CB in the draft. He played very well against some of the best receivers in this draft. So long, Alterraun Verner, hello future.
15 Pittsburgh – Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame – Pittsburgh has a lot of holes and Nix can fill one of them on the D-line.
16 Dallas – Ha Ha Clinton Dix, S, Alabama – When you have the worst defense in the NFL and one of the best safeties in the draft is staring you in the face, you have to take him.
17 Baltimore – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA – Barr has only played defense for two years but his physical gifts and work ethic make him a perfect fit for a team who loves to play defense.
18 New York Jets – Eric Ebron, TE, UNC – The Jets are starved for guys who can catch the ball and this guy is athletic and will be a big target for Michael Vick or Geno Smith to throw to.
19 Miami – Brandan Cooks, WR, Oregon St. – What? No Zach Martin? I know this is a controversial pick, but this kid is a freak. Imagine having Mike Wallace lined up on one side and Cooks with his 4.33 40 speed on the other. This kid’s great hands can really help Tannehill break out and the OL pool in this draft is fairly deep.
20 Arizona – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville – The Cards need someone to pair with Tyrann Mathieu and Pryor is the perfect fit.
21 Green Bay – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State – Big, long, and rangy. Just what the Pack need to help shut down the passing offenses in the NFC North.
22 Philadelphia – Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn – The aging Trent Cole is due a lot of money next year and Connor Barwin is good at a lot of things but not great at anything. Ford could give the Eagles a nice, young pass rusher on the outside.
23 Kansas City – Odel Beckham, WR, LSU – Dwayne Bowe is a perennial underachiever and the most dangerous guy on their offense not named Jamaal Charles, Dexter McCluster, took his talents to Tennessee. Beckham, who can score anytime he touches the ball, could fill a huge void in the WR core and start from day one.
24 Cincinnati – Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida St. – Marvin Lewis will be licking his chops if this big bruiser lands in his lap. The Florida State Product should bolster the D-line immediately.
25 San Diego – Jason Verrett, CB, TCU – The chargers struck gold last year in the first round by drafting a WR and are going to try to do the same on the opposite side of the ball. Verrett is undersized but extremely physical. He isn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone, plays bigger than his size, and doesn’t mind stepping up and stopping the run. He will be the slot corner from the start if not one of the top two guys on the outside.
26 Cleveland – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State – Josh Gordon played out of his mind last year with no one else to catch the ball besides Jordan Cameron. Defenses will have a tough time double-teaming Gordon when the 6’5″, 240-pound Benjamin is lined up on the other side of the field. No matter who is spinning it in Cleveland it’s going to be hard to miss throwing it to the monstrous product from FSU.
27 New Orleans – C.J. Mosely, ILB, Alabama – Rob Ryan will be screaming in the draft room when the No. 1-ranked ILB is sitting there at pick 27. Sean Payton will be listening.
28 Carolina – Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia – Carolina’s best tackle retired and Moses is physically gifted and should fill the void. Luckily for the Panthers the WR class is the deepest of all time so they can wait a little bit before they need to give Cam Newton some new weapons.
29 New England – Zach Martin, T/G, Notre Dame – The Pats may have more glaring needs, but Bill Belichick won’t let a talent like this get by him.
30 Cleveland (trade with San Francisco for their second-round and both third-round picks) – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville – Cleveland has the ammo to get who they want and they want a QB to come in and take Brian Hoyer’s job. Getting a top CB, WR, and QB should bolster the Browns and make Browns fans happy for once.
31 Denver – Xavier Su-a’filo, G, UCLA – This guy is ready to play now and should help give Payton Manning even more time to pick apart every defense in the league (except for maybe Seattle).
32 Seattle – Cyrus Kouandjio, T, Alabama – After a poor performance at the Combine, his stock fell, but he dominated at his pro day and jumps back up into the first round. Seattle doesn’t have many holes but would love to keep Russell Wilson upright and add a few more rings to their fingers in the process.
2012 MOCK DRAFT
No Team Player, Position, School
1 Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Skinny: The Colts begin life after Peyton with the Stanford star they’ve had their eye on since day one.
2 Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Skinny: At long last, after they made the trade a few months ago, the Skins look to the future at quarterback.
3 Minnesota Vikings Matt Kalil, OT, USC
Skinny: With the future at QB set in Ponder, time to get him some protection.
4 Cleveland Browns Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma St.
Skinny: The Browns arm Colt McCoy with a legitimate weapon. No more excuses now for the slumping QB.
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Skinny: Like or not LeGarrette, Trent is here to take your job.
6 St. Louis Rams Fletcher Cox, DT, Miss St.
Skinny: Rams further arm their defensive line with an interior presence to complement Chris Long.
7 Jacksonville Jaguars Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Skinny: It’d be awfully hard for the Jags to pass on Claiborne at this spot.
8 Miami Dolphins Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Skinny: Sun Life Stadium may be completely empty all year if the Dolphins don’t nab Tannehill here.
9 Carolina Panthers Luke Kuechly, ILB, BC
Skinny: Ron Rivera finds an anchor for his porous run defense.
10 Buffalo Bills Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Skinny: With defense already addressed in free agency, Fitzpatrick gets a weapon to complement the enigmatic Steve Johnson.
11 Kansas City Chiefs David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
Skinny: A few DT options here, but the Chiefs have gone down that road before in recent years. DeCastro is a much safer pick.
12 Seattle Seahawks Quinton Coples, DE, UNC
Skinny: Pete Carroll takes a bit of a gamble here but hopes to find a legitimate pass rusher on a team hurting for one.
13 Arizona Cardinals Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
Skinny: Linebacker is an area of need for Arizona, so this is a logical pick.
14 Dallas Cowboys Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
Skinny: The Cowboys get a serious presence for their secondary, which so often let them down last season.
15 Philadelphia Eagles Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Skinny: Eagles further look to fortify their run defense with this pick.
16 New York Jets Nick Perry, DE, USC
Skinny: The Jets need pass rushers, and perhaps they sense Perry could end up a Patriot if he falls.
17 Cincinnati Bengals Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Skinny: Corner was once a strong spot for the Bengals, but with Jonathan Joseph gone and Leon Hall coming off a serious knee injury, Kirkpatrick would be a major upgrade.
18 San Diego Chargers Courtney Upshaw, DE, Alabama
Skinny: Long-searching for an impact defensive end, the Chargers go for Upshaw.
19 Chicago Bears Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois
Skinny: The Bears add to their strong but aging linebacking corps by keeping Mercilus in-state.
20 Tennessee Titans Cordy Glenn, OT, Georgia
Skinny: Steve Hutchinson is a solid but short-term solution, meaning the team could groom Glenn.
21 Cincinnati Bengals Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
Skinny: After addressing offense in last year’s draft, the Bengals stick to defense here.
22 Cleveland Browns Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Skinny: No question the team needs an insurance policy for McCoy. Blackmon and Weeden would be quite a coup for Cleveland. Then again, we thought the same thing about Quinn and Thomas in 07.
23 Detroit Lions Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
Skinny: Offensive line is still an issue for Detroit, so Adams addresses this area of need.
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Skinny: A purge on aging linebackers makes this a sensible pick for Pittsburgh.
25 Denver Broncos Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
Skinny: John Fox is a sucker for athletic defensive lineman, and the Broncos need interior help.
26 Houston Texans Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Skinny: The team has long searched for a complement to Andre Johnson. They may find him here.
27 New England Patriots Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
Skinny: Pass rush was a problem until the playoffs for New England, and losing Mark Anderson leaves a void in that area.
28 Green Bay Packers Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Skinny: The Packers haven’t always had the best of luck drafting D-lineman, but Worthy could change that.
29 Baltimore Ravens Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Skinny: The Ravens need to address the offensive line and with Matt Birk near the end, Konz makes perfect sense here.
30 San Francisco 49ers Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
Skinny: Stacked on defense, the 49ers further address their interior offensive line.
31 New England Patriots Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Skinny: With Matt Light retiring, another offensive lineman for depth wouldn’t hurt.
32 New York Giants Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
Skinny: The Giants are never shy when it comes to defensive lineman, and an interior presence like Reyes further fortifies this dangerous unit.
Our fifth and final mock returns Blaine Gabbert to Buffalo, Jake Locker to Washington, and sends Ryan Mallett to Jacksonville.
1 Carolina Panthers, Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Comments: No sense in the Panthers pretending they are prepared to return to glory with Jimmy Clausen at the helm.
2 Denver Broncos, Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama
Comments: John Fox rebuilds his defensive line first, the way he did with flying colors in Carolina.
3 Buffalo Bills, Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri
Comments: Bills can’t risk waiting until Round 2 to find their future QB.
4 Cincinnati Bengals, A.J. Green, WR, Georgia
Comments: Even with the Palmer mess, Green will help the vertical game for whoever starts at QB.
Comments: The Cardinals get Christmas early if Miller falls this far, as the team needs to either address quarterback or pass rush.
6 Cleveland Browns, Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
AComments: The Browns get Peterson and have perhaps the best young 1-2 corner tandem in the league as Peterson teams with last year’s first-rounder Joe Haden.
Comments: QB is a need, but with Newton and Gabbert gone, San Fran addresses its other major problem spot.
8 Tennessee Titans, Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Comments: Once thought to be a top-pick candidate, Fairley’s off-field issues have dropped him to a place that is used to D-lineman with baggage.
9 Dallas Cowboys, Cameron Jordan, DE
Comments: The Cowboys have had their eye on Jordan and fortify their D line.
10 Washington Redskins, Jake Locker, QB
Comments: Washington has seemingly tipped its hand regarding its QB plans, and it can ill afford to risk trading down and losing out on Locker.
11 Houston Texans, Da’Quan Bowers, DE, UNC
Comments: The addition of a viable pass-rush threat in Bowers will assist a secondary responsible for the league’s worst pass defense in 2010. Still, the Texans remain the Draft’s most prime trade-down candidate.
12 Minnesota Vikings, Tyron Smith, OT, USC
Comments: An aging offensive line gets a shot of youthful exuberance with the big and talented Smith.
13 Detroit Lions, Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
Comments: Detroit needs an upgrade at corner, and Smith’s stock has steadily risen since the Combine. Another trade-down candidate, as the Lions likely could still get Smith later in the first round.
14 St. Louis Rams, Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Comments: A gift if he falls this far, the Rams get Bradford his big-play target missing in 2010.
15 Miami Dolphins, Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida
Comments: With running backs seemingly a dime-a-dozen these days, Miami fortifies its interior line with Pouncey.
16 Jacksonville Jaguars, Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Comments: The Jaguars aren’t going very far with David Garrard and they know it. Mallett brings some excitement and gives Garrard the push he desperately needs.
17 New England Patriots, J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Comments: Bill Belichick gets another versatile piece for his 3-4 defense with the first of three picks in the first 33 of the draft.
18 San Diego Chargers, Robert Quinn, DE, UNC
Comments: The Chargers’ top-ranked defense gets a prime pass-rush specialist in Quinn to perhaps ease fans’ sour memory of Shawne Merriman’s departure.
19 New York Giants, Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Comments: Another long-in-the-tooth O-line gets a heady and physical player in BC’s Castonzo.
20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
Comments: The interior of Tampa’s defensive line is set, so now Raheem Morris fortifies the edges with the selection of Smith.
21 Kansas City Chiefs, Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor
Comments: The Chiefs add some much-needed beef in the middle of their up-and-coming defense.
22 Indianapolis Colts, Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Comments: The converted tight end gives Indy another capable body to protect the 35-year-old Peyton Manning.
23 Philadelphia Eagles, Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Comments: The Eagles need help on both front lines, but Andy Reid has always had a soft spot for offensive lineman.
24 New Orleans Saints, Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
Comments: Gregg Williams adds needed depth to his defense with Reed.
25 Seattle Seahawks, Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Comments: The Hawks have some QB concerns, and Dalton has quietly risen into first-round status.
26 Baltimore Ravens, Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
Comments: The Ravens have some aging parts on defense, but also want to solidify the offensive line and get good value with Sherrod.
27 Atlanta Falcons, Adrian Clayborn, DE, Cal
Comments: Atlanta is still rebuilding its defense, and Clayborn is an outstanding athlete who could eventually take over the role of primary pass-rusher from the aging John Abraham.
28 New England Patriots, Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Comments: Fred Taylor’s departure and the fact that their top two backs vastly overachieved last year makes Ingram a good fit in New England.
29 Chicago Bears, Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Comments: Liuget can fill the void left by Tommie Harris, who was released, while also freeing up space for Brian Urlacher to roam free.
30 New York Jets, Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
Comments: The Jets need run-stopping help, and Paea showed off his brute strength with his record-breaking Combine performance. Plus, Rex Ryan wouldn’t pass on a fellow big man, would he?
31 Pittsburgh Steelers, Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
Comments: Pittsburgh’s secondary was somewhat exposed in the Super Bowl, so the addition of Williams is the first step towards adding some depth in that area.
32 Green Bay Packers, Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor
Comments: The Packers don’t exactly have many areas of need, but adding a versatile interior lineman like Watkins adds some depth and a potential future star.