Here is my pre-combine mock draft. There's 4 new Steelers picks. As always I look forward to your questions, comments, and coversations.
1. St. Louis Rams: Jimmy Clausen QB, Notre Dame
Team needs: QB/WR/CB/DE/OLB
Before anyone starts to argue this pick with me I want you to read the following article, because I couldn’t have explained it better myself. http://walterfootball.com/nfldraftdefensivecoaches.php I’m not going to change this pick from a QB unless the Rams find one in free agency such as Jason Campbell or Michael Vick, or trade for one. Their number one priority has to be to find a new Quarterback. GM’s don’t think to themselves, “We’ll be bad enough to get the top QB next year” and neither do head coaches who only have a very limited time to prove their worth. For a great example of this you only have to look to last year’s draft. Many said that Aaron Curry was much more of a sure thing than Matt Stafford. New Lions coach Jim Schwartz, with a defensive coordinators back ground, still took the QB instead of a top D prospect because he knows that a team starts with a QB. Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh is a great player but he’s not going to single-handedly wins games for them. Even if Suh did win them 5 more games than they would’ve, then they wouldn’t be drafting high enough to get next years top QB Jake Locker. Clausen had a great junior season and has the added bonus of having played in a pro-style offense under center. Of course they may value Sam Bradford more if his shoulder is fully healed by the combine and he is able to throw. Heading into an uncapped year means the Rams can dump Marc Bulger’s salary without any future consequences.
2. Detroit Lions: Ndamukong Suh DT, Nebraska
Team needs: OT/DT/CB/OG/SS
What the Lions need most is an impact player. This team needs playmakers everywhere other than QB and TE. They need a cornerstone LT to protect their 40 million dollar man in Matt Stafford but Suh is too great a player to pass on. He looks to be the best defensive lineman prospect since Warren Sapp. Although he has already had 2 knee surgeries so far and given how much money he would be guaranteed, they may shock everyone and opt for Gerald McCoy, who many feel is the better overall prospect. At this pick, the only other options I can see them going with if they elect not to take a DT are Russell Okung or Eric Berry. But if Suh is available they would be crazy to pass on him.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy DT, Oklahoma
Team needs: DT/WR/DE/CB/SS
The Bucs messed themselves up winning just enough games to take them out of the Suh sweepstakes. Unfortunately he is no longer available but getting McCoy is not a bad option. Many consider him to be the most technically sound DT in this draft, even more so than Suh. Not having a need for a QB or LT means that this pick would pretty much only be Eric Berry or perhaps even Derrick Morgan if they decide to not go with McCoy. Trading back with a pick this high isn’t really much of an option as other teams will not want to pay the amount of guaranteed money expected to a top 3 pick. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that they trade up with the Rams to get Suh, as the Rams would still be able to get Clausen here. Or they could trade up one spot with the Lions who would still be able to get McCoy, save a couple million, and pick up another draft choice.
4. Washington Redskins: Sam Bradford QB, Oklahoma
Team needs: OT/QB/OG/RB/OLB
Regardless of whether or not you’re a Jason Campbell fan, the fact remains that this team is not winning with him. I know a lot of the problems are because of the injuries to the offensive line but Snyder is going to go with a flashy, big name like Bradford, especially now that Mike Shanahan has been hired as the new head coach. As ESPN has reported, Bradford’s shoulder was operated on and being tested by the renowned Dr. James Andrews, who also just happens to be the Redskins team doctor. So Snyder will definitely have the inside track on whether Bradford’s shoulder is going to hold up. If Snyder doesn’t think Bradford’s shoulder will hold up they will target Russell Okung, Bruce Campbell, or Anthony Davis since no other QB is worthy of a pick this high.
5. Kansas City Chiefs: Russell Okung OT, Oklahoma State
Team needs: OT/NT/OLB/WR/Safety
Matt Cassell needs a LT that will give him enough time to throw the ball down field. KC spent a lot of money on Cassell and it would be nice if they got a return on their investment. It would also allow them to move 2008 1st round pick Brandon Albert to LG, his natural position, since it doesn't seem like he can make it playing on the outside. Moving Albert to LG means they could slide Brian Waters to center and really solidify that line. Okung is the top OT in the draft and would be a great addition to the Chiefs O-line. He's athletic, uses his hands very well, and has quick feet to get out in front of speed rushers. If they are somehow still confident that Albert can play LT then this pick would change to Eric Berry or even Rolando McClain.
6. Seattle Seahawks: Eric Berry S, Tennessee
Team needs: OT/DE/QB/RB/WR
I’ve changed this pick to Berry because with two early first round picks, there is plenty of OT talent but Berry is too good to pass on. If Okung were available they would probably go for him, but given Bruce Campbell’s injury history they will elect to go with Berry would many consider an Ed Reed clone. Not only myself but every draft pundit you hear, including Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN, have said that Berry is an absolute stud and top player of this draft. Berry is a nightmare for opposing QB's. College teams don't even throw in his direction. He's got a nose for the ball and is a serious threat to take a pick back to the house every time. I will give new Head Coach Pete Carroll enough credit to go with talent over the familiarity he has with Taylor Mays.
7. Cleveland Browns: Joe Haden CB, Florida
Team needs: CB/Safety/RB/ILB/OLB
Cleveland needs help everywhere except for LT where they have Joe Thomas. A lot of draft lovers think they will target a QB, but I’m not sure the franchise is quite ready to give up on Brady Quinn, especially when there is no more 1st round talent QB’s left, although they may target one in the later rounds. Haden is the only elite corner in this draft class and landing him would be a decent consolation prize after missing out on Berry. If they elect to keep the 3-4 defense this pick may turn to Alabama ILB Rolando McClain.
8. Oakland Raiders: Carlos Dunlap DE, Florida
Team needs: OT/DT/CB/DE/OLB
With Taylor Mays completely lost during Senior Bowl practices, I will give the Crypt Keeper(Al Davis) enough credit to know how much of a gamble he would be with a top 10 pick, although I’m sure that will come back to haunt me. Unfortunately with Clausen and Bradford gone Oakland won’t get a replacement for the failed JaMarcus Russell experiment. When the combine rolls around Davis will absolutely fall in love with Dunlap’s freakish measureables. In my opinion Dunlap is this year’s Vernon Gholston. If Joe Haden can run a sub 4.4 at the combine he would immediately jump to the top of Davis’ list if he’s available. Considering that Bruce Campbell is such an athletic freak he may be in the mix as well.
9. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Davis OT, Rutgers
Team needs: OT/QB/NT/OLB/ILB
The Bills will look to fill their biggest need which is gaping hole left by the Jason Peters trade to Philly. Davis has continued to rise up draft boards everywhere, although there has been some concern about his work ethic. They may also consider Rolando McClain to help shore up that horrendous run defense. There’s also an outside chance they may pick Derrick Morgan but it’s unlikely since they selected pass rusher Aaron Maybin in the first round of last years draft. Considering they are making the switch to a 3-4 defense this season, there’s also an outside shot that they may pick Dan Williams.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Morgan DE, Georgia Tech
Team needs: DE/FS/OG/OC/OLB
The Jags young receiving corps has come on this year and as such seems to be no longer a dire position of need. This team needs a DE as the Jags make the transition back to after a woeful attempt at using a 3-4. Morgan has distinguished himself as the top DE for a 4-3 as he is an excellent pass rusher. They also need an upgrade along the interior O line as well as a replacement for the disappointing Reggie Nelson.
11. Denver Broncos(via Chicago Bears): Rolando McClain ILB, Alabama
Team needs: DE/NT/WR/OC/OG
Look for the Broncos to take the best defensive player available. McClain is a natural leader, is continuing to rise up draft boards, and would be a perfect fit considering he played in a 3-4 defense at Alabama. The Broncos have very few holes to fill as they have plenty of young talent that will develop over time. But after going 6-0 they have been exposed for their lack of the deep ball. If given the opportunity they may look to go QB with this pick as they really need a strong armed QB that can sling it downfield, especially with a receiving core of Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley, and Brandon Marshall, but only if Bradford manages to slip this far. If they finally trade Marshall this offseason then I will change this pick to Dez Bryant.
12. Miami Dolphins: Dez Bryant WR, Oklahoma State
Team needs: OLB/ILB/WR/NT/FS
I know team Architect Bill Parcells typically doesn’t draft WR’s in the first round but none of the talent available that fills a position of need is worthy of this pick. This is too high for pass-rushers like Jerry Hughes, Sergio Kindle, and Brandon Graham so they may trade back. They may also consider Tenn. NT Dan Williams. Bryant is the type of receiver who would be perfect for the progression of young QB Chad Henne, considering their patience has worn thin with supposed no.1 WR Ted Ginn. If McClain slips past Denver I would expect him to be the pick.
13. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Williams OT, Oklahoma
Team needs: RT/SS/CB/OG/RS
I know this is a little high for a RT but it fills the 49ers biggest need. Williams is an absolute mauler and if he gets his hands on a defender it’s over. They may also consider taking a NT like Dan Williams considering current nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin will be a free agent, although I’m sure he will be offered his RFA tender. The 49ers also need help in the secondary so Earl Thomas may be an option for them as well.
14. Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos): Bryan Bulaga, OT, Iowa
Neither Walter Jones nor Sean Locklear can seem to stay healthy, with Jones recently announcing his retirement. I gave them Bulaga over Bruce Campbell because I believe the Hawks have had enough of OT’s with injury issues. The Hawks may also look for a RB, especially since the electrifying Spiller is still on the board, but they should be able to grab either Cal’s Jahvid Best or Georgia Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer in the 2nd or 3rd round at a greater value.
15. New York Giants: Brian Price DT, UCLA
Team needs: MLB/FS/RT/DE/CB
Price has probably seen his stock soar more than any other prospect since the end of the college season and would be a great addition as the Giants continue to stockpile D linemen. They could also use a replacement for Kareem McKenzie who is over 30 and starting to show his age but this need can be addressed in the later rounds. They released MLB Antonio Pierce but with McClain already off the board they will have to wait as this is too high for Brandon Spikes or Daryl Washington. They could also consider Earl Thomas to pair with Kenny Phillips, or even to replace Phillips given the nasty knee injury he sustained.
16. Tennessee Titans: Dan Williams NT, Tennessee
Team needs: CB/DE/DT/OLB/OC
Who would have thought that after a 0-6 start that Vince Young would salvage their season? They have multiple needs but Young’s play means they won’t be looking for a QB. Cornerback is their biggest need but without one worthy of this pick they’ll address their D-line which has been exposed by the loss of Albert Haynesworth to free agency. Dan Williams is a big run-stuffing, space-eating mammoth much like Haynesworth is and taking a homer is always a fan favorite. Williams had a great week of SB (Senior Bowl) practices and proved his worth as the top DT against the run.
17. San Francisco 49ers(via Carolina Panthers): C.J. Spiller RB, Clemson
After having taken care of their need for a RT with their first pick, they get the luxury of bolstering their RB corps. What they need is secondary help and rush linebackers, so Earl Thomas or Brandon Graham would become a real option. Spiller would provide an instant boost to their return game and give them a speedy compliment to Frank Gore as well as a pass-catching option on third downs.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers: Earl Thomas S, Texas
Team needs: FS/NT/OG/ILB/DE
I’ve weighed the needs and values of this pick over and over again, and much to the disappointment of Steeler Nation I’m going back to Thomas. I know Mike Iupati has become a fan favorite, but when you weigh the pros and cons this pick has to be defense. Iupati was outstanding in his SB practices and has solidified himself as a 1st round pick. During the game he dominated his opponents except for one time when he got beat by UGA’s Geno Atkins. He would fill the one weak point at RG where Darnell Stapleton and Trai Essex are lacking and rookie Craig Urbik didn’t show much during the off season. But even with the rag-tag group of O-linemen we had this past season we still managed to have the 7th ranked offense in the league. And after thinking about it I believe the Steelers organization may feel it has an up-and-comer in last years UDRFA Ramon Foster to fill the void at RG. So without question the Steelers greatest need is on the defensive side of the ball, especially at safety and nose tackle. Current NT Casey Hampton is 32 years old, a pending free agent, and with two Super Bowl rings already on his chubby fingers he may seek a big pay day somewhere else. It seems likely that the Steelers will slap the franchise tag on him, but hopefully they will work out a reasonable new contract. Ryan Clark is also free agent and he’s over 30 years old as is Tyrone Carter who played horribly week in and week out in Troy Polamalu’s absence. Thomas is an absolute ballhawk, and would be the perfect compliment to Troy P. He’s had a reputation from being a poor tackler, but it’s not for a lack of effort. He just doesn’t have the size to truck a running back. The Steelers also need to find an eventual replacement for James Farrior. His play declined dramatically this past year, he’s 34 years old, and since it takes a couple years for linebackers to learn the system anyway it would be nice to find his replacement now. Keyarn Fox has filled in admirably at ILB for Lawrence Timmons but is not a permanent solution. Besides, Fox is too valuable as a special teamer. Unfortunately Rolando McClain will be long gone. If the Steelers make a move up it will probably be for him. A lot of people are high on Florida ILB Brandon Spikes, who may be great against the run but is somewhat of a liability in zone coverage. An option in the third round would be TCU ILB Daryl Washington. A player I really like in the later rounds would be Baylor’s ILB Joe Pawelek although I suspect the Steelers would rather target a homer like PSU’s Sean Lee. After watching him in the Orange Bowl, I really like Iowa’s Pat Angerer in the later rounds as well. Cornerback could also be another option considering none of the rookies from last year have seemed to distinguish themselves, although the only option in the 1st would be to trade up for Joe Haden. Clemson RB C.J. Spiller would be a slightly long-shot option if he were available. Willie Parker is most likely not going to be resigned in the off season and Spiller would be a great speedy compliment to Mendenhall’s power for a lot less cost than Parker.
19. Atlanta Falcons: Sean Weatherspoon OLB, Missouri
Team needs: DE/OLB/CB/Safety/DT
The Falcons will take the best defensive player available, particularly an OLB or DE. Weatherspoon is the top OLB suited to play in a 4-3 defense. He managed to impress everyone in the SB practices with his vocal leadership and enthusiasm. During the game he didn’t disappoint, playing sideline to sideline and showing very good man-coverage skills. They could also consider Carlos Dunlap, Greg Hardy, or even a solid compliment to Roddy White like Damian Williams.
20. Houston Texans: Mike Iupati OG, Idaho
Team needs: CB/FS/OG/DT/RB
The Texans could’ve won at least 3 more games this past season if they had a power running game. They need help in multiple areas, specifically on defense if they let the unhappy Dunta Robinson leave via free agency, and in the interior defensive line after sending former 1st round pick Travis Johnson to the Chargers earlier in the year. Without any of the top safeties, Joe Haden, or Dan Williams available, they will draft Iupati to help an offense that is completely anemic when it comes to picking up short yardage. Damian Williams would also be an option as he would pair nicely with Andre Johnson, and fill a position of need if Kevin Walter isn’t resigned.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Damian Williams WR, USC
Team needs: WR/TE/FS/ILB/OG
The Bengals only real needs are for WR’s and safeties and with the talent currently available they will opt for Williams to help make their offense more explosive. He’s considered the most polished receiver in the draft and would give an immediate boost in the return game. Outside of Chad OchoCinco, none of their WR’s has had much of an impact this year. If Williams is off the board at this point they would certainly consider Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham.
22. New England Patriots: Sergio Kindle DE/OLB, Texas
Team needs: OLB/CB/DE/WR/RB
The Patriots need more youth and depth in their linebacking corps. Kindle lines up all over the field for Texas and is the sort of versatile player Belichick loves. He had a great showing in the Championship game and solidified himself as a first round pick. Given how much the Patriots like to trade back, it would actually surprise me if they keep this pick, especially considering how deep the talent pool is in this draft. This is still a little early to consider any of the second tier of CB’s like Donovan Warren and Kyle Wilson.
23. Green Bay Packers: Bruce Campbell OT, Maryland
Team needs: OT/CB/Safety/OG/DE
Fortunately because of such a deep draft class the Packers are lucky enough to get Campbell here. He has a long injury history but is too good a value to pass up at this point, and he fills a very big position of need. They have had to compensate for the lack of talent at OT by adjusting their scheme to keep TE’s in to block. Adding some OT depth would really help open up that potent offense. They may look to add an OLB to replace Aaron Kampman who’s set to become a free agent and clearly not comfortable after making the switch from DE to OLB, especially with Jerry Hughes and Brandon Graham on the board. Green Bay also needs to start looking at replacements for their aging secondary but will find better value for the in the next 2 rounds.
24. Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Pierre-Paul DE, USF
Team needs: DE/OLB/FS/CB/OT
Without any tackle prospects left to replace the often injured Shawn Andrews, look for the Eagles to take the top DE or Linebacker prospect available. They need to fill the DE spot opposite of Trent Cole. Personally I think JPP is nothing more than a one-year wonder with a high bust-rate, but he certainly has a lot of “potential”. Due to the hype he could possibly go as high as #3 to the Bucs.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon LaFell WR, LSU
Team needs: WR/CB/TE/DE/OC
This is a toss-up between a WR and Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham. Todd Heap has been surprisingly healthy this year which is the first time in a long time. They desperately need a WR to replace the aging Derrick Mason who is giving serious consideration to retirement again. LaFell is a strong, solid possession receiver who is also a very underrated down-field blocker. A lot of people will think that the Ravens will draft a CB, especially considering how badly they have been torched through the air, but the Ravens draft on value and there won’t be any other first round CB’s left which is why they won’t consider a safety here to possibly replace Ed Reed.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Brandon Graham DE/OLB, Michigan
Team needs: OT/OLB/ILB/OC/NT
Arizona’s biggest need is for a LT. They drafted Levi Brown a couple years ago to be a RT when they thought Matt Leinart, a lefty, would be the QB of the future. Well he hasn't been so far and Warner is suffering because of it. They would consider Charles Brown here but it’s unlikely as they want to commit to a power running attack and he is pretty lean for an OT. Outsider linebackers Haggans, Okeafor, and Berry are all 33 years old or older so they will definitely be upgrading with Graham who had a spectacular showing at the SB, showing a variety of pass-rushing moves and looking a lot like Broncos OLB Elvis Dumervil.
27. Dallas Cowboys: Taylor Mays S, USC
Team needs: OT/FS/OG/NT/ILB
The Cowboys would be making a big mistake by taking Mays, who’s a mirror image of former Cowboys SS Roy Williams. But he’s just the sort of big name prospect that Jerry Jones loves. They really need a left tackle to replace to declining Flozell Adams but there are no options left as Brown is not stout enough for Jerry Jones liking.
28. San Diego Chargers: Jared Odrick DE, PSU
Team needs: NT/DE/RB/FS/CB
Assuming they resign or tag LT Marcus McNeill, what they need most is a NT to replace the aging Jamal Williams who was put on IR at the beginning of the season. Unfortunately the only NT with a 1st round grade is already taken. I think that General Manager A.J. Smith is too smart to gamble on “Mount” Cody with a 1st round pick given that it’s become highly probably that he’ll eat himself out of the league in a couple years. Their second need is for DE’s that can play in a 3-4. Odrick would be a perfect fit and slips to the end of the first due to a few minor off the field issues.
29. New York Jets: Jerry Hughes OLB, TCU
Team needs: OLB/CB/DE/WR/FS
Unfortunately the Jets biggest needs, particularly a corner to play opposite Darrell Revis and at DT where Kris Jenkins had the second season-ending injury of his career, do not match up with the talent that is currently available. With Hughes they can replace 1st round bust Vernon Gholston. At this point they may consider CB Donovan Warren or DT/DE Arthur Jones.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Donovan Warren CB, Michigan
Team needs: CB/FS/MLB/OG/DT
The Vikings will look to shore up the few weak points on a very strong defense. Current starters Griffin (torn ACL) and Winfield (Foot) are both nursing injuries. They could also consider FS Nate Allen, MLB Brandon Spikes, or OG/OC Maurkice Pouncey.
31. Indianapolis Colts: Charles Brown OT, USC
Team needs: OT/DT/MLB/DE/OG
The Colts have to ecstatic to have Brown fall all the way to them here. They could certainly use an upgrade at LT, especially if they do not resign Charles Johnson. If he’s picked be this then they could target the likes of DT Arthur Jones, or DE Everson Griffen.
32. New Orleans Saints: Everson Griffen DE, USC
Team needs: DE/DT/OLB/Safety/OC
With an already potent offense the Saints will look to upgrade a defense that has been hot and very cold all season long. Their biggest need is probably a DE to replace Charles Grant, although they also have needs for OLB’s and DB’s as well.
33. St. Louis Rams: Golden Tate WR, Notre Dame
Now that the Rams have their QB of the future in Clausen they need weapons for him to throw the ball to.
34. Detroit Lions: Maurkice Pouncey OG/OC, Florida
The Lions are getting a great interior lineman in Pouncey who’s versatile enough to play Center, Guard, or possibly even Right Tackle.
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arrelious Benn WR, Illinois
The Bucs need WR’s to help the progression of young QB Josh Freeman. Michael Clayton has been underwhelming so far in his career and Antonio Bryant is well past his prime.
36. Kansas City Chiefs: Terrence Cody DT, Alabama
Even though he may eat himself out of the league in a couple years, which is why he’s slipped out of the 1st round to begin with, the Chiefs are not going to pass up the chance to solidify their defensive front with someone who is could be a dominant 2-down NT.
37. Washington Redskins: Mike Johnson OG, Alabama
With a new QB in hand, it’s time to rebuild that ancient O line. Johnson would be a perfect fit for Shanahan’s zone blocking scheme.
38. Cleveland Browns: Brandon Spikes ILB, Florida
This is a pick of value over need. Spikes’ has a lot of potential even though the Brownies have a greater need at safety and running back.
39. Oakland Raiders: Jon Asamoah OG, Illinois
He will probably run the fastest 40 time of any O lineman at the combine and that’s all that matters to Al Davis. This is actually a good pick for them as he holds up very well against the pass rush.
41. Buffalo Bills: Cam Thomas, NT, UNC
The Bills need a NT for the transition to a 3-4. Thomas had a great SB week.
45. Denver Broncos: Corey Wootton DE, Northwestern
They fill their need with a 5-technique DE.
46. New York Giants: Daryl Washington ILB, TCU
With the release of Antonio Pierce they need a replacement now.
47. New England Patriots (via Tennessee Titans): Patrick Robinson CB, FSU
Known for playing soft in his final season but played a great game at the Senior Bowl.
48. Carolina Panthers: Greg Hardy DE, Ole’ Miss.
Team needs: WR/DT/OG/DE/OT
After letting Julius Peppers walk, they will need a replacement. Hardy has some injury issues but would be a good value pick here.
49. San Francisco 49ers: Chad Jones SS, LSU
A replacement for the disappointing Michael Lewis.
50. Kansas City Chiefs (via Atlanta Falcons): Dexter McCluster RB/WR Ole’ Miss.
McCluster had a great week of SB practices, showing off his amazing speed and cutback ability. Personally I think this is a little high for him, but some team is going to view him as the next Percy Harvin.
52. Pittsburgh Steelers: Torrell Troup DT, Central Florida
Troup really wowed people at the East-West shrine game and probably solidified himself as the 3rd or 4th best NT in this class.
54. Cincinnati Bengals: Nate Allen FS, USF
With their second pick, they fill their second biggest need.
56. Green Bay Packers: Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State
Does this pick really need an explanation? They need youth in the secondary.
57. Baltimore Ravens: Devin McCourty CB, Rutgers
They fill their 2nd biggest need.
58. Arizona Cardinals: Kyle Calloway OT Iowa
The Cards pick up a tackle prospect that played just as good as top-15 pick Bryan Bulaga in the Orange Bowl.
59. Dallas Cowboys: Vladimir Ducasse OG, UMass
Unfortunately there aren’t any OT’s worthy of this pick so they elect to upgrade the RG position with a massive road-grading small school prospect.
61. New York Jets: Alex Carrington DT/DE, Arkansas State
Ellis and Douglas are both 33 years old, with Ellis coming off of an injury and Douglas a pending free agent.
62. Minnesota Vikings: Mike Neal DT, Purdue
If Pat Williams retires, DT will be a major need for them.
65. St. Louis Rams: Arthur Jones DT, Syracuse
Passing on Suh means they need to start upgrading the D line here.
66. Detroit Lions: Dominique Franks CB, Oklahoma
A great addition to the secondary. Franks has a good size/speed combo.
68. Kansas City Chiefs: Koa Misi DE/OLB, Utah
They need pass-rushers. Misi is another player who benefited from a great showing in the SB practices.
71. Cleveland Browns: Reshad Jones SS, Georgia
Pool and Elam both need to be replaced.
72. Buffalo Bills: Jeremy Williams WR, Tulane
Owens was not the answer at WR.
73. Miami Dolphins: Jamar Chaney ILB, Miss. State
Parcells will continue to focus on the defense. The linebacking corps continues its overhaul.
74. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jerome Murphy CB, USF
Their secondary seemed to be lacking this past year.
75. Chicago Bears: Willie Young DE, N.C. State
Team needs: DE/OG/FS/OC/DT
Ogunleye and Anderson are both free agents.
76. New York Giants: Selvish Capers OT, West Virginia
They need tackle depth. Capers’ is extremely raw but has the size to develop into a dominant run blocker.
78. Carolina Panthers: Marshawn Gilyard WR, Cincinnati
Regardless of whether Delhomme or Moore is the staring QB next season, they need someone to throw to besides Steve Smith.
79. San Francisco 49ers: Jordan Shipley WR, Texas
The 49ers need a slot receiver. Shipley could potentially be the next Wes Welker.
80. Denver Broncos: J.D. Walton OC, Baylor
Casey Wiegmann is 36 years old.
81. Houston Texans: Toby Gerhart RB, Stanford
This pick should be a given. They desperately need a short-yardage power back.
82. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sean Lee ILB, PSU
This pick comes down to Lee, Duke DT Vince Oghobaase, and Ole’ Miss. OG John Jerry. Ogho’ could play DE in a 3-4 but he’s known to take plays off and this would be a bit of a reach for Jerry. If not for an injury history Lee would be a 1st round pick but is a good value here to eventually be the successor to James Farrior.
85. Oakland Raiders (via New England Patriots): LeRoy Vann CB/KR Florida A&M
This is incredibly high for him as he is graded as a very late round prospect, but he’ll probably run a 4.3 40 at the combine and he’s returned 11 kicks back for TD’s in the last 2 years.
86. Green Bay Packers: Javier Arenas CB, Alabama
Green Bay continues the youth movement in the secondary.
89. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Tennant OC, Boston College
They could use an upgrade at center.
90. Dallas Cowboys: Jason Fox OT, Miami
. This may be a bit of a gamble given Fox’s knee injury, but the Cowboys need to start a youth movement on the O line. If not for the injury Fox would be an early 2nd round selection.
93. Minnesota Vikings: Larry Asante SS, Nebraska
He would be an upgrade over Madieu Williams.
94. Indianapolis Colts: Geno Atkins DT, UGA
The Colts need DT depth and Atkins had a great SB and would be a good fit for a Cover-2.
95. New Orleans Saints: Robert Johnson FS, Utah
The Saints continue to upgrade on defense with a very underrated safety prospect. Even if they bring back Darren Sharper they need someone depth behind him.
96. St. Louis Rams: Amari Spievey CB, Iowa
The Rams need to continue the defensive overhaul.
97. Detroit Lions: Myron Rolle SS, FSU
They need pair someone with last year’s pick Louis Delmas. Rolle proved to everyone that he is football-ready at the SB practices.
98. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Austin Lane DE, Murray State
They continue to rebuild the D-line and give some outside help to 1st round pick Gerald McCoy.
100. Washington Redskins: Jared Veldheer OT, Hillsdale
They continue to rebuild an O-line ravaged by injuries and age.
101. Seattle Seahawks: Andre Roberts WR, Citadel
Outside of T.J., they really don’t have any other WR to throw the ball to. Roberts put himself on the map with a great week at the Senior Bowl.
103. Oakland Raiders: Jacoby Ford WR, Clemson
Ford will be one of the fastest WR at the combine, enough said.
104. Buffalo Bills: Jermaine Cunningham OLB, Florida
Cunningham is versatile enough to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3.
105. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tim Tebow H-back, Florida
Yes I know. But in the 4th round there’s good value to be had, not in him so much as the number of tickets the Jags will sell because of his presence.
108. Tennessee Titans: Dekota Watson OLB, FSU
They need LB depth as they continue to rebuild their defense.
109. Carolina Panthers: Mitch Petrus OG, Arkansas
Good value pick coupled with a need for interior line depth.
110. San Francisco 49ers: Linval Joseph DT, East Carolina
Even if they resign Franklin, they still need NT depth.
111. Denver Broncos: Tony Pike QB, Cincinnati
Even if they resign Kyle Orton they will need depth behind him. Pike will take some time to develop and add bulk, but he has the potential to be a quality starter in the pros.
113. Pittsburgh Steelers: John Jerry, Ole’ Miss.
He’s a massive run-blocker that would fill the weakest link on the O-line.
114. Atlanta Falcons: Rafael Priest CB, TCU
Atlanta was hurting all year for CB depth.
115. Houston Texans: Kurt Coleman FS, Ohio State
They need someone to play opposite of Pollard.
116. New England Patriots: Eric Decker WR, Minnesota
Welker may not make it back by the start of the season and Moss isn’t getting any younger.
117. Cincinnati Bengals: Sergio Render OG, Virginia Tech.
They need interior line depth.
118. Philadelphia Eagles: Ciron Black OG/OT, LSU
They could use some OT depth given Andrews injury history.
120. Baltimore Ravens: Dennis Pitta TE, BYU
They need a successor to Heap and insurance if he gets injured again.
121. Arizona Cardinals: George Selvie DE/OLB, USF
They need to continue to a youth movement in the linebacking corps.
122. Dallas Cowboys: Van Eskridge FS, East Carolina
Eskridge was named defensive MVP of the East-West Shrine Bowl
123. San Diego Chargers: Jay Ross, DT East Carolina
Needed depth especially if Williams retires.
124. Philadelphia Eagles (via New York Jets): Joe McKnight RB, USC
Value pick, may also be a need pick if Westbrook retires.
125. Minnesota Vikings: Brandon Carter OG, Texas Tech
They need OG depth. If you thought Veldheer and Jerry were big, Carter is 6’7”, 345lbs.
126. Indianapolis Colts: Rennie Curran OLB, Georgia
If Curran were just a little bit bigger he would be a 1st round pick, as it stands now he’s a perfect fit for the Colts cover-2.
127. New Orleans Saints: Trindon Holliday WR/RB, LSU
They will probably cut Reggie Bush to save the 8 million he’s due. Holliday is a RB/WR tweener as well as a homer that would work much the same way Reggie did.