17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Keenan Allen, WR/California – With so many needs to fill, an OL would also work here, but today’s NFL runs through the offense, and that’s why the Steelers will go with Allen. After signing with the Golden Bears, Allen broke Philadelphia Eagles‘ star DeSean Jackson’s freshman records for most receptions (46) and receiving yards (490) while also leading the team with five touchdown catches. There is also thought that Mike Wallace will not be resigning with the Steelers, which makes WR seem to be a priority on draft day.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Jesse Williams, DT/Alabama – New Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin is a big fan of big guys. At 6’3” 320pounds, Williams certainly fits the profile. It also help that he was coached by Nick Saban at Alabama which has most NFL scouts drooling at the opportunity to draft a winner, as well as a mauler. Expect a defensive player in the first round. Kenny Vaccaro could be a play for Dallas here if they want to improve their secondary more than the pass rush.
19. New York Giants – Alec Ogletree, ILB/Georgia – NY released Michael Boley this past week. That was the straw that breaks the back to me. Rob Rang wrote Ogletree was often the best player on the team filled with NFL talent. I personally think after seeing what Luke Kuechly was able to do for the Panthers in leading the NFL in tackles as a rookie, this is an easy choice for the G-men.
20. Chicago Bears – Jonathan Cooper, OG/North Carolina – The Bears will be very disappointed when Ogletree is taken just before them, well, all of the Bears except for Jay Cutler. Cutler spent as much time running from defensemen as he did throwing last year, and they haven’t addressed the clear problem on that offense which is the line. Cooper needs to cut down on the penalties, but is an extremely effortless mover with explosive quickness in tight quarters.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Manti Te’o, LB/Notre Dame – Te’o needs some football in his life after everything that has happened. If I were a head coach or scout I would really question his decision making after all the events that have transpired. Still, the Bengals have a terrible linebacker core, and need a pretty sure tackler to fill the middle of the defense.
22. St. Louis Rams (Via Redskins) – Barrett Jones, C/Alabama – Jones is the only lineman in college to win a championship at 3 different positions across the offensive line. His versatility is unmatched in this year draft, and he could fall after tearing ligaments in his ankle. In the first mock I had Fluker and Jones switched here. My guess is no one has got this right. This guy is my ultimate sleeper in this years draft. The team that drafts him gets a bonafied stud hands down.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Terrance Williams, WR/Baylor – I had Williams going to the Vikings before Percy Harvins career in Minnesotta was suddenly in question. I’m not sure how much life that story has, but it’s certainly food for thought going into Aprils’ draft. The Vikings have truly the most explosive offensive player many football fans will ever see play the game. News came out that AP missed the record by 8 yards, and did it with a sports hernia since mid-November. He had as many yards after his hernia that Alfred Morris scored in all 16 games. If Williams will need a role model to follow how to do things the right way in the NFL, I couldn’t think of a better example.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Kenny Vaccaro, S/Texas – The Colts have been missing an impact safety since Bob sanders injuries took him from the game. Vaccaro is a top 15 talent that will fall all the way to the Colts simply because of team needs. The Colts NEED to put out a better defense after being ranked 26th in 2012. Look for Vaccaro to walk into a starting job.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Johnathan Banks, CB/Mississippi St. – Seattle Defense was unstoppable upfront, not so much in the backfield, and though Pete Carroll would like to give Russell Wilson some more weapons, no one is left at this point that would make sense here. Another option may be Notre Dames Tyler Eifert.
26. Green Bay Packers – John Jenkins, DT/Georgia – This guy is scary big, like 6’5” 359pounds big. I almost feel as though he is a wall with arms, really big arms I might add. It’ll take at least two offensive linemen to cover him, which gives Clay Matthews his freedom back to attack opposing qb’s for years to come. This will also give B.J. Raji a chance to do some more commercials instead of football related activities…..show me what you got, what you got Raji
27. Houston Texans – Johnathan Hankins, NT/Ohio State – After watching GB grab a big body for the middle of their D-line, I have to think the Texans would be looking to do the same. If by some miracle Terrance Williams is still on the board this will be the fastest pick on the first round to reach the commissioners hands. The likelihood of his falling to 27 has the same chances as me winning the powerball lottery (Crossing Fingers). The point is after the injury to Brian Cushings the Texans dynamic defense was a shadow of itself. They need depth at least, and Hankins should do just fine.
28. Denver Broncos – Sam Montgomery, DE/LSU – Denver put out a more than respectable defense last year, but the opportunity to make it better will be hard to pass up. Montgomery is still a little bit of a project, but he has all the physical tools needed to play DE in the NFL. I have some hesitation with this one, as I believe the Broncos could be going TE with this one here. The combine may help make this easier to predict.
29. New England Patriots – Tavon Austin, WR/West Virginia – Wes Welker will not be back with the Patriots because the Patriots don’t pay aging position players with multi-year deals, and that’s exactly what Welker will be asking for this off-season. Austin has the same skill set, and loves going across the middle. This would be a perfect fit.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Zach Ertz, TE/Stanford –Tony Gonzalez is a first ballot HOF candidate. That being said even if he does come back, his best days are behind him. Ertz is a prefect replacement for the stout offense of Dirk Koetter. Where Ertz really impresses NFL scouts is his willingness to help his teammates, whether it’s his persistence to get open or his effort-blocking at all levels of the field
31. San Francisco 49ers – Matt Elam, S/Florida – Elam is a fierce competitor. He is also a fantastic safety. The 49ers are going to lose some of their defense to free agency. Elam is bruising hitter with the physical striking ability that will cause receivers to think twice before floating over the middle. There is a possibility for DT here since Justin Smith’s future is in question.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter, ILB/LSU – With Ray Lewis retiring, there is an obvious need to find a tackling machine. Minter has a lot to prove to be even in the same book as Lewis, but he is instinctive and physical, Minter was the most dependable player on an LSU defense chock-full of prospective NFL talent.