17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Keenan Allen, WR/California – Mike “60 Minutes” Wallace will not be wearing the black and gold next season. Rashard Mendenhal was released which means the Steelers are probably switching to a zone blocking scheme which would make sense with their new O-line coordinator Jack Bicknell Jr. They’ve also puts an O-lineman at a premium here considering the Steelers are not expected to resign RG Ramon Foster or LT Max Starks.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Damontre Moore, DE/ Texas A&M – Moore has tumbled from top 5 to 18 post combine and Adam Shefter reported that the combine “validated whispers” among NFL scouts who were all along unimpressed by his athleticism. Still, Jerry Jones is the real variable here not Moore, with his tendency towards gambling and taking risks.
19. New York Giants – Kenny Vaccaro, S/Texas – The Giants have been missing an impact safety and their secondary has been a discernible weakness in recent years. Vaccaro is a top 15 talent that will fall all the way to 19 simply because of team needs. He could earn a starting job in camp.
20. Chicago Bears – Jonathan Cooper, OG/North Carolina – The Bears need to start thinking offense. 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 – Alec Ogletree, ILB/Georgia –Ogletree did not interview well at the combine and because of that will fall a few spots in the draft. Both the Giants and the Bears need help at LB but neither of the teams will take on a player who was quoted by an NFL player personnel director as “an immature idiot.” Rey Malaluga is unfortunately for the Bengals still employed, so this seems like a good idea to fill a need with a probably top 15 talent marred by character issues.
22. St. Louis Rams (Via Redskins) – Lane Johnson, OT/ Oklahoma – The Rams biggest Weakness was their inability to keep Sam Bradford on his feet. Until they address the issue, the offense won’t be able to fully reach its potential. CBSSSports.com have Johnson ranked 7th overall.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Tavon Austin, WR/West Virginia –Austin ran an unofficial 4.25 40 at the combine. He is being unfairly compared to Dexter McCluster because of his size and stature, but Austin wants his game to resemble Wes Welkers more than McClusters. The Vikings would love to get that kind of production from him which would also free up Percy Harvin for more one on one coverage.
24. Indianapolis Colts –Desmond Trufant, CB/ Washington – Desmond had a fantastic combine and ran a blazing fast 4.31 and 4.38 40’s in Indy. Trufant also had a good senior bowl and the 6’0 190 pound corner has risen on many peoples draft boards including CBS Sports Rob Rang who also has the Colts taking Trufant.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Johnthan 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 – Eddie Lacy, RB/ Alabama – Cedric Benson was not able to stay healthy last season for the pack, and by seasons end, the lack of a consistent running game made it easier for defenses to stop Aaron Rodgers from being as effective as we have grown accustom to seeing. Some draft experts and scouts have gone on record as saying they think Lacy may be better than his former teammate Trent Richardson. If Green Bay could get a running back of that caliber this late in the draft, it would be the steal of the first round.
27. Houston Texans – Keenan Allen, WR/ California – Allen didn’t show at the combine, but still has the potential with a good pro day performance to be a first round selection. Ex Colts president Bill Polian compared Allen to Reggie Wayne which can’t hurt his draft stock, and may find himself opposite Andre Johnson for years to come.
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 – Matt Barkley, QB/ USC – Tom Brady just signed a 3 year extension and Ryan Mallet may be on his way to Cleveland. That leaves a clipboard available for Barkley to hold for the next few years as he learns behind one of the greatest QB’s to play the game. Even with a great pro day, Barkley stands little chance of being drafted into a starting job. This would be a fantastic place for him to fall.
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. He also did well at the combine with good numbers across the board solidifying the Falcons belief in this pick.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Matt Elam, S/Florida – San Fran just looted the Kansas City Chiefs for a 2nd round pick for Alex Smith as well as a conditional pick in 2014. I think there is some serious consideration to trade this pick and the 2 rounder from KC to the New York Jets in exchange for Darrelle Revis. This is purely my own opinion but if Alex Smith gets you a second rounder… Revis should get you double that.
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.