17. Cincinatti Bengals: Dre Kirkpatrick, FS/CB, Alabama
The Bengals have Leon Hall returning from an Achilles injury, but they need an upgrade from the inconsistent Nat Clements. Dre Kirkpatrick is a very big corner (6’2’192lb’s), his size would indicate he is a press-man corner, but he is most effective in zone coverage. He has stiff hips, and has slow reaction times, because of these issue’s he isn’t very good in man-to-man coverage. Cincinnati has diverse coverage schemes, they run a balance of man and zone. Dre Kirkpatrick probably won’t be an immediate starter, but if he can improve in man-coverage, he could become a starter part-way through his first year, or a year down the line. If he doesn’t pan-out at Cornerback, I think he has the size and ability to become a good Free Safety. In my opinion Kirkpatrick is an exclusive zone corner. I think he would be a good corner in a Tampa-2, but in any other system I think his future is at safety.
18. San Diego Chargers: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB, Illinois
The Chargers have Shaun Phillips returning from injury, and they signed Jarrett Johnson, but they need a long-term solution at the rush-linebacker spot. The Chargers were not able to get any pass-rush last season and it really killed their defensive success. With Shaugn Phillips returning, it will help, but Jarrett Johnson isn’t very good at rushing the QB. Mercilus is a pure pass-rusher that played 4-3 Defensive End at Illinois He isn’t too big to play 3-4 OLB (6’4′ 265lb’s), but will need to learn the nuances of the rush-linebacker position. He won’t be able to start immediately, but he can come in on Nickel and Dime packages, similar to how the 49ers used Aldon Smith last year. He won’t be able to become an This pick should pay big dividends 1-2 years down the line.
19. Chicago Bears; Jonathon Martin, LT, Stanford
The Bears have nothing at Left Tackle, J’Marcus Webb was one of the worst starting Tackles in the NFL last year, a upgrade is needed immediately if the Bears don’t want Jay Cutler to get injured. Jonathon Martin has top-10 talent, but his performance in pre-draft events has lowered his stock. Jonathon Martin is decent in pass-blocking and run-blocking, but he has trouble with big power-rushers. This will be troublesome with the bigger 5-techniques that he will play against in the NFL. He has this issue because of poor technique, and a lock of a mean-streak that is needed out of a o-lineman. With Mike Tice coaching him, he should be able to correct these problems with ease. The Bears find themselves a steal at #19.
20. Tennessee Titans: Peter Konz, C/G, Wisconsin
The Titans need help at Defensive Tackle, but if they want to get Chris Johnson back to form, they will take Peter Konz. The Titans have signed Steve Hutchinson at LG, but they still need starters at C and RG. Peter Konz played primarily Center at Wisconsin, but has some experience playing Guard. The Titans can Plug N’ Play him at either position, depending on what position they feel has the bigger need. Peter Konz is the second best O-lineman in the draft, in my opinion. He is very sound technically in all facets of the game. He will need to become stronger at the point of attack, but that will come with some time in the weight room, and some coaching.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The Bengals have the electrifying A.J Green at Flanker, but they have no one to pay Split-End opposite him. Kendall Wright can bring a new element to the offense. While Green draws the defense’s attention downfield, Kendall Wright can catch passes underneath and get Yards After Catch. This well take Cincinnati’s offense to the next-level. The Bengals have a need at Guard, but with the signings of Travelle Wharton and Jacob Bell, they can wait until the 2nd round to address the guard position.
22. Cleveland Browns: Mike Adams, RT, Ohio Sate
The Browns have a need at Wide Receiver, and Stephen Hill is available, but he’s a bad fit for Pat Shurmer’s West-Coast offense. The Browns need a upgrade from Oniel Cousins, their starting RT from the 2011 season. Mike Adams is the best Tackle available and he can start immediately. The Browns need a Receiver, but there is no receiver worth drafting at this position, if they can’t add another target here for Colt McCoy… Why not give Colt McCoy more time to throw? The Browns can wait until the 2nd round to address the need at Receiver.
23. Detroit Lions: Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
The Lions have a need at both Right Tackle, and Left Guard. Glenn can come in, and start immediately at either position. He has the size and strength to immediately improve Detroit’s run-blocking. He will need to improve his footwork to become more effective in pass-blocking, and even though his size (6’5′ 340lb’s) can be a advantage, it might help if he trims 10-15lb’s off. It would improve is agility, and he would still have a size his advantage over most DT’s and End’s.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)
Rashard Mendenhall tore his ACL during the tail-end of last season, it is unknown when he will return, and what his physical conditional will be. With Lamar Miller they get a guy who can replace Mendenhall during his absence, and when he returns they will have a great Running Back duo. Mendenhall is a bruiser, run-between-the tackle’s type Halfback, and Miller is a guy who can add some explosiveness and catch some passes out of the backfield. If Mendenhall isn’t able to fully recover from his injury, they don’t have to spend a high pick on a Halfback next year.
25. Denver Broncos: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
After losing Brodrick Bunkley, the Broncos have a huge need at Defensive Tackle. At #25 the Broncos can fill a position of need with the best player available. Michael Brockers is huge Defensive Tackle that is a disruptive force. Early in the draft process he was flirting with being a top-10 pick, but after poor showings at his pro-day and combine, there have been questions raised about his athleticism. After watching tape, I have no worries about his athleticism. The Broncos get a future pro-bowler here,
26. Houston Texans: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Andre Johnson is one of the best receivers in the league, when healthy, but when he injured; the Texans have no one who can step in for him. Like I said, Andre Johnson has his injury problems, but when he is playing they don’t have anything opposite of him when he draws the attention of the defense. With Stephen Hill, they add a tall, raw, speedster who has a chance to become a big-time deep-threat. He will need to improve his route-running, but with being under the tutelage of Andre Johnson he should be able to master the nuances of the Receiver position and turn his raw ability into production.
27. New England Patriots: Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC
I am going under the assumption that the Pats are going back to their 3-4 defense, after the departures of Andre Carter and Mark Anderson. If they want to go to a 3-4 defense, they will need to add a rush-linebacker. With Nick Perry they get a quick, explosive pass-rusher that knows how to get to the QB. He will need to get used to standing-up, and understand coverage schemes. He won’t have an immediate effect, but he can become a great rush-linebacker once he learns how to play the position.
28. Green Bay Packers: Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson
The Packers had no pass-rush opposite Clay Matthews last year, and it really hurt their defense. Andre Branch played 4-3 DE at Clemson, but after standing-up in some of his drills at his pro-day, he has opened up the opportunity to be drafted by some 3-4 teams. Branch is quick, and strong at the point of attack. He will need to learn the 3-4 OLB position, but he has the potential to be a good player.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Ray Lewis is getting a “little long in the tooth”, and it is essential the Ravens find his replacement soon. Hightower is a instinctive, powerful Linebacker that is a great run-stopper. He has issues in coverage, but being under Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain his first year should give him time to improve his coverage skills.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Bobby Massie, RT, Ole Miss
Anthony Davis has been horrible his first two seasons, time is running out for him. With Bobby Massie the 49ers get a underrated prospect. He can step in at Right Tackle if Anthony Davis doesn’t get his act together. The 49ers also have a need at Right Guard, if the 9ers feel Massie has guard potential, they can kick him inside and it will fill a need. I assume he will stay at Tackle, Anthony Davis is just atrocious.
31. New England Patriots; Devon Still, DT, Penn State
With the Pats installing a 3-4 defense they will need a 5-technique and a rush-linebacker. The Pats addresses the rush-linebacker position by drafting Nick Perry, now they can address the 5-technique by drafting Devon Still. Devon Still is a good run-stuffer who can get some decent pressure on the QB. I think projects to be a better 3-4 DE than 4-3 DT, so this works well for the Pats.
32. New York Giants: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
This fits well with Jerry Reese’s “best player available” draft strategy, but it also fills a need. Jake Ballard is a good Tight End, but Coby Fleener is potentially a huge upgrade. Coby Fleener is a huge target that can add to an already explosive Giants offense. With Ballard and Fleener, the Giants can run a lot of 2 Tight End sets, adding a new element to their offense.