Mock draft PART 2 is here. For PART 1 click here.
17. Cincinnati Bengals select - Cordy Glenn, G, Georgia.
The Bengals are set at both tackle positions but both of their starting guards are hitting free agency. I expect them to find one guard in free agency, while Glenn can become the other starter.
With another pick in the first round, the Bengals can wait to add a running back to replace Cedric Benson. Putting in place a talented guard to blow open holes for that whoever carries the ball, as well as to protect Andy Dalton, is just another positive step for an emerging franchise.
18. San Diego Chargers select - Whitney Mercilus, OLB, Illinois.
Ideally, the Chargers would add an offensive linemen to keep Philip Rivers upright. However, without a tackle or guard worth taking. The Chargers jump at the chance of adding a pass rusher to complement Antwaan Barnes.
Barnes, despite being a situational pass rusher, was the only Charger to get more than four sacks last year. With Larry English once again failing to make an impact, playing only five games, the Chargers have to look to move on with Mercilus.
19. Philadelphia Eagles select - Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina.
The Eagles are looking for help at linebacker. While Vontaze Burflict has to be considered, because of the veterans on the Eagles' roster as well as the strong coaching staff, ultimately Brown is the cleanest addition that they could choose.
Brown is fast enough to play in coverage as the Eagles will often ask their linebackers to drop in coverage, instead relying on their defensive line to rush the passer. He should also bring some solidity to the position playing with Jamar Chaney and the impressive young Brian Rolle.
20. New York Jets select - Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor.
While Mark Sanchez received a lot of criticism last season, the pieces around him where never in place to allow him to succeed. I am by no means a believer in Sanchez, but the offense around him needs to be retooled and rebuilt.
The receiving corp in particular hurt Sanchez last year as they didn't complement each other well. Jeremy Kerley was an ok inside receiver, but Kendall Wright will bring much needed dynamism to the offense and give Sanchez a reliable possession receiver.
21. Cincinnati Bengals select - Chris Polk, RB, Washington.
After bringing in Cordy Glenn with their first choice, it is only natural for the Bengals to bring in a back to carry the load in place of Cedric Benson. Polk would bring the right complement to Bernard Scott and Brian Leonard as a bigger back.
The Bengals have a lot of wiggle room and versatility with their two first round draft picks but it makes sense for them at this point in the draft to pick up a top rated player at his position opposed to adding lesser talent elsewhere. They have the financial flexibility to cover areas of need in free agency.
22. Cleveland Browns select - Lamar Miller, RB, Miami-Fla.
Colt McCoy needs weapons and after passing on Trent Richardson earlier, the Browns can't afford to let Lamar Miller pass them by. With Greg Little showing a lot as a rookie, and Miller's dynamism coming out of the backfield, McCoy's offense is at the very least moving in the right direction.
The Browns may have passed on a franchise running back, but at least Miller will help them evaluate whether they have their franchise quarterback in place or not.
23. Detroit Lions select - Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State.
The Lions would ideally bring in better interior linemen but adding Adams on the outside would aid the newest member of the 5,000 yard club. Upgrading the offensive line is the biggest issue in Detroit this off-season, at least offensively, therefore taking the best talent available makes the most sense.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers select - Dontari Poe, NT, Memphis.
Many analysts have the Pittsburgh Steelers looking at tackles in the draft and free agency. If the team does indeed take an offensive lineman, it will be a guard opposed to a tackle. With Willie Colon being uncuttable, Marcus Gilbert impressing as a rookie and the potential return of Max Starks, the Steelers may not actually need any additional offensive linemen next year.
On the other side of the ball however, the Steelers will need to complete the retooling of their defensive line. Casey Hampton's torn ACL will undoubtedly hamper his effectiveness in the middle. Steve McLendon has been impressive for the team but bringing in another tackle is a must after Chris Hoke's retirement.
25. Denver Broncos - Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina.
Champ Bailey played like an all-pro last year, while Andre Goodman was a solid starter across from him, however neither player is exactly in the early stages of their respective careers. Bringing Gilmore in may not be giving Tim Tebow any more weapons, but it will add to an already emerging defense.
26. Trade!!! Buffalo Bills select - Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina.
Houston Texans acquire 42nd overall (second round) selection in 2012, second round selection in 2013 draft as well as Stevie Johnson.
Buffalo Bills acquire 26th overall (first round) selection in 2012 as well as fourth round selection in 2013 draft.
While Stevie Johnson is a free agent, I do expect him to be franchise tagged by Buffalo. If he can work out a long-term deal, then he would be a great addition to the Texans' roster. Prior to last year, I wrote that the Texans' offense was a second receiver away from being elite. Johnson would give them that second receiver.
The Bills front seven has been their biggest problem over the past few seasons. As Coples drops, they bring in an end to round out what would be a very strong front four in Buffalo. Relying on Shawne Merrimen's health is not a good idea, drafting Coples would make Merrimen's health moot.
Losing Johnson won't be a major issue to the Bills as they have a good young group of receivers emerging behind him and there is talent available in free agency at the position.
27. New England Patriots select - Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama.
With Antwuan Molden and Kyle Arrington starting at cornerback, and Devin McCourty milling between safety and cornerback, the Patriots are in need of more secondary help. The return of Ras-I Dowling should help, but adding Kirkpatrick gives the team a second physical corner to improve the secondary.
Bringing in Kirkpatrick will allow McCourty to become a full-time safety, alongside Pat Chung, and pair Kirkpatrick with Dowling on the outside and move Arrington inside where he excels. That secondary would be much improved over last year's version.
28. Green Bay Packers select - Chandler Jones, OLB, Syracuse.
The Packers front seven really struggled last year. Clay Matthews may be one of the more overrated players in the NFL, but he still needs more help upfront as far as pass-rushing goes. Erik Walden did more damage off the field last year than he did on it while the inside linebackers' level of play plummeted.
Bringing in a pass-rusher to play across from Matthews should have a big knock-on effect on the rest of the defense all the way through to the secondary.
29. Baltimore Ravens select - Vontaze Burflict, ILB, Arizona State.
Burflict started the season with comparisons to Patrick Willis, but his indiscipline dropped him to the bench. The Baltimore Ravens need a long-term replacement for Ray Lewis and Burflict has the talent to make a similar impact on the NFL stage.
However he needs to be mentored and be in a locker-room with strong leadership. In Baltimore, he will get exactly that while also not being forced into the starting line-up for a year or two because of Jameel McClain.
30. San Francisco 49ers select - Mohammed Sanu, WR, Rutgers.
Depending on how the Carlos Rogers situation resolves itself, the 49ers will be hoping to draft a wide receiver here. Sanu is a versatile player who could become a dangerous weapon in the hands of Jim Harbaugh.
Outside of Vernon Davis, the 49ers still don't have a receiving threat that really scares defenses. Adding better depth at wide receiver to complement the tight end is an obvious priority.
31. New England Patriots select - Donta Hightower, OLB, Alabama.
Donta Hightower is one of the most versatile players in the draft, versatility is exactly what the Patriots crave in their front seven. With Hightower, the team has a player that can play outside in their 3-4, or inside, as well as be the third 4-3 linebacker.
With Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes in place, adding Hightower, as well as his college teammate Dre Kirkpatrick earlier in the round, would be a big step towards bringing this defense back to respectability.
32. New York Giants select - Orson Charles, TE, Georgia.
The Giants will reluctantly take the athletic pass catcher after the serious injuries suffered in the Super Bowl at the position. Ideally, Peter Konz, could be brought in after David Baas' uninspiring first season (the team can let Baas go for just $2 million).
Either way, Charles will add another weapon to the offense or ease the potential loss of Mario Manningham on the Super Bowl champions.
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