Adrian Clayborn, Akeem Ayers, Anthony Castonzo, Brooks Reed, Cameron Heyward, Cameron Jordan, Corey Liuget, Danny Watkins, Derek Sherrod, Gabe Carimi, J.J. Watt, Jimmy Smith, Kyle Rudolph, Mark Ingram, Muhammed Wilkerson, Nate Solder
17. New England Patriots – Cameron Jordan, DE, California
I’ve heard a lot of rumors about Tampa Bay moving up for a couple of defensive end prospects. Cameron Jordan is one of them. At this point, Jordan to New England seems like the most natural fit for the Patriots while leaving them room to maneuver later in the draft, so if the Bucs want him they’ll have to leap-frog or over pay the Pats.
18. San Diego Chargers – J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Watt’s got some really good talent and this would be great value for him. He’s been talked about as high as Dallas so there’s a possibility he won’t linger this late. Also the Chargers might want to move up for Julio Jones to replace Vincent Jackson, who probably won’t be there much longer due to A.J. Smith’s dealings with him.
19. New York Giants – Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
The Giants have made it no secret that they want to get more physical on their offensive line. Castonzo is another name that might go higher than this and if he’s not there they’ll go with best value, which could be Liuget at DT.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
Clayborn has been in and out of the first round, but the Bucs apparently view him as a fall back option. If they can’t move up to get a hold of Jordan, Watt, Quinn or Kerrigan then they will be stuck with the option of Clayborn or high character Muhammed Wilkerson. Wilkerson doesn’t fit their scheme very well so Clayborn gets the nod.
21. Kansas City Chiefs – Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
The Chiefs need to improve their line play. This is a pick that will allow them to transition Branden Albert from the LT to the LG position, buy them time to get a right tackle in place and then plug Solder in at LT. That is a line that should scare the AFC West because it’ll be tough to disrupt it down the road. Solder’s a prospect but a good choice here. Phil Taylor is another potential option.
22. Indianapolis Colts – Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
The Colts could take Liuget or Austin and shore up their defensive line finally but they haven’t hidden the fact that they need to protect Peyton Manning better and wish they’d taken Saffold at the bottom of round 1 last year. Carimi is a RT prospect at the next level, but they need help at both positions.
23. Philadelphia Eagles – Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
This is the floor for Jimmy Smith in my opinion. The Eagles are a team that likes to give players second chances and are desperate at corner back. I don’t expect Ozzie Newsome to move the Ravens up to get Smith so the only other options for Smith are a couple of teams ahead of the Eagles that could take a shot at Smith (Jaguars, Texans, Vikings, Rams).
24. New Orleans Saints – Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
The Saints need a run presence and Liuget is good value here. Marvin Austin is another option for them, but I think Liuget fits better next to Ellis. They still need defensive ends so they could look that direction too with Brooks Reed, Muhammed Wilkerson, or Cameron Heyward.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Muhammed Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple
The Seahawks need help up front on defense. Wilkerson may need a year or two to develop into a top defensive linemen, but he’s versatile and could fit inside or outside. Marvin Austin is a good option here as well.
26. Baltimore Ravens – Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
Several reporters have linked the Ravens to Heyward. Odds are they like a couple other guys better (Ozzie said he loves one prospect, but didn’t think he’d be available), but if he’s there they won’t let him go is what reports say. My feeling is that Ozzie won’t be sitting at 26. They’ll move up or down and work the draft as always. They actually have a pretty good wealth of picks to work with as well.
27. Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
Atlanta is a team that always seems to confound me. I frequently make picks like this for them that make all the sense in the world and they ignore them and address another need. Rudolph is perfect to sit behind Gonzo as well as allow him to stay fresh all year. A couple reports link them to Akeem Ayers or Justin Houston, but both prospects have slipped a bit.
28. New England Patriots – Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Here’s another trade position. I’d say 80% odds that New England trades this pick for a 2nd this year and something next year (likely a first) to a quarterback hungry team (likely San Francisco, Tennessee). If, for some crazy reason, they sit pat because they couldn’t get what they want, Ingram is a good fall back option for them.
29. Chicago Bears – Danny Watkins, G, Baylor
He’s a little old, but he’ll work out well for the Bears here. They can plug him in day one and then their line is already that much better. He’s stout on the run and should fit their style well. Marvin Austin is another option if they think they have to replace Tommie Harris in the middle, but he wasn’t a huge factor late in season. WR is a reach here I think.
30. New York Jets – Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
The Jets need a pass rusher but they have some options. Akeem Ayers is a good fit as is Reed. They could also look towards the nose tackle position. Phil Taylor and Austin are on the board (though Austin may not fit a 3-4 nose tackle) and are both options.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
The Steelers need better offensive line play. Flozell Adams started several games this year and that shouldn’t occur next season. Sherrod could be RT or LT but probably fits better as a RT for his first few years. He’s pretty physical on the run which is why he fits better as a right tackle.
32. Green Bay Packers – Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
The Packers are looking to pair Clay Mathews with another pass rush specialist. They’re set at inside linebacker but Ayers provides some competition on the outside and flexibility with all their linebackers if there should befall injuries. Thompson has done a good job keeping good depth (except at offensive line) and will continue to do so.
As I tweeted a couple of hours ago, this was a tough draft to mock. I wrote there will be 4-6 Quarterbacks taken in the first round and still believe that but most of them will happen via trades back into the first round. I try not to mock trades, but will occasionally. Tomorrow I’ll post a few that I’ll predict will happen and who will get taken (doubt they’ll count in the contest though…sad days).