17. Oakland Raiders (8-8) (traded to Cincinnati)-Michael Floyd, WR, Norte Dame
I don’t think the Bengals entered the draft considering taking a player like Michael Floyd, but if he happens to be available at this spot how do you pass it up? Imagine having Floyd on one side and A.J. Green on the other side. There are still doubts about whether or not Dalton has much higher of a ceiling, well if he has A.J. Green and Floyd to throw too with Jermaine Gresham and Jerome Simpson and Jordan Shipley, he’ll never be able to blame the talent around him.
I’ll write it again-I don’t love the talent in this draft so teams should just take the best player available and hope it pans out. Floyd is a terrific prospect, except for that pesky baggage.
18. San Diego Chargers (8-8)-Courtney Upshaw, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide
I think this is an ideal pick for the Chargers. They need a pass rusher and Upshaw is a pretty darn good one.
19. Chicago Bears (8-8)-Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Every year the Bears draft OL and every year their OL stink. Well here comes another offensive linemen. Konz is a vastly superior prospect, to me, than Mike Pouncey of a year ago and good value here. Perhaps the Bears also consider a Dwayne Allen here (though it’s about 15 spots too early) with Martz out, they could use a real tight end.
20. Tennessee Titans (9-7)-Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Derrick Morgan hasn’t developed quite the way the Titans had hoped probably due to numerous injuries, but they could look to grab a talent like Mercilus if he’s available at this point. He was one of the most productive players in College Football this year, I’d also be stunned if they didn’t consider adding a wide receiver here.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)-Lamar Miller, RB, Miami Hurricanes
The Bengals run game needs to improve if they want to be a balanced offense. With two first round picks here the Bengals can go in any number of directions. I think this draft is a bit down so the Bengals should really just grab the top players on their board and move forward with the new infusion of talent. Miller can run between the tackles, but unlike Benson also brings big play ability to the table.
22. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)(traded to Cleveland)-Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor Bears
If at all possible, the Browns need to find a way to improve their offense. If they are not going to take Robert Griffin III they should at least give Colt McCoy a real option at the wide receiver position. I think Justin Blackmon is the ideal fit for their offense, but he might not be available at #4 overall, if not they could use their second first round pick to add a player who brings a lot of speed to the position and an ability to rack up the yards after the catch.
23. Detroit Lions (10-6)-Mark Barron, S, Alabama Crimson Tide
The Lions need to improve their secondary. Pairing Barron with Louis Delmas would give the Lions two smart, tough, athletic safeties in the back of their defense, which might improve the whole defense. Barron won’t get beaten deep often because he’s out of position, that’s for sure.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)-Janoris Jenkins, CB, Northern Alabama
If anyone watched Ike Taylor (the best CB on the team) play in the playoffs you realize how much talent is needed at the cornerback position for the Steelers. Yes, OL is also a bit of a worry as is replenishing the talent on an aging defensive line, but cornerback offers the best value here and fills a huge need. Jenkins also has some character issues, but is a terrific prospect and was potentially a top 15 pick last year had he kept out of trouble off the field.
25. Denver Broncos (8-8)*-Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
Worthy had an impressive bowl game and has had some big time games this season. You’d like to see a bit more consistency, but he’s always had 1st round physical ability. The Broncos have ok weapons on offense though they could use an upgrade at Tight End, another WR, and another RB the value’s not here with this selection. They need to beef up the interior of their defensive line.
26. New York Giants (9-7)*-Cordy Glenn, G/T, Georgia
The Giants offensive line is playing better as of late, but Kareem McKenzie looks like he’s on his last leg. The Giants like versatility in their offensive linemen and Glenn has shown this year that he is athletic enough to play tackle. He has great size and is powerful. Adding Glenn would provide talent and depth to any of the guard spots or tackle spots, even though the Giants have some young talent they like there with Mitch Petrus and James Brewer I wouldn’t be surprised to see them make this move.
27. Houston Texans (10-6)*-Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
This is a position I’ve mocked to the Texans a few times, often looking at Kendall Wright the WR out of Baylor who has the best speed of potential first round WR picks. Sanu is a fringe first round guy who is a jack of all trades and does everything for Rutgers. Sanu has been compared to Hakeem Nicks by Dan Kadar of mocking the draft which might be a bit of a generous comparison. Sanu can be Brad Smith, if Brad Smith was a legitimate #2 WR option. The Texans should find someone to play opposite of Andre Johnson in this draft.
28. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)*-Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State University
At this point you have to take a chance on the potential next Ray Lewis. Burfict is supremely talented, he just doesn’t have great instincts and can’t play consistently under control. The Ravens will coach that out of him, and if they can’t it’s not meant to be and no one probably would get the best out of him.
29. New Orleans Saints (13-3)*(traded to New England)-Brandon Thompson, DL, Clemson Tigers
The Patriots need to beef up their defense in whatever way they can during the off-season either through free agency and draft. I think one of these years the Patriots will actually use both of their first round picks one of these teams while the Tom Brady window is still open I’d think.
30. San Francisco 49ers (13-3)*-Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma Sooners
Late in the first round in mock drafts, I always like to highlight a player I think has a big chance of shooting up draft boards between now and the draft. I don’t think Fleming is a first round talent, but his stock could really emerge during the pre-draft process. Be on the lookout for him.
31. New England Patriots (13-3)* -Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College
Kuechly’s better than the 31st overall prospect, but players who lack elite measurables sometimes have a habit of slipping in the draft despite how productive they have been in college football for example James Laurinatis, Paul Poz, and Rey Maluaga. Kuechly could be the next and everyone’s loss is the Patriots gain.
32. Green Bay Packers (15-1)*-Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
The Packers have done a great job of creating turnovers this year, but haven’t been able to stop anyone really. It could be their undoing in the playoffs, though that remains to be seen. Melvin Ingram is a very talented player who is versatile at the College level, but will likely have to move off the line and play in the 34. Ingram can play opposite Matthews to give the Packers defense some more teeth and play-makers.
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