17. Pittsburgh Steelers — Barkevious Mingo, DE/OLB, LSU
The Steelers take a little advantage of the board here, getting a guy who has top 10 potential with Barkevious Mingo. They had to cut James Harrison for cap reasons, and getting a bookend with LaMarr Woodley could be their top priority in this year’s draft.
18. Dallas Cowboys — Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
The Cowboys get a guy here who fills a huge need on the defensive interior for Monte Kiffin’s new defensive scheme. Moving to a four man front, they’re going to need some quickness on the inside with Anthony Spencer and DeMarcus Ware on the outside causing havoc for opposing QBs. They’d also love to get Kenny Vaccaro here.
19. New York Giants — Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The Giants are slowly upgrading their LB group, but I think Ogletree is far too talented to pass up here. He is a potentially elite linebacker in the NFL, and they have the stable locker room/coaching to be able to deal with his off-field issues if he still has any.
20. Chicago Bears — Johnathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
The Bears signed Jermon Bushrod to play left tackle, and with former first round pick Gabe Carimi manning the right side, they are going to need an upgrade at guard. Cooper is a big time prospect at that position, and would work great with Chicago’s offense.
21. Cincinnati Bengals — D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
If Andre Smith is leaving Cincinnati, then they are going to need a replacement. D.J. Fluker is gaining a ton of steam as a first rounder, and it’s rumored he won’t make it past this pick. The Bengals could also play him at guard if Smith returns.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) — Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
The Rams missed on tackles in this mock, and with Tavon Austin also off the board, I think they could look to replace Steven Jackson. I’m not sold on Daryl Richardson as the featured back in St. Louis, so we’ll see if they are or not. If not, I think this could be a fantastic pickup for them.
23. Minnesota Vikings — Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Justin Hunter would be a guy who can stretch the field for the Vikings, and even though this might seem like a reach, I think Hunter has first round talent. He’d be a great pickup for a team that just added Greg Jennings as the possession type receiver. After trading Percy Harvin, the Vikings need to add playmakers to their offense.
24. Indianapolis Colts — Datone Jones, DL, UCLA
The Colts have added pieces all over their defense, and with a lack of top flight pass rush prospects, they could look to add the versatile Jones to their defensive front.
25. Minnesota Vikings — Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
With the pick acquired in the Percy Harvin trade, the Vikings upgrade their secondary. They cut Antoine Winfield, and the cornerback position was already among the least talented on their team. This is a no-brainer pick if Trufant is still on the board.
26. Green Bay Packers — Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
There are reports that Jermichael Finley is likely to be cut, and if he is, they will need a replacement. The Packers can’t afford to lose both Finley and Jennings in the same offseason. Eifert has proven he can be an elite pass catching tight end and he’d be a great fit for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.
27. Houston Texans — Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Manti Te’o would fill a need for the Texans, who struggled mightily at ILB after Brian Cushing went down last year. They also traded DeMeco Ryans last offseason, and that has provided them with a huge need at this position, especially in case of injury. Te’o has been a controversial topic this offseason, but he’s still a really good player and would be a good fit in the Texans’ defense.
28. Denver Broncos — Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State
Carradine was a first round prospect before his knee injury this year, and with reports that he could work out before the draft, his name is once again gaining steam. The Broncos have released Elvis Dumervil in a very odd set of circumstances, and even with him back, they may have a huge need at the DE position. Certainly if he leaves, this becomes easily the biggest need after the team signed Wes Welker and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
29. New England Patriots — Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Patriots signed Danny Amendola but they lost Wes Welker. Their receiver group has a huge hole on the outside. I think it’d be wise for the Patriots to take a flier on a guy who falls in the first round due to injury. Before this year, Allen was talked about as a potential top 10 pick.
30. Atlanta Falcons — Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Falcons need edge rushers, and Damontre Moore was one of the best in the country this past season. He didn’t show out in terms of athletic ability at the Combine, but I think he’s a guy who you have to look at his production and he’ll be a solid pass rusher for Atlanta.
31. San Francisco 49ers — Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The 49ers need to add to their defensive line depth with Isaac Sopoaga and Ricky Jean-Francois bolting this offseason for new teams. Hankins can play nose tackle in their defense or rotate at the end positions if need be. They also signed Glenn Dorsey from the Chiefs.
32. Baltimore Ravens — Kevin Minter, LB, LSU
The Ravens have a long way to go after their Super Bowl run. They’ve lost so many good players from that team, and it was a good thing they won when they did because they could be in for a long year. They not only have to replace Ray Lewis at linebacker, but also Dannell Ellerbe who bolted for Miami.