17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jarvis Jones, DE/OLB, Georgia
The opportunistic Steelers get one of the most productive players in the draft in Jarvis Jones, who didn’t put up good numbers in workouts. They will trust the tape and replace departed James Harrison on the edge.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Cowboys added Will Allen at safety, but I know they are high on Kenny Vaccaro. The local product would be a huge upgrade to their secondary.
19. New York Giants – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
Shockingly, the Giants struggled to rush the passer last season. Bjoern Werner is a top 10 talent who drops here into the Giants’ laps. It’s a value they typically come away with on draft day.
20. Chicago Bears – Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
The Bears have a bunch of stop-gap options at LB with D.J. Williams and James Anderson coming in, but Arthur Brown is a potential stud at the ILB position and could start for them right away.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
With Manny Lawson bolting to the Bills, the Bengals pick up a former Bulldog All-American in Alec Ogletree. This guy had a phenomenal junior season, and would be the third starter at LB with Vontaze Burfict and Rey Maualuga.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington) – Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
This would be the shocker of the draft right here. The Rams’ new regime has not added a QB of its own yet, and that’s only a matter of time. Sam Bradford’s contract is ridiculous, and he’s not performing up to his #1 hype. This is a good pick range for Smith in terms of value, and the Rams have a lot of high picks in the next couple of years. With Tavon Austin already heading there, why not get the guy who threw him passes? This could open a huge can of worms on draft night.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
The Vikings’ secondary was atrocious last season. They have a lot of young guys, but I think Leslie Frazier would love to get a physical player like Taylor on the outside, especially if they have to replace Antoine Winfield.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Datone Jones, DL, UCLA
The Colts need some upgrades on the DL, and Jones is a versatile player who could be an ideal 5-tech in Chuck Pagano’s 3-4 look. The only concern is that he may be undersized for that defense, but he’s very strong and stout at the point of attack.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle) — Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
The Vikings use the pick they got in the Percy Harvin trade to add a speedy receiver with huge upside. Patterson can do all the things Harvin did, but he’s just not as proven. This could be a really good value for them.
26. Green Bay Packers – Eric Reid, S, LSU
Charles Woodson is gone, and the Packers need to replace his ball-hawking skills. They have some young options back there from the middle rounds in recent drafts, but Reid is too good to pass up here in my opinion.
27. Houston Texans – Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Texans will add speed at the WR position, no doubt about it, and with Justin Hunter, they get it. Hunter is very skinny, but he can be the vertical threat the Texans’ offense needs along with Andre Johnson.
28. Denver Broncos – Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
The Broncos feel pretty good about their DE situation with Robert Ayers and Derek Wolfe, so there’s not a lot of risk involved here taking Carradine, who finally got a chance to prove he can be an elite pass rusher last year at Florida State. He will work out before the draft, so they’ll know if he’s healthy enough and worth this selection.
29. New England Patriots – Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Patriots’ WR situation is in a shambles. They are so desperate they picked up Michael Jenkins, who may not make the final roster. Keenan Allen has drawn comparisons to Anquan Boldin, and I think he’d be a nice piece for the Pats’ offense.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Dunta Robinson has moved on to the Chiefs, so Trufant would be a great pickup here. He’s a big, speedy cornerback who would probably start right away for the Falcons.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
As if the Niners didn’t have enough weapons, they get Eifert to take over Delanie Walker’s spot and continue to upgrade their offensive talent. This could be a scary offense and a fun one to watch.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
The Ravens cap off the first round by adding ILB Manti Te’o, who has proven he can be an elite player in a 3-4 defensive alignment. This would be a great value for Ozzie Newsome.