#33 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Cyril Richardson – G – Baylor
Having secured their quarterback, the Jacksonville Jaguars must make sure to protect him. Luke Joeckel will return next season to take over at left tackle. Cyril Richardson, a mammoth, athletic guard from Baylor could step right in next to him and give Bridgewater pristine security on his blindside.
#34 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jason Verrett – CB – TCU
Already boasting a strong secondary despite their struggles in 2013, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers choose to put a ballhawk in the midst. Jason Verrett is not the biggest corner on the board but he is agile, fast, tough and prone to making big plays when they matter.
#35 – New York Giants – Bishop Sankey – RB – Washington
Having one of the worst running games in pro football typically means a team plans to invest at least one high pick at running back. The New York Giants settle on Bishop Sankey, a workhorse at Washington who has a nose for the end zone and the speed to break big runs despite small openings.
#36 – Minnesota Vikings – Trent Murphy – DE – Stanford
They got their quarterback but stand to lose much of their bite on the defensive line in free agency next year. So the Minnesota Vikings quickly scoop up Trent Murphy. While not a superior athlete, he is a good one with great intelligence, pass rush skill and excellent anchoring against the run.
#37 – Houston Texans – Kyle Van Noy – OLB – BYU
Injuries have continued to haunt the Houston Texans at linebacker. They must add to their depth in order to keep the defense strong. Kyle Van Noy doesn’t do anything great but he does everything well. He can tackle, create pressure in the pass rush and is very disciplined in reading and reacting to plays.
#38 – Atlanta Falcons – Anthony Johnson – DT – LSU
Problems with the pass rush have been ongoing for the Houston Texans. As a result their secondary struggles to make plays. Revving up pressure up front, especially the interior could be a huge help. Anthony Johnson out of LSU isn’t a top notch all-around defensive tackle but he is a gifted pass rusher who explodes into gaps and can blow up plays early.
#39 – Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr – QB – Fresno State
In a minor surprise move, the Oakland Raiders hedge their bets on Terrelle Pryor by taking some insurance in the second round. Derek Carr couldn’t quite make it to the first round but his excellent showing at FresnoState proves he has the talent to start in the NFL. He is a hard worker, excellent leader, decisive on his throws and mobile.
#40 – Washington Redskins – Lamarcus Joyner – Florida State
The secondary has become the bane of the Washington Redskins existence. There are no playmakers in the group and none of them tackle with any consistency. They need a spark plug and Lamarcus Joyner is the man for the job. At 5’8″, he plays like he’s 6’4″. He is fast, which allows him to line up on the outside and cover and has a natural nose for taking the football away. On top of that, he is widely hailed for his tackling ability.
#41 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Marcus Roberson – CB – Florida
Piece by piece the Pittsburgh Steelers have to keep getting younger on defense. A major area of need is cornerback. Having lost Keenan Lewis last year to free agency, they need a new cover man to learn behind Ike Taylor. Marcus Roberson of Florida has the size, instincts and speed to play press coverage. Though not as talented as his teammate, Purifoy, he’s more than good enough to be the number two guy on a defense.
#42 – Arizona Cardinals – Morgan Breslin – OLB – USC
Rushing the passer is going to be a must for the Arizona Cardinals with Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Zach Mettenberger in the division. So they give their strong defense more help with Morgan Breslin. What he lacks in elite skill set he makes up with highly advanced ability as a pass rusher. Not only is he naturally good at it, but he’s honed his craft to where he has several ways to beat an offensive lineman.
#43 – Baltimore Ravens – Austin Seferian-Jenkins – TE – Washington
Losing tight end Dennis Pitta has proven equally as disastrous to the Baltimore Ravens offense as trading Anquan Boldin. Joe Flacco clearly likes having a go-to target down the middle of the field. With Pitta a free agent, they collect the physically gifted Austin Seferian-Jenkins from Washington. While production is lacking, the big and athletic tight end not only can make plays in the passing game, but he is an even better blocker.
#44 – Buffalo Bills – Christian Jones – LB – Florida State
Having struck pay dirt last year with Kiko Alonso, the Buffalo Bills look to strike for another playmaking linebacker for their defense. Christian Jones is a typical FloridaState defender: very athletic. He is fast enough to cover running backs and tight ends on passing downs with the length to fill passing lanes. On top of that he has some experience and ability as a pass rusher, increasing his versatility.
#45 – Cleveland Browns – Melvin Gordon – RB – Wisconsin
Trading Trent Richardson afforded the Cleveland Browns a chance to remake their roster in the first round but they can’t survive without a good running back. Melvin Gordon comes from a long line of proven Wisconsin products. He’s durable, a workhorse type and is very consistent. He’s definintely not a receiver type but his nose for the goal line should make him very useful in any yardage.
#46 – Philadelphia Eagles – Tevin Reese – WR – Baylor
Chip Kelly claimed to want size in his receivers but reality shows his offense thrives most on guys with speed. Tevin Reese is the poster child for that kind of player. He’s averaging over 24 yards per catch for the season at Baylor and plays in a system that has churned out a lot of quality NFL talent over the past few years. Reese is next in line, and could thrive just like DeSean Jackson in the Kelly system.
#47 – St. Louis Rams – Zack Martin – OT – Notre Dame
In Sam Bradford and now Zach Mattenberger the St. Louis Rams have two quarterbacks with brilliant arms but unreliable legs. That lack of mobility can get them in trouble if they aren’t protected. St. Louis need to find a way to stabilize their pass protection. Zack Martin out of Notre Dame doesn’t jump off the page physically, but his knowledge, effort, technique, and leadership tell the story better. He is going to be a quality offensive lineman in the league for a long time.
Stay tuned for picks 48-64 of the 2014 NFL Mock Draft.