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Rattle and Hum’s Two-Round NFL Mock Draft

ROUND 2 ADDED 4/12/12

There is one slight change from our previous first round mock, but the biggest change in this update is the addition of the 2nd round. Team needs have begun to take shape as the free agent market is all but barren, and draft stocks for hopefuls are beginning to solidify. As always, feel free to comment with any questions or opinions!

Twitter @jaredhuntley

1.       Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Peyton Manning is officially done in Indy. The beginning of the Andrew Luck era starts now. There isn’t much drama surrounding the 1st pick of the draft any longer. Even contract negotiations shouldn’t be too strenuous as the new rookie salary cap has put a halt to preposterous guaranteed contracts for unproven players. It still seems unfair that the Colts get the best QB prospect since John Elway on cue as the legend Peyton Manning departs. If only God loved Cleveland this much…

2.       Washington Redskins (Traded from Rams)- Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

This pick should belong to the Cleveland Browns. There is no reason, in my mind, that the Browns shouldn’t have traded up for RG3. They have the most ammunition (#4 and #22 pick) and they have been wallowing in quarterback mediocrity since their return to the NFL. However, according to Mike Mayock, the Browns believe that Ryan Tannehill is a better fit than RG3 (we’ll get to that below).

As a result, the opportunity to snatch Robert Griffin III has fallen right into Daniel Snyder’s hands. After reports surfaced that Peyton Manning is not interested in playing for the Redskins, this has got to be great news to Washington Redskin fans. RG3 is the type of player who makes everyone around him better. With him, the Redskins will be one of the top 5 rushing teams in the NFL next season, guaranteed. Griffin is a leader and an ultra-high character franchise quarterback around which a team can be built. He is the reason that people even talk about Baylor football these days.

3.       Minnesota Vikings- Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Minnesota Vikings have expressed interest in CB Morris Claiborne here, but they won’t take him over Matt Kalil. No way. It’s not every day that a franchise left tackle falls into your lap, and left tackle just happens to be the second-most important position offensively in the NFL. Corner help can wait.

Christian Ponder needs help, and lots of it. Matt Kalil is the perfect fit for the Vikings. Charlie Johnson and Phil Loadholt, the tackles for the Vikings, were both really bad in pass protection in 2011. Matt Kalil can step in right away to possibly allow the Vikings to shift either Johnson or Loadholt over to guard.

Recently, NFL Network asked Twitter followers who the Vikings should take with the #3 pick. Seriously? I tweeted a response: “If the Vikings don’t take Matt Kalil, Christian Ponder should quit on the spot.” NFL Network aired my tweet, and yes, I’m proud of it.

4.       Cleveland Browns- Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Rumors are really starting to heat up linking Trent Richardson to the Cleveland Browns. As Walterfootball.com and NFL Network pointed out recently, Richardson actually tweeted a picture of a Cleveland Browns cap, furthering the speculation.

The Cleveland Browns desperately need a quarterback, but Ryan Tannehill is simply not worthy of the #4 overall pick. The Browns could possibly trade down and try to pick him later in the 1st round, which would be ideal, but there are no guarantees in the NFL draft.

It’s not like quarterback is the only need on this team, anyways. The Browns just invested $9M into re-signing CB Dmitri Patterson, so Morris Claiborne is highly unlikely as the pick here as well. That leaves us with Trent Richardson.

I can’t imagine that the Browns view Montario Hardesty as a viable option as the #1 running back. If the Browns think they will score points with Colt McCoy at QB and Hardesty as the starting running back, they are fooling themselves. Cleveland finished last in the NFL in 2011 with 3.7 yards per carry as a team. They also finished last in rushing touchdowns with 4. No, that is not a typo. Four. The Browns had a hard time getting into the red zone as it is, and even when they did, they couldn’t punch it in for a touchdown because they had no running game.

While I feel that the #4 pick is too high for any running back, it can’t be denied that Richardson is a special talent that would give Colt McCoy (or whoever the quarterback ends up being) a crutch to lean on to help get the tough yards and sustain drives, something the Browns have been incapable of doing for several years now.

Richardson is 5’11”, 225 lbs. of pure beast. He has the speed to get outside, but he’s even better running between the tackles. He is an every down back in every sense of the word. He can carry a full load and take a pounding, yet hold up for the entire season. Richardson is easily the toughest running back prospect in this draft class. Reports have said he squats 600lbs. and bench presses 465lbs. He’s the type of player that turns 2-3 yard runs into 4-5 yard runs.

 

5.       Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

As long as the Vikings don’t foolishly pass on Matt Kalil for Claiborne, this should be the pick for Tampa Bay. The Bucs were awful against the pass in 2011, and in a division with Cam Newton, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan, they can’t afford to ignore their secondary. Trent Richardson is a luxury at this spot, not a necessity. Plus, they already invested over $100M in the offense with the acquisitions of Carl Nicks and Vincent Jackson.

Tampa Bay signed free agent cornerback Eric Wright recently, and guess what? I don’t care. Eric Wright is really bad. There is a reason Detroit’s secondary was so terrible in 2011, and Eric Wright was one of them. Wright finished dead last in the NFL in receptions allowed with an astronomical 75. He finished 4th to last in yards after catch allowed with 319. The list goes on, and on, and on. Tampa absolutely, positively, MUST take Morris Claiborne.

Ronde Barber was re-signed, but he has reached the end of the line, and Aqib Talib is an idiot who may be watching Tampa play on a 12” television in prison shortly. Even with those guys, Tampa Bay gave up 8.2 yards per attempt last season, worst in the NFL. The only reason opponents didn’t pass for more yards against the Bucs was because they were up by 2 or more touchdowns so frequently. This defense has a long way to go to get better, but a lockdown corner is a pretty good start.

6.       St. Louis Rams- Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State

This is by far the best case scenario for the Rams. They desperately want/need Justin Blackmon.

Brandon Lloyd just signed with the New England Patriots, and that means that with their current roster, I could probably start at wide receiver for St. Louis in 2012. They certainly don’t want me starting at wide receiver, so they’ll take Justin Blackmon, the best wide receiver in the draft.

The Rams have a need at tackle, as Rodger Saffold has been awful, but the need at receiver is much greater. Just as Andy Dalton blossomed because he had a stud like A.J. Green to throw to, so Sam Bradford should benefit from having a dynamic talent like Blackmon.

Sure, Blackmon doesn’t jump out at you with his measurables. He is 6’1”, 207 lbs, but you cannot argue with production. Blackmon had 121 catches for 1,522 yards and 18 TD’s in 2011 for the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. What I love about Blackmon is how effortlessly he catches the ball, then turns and runs. He watches the ball all the way into his hands, catches it away from his body, and has great elusiveness in the open field. He reminds me a whole lot of Andre Johnson in that sense.

7.       Jacksonville Jaguars- Melvin Ingram, DE, South Carolina

Jacksonville signed Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Laurent Robinson to a multi-year deal, and according to Jaguar fans I’ve talked to, they apparently think that will solve their wide receiver problems. Umm… whatever. Unfortunately, the front office probably believes that they can get by with Robinson as the answer now, so it is highly unlikely they will go with a receiver here.

NEWSFLASH: Just because the Jaguars re-signed Jeremy Mincey, doesn’t mean they don’t have to worry about the pass rush anymore. The Jags recorded just 31 sacks with Mincey last season. Don’t get me wrong, re-signing Mincey was huge, but he needs a premier pass rusher opposite him. While I’m still of the opinion that Melvin Ingram fits best in a 3-4, there’s no denying he’s a ferocious pass rusher, and he has the ability to put pressure on opposing teams in any scheme.

Melvin Ingram is a little short at 6’1”, but he makes up for it with his burst and speed off of the edge. He will likely need to bulk up a tad to play defensive end in a 4-3, but in the end, talent wins out and Ingram has plenty of it.

8.       Miami Dolphins- Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M 

The Tannehill storyline will be one of the most fascinating to watch unfold on draft day. He could end up going anywhere from Cleveland at #4 to falling to the end of the 1st round. For now, I’m keeping him in Miami, who has shown a great deal of interest in him and needs a quarterback for the future.

The NFL is abuzz with reports of Ryan Tannehill’s great pro day, so his status as the third best quarterback in this draft is starting to solidify, along with his top 10 projection.  The Dolphin’s front office is all over Ryan Tannehill, and with the way they struck out in free agency, Miami almost has to go after the Texas A&M QB.

Tannehill is very raw as a prospect and it is doubtful he will start in year one, barring a catastrophe, but he’s got incredible skill sets that could set him up to develop into an elite quarterback down the road. Tannehill has excellent skills and athleticism, with plenty of upside. Tannehill has ideal size for an NFL QB at 6’4”. He lacks experience at quarterback, having only started 1 ½ seasons at Texas A&M, but many could argue that this simply means he has more room to grow than a quarterback who spent four years in a pro style system in college. Either way, he has a very steep learning curve to go through, and he will have some growing pains as he makes his way through the NFL.

9.       Carolina Panthers- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi St.

I’m moving Fletcher Cox up in this mock, partly because Dontario Poe’s stock is moving down. While Poe’s college production is being called into question, Fletcher Cox’s is not.

Sure, the Panthers have plenty of defensive tackles on their roster, but Terrell McClain really sucked last season, and the Panthers got decimated up the middle at the line of scrimmage consistently.  The Panthers could look at defensive end here, but Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy really didn’t play all that bad last season. They do need an infusion of talent in terms of pass rushers, but the Panthers were so soft up the middle that they must address it this offseason. Besides, defensive lines are built from the inside out.

At 6’4” 300lbs, Fletcher Cox can be moved all over the defensive line, and he will be a much needed physical prescence on the inside of Carolina’s defensive line. Cox is extremely strong in his lower body and he is tough to move. Nationalfootballpost.com even said that he has a “bubble butt” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that—An ode to Walter Cherepinsky).

Even though Cox is a defensive tackle, don’t let that fool you. He can get after the quarterback quite effectively from the middle, and he is the most versatile defensive tackle in this draft, with the skill set to be kicked outside to on passing situations. This will be a big step in righting the ship for Carolina’s defense.

10.   Buffalo Bills- Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa

The Bills addressed their need for a pass rusher by signing free agent stud Mario Williams to a massive $100M dollar deal. Then they went out and signed Mark Anderson away from the division rival New England Patriots. The Bills should have a much improved pass rush in 2012, and while their defense still could use some help, they must now turn their attention towards solidifying their offensive line, especially after the departure of Demetrius Bell.

Reiff is 6’6”, 300 pounds. What I like about him is that he really has no holes in his game. He doesn’t jump out at you in terms of his athleticism, but he is a very intelligent football player that seems to understand not only blocking schemes, but what the defense is trying to do as well. He projects as a future solid to spectacular NFL left tackle. It remains to be seen whether Reiff could start the season on the blind side for Buffalo, but they could always move RT Eric Pears to the left side while Reiff develops. Either way, Reiff will provide an upgrade.

11.   Kansas City Chiefs- David DeCastro, OG, Stanford

The Chiefs just signed Texans right tackle Eric Winston, so Matt Cassell doesn’t have to have nightmares about defensive ends shoving Barry Richardson out of the way anymore to kill him.  That was a huge get for the Chiefs. The Chiefs also signed running back Peyton Hillis to help take the load off of Jamaal Charles, so running back is no longer a need either. Their offensive line could still stand to be upgraded, however, and David DeCastro is the type of elite prospect that doesn’t fall into your lap every year. The Chiefs could instantly turn a bad offensive line into a great one this offseason with the additions of Winston and DeCastro.

DeCastro has power and agility. He was often asked to pull and trap in Stanford’s offense, and he excels at getting to the second level of the defense. He is highly intelligent, seeking out defenders and lanes for ballcarriers downfield. It will be fun to watch Tim Tebow run the wildcat and whatever else the Jets have planned for him behind a dominant offensive line like this. He sure didn’t have anything like it in Denver.

12.   Seattle Seahawks- Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College

Now that middle linebacker David Hawthorne has signed with the Saints, this position has become an immediate need for the Seahawks. Seattle addressed their need for a quarterback with Matt Flynn, so now they can turn to improving their defense, and Kuechly is the best player on the board.

Kuechly is a very special elite prospect, and you don’t say that every year about middle linebackers. Part of the reason he may be so special is that, as Path to the Draft recently noted, he has the ability to play the Mike (middle), Sam (strong side), or Will (weak side) linebacking positions.

Luke Kuechly tested excellently at the combine, running a 4.5 40. He also has prototypical size for an inside linebacker at 6’3” and 240+ lbs. The Seahawks have many different needs, including more pass rushers, but passing on Kuechly would be crazy at this point. He is the model of consistency; a sure tackler, great instincts, extremely high character, elite athleticism, and his great size all combine to make him one of the most pro-ready draft picks in 2012. Kuechly should bring stability to the linebacking corps for years to come.

13.   Arizona Cardinals- Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame

The Cardinals desperately need an upgrade to their neglected offensive line, but the top two tackles are off the board, as well as DeCastro. They’ll address their next greatest need here, wide receiver.

Even without a legitimate #2 wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald is capable of dominating a game. Just think of what he and the Cardinals offense could do if he actually had another receiver on the field with him who could get open? The bottom line is, if the Cardinals don’t want to prevent Kevin Kolb from turning into a bust, they must get him some help, whether that’s on the O-line or a receiver.

Early Doucet is a complementary receiver, and Andre Roberts is young and raw. Michael Floyd will bring instant playmaking opposite Fitzgerald, and he could also serve as Fitzgerald’s long term replacement, as he won’t be around forever.

Michael Floyd is a big target at 6’3” 225 lbs. He projects as a #1 receiver who has the skillset to do it all. Floyd ran in the mid 4.4’s on his 40, so speed is certainly not an issue for him, and while he occasionally drops balls he shouldn’t, the ability to make the spectacular catch is certainly there. Floyd has strong hands and he is not afraid to run crossing routes. He’s a big receiver with the ability to beat press coverage. He’s had some off the field issues in the past, but if Floyd keeps his head on straight, he should be the total package for Arizona.

14.   Dallas Cowboys- Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

The Dallas Cowboys have quietly had one of the better offseasons in the NFL thus far. The Cowboys had big needs at cornerback and linebacker, and they addressed them both by signing CB Brandon Carr and LB Dan Connor, respectively.

Now for the bad part of the Cowboys’ offseason: I really think an offensive lineman would be a perfect fit here, but for some reason, the Cowboys committed $30 Million to two guys named Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings. It’s hard to believe that they would also use a 1st round pick on another guard or tackle. But hey, it’s not like adding talent to the defense is a bad thing.

While the Cowboys do have Jay Ratliff penciled in at the nose, he is a product of Wade Phillips’ defense scheme, which prefers smaller, quicker nose tackles. Rob Ryan is in charge now, and he’d like to kick Ratliff outside to the three technique and fill the middle with a true stuffer. The 345lb Poe fits the bill.

Despite his massive size, Dontari Poe is freakishly athletic for a man his size. Seriously, how many times do you see a 345 pound man run a 4.9 second 40 yard dash? Oh, and he pushed out 44 reps on the bench press. This guy is a physical freak of nature and he has rightfully been compared to Haloti Ngata already. He is the type of pick that could potentially change a defense completely. He does have a lot to prove, as he didn’t exactly produce big numbers in college, but I love his story and his work ethic. Poe had every reason in the world to take the easy road and succumb to his surroundings growing up in a tough neighborhood, but he has been a fighter his entire life, and he takes the business of football very seriously. He’s a worker, and he will add toughness to the Cowboys’ front seven.

15.   Philadelphia Eagles- Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama

The Eagles finally addressed their dire need for linebacker help by trading for Houston’s Demeco Ryans. Ryans will be a stud for the Eagles, a player who can step in right away and provide stability and leadership in the middle of what was a very soft D in 2011. Now the Eagles can put a nail in the coffin of their problems in the middle of their defense.

Mark Barron projects as a strong safety in the NFL, and he is definitely better in run support than in coverage, but that doesn’t mean he is a slouch in coverage. For a strong safety, he has what it takes to hold his own, and he has great instincts, as shown by his 12 career interceptions at Alabama.

Barron has a solid build at 6’1”, 215 lbs., and he is known as a hard hitter. Eagles fans will have fun watching him light up opposing ballcarriers.

With Philly’s Wide-9 defensive scheme, the ability of the safety to protect the deep middle of the field on the pass and come up in run support is critical, and the Eagles have been hurting for talent at the safety spot ever since Brian Dawkins departed. Barron may be the most sure fire future Pro Bowler in this year’s draft, so this is a great pick for Philadelphia.

16.   New York Jets- Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama

The Jets are desperate for an impact pass rusher who they can rely upon to put up 10+ sacks per season. This team has tried to brand itself with a “tough” identity, but the fact of the matter is, this team is actually a bit soft. Courtney Upshaw and his relentless motor could help to change all that on the defensive side of the ball.

Calvin Pace has been really disappointing ever since he was brought in from Arizona. He managed just 5 sacks last season, and Aaron Maybin is never going to live up to expectations, it seems. The Jets need a big time pass rush prospect.

At 6’2” 275lbs, Courtney Upshaw offers up tremendous size for a pass rusher with good athletic ability. He isn’t the fastest pass rusher you’ll find, but he uses he arsenal of pass rush moves and his shear tenacity to make himself a highly disruptive force on defense. Upshaw has earned high praise from Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who said that Upshaw is “one of the finest players I’ve had the opportunity to coach.” Upshaw should be a good piece to add to the locker room in New York, and he will help to motivate and fire up his teammates.

 

17.   Cincinnati Bengals (from the Oakland heist)- Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina

You can’t tell me Hue Jackson kept a straight face when he decided to accept a job as an offensive assistant for the Bengals. First, he trades away all of Oakland’s draft picks for a crappy Carson Palmer, then he gets fired, and then he signs on with the team that he traded all of his picks to. I personally think it’s hilarious.

The Bengals just signed Jason Allen away from Houston, and while he is a solid player who could start and be effective if he needs to, the Bengals should look to upgrade if they have the chance. With two picks in the first round, they should jump all over it. Leon Hall is coming off of an Achilles tear and there are no guarantees that he’ll be the same player he once was.

While Janoris Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick got all of the early love leading up to the combine, it is Stephon Gilmore who has quietly seen his draft stock rise to that of the #2 CB prospect, and with good reason. There’s really no explanation as to why he seemingly flew under the radar for so long, but make no mistake, Gilmore has serious cover corner skills, and he can step in and start on day 1.

Gilmore has excellent size for a corner at 6’, 190 lbs. He showed off his speed at the combine, running a 4.44 40 yard dash with a 1.5 second 10 yard split, showing he has the burst to keep up with the fastest wide receivers. He also faced some pretty darn good competition in college playing cornerback in the SEC. The selection of Gilmore will take some of the pressure off of Leon Hall as he returns from a serious injury and give the Bengals’ secondary a boost.

18.   San Diego Chargers- Michael Brockers, DT, LSU

Not many have a defensive lineman going to the Chargers right now, but with the addition of Jarrett Johnson to play outside linebacker, they may look to get tougher up front in the draft. The Chargers did re-sign nose tackle Antonio Garay, but they need a versatile defensive lineman who can also rush the passer and who can be utilized in multiple ways .

While Brockers is not a prototypical nose tackle, that doesn’t mean he cannot be used at the three technique, as he certainly has the athleticism to handle the job. Plus, he is the best prospect left on the board at this point, so the Chargers will at the least take a hard look at him.

Brockers is a big body. At 6’6”, 305 lbs, Brockers will likely bat down a lot of passes at the line of scrimmage, much like J.J. Watt did for the Texans in his rookie season. Brockers is highly disruptive, showing the ability to get skinny and get in the backfield as well as take on double teams. Not only will he provide help in run support, but Brockers should provide an interior pass rush presence that the Chargers did not have last season. That should free up the outside linebackers to make more plays in the backfield in 2012.

19.   Chicago Bears- Cordy Glenn, OG/ OT, Georgia

The Bears’ offensive line was a disaster in 2011. They had players playing out of position all over the line, and they allowed Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie to constantly get harassed. Chris Williams was like a revolving door, allowing 30 quarterback hurries. Roberto Garza struggled playing out of position. J’Marcus Webb allowed the second-most sacks in the NFL with 12. The Bears need stability if they want Jay Cutler to stay healthy, and Cordy Glenn will help provide it.

Glenn is a massive body at 6’5” and 345 lbs, and I could easily see him making the eventual shift to tackle with his 35 ¼” arm length. At the very least, he can immediately start at guard. He displayed unusually good straight line speed for a man of his size, but the question will be whether he has adequate lateral agility to make the shift to tackle. He has a great coach in Mike Tice to tutor and mentor him in his development, though, so I don’t think the Bears will be too worried.

20.   Tennessee Titans- Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama

The Titans still have a need for a big time pass rusher, but they did sign Kameron Wimbley away from Oakland, who should provide an upgrade. Their secondary talent, on the other hand, has regressed seriously this offseason with the loss of Cortland Finnegan. Luckily for the Titans, this is a deep cornerback draft, so they can land a marquee first round prospect at #20 like Dre Kirkpatrick.

Alterraun Verner played reasonably with in 2011, but Jason McCourty got picked on relentlessly by opposing QB’s. He cannot be relied upon to start in 2012.

Kirkpatrick is a tall corner at 6’2”, and along with Mark Barron helped to form a formidable secondary during his time at Alabama. He’s extremely physical and receivers consistently have problems getting separation when matched up with Dre. While he doesn’t intercept many passes, Kirkpatrick makes up for it by blanketing receivers and being stingy around the end zone. Kirpatrick gave up just one touchdown in 2011, the first of his entire college career.

21.   Cincinnati Bengals- Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor

The Bengals will lose Jerome Simpson this offseason, but he wasn’t necessarily a difference maker anyways. A #2 receiver is needed in Cincy to make teams pay for double teaming A.J. Green, and the addition of Kendall Wright could make this passing offense deadly.

While Kendall Wright is undersized at 5’10”, he still has the ability to be a potential #1 receiver in a passing game. If you watched any Baylor games, you know how fast Wright is in game speed. If he gets in space, watch out. Wright will be the perfect compliment to A.J. Green. He can be lined up out wide or in the slot, and he will give the Bengals an instant scoring threat from anywhere on the field.

The addition of Wright will punish opposing defenses for trying to bring safety help over to A.J. Green’s side of the field. If they do, leaving Kendall Wright one on one with a nickel back, he has the game breaking speed and agility to take it to the house and make them pay.

22.   Cleveland Browns- Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford

The Browns continue to address the offensive side of the ball with their second selection in the 1st round by adding a right tackle to replace Tony Pashos. While Martin’s strength at the present moment is his pass blocking, he should continue to develop into the type of player who can open up holes for new running back Trent Richardson.

At 6’6”, 305lbs, Martin is one of the quickest, most agile tackle prospects in this draft. He may struggle at first, as he lacks the strength usually desired in an NFL offensive tackle, but that can be remedied in an NFL strength and conditioning program. For now, Martin makes up for it with incredible burst off of the snap, getting quickly to the second level of the defense and using his intelligence he gained from playing in a pro style offense at Stanford to accurately seek out his blocking assignments.

Martin comes from a winning program and he should provide some much needed leadership on the offensive side of the ball in Cleveland. The Browns are still a couple years away from contention, but adding an elite running back and a bookend tackle opposite Joe Thomas is a great start towards an offensive turnaround.

23.   Detroit Lions- Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama

It’s no secret that the Lion’s secondary stinks. You know something is wrong when Eric Wright is your most consistent cornerback, and he led the league in completions allowed with 75. For some reason, the Buccaneers thought that cornerbacks are SUPPOSED to lead the league in completions allowed, so they gave Wright $37.5 Million. I’d be pretty disappointed if the Lions don’t draft a corner or safety in the 1st round.

The Lions need cornerback help so bad that they may be forced to take a gamble on Janoris Jenkins here. However, if Jenkins stays out of trouble and that gamble pays off, this could end up being one of the steals of the draft.

Jenkins is easily the most talented corner left on the board. Jenkins has elite cover corner skills. He’s a bit undersized for a corner at 5’9”, but he makes up for it with his speed and physicality. He isn’t afraid to come up in run support and he is a confident young player. Jenkins has phenomenal read and react ability, and even when a receiver is able to get a little separation, he uses his explosive closing burst to bridge the gap and get in between his man and the ball.

He can play in a zone coverage or man scheme, and he is also a special teams contributor. Basically, Janoris Jenkins is the total package. The only questions is, has he grown up enough in the past year to learn from his mistakes and be a mature adult?

24.   Pittsburgh Steelers- Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama

The Steelers desperately need offensive line help, but all the top prospects are off the board at this point, so they’ll address another area of concern: their aging defense. Larry Foote is 32 years old, and he won’t be effective much longer, and James Harrison is about to turn 33. Not only will Hightower offer help in run support, but he can rush the passer and play inside or outside linebacker in the 3-4. Plus, he’s the best player left on the board at this point.

Hightower is extremely physical and very mobile for a linebacker his size. He’s 6’2”, 265 lbs. and he ran a 4.6 40 yard dash at the combine. Hightower has the ability to rush the passer and he meets the ball carrier at the line of scrimmage. He also has the fire and leadership ability that will fit in perfectly with the Pittsburgh clubhouse. This seems like a match made in Heaven.

25.   Denver Broncos- Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

The Broncos need a defensive tackle in the worst way. Denver’s run stuffer Brodrick Bunkley signed with the Saints, and Ryan McBean will be suspended for the first 6 games of 2012, so defensive tackle has become a high priority. Jerel Worthy is the best defensive tackle left on the board at this point, so the Broncos will jump on him. Even Mike Mayock recently bumped him up to his #2 rated defensive tackle in the draft recently.

Worthy is a physical specimen at 6’3”, 310lbs. Worthy is extremely quick off the snap, which enables him to get consistent penetration into opponents’ backfields. He’s extremely strong, showing the ability to put offensive linemen back on their heels, but he also has displayed a good variety of pass rush moves for an interior lineman. Worthy’s knock is that he is inconsistent, but recently on NFL Network he insisted that it isn’t for a lack of effort.

The other quality that Worthy will bring to the team that drafts him is leadership. It is rare for a defensive tackle to make adjustments for the entire defense pre-snap, but that was his responsibility for Michigan State in 2011. He’s a mature player that will have a positive effect on any locker room.

26.   Houston Texans- Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

The Houston Texans are likely targeting a wide receiver with their first round pick, but I have a hunch that if Kendall Wright is off the board, they won’t bite on Stephen Hill at #30. Hill is a raw prospect who saw his stock rise from his workouts, and the Texans traditionally draft players who produce at the college level.

If the Texans don’t get a receiver, the next best thing could be the best tight end in the 2012 draft, Coby Fleener. Many Texans fans may let out a sigh when they see this, but two tight end sets are an integral part to what the Texans do on offense, and multiple teams are showing just how deadly an offense can be with two talented tight ends on the field (Patriots, Ravens).

Fleener had a phenomenal Pro Day, running a blazing 4.45 40 yard dash. He displayed excellent route running ability and sure hands, showing that he has the athleticism to be lined up as a traditional tight end or out of the slot.

Fleener is 6’6” with huge hands, providing an excellent red zone target. While it is obvious that Fleener has good straight line speed, his savvy route running seems as if it has been overlooked. Fleener is very quick out of his breaks and should be able to separate from linebackers and safeties with ease. Having Fleener on the field with Owen Daniels will create matchup nightmares for opposing defenses, as they can be lined up anywhere and they are both effective blockers in a zone blocking scheme.

CHECK OUT MY COMPLETE ARTICLE ON WHY THE TEXANS COULD DRAFT FLEENER HERE http://rattleandhumsports.com/the-texans-case-for-coby-fleener/

27.   New England Patriots- Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina

Quinton Coples has really taken a tumble down draft boards, but his tumble will stop here with New England. The Patriots are certainly not afraid to take chances on players with talent and an attitude problem (Brandon Spikes, Albert Haynesworth), so this pick wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

Getting Coples at #27 could prove to be the steal of the draft one day. The Patriots are in desperate need of pass rushing help. Their leading pass rusher, Mark Anderson, departed to division rival Buffalo, leaving them even more thin than they already were.

Just because Bill Belichick likes to flip flop between a 3-4 and a 4-3 defense doesn’t mean this prototypical 4-3 defensive end won’t be considered. The Patriots are known for taking talented players and building their scheme around the abilities of those players, and Coples offers incredible value this late in the first round.

Coples is a 285 lb. ferocious pass rusher. The UNC product has been knocked for his inconsistent effort, but if New England’s coaching staff can get this kid to focus, he could be an absolute monster. Coples has long arms, is very athletic, and is stout against the run. He is very strong, and once he gets ahold of a ballcarrier, they generally don’t escape. If he can figure out how to keep his motor running for an entire game, he could instantly be the best pass rusher in Foxboro.

28.   Green Bay Packers- Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

The Green Bay Packers finished dead last in pass defense in 2011. Part of the reason for this is that they generated just 29 sacks, despite having Clay Matthews on their team. Offensive coordinators simply game planned to stop Matthews, and it worked. Adding Shea McClellin would be a perfect remedy for the Packers’ pass rush problems.

McClellin is a highly active outside linebacker. He has a motor like nobody’s business, and he is surprisingly adept at anchoring against the run. At 6’3”, 260lbs, he has prototypical size for an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense.

Another positive trait that McClellin possesses is the ability to drop back in coverage when asked. He has proven that he has the athleticism to do it, although in Green Bay’s 3-4 he wouldn’t be required to do so very often. Regardless, in today’s passing league, it is an important quality to have. McClellin is absolutely relentless in his pursuit of the ballcarrier, and he can easily blow by less athletic offensive tackles. His pass rushing skills and nose for the ball have vaulted him into the first round.

29.   Baltimore Ravens- Peter Konz, C/G, Wisconsin

This may not be the sexiest pick for Ravens’ fans, but it is the smartest one. After losing starting guard Ben Grubbs to New Orleans, the Ravens have a hole on the offensive line that needs to be filled if they don’t want to see a drop off in offensive production.

While Konz started at center for Wisconsin, he can be moved to guard for the Ravens until Matt Birk retires. He certainly has the size to handle the move at 6’5”, 315lbs, and Konz was originally a tackle coming into college.

His strength is his agility, as Konz can frequently be seen on tape pulling to lead block for Wisconsin’s running backs. He is highly aware of his surroundings, showing the ability to understand spacing in the running game and correctly assessing his assignments. In the passing game, Konz makes good use of his hands, getting them up quickly on the pass rusher. With this pick, the Ravens fill an immediate need while also drafting their center of the future.

30.   San Francisco 49ers- Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech

The 49ers could go any number of directions with this pick, and I could easily see them trading down, as there are no available players that fill a need position that wouldn’t be a reach, but adding weapons to help further the development of quarterback Alex Smith is paramount. Signing WR Mario Manningham was a good start, but Randy Moss is a wild card and this passing game needs all the help it can get.

Stephen Hill is a tall, lanky target, standing 6’5”. He was underused in Georgia Tech’s triple option offense, but when he got his opportunities, he capitalized. Hill averaged nearly 30 yards per reception, an astronomical number for any receiver. He also ran an unofficial 4.29 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine.

In the 49ers’ offense, everything comes off of the running game, so having a weapon like Hill to burn the defense over the top when they bite on the play action fake could create some much need explosive plays for the 49er’s offense. Plus, Hill will have the chance to learn from one of the best, Randy Moss. While Hill is definitely a raw prospect, he offers tremendous upside.

If one of the top offensive linemen were to fall to this spot, I could see San Francisco going that direction with this pick as well. G/T Adam Snyder was lost in free agency weeks ago.

31.   New England Patriots- Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse

History tells us the Patriots will likely trade this pick, but assuming they don’t, the Patriots can still add another pass rusher, as they lost two in Mark Anderson and Andre Carter in free agency.

The Patriots really couldn’t draft enough defensive players this year. Like I said, they need help all over. The Pats will continue to address the front 7 here with the addition of a sleeper prospect in Chandler Jones. Jones is quietly rising up draft boards, but there’s no question he has 1st round-type talent.

The lengthy Jones is 6’4” 266lbs with a huge wingspan. He will likely enter the league as a situational pass rusher, but this player has the frame and the potential to develop into a premier NFL pass rusher. Jones needs to work on his technique, as he tends to play too high and doesn’t understand the concept of playing with leverage fully yet, but that can be coached. Pure talent cannot, and Chandler Jones has a lot of it. A coach like Bill Belichick will get the most out of him early on.

32.   New York Giants- Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State

The Giants’ offensive line needs a left tackle of the future to protect Eli Manning. David Diehl is 31, and Chris Snee is 30. Plus, Will Beatty would be better suited at right tackle. This is a perfect landing spot for a player like Mike Adams, who won’t be expected to come in and start right away. It will give him time to learn and develop. He has an immense amount of talent that just needs to be channeled in the right direction.

This 6’7”, 320lb beast is a powerful lineman. While some are concerned about his low bench press total of 19 at the Combine, simply watching him play makes you forget all that. Adams has power, low bench press total or not. The biggest knock on Mike Adams is his inconsistency. At times, he simply dominates with his quick feet and surprising athleticism, but other times, he simply looks lost on his assignments. If he can put it all together, he could turn into the left tackle of the future in New York.

Round 2

33.   St. Louis Rams- Devon Still, DT, Penn State

 

Even though the Rams just signed Kendall Langford, they need to get much tougher up the middle. Still is the best defensive lineman left on the board.  Devon Still is a tall, violent DT. Standing 6’5”, 305 lbs, Still excels at collapsing the pocket and getting into opponent’s backfields. Still had 17 tackles for loss in 2011, a testament to his ability to recognize plays and get to the ballcarrier before they develop. Not only should he help solidify the rush defense up the middle, he should also provide some pass rush help by collapsing the pocket.

34.   Indianapolis Colts- Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina

The Colts will want to give Andrew Luck some weapons to work with to help him develop. Jeffrey is an incredible athlete that has the ability to turn off target throws into catches, much like A.J. Green did for Andy Dalton in 2011. Plus, he will have the benefit of learning the ropes from Reggie Wayne. Not a bad tutor at all.

35.   Minnesota Vikings- Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

Although the Vikings may run a Cover 2 scheme in the secondary, that doesn’t mean they can run scrubs out on the field. This secondary is in dire need of an upgrade, especially considering their most talented corner is Chris Cook, who has had some serious legal issues over the past couple years. Jayron Hosley is a 5’10” ball hawk who has experience playing zone coverage. He closes gaps with receivers quickly and should be a good fit in the Cover 2 in Minnesota.

36.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Doug Martin, RB, Boise State

The Bucs didn’t land Trent Richardson in the first, but they get their running back early in the second, and he happens to be the second best running back in this draft. At 5’9”, 225lbs, Marting ran a 4.47 40 yd dash at the combine and has received comparisons to Ray Rice. He is a  multi-threat back who can catch the ball out of the backfield. He runs effectively inside and has speed and agility to bounce it outside. Martin is also one of the best blocking running backs in the draft.  He’s a complete back.

37.   Cleveland Browns-  Nick Perry, DE, USC

Now that the Browns have addressed their offense in the 1st round, they can find an upgrade for the ineffective Jayme Mitchell at defensive end. Perry had a phenomenal combine, weighing in at 273lbs and running a 4.5 40 yard dash. He should take some pressure off of Jabaal Sheard.

38.   Jacksonville Jaguars- Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

The Jaguars added Laurent Robinson in free agency, but they were so bad at wide receiver in 2011 that they could add two more in the draft. Sanu will make a good compliment to Robinson, as he is a possession receiver with great hands and savvy route running ability. He isn’t fast, running a disappointing 4.67 40 at the combine, but he makes up for it with his competitiveness. He was very productive at Rutgers despite the poor quality of quarterback play. That should translate well seeing as Blaine Gabbert is the quarterback in Jacksonville.

39.   St. Louis Rams- Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss

Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith have been awful for the Rams. They addressed the interior of their O-line by signing Scott Wells and Harvey Dahl, but competition must be brought in at tackle. Massie is the best tackle on the board. The 6’6”, 315lb Massie played right tackle at Ole Miss, so that is likely his ceiling in the NFL, but any tackle help is good help at this point for St. Louis.

40.   Carolina Panthers- Rueben Randle, WR, LSU

The Panthers need a #2 wide receiver to pair with Steve Smith and help Cam Newton in his continued development. Randle has ideal size for a wide out at 6’3”, 210lbs. Although he didn’t put up huge numbers at LSU, that is largely due to the poor quality of quarterback play. Randle runs a 4.5 40 yard dash and scored on 8 of his 53 receptions in 2011, showing a nose for the end zone.

41.   Buffalo Bills- Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia

120, 107.9, 107.2. Can you guess what those three numbers represent?

They represent the quarterback ratings allowed by each of Buffalo’s three cornerbacks in 2011, Aaron Williams, Drayton Florence, and Leodis McKelvin, respectively. The Bills need to find a starter at corner early in this draft. Brandon Boykin is an excellent slot corner, showing a lot of toughness for a 5’9” corner, and excellent closing speed.

42.   Miami Dolphins- A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois

Another wide receiver comes off the board for a wide receiver-starved team. The Dolphins traded away their best offensive weapon in Brandon Marshall, and the cupboard is now empty. They have to add wide receiver talent early in this draft. Jenkins doesn’t have idea size at just 6’, but he has great speed to stretch defenses and he has shown the ability to make the tough catches despite his size. The Dolphins really need weapons like this that can make a defensive coordinator nervous.

43.   Seattle Seahawks- Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall

The Seahawks addressed their need for an inside linebacker in the 1st round, and now they can add a much needed pass rusher to help spell Chris Clemons. Clemons had 12 of Seattle’s 38 sacks in 2011, and he is already 31 years old. His decline could start this year, so adding a talent like Curry at this point is a great spot for the Seahawks. Curry is a scheme-versatile player, at 6’4” 265lbs. He’s a turnover forcing machine and he can also drop back into coverage, which will allow Seattle to get more creative with their defensive scheme and alignments.

44.   Kansas City Chiefs- Brock Osweiller, QB, Arizona State

Matt Cassel is obviously not the long term answer at quarterback in Kansas City. He has been way too inconsistent, and it is time for the Chiefs to start looking at a long term replacement. Brock Osweiller’s stock has been steadily rising, despite his absence in drills at the combine. Osweiller is a mountain of a man, standing nearly 6’7” and weighing 245lbs.

Osweiller is a bit inexperienced at quarterback. He started just over one season’s worth of games at the college level. In 2011, he threw for 4,000 yards, 26 TD’s, and 13 INT’s. There’s no doubt that he has NFL arm strength, but his accuracy has been sporadic. His height has some teams concerned, but seems to be a bit overblown. Despite his enormous size, however, this former basketball player is a very good athlete. He’s just a very raw prospect that will need time to develop. He’ll have a year to sit behind Cassel in KC and learn.

45.   Dallas Cowboys- Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson

The Cowboys need to add another edge rusher to their rotation to go along with Demarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer. Branch is the best edge rusher left on the board at this spot. The Cowboys would be thrilled to land him here. The 6’4”, 260 pounder is a quick-twitched, explosive player. He shows great burst to the outside, beating tackles with his speed rush. Branch needs to work on his repertoire of pass rush moves, but he has the raw talent that scouts look for. He’s a great scheme fit in Rob Ryan’s defense.

46.   Philadelphia Eagles- Bobby Wagner, OLB, Utah State

Andy Reid hates drafting linebackers, but Philly was so bad at the position in 2011 that he doesn’t have a choice. Demeco Ryans was a great addition in the middle, but both the Will and Sam could stand for an upgrade. The 6’1” 230lb linebacker is one of the best tacklers in this draft. He was highly productive during his time at Utah State. Wagner does a good job in pass coverage and has great speed in pursuit. He could very well start for the Eagles in 2012.

47.   New York Jets- Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State

The Jets must bring in some competition for the awful right tackle Wayne Hunter. Hunter may have been the worst offensive lineman in the NFL in 2011. He surrendered 12 sacks and Mark Sanchez was constantly harassed due to Hunter’s ineptness. Zebrie Sanders has experience at both right and left tackle at Florida State, so he will make for an excellent swing tackle in New York. He could also step in and start at right tackle if Hunter continues his poor play. Sanders is extremely athletic, and has great size at 6’6”, 320lbs. He is a bit inconsistent, as he seems to struggle maintaining his blocks and can get pushed around by stronger pass rushers.

48.   New England Patriots- Harrison Smith, Safety, Notre Dame

The Patriots continue to address their defense, albeit the secondary this time around. Smith is the 2nd rated safety in this draft and offers tremendous value and fills a huge need for New England here at 48. The Patriots have been looking for the answer at safety for a long, long time, and he isn’t on their roster yet. Smith is fast, smart, and physical. He has great size at 6’2”, 215lbs, and he shows great instincts to recognize plays. He also excels at covering tight ends and running backs out of the backfield. Smith will help improve an awful Patriots’ pass defense in 2011.

49.   San Diego Chargers- Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin

The Chargers have holes all over their offensive line, especially at guard since Kris Dielman retired, and Zeitler is the best O-line prospect available at this juncture. Zeitler is 6’3”, 315lbs. He is extremely strong, pushing out 32 reps of 225lbs at the Combine. Zeitler understands how to use his leverage and play with balance, and he is athletic enough to get to the second level when pulling. He needs to work on his awareness, but that comes with maturity.

50.   Chicago Bears-  Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson

Because Mike Martz hated tight ends, the Bears are now stuck with Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth. With the emphasis placed on the tight end in today’s passing game, adding a weapon at that area is necessary to help Jay Cutler. Allen is the best tight end left on the board. He had a poor combine, running a pitiful 4.89 40 yard dash, but he runs much better than that in game speed. Allen has excellent hands and provides another great red zone weapon for Cutler. Adding him along with Brandon Marshall will really open things up for the Bears and Cutler, specifically in the red zone.

51.   Philadelphia Eagles- Amini Silatolu, OT/G, Midwestern State

The Eagles have addressed their defense with a safety and a linebacker. Now they need to add offensive tackle depth after the loss of starter Jason Peters. Demetrius Bell was added, but he is injury prone, so he cannot be counted on. The 6’4”, 310lb Silatolu has been rising up draft boards recently, and he offers the Eagles great versatility, as he can play guard or right tackle. He excels in the running game, showing off great strength. Silatolu will likely struggle early on in pass protection, as his feet are stiff and he isn’t real athletic. Nonetheless, he will provide the depth the Eagles need.

52.   Tennessee Titans- Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson

The Titans lost Jason Jones in free agency, so depth is needed at defensive tackle. The 6’2”, 310lb. Thompson is an excellent value this low in the second round. He is an incredible run defender, extremely physical, and does a good job of taking up blockers, freeing up the pass rushers to get to the quarterback.

53.   Cincinnati Bengals- Lamar Miller, RB, Miami

The Bengals will be thrilled to find Lamar Miller late in the 2nd round. Although they signed the Law Firm, he is not the answer to start at running back. Lamar Miller is 5’11”, 212lbs. For Miami in 2011, he ran for 1,272 yards and 9 TD’s. He’s definitely a speed back, running a blazing 4.38 40 yard dash at the combine. At first glance, it appears that Miller wouldn’t be able to handle a full load, but he could potentially be a 3 down back. Miller is a game breaker who can score on any given play, but he’s tough for a smallish back as well. He needs to work on his pass blocking before he can be trusted full time, however.

54.   Detroit Lions-  Jeff Allen, OT/G, Illinois

Jeff Backus is coming off of a major injury, and the Lions could also use guard depth, as Rob Sims and Stephen Peterman aren’t exactly Pro Bowlers. Jeff Allen could step in right away at guard, and he is one of the O-line prospects in this draft that has a chance to develop into a quality tackle. Allen is a versatile, 6’5”, 315lb tackle. He played both left and right tackle in college. He can play any position on the line except center, and he is surprisingly athletic. Allen’s strength is his pass blocking, as he does a great job of mirroring the pass rusher.

55.   Atlanta Falcons- Orson Charles, TE, Georgia

Tony Gonzalez has started to decline, and the Falcons desperately need a young, athletic tight end to eventually replace him. Charles’ strength is as a pass catcher, but he’s also a willing blocker and strong as an ox. Charles pumped out 35 reps of 225lbs on the bench press at the combine. He comes with character concerns, as he was recently arrested for DUI. That’s a pretty stupid thing to do in and of itself, let alone right before the biggest event of your entire life. However, his upside is tremendous and the Falcons can afford to take a small risk with potentially great reward.

56.   Pittsburgh Steelers- Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia

The Steelers need to find a viable starter opposite Ike Taylor at corner. Minnifield is an excellent zone cornerback, so he will be a perfect fit in Pittsburgh. The 5’10”, 185lb Minnifield is highly experienced, having spent five years playing at Virginia. He is a ball hawk and a very hard hitter for his size. Chase’s dad, Frank, was a four time Pro Bowler for the Cleveland Browns, so the bloodlines are there as well.

57.   Denver Broncos- David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

The Broncos’ Willis McGahee has begun to show his age. Although he exceeded expectations in 2011, Denver cannot expect to see the same type of production this year. The Broncos need to bring in their running back of the future to help lighten the load of Peyton Manning. Wilson is an absolute physical freak. At 5’10”, 205lbs, Wilson ran a 4.40 40 yd dash, one of the best times for running backs at the combine. Wilson averaged 5.9 yards per carry and totaled 1,709 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. He also showed the ability to catch ball out of backfield in drills.  He could potentially become a 3 down back, but he is fumble prone and needs to work on his ball security

58.   Houston Texans- Mychal Kendricks, ILB/OLB, Cal

The Texans lost ILB Demeco Ryans and OLB Mario Williams this offseason, and they are now just one injury away from having a gaping hole at one of their starting linebacker spots. Kendricks played both inside and outside linebacker at Cal, so he will transition into Houston’s 3-4 seamlessly. Kendricks ran a 4.41 40 yard dash at 5’11”, 240lbs. That is simply amazing. On tape, Kendricks can be seen flying across the field, tracking down the ball carrier with ease. He needs to get tougher to hold up against the run, but he has a relentless motor and he was a defensive captain at Cal, two qualities the Texans love.

59.   Green Bay Packers- Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Connecticut

Ryan Pickett and Jarius Wynn could stand to be upgraded. Although Reyes is listed as a defensive tackle, he is easily athletic enough to play defensive end in a 3-4. He is 6’4”, 300lbs with room to add some more bulk. Reyes is a great penetrator, getting into the backfield regularly, and he shows great instincts on play recognition. He’s yet another weapon to help strengthen a sagging 2011 Packers defense.

60.   Baltimore Ravens- Derek Wolfe, DE/DT, Cincinnati

The Ravens lost Cory Redding to the Colts in free agency, so they need to find someone to step in to play DE in their 3-4 defense. Wolfe played defensive tackle in college, but his best fit as a pro is DE in a 3-4. Wolfe does a great job of anchoring at the point of attack against the run, using good leverage with his strong lower body. He’s not a very good pass rusher, but the Ravens aren’t asking their DE’s to rush the passer, just stuff the run and occupy blockers. Wolfe can handle that job.

61.   San Francisco 49ers- James Brown, OG, Troy

The 49ers lost guard Adam Snyder in free agency, and the inexperienced Daniel Kilgore needs depth behind him. Brown did a great job at tackle for Troy during his college career, but he projects best as a guard in the NFL. The 6’3”, 315lb prospect  moves well in space and shows good athleticism, although his footwork has been called into question. His strength is pass protection, though, which will make Alex Smith happy.

62.   New England Patriots- Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State

Now that the Patriots have added three picks to solidify their defense, they can take a wide receiver with tremendous upside in Brian Quick. Quick has elite size at 6’4”, 220lbs. He has excellent hands, high points the ball, and simply out muscles defensive backs. He doesn’t have elite deep speed, but it’s adequate and he makes up for it with tough catches. Quick is a raw prospect, but he has a very high ceiling.

63.   New York Giants- Josh Robinson, CB/KR, UCF

The Giants could use some depth in the secondary, as Prince Amukamara and Terrell Thomas are largely unproven. The 5’10”, 200lb Robinson offers up elite speed and athleticism, running a 4.29 40 yard dash at the combine, the fastest of any player in 2012. His natural athletic ability alone will allow him to stay with any receiver in the NFL, but Robinson has been widely criticized for his softness and inability to play press coverage or help out in run support. He makes up for that with his speed and the added plus of what he can bring to the table as a kick returner.

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6 Comments

  1. ken palmeri says:

    Vikings pick Kalil goes to USC not Stanford

  2. Tommy Smith says:

    Thanks Ken. We will get that corrected. We really appreciate your honest feedback. Please tell a friend as we will be a football authority this fall!

  3. ken palmeri says:

    Vikes are flirting with trading the 3rd pick. You know what happens when they try to get fancy with draft picks. I agree with taking Kalil at #3

  4. DaveWilk says:

    Love, absolutely LOVE your two picks for the Texans!! Unfortunately, it seems you’re in the minority, at least as far as Coby Fleener is concerned. Personally, I see it as the perfect pick for the Texans at #26, even if Kendall Wright and Stephen Hill are both still on the board. You spoke to it, how Fleener creates mismatches for opposing defenses – he’s too fast for LBs to cover and too big for safeties – and Kubiak loves creating mismatches with his offense.
    Well, here’s to hoping that your predictions for the Texans are right on the money! Keep up the good work!

  5. Tommy Smith says:

    Thanks Dave! We will keep up the good work. We have a tremendous lineup taking shape for football season. Make sure you catch our Astros coverage as well and plaese tell a friend!

  6. Jared Huntley says:

    Thanks Dave,
    Yah it definitely seems like most people are going wide receiver or offensive line in the first round. What nobody is talking about as well is how important the blocking of the tight ends are to the Texans zone stretch running plays. Dreessen played a big role with that. Fleener is real good blocking in space and would be a great zone scheme fit.
    Mel Kiper actually said he’s real tempted to mock Fleener to the Texans. No one else thinks it will happen, but I think it can and it just might! Thanks again for the kind words!