17. St. Louis Rams-Chance Warmack, OG Alabama (Scouting Notes)
I think that Sam Bradford would be an effective NFL quarterback if he was given more time and more weapons. Givens and Amendola have produced this season, and it’s too early for the Rams to give up on Brian Quick, so I don’t think they’re taking a wide receiver in round one. The next best option is to keep Bradford upright and comfortable in the pocket. Warmack would be a much higher pick if teams valued guards. He would immediately upgrade the Rams line.
18. Dallas Cowboys- Eric Fisher, OT Central Michigan (Scouting Notes)
The Cowboys would have really wanted Warmack at this spot, but need to adjust. They could also draft Jesse Williams, but that becomes less likely if they re-sign Jay Ratliff. The other major need for the Cowboys is on the outside of the line. Eric Fisher is a solid small school prospect that will really impressive people in the offseason. He can play either bookend and help the Cowboys get some yards on runs off the edge.
19. New York Giants-Jesse Williams, DT Alabama (Scouting Notes)
The Giants always like to load up on their defensive line; that’s even when their line is strong. This year has been a real down year for the Giants defense in terms of production in both the run and pass game. Williams is an extremely large, physical lineman who should help free up space to move for those dynamic pass-rushers that the Giants love to stockpile.
20. St. Louis Rams-Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas (Scouting Report)
The Rams could also use an offensive tackle, but any here would be a real reach. If they turn their attention to the defense, the safety position is the one that jumps out. Finnegan has helped the pass defense, but he needs some help over the top. Kenny Vaccaro should be the next in the line of talented Longhorn defensive backs.
21. Minnesota Vikings-DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson (Scouting Notes)
Christian Ponder has had a subpar sophomore season, but I think a lot of that has to do with his lack of receiving options. Percy Harvin was constantly hurt, and he’s not a number one wide receiver to begin with. DeAndre Hopkins is a big receiver who can make plays downfield. I think he’ll separate himself from the pack once offseason workouts begin.
22. Chicago Bears-Jonathan Cooper, OG North Carolina (Scouting Notes)
The Bears are another team that are continuously failed to address their offensive line issues. With Jay Culter, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall, they have the skill players who put together a dynamic offense. They just need to give them time to make plays. Cooper isn’t a household name, but he’d a quick, technically-sound guard who can block in-line or pull out in front. He could do wonders for the Bears offense.
23. Cincinnati Bengals-Sam Montgomery, DE LSU (Scouting Notes)
The Bengals could really use some help in their linebacker corps, but I don’t think they can pass up on a pass-rushing talent like Montgomery. He can get into the backfield, but also blow up the rushing attack behind the line. He’s a solid athlete, but a tireless worker and the type of player that really energize a defense.
24. Baltimore Ravens-Matt Barkley, QB USC (Scouting Report)
This pick might not make a lot of sense on the surface, but I don’t see the Ravens signing Flacco to a long-term deal. It just hasn’t clicked for the player and team. I think they’ll franchise him and give him one more year to prove himself, but they can take his replacement in the meantime. The Ravens can afford to take the chance since they have no other glaring weaknesses. Barkley was the favorite to be the number one pick in the draft before a poor senior season, but his leadership skills are still there. He could be a real commanding presence for the Ravens.
25. Indianapolis Colts-Alec Ogletree, LB Georgia (Scouting Notes)
The Colts identity has really changed under Chuck Pagano, but he needs more talent on the defensive side of the ball to take their performance up a notch. That was evident this week when the Chiefs ran all over them. Ogletree is a physical, big hitter who can play either inside our out in Pagano’s 3-4 scheme.
26. Seattle Seahawks-Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida (Scouting Notes)
The Seahawks have a pretty fearsome defense already, but they could use another body in the middle to help occupy blockers and stop up the run. Floyd is a borderline first round pick right now, but I love the way he uses his hands to keep blockers off of him, and I think he has the explosion to be a real playmaker at the next level.
27. San Francisco 49ers-Eric Reid, S LSU (Scouting Notes)
The 49ers have a strong defense, but every team that builds a strong defense always loads up early in the draft. If the 49ers don’t re-sign Goldson, they are going to have a massive hole at safety. Even if they were to re-sign him, Whitner is getting up there in age at the other safety spot. Reid is an athletic playmaker who has the tools to be a true impact safety.
28. Green Bay Packers-Barrett Jones, OG Alabama (Scouting Notes)
The Packers could go with a tight end here if they let Finely go, like many expect. However, I still think that they have some glaring holes on the offensive line. Jones is a versatile lineman who can plug and play at a number of positions along the interior of the line. It will help the Green Bay offense more than a first round tight end would.
29. New England Patriots-Xavier Rhodes, CB Florida State (Scouting Notes)
The Patriots acquired Talib, but their pass defense still needs some work. Rhodes is the type of large, physical corner that teams love. He plays full out on every play, loving to blow up runners in the backfield. Similarly, he has the footspeed to stay with receivers in the open field. He could turn into a very solid player for the Pats.
30. Denver Broncos-Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame (Scouting Notes)
Peyton Manning has completely changed the Broncos offense, but everybody knows that he loves having a tight end to throw to. Jacob Tamme and Joel Dressen were fine this year, but not good enough to be true assets. Eifert is a well-rounded player who can give Manning a security blanket underneath while also helping in the running game.
31. Houston Texans-Kevin Minter, ILB LSU (Scouting Notes)
For years I’ve been saying that the Texans could use a slot receiver to help take some pressure off of Andre Johnson. However, they don’t appear willing to take one in the first round. So Minter is the next best thing. He’s an instinctual linebacker and the kind of solid presence that allows playmakers to take chances off the edge, knowing that the middle is under control.
32. Atlanta Falcons-Ezekiel Ansah, DE BYU (Scouting Report)
Ansah is the first riser of the 2013 draft season. He’s an incredible physical specimen that has the size/speed combination that reminds people of Jason Pierre-Paul. He still may be very raw in terms of technique, but he has the type of natural gifts that people take chances on late in the draft. A pass rusher would make the Falcons defense truly dangerous.
Rest of the Bills Draft
2. EJ Manuel, QB Florida State (Scouting Notes)
I’ve been touting Manuel for a long time and truly think that his offseason will make him a first round pick. However, right now this is good value for him. He’s a big quarterback who can make plays with his legs, but has underrated accuracy. He’s never completed under 60% of his passes in a season. He may need another year to truly hit his potential, but he has all the tools to become a strong quarterback in the NFL.
3. Aaron Dobson, WR Marshall (Scouting Report)
Buddy Nix keeps talking about wanting a big receiver who is open even when he’s covered. Dobson might just fit that bill. At 6’2” 205 pounds, Dobson is a strong receiver. However, he also possesses 4.4 speed and the production to back up the tools. With a good performance at the Senior Bowl, he could really shoot up draft boards.
4. Lavar Edwards, DE LSU (Scouting Notes)
Nix loves his SEC players. Edwards is similar to Brooks last year, a solid player who was overshadowed by the rest of the talent on the team. At 6’4” 260, he has good size to hold the edge. He’ll probably never be a star at the next level, but he could be a solid rotational lineman for the Bills.
5. Terry Hawthorne, CB Illinois (Scouting Notes)
For some reason, people keep saying that Hawthorne is a third day draft pick. I know injuries have been a concern for him, but when he’s on the field, Hawthorne is a real player. He has skills when the ball is in the air and he’s physical in all aspects of the game. With Williams slipping and McGee on the way out, he could provide real CB depth for the Bills.
6. Brian Schwenke, C California (Scouting Notes)
Whenever Eric Wood goes down, the Bills offensive line undergoes major shuffles and the play suffers. They need a back-up you can plug and play. Schwenke is seeing his value rise after a strong senior season that saw him named first team All-Pac 12. He played left guard and right guard during his first three collegiate seasons before moving over to center, so he has the versatility that provides value in a late round pick.