17. Pittsburgh Steelers
NT Star Lotulelei-Utah (Scouting Report)
It wasn’t much of a fall for Lotulelei as he goes three picks after Hankins. The Steelers clearly have a need at NT after taking Alameda Ta’amu in the fourth round last year. Ta’amu was arrested and released in November after leading police on drunken chase both in a car and then on foot. Ta’amu rejoined the Steelers practice squad in December but is clearly in the dog house. Adding a talent like Lotulelei could be the final nail in the coffin that is Ta’amu’s Steelers career.
18. Dallas Cowboys
DT Shariff Floyd-Florida (Scouting Notes)
The Cowboys stick with the DT theme and add Shariff Floyd to take over a DE spot in their 34 alignment. Floyd spent a good bit of his Gators career playing out of this look and his experience should be a nice plus for the Cowboys. Floyd is quick off the snap and could give the Cowboys much more than a traditional single gap 34 DE offers.
19. New York Giants
CB Johnthan Banks-Mississippi State (Scouting Report)
The Giants go ahead and do what many have assumed they would do for years here and take a first round CB. Adding Johnthan Banks to a CB group that already features Prince Amukumara could eventually lead to the Giants having one of the best young CB tandems in the NFL. Banks is as steady as they come and should be able to start on Day 1.
20. Chicago Bears
OT DJ Fluker-Alabama* (Scouting Report)
DJ Fluker may have not been participating in the Senior Bowl but he showed up and weighed in and stole the show. There are only a few men who can come into an event measuring in at 6’5, 355 lbs. and look in shape. Fluker stole the show with that weigh in and has the tape to easily back it up. The Bears need to help protect Jay Cutler and adding Fluker should do that.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
OG Chance Warmack-Alabama (Scouting Report)
The Bengals choice to draft Kevin Zeitler early last year played out pretty well and they will now look to duplicate that success with Chance Warmack. The Bengals are going to be a run first team with the law firm known as Benjarvus Green-Ellis leading the way and adding Warmack only helps that effort. Warmack is a nasty interior OL who loves to get after it and was one of the starts of the BCS National Championship game.
22. St. Louis Rams (via WAS)
WR Tavon Austin-West Virginia (Scouting Report)
As we said before its put up or shut up time for Sam Bradford but he’s going to need some help. Adding Eifert and Tavon Austin in the same round should give him more than enough weapons to play with next season. Austin is an electric playmaker who should see time at WR, RB, KR, and PR as a rookie. His speed and quickness are out of this world impressive.
23. Minnesota Vikings
DT John Jenkins-Georgia (Scouting Notes)
The Vikings have always had a good defense and for the past decade that’s been led by DT Kevin Williams. Williams isn’t getting any younger and it may be time to think about who could be next. Big John Jenkins more than proved his worth in the SEC the past two years and he could be the ideal protégé to learn under Williams and eventually replace him.
24. Indianapolis Colts
SAF Eric Reid-LSU* (Scouting Notes)
I always find the SAF class to be among the hardest to project because sometimes you have guys who go as high as Donte Whitner or others to slip and slide like Rahim Moore. Eric Reid is the top SAF in this class and his ability to make plays all over the field will be a huge upgrade over what the Colts currently have. While he’s not what Bob Sanders once was at the SAF position he’s going to make as many difference making plays.
25. Seattle Seahawks
OLB Arthur Brown-Kansas State (Scouting Report)
Bobby Wagner ended up being one of the best picks of the 2012 NFL Draft and the Seahawks will look to try and strike lightning twice by adding another athletic LB to their group in Arthur Brown. OLB isn’t a huge need for the Seahawks but Brown’s athleticism, intelligence, and playmaking ability all fit the Seahawks scheme perfectly.
26. Green Bay Packers
OLB Dion Jordan-Oregon (Scouting Report)
Dion Jordan was never more popular than he was before the 2012 college football season began. He was considered a Top 15 lock and with his speed and size it was conceivable he could go Top 5. Jordan didn’t have a bad senior season he just didn’t blow up like many assumed and because of that he falls here. This is strictly a value pick for the Packers who added Nick Perry last year. Jordan allows them to roll out multiple pressure packages with different personnel and looks.
27. Houston Texans
QB Matt Barkley-USC (Scouting Report)
It’s been rumored for a little while now that the Texans may look to add a QB early on in this draft. I think that’s contingent upon the right QB falling and Matt Barkley would certainly qualify as the right QB for their team. Barkley is a leader who has unquestioned toughness and moxie. He wouldn’t necessarily see the field in 2013 but he should apply plenty of pressure to Schaub heading into 2014.
28. Denver Broncos
SAF Tony Jefferson-Oklahoma* (Scouting Report)
A few picks up we mentioned Broncos SAF Rahim Moore who fell to them in the 2nd Round of the 2011 draft. In 2013 the Broncos grab another falling SAF in Tony Jefferson who should team with Moore to make up the backline of the Broncos defense. Jefferson is a rangy prospect who can play back in coverage or up in the box.
29. New England Patriots
WR DeAndre Hopkins-Clemson* (Scouting Report)
The Patriots have multiple pending FA’s among their WR group including one Wes Welker. While Nuke Hopkins wouldn’t be a Welker replacement he could come in and provide that deep threat that Brady has lacked since Randy Moos. Hopkins stood out this year and showed the big play ability that many assumed teammate Sammy Watkins had over Hopkins.
30. Atlanta Falcons
MLB Manti Te’o-Notre Dame (Scouting Report)
The Manti Te’o situation is ugly and tragic, I honestly haven’t followed it and don’t know what to believe except that it will have a negative impact on Te’o stock. At one time Te’o was considered a Top 10 pick but now he’ll need a MLB hungry team to save him from falling to Round 2. The Falcons could definitely be that team after losing FA signee Lofa Tatupu last year before the season even began and having to endure a year of Akeem Dent starting.
31. San Francisco 49ers
DT Sheldon Richardson-Missouri* (Scouting Notes)
One of the more miraculous stories of these playoffs has been the amount of pain that DE Justin Smith has played through. The 49ers have to get him out there though because of how good he is and how much depth they lack along the line. Richardson should be able to easily transition to a 34 DE and will finally give the 49ers the insurance they need should Smith’s injuries continue in 2013.
32. Baltimore Ravens
WR Justin Hunter-Tennessee (Scouting Report)
The Ravens will be giving Joe Flacco a ton of money after the Super Bowl so the next best move will be to continue adding weapons for him as well. Justin Hunter did not look like the same prospect in 2012 as he did early on in 2011 but with another year past he should gain more confidence and strength in his surgically repaired knee. Flacco will have his newly signed deal to go along with his newly draft WR.