Although it is impossible to foresee all the draft day trades that will take place, Goal-Line Stand is taking its best guess as to where the 2012 draft class will end up over the first three rounds. Picks No. 1 and 2 seem to be set, but the rest could be full of surprises.
1. Indianapolis – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
The obvious pick here, as numerous reports, as well as the release of Peyton Manning, suggest Luck is a lock for the No. 1 pick. Luck is considered the best quarterback prospect to enter the draft since John Elway in 1983, and has also received comparisons to who will become his predecessor in Indy: Manning. The Colts could open contract negotiations with the 6-foot-4, 234-pound quarterback despite the fact that the draft does not start until April 26, but they are keeping their options open barring any unexpected injury or other setback in regard to Luck.
2. Washington (from St. Louis) – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
The Redskins made this pick obvious when they outbid Cleveland by trading three first-round picks and one second-round pick to the Rams in order to acquire the No. 2 selection. Washington needs a franchise quarterback and RG3 will fill the role. The Heisman Trophy winner is a Michael Vick-like QB with good character to go along with an accurate, powerful arm and unmatched mobility in this year’s draft class.
3. Minnesota – Matt Kalil, OT, USC
The Vikings seem to have found their future at QB in Christian Ponder, but who will protect him? Matt Kalil is not only the top-rated left tackle in the draft, he is easily the best offensive lineman coming out this year. He has the outstanding footwork and size (6-foot-7, 306 pounds) any prototypical blind side protector should possess. Kalil should quickly become one of the top tackles in the NFL, much like Joe Thomas, Jake Long and Ryan Clady did.
4. Cleveland –Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
The first big question comes at pick No. 4. Should the Browns go with Richardson, easily the top running back in the draft? Or do they go with Justin Blackmon, easily the top wideout? Cleveland needs to consider taking some pressure off of quarterback
Colt McCoy, and although great receivers can help ease the pressure of QBs, an elite running back is a signal caller’s best friend. Especially after the departure of Peyton Hillis, taking Richardson here makes the most sense.
5. Tampa Bay – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU
Claiborne is considered the top cornerback in the draft and Tampa needs a corner ready to start in the league. Ronde Barber has flirted with the idea of retirement and may be heading for more of a role at safety due to his age (36). If Barber makes a permanent transition to safety, Claiborne would most likely become the team’s No. 1 corner, starting opposite Aqib Talib.
6. St. Louis (from Washington) – Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
The Rams did not only lose a great talent when Brandon Lloyd signed with New England, they lost their No. 1 receiver. Sam Bradford needs a go-to guy and St. Louis can fill the void with Blackmon, the top wideout of the 2012 draft class.
7. Jacksonville – Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Cox is one of the better defensive tackles in the draft. He fits in with the Jaguars’ defense and would start immediately. The 6-foot-4, 298-pounder can also slide to defensive end in running situations. He would mesh well for the Jacksonville defense and could be a long-term fit for the interior of the defensive line.
8. Miami – Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Although Tannehill was not originally projected as a top-10 pick, Miami is in desperate need of a franchise quarterback. Tannehill is the best of the remaining QBs and would become the instant starter.
9. Carolina – Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina
The Panthers have not had a top-tier pass rusher since Julius Peppers signed with Chicago, which makes defensive end a major need. Coples could be a bust, but his potential makes him an ideal pick for Carolina. He possesses great size (6-foot-6, 284 pounds) and an amazing burst of speed off the edge.
10. Buffalo – Riley Reiff, OT, Iowa
Reiff is a power tackle, which makes him ideal for the run-first Bills. However, the Iowa product is adept at pass blocking as well, and would greatly benefit an improving Buffalo team looking to compete in a difficult AFC East division.
Hit the jump for the rest of Court’s mock draft…
11. Kansas City – Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
Brockers could be a perfect fit for Romeo Crennel’s 3-4 defensive scheme. At 6-foot-5 and 322 pounds, Brockers is a prototypical nose tackle. He takes up enough space to stuff the run and takes on multiple blockers in passing situations. The Chiefs would get high value at No. 11 with the LSU product.
12. Seattle – Luke Kuechly, ILB, Boston College
Losing David Hawthorne could prove devastating to a Seahawks defense that now lacks anyone capable of handling the responsibilities of the middle linebacker position. K.J. Wright is the projected starter in the middle, but Wright would move to his more natural weak-side spot with the addition of Kuechly, allowing the 6-foot-3, 242-pounder to be the general of Seattle’s improving defense.
13. Arizona – Melvin Ingram, OLB, South Carolina
Arizona lacks a pass rush and Melvin Ingram can definitely get to the quarterback. Ingram would fit in well with the Cards’ defense, and could provide for Arizona what Von Miller and Aldon Smith did in 2011 for Denver and San Francisco, respectively.
14. Dallas – Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis
To say Dallas had a disappointing 2011 season would be an understatement, but most of the holes were apparent on the defensive side of the football, which starts at defensive tackle. Dontari Poe would help immensely in the run game as well as create penetration in the pass game from the interior defensive line.
15. Philadelphia – Mark Barron, S, Alabama
Barron is a ball-hawking safety who helped lead Alabama to a national championship. The Eagles need help in the secondary, which Barron can provide right away. Barron would be a definite upgrade over either Jaiquawn Jarrett or Nate Allen, who were less than spectacular as Philadelphia’s starting safeties in 2011.
16. New York Jets – Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Floyd was often unstoppable at Notre Dame, which should be highly desired for a Jets team that struggled on offense throughout 2011. Mark Sanchez is constantly scrutinized for his inability to consistently produce, but adding Floyd would help relieve some of the pressure on Sanchez with his playmaking ability.
17. Cincinnati (from Oakland) – Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
The Bengals have some leeway here, as they own the No. 21 pick as well. With the way things are in Cincinnati right now, the team could improve an already intimidating passing game with the addition of Wright. Wright has the speed and hands to warrant a No. 2 receiver position to complement A.J. Green.
18. San Diego – David DeCastro, OG, Stanford
With the retirement of Kris Dielman, the Chargers have a gaping hole on their offensive line. Although replacing Dielman is nearly impossible, taking David DeCastro at No. 18 ensures some stability on the O-line. DeCastro is a powerful guard who can pave running lanes for Ryan Matthews.
19. Chicago – Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford
Perhaps Chicago’s biggest need since acquiring Jay Cutler has been a solid left tackle. Jonathan Martin could provide just that. Martin has the size at 6-foot-5 and 307 pounds, and with a little grooming, could be among the best tackles in the sport.
20. Tennessee – Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
The Titans lost Cortland Finnegan and need to find a replacement. Dre Kirkpatrick was outstanding during his three seasons at Alabama, as quarterbacks avoided the 6-foot-3 corner at nearly any cost. Kirkpatrick would give Tennessee a potential star at the position.
21. Cincinnati – Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
After taking an offensive weapon with the 17th pick, the Bengals should consider going defensive with No. 21. Pairing Stephon Gilmore with a proven corner in Leon Hall would be a great move for a Bengals defense on the rise.
22. Cleveland (from Atlanta) – Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB, Alabama
Upshaw often played outside linebacker in a 4-3 scheme at Alabama, but he seems to be more comfortable with his hand on the ground. Cleveland would be wise to grab Upshaw at No. 22 (if still on the board). Upshaw possesses top-10 talent and would be a steal this “late” in the draft. It would give the Browns a much improved pass rush within an already stout defense.
23. Detroit – Cordy Glenn, OG, Georgia
Detroit sports one of the best passing attacks in the NFL, but lacks a dominant run game. With the electrifying Jahvid Best taking the carries, it is vitally important for the Lions to improve its interior offensive line. Glenn would provide Detroit a force against interior defensive lineman (6-foot-5, 345 pounds), who can block just as effectively against the pass as the run.
24. Pittsburgh – Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern State
The Steelers’ salary cap issues have forced the release of many different players, but one position that was cause for concern regardless was at offensive guard. At 6-foot-4 and 311 pounds, Silatolu provides some much-needed beef in the middle. Silatolu is among the strongest linemen in the draft, making him a perfect fit for Pittsburgh, which normally thrives on a pounding run game.
25. Denver – Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
There is no greater need for the new-look Broncos than at defensive tackle. With the 25th pick this year, taking a player of Jerel Worthy’s caliber is a great value. Worthy has the potential to remain a staple on Denver’s defensive line for the foreseeable future and can play in either the 4-3 or 3-4 scheme, which will greatly benefit the Broncos.
26. Houston – Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
Despite losing Marion Williams during free agency, finding a solid No. 2 receiver to pair with Andre Johnson is among Houston’s priorities this offseason. Rueben Randle showed glimpses of greatness at LSU, which will attract many teams during the draft. The Texans would be wise to nab Randle with the 26th pick, which would essentially be a “steal” for someone of his talent level.
27. New England (from New Orleans) – Nick Perry, DE, Southern California
Mark Anderson is gone and question marks surround Andre Carter’s health, making defensive end a top priority for the Super Bowl runners up. Nick Perry provides excellent run support and a great pass rush. Taking Perry at No. 27 makes sense, but knowing how unpredictable the Patriots can be during the draft, there is a good chance the 27th pick will belong to a different team, but for now, Perry claims No. 27.
28. Green Bay – Andre Branch, OLB/DE, Clemson
Branch is a pass-rushing defensive end and can also play outside linebacker. This 6-foot-4, 259-pound hybrid player would give Green Bay an excellent complement opposite Clay Matthews.
29. Baltimore – Whitney Mercilus, OLB/DE, Illinois
Perhaps a bit later than Mercilus would like, but picking up arguably the best pure pass rusher in the draft at No. 29 earns Baltimore high praise. Mercilus, as all rookies, has a lot of fine-tuning ahead of him, but his talent and incredible size (6-foot-4, 261 pounds) allow him to play two positions. He is big enough to take on offensive tackles while be quick enough to get around them. The Ravens would love to add yet another strong piece to their already intimidating defense.
30. San Francisco – Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Hill will be interesting to watch in the NFL. He was not showcased in the same light as Justin Blackmon or Michael Floyd, but he may be just as special. He is among the fastest players available this year and has displayed amazing ability of finding the ball in the air. Playing in an option-style offense at Georgia Tech hurts his draft positioning, but San Francisco will not complain if it can snag the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder with the 30th pick.
31. New England – Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
Smith’s draft stock continues to rise after following up a very successful college career by wowing teams at the combine. The Patriots would benefit from adding Smith, who, at No. 31, would be an amazing value pick.
32. New York Giants – Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
It is amazing to think the Giants were able to win the Super Bowl behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. Imagine what the team would be capable of if the O-line was solid. No one would be happier than Eli Manning if New York selects Mike Adams with the final pick of the first round. Adams is a natural left tackle who would provide great protection for Manning during the team’s drive for a second-straight championship.
1. St. Louis – Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Still could easily go in the first round, but if available, St. Louis should grab him here. Still is considered among the best defensive tackles in this year’s draft, and at 6-foot-5, 303-pounds, Still adds a lot of size at a key defensive position.
2. Indianapolis – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
Losing Jacob Lacey hurts, but Indianapolis could find a potentially better player in Jenkins. His character is in question, but the Colts have zero expectations, so it could be a good fit.
3. Minnesota – Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Hightower is another player that could be considered a first-round talent. Minnesota lost E.J. Henderson and desperately needs a talented middle linebacker, which is exactly what Hightower is.
4. Tampa Bay – Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
The Buccaneers signed arguably the best offensive guard in the league during free agency (Carl Nicks), and could upgrade at the other guard spot with Kevin Zeitler. Zeitler is a physical guard who excels in the run game, which just happens to be where the offensive focus is in Tampa Bay.
5. Cleveland – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
Fleener is considered the top tight end by far in this year’s draft class and could easily go in the top-15. However, tight ends are risky to take in the first round and tend to slip. Cleveland could grab the 6-foot-4, 247-pounder with the 22nd pick, but it would be safer to take him here.
6. Jacksonville – Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
Dennard would add depth and could potentially start opposite Rasheen Mathis on a solid Jacksonville defense.
7. St. Louis (from Washington) – Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
One of the biggest areas for St. Louis to improve this offseason is defensive team speed, namely among its linebackers. Zach Brown would be an instant starter who could contain the edges for the Rams.
8. Carolina – Alshon Jeffrey, WR, South Carolina
Outside of Steve Smith, Carolina is limited when it comes to receivers. Taking Jeffrey, who went to nearby South Carolina, makes sense for a team in need of a No. 2 wideout. Jeffrey would be a big target at 6-foot-3, whereas Smith stands just 5-foot-9.
9. Buffalo – Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
Scott Chandler cannot be the only decent tight end on the Bills’ roster, which makes taking Dwayne Allen a good idea. Allen has decent hands in addition to being a good blocker. It would not be surprising if Allen even starts ahead of Chandler come regular season.
10. Miami – Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse
The Dolphins need depth at defensive end, and Chandler Jones fits the bill. In addition to playing on the line, Jones can play outside linebacker, which makes him more valuable. Even if Jared Odrick and Randy Starks remain the starting DEs, Jones could start at OLB and play on the line at times.
11. Seattle – Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
Reyes possesses good size (6-foot-5, 299 pounds), athleticism and work ethic. Pete Carroll is attracted to players who excel in those areas three areas, meaning Reyes is a perfect fit.
12. Kansas City – Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi
The Chiefs added standout tackle Eric Winston during free agency, so why not solidify the other tackle position through the draft? Massie is 6-foot-6 and 316 pounds, an ideal size for a tackle, and will be a force with some improvement on his footwork.
13. Dallas – Lavonte David, OLB, Nebraska
Dallas found a good middle linebacker in Dan Connor through free agency, and by taking Lavonte David here, the Cowboys would have a solid linebacking corps of DeMarcus Ware, Connor and David. Not too shabby.
14. Philadelphia – Bobby Wagner, ILB, Utah State
The Eagles have ignored the inside linebacker position for too long. Wagner portrayed leadership in addition to his stellar play at Utah State, which are two things Philly desperately needs on defense.
15. New York Jets – Vinny Curry, OLB/DE, Marshall
The Jets went offensive in the first round by taking Michael Floyd, but it is time for them to improve the defense in the second round. Vinny Curry would be an excellent complement to Calvin Pace and would help a defensive-oriented team with its pass rush.
16. New England (from Oakland) – Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
New England is not known for its running capabilities, but adding Doug Martin would help the Patriots’ run game. The team should consider taking a running back here, especially with the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
17. San Diego – Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State
With the concerns surrounding left tackle Marcus McNeill, taking Sanders adds some insurance, as well as talented depth. In no way is this simply an insurance pick, however. Sanders is 6-foot-6, 320 pounds and can definitely play.
18. Chicago – Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
Konz is considered the best center in the draft, and could possibly end up being a first round pick, but centers do not usually go that high. He begins to be thought of as a “steal” here, and Chicago would benefit by upgrading its center, helping better protect Jay Cutler as well as help create running lanes for Matt Forte.
19. Philadelphia (from Arizona) – Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech
If not for playing through an injury-plagued season, Hosley would easily be in the discussion of the best corners available in this year’s draft. If he can stay healthy, he instantly improves Philly’s secondary.
20. Tennessee – Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest
Givens is raw, but possesses great quickness and an ability to adjust to the football in the air. Tennessee lacks depth at receiver and could use a No. 2 behind Kenny Britt. Givens could be a great catch in the second round.
21. Cincinnati – Brandon Brooks, OG, Miami (Ohio)
After taking a wideout and a cornerback, it is time for the Bengals to upgrade their offensive line. Adding the 6-foot-5, 343-pound Brooks would definitely help the Cincinnati run game, but Brooks must improve his pass blocking to be considered a top guard.
22. Detroit – Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
This could be a risky pick, but for a Detroit team that lost its No. 2 cornerback during free agency, it makes sense to take one in the second round. Johnson is easily the top FCS corner in the draft and was so dominant during his career at Montana that quarterbacks rarely threw the ball his direction. There is question as to whether Johnson will be able to transition to the much faster NFL from a smaller program, but even if he doesn’t pan out as a corner, Johnson could potentially be an effective safety.
23. Atlanta – David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Wilson could easily go earlier than No. 23 in the second round, but if he is available here, Atlanta would land one of the top running backs in the draft to complement Michael Turner.
24. Pittsburgh – Josh Robinson, CB, UCF
Robinson could potentially be the replacement for William Gay, who joined the Arizona Cardinals during free agency. He ran the 40 yard dash in 4.29 seconds (fastest time at the combine), has outstanding ball skills and has fluid motion while covering receivers. The main knock on Robinson is his height, but at 5-foot-10, he is not far off from the NFL average of six feet.
25. Denver – Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (Florida)
Perhaps the Broncos’ biggest need outside of defensive tackle is running back. Although Willis McGahee had a resurgence in 2011 and made the Pro Bowl, Denver needs an every down back for the next 5-10 years. At 5-foot-11, 212 pounds, Lamar Miller has excellent size for the position and is a tough runner with deceptive speed in the open field. If he is available here, Denver should grab him quickly.
26. Houston – Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
McClellin’s draft stock continues to rise. More and more teams seem interested in snagging the Boise State product, which means he might not be on the board come Houston’s second turn to draft a player. However, if available, McClellin would help ease the suffering of seeing Mario Williams walk in free agency. He is a tough, agile player who plays every down possible.
27. New Orleans – forfeited
28. Green Bay – Chris Polk, RB, Washington
An obvious need for Green bay is at running back. Although the team went 15-1 in 2011, the Packers could not win a playoff game, which may have been a result of an inability to rely on the run. Chris Polk possesses the skills of a first-round pick, but injuries will keep him from being drafted that high. This could turn out to be a great value pick for Green Bay.
29. Baltimore – Kelechi Osemele, OG, Iowa State
Baltimore lost Ben Grubbs, among the NFL’s elite offensive linemen, during free agency. Although it will be impossible to replace Grubbs this season, the Ravens should take Osemele and begin grooming him as a staple on their O-line. Osemele could potentially go in the first round, which makes this a great pickup for Baltimore.
30. San Francisco – Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
Irvin gives San Francisco another edge rusher opposite Aldon Smith. At 6-foot-3, 245 pounds, Irvin is a prototypical outside linebacker. Taking the West Virginia product here makes sense despite concerns in his pass coverage.
31. New England – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers
In addition to placing a franchise tag on Wes Welker, New England has signed three additional receivers already this offseason. However, outside of Welker and newly acquired Brandon Lloyd, there isn’t much depth at wideout. Adding Sanu would give the Patriots a big, physical target. With Lloyd as a deep threat, big play guy, Welker as a possession, over-the-middle slot receiver and Sanu as a medium gain, with big-play ability on the outside, along with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez at the tight end positions, New England’s passing attack could potentially be the best unit in the NFL.
32. New York Giants – Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
He may be from tiny Appalachian State, but Brian Quick is big, standing 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. Although he is from a smaller school, he plays like Brandon Marshall, but without the character issues. New York would gladly take a more controlled Marshall to replace Mario Manningham, but selecting a player who dominated an NCAA sub-division guarantees nothing. However, with Quick’s size and hands, he is worth the risk.
1. Indianapolis – Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati
With the team going in a new direction, Indianapolis needs a running back. Pead’s greatest strength is his breakaway speed, and he will get a lot of opportunities with a rookie quarterback under center (Luck).
2. St. Louis – Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California
Schwartz is tough and durable, which is exactly what a rebuilding team needs on the offensive line.
3. Minnesota – Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
With a developing quarterback (Christian Ponder), adding weapons is always a good idea. Criner’s hands are among the best in this year’s draft, and his 40 time of 4.30 seconds was second at the combine.
4. Cleveland – Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Weeden is considered to be within the top three or four quarterbacks in this year’s draft, but his age (28) make him less appealing. However, Cleveland was open to the idea of replacing Colt McCoy before the top free agent quarterbacks were no longer available. Taking Weeden here allows the team to find a solid backup that has the maturity to handle potentially taking over if McCoy struggles.
5. Tampa Bay – Jared Crick, DE, Nebraska
Crick would have gone within the first two rounds of last year’s draft had he not returned for his senior year at Nebraska, but his value took a major hit due to an injury-plagued 2011 campaign. However, Crick’s technique is flawless and could become a solid defensive end in the NFL.
6. Washington – George Iloka, S, Boise State
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound safety obviously has size, but it is his interesting combination of speed and strength that make him appealing. He is an explosive athlete, but lacks lateral quickness, which drops him into the third round.
7. Jacksonville – Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
Although Jacksonville signed Chad Henne as Blaine Gabbert’s backup, there is a good chance Henne eventually starts in 2012. However, neither one looks like a franchise quarterback. Taking Cousins here would give the Jags a solid backup without expectations who could potentially develop into a starter.
8. Buffalo – Billy Winn, DE, Boise State
The 6-foot-4, 294-pounder is a former wrestler and power lifter, which theoretically means Winn should be able to push others around with ease. Although it is never easy to push a 6-foot-6, 300-plush pound tackle around, it seems Winn has a head start. Buffalo would love to add the Boise State product into its rotation of already stout defensive linemen. Winn could eventually be though of as the steal of the 2012 draft.
9. Miami – Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt
Hayward improved in each of his three years at Vanderbilt despite being thought of as a slower corner. He plays much better in zone coverage, and his durability and ball detection are outstanding.
10. Miami (from Chicago via Carolina) – Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas
Despite a knee injury in 2010, Childs fought through the 2011 season and made quite an impression between the February and March combines. In less than a month, the 6-foot-3, 219-pounder decreased his 40-yard dash time from 4.52 to 4.41 seconds, while increasing his vertical from 36 ½ to 41 ½ inches. If work ethic accounts for anything, and it does, Childs will be welcomed wherever he winds up.
11. Kansas City – Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State
Crawford definitely looks the part with a strong frame and excellent length (6-foot-4, 275 pounds), while possessing good quickness and athleticism for his size. However, he tends to be limited in pass rush moves as well as initial burst, but those skills can be taught.
12. Seattle – Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma
Lewis possesses outstanding athleticism and has the frame of a linebacker with the mentality of a defensive tackle. All he cares about is hitting someone. Although he is unbelievably gifted, Lewis must work on his maturity and overall understanding of the game.
13. Houston (from Philadelphia) – Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
Fleming should excel in zone schemes due to his outstanding closing speed and his ability to wrap up receivers after the catch. He is also able to deliver big hits, resulting in incompletions and fumbles. However, Fleming would be a much higher pick if his technique wasn’t suspect, but playing alongside Jonathan Joseph (or any elite corner for that matter) could help that.
14. New York Jets – LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
As one of the most electrifying players in college football, James would normally be thought of as a first round pick. However, his size (5-foot-8, 194 pounds) is a concern at such a brutal position. The Jets may look at the Oregon product to add some additional quickness to their smash-mouth style of football.
15. Oakland – forfeited
16. San Diego – Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
Kendricks has a motor that never stops. He goes full-speed at all times and is at his best against the run. Although a bit undersized (5-foot-11, 240 pounds), Kendricks will benefit any team that picks him up.
17. Chicago – Markelle Martin, S, Oklahoma State
Martin’s college career was outstanding, as is his skill set. He is solid in both man and zone coverage. He possesses amazing closing speed. He can read a quarterback’s eyes and recognize receivers’ routes quickly while having excellent hands and can dish out big hits. Martin is an overall player that would normally be a first-round pick, but suffered a right knee injury and underwent surgery, forcing him to miss out on working out for NFL scouts at OSU’s pro day on March 9.
18. Arizona – Marvin Jones, WR, California
Jones is 6-foot-2 and 199 pounds, a little undersized for today’s NFL receivers. However, he has outstanding awareness, body control and can make acrobatic catches seemingly with ease. Due to his thin frame, he could have a hard time getting off the line against physical corners and he does not have great vertical speed.
19. Dallas – Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette
Green has excellent body control and concentration while hauling in receptions in traffic. He is far less effective as a blocker, however.
20. Tennessee – James Brown, OG, Troy
At 6-foot-4, 306 pounds, Brown is about average in terms of size, but is far above average in terms of quickness. He also has the ability to play left tackle, which will be attractive to coaches, especially with his above-average lateral ability. However, he tends to get too upright while blocking, which compromises his effectiveness. He also fails to sustain blocks at times and needs to get stronger.
21. Cincinnati – Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
In addition to being gifted athletically, Boykin is excellent in terms of instincts. He has a natural sense of where the ball will be and can mirror any receiver. He is undersized for the NFL at 5-foot-10, 182 pounds, but could excel as a returner.
22. Atlanta – Brandon Washington, OG, Miami (Florida)
Washington has played both guard and tackle, but will be used as an interior lineman in the NFL. At 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, Washington is a stout, brutal run blocker. He needs to work on his pass blocking footwork as well as his ability to handle different pass rushing techniques.
23. Detroit – Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple
Pierce excels on runs to the outside and is rarely brought down by the first defender. He is an instinctive runner who possesses elite lateral quickness and utilizes various elusive moves to avoid defenders. Pierce has great size at 6-feet and 218 pounds. However, the Temple product tends to run upright, without imposing power. Although he is quick from side to side, Pierce lacks straight-line speed.
24. Pittsburgh – James-Michael Johnson, ILB, Nevada
The Steelers will need to revamp their linebacking corps if unable to re-sign the players they had to release due to salary cap issues. It could start with Johnson, who is a great run-stuffer with the ability to shed blockers and fill lanes. He tends to be fooled by misdirection plays and struggles to change direction at times.
25. Denver – Trevin Wade, CB, Arizona
Wade possesses underrated cover skills and shows fluidity in his body control. Although he did not post a good 40-yard dash time (4.59 seconds), he displayed excellent ball skills during his four years at Arizona, coming up with 12 interceptions and 28 pass breakups.
26. Philadelphia (from Houston) – Ben Jones, C, Georgia
Despite being an all-around blocker in the college ranks, Jones is undersized (6-foot-3, 303 pounds) for the prototypical NFL center and lacks elite athleticism. Despite these traits, Jones has excellent initial quickness off the line, and due to starting in 48 of 51 games played, most of them against the SEC, he should be considered one of the top centers available.
27. New Orleans – Ron Brooks, CB, LSU
Although Brooks rarely lined up against opposing teams’ top wideouts, Brooks climbed the draft boards after having an outstanding combine performance. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder ran the 40 in 4.30 seconds.
28. Green Bay – Josh Chapman, DT, Alabama
Chapman excels in the run game, using his strength to discard blockers. He played much of the 2011 season on a left knee with a torn ACL and meniscus, which is a testament to his toughness and dedication, but is also a concern and it reflects in a later pick than he would have warranted if he had not had surgery on Jan. 17.
29. Baltimore – Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
Martin is undersized at 6-foot-1, 306 pounds, but his long arms allow him to keep his opponents from grasping a firm hold of him. He has good lateral agility, power and a relentless motor, but due to his size, will most likely be a reserve.
30. San Francisco – Antonio Allen, S, South Carolina
Allen is an experienced SEC defensive back who played the rover position for South Carolina. He is a versatile defender and is very active while playing the run extremely well. Question marks surround his ability as a safety because he did not play a true safety position in college.
31. New England – Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette
Bentley is quick and confident, but at 5-foot-10 and 182 pounds, he may need to work on his strength to hold up in the NFL. He possesses natural coverage skills and displayed aggressiveness even against bigger receivers. He has decent speed, but he lacks elite jumping ability. His 31 ½ inch vertical is unimpressive for a player that will need to get high off the ground to contend for passes in this league.
32. New York Giants – Chase Minnifield, CB, Virginia
Minnifield is a menace in press coverage, where he re-routes receivers well and possesses exceptional ball skills and times his jumps amazingly well. He often gets in trouble while backpedaling.
33. Oakland (compensatory) – Nigel Bradham, OLB, Florida State
Bradham covers a lot of ground on the field and is a solid tackler. He can turn and run with tight ends in coverage. The 6-foot-2, 241-pound linebacker needs to work on his maturity as he commits questionable penalties at times. Bradham is not much of a pass rusher if there is no open lane despite being able to shed blocks well in the run game.