NFL Mock Draft Round One… Part 2

Posted: 02/08/2013 by levcohen in Football

A few weeks ago, I did the first half of my first round mock draft. What with the Super Bowl, I haven’t been able to finish it.. Here it is now:

17. Pittsburgh Steelers. Team Needs: RB, LB, O-Line. The pick: Manti Te’o, LB: I don’t think the recent Te’o scandal will scare the Steelers away from the linebacker who can play every down. Before the national championship game, Te’o was slotted almost universally in the top 10, with some people saying he could go as high as three. Now, it seems like he is in a free fall- some mocks don’t even have him in the first round. The Steelers need youth on the defensive side, and Te’o looks to me like a good NFL LB. At pick 17, Te’o is a low risk pick and under Dick LeBeau’s defense he could be high reward.

18. Dallas Cowboys. Team Needs: O-Line, D-Line, S. The pick: Jonathan Cooper, OG: Cooper is a player who will help the Cowboys, who have a very weak offensive line, immediately. Cooper is a huge man, but not by guard standards (6’3, 297). Cooper is a great run blocker, which was proven by his blocking for North Carolina star running back Giovanni Bernard. Bernard was helped immensely by Cooper, and Bernard might even jump into the first round, thanks in no small part to Jonathan Cooper

19. New York Giants. Team Needs: CB, OT, TE. The pick: Alec Ogletree, LB: The second LB taken out of Georgia, Ogletree was a very versatile college player, and can play either MILB or weakside LB. Ogletree has size, and he runs a 4.6 40. It was Ogletree, and not Jarvis Jones, who led Georgia with 111 tackles last season, and Alec also had 12 tackles for losses, three sacks and six passes defended. He is a definite starter in the NFL, and the Giants are weak against the run and at LB, so Ogletree makes sense.

20. Chicago Bears. Team needs: O-Line, LB, TE. The pick: D.J. Fluker, OT: Another part of the terrific Alabama offensive line, Fluker was a fourth year junior so was allowed to play in the senior bowl, where he played extremely well. Watch out for him, as he could easily rise up the draft charts. The Bears offensive line is pathetic.

21. Cincinnati Bengals. Team needs: LB, S. The pick: Kenny Vaccaro, S: The Bengals clearly need a second safety. Reggie Nelson is good, but he is all Cincy has. Vaccaro is universally regarded as the top safety in this draft. Last year the top safety (Mark Barron) went in the top 10. I think Vaccaro is better than Barron, so the Bengals are getting a big steal at 21 by taking the top player at a position that is becoming more and more important.

22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington). Team needs: S, LB, WR. The pick: Tavon Austin, WR: Tavon Austin, a wide receiver from West Virginia, is just 5’9. However, he is blindingly fast and elusive, and can easily turn any screen pass into a touchdown. You think Percy Harvin and Randall Cobb are good? Austin could be the next great slot receiver who is undervalued because of his size.

23. Minnesota Vikings. Team needs: QB, WR, DT. The pick: Keenan Allen, WR: Allen, a WR from California, is rated by most as the second best WR prospect on the board. He does everything well, but nothing is off the charts. The reason he slipped to 23 is because I think teams will be scared off by his below average speed. Still, Allen will be a good guy to have for most teams as a reliable WR2. Think poor man’s Dez Bryant.

24. Indianapolis Colts. Team Needs: defensive, O-line. The pick: Desmond Trufant, CB: The reason I have Trufant this high is because he was by far the best CB at the senior bowl, and if he preforms well at the combine he could continue to skyrocket. He is fast and a good cover corner, and he also gets high marks for his tackling and run stopping. The Colts need both a cover corner and a run stopper, and Trufant does a little bit of each.

25. Seattle Seahawks. Team needs: d-line, WR. The pick: Ezekiel Ansah, LB/DE: The Seahawks are one of the best all around teams in the NFL, which is why drafting the best available here makes a lot of sense. I think Ansah could go in the top half of the first round, but I just haven’t seen a team that is a perfect fit for him. Adding Ansah would give Seattle lots of flexibility with their other defensive ends and linebackers. For example, by the end of the season rookie Bruce Irvin was playing too much. He should only be played against certain offensive sets, but without depth Seattle had to play him a lot more than they wanted to. Ansah solves all those problems.

26. Green Bay Packers. Team needs: LT, C, RB. The pick: Zach Ertz, TE: Jermichael Finley drops the ball way too much to be a reliable TE. The Packers don’t have many needs outside of the offensive line, where all the top tackles are gone. They could trade down, but since I don’t predict that I’m giving them another good weapon in Ertz.

27. Houston Texans. Team needs: WR, LB, CB. The pick: Quinton Patton, WR: Out of LSU, Patton is surprisingly not very well known, but that should change. He is big, fast and dynamic and fills a big need for the Texans at WR, as their only reliable WR is Andre Johnson. Johnson is good, but he will be 32 next year and has a lot of injury concerns.

28. Denver Broncos. Team needs: DT, CB. The pick: Sharrif Floyd, DT: Floyd might be a star in the NFL just like he was in high school and in college. He is big (6’3, 303). He is a good pass rusher. He is a good run blocker. Whats not to like?

29. New England Patriots. Team needs: CB, S, LB. The pick: Matt Elam, S: The Patriots need a lot of help in the secondary. Elam would be a good place to start. He is a great all around player. He is fast and can run with wide receivers, but his muscular frame can also hang with tight ends despite being just 5’10. He also has been very good against the deep pass (New England’s biggest weakness is defending the deep pass). Perfect fit.

30. Atlanta Falcons. Team needs: TE. The pick: Tyler Eifert, TE: This is assuming that Tony Gonzalez retires as expected. The Falcons have relied on steady production out of Gonzalez for the last few years, and it will be tough to see that steady hand retire. Eifert is 6’6 and is a tremendous route runner. He also has great hands. He is also fast. The only negative is his lackluster pass protection, which wasn’t Tony G’s strong suit either.

31. San Francisco 49ers. Team needs: WR, nose tackle. The pick: John Jenkins , NT: The 49ers have no major needs, but a good nose tackle would really anchor their defense. Jenkins can move and he is 360 pounds. That is a deadly combo. The reason he is this low in the first round is because some teams have questions about how much of that weight is muscle (are you catching my drift?) Still, Jenkins has tremendous upside and since the 49ers don’t have a glaring need, they can take a risk.

32. Baltimore Ravens, Team needs: LB, S. The pick: Kevin Minter, LB: The Ravens need to replace Ray Lewis. And it needs to happen immediately, because inside linebacker is obviously a very important position. There is no LB that is going to produce like Luke Kuechly at this point in the draft, but Minter could turn out to be the best LB in the draft. Let’s list his strengths:

  • Great against the run
  • Great tackler
  • Fast
  • Physical
  • Smart
  • Hard hitter
  • Good blitzer

And that will do it.

Just before I made this post, I took one more glance at my list. And I noticed that I have four John or Jon’s. Pretty funny

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