2012 NFL Draft: 17-32 9/16
17. Washington Redskins- OT Reily Reiff, Iowa-
I know some people will say ‘what about a quarterback’, well the top ones are all gone, and no one else is worth a pick nearly this high. Other’s might question adding another tackle, but without a doubt the weakest part of the Redskins is their offensive line. Trent Williams has yet to live up to his top 5 pick status (and may need to kick over to RT), while Jamaal Brown looks like a shell of his former self. The Redskins need to shore up this unit, otherwise it won’t matter who their quarterback is. Another option could be ILB, with McIntosh a free agent and Fletcher on the downside of his career. Trading back is also an option, but Reiff should be on the Skins short list for this pick.
18. Detroit Lions- ILB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame.-
The Lions should go in one of three directions with this pick, OL, CB, or LB. While all three are smart moves, they seem to be focused on improving their defense with their top picks (and you really can’t blame them). Te’o would be a great addition to put at LB and he could either play in the middle or outside. He’s a big time hitter and should have plenty of operating room with those big tackles up front.
19. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta)- OT Andrew Datko, FSU-
Joe Thomas is one of the best offensive tackles in the game, unfortunately opposite him the Browns have continuously had journeymen starting. With an improved offensive unit, the Browns need to get aggressive in building up their line. Datko would be a great addition to the line and give the Browns two great bookend tackles.
20. Chicago Bears- WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame–
I would probably look to address my offensive line here, but it seems clear that the Bears are looking for a big play receiver, and I’m guessing that Roy Williams won’t be that answer. Floyd, I believe has number one ability, but is raw enough in some areas that makes him a late first rounder. He’s got good upside and should contribute early in his career.
21. Arizona Cardinals- OT Levy Adcock, Oklahoma St.-
The Cardinals appear to be a vastly improving, but they still have some major holes along their offensive line. If they want to do more than win a weakened NFC West, they will need to protect Kevin Kolb, and Ryan Williams. Now this pick could change if they lose Larry Fitzgerald, but right now it makes sense to grab an o-lineman.
22. New York Jets- OLB Brandon Jenkins, FSU-
Jets could miss the playoffs unless Mark Sanchez really steps up this season, and if that is the case I’d look at two main culprits (outside of Sanchez). The offensive line and their rush linebackers. While they could go after an offensive lineman, they have more depth and talent there than at OLB. Both Calvin Pace and Bryan Thomas are good pass rushers, but neither is great, and both are starting to get up there in age. Adding a young pass rush specialist like Jenkins could be huge for the Jets and give them the sack artist to go along with the rest of that elite defense.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- CB Stephen Gilmore, South Carolina-
Between Barber’s likely retirement and legal troubles for Talib, adding a 1st round corner sounds like a very wise decision for the Buccaneers. Gilmore is a physical corner, and very advanced for his age. He should be a year a year one starter for them.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers- ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College-
Pittsburgh’s James Farrior still plays at an extremely high level, but he is likely winding down his career in the next year or so. Adding Kuechly, keeps the Steelers defense in tact, and will continue to make them a formidable force to stop any offense.
25. San Diego Chargers- DT Josh Chapman, Alabama-
The Chargers front three is suspect even after the addition of Corey Liguet. Chapman gives SD another big man, and one who is capable of helping out at NT, their weakest position. Chapman has the versatility to play anywhere on the line and should be a great addition for the Chargers.
26. Dallas Cowboys- OLB Donte Paige-Moss, UNC-
The Anthony Spencer experiment hasn’t worked out too well, and the Cowboys could use a top notch bookend to Ware. Paige-Moss could be that guy as he has excellent pass rushing skills, and is just scratching the surface of his talent.
27. Philadelphia Eagles- DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan St.-
What do you get for the team that has ‘everything’, well some depth. The Eagles could look at adding an OT here, but unless the position completely collapses this year, I’d say DT is their biggest need. You need to be able to rotate your DT’s in this league, and right now the Eagles don’t have a lot of depth here. Worthy would be a fine addition to get 25-30 snaps a game.
28. Houston Texans- DT Alameda Ta’amu, Washington-
I really like what the Texans have done this offseason and I think this new defense will take them pretty far. They will still need some help though going forward and I think their primary need will be at NT. Ta’amu is a fantastic run defender and profiles to be a starting NT in the NFL. He’d be a great pickup here late in round 1, and should start right away.
29. Green Bay Packers- CB Chase Minnifield, UVA-
Charles Woodson is in the twilight of his illustrious career, and the Packers shouldn’t be left unprepared for when he is done. Minnifield continues a strong tradition of UVA corners and would be a nice addition to the Packers defense. His father was a Hall of Fame corner in this league in the 80’s, playing on the same defense as Clay Matthew’s Jr.’s father.
30. New England Patriots-SS Ray Ray Armstrong, Miami-
The Brandon Meriweather era has come to end next offseason, and the Patriots would do well to replace him with a fellow Miami product. Armstrong has incredible potential, but is still rather raw which should allow him to slide to the end of the first round. New England’s defensive talent will allow Armstrong to learn for a year, before he will need to be really relied upon.
31. New England Patriots (via New Orleans)- OLB Bruce Irvin, West Virginia-
The Patriots likely won’t keep both picks, but if they do they should look to add an OLB pass rusher. It looks like they will run more of a hybrid defense, but Irvin could even play OLB in the 4-3 giving them some versatility.
32. Baltimore Ravens- ILB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama-
With Ray Lewis getting up there in age, and R. McClain a free agent, the Ravens would be wise to address their ILB needs with this pick. Now they do have some other big name free agents to worry about, but if their defense isn’t right this team won’t win. This has to be their top priority, and Upshaw is a smart, active LB who can be the guy in Baltimore.
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