17. Buffalo Bills- CB Janoris Jenkins, North Alabama ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College
The Bills have a couple different needs, but I’d look to focus on their defensive woes. While a pass rusher like Bruce Irvin or Courtney Upshaw could fit, I’m going to guess they go corner here. Jenkins has shutdown corner ability and when you face receivers like Welker, Marshall and Holmes for 6 games every season, that is a pretty important commodity to have.
18. Cleveland Browns (via Atlanta)– CB Alonzo Dennard, Nebraska
The Browns would love to put a top level guy like Dennard across from Joe Haden. LB is another option as is RT, but they can probably add that later.
19. New York Jets– OLB Bruce Irvin, WVU-
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 Irvin could be huge for the Jets and give them the sack artist to go along with the rest of that elite defense.
20. Dallas Cowboys- G David DeCastro, Stanford–
The Cowboys did well adding Tyron Smith last year in the first round, but their offensive line is still one of the weaker units on this team. DeCastro gives them an instant starter, and should help open up the interior running game for Dallas.
21. Chicago Bears- OT D.J. Fluker, Alabama-
The Bears offensive line is still their weakest link. Adding a guy like Fluker could give the Bears bookend tackles for the next 10 years. He’s a high upside player, and while he is a little raw, both Cutler and Forte should be lobbying for this pick.
22. Cincinnati Bengals– WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame-
The Bengals could use another target for Andy Dalton as both Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell are free agents. Floyd could team up with Green and give Dalton two extremely talented targets.
23. Detroit Lions– OT Mike Adams, Ohio State-
The Lions failed to address their offensive tackle needs last season, and it has led to quite a bit of pressure on Matt Stafford and few consistent holes for the ground game. Adams is a guy who is trending upwards and could sneak into the end of the 1st round. Based on talent and potential alone he’s a first round pick, but a questionable work ethic in the past and some poor decisions, puts him as a guy who could go either way.
24. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland)- LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame-
The Bengals should just go best player available here, and that should be Te’o. They have a potential need at LB if Lawson doesn’t resign, and I love his potential and leadership qualities.
25. 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.
26. New York Giants– C Peter Konz, Wisconsin-
The Giants line isn’t the dominant unit it once was and needs to keep adding parts. While David Baas has been a good center this year, he could move to guard to make way for Konz, who has Pro Bowl potential. The Giants could consider CB or DT as well, but they should have a focus on the offensive line.
27. Baltimore Ravens- OT Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin–
The Ravens biggest weakness this season has been their offensive line play. While some of that can be attributed to injuries, I think it is clear they need to upgrade the unit. Wagner is a LT who is rising, and if he declares should be in the first round mix. He’s more of a road grinder, but that fits the Ravens offensive philosophy. He would be a big upgrade to Baltimore and give them the protection they need on the left side.
28. San Francisco 49ers- G Cordy Glenn, Georgia-
The 49ers biggest need is their offensive line. While tackle could be the way to go, a guard like Glenn is probably the best value here.
29. New England Patriots (via New Orleans) CB Chase Minnifield, UVA-
The Patriots likely won’t keep both picks, but if they do they should look to add a couple defensive players. Minnifield is one of the top guys on the board here and gives them yet another good young defensive back. Minnifield’s father was an All-Pro corner back in the 80’s, and actually played his final two years under Belicheck with the Browns. Belicheck might take a shot on his son and see if he can be the same shut down corner his father was.
30. New England Patriots-DE Billy Winn, Boise State-
The Patriots aren’t likely to keep both picks, but if they do they are likely to add a defensive player. Winn profiles best as a 5-tech DE, but he can help out in other formations as well. Winn was likely a top 15 pick, but a recent injury should knock him down to the end of the round. This is a good value pick for New England if they choose to make it.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers- ILB Luke Kuechly, Boston College-
With the AFC jumbled up right now it is hard to say who is going to Indy, but Pittsburgh is playing really good football, and that is despite some key players being injured. While Pittsburgh could look to address a couple of different issues, the best value on the board is Kuechly. ILB James Farrior might have one more year after this season and Kuechly could be his replacement, and keep the Steelers defense at the top of their game.
32. Green Bay Packers- OLB Courtney Upshaw, Alabama–
The Packers need to find a pass rush complement to Clay Matthews and Upshaw could be their man. Upshaw is a very versatile LB who could play in any system at just about any spot. He is a very good pass rusher though and could be a nice fit here for the Packers. He’s smart, instinctive and takes good angles at the quarterback. With all the attention placed on Matthews, Upshaw could have a field day for Green Bay.