16. St. Louis Rams – Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, West Virginia
Tavon Austin is one of the best playmakers in this year’s draft class and the Rams are in desperate need of adding weapons for Sam Bradford.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cordarrelle Patterson, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
Pittsburgh is looking to get younger at linebacker, but Patterson could be too good to pass up. After losing Mike Wallace and potentially losing Emmanuel Sanders next offseason, the Steelers need to add weapons for Ben Roethlisberger if they hope to return to the top of the AFC North.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Sheldon Richardson, Defensive Tackle, Missouri
With the Cowboys transitioning to the 4-3 defense, they need to add interior linemen to help the transition. Richardson is a disruptive force that may have the quickest first step in this year’s draft class. He could be exactly what Dallas needs in the center of their defensive line.
19. New York Giants – DJ Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The Giants were said to be interested in Lane Johnson, but his stock has taken off and there is little chance he will still be on the board when New York is on the clock. In that case, the Giants should go for the best available tackle.
20. Chicago Bears – Manti Te’o, Linebacker, Notre Dame
Chicago needs to replace the void in leadership and the center of their defense after the departure of Brian Urlacher. Despite what some may say about Manti Te’o, he is a heck of a football player and may have some of the best instincts at his position.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Datone Jones, Defensive End, UCLA
Datone Jones is a fast rising prospect and could go in the 20′s on draft day. If Cincinnati is serious about improving their defense and pass rush, then Jones should be a player they target.
St. Louis needs to focus on adding a linebacker and offensive playmaker in the first round. With their two first round picks they can go about that a number of ways. By taking Austin with the first pick, the Rams now have the freedom to take the best linebacker available.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Sylvester Williams, Defensive Tackle, North Carolina
While there is some belief that the Vikings need to address their lack of offense talent, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see both picks dedicated to the defensive side of the ball. The team is reportedly in love with Williams as a prospect and they may lose out on him to Indianapolis if they don’t pull the trigger here.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, Washington
It would be great to see the Colts add a potential shutdown corner like Trufant across from Vontae Davis. The Seahawks showed last season how much a dynamic duo at corner can improve your defense and the Colts should follow that plan of attack.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) – Arthur Brown, Linebacker, Kansas State
One of the biggest holes on the Vikings roster is at linebacker. Brown would be a player that can play either inside or outside linebacker for the team and his versatility will make him very attractive.
26. Green Bay Packers– Terron Armstead, Offensive Tackle, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
While much of the talk is about Florida State’s athletic offensive tackle Menelik Watson, Armstead is flying up boards and could be a surprise pick in the first round thanks to his unbelievable performances at the combine and Pro Day. Armstead’s upside is unbelievable and he should find a home in the top 40 picks if the run starts early enough.
27. Houston Texans - Kevin Minter, Linebacker, LSU
Minter’s physical style is a perfect fit for the Houston defense and he’d help sure up their inside linebacker position.
28. Denver Broncos – Tank Carradine, Defensive End, Florida State
There are whispers that Carradine is a player the Broncos are in love with. If it weren’t for a torn ACL, Carradine could be receiving attention in the top ten.
29. New England Patriots – Kawann Short, Defensive Tackle, Purdue
Short is a nifty defender that has the ability to play five-technique or three-technique depending on whether your team wants to run a 40 or 30 front. With the Patriots nearly completing a transition to the even front, Short would get some play inside where he would be able to use his quick first step and non-stop motor to generate some much needed interior pressure for New England.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Menelik Watson, Offensive Tackle, Florida State
Atlanta is going to need to protect Matt Ryan and give him time to find Julio Jones and Roddy White down the field. By adding Watson, they got a very talented tackle that will be able to grow and develop with the offense.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Johnathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
One of the few holes the 49ers have on their roster is at nose tackle and Hankins would be a big-bodied talent that could come in and start from day one.
32. Baltimore Ravens – DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson
After losing Anquan Boldin in free agency, the Ravens need to find a wide receiver that can come in and fill his role. Hopkins is an incredibly talented wideout that has the ability to develop in to a true No. 1 and he’d be a perfect compliment to Torrey Smith.