16. St. Louis Rams – DeAndre Hopkins, Wide Receiver, Clemson
This pick will likely come down to Tavon Austin and DeAndre Hopkins. With Austin long gone, Hopkins is the easy pick. St. Louis needs to bring in weapons to whoever they line up behind center and Hopkins is one of the most polished receivers in this year’s class.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Eddie Lacy, Running Back, Alabama
The Steelers need offensive weapons at every position. At least one running back has been drafted in the first round of every NFL draft since 1963 and the Steelers will continue the trend with a physical runner who fits their mentality perfectly.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas
It is a move that is long overdue, but the Cowboys can finally address the safety position by adding Vaccaro. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the team move up in the draft to make sure they secure Vaccaro.
19. New York Giants – Bjoern Werner, Defensive End, Florida State
All signs point to the Giants taking the best defensive end or best offensive tackle available. When you look at the current draft board, Werner brings the best value.
20. Chicago Bears – Manti Te’o, Linebacker, Notre Dame
After losing Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach in free agency, the Bears need to bolster their linebacking corp in bring in some leadership. Te’o has an incredibly high football IQ and will be a big help to the defensive unit.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Cyprien, Safety, Florida International
Cyprien is one of my favorite players in this year’s draft class. Everyone and their mother knows that the Bengals need a safety and the team plans to bring Cyprien in for a work out before the draft. He would be a brilliant pick.
Geno Smith’s fall finally stops. The Rams have Sam Bradford, but there are questions that he can be the quarterback of the future. With an extra first round pick courtesy of the Redskins, the Rams have the flexibility to take a chance on a talented passer.
23. Minnesota Vikings – DJ Hayden, Cornerback, Houston
Hayden is a player that is gaining a lot of steam. The Vikings lost Antoine Winfield in free agency and they need to add a corner early.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Tank Carradine, Defensive End, Florida State
Carradine has shown super human recovery from his torn ACL. If there weren’t the health concerns, I firmly believe that Carradine would be a top ten talent.
25. Minnesota Vikings (from Seattle Seahawks) – Alec Ogletree, Linebacker, Georgia
Were it not for character issues, Ogletree would be selected in the top half of the first round. Ogletree’s talent is well worth the risk. If the Vikings use their first round picks on defense, they are well on their way to turning things around.
26. Green Bay Packers– DJ Fluker, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The Packers want to get more physical, so what better way than to bring in one of the most physical and dominating run blockers in this year’s draft.
27. Houston Texans – Kevin Minter, Linebacker, LSU
Andre Johnson wants the Texans to select another wide receiver, but the selection of Minter is an absolute match made in heaven. This would be a selection that the football gods would smile down on.
28. Denver Broncos – Xavier Rhodes, Cornerback, Florida State
This is a dream scenario for the Broncos. They desperately need to add talent at corner and it looks like the defensive backs could slide a bit in this year’s draft. That results in Rhodes falling directly in to the Broncos lap.
29. New England Patriots – Justin Hunter, Wide Receiver, Tennessee
With Gronkowski’s start to the season and Aaron Hernandez potential starting training camp on the PUP list, the Patriots need to add weapons to their arsenal. Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman are solid receivers, but Hunter has the potential to develop in to the true No. 1 receiver that the Patriots currently lack.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Desmond Trufant, Cornerback, Washington
After a mix up at the position, the team would benefit from bringing in a player like Trufant. He has the ability to take their secondary back to the level it once was.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Eric Reid, Safety, LSU
There aren’t many holes on the 49ers roster, but safety is one of them. Adding Reid allows the team to plug the hole left by Dashon Goldson’s departure as they look to return to the top of the NFC without missing a beat.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Arthur Brown, Linebacker, Kansas State
Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe are gone, so the team needs to bolster their linebacking corp. They were hoping that Rolando McClain could be worth the risk, but he has already been arrested. Believe it or not, a lot of people have said there are aspects of Brown’s game that remind them of Ray Lewis. Sounds like a perfect fit, right?