16. St. Louis Rams – OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
The Rams could use a RB, but there’s not any worth this high of a pick. They could also lean towards a WR, but they added a couple young guys last year that look promising. They’ve got two 1st round picks, so they use the first to help Sam Bradford stay upright and healthy. It’s not always an exciting pick, adding an offensive lineman, but the fact that the Rams don’t have gobs of needs and have two first round picks makes things feel good.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers – WR Keenan Allen, California
The Steelers need to get younger on defense, but there just doesn’t seem to be the talent available at this pick to do so, so they bring on a WR to replace the loss of Mike Wallace. Allen is the top WR on plenty of peoples boards, so it’s a nice pick, but the Steelers have to be a little frustrated they couldn’t address a defensive need with this pick. Perhaps they trade back….?
18. Dallas Cowboys – DT Sharrif Floyd, Florida
With Rob Ryan out and Monte Kiffin in, the Cowboys look like they’ll be switching back to the 4-3 defense. They’ll need another DT in there to help the transition. Floyd’s 6’3, 303 lbs frame fits the bill.
19. New York Giants – DE/OLB Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
This is a tough one. The Giants have a few needs, primarily of which seems to be MLB, but this just isn’t the spot to take one. Because of that, the Giants go with a DE/OLB here. Osi Umenyiora is prepping to hit free agency and the Giants DE’s struggled even with him this year, having JPP lead them with only 6.5 sacks. Ezekiel gives them a nice little boost of youth. It doesn’t hurt that some people have compared him to JPP…
20. Chicago Bears – OT Lane Johnson, Oklahoma
Another banged up season for Jay Cutler doesn’t do the Bears any good. He was sacked 38 times. The Bears bring in Johnson and can look to other needs now that they’ve got, such as looking for a replacement for MLB Brian Urlacher.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – ILB Alec Ogletree, Georgia
The Bengals are hurting at the LB position. The Te’o hype train has come to a stop and Olgetree is the better take here. Pretty simple.
The Rams add another playmaker to their backfield, making it possibly the strongest part of the team with Finnegan, Jenkins, and Vaccaro. They could look to take a RB right here if Jackson is gone, and they could do it even if he stays. But as for now, we’ll say they take a safety.
23. Minnesota Vikings – WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
The Vikings need to give Ponder a big target to grow with, as do many of these teams with young QB’s. Michael Jenkins hasn’t done much and Jerome Simpson isn’t a big number one receiver. Williams is a fast, 6’2 receiver who could boost his stock at the combine.
24. Indianapolis Colts – DT John Jenkins, Georgia
The Colts are still transitioning into their 3-4 defense and Jenkins 6’4, 359 lbs body does a great job of anchoring the center of their defensive line.
25. Seattle Seahawks – WR Robert Woods, USC
Pete Carroll goes with a USC boy. The Seahawks can’t count on the refs to be giving them free touchdowns all season. That and the fact that Sidney Rice is always battling injuries has the Seahawks wanting a safe alternative. Plus, giving Russell Wilson a little more to work with certainly doesn’t hurt.
26. Green Bay Packers – RB Eddie Lacy, Alabama
The Packers have held this off for a long time. I’ve been waiting for them to do this that past two years. Ryan Grant has always been solid, but nothing special. The Packers were shuffling around a few RB’s in 2012. Lacy brings that shuffle to a stop and allows them to focus on other things, like getting back to the Super Bowl.
27. Houston Texans – WR Tavon Austin, West Virginia
The WR’s have been pretty picked over by the time the Texans get to them, but the still get a good tool. They’ve got Andre Johnson as their big guy on the outside but now they can bring in a small fast guy to help balance things out. The addition of Austin helps balance a group of receivers that only has Johnson and Owen Daniels that really stand out.
28. Denver Broncos – CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
Champ Bailey is one of the best CB’s of all time, but time catches up with all of us and the Broncos would be crazy if they weren’t looking for his replacement. Washington is on of the fastest CB’s in the draft and the Broncos should take the bait. They don’t have to take a CB here, but I think they’d feel much more comfortable heading into the 2013 season without having to lean on the hope that Bailey can keep healthy and stay up to speed with all the young pups around him.
29. New England Patriots – DT Jonathan Hankins, Ohio St.
The Patriots tend to make me sick every draft, stockpiling picks in a devilish manner. Will they pick at 29? Maybe. For sanity’s sake, I’ll say they do. They bring on a 6’3, 320 lbs DT to help Vincent Wilfork, who’ll turn 32 this next November, hold down the front line.
30. Atlanta Falcons – DE Sam Montgomery, LSU
This one’s a no-brainer. The Falcons need some youth and talent added to their DE group, which is lead by the 34 year old John Abraham. With how things have played out, the Falcons have options at this pick. They go with Montgomery, who has great size and speed and lead the LSU Tigers in sacks in 2012.
31. Baltimore Ravens – SS Matt Elam, Flordia
Ed Reed is old and likely to retire after the Super Bowl. The Ravens would be wise to add a hard hitting playmaker to their backfield to offset the loss. Elam’s one of the top rated safeties in the draft and should find himself right at home in Baltimore.
32. San Francisco 49ers – DT Jesse Williams, Alabama
The 49ers are happy to have the 320 lbs Williams fall into their lap with the last pick of the first round. The 49ers could use an upgrade at the DT tackle position and getting Williams with the 32nd pick will do just fine.
Let me know what you think. I put a lot of work into this, as always, and it carries out over days. Let me know if there are any duplicates, and of course, tell me whether my picks are right or wrong.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart