17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia
- Ogletree, perhaps the top inside linebacker prospect available, will provide a consistent presence in the middle of the field for the Steelers for a long time. The Steelers will be happy to upgrade and/or provide more depth at a position they greatly value.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon
- The Cowboys will be happy to get their hands on a good defensive end to fit in with Monte Kiffin’s new defensive scheme. Jordan would be a force opposite DeMarcus Ware and will alleviate a lot of pressure on Tony Romo to score more points to win games.
19. New York Giants
Ezekial Ansah, DE/OLB, Brigham Young
- The Giants have had premier pass rushers for years. They will continue that trend by grabbing Ansah, who could work his way into an already formidable rotation.
20. Chicago Bears
Jonathan Cooper, C/G, North Carolina
- What has stopped the Bears from really competing during their time with Jay Cutler? A good offensive line. They could use some upgrades and Cooper is the first part of that.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
- Weird backstory for a top talent player? Check. The Bengals will take a swing at the dead fake girlfriend-ed Te’o and they will be rewarded for it. They need linebacker help and Te’o will be more than enough.
22. St. Louis Rams
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
- Patterson’s the top wide receiver talent in this draft and if he falls to the later part of the first round then the Rams should scoop him up. Like their pick at #16, the Rams will be doing this to make sure that Bradford is guaranteed a fighting chance this season.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Keenan Allen, WR, California
- The Vikings may be a team in total flux at the wide receiver position this offseason. Percy Harvin wants out, Jerome Simpson isn’t what they hope for. Christian Ponder may not be the answer at quarterback, but it sure won’t be because he doesn’t have people to throw to.
24. Indianapolis Colts
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
- The Colts could use a more solid push out of the middle of its defensive line. Richardson provides that and should bolster a defense that could use some help to get further in the playoffs.
25. Seattle Seahawks
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
- What do you do the year after your rookie quarterback leads you to the playoffs? You give him more weapons. Simple as that for Seattle.
26. Green Bay Packers
Barrett Jones, G/C/T, Alabama
- The Packers need to stop Aaron Rodgers getting hit. Jones, a renaissance man on the O-line, may not be the sexiest pick but he could fill in at center or guard immediately for the Packers. They need to upgrade.
27. Houston Texans
Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
- Andre Johnson can’t do it all by himself. The Texans could use the ability to pass the ball more and rely on Arian Foster less. It hurt them in the playoffs and will continue to hurt them until they rectify it.
28. Denver Broncos
Bennie Logan, DT, Louisiana State
- The Broncos have free agency waiting to remove their defensive tackles, the rebuild starts with Logan at the position. Denver’s strength is still its defense and this will improve it.
29. New England Patriots
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
- The Patriots are an oddity, Tom Brady can make any receiver look good. With Wes Welker set to hit free agency and the rest of the receiving corps not exactly top-flight, Bellichick and company will be looking for the next receiver to put up gaudy stats thanks to Brady.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
- Michael Turner isn’t the guy in the backfield any more and the Falcons may as well start that transition now by grabbing a playmaker they want rather than seeing who falls to them later.
31. Baltimore Ravens
Matt Elam, S, Florida
- Without Ed Reed next year, you have to be thinking about the future. Elam would have big shoes to fill but could possibly do it.
32. San Francisco 49ers
Margus Hunt, DE/DT, Southern Methodist
- Hunt is a major talent and a lot teams will be craving him in the early part of the second round. He won’t get past the Niners. Hunt is too good to pass up for a team that is already loaded on defense. He would fit Vic Fangio’s defense like a glove.
– Luke N. Sims