17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Alec Ogletree, ILB, Georgia (Previous Pick: 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
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida (Previous Pick: Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Oregon)
- Defensive tackle is a priority for the Cowboys as they revamp their defense. Floyd will provide a presence on the inside that should automatically make the outside rushers more effective.
19. New York Giants
Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri (Previous Pick: Ezekial Ansah, DE/OLB, Brigham Young)
- The Giants just cut Chris Canty and will need another defensive tackle to fill the void. New York values good defensive linemen, so they’ll likely look to grab a strong DT when they can.
20. Chicago Bears
Jonathan Cooper, C/G, North Carolina (Previous Pick: 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 (Previous Pick: 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 (Previous Pick: 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 (Previous Pick: 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
John Jenkins, NT, Georgia (Previous Pick Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri)
- Indy needs some help in the middle of that defensive line and Jenkins will be the best available nose tackle at #24.
25. Seattle Seahawks
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson (Previous Pick, 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 (Previous Pick, 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
Kevin Minter, ILB, Louisiana State (Previous Pick: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor)
- The Texans will be updating their interior linebacking corps with Minter. It should help in an offseason with some question marks there.
28. Denver Broncos
Bennie Logan, DT, Louisiana State (Previous Pick: 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
Sam Montgomery, DE/OLB, Louisiana State (Previous Pick: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia)
- Belichick will like Montgomery’s athleticism and versatility enough to take a first round flyer on him. That defense continues to get better and Montgomery can be a contributor in it.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (Previous Pick: 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. San Francisco 49ers
Margus Hunt, DE/DT, Southern Methodist (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.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Matt Elam, S, Florida (Previous Pick: 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.
– Luke N. Sims