25. Denver Broncos: Michael Brockers, DT, LSU
With the addition of Peyton Manning, this pick could be spent anywhere. Smart move would be to protect the 96 million dollar investment by improving the offensive line or by getting him a target, since it seems the only receiver left on the roster is Demaryius Thomas.
With that said they have a hole at defensive tackle and there is only one name left on the board that has a first round grade. Michael Brockers can fill the void left by Bunkley signing with the Saints. Interior line can be addressed in the next couple of rounds so there is no reason to reach on a guy. The same holds true for receiver.
26. Houston Texans: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Andre Johnson is a top 3 Wr in the league, but he has gotten injured the last few years and there is little depth behind him. The Texans will be fortunate if in state WR Wright falls this far in the draft.
This is a team that was close last year, and would have been the AFC representative in the Superbowl if they hadn’t lost their top 2 quarterbacks on the roster. If Matt Schaub can bounce back from injury this is a team that can compete for a title for the next 5 years and bulldoze the teams in its division.
27. New England Patriots: Mark Barron, SS, Alabama
A team that is 31st in defense and pass defense shouldn’t make the playoffs let alone come within a minute of winning a Superbowl. The defense can’t get off the field on 3rd down and it’s hard to just pinpoint one player or position.
The Patriots really need someone to rush the passer, but they do own the 31st pick as well so they will have to predict what the teams in between will take. They will be lucky if Barron falls this far with so many teams needing safety help and the class is narrow to say the least.
They could have used this pick on a receiver if they hadn’t reloaded with Brandon Lloyd, Donte’ Stallworth, and Anthony Gonzales. There already are guys that are going to be cut before the season so the only way they draft one is if they are sure he can beat someone out.
28. Green Bay Packers: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina
Charles Woodson turns 36 this season and you can never have too much depth at the position.
This pick has to be spent on the defensive side. There are needs for an end, an outside linebacker, and in the secondary. Green Bay always takes the best, most ready player that fills a need. It will be hard for them to look anywhere else. Gilmore is a top 15 pick on some “experts” boards.
29. Baltimore Ravens: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
The Ravens defense is stellar, now if only the offense can get going this would be a Superbowl team. Ray Rice is perhaps the best back in football yet the team was only 10th in rushing. With all the focus the last few years spent trying to get the passing game going, not much effort has been put into keeping up the run game. Konz helps both run and pass and gives them another big body lineman that they covet.
He can come in right away and play guard then once Matt Birk retires he can move back to the center position.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford
For all the critics not wanting the 49ers to draft Fleener, they can’t come up with a better alternative. At first I was one of them. We aren’t in need of a tight end, but he instantly becomes the #2 tight end and Walker is likely going to be gone in free agency after this next year. With Fleener and Vernon Davis, we will have the best tight end combo in the league. This will help with the redzone woes along with creating matchup nightmares for defenses.
Wide receiver is still a problem, yes even with the addition of Moss and Manningham. Moss was retired last year and Manningham had nagging injuries, he just got hot at the right time during the playoffs. Maningham was the #3 wideout on the Giants, so for those thinking we have found a #1 you are surely mistaken. Honestly I would love to send this pick to Pittsburgh and get Wallace, but he wants Fitzgerald type money. There is no wideout on the board that is worth taking at this juncture. Alshon Jeffery could be the guy, but he had trouble separating in college from defenders. What did our receivers struggle with against the Giants? Oh yeah… If he is available in the second round there is no question you take the chance.
We need to get a right guard, but look at who is left. Taking Mike Adams a tackle out of Ohio State seems like a waste because no one is sure if he can move inside. It is a deep guard class so getting one to compete in the middle rounds will be just fine. The right guard position isn’t as bad as everyone has made it out to be.
There is no safety worth taking at this point either, if FS Dashon Goldson can be locked up there really won’t be any immediate worry.
The only other 2 areas that need upgrading is running back and defensive end. RB Frank Gore struggled down the stretch last year and Hunter is more of a change of pace back. The signing of Jacobs gives us a short yardage back, which could mean Anthony Dixon could be on the street come August. The only reason I bring up defensive end is to add depth and to look for an eventual replacement for Justin Smith.
I trust our front office to make the right decision, that means if they go defensive end here, I wouldn’t have a problem. Some people had Aldon Smith as a first to second round pick last year and yet the niners took him with the seventh overall.
31. New England Patriots: Nick Perry, DE, USC
It wouldn’t hurt the Patriots to use every pick on defense and hope to come up with something. With them addressing the secondary with the 27th pick, defensive line becomes a must. When it comes to pass rusher this pick will be either Nick Perry or Andre Branch out of Clemson. Nick Perry is younger, slightly better and has more upside.
32. New York Giants: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
When you’re the Superbowl champs you focus on reloading around the players you have. The 2011 Giants in the regular season were just slightly above average, but they were the healthiest team during the playoffs which made all the difference. The biggest areas of need were offensive tackle and linebacker core. Linebackers can be found later, and there should be many good ones left in later rounds. I have both the Cowboys and the Eagles going defensive line, so improving the offensive front would seem like the smarter choice. Mike Adams is the best lineman available
The Giants could go ahead and take a running back even though it isn’t their need. They will at some point address the position, but that will come down to their board and if anyone stands out to them.
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