1. New England Patriots (from Carolina) – Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova
If they don' trade out, the Patriots continue to replenish their roster, adding a versatile guard-tackle combo to go along with a pass rusher and running back taken in the first round. The strong just keep getting stronger.
2. Buffalo Bills – Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB, Pitt
Buffalo got their franchise QB in the first round, now it's the defense's turn. The Bills have a need at both defensive end and outside linebacker and Sheard has the flexibility to play both. He can be brought in and let injuries dictate where he settles in.
3. Cincinnati Bengals – Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Even if the Bengals and Carson Palmer make up – drafting a wide receiver with the first pick will help – they still need to address the long-term solvency of the position. Mallett has question marks after rumors that he was a substance abuser in college (charges he denies), but he would be in an ideal situation behind an experienced veteran who he can learn from and get in the starting mix in 2012 of 2013.
4. Denver Broncos – Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa
The Broncos give a double-dose of talent on the defensive front for John Fox, getting in on the back end of the DE run and setting themselves up to potentially have Marcel Dareus and Ballard playing next to each for the better part of this decade.
5. Cleveland Browns – Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
The Browns don't have a legitimate No. 1 receiver and, barring making a move on A.J. Green or Julio Jones in the first round, they need to take someone here. Hankerson broke Michael Irvin's touchdown record at The U and will be expected to make an impact that has been missing since Braylon Edwards was granted his escape from Cleveland.
6. Arizona Cardinals – Kyle Rudolph, TE, Notre Dame
The Cardinals offense has been without a consistent tight end receiving threat for years, as in back to the days when they still played in St. Louis. They have tried free agency often. Given Ken Whisenhunt's history with the TE being an important part of the offense, drafting a guy and molding him in their image is the best route to take.
7. Tennessee Titans – Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
The Titans were stuck in the lurch when Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton came off the board in front of them, so they go after the Plan B QB option. Kaepernick is a fast-rising prospect but will need time. With Vince Young's future in question in Tennessee and Kerry Collins getting older by the day, setting the groundwork for the future is needed.
8. Dallas Cowboys – Muhammad Wilkerson, DE/DT, Temple
The Cowboys go after defense once again, this time adding steam to their front seven to go along with shoring up the secondary. The team is in place offensively. Now they have a defense of young studs to match.
9. Washington Redskins – Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
The Redskins' biggest issue in 2010 was on the defensive front. If they follow our blueprint, they not only shore up the DE position, they do the same at DT and leave themselves open to getting rid of Albert Haynesworth. They won't solve their QB dilemma, but they haven't released Donovan McNabb just yet.
10. Houston Texans – Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Texans pass on Prince Amukamara and still get a first-round talent to help the secondary in the second round. The Texans aren't far from being a playoff team and need to improve the backside of the defense in order to get over the hump.
11. Minnesota Vikings – Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State
Ponder is an established leader who will be fine with the Vikings bringing in a short-term veteran replacement to carry the torch for a year. I'm not 100 percent sold on Ponder as an NFL QB, because, unless the Vikings continue to run a more traditional West Coast offense, his value likely drops. They are expected to run a modified version under Bill Musgrave, but it remains to be seen what it will really look like. But, barring a trade to lock down Jake Locker, this is the best option moving forward in a lockout era.
12. Detroit Lions – Aaron Williams, CB, Texas
The Lions have invested heavily in offense to get out of the dregs. They need to address defense and, in their current state, the best way to improve the pass rush if to get a cornerback that can try to lock down an opponent's top receiving threat. Williams isn't going to be a one-man answer to defensive problems, but he will make more of an impact than a D-lineman or linebacker at this point.
13. San Francisco 49ers – Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
The Alex Smith experiment was a costly mistake and the 49ers go off the board to try to make up for missing out on Gabbert and Newton on Round One. He will take time, but he has the chops to do better than what San Fran has thrown out on the field the last four years.
14. Denver Broncos (from Miami) – Rahim Moore, S, UCLA
What the Broncos should understand – what the Vikings didn't when they traded Randy Moss – is you don't take a wide receiver with the pick you receive for a wide receiver in trade. They won't make up for the production Brandon Marshall provided, but getting the top safety off the board with this pick is a value that might make the trade worth it in the long run.
15. St. Louis Rams – Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
The Rams aren't far from competing for a division title. Having given Sam Bradford a weapon to get accustomed to, a run-stuffing DT can help bring the defense up to speed.
16. Oakland Raiders – Ahmad Black, S, Florida
The Raiders typically go for a Combine warrior, which Black wasn't. Hopefully Crazy Al has learned his "Purple Drank" lesson and will look more at game film than Combine numbers in making his first pick in this year's draft.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars – Curtis Brown, CB, Texas
The Jags need to shore up their secondary if they're going to stop the likes of division rivals Reggie Wayne and Andre Johnson. While Brown won't get that done by himself, it will likely prevent Pierre Garcon or Kevin Walter from scoring on them again.
18. San Diego Chargers – Titus Young, WR, Boise State
It's hard to imagine that the impasse between Vincent Jackson and A.J. Smith is going to be solved any time soon. Young has the ability to press the deep seam of the defense and give Philip Rivers a threat he has been sorely lacking since V.J. and A.J. started butting heads.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois
The Bucs continue building an arsenal on the defensive side of the ball. Anyone remember that they won 10 games last year? That, my friends, is flying under the radar. They may now have enough weapons on defense to try to replicate that feat.
20. New York Giants – Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
The G-men have tried to get as much out of former Viking Fred Robbins as they can, but it's time to upgrade. Austin has some off-field issues, but, if focused, can upgrade a run defense in need of help.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
The Colts provided Peyton Manning with some O-line help in the first round, now it's time to address the defense. Considering that they play Arian Foster, Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew six times a year, it's hard to justify not taking a DT in the first round.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Orlando Franklin, OT/G, Miami
The only thing that was missing from the Eagles offense last year was an offensive line that could hold up when Mike Vick decides to improvise. The versatility Franklin provides could merely be depth, but could also be the difference between playing in January or watching in January.
23. Kansas City Chiefs – Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky
The Chiefs have stolen the Patriots blueprint for success, but what is missing is a possession receiver to play opposite Dwayne Bowe. Cobb is more of a Hines Ward type than a Wes Welker type, but the Chiefs won't complain if Cobb comes close to replicating either of them.
24. New Orleans – Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
A value pick to give Drew Brees another weapon. With this offense, Williams has a chance to be NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Clint Bolig, G, Georgia
The Seahawks offense has sputtered ever since the Poison Pill contract given to the Steve Hutchinson by the Vikings. Bolig is the first real attempt to fill that void and, with a rookie QB at the wheel in 2012, all the up-front help they can get will be appreciated.
26. Baltimore Ravens – Sam Acho, OLB/DE, Texas
The Ravens have a knack for finding defenders that can overachieve. The last time they took a LB/DE hybrid it was Terrell Suggs and there has been no complaining. In a lot of schemes, Acho would be a ‘tweener. With the Ravens, they can just cut him loose and let him make plays.
27. Atlanta Falcons – Allen Bailey, DE, Miami
It was offense that made the Falcons 14-2. It was defense that made them one-and-out in the playoffs. Bailey may not be a Day One starter, but he will make an impact before the season is out.
28. New England Patriots – Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
As the Vikings learned, there is no replacing Randy Moss, but finding a big receiver who can stretch the defense on the back side is a need for the Pats. With their fourth pick in two rounds (their payoff for trading Moss comes next round), after taking care of other needs, they still find a way to give the team a poor facsimile of Randy.
29. San Diego (from N.Y. Jets) – Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina
The Chargers addressed their pass-rush woes in the first round, now they solidify the inside of the defense. In a division that is up for grabs, it's hard to say the 61st pick in the draft could make the difference, but in this case it could.
30. Chicago Bears – Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson
The Bears have always been a franchise driven by defense and getting a run-stuffer to bolster what became a weakness at times last year will help keep that tradition rolling.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia
The Steel Curtain is showing signs of age and some young blood in the secondary will help make a longstanding strength a continuing strength. With Mike Tomlin to help him along, Dowling could make an impact earlier than expected.
32. Green Bay Packers – James Brewer, OT, Indiana
The Packers found a replacement for Mark Tauscher last year in Bryan Bulaga. Now they move Bulaga to left tackle to replace Chad Clifton in hopes of protecting Aaron Rodgers for a run at a repeat.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.