OVERVIEW: The draft mindset changes considerably in the second round and this year will be no different. Teams with glaring needs that didn't adequately address them in the first round will be more hard-pressed to draft for need because the talent level at some positions takes a significant drop after the first few prospects are off the board. While a case can be made that teams draft for talent rather than need more times than not, it simply isn't true. Teams often draft for needs that weren't addressed in free agency, so the second round likely will include several trades as teams jockey for position to get a player they covet to fill a need.
1. Houston Texans – Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois. In a perfect scenario for the Texans, Derek Carr falls to this spot and they come away with their QB of the future and Jadeveon Clowney. Garrapolo is a fast-rising prospect who will likely end up with one of the teams in need of a young QB that doesn't take one in the first round.
2. Washington Redskins – Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin. The Redskins didn't have their first-round pick (final payment for the RG3 trade in 2011) and need an impact player. This may be a bit of a reach, but with age finally taking down ironman London Fletcher, the Redskins need a long-term replacement at middle linebacker and Borland is a tackling machine who stands out on tape in every game he plays.
3. Cleveland Browns – LaMarcus Joyner, CB, Florida State. The Browns have Joe Haden as one of the best corners in the league on one side. All they did in free agency was bring in Jets backup Isaiah Trufant. Cleveland has made some significant offseason signings, but cornerback hasn't been one of them … yet.
4. Oakland Raiders – Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA. The Raiders have plenty of needs, but the offensive line is high on that list. They spent to address needs at offensive tackle in free agency but cut starting guard Mike Brisiel, so Su'a-Filo could step right in as a Day One starting replacement.
5. Atlanta Falcons – Ryan Shazier, OLB, Ohio State. The Falcons addressed offensive tackle in the first round. Now they arguably address their most pressing need at outside linebacker. Shazier isn't an elite athlete, but he's a tackling machine who chases down plays all over the field – something the Falcons need in their pedestrian LB corps.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joel Bitonio, OT/G. The Bucs need depth on their offensive line and, while we have tackles and guards rated higher than Bitonio, he brings a level of versatility that could really help the team. His ability to be a long-term starter at right tackle or either guard spot is something the Bucs need to make their offseason acquisitions pay off.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – David Yankey, G, Stanford. Last season, the Jags had three different starters at guard and none of them did a serviceable job. Having yet to sign a veteran in free agency, this may lock down a starter for years to come.
8. Minnesota Vikings – Dee Ford, DE/OLB, Auburn. A lot like Everson Griffen when the Vikings drafted him, Ford is a college defensive end who has the speed and athleticism to be an outside linebacker, as well as a third-down pass rush specialist, depending on the situation. There was a time when Griffen was splitting time between DE and OLB and it wouldn't be out of the question to see Ford get time at linebacker as well as being part of the new-look defensive end rotation post-Jared Allen.
9. Buffalo Bills – Deone Buccanon, S, Washington State. The Bills lost Jairus Byrd to free agency and haven't signed a replacement yet. Byrd's consistency and playmaking ability will be missed and Buccanon will have some very big shoes to fill.
10. Tennessee Titans – Stephon Tuitt, DE/DT, Notre Dame. The Titans have struggled on the defensive front and Tuitt has the skill and athleticism to play either defensive tackle or defensive end. At 6-6, 312, he is a handful and will immediately help upgrade Tennessee's D-line.
11. New York Giants – Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota. The Giants lost Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph in free agency and the line was struggling with them. Hageman could end up going in the first round. He doesn't have an elite specialty that makes him stand out, but he does a lot of things at a high level. He's the kind of player the Giants have consistently developed and accentuated his strong suits.
12. St. Louis Rams – Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri. The Rams got a lynchpin at offensive tackle (Greg Robinson) and a playmaking big receiver (Mike Evans) in the first round. Now they address defense and get a quality pass rusher who could help make this one of the most productive drafts in recent franchise history.
13. Detroit Lions – Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska. The Lions re-signed Rashean Mathis, but, at age 34, he's nearing the end of the line. Detroit addressed a glaring need at safety. Now they need to do the same for cornerback, where an upgrade is also needed. With this infusion of talent, the Lions could find themselves in a much better position to compete for the NFC North title.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers – Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama. Viewed as a first-round pick before a brutal Combine performance left some shaking their heads, his pedigree is impressive and, in a no-nonsense organization like the Steelers have, he could live up to his enormous potential.
15. Dallas Cowboys – Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina. The Cowboys suffered some huge losses on the defensive line in the offseason, and because of their cap situation couldn't adequately replace them. After going defensive tackle in the first round, Jerry Jones doubles down and takes an inconsistent player, but with limitless upside. He wants his own Jason Pierre-Paul. Martin may be that prospect.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois. The team lost safety James Ihedigbo and need to replace him. Ward is a compactly built safety who is an excellent athlete and fits the mold of the type of player the Ravens have routinely made stars out of in recent years.
17. New York Jets – Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State. The Jets took care of a need by drafting a wide receiver in the first round and now address one of their primary need areas by drafting a guard who can step in immediately and make a contribution. Protecting the quarterback, whether it's Mike Vick or Geno Smith, will be a top priority heading into 2014.
18. Miami Dolphins – Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor. The Dolphins spent a ton of money to sign Branden Albert in free agency and took Zack Martin in the first round to play right tackle. Given the shambles the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin scandal caused last year, upgrading at guard may be the final piece to transforming the line from a weakness to a strength.
19. Chicago Bears – Keith McGill, CB, Utah. The Bears did a solid job of re-signing some of their own free agents in the secondary, but didn't add any young talent at cornerback. Tim Jennings is still a good corner, but at age 33 it's time to start grooming a replacement and McGill (6-3, 214) has the size and strength to excel in Chicago's system.
20. Arizona Cardinals – Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State. The Cardinals have the misfortune of having a ground game so bad it has been typified by retreads like Emmitt Smith, Edgerrin James and Rashard Mendenhall – players beyond their prime looking to cash another check. Hyde could be Beast Mode Jr.
21. Green Bay Packers – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington. Jermichael Finley's future remains in serious doubt and the Packers need someone who can provide a field-stretching presence. He is a red zone disaster who could have the receiving production of Finley and the touchdown prowess of Bubba Franks.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU. The Eagles have made a lot of changes on both sides of the ball since Chip Kelly arrived, but one area that has remained virtually unchanged is linebacker, which needs an upgrade and Van Noy has a similar skill set to Minnesota's Chad Greenway. He's not an elite athlete but does just about every aspect of his job at a high level.
23. Cincinnati Bengals – Marcus Smith, DE/OLB, Louisville. The Bengals have been quiet in free agency, losing DE Michael Johnson to free agency and releasing James Harrison. They need a player who can fill one of those two important roles in the defense. Smith gives Cincinnati the flexibility it needs in plugging defensive holes.
24. San Francisco (from Kansas City) – Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State. The 49ers have Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. One has taken two career's worth of big hits and is one more away from being sidelined (Boldin) and the other has limitless potential but a growing injury history that could render him moot. Another option is needed.
25. San Diego Chargers – Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt. The Chargers have a history of drafting big receivers. Matthews fits that job description and, combined with Keenan Allen, could give Philip Rivers the most daunting receiver corps he's had since Vincent Jackson left.
26. New Orleans Saints – Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee. Ideally, the plan will be to move recently re-signed Zach Streif back to left tackle and plug in Richardson on the right side. He has the mass and size to become an elite left tackle, but his job for now is keeping Drew Brees clean – as important a job as there is in the NFL.
27. Indianapolis Colts – Travis Swanson, G/C, Arkansas. The depth at guard has been depleted badly, as the Colts have parted ways with Mike McGlynn, Jeff Linkenbach and Justin Anderson with replacing them in free agency. Swanson brings the versatility of being able to play guard and center and would likely be able to compete immediate for a starting job or, at a minimum, replenish the depth that has been lost during the offseason.
28. Carolina Panthers – Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State. There are a couple of receivers we have rated higher, but the players the Panthers have brought in since parting ways with Steve Smith are smaller, move-the-chain types. Robinson is a big receiver who can stretch the field vertically, something Cam Newton desperately needs.
29. San Francisco 49ers – Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina. An undersized speedster, he could make an immediate impact as a complementary receiver to Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. With some solid offensive weapons, the one thing missing from the 49ers offense is a slot receiver who can be dangerous in space and Ellington is a glove fit for that need.
30. New England Patriots – Yawin Smallwood, ILB, U-Conn. The Pats let Brandon Spikes go and don't have a center rock for their defense. Smallwood isn't a second-rounder in every defensive scheme, but he reeks of the type that thrives in the Patriots' system. They'll find a niche for him in which he dominates.
31. Denver Broncos – Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina. The Broncos signed Aqib Talib but lost both Champ Bailey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, thinning their depth at corner. For a team built to win now, having a lack of depth in the secondary is unacceptable and Hampton is a physical presence who could develop into something special.
32. Seattle Seahawks – Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State. A college left tackle, he projects to right tackle in the NFL. Given that the Seahawks lost right tackle Breno Giacomini in free agency, there is clearly a need and Mewhort could be an ideal replacement, possibly right away.
Mock draft: Round 2, Version 2
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