Viking Update mock draft: Round 2

The second round is often about matching needs with value, and that’s the approach we take here.

OVERVIEW: In the first round of the NFL draft, teams can make the claim that they select the best player on their board regardless of position, even though they often suspiciously coincide with one of their greatest needs. However, when you get to the second round, teams are much more likely to draft for need because the pool of talent is starting to thin out. As teams start questioning whether they can address need areas, the second round becomes more important. As a result, need will get addressed early and often.

1. Tennessee – D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida. The Titans had 10 different starters on the O-line and need help. Combined with 2014 first-rounder Taylor Lewan, the Titans could have bookend tackles for years.

2. Tampa Bay – Cameron Erving, C, Florida State. If you’re going to give Jameis Winston some protection, why not start with the guy who snapped him the ball at FSU last season?

3. Oakland – Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA. Defensive end was a need heading into free agency and nothing has changed. He’s a player who can compete for a starting job right away or be groomed to replace Justin Tuck, who is on the wrong side of 30.

4. Jacksonville – Benardrick McKinney, MLB, Mississippi State. The Jags not only land the best edge rusher in the draft in the first round, but get the first middle linebacker to come off the board.

5. New York Jets – Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon. The same basic premise in play as the Tampa Bay pick – take a college quarterback and unite him with one of his college O-linemen to get him a comfort zone quickly.

6. Washington – Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma. The Redskins defense was brutal last year and any help they can get is a plus. Put Phillips and Shane Ray together and you have a good start to curing the problem.

7. Chicago – Shaq Thompson, OLB, Washington. The Bears replaced Brandon Marshall nicely in the first round, but defense is the biggest issue facing Chicago. They got old at linebacker and Thompson can be a much-needed infusion of young talent to help restore defensive order.

8. New York Giants – Eric Kendricks, MLB, UCLA. The Giants, much like Bears, historically have been known for linebacker play, but it has fallen into disarray in recent years. Kendricks can give Chicago the boost it has needed since Brian Urlacher got too old.

9. St. Louis – Byron Jones, CB, UConn. Jeff Fisher has been trying to improve his secondary since he arrived in St. Louis. Jones is a first-round talent who falls into their lap and the Los Angeles Rams 2.0 will benefit from it.

10. Atlanta – Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska. The Falcons have gone with big plodding running backs the last several years. Abdullah would be a huge change of pace, but the first running back in a decade or more with breakaway speed.

11. Cleveland – Laken Tomlinson, G, Duke. The Browns need O-line help and Tomlinson is the highest ranked pure guard on the board. With three picks in the first 43, the Browns can help themselves a lot.

12. New Orleans – Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington. The Saints may use every pick from here on through on defense because they need it. They need help at all three levels of the defense and Kikaha can help out immediately.

13. Minnesota – Stephone Anthony, MLB, Clemson. The Vikings haven’t been the same at middle linebacker since E.J. Henderson’s leg snapped down in Arizona. They had two incarnations of Jasper Brinkley and one season with Erin Henderson in hopes MLB success was in the genetics. The team has struggled in recent years to have anything more than a serviceable middle linebacker.

14. San Francisco – P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State. The Niners lost three cornerbacks since the end of the 2014 season and have done little in the way of filling that void. Williams was arrested for DUI, but, at this point, talent wins out.

15. Miami – Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State. The run on Seminoles cornerbacks continues … and ends here. The wide receivers in the AFC East have dramatically improved over the last 12 months and something needs to be done to stop them.

16. San Diego – Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana. A natural athlete coming off a 2,000-yard season in 12 games, he replaces the oft-injured Ryan Mathews with a player who can make an immediate impact.

17. Kansas City – Nelson Agholor, WR, USC. The Chiefs signed Jeremy Maclin, but their receiver corps was such a receiver corpse last year that more improvements are needed to prevent triple coverage on Maclin.

18. Buffalo – Tre' Jackson, G, Florida State. Erik Pears and Cyril Richardson were hideous last year and anything that can upgrade the running lanes for LeSean McCoy is a must.

19. Houston – Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami. You don’t just replace a franchise guy like Andre Johnson, but DeAndre Hopkins needs a complement because he’s the No. 1 guy now and will get top coverage on every play … until someone else steps up.

20. Philadelphia – Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan. Some see him as a tight end. One can only imagine mad scientist Chip Kelly sees him a weapon of mass destruction that can create mismatches.

21. Cincinnati – Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi State. The Bengals front four suffered badly last year. The return of Michael Johnson will help, but adding some young blood into the mix can only help revive the sorry state of Mike Zimmer’s former defense.

22. Detroit – Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State. To watch him run, he looks like Ray Rice. With Reggie Bush (thankfully) out of the picture, he could step in immediately and help a Detroit offense that has a lot of big-play ability.

23. Arizona – Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami. Larry Foote was a coverage embarrassment last year and teams picked on him. The Cards aren’t far away and, by adding a running back in the first round, they’re closing the gap on Seattle.

24. Pittsburgh – Paul Dawson, LB, TCU. Outside linebacker was a need even with Jason Worilds. Without him, it’s gotten even more pronounced and Dawson is the type of player who could be an immediate contributor.

25. Carolina – Mario Edwards, DE, Florida State. The Panthers are permanently without Greg Hardy and, while Edwards is a pale imitation, he has NFL bloodlines and fills a need that got exposed when Hardy was on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.

26. Baltimore – Duke Johnson, RB, Miami. Ray Rice isn’t coming back and Justin Forsett is what he is. Johnson is undersized and has durability concerns, but if he’s healthy he could be the next Gio Bernard.

27. Denver – A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina. The Broncos lost Orlando Franklin in free agency and he needs replacing. Cann may not be the immediate answer, but protecting Peyton Manning is Job One.

28. Dallas – Carl Davis, DT, Iowa. Dallas went free agency with Henry Melton last year and that didn’t work out. Now the Cowboys start building the defensive line the same way they have done the O-line the last three years.

29. Indianapolis – Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU. The Colts have made a lot of improvements to several positions in the offseason. Defensive end isn’t one of them. After losing Cory Redding and Ricky Jean-Francois, replacement bodies are needed.

30. Green Bay – Clive Walford, TE, Miami. Aaron Rodgers may be the best QB in the NFL. For the last two years, he’s done so without a playmaking tight end. Give him a tight end to develop and he could be even more deadly in 2015.

31. Seattle – Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State. The Seahawks have a ton of No. 2 or 3 wide receivers and Smith may fit into that category, but he is a single-coverage deep threat that, along with Jimmy Graham, could help open up Russell Wilson’s deep arsenal.

32. New England – Josue Matias, G, Florida State. The guard play for the Patriots struggled last year and Matias comes from a high-profile program that has succeeded. Bill Belichick loves winners and he fits that bill.

VIKING UPDATE’S ROUND ONE

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