mock draft: Round 2, Version 1

With the first round mocked up several times, we turn our attention to the second round in the beginning of April. More needs get filled.

OVERVIEW: The second round doesn’t receive the same amount of interest that the first round generates, but the importance to the Minnesota Vikings and the other 31 teams can’t be overemphasized. While the first round picks are almost all expected to be immediate starters, the same is true for many of the second-round picks, which are often used to fill a direct need. These are the players we see coming off the board to start Day 2 of draft weekend.

1. Cleveland – Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor. The Browns used their first-round pick to land a quarterback of the future. Now they start the process of getting him weapons to work with.

2. Tennessee – Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M. The Titans O-line was a disaster in 2015 and they’ve done little in free agency to address it, so the draft will have to be the resource used to better protect Marcus Mariota.

3. Dallas – Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State. The Cowboys have been facing the mortality of Tony Romo for some time and the time has come to start grooming a replacement.

4. San Diego – Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana. If the Chargers didn’t go offensive line in the first round, they need to here because Philip Rivers can’t continue to take the beating he did in 2015.

5. Baltimore – Jaylon Smith, OLB, Notre Dame. Somebody is going to roll the dice on greatness with Smith, who suffered a devastating knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1. If he recovers 100 percent, this will be a steal.

6. San Francisco – Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech. The 49ers suffered losses on the defensive line that were never addressed last year or in free agency. If they’re going to compete, beefing up the D-line is a must.

7. Jacksonville – Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State. The Jags signed Malik Jackson in free agency, but after parting ways with Chris Clemons and Andre Branch, more help is needed up front for the Jags to compete.

8. Tampa Bay – Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame. Vincent Jackson isn’t getting any younger and Jameis Winston will receive a running mate to line up opposite Mike Jackson for the next few years.

9. New York Giants – Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama. The Giants may be in the running for Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, but the revolving door of three or four running backs needs to stop. Henry is the bell cow to accomplish that.

10. Chicago – Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State. John Fox continues to reshape the defense in his image. Getting a strong safety that can fill a void in both the pass and run game is a priority that Bell handle.

11. Miami – Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech. The Dolphins replaced Brent Grimes with Byron Maxwell, but this group was brutal in 2015 and an infusion of young talent in necessary here or the money spent on the D-line will be wasted.

12. Los Angeles (from Philadelphia) – Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State. The Rams have employed a revolving door of wide receivers over the past few years and Thomas will provide a steadying influence.

13. Oakland – Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia. After taking a cornerback in the first round to match up with Sean Smith, the Raiders turn a weakness into a strength because Joseph could start from Day 1.

14. Los Angeles – Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State. The roll call of Sam Bradford, Nick Foles and Case Keenum bring no reason for excitement with the Rams. Hackenberg could push to start in the preseason and stop the revolving door.

15. Detroit – Kamalei Correa, OLB, Boise State. The Lions have struggled at linebacker for years and did nothing to address it in free agency, so Correa will get the opportunity early on to make an impact.

16. New Orleans – Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford. The Saints may use all their other draft picks on defense, but unless Drew Brees can get better protection, the Saints will struggle to get back to the playoffs.

17. Indianapolis – Deion Jones, OLB, LSU. The linebacker group was a weakness of the team in 2015 and all that has changed is that three of them have gone and none have been replaced, making this a front-burner need.

18. Buffalo – Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State. The Bills linebackers were weak in 2015 and they didn’t add any veterans in free agency, making this pick a must to help them compete at a higher level.

19. Atlanta – Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas. The entire Falcons offense took a backward step when Tony Gonzalez retired. Henry is the best offensive threat among this year’s TE class and will provide an immediate upgrade.

20. New York Jets – Artie Burns, CB, Miami. He needs a little refinement to his game and what better way to learn than teaming him up with future Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis.

21. Houston – Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma. DeAndre Hopkins has developed into a star but needs another running mate to go with him to avoid constant double teams. Shepard has the straight-line speed to be a playmaker that requires defensive attention.

22. Washington – Keanu Neal, S, Florida. Safety was identified as a need early on the process, and after cutting Dashon Goldson and Jeron Johnson, Washington hopes the combination of Neal and free agent David Bruton will fill that void.

23. Minnesota – Jihad Ward, DE, Illinois. The Vikings are always looking for help up front and Ward is a player similar to Danielle Hunter in that he comes with a lot of upside and needs to be harnessed in a system where he can thrive. He brings versatility that he can play both outside and inside, giving the Vikings another weapon in their defensive toolbox to use in the defensive line rotation. After Brian Robison is gone, Ward could compete for a starting job in 2017.

24. Cincinnati – Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama. Kelly is the best center in the draft and the Bengals find a player they can realistically expect to hold down the position for the next decade.

25. Seattle – Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn. The Seahawks lost starters Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy in free agency and veteran backups Bradley Sowell and J’Marcus Webb clearly are not the answer.

26. Green Bay – Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri. Mike McCarthy wants to move Clay Matthews back to the outside full-time. Getting an instinctive inside tackling machine goes a long way to getting that accomplished.

27. Pittsburgh – Su'a Cravens, S, USC. The Steelers don’t go heavy spending in free agency, so the cleanup of a woeful secondary is getting done through the draft. The last time they took a safety from USC, it worked out pretty well for them.

28. Kansas City – Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida. The Chiefs need some help up front and Bullard is a versatile player who lined up everywhere on the line and can be plugged in wherever the need arises.

29. New England – Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama. Aside from Malcolm Butler, the Patriots cornerbacks are a hot mess that needs improving if the Patriots are to keep their stranglehold atop the AFC East.

30. New England (from Arizona) – Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State. Few people come to the draft with as many intangibles as Miller and nobody knows how to utilize players in specialized roles better than Bill Belichick.

31. Carolina – Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU. The Panthers were exposed by the Mike & Mike tackle tandem (Oher and Remmers) in the Super Bowl and will need to upgrade the position.

32. Denver – Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State. The Broncos lost Malik Jackson in free agency and need to add some depth to fill in that void as the Broncos look to ride defense in their attempt to repeat as champions.

Viking Update Top Stories