Mock draft: Round 2, Version 3

The second round of the draft is where NFL teams typically select for need, at least that's the way John Holler sees it. His second-round pick for the Vikings reflects need and depth in the second offering of VikingUpdate.com's second-round mock draft.

ROUND ONE

 

OVERVIEW: The first round of the draft is where teams historically take the best players available, sometimes at the expense of their most pressing needs. In the second round, however, teams that haven't addressed those needs feel the pressure of addressing their positions of need or else risk having a draft go by where they aren't addressed until it's too late to add potential starters. Regardless of what the coaches and general managers say when they reach the podium following their picks, they are much more likely to address need in the second round and try to get players that can make an immediate impact. That, combined with a night in between the first and second round, indicated that teams at the front of the round may be getting a lot of offers from teams looking to move up for a player they valued as a first-rounder.

No. Club
 
1. St. Louis Rams
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech: After starting the re-invention of the franchise with Sam Bradford to pull the Rams from the ashes, getting him a legitimate go-to receiver was a must. An imposing 6-2, 225-pound receiver like Thomas could become Bradford's Calvin Johnson.
2. Detroit Lions
Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama: The Lions have plenty of needs on both sides of the ball and there may be a sentiment to improve the offensive line by signing massive OT Bruce Campbell, but with Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and (potentially) Brett Favre attacking the Lions defense, getting an active cornerback to improve the worst position on the Lions team is a must.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois: The Bucs are in rebuilding mode and, with two picks in the top 10 of the second round, look for them to address the defensive line again with one of those picks. However, the passing game has been pathetic for some time and the only player who excelled since the decline of Joey Galloway was Antonio Bryant – and he's gone. At a position filled with divas, Benn is a hard worker in practice and in film study and will help the questionable Bucs receiver corps improve immediately.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Jared Odrick, DT, Penn State: They never recovered from the loss of one Jared, so adding another can only help. Having been too late to the party for the Ndamukong Suh/Gerald McCoy sweepstakes in the first round, the Chiefs come away with a solid defensive tackle/end combo who has the versatility to play inside or outside when the Chiefs change up their defensive fronts in passing situations.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (from Washington)
Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers: With the pick they got for trading Donovan McNabb, the Eagles finally replace Lito Sheppard and give Asante Samuel a running mate that could combine to make McNabb's return to Philly in a Redskins uniform pretty miserable.
6. Cleveland Browns
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas: Mike Holmgren wasted little time in gutting the QB competition between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn and has temporarily filled the spot by signing Jake Delhomme and trading for Seneca Wallace. Holmgren formed Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck into stars and believes he can do the same with McCoy, the winningest college QB in NCAA history.
7. Oakland Raiders
Patrick Robinson, CB, Florida State: If the Raiders didn't take an offensive tackle in the first round, they would certainly take Bruce Campbell here. But Robinson fits the Raider mold even better. Ideally suited to play on an island opposite Nnamdi Asomugha, his man-cover skills would be highlighted better than with most defensive schemes. Al Davis would light a victory cigar.
8. San Diego Chargers (from Seattle)
Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama: Having addressed running back in the first round, the Chargers address their biggest defensive need. Nose tackle Jamal Williams was cut after the end of the season and there is a void. The jury is out on Cody, since his weight has fluctuated incredibly - from 350 to 420 over the years - but he is so massive, he can plug inside running lanes just by being there.
9. Buffalo Bills
Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland: In earlier incarnations of the draft, we had Campbell going as high as the Raiders in the first round, primarily because Al Davis loves players with a jump-off-the-chart stat, which, for Campbell is his massive size. But he has an injury history and a group of small red flags that bounced him out of the first round. If Jimmy Clausen is going to succeed, he's going to need a big man watching his blind side and few guys are bigger than Campbell.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Chicago)
Tyson Aluala, DE, California: With the pick obtained in a trade for the late Gaines Adams, the Bucs continue the rebuilding of their defense. With Gerald McCoy taken in the first round, the D-line gets another infusion of talent. A versatile end that can play left DE or a three-technique tackle, he has too many positives that can be exploited by the Bucs.
11. Miami Dolphins
Nate Allen, S, South Florida: One of the moves Denver made in the offseason was to bring in veteran safety Brian Dawkins. He is nearing the end of the line, but could serve as an ideal mentor for Allen, who, like Tyrell Johnson with the Vikings, will likely take over the starting job in his second season.    
12. New England (from Jacksonville)
Jahvid Best, RB, California: The Patriots have gotten by with a committee of running backs for years, but haven't had a true game-breaker who can take one to the house at any time. Best brings that kind of explosiveness and, with the philosophy of rotating backs, he can be even more explosive than going to a team that might ask him to carry 20 times every game.
13. Denver Broncos
Vladimir Ducasse, G/OT, Massachusetts: The Broncos have a need on the interior of the offensive line and Ducasse is a player who could step in immediately and give a boost to an offense that suffered an epic collapse down the stretch - due in large part to the ineffectiveness of the O-line - and help them compete for the AFC West title again.
14. New York Giants
Brian Price, DT, UCLA: The Giants have been consistently strong because of solid line play. Having taken a middle linebacker in the first round, the interior of the Giants defensive front seven gets another infusion of talent as the G-Men look to rebound for a playoff return in 2010.
15. New England Patriots (from Tennessee)
Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona: If Tebow makes it past Buffalo and Miami, he would likely land here. But, with him off the board, the Patriots start the process of filling holes with the second of their three picks in a 10-pick span. Don?t be shocked if they trade and stockpile more picks for next year, but getting a potential big-play tight end to give Tom Brady another weapon over the deep seam doesn?t seem quite fair.
16. Carolina Panthers
Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame: The Panthers didn't have a first-round pick and saw four quarterbacks come off the board. With no QBs left worthy of selecting this high, the Panthers do the next best thing – get a playmaking wide receiver to take the heat off veteran Steve Smith. Tate isn't the fastest guy on the planet, but makes big plays. With two solid wide receiving option, the Panthers are only a QB trade away from being a legitimate contender.
17. San Francisco 49ers
Sean Lee, LB, Penn State: The Niners have addressed glaring needs at cornerback and O-line in the first round. Mike Singletary now gets a high-motor, high-character linebacker that may remind him of himself in some respects. He isn't the most physically gifted, but like Chad Greenway, gets the job done and has good upside.
18. Kansas City Chiefs (from Atlanta)
Major Wright, S, Florida: After trying to make due with injury-prone Mike Brown and underachieving Jon McGraw at the position last year, an upgrade is clearly needed. A smart, experienced center fielder with big hitting ability will make it possible for the Chiefs to add a third immediate starter in this year's draft.
19. Houston Texans
Joe McKnight, RB, USC: Steve Slaton has quickly fallen out of favor with the Texans, and guys like Chris Brown and Ahman Green simply couldn't get the job done. McKnight is a super-talented player but has never lived up to his hype as the most recruited running back in the country coming out of high school. If worked into the lineup, he may finally reach his promise in the pros.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Chris Cook, CB, Virginia: The Steelers were surprisingly weak on pass coverage last year and the team needs to add a young ball-hawk to push the starters and eventually take over as a starter himself.
21. New England Patriots
Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota: Decker is the type of player who doesn't look overpowering, but makes plays and holds onto the ball in traffic. In many ways, he's a poor man's Wes Welker and, with Welker's 2010 season in question following a horrific playoff injury, Decker could find himself manning the slot in New England sooner than expected. With Randy Moss talking about being in his way out and Torry Holt little more than a one-year stop-gap, Decker won't be under a lot of pressure to produce immediately, but don't be surprised if he does.
22. Cincinnati Bengals
Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida: The Bengals haven't had a playmaking tight end since the Rodney Holman days. Hernandez was a go-to receiver for Tim Tebow last year and showed he could be a difference-maker in the Gators offense. Carson Palmer can use more weapons and teaming up Hernandez with veteran WRs Chad Ochocinco and Antonio Bryant could give Palmer a chance to repeat atop the AFC North.
23. Philadelphia Eagles
Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech: The Eagles don't have the pass-happy antics of Donovan McNabb and the running exploits of Brian Westbrook to fall back on anymore. Almost by choice, they are going to have to become a more run-oriented team - something that wasn't needed with McNabb at the helm. Dwyer is the biggest running back in the top portion of the draft and would be a solid complement to speedy Shady McCoy in the new-look Eagles offense. Dwyer's positive drug test could affect his draft status, but many believe he had a medically sound reason for testing positive and it won't affect his status that much.  
24. Green Bay Packers
John Jerry, G/T, Mississippi: After addressing a need at pass-rush LB in the first round, the Packers lay the groundwork for replacing the offensive front. Jerry is a massive lineman who could compete immediately for a guard spot and eventually move to tackle when either Chad Clifton or Mark Tauscher break down…which shouldn't be too long.
25. Baltimore Ravens
Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida: The Ravens cornerbacks aren't as strong as they've been in recent years, when the secondary was consistently ranked among the best in the league. Murphy is a physical, coachable player who seems to fit perfectly into the defensive mindset that has made the Ravens an intimidating presence for years with guys like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed leading the way.
26. Arizona Cardinals
Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU: The Cardinals are going to have a much different look on offense with Kurt Warner off to retirement and Anquan Boldin off to Baltimore. To keep constant double-teams off Larry Fitzgerald (as if that helps), they need a player with similar attributes. LaFell brings both the size and strength to fill some of that void.   
27. Dallas Cowboys
Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech: In the last two years, the Cowboys have gutted their safety position – releasing both Roy Williams and Ken Hamlin. Bennett has good instincts and should compete immediately for a starting job.
28. Seattle Seahawks (from San Diego)
Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern: Having addressed offense with their two first-round picks, the Seahawks go to the defense, where the pass rush has been lacking for some time. Wootton may be able to compete immediately for a starting job and, at a minimum, a rotation backup early.
29. New York Jets
Linval Joseph, DL, East Carolina: The Jets have done a lot to improve the offense and add pass-rush potential in Joseph, who is versatile, athletic and experienced.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Jon Asamoah, G/C, Illinois: The Vikings have a big underlying need in the middle of the offensive line. As it currently stands, Steve Hutchinson and Anthony Herrera are the only guards on the roster and the jury is still out as to whether John Sullivan can be a dominant center. Asamoah can immediately give the Vikings a competent backup at all three interior line positions. If I was making this pick, I would take waterbug running back Dexter McCluster, but that's me. The Vikings likely feel they need to build from inside out in the early rounds of the draft and keeping Brett Favre (if he returns) healthy is a must. If Hutch, Herrera or Sullivan go down, Asamoah is a solid insurance policy.
31. Indianapolis Colts
Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida: The Colts may have more pressing immediate needs, but Spikes has the talent to be an NFL starter. He can begin his career as a situational player and backup to Gary Brackett with the potential to eventually replace him a couple of years down the line - part of the Colts' draft strategy over the years that has a solid track record of success.
32. New Orleans Saints
Lamarr Houston, DT, Texas: The Saints need to stay stout up front in order to have a legitimate shot at repeating as Super Bowl champion. Houston is an active middle defender who can pop outside and create problems by collapsing the pocket.


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