23. Minnesota Vikings – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Wide Receiver is a huge need for the Vikings. Word broke that Percy Harvin may be traded on Sunday. Outside of Percy Harvin they have nothing at the position, especially if they can’t bring back Jerome Simpson. Hopkins gives Christian Ponder a solid target to pair with Harvin (should he stay) and TE Kyle Rudolph. If they trade Harvin they are absolutely broke at the position.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Chuck Pagano will love Datone Jones’ versatility. He played DE and DT at UCLA but there’s no doubt that he’s athletic enough to play standing up as well. That kind of versatility is invaluable in today’s NFL. Jones was dominant at the Senior Bowl after a spectacular senior season.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
This may be a bit of a reach but the Seahawks haven’t been afraid to reach in the past. Short can be a flat out dominant, penetrating DT when is switch is on. He was unblockable in the Senior Bowl game and had a solid week of practice. He’s exactly what the Seahawks are looking for in their defense and gives them some much needed interior pass rush.
26. Green Bay Packers – Johnathan Hankins, DT/DE, Ohio State
Hankins is an intriguing prospect that has lost a lot of momentum as of late. He brings the versatility to play the nose or five-technique. B.J. Raji wore down as the season wore on and the Packers have no one to fill in for him should he go down with an injury. With Raji in the middle, the Packers could kick Hankins to end. He gives them some much needed versatility.
27. Houston Texans – Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
The Texans would have to feel pretty good if Allen were there for their taking. After years of searching for a legit No.2 to play opposite Andre Johnson, the Texans find a gift in round one of the 2013 NFL Draft.
28. Denver Broncos – Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
Keith Brooking has seen his better days as a starter. Joe Mays lost the starting gig to Brooking and won’t be back. This pick makes a ton of sense as the Broncos haven’t had a leader on the inside of their defense since Al Wilson manned the middle. It’s a good situation for Te’o as he steps into a strong locker room. Best case scenario for Te’o.
29. New England Patriots – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Devin McCourty has moved to free safety and Aqib Talib may not be back at a price New England is willing to pay. Alfonzo Dennard was a find for them late in the 2012 draft but they have little outside of Dennard. Trufant blew up at the Senior Bowl after a terrific senior season. He showed the competitive swagger of a top corner. Now he’ll have to prove he can back it up.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
It doesn’t sound like Tony Gonzalez is going to be back with the team next season. At 37, it’s no surprise as he watch one of the top TE’s in the history of the game walk away. The offense is opened up so much with an effective TE working the middle. This could be the steal of the draft if Ertz falls to the 30th pick and should be a slam dunk by the Falcons.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Jesse Williams, DT/DE, Alabama
The 49ers defensive line wasn’t the same without Justin Smith. Williams fits in well for this defense with the strength to play the nose and the athleticism to play five-technique. That versatility will make him high on the ‘Niners wish list. They won’t need to press Williams into early action which should help him out as he’s still relatively new to the game.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
The lack of athleticism in the middle almost cost Baltimore a Super Bowl. Ray Ray is done, which will be a huge loss in terms of leadership but not on the field play. Ray and Dannell Ellerbe were abused in pass coverage, exposing a giant weakness on this defense.
Ogletree has top 20 talent and is a top 10 athlete but a combination of off the field issues with lack of physicality could have him fall into the laps of the Ravens. Good news for the Super Bowl champs as he fits their need to a tee.
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