23. Minnesota Vikings – Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Pairing Kevin Minter with Chad Greenway will go along way into rebuilding their LBing corps. Outside of Greenway, they have nothing at the position and Minter gives them another tackling machine that is slightly underrated at this point.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
The Colts have some major defensive needs and money to spend in free agency. The could be major players in the open market and should and most likely will target a Paul Kruger/Anthony Spencer type to fill in as a pass rusher. The Colts could add a player in the secondary but really need versatility on the defensive line and Jones gives them that.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
I can’t help myself on this one. Adding Austin in the slot on this team is a scary proposition. Austin’s versatility could add another dimension to this offense. They need pass rushers but Pete Carroll has ignored needs to take players that fit his wants in previous drafts.
26. Green Bay Packers – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Tyler Eifert put together the best Combine of any of the top TE’s and solidified the feelings of many about his game. He gives the Packers a replacement for Jermichael Finley and adds an all important dimension to their offense.
27. Houston Texans – Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Keenan Allen’s knee isn’t healthy and cost him the opportunity to workout in Indianapolis. That may hurt him a little with other receivers emerging in Indianapolis. The reality is that Allen has 1st round talent and could be the eventual replacement for an aging Andre Johnson. In the meantime, Allen gives the Texans a more than adequate complement to Johnson.
28. Denver Broncos – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Johnathan Hankins is flying under the radar as the other 1st round DT’s have risen to the surface. Hankins is a big man with excellent movement skills for his size. He struggled down the stretch of games but his flashes of talent are special.
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 may be headed to the clink. If Talib bolts Foxboro and Dennard is detained, the Pats are back to square zero at the CB position. 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 – Arthur Brown, ILB/OLB, Kansas St.
It’s criminal to think that Arthur Brown could drop any further than this point. While many point to TE, RB, or DE as the biggest need, I wasn’t overly impressed by the linebackers not named Sean Weatherspoon. Their linebacker depth isn’t very solid and Brown offers excellent value at this point in the draft.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Jonathan Cyprien, SS, FIU
Jonathan Cyprien isn’t a guy that you have to worry about whether he’s a FS or SS. He’s an interchangeable piece that could fill in for Dashon Goldson should he leave in free agency. Cyprien is a fast rising prospect that is capable of playing the backend and being a factor in the box.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Alec Ogletree, ILB, 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 is all athlete at the position and automatically gives them a sideline to sideline linebacker that excels dropping into coverage.