22. New England – Tavon Austin WR WVU
With Wes Welker on his way out, Austin is the perfect person to take over the slot role in New England. Dynamic and slippery, Tavon Austin has shot up draft boards and may even make it into the top 20 before all is said and done.
23. San Diego – Jack Mewhort OT/OG Ohio State
Mewhort is an offensive tackle that has been quietly dominant for the last two years. San Diego’s offensive line old and broken, and that is not a recipe for success, so this may be the start of a two-year OL rebuilding project for the Chargers.
24. San Francisco – Chase Thomas OLB Stanford
Chase Thomas is a Harbaugh player that has a nonstop motor, and he is also an exceptional edge rusher that does a great job disengaging. This pick has been two years in the making and I bet both parties would be thrilled to work together again.
25. Seattle – Manti Te’o LB Notre Dame
The Notre Dame defense has been outstanding this year, and the vocal and physical leader on the team deserves some recognition. Though Te’o’s stock hasn’t reached “Kuechly status” yet I think he ranks somewhere close to where I had Alabama LB Dont’a Hightower last year, the only difference is the competition they have played against.
26. New York Giants – Kenny Vaccaro S Texas
Strong safety, free safety, nickel corner, heck even linebacker, Kenny Vaccaro can play almost every position you could want from a defensive back. Vaccaro has been astounding this year, and he could be in the top 16 on my board very soon.
27. Arizona – Jonathan Cooper OG UNC
Cooper has been very impressive this year, and he has dominated the low level of competition he has faced. Cooper would be heading for a Arizona offensive line that could frankly use upgrades almost across the board, so this would be a huge steal for them.
28. Minnesota – Johnthan Banks CB Miss. St.
Banks has been a playmaker so far this season, and he deserves a first round selection. The Vikings on the other hand have had a remarkable bounce-back season and deserve to pick late. Mix that surprising season in with a few weak defensive backs for the Vikings, and you have a great pick here. Banks has amazing potential and could go a long way in helping the Vikings stay atop their division next year.
29. Chicago – D.J. Fluker OT Alabama
A strong run blocker with an SEC pedigree, D.J. Fluker has a lot of potential as a right tackle in the NFL. Luckily for him, most of the playoff teams seem to have less than average talent at right tackle and none more so than the Chicago Bears.
30. Houston – Eric Reid S LSU
A thumper through-and through Eric Reid would add another element of physicality to this defense, while not sacrificing any of the coverage ability.
31. Baltimore – Xavier Rhodes CB FSU
Maybe a player I haven’t given enough credit to, Xavier Rhodes has had a great season and is part of the reason why the FSU defensive line looks so unstoppable at times. With Webb tearing his ACL and the only average talent around him in the defensive backfield, Rhodes would be a welcome addition to the Ravens.
32. Atlanta – Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina
The Falcons offense just got stronger, if that is possible. Lattimore has the size, speed, and reception skills to be a star in the NFL, but injury concerns and the decreased emphasis in the run game Lattimore could put Lattimore on the brink of missing the first round. Luckily for him, the Falcons still want to run the ball and Michael Turner is just about used up in my opinion.