48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Hunter WR (Tennessee)
Even without “Butterfingers McNoShow,” the Steelers still have a talented Receiving corps. Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jerricho Cotchery form a nice trio, but what the unit truly lacks is size and a large play-maker at the position. Sure, Plaxico Burress is on the roster right now, but I have a hard time believing that he will stick and stay next year. If Pittsburgh wants to add another dimension to their passing game and make Big Ben happy, they might look at Justin Hunter of Tennessee. Hunter was primed for a breakout season in 2011 until a knee injury derailed him three games into the year. I guess the injury did not faze Hunter too much, because the 6’4″ 200 lb. pass-catcher recorded 73 Catches for 1,083 Yards and 9 TD’s in 2012. Hunter’s overall stock could rise in the coming weeks, but the Steelers should definitely be on the look-out for a tall Wide Receiver to add to their roster this offseason.
49. New York Giants: Manti Te’o ILB (Notre Dame)
Chase Blackburn will be a UFA this offseason, and the Giants might want some more competition for Mark Herzlich if Blackburn is not retained. If these events indeed happen, the Giants might have a chance to draft Manti Te’o (6’2″ 255 lbs.) in Round 2 to help at Middle Linebacker. Issues with his “girlfriend” and the poor tape against Alabama could knock the Heisman Trophy runner-up into Day 2, and a team like New York could benefit if he falls to them. Te’o did log over 100 Tackles in each of his final three years in South Bend, and improved his skills in pass coverage last year to boot. Where Te’o will inevitably go will be a mystery, but I do not see him falling past New York in Round 2.
50. Chicago Bears: Arthur Brown ILB/OLB (Kansas State)
Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs are not getting any younger, and the Bears could definitely use a “transition strategy” and an infusion of youth at the Linebacker position. Arthur Brown started his final two years at Kansas State at Middle Linebacker after he transferred from Miami (FL). During that period, Brown emerged as one of the best players in the Big XII as he recorded 101 and 100 Tackles during his Junior and Senior campaigns to go along with 16.0 combined TFL’s, and 3 Interceptions. Brown’s frame (6’1″ 228 lbs.) will likely knock him down into Round 2, but I still believe that he will be a solid 4-3 Middle or Weakside Linebacker at the pro level.
51. Washington Redskins: Terrance Williams WR (Baylor)
Whether it is “RGIII,” Kirk Cousins, or Rex Grossman taking the snaps next year, the Redskins must find a play-making Wide Receiver to pair with Pierre Garcon. Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson, and Aldrick Robinson are fine 3rd, 4th, and 5th options, but Washington could stand to use an upgrade at the position. If Terrance Williams falls all the way to Washington at #51, I am sure that “RGIII” would be on board with the selection of one of his former collegiate pass-catchers. Williams has decent size (6’2″ 201 lbs.) and emerged as Baylor’s big-play Wide Receiver after Kendall Wright departed last year (97 Catches, 1,832 Yards, and 12 TD’s).
52. Minnesota Vikings: Khaseem Greene ILB (Rutgers)
Jasper Brinkley will be a UFA in a couple of months. If Minnesota decides not to retain him, they must find his replacement at Middle Linebacker. I for one am a big fan of Khaseem Greene, and I believe the athletic former Safety (6’1″ 236 lbs.) would be a great fit with the Vikings. A hard-nosed “Tackling Machine,” Greene registered 141 and 136 Tackles during his two years as an Inside Linebacker after he transitioned from Safety, and put up 14.0 and 12.0 TFL’s during those years too. Greene might be a bit small, but he does a solid job in pass coverage and can hold his own enough at the point of attack to develop into a good player at the professional level.
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Bacarri Rambo FS (Georgia)
Although Reggie Nelson is signed long term, Chris Crocker (2013), Nate Clements (2013), and Taylor Mays (2014) will all be reaching UFA status soon. Thus, the Bengals could be looking to take a Safety for depth/future starting purposes. Bacarri Rambo had a terrific career at Georgia as the Bulldogs’ ball-hawking Free Safety (16 career Interceptions). Rambo (6′ 210 lbs.) is a tough and physical Defender who illustrated no qualms about playing the run either in the S.E.C. either. Talent aside, Rambo dealt with some off-field issues in Athens which is why he will be a likely Day 2 pick.
54. Miami Dolphins: Joseph Randle RB (Oklahoma State)
If the Dolphins allow Reggie Bush to walk during the Free Agency period this offseason, and are not confident that Daniel Thomas can handle a bulk of the running game duties next year, they could draft a Running Back on Day 2 or early on Day 3. Joseph Randle to me is an “Every-Down Back” with not only terrific skills as a runner (2,633 Rush Yards and 38 TD’s in 2011 & 2012), but a pass-catcher (71 Catches for 490 Yards and 2 TD’s in 2011 & 2012) as well. Thomas and Randle could form a solid duo for Ryan Tannehill to turn to, and Randle would be an excellent safety-valve out of the backfield after his time spent in Oklahoma State’s wide-open Offense.
55. Green Bay Packers: Margus Hunt DE (Southern Methodist)
The Packers will need someone to replace veteran Ryan Pickett if he leaves via Free Agency in 2014. In addition, Green Bay could also use another young 5-Technique to develop alongside Jerel Worthy and C.J. Wilson. Margus Hunt of Southern Methodist in time could develop into a 2-Gap force, and the Packers could be a solid team for him to develop his game. The 6’8″ 277 lb. Estonian picked up football after he arrived at S.M.U. as a member of the track-team, and has improved each and every season. In 2012, Hunt registered 31 Tackles, 11.5 TFL’s, and 8.0 Sacks to go along with 2 Forced Fumbles and an Interception for the Mustangs. More impressively however was the fact that Hunt blocked 17 Kicks during his collegiate career.
56. Seattle Seahawks: Robert Woods WR (Southern Cal)
Seattle could definitely use another weapon for Russel Wilson, and I am sure that Pete Carrol would like to add a former Trojan and player he recruited to the WR mix on his team. The 6’1″ 190 lb. Woods was assumed to have a monster 2012 season after he caught 111 passes for 1,292 Yards and 15 TD’s in 2011. Unfortunately for Woods, the Trojans were inconsistent this past year, and Woods was relegated to the #2 WR role behind the explosive Marqise Lee. Down year aside, Woods still caught 76 balls for 846 Yards and 11 TD’s for Southern Cal.
57. Houston Texans: Quinton Patton WR (Louisiana Tech)
The Texans could definitely use another play-making threat opposite Andre Johnson, and the speedy Quinton Patton might be just the player Houston needs to make their Offense and even more formidable force. After he starred at Coffeyville CC in Kansas as a Wide Receiver and Punter, Patton really came into his own at Louisiana Tech over the last two years. In 25 games, Patton registered 100 Catches, 2,592 Yards, and 24 TD’s with the Bulldogs! Although Patton does not possess immense size (6′ 202 lbs.) for a pass-catcher, he reminds me of a slightly-larger Emmanuel Sanders with more big-play and downfield receiving ability.
58. Denver Broncos: David Amerson CB/FS (North Carolina State)
I like David Amerson as a physical specimen, a ball-hawk, and as someone who is unafraid to mix it up in the run game. Yet his ability to cover of quicker and more fleet-footed pass-catchers, leaves much to be desired, and a transition to Free Safety would be beneficial to him and the team who selects him. If Amerson is moved to Free Safety at the pro level, the tall and lanky (6’2″ 194 lbs.) N.C. State product would have plus coverage skills for the position, and be at more of an advantage that far off of the line of scrimmage. Denver cannot afford to have Rahim Moore on their roster and making mistakes anymore, and Amerson would be a nice upgrade for their shoddy Secondary.
59. New England Patriots: Eric Reid FS (Louisiana State)
The Patriots Pass Defense ranked 29th overall in Yards Allowed last year. While some of that was due to the fact that numerous amounts of their opponents had to pass on them due to the fact that they were behind by so many points during the regular season, New England could stand to use some help in the Secondary. A two-year starter with the Bayou Bengals, Eric Reid established himself as yet another solid L.S.U. Defensive Back over the 2011 and 2012 seasons. A big-hitting and larger Safety (6’2″ 212 lbs.), Reid proved willing to mix things up in the run-game and finished 3rd on the team in Tackles last year with 91 to go along with his 2 Interceptions.
60. Atlanta Falcons: Logan Ryan CB (Rutgers)
Dunta Robinson is scheduled to make $29.5 million dollars in Base Salary over the next 3 years, while Asante Samuel will be entering his 11th season in 2013. The Falcons must improve their 23rd Ranked (Yards Allowed) Pass Defense, and they could target a Defensive Back on Day 2 like Logan Ryan of Rutgers. A big bodied Cornerback at 6′ 190 lbs., Ryan started the final two of his three seasons with the Scarlet Knights. Last year, Ryan notched 94 Tackles and 5.0 TFL’s to go along with 4 Interceptions and an impressive 17 Passes Defended in 13 games from his Cornerback spot.
61. Baltimore Ravens: Markus Wheaton WR (Oregon State)
Anquan Boldin will be entering his 11th season in 2013, and the Ravens could stand to use another young play-maker on the Offensive side of the ball. Wheaton (5’11″ 183 lbs.) reminds me a little of Antonio Brown, and I am sure that the Ravens would love to add a prospect like him to their roster. The former Beaver enjoyed a career year in 2012 as he not only caught 91 balls for 1,244 Yards and 11 TD’s, but rushed for 2 TD’s also. With solid speed and route-running ability, Wheaton would be a nice replacement for Boldin down the road, and an adequate compliment to the rest of Baltimore’s speedsters.
62. San Francisco 49ers: Phillip Thomas FS (Fresno State)
Dashon Goldson is set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent this March and Donte Whiter is set to reach UFA status in 2014. If the 49ers want to hedge their bets at Safety, they could look into drafting one early this year like Phillip Thomas (6’1″ 210 lbs.). The Bulldog Safety had an incredible bounce-back 2012 season after he missed essentially all of 2011 with a broken foot. Overall, Thomas registered 8 Interceptions, 4 Forced Fumbles, 12.0 TFL’s, and 4.0 Sacks to go along with 80 Tackles. If San Francisco adds a play-maker like Thomas to their back-end for Goldson/Whitner, they will be in good shape.
Readers: Share your thoughts below on who the Steelers should select in Round 1. Which positions should they target? Who would you like to see them Draft and why?
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