Round 2 cont.
48. Pittsburgh Steelers: D.J. Swearinger SS (South Carolina)
An experienced player, Swearinger started two-and-a-half years (33 Starts) at South Carolina over his career, and emerged as one of college football’s most feared and dangerous hitters (here and here). A tough, in-the-box Defender, Swearinger can hold his own in run-support and racked up 80 Tackles during his Junior year, and 79 last season. The former Gamecock also had a knack for forcing Turnovers and creating big-plays as he registered 6 INT’s, 4 Forced Fumbles, 2 Fumble Recoveries, and scored 2 Defensive TD’s over his career. While he is not going to make anyone think of Troy Polamalu as a pass-defender, Swearinger possesses enough athleticism to hold his own enough in pass coverage in the middle of the field to develop into a solid Strong Safety over time. Pittsburgh’s Defense could stand to use some “nastiness,” and Swearinger could be just the player to help them.
49. New York Giants: Arthur Brown ILB/OLB (Kansas State)
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 Arthur Brown in Round 2 to upgrade the positional unit. Since he transferred from the University of Miami (FL) to Kansas State two years ago, Arthur has 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 because of the his speed and tenacity.
50. Chicago Bears: Quinton Patton WR (Louisiana Tech)
With Johnny Knox retired, and the Bears in need of an effective slot Receiver not named Devin Hester, I believe that Chicago’s brass will be looking for an upgrade at the position. After he starred at Coffeyville CC in Kansas as a Wide Receiver and Punter, Quinton 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.
51. Washington Redskins: Justin Hunter WR (Tennessee)
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. 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. The former Volunteer pass-catcher represents solid value in the middle of Round 2, and Washington could put their Defensive needs on hold to bolster such a big position of need at that juncture.
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 the former Safety (6’1″ 236 lbs.) would be a great fit on the Vikings’ Defense. 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: Giovani Bernard RB (North Carolina)
After two incredibly productive years with the Tar Heels, Bernard declared for the Draft, and it was a wise choice considering what has happened to guys like Marcus Lattimore. Bernard (5’10” 205 lbs.) was not only awesome on the ground for North Carolina (2,481 Yards Rushing and 25 TD’s in 2011 and 2012), but he was also a weapon in the passing game too (92 Catches for 852 Yards and 6 TD’s in 2011 and 2012). “Every-Down Backs” are not easy to find, and although the position has been devalued somewhat in recent seasons, Bernard should not last on the draft board for very long on Day 2 if he does not go on the opening night.
54. Miami Dolphins: Kyle Long OT (Oregon)
Although the Dolphins have 2012 2nd Round pick Johnathan Martin to groom, they will still need another Tackle to take the place of Jake Long if he departs this offseason. Kyle Long (6’6″ 304 lbs.) could be available for the Dolphins to take, and should be able to transition well as a Right Tackle at the pro level. Like most Oregon Offensive Linemen, Long possesses quick feet, and is a solid down-field blocker. Although he only started 1 season with the Ducks, his athleticism and upside should make him a mid-Day 2 pick, regardless of his past issues when he attended Florida State.
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: Menelik Watson OT (Florida State)
Breno Giocamini will be a UFA in 2014, and the Seahawks might be in the market for a developmental upgrade at Right Tackle. If Menelik Watson falls to them in Round 2, and they have not taken a Defensive Tackle at that point, this pick would make total sense. The English-born Watson was a former basketball player and boxer before he took up football recently at a Junior College and then Florida State. Although he is raw in terms of his overall technique, the 6’5″ 320 lb. Watson has the upside to develop into a stellar Right Tackle as a professional.
57. Houston Texans: Terrance Williams WR (Baylor)
The Texans could definitely use another play-making threat opposite Andre Johnson, and Terrance Williams might be just the player Houston needs to make their Offense and even more formidable force. If Williams falls all the way to Houston at #57, I am sure that Matt Schaub would be ecstatic to have a down-field target to throw to other than just Johnson. 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).
58. Denver Broncos: Brandon Williams DT (Missouri Southern)
Denver’s Defense could stand to use a space-eating Defensive Tackle who can occupy blockers, eat space, and make the occasional play. If the Broncos can give 2nd year man Derek Wolfe more chances to rush the passer from the interior, less attention can be paid to Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller on the outside. Brandon Williams of Missouri Southern (6’2″ 341 lbs.) could be just the player who the Broncos need to clog the middle in their Defensive scheme. A three-year starter with the Lions, Williams did a terrific job last year as he finished 2nd on his team in Tackles (68), 1st in TFL’s (16.5), 1st in Sacks (8.5), and 1st in Forced Fumbles (5). For a man his size, Williams is surprisingly mobile. So if he can prove that he can handle an increase in his competition at the professional level, he will make some team will be very happy.
59. New England Patriots: Logan Ryan CB (Rutgers)
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 at Cornerback. 2012 Trade acquisition Aqib Talib will be a UFA, while Alfonzo Dennard could be playing in his own version of “The Longest Yard” after he apparently slugged a police officer last year. A big bodied Cornerback (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.
60. Atlanta Falcons: Bennie Logan DT (Louisiana State)
The Falcons will need to find a way to acquire a play-making Defensive Tackle, because their Defense sorely needs one. Vance Walker, who led Falcon Defensive Tackles in Sacks with 3.5 last year will be a UFA this Spring. In addition, 2009 1st Round pick Peria Jerry has been an absolute bust (48 career Games, 2.0 Sacks), and Jonathan Babineaux only registered 3.5 Sacks last year. Both players I should add are set to hit the open market in 2014. Bennie Logan (6’3″ 295 lbs.) will likely be available for the Falcons to take in Round 2, and Atlanta should jump at the chance to take the athletic two-year starter (2011-2012: 12.0 TFL’s and 5.0 Sacks combined). Logan’s quickness allows him to disrupt things in the trenches, and he should develop into a solid 3-Technique.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Jenkins DE/OLB (Florida State)
With a young core of talent, and the future bright, the 49ers can afford to gamble a bit when it comes to the 2013 N.F.L. Draft. San Francisco is in need of another pass-rusher opposite of Aldon Smith (2012: 19.5 Sacks), and someone to push Ahmad Brooks (2012: 6.5 Sacks) at Outside Linebacker, and Brandon Jenkins (6’3″ 260 lbs.) could be a steal late in Round 2. The former Seminole Defensive End registered a combined 33.5 TFL’s and 21.5 Sacks during the 2010 and 2011 seasons before he missed all but one game last year due to a foot injury.
62. 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.
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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