17. New York Jets – Vic Beasley – DE/LB – Clemson
Rex Ryan’s defense remains strong, but the talent and depth at linebacker is lacking. Adding a pure pass-rusher such as Beasley could add a new dimension to the defense and potentially put them over the top as a playoff-caliber unit.
18. Dallas Cowboys – Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – S – Alabama
The Cowboys secondary is a mess. They’ve spent high picks and big money on their cornerbacks but have ignored the safeties in recent years. This isn’t a great class of safeties, so Clinton-Dix should be high on their wish list. Don’t rule out the Cowboys targeting a running back early in the draft also. Melvin Gordon could be an option here.
19. Arizona Cardinals – Cedric Ogbuehi – OT – Texas A&M
The Cardinals have to address the offensive line again this year. Ogbuehi is relatively inexperienced and is in his first year as a starter at right tackle this season, but he’s an impressive athlete who has the skills to play left tackle in the future.
20. Carolina Panthers – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu – CB – Oregon
Off-field issues may keep Seferian-Jenkins out of the first round, but he is a deserving prospect based purely on talent. Tony Gonzalez is such a huge part of the Falcons offense, they really can’t afford to let him leave without finding an adequate replacement.
21. Chicago Bears – Marcus Roberson – CB – Florida
The Bears need a safety but after Clinton-Dix there probably isn’t another first rounder. Adding depth at cornerback is the next best option. Roberson may lack the upside of some of the other corners in this year’s class, but he may be the most disciplined and NFL-ready of the group.
22. San Diego Chargers – Darqueze Dennard – CB – Michigan State
The Chargers secondary is such a mess it wouldn’t be a shock to see two new starters at cornerback in 2014. Dennard doesn’t receive as much hype as some other corners due to his relative lack of athleticism, but he is a bully in the secondary. He’s the type of physical corner who can battle with the game’s taller, red zone threats.
23. Detroit Lions – Khalil Mack – LB – Buffalo
Mack is undersized, which limits his attractiveness to certain teams. But he’s an elite athlete and may become the prototype for how teams adjust to more athletic read-option quarterbacks. DeAndre Levy and Stephen Tulloch are both under contract for a few more years, but Jim Schwartz can certainly find a way to work an athlete like Mack onto the field.
24. Green Bay Packers – Marqise Lee – WR – USC
An knee injury has slowed Lee’s productivity but he remains one of the top playmakers after the catch in college football. If the Packers want to regain their swagger on offense they’ll need to infuse some new blood. Lee would be a nice addition to the combo of Nelson and Cobb.
25. Cleveland Browns – Brandon Scherff – OT – Iowa
[from IND] Mitchell Schwartz has ranked among the worst linemen in terms of pass-protection in 2013 and since he wasn’t brought in by this regime, it’s safe to assume the Browns will look for an upgrade. Scherff if having a stellar junior year and could be an immediate upgrade at right tackle for the Browns.
26. New England Patriots – Odell Beckham – WR – LSU
The Patriots can’t go through another season relying on Amendola, Dobson and Edelman. Beckham is exactly the type of sure-handed receiver who can make plays after the catch that Tom Brady needs to run the Patriots offense.
27. Cincinnati Bengals – Bradley Roby – CB – Ohio State
Leon Hall remains among the game’s most consistent corners when healthy, but Dre Kirkpatrick has been a huge disappointment and there’s limited young depth on the roster. Roby is having a rough year, but he is as physically gifted as any defensive back in this class.
28. San Francisco 49ers – Dominique Easley – DT – Florida
If not for injuries, Easley may be in the top-10 discussion. He’s an impressive athlete for his size and has the potential to be groomed as the eventual replacement for 34-year-old Justin Smith.
29. New Orleans Saints – Trent Murphy – DE/LB – Stanford
Rob Ryan has worked wonders for the Saints defense, but they’re still clearly lacking talent on that side of the ball. Adding another physical pass-rusher such as Murphy could give Ryan the versatility he needs to fully install his defensive scheme.
30. Denver Broncos – Stephon Tuitt – DE – Notre Dame
Tuitt is a top-10 talent who has battled injuries and ineffectiveness in 2013. He’s a physical run-stuffing end which is exactly what the Broncos hoped to get in Derek Wolfe. Due to Wolfe’s struggles, the Broncos should be looking hard at guys like Tuitt and Murphy.
31. Seattle Seahawks - Jace Amaro – TE – Texas Tech
With so few holes, the Seahawks should consider a luxury pick this year. Amaro isn’t elite, but he’s a reliable pass-catching tight end who could make an immediate difference in the Seahawks offense. In time, he has the potential to develop into a Jason Witten-type.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Jordan Matthews – WR – Vanderbilt
The Chiefs passing offense is efficient but hardly scares opposing defenses. It will be that way as long as Alex Smith is leading the way, but the addition of another weapon would at least give defenses something to think about. Matthews reminds me somewhat of Reggie Wayne, and could play a similar role in the Chiefs offense if given a year or two to fully develop.