Football.com Mock Draft: Rounds 1 & 2
By David Seigerman
Thirty years ago, NFL fans watched an historic first round unfold. Six quarterbacks were taken, more than ever before. Or since.
How ironic that we should celebrate this milestone anniversary with a first round that might not yield one quarterback? Talk about historic.
Over the last 11 years, 34 quarterbacks have been taken in the first round. On four different occasions, four quarterbacks were first round picks.
This year’s draft class, however, is loaded with guys who protect the quarterback, guys who catch his passes, guys who try to defend those passes, and guys whose job it is to hunt quarterbacks.
This two-round mock projects the picks of teams where they currently stand in the draft order (with one exception — we give the Jets the No. 13 pick in exchange for Darrelle Revis). It is highly likely that no quarterbacks will be taken in the top 10. However, at least one team, and probably more, will want to move up from the second round into the back half of the first, where the risk is significantly diminished.
In fact, it's advantageous. The new CBA gives teams rights to a draftee's fifth year if he's taken in the first round. Teams have no rights beyond four years for a second-rounder. If you think you might be taking your quarterback of the future, it's better to do it sooner in the draft than later.
In the end, we'll see some quarterbacks come off the board in the first round. Not because they have first-round grades but because it makes too much business sense not to.
Still, you’ll have to wait patiently before the first signal-caller hears his name called. This year, draft night belongs to everybody else.
1. Chiefs LUKE JOECKEL T Texas A&M
Miami GM Jeff Ireland told the Palm Beach Post this week that he has “enough ammunition to get to the first pick” if he wanted to. But why would he want to? There really isn’t a must-have player in this year’s class, and while Joeckel would be a fine replacement for Jake Long, he’s not worth the price the Dolphins would have to pay for the chance to draft him first overall. Instead, the Chiefs are likely to stay where they are and make the safest, smartest selection. There are some who feel Eric Fisher is the better of the two tackles, but that debate hardly has the heat of Luck-Griffin or Manning-Leaf. Joeckel will need to develop as a run blocker, but he’s the right fit for Kansas City, whether he’s used to bookend Branden Albert or replace him if he’s traded.
2. Jaguars DION JORDAN DE/OLB Oregon
In truth, Jacksonville already has on its roster a player who fits the profile of the Leo position – a weakside defensive end-linebacker hybrid. But Jason Babin will turn 33 next month, and head coach Gus Bradley came from a Seahawks team that had a couple of Leos in its lineup. So, why not pluck the Duck who fits the bill? Jordan only had 14.5 sacks in three college seasons, but his skills project more potential as a pass rusher than his stats do. He has the speed, strength and length to get into NFL backfields with consistency, while also providing the run support the position demands.
3. Raiders SHARRIF FLOYD DT Florida
This may be where the first trade happens. Oakland has several holes to fill along its defensive front, and it conceivably could trade down anywhere in the top-15 and get an immediate impact player. Or the Raiders could stay put and get one in Floyd, a versatile lineman who could play anywhere along the defensive line. He’s best suited to be a three-technique tackle, and even though the Raiders brought in a couple of veteran free agents, Floyd would be able to step right into the hole left by the departures of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly.
4. Eagles ERIC FISHER T Central Michigan
There will be temptation for Philly to take Star Lotulelei here and move him to end in their new 3-4 scheme; he’d be a great fit alongside free agent nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga. And there may be some consideration given to Dee Milliner here. But Fisher has the athleticism to play in Chip Kelly’s fast-forward tempo. Even if Jason Peters recovers completely from the Achilles injury that kept him out all of 2012, he might not have the legs left to do what Kelly will be trying to do. Maybe he moves to RT to protect Michael Vick’s blindside, and Fisher steps into LT, where his mobility will enable him to protect Vick every time he leaves the pocket to his left.
5. Lions LANE JOHNSON T Oklahoma
Don’t think Ezekiel Ansah is the answer here. Detroit lost Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus, and its No. 1 priority is keeping Matthew Stafford in the lineup. Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush aren’t going to catch 200+ balls if Stafford’s on the sidelines, so look for the Lions to take the safe pick (not “safe” as in “conservative” but rather a “safety-first” selection). Johnson may be the third-best tackle in the draft, but he’s a top-10 talent on everyone’s boards. Need meets value here, and Johnson — a converted quarterback and tight end — finds his full-time home here at left tackle.
6. Browns DEE MILLINER CB Alabama
Pick No. 6 is another possibility for a trade. If Cleveland could recover the second-round pick it forfeited when it took Josh Gordon in the supplemental draft last year, it could make sense to slide down the round. But if the Browns stay where they are, they take the best man-to-man corner available and line him up across from Joe Haden. Having two potential lockdown corners will make new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s job immeasurably easier as he begins the shift to a 3-4 front.
7. Cardinals CHANCE WARMACK G Alabama
Arizona might very well have gone Matt Barkley here, had it not brought in Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton to address its glaring quarterback shortcomings. And it would certainly take one of the tackles, should any of them fall to No. 7. If they’re all gone, the Cards still have to improve their pass protection. Taking a guard in the top 10 isn’t common practice; no one’s been so bold since New Orleans took Chris Naeole 10th in the 1997 Draft. But Warmack is rated by many as the top offensive lineman on the board — and by some as the top player, period.
8. Bills BARKEVIOUS MINGO OLB LSU
For those of you comparing this mock to Football.com’s first one, you probably were thinking, “When are we going to see something different?” Here’s where things change, in part because Jarvis Jones might not have been the best fit for the 3-4 scheme new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine is bringing to Buffalo. Pettine never had an explosive edge rusher during his time with the Jets. And while Jones’ track record shows proven pass-rush prowess, Mingo may have the greater upside at the next level. He will benefit from a move off the line of scrimmage and away from the strong side; if allowed to line up standing, Mingo could prove to be a monster.
9. Jets STAR LOTULELEI DT Utah
This would be a dream-come-true for the guys who write the back-page headlines (be prepared for an onslaught of “Star Power” and “Star Search” puns). But it’s also a perfect fit for the Jets, who would hit the defensive front trifecta by taking a lineman in the first round for the third straight draft. Lotulelei could slot at nose tackle between Muhammad Wilkerson and Quentin Coples, and that unit would be the foundation of the defensive reconstruction project. The obvious question with Lotulelei is his health. He’s passed numerous medical examinations since a test at the Combine revealed a potentially life-threatening heart condition. A green light from doctors could lead him to Sione Pouha’s old job in the middle of the Gang Green defensive front.
10. Titans EZEKIEL ANSAH DE BYU
The Andy Levitre signing probably eliminates guard Jonathan Cooper from consideration here — but that’s how close we came to seeing two guards go in the top 10. Though the Titans didn’t exactly struggle to get to the quarterback last year (they had 39 sacks), neither Derrick Morgan nor Kamerion Wimbley is an elite pass rusher. Ansah could be, if given the time to develop. He didn’t play a down of football prior to 2010, didn’t become a defensive starter until 2012, and yet he is universally considered a top-10 talent. The NFL isn’t the best place to learn to play football, but Ansah looks like the rare talent who is worth the risk.
11. Chargers JONATHAN COOPER G North Carolina
San Diego is in the same position the Cardinals were in four picks earlier. The Chargers would have loved to see a tackle fall to them here. It’s too early for the No. 4 tackle, but not for a guard who is more versatile than Warmack. He can play any of the three interior line positions, and is more mobile than the bigger, stronger Warmack. San Diego gave up 49 sacks, ranked second-worst in yards per game and was tied for the fewest rushing touchdowns (4). They need O-line help, and if it’s not at tackle here, it will be later in the draft.
12. Dolphins DESMOND TRUFANT CB Washington
The signing of free agent corner Brent Grimes suggests Miami might be moving to more of a zone scheme. If so, Trufant probably is a better fit than Xavier Rhodes. Trufant can give away inside leverage too often as a boundary corner in man coverage, but that’s not a detriment for a zone corner. As impressive as his straight-ahead speed is (he ran a 4.38-second 40 at the Combine), Trufant’s short-area quickness is even more of a strength. That makes him a good fit in a division where he’d see Stevie Johnson, Santonio Holmes and Danny Amendola (slot receivers all, in the right situations) six times a year.
13. Jets (from Bucs) XAVIER RHODES CB Florida State
Typically, I don’t like to include trades in a mock before they happen. But the Revis deal seems to make too much sense for both sides (Bucs get the best man corner in the game, the Jets get No. 13 among a package of picks) for it not to happen. Where, then, would the Jets go? A go-for-broke pick would be Cordarrelle Patterson, who could be used in so many ways by an offense desperate for a playmaker. An edge rusher like Jarvis Jones could also be a possibility. But the right move would be to pick an in-your-face man-to-man cornerback in the mold of the guy they just moved. The nickname Rhodes Island sounds too New Englandy for Jets fans, but this would give Rex Ryan the chance to plug a promising prospect into the Revis role.
14. Panthers SHELDON RICHARDSON DT Missouri
Carolina is on the verge of having one of the strongest front sevens in the business. Luke Kuechly is the key to a talented corps of linebackers, defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy both had double-digit sack totals in 2012, and tackle Dwan Edwards had six sacks of his own. Add another disruptive force like Richardson and suddenly the Panthers don’t seem overmatched by the offenses they have to face in the NFC South.
15. Saints JARVIS JONES OLB Georgia
When your defense gives up the most yards per game, most yards per snap and most first downs per game (bright spot: Saints were only 31st in points allowed), you make changes. Bringing in new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan is a start, but the truly significant change — to a 3-4 scheme — requires more than just a new coordinator. Jones can provide the dynamic pass rush that Ryan got from DeMarcus Ware in Dallas. In his last two seasons at Georgia, Jones had 28 sacks and 44 TFL; he forced seven fumbles in 2012 alone. There are questions about his ability to disengage from blockers, but if given the chance to stand up in space, Ryan may have found a much-needed play-wrecker.
16. Rams KENNY VACCARO S Texas
Everyone expects St. Louis to take a receiver here. Sam Bradford needn’t worry; he’ll get his new best friend six picks later. Right now, the Rams address their need at safety by selecting the player considered the best prospect at either safety spot. Vaccaro likely lines up Day 1 as the starting strong safety, considering his effectiveness in the run game. He sheds blockers well and displays the best tackling technique of any defensive back in this year’s draft. His versatility will serve the Rams well; he could even be used as a nickel corner as he was in college on occasion.
17. Steelers TYLER EIFERT TE Notre Dame
The first offensive skill position player comes off the board, and it’s not who you expected it would be. The Steelers are in the unfamiliar position of having a lot of holes to consider. But it’s too early for a running back here, and they didn’t just match the Patriots’ offer to Emmanuel Sanders to go out and take a receiver in the first round. Eifert gives them an immediate insurance policy should Heath Miller, the team’s MVP in 2012, take longer to recover from the ACL injury he suffered in Week 16. And when Miller is healthy, Eifert provides another option for Ben Roethlisberger, who clearly is comfortable throwing to his tight end. Eifert will line up anywhere (even in-line, though he won’t be there for his blocking skills) and will get open everywhere. His precise route-running, reliable hands and tenacity in traffic will make him a favorite target of Roethlisberger’s in no time.
18. Cowboys D.J. FLUKER T Alabama
The Doug Free decision has not yet been made, and likely won't be before the draft. Whether they cut him, negotiate a pay cut or bite the bullet and move him to guard, it’s fairly clear the Cowboys don’t plan to open the season with Free as their right tackle. And considering the money they’ve just invested in Tony Romo, finding someone for that spot is a priority. Fluker is a far better fit at RT than at LT. He’s a big-bodied barrier in pass protection, though he doesn’t have the agility to handle the kind of speed rushers he would see at LT. And he’ll be a force in the running game, sealing the edge and occasionally showing the mobility to get his hands on defenders in the second level.
19. Giants BJOERN WERNER DE Florida State
Osi Umenyiora is gone, but it’s not like the Giants are left languishing for proven pass rushers. Justin Tuck is still around, as is Jason Pierre-Paul. They could even move Mathias Kiwanuka back to defensive end, the position he played when he set a Boston College record with 37.5 career sacks. Still, the Giants like to stockpile people who can pressure the quarterback; they won two Super Bowls doing that, so who’s to quibble. Werner had 13 sacks as a senior, but he’s not nearly a one-dimensional, pin-your-ears-back defensive end. In fact, he may be even better against the run, showing consistent ability to shed blockers and wrap up running backs. The Giants averaged 44.2 sacks per year from 2007-11; they had 33 last year. Werner is the ideal fit.
20. Bears MANTI TE’O ILB Notre Dame
At long last, Te’o has reached the point he’s been trying to get to for months. Where his every step is scrutinized, his every thought deconstructed and examined, his every action questioned . . . by football people. The Hoax is not totally behind him (it may never be), but Te’o, right now, is being evaluated not as a victim but as a football prospect. And anyone who watches film of any game prior to the BCS Championship (when, let’s face it, the train had already started to come off the tracks) will see a Mike backer tailor-made for the Bears.
21. Bengals ARTHUR BROWN LB Kansas State
Coming off back-to-back playoff appearances, the Bengals can go one of two ways here — linebacker or safety. If they feel Matt Elam or John Cyprien are an immediate upgrade over Taylor Mays, then strong safety makes sense here (they will take a safety later, perhaps with one of their two second-round picks.) But Brown is a tackling machine who is also comfortable in coverage. He’d step right in at Will backer, alongside Rey Maualuga and Vontaze Burflict, giving Cincinnati one of the league’s great young linebacking corps.
22. Rams (from Washington) TAVON AUSTIN WR West Virginia
Finally, a receiver comes off the board, initiating a run on one of the draft’s most intriguing positions. Austin is not necessarily the downfield threat that the Rams are lacking, though he clearly has the speed (4.34 in the 40 at the Combine) to stretch the field. Rather, he’s an explosive slot receiver who needs only the slightest bit of daylight to break a big play. Bradford’s favorite target has been his slot receiver, and Austin is more of a playmaker than Danny Amendola, with hands every bit as reliable.
23. Vikings CORDARRELLE PATTERSON WR Tennessee
Austin is a top-10 talent, and if he starts to drop, Minnesota might make a move up to get him before St. Louis is on the clock with its first pick. But if the board breaks this way, they pick up Patterson, a receiver who can do it all — just maybe not right away. Make no mistake; few players are as dynamic with the ball in their hands as Patterson. But he’s still developing in terms of his route running and his ability to read and understand coverages. Patterson could play anywhere — X receiver, Z receiver, in the slot. He can line up as a tailback. And he will be a home run threat on special teams: Patterson averaged 27.6 yards per return (punts and kickoffs) in 2012, an SEC record.
24. Colts KEENAN ALLEN WR California
Indianapolis was active in free agency, helping itself in enough areas than it can afford to take a talented player here who might not necessarily fill an immediate need. Allen would give Andrew Luck something missing last year — a tall red-zone weapon, someone with the hands and physicality to win jump balls. He would be the perfect complement to a group of receivers that has an established X (Reggie Wayne), a promising slot (T.Y. Hilton) and a burner to take the top off a defense (Darrius Heyward-Bey).
25. Vikings (from Seattle) JOHNTHAN BANKS CB Mississippi State
Minnesota lost a team leader when Antoine Winfield signed with Seattle, but it was not just a blow to the locker room. At 35 years old, Winfield could still play the position, and now the Vikings need to find a promising replacement. Enter Banks, a long, lean playmaker with 16 career interceptions on his college resume. Banks has the build to play press coverage, the experience playing zone corner, and even some history at safety, which suggests he’ll be able to provide the run support required of a cornerback in Minnesota’s Tampa 2 system.
26. Packers EDDIE LACY RB Alabama
In his five seasons as starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers has accounted for 16 percent of Green Bay’s rushing yards, roughly the same percentage of its attempts. Remove Rodgers from the calculation, and the rest of the Packers have averaged 89.5 yards rushing per game, and just 3.89 yards per carry. For the sake of protecting the player who A.J. Hawk told USA Today should be making a billion dollars, the Packers need to improve their offensive line, and they need to be able to run the ball more effectively. Lacy may be built like the workhorses of old, but he won’t get that kind of workload anywhere in the NFL these days. He easily could give Green Bay the 15 touches a game he averaged in his one season as Alabama’s feature back.
27. Texans DEANDRE HOPKINS WR Clemson
For all the impressive numbers Andre Johnson put up during a monster 2012 season, there was one statistic that had to trouble the Texans: four TDs. And still he had twice the touchdown catches that Kevin Walter had. Houston needs to find a way to get its receivers into the end zone. No one in ACC history did that better than Hopkins did in 2012, when he caught 18 TDs. Hopkins lacks elite size and speed, but he can run anything in the route tree, can create separation and catch balls in traffic.
28. Broncos CORNELLIUS CARRADINE DE Florida State
Denver picked up the wide body it wanted up front when it signed 325-pound defensive tackle Terrance Knighton. Otherwise, the Broncos would be looking here for Sylvester Williams. John Fox may be right in projecting that Robert Ayers is ready to step into the Elvis Dumervil void. But he can hedge that bet by picking up Carradine, who could just as easily go ahead of Werner, his fellow FSU end. “Tank” could play either on the strong side (he had a team-leading 80 tackles at the time he went down with an ACL injury) or provide that weak side pressure if Ayers is unable (he had 11 sacks and 9 hurries in 12 games).
29. Patriots JUSTIN HUNTER WR Tennessee
The Patriots have only five picks in this draft (three in the first three rounds, then two in the seventh), so it wouldn’t be a surprise for them to trade down from here and replenish the war chest. This would be about the time someone is itching to jump up and grab the first quarterback. Should the Pats stand pat, they could go in a couple of possible directions: corner, safety or defensive end. But their pursuit of Emmanuel Sanders suggests they are not entirely satisfied with a receiving corps of Amendola, Michael Jenkins and Donald Jones. Factor in the health issues with both of their tight ends, it makes sense that they would target a prospect with prototype X receiver measurables, great leaping ability and the potential to grow into both a stretch-the-field and red zone threat for Tom Brady.
30. Falcons JAMAR TAYLOR CB Boise State
Atlanta lost three corners (Brent Grimes, Dunta Robinson, Chris Owens), so it’s imperative to restock that position in the draft. Blidi Wreh-Wilson or Jordan Poyer are both considerations here, but the pick is Taylor, who should find a comfortable fit in Atlanta’s zone coverage scheme. Taylor breaks well on balls in front of him, and arrives on the scene as a disruptive physical force. He creates turnovers (four INT, thhree forced fumbles in 2012), is an active participant in the run game, and has both the speed and quickness to cover receivers anywhere on the field.
31. 49ers JESSE WILLIAMS DT Alabama
About the only hole the 49ers have to fill is at nose tackle, and they have 14 draft picks to make sure they get one. After losing Sopoaga and Ricky Jean Francois, they added Glenn Dorsey, who seems better suited to play DT in a 4-3 than either NT or DE in a 3-4. Margus Hunt was the pick here in the last Mock Draft, but Williams (6-foot-3, 323 pounds) fits the profile. He’s strong and has surprising burst for such a big player. He’ll be an issue for the Seahawks power run game.
32. Ravens JOHN CYPRIEN S Florida International
The headlines heralded the departures of the Hall of Famers, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. But the bigger loss may turn out to be strong safety Bernard Pollard. His leadership and his high octane/high impact style of play will be tough to replace. Baltimore could go with another battering ram box safety in Matt Elam. Or it could opt for more of a combo safety, whose coverage skills are sufficient but whose role in the run game and as a blitzer will be considerable. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Cyprien seems to make better decisions about when to unload on a ball carrier; Elam hits first and gets questioned later.
33. Jaguars D.J. HAYDEN CB Houston
Blaine Gabbert’s tenure endures a bit longer as Jacksonville starts to replace the three corners it lost. Hayden is more than just a great story; he’s got a rare gear.
34. 49ers (from Kansas City) ERIC REID S LSU
How is a team with so few holes going to spend 14 picks? One of the league's top defenses gets deeper.
35. Eagles GENO SMITH QB West Virginia
The Great Quarterback Draught of 2013 comes to an end. Chip Kelly may have the best chance of figuring out how to tailor an offense to Smith, who was too much of a reach to take at No. 4.
36. Lions DAMONTRE MOORE DE Texas A&M
Detroit needs an edge rusher. Moore needs a chance to prove his Combine performance was the aberration and his college productivity (21 sacks, 38.5 TFL in his last two seasons) wasn’t.
37. Bengals (from Oakland) MATT ELAM SS Florida
Cincinnati gets the hard-hitting safety they considered taking at No. 21.
38. Cardinals ALEC OGLETREE LB Georgia
Arizona is still looking for a tackle, but this first-round talent is too good to pass up here. Ogletree can play inside or outside backer, but he’s going to need to become more tackler than hitter.
39. Jets ZACH ERTZ TE Stanford
Of all the players who left the Jets (call it a Rex-odus?), perhaps the most damaging was Dustin Keller, who, when healthy, was one of Mark Sanchez’s few reliable targets. Ertz won’t contribute as a blocker to any ground-and-pound program, but he is a big, strong target who an line up all over the formation.
40. Titans BLIDI WREH-WILSON CB Connecticut
Tennessee can take this long, smooth zone corner and start him opposite Jason McCourty, then slide Alterraun Verner to slot corner.
41. Bills RYAN NASSIB QB Syracuse
Nassib can enjoy a somewhat easier transition to the NFL than most of his peers, going to play for his former head coach and offensive coordinator.
42. Dolphins MENELIK WATSON T Florida State
Miami seems comfortable with the notion of moving Jonathan Martin to LT to replace Jake Long. That will give Watson the chance to play on the strong side, where his athleticism will pay huge dividends for the Dolphins running game.
43. Bucs DATONE JONES DE UCLA
Remember . . . we had Tampa trading the No. 13 pick to acquire Darrelle Revis. If that trade doesn’t happen, the Bucs probably go cornerback there. Either way, the need for a rush end still exists, and Jones can get into the backfield (though he may be a better fit in a 3-4 front).
44. Panthers TERRANCE WILLIAMS WR Baylor
Steve Smith will turn 34 a few weeks after the Draft, and Brandon LaFell simply hasn’t blossomed the way Carolina would have liked. Why not bring in a tall target who led the FBS with 1,832 receiving yards? His experience playing with Robert Griffin III should make him a good fit for Cam Newton.
45. Chargers JOHN JENKINS DT Georgia
San Diego will get a tackle, when it’s not too much of a reach. Here, the Chargers add a big (6-4, 346), strong (30 bench press reps at the Combine) piece to their defensive front.
46. Rams GIOVANI BERNARD RB North Carolina
Don’t worry if Bernard doesn’t appear to fit the Steven Jackson mold. You don’t replace backs like Jackson. But you can bring in a versatile threat as a runner and a receiver, who is every bit the every down back that Jackson was.
47. Cowboys BRANDON JENKINS DE Florida State
Jenkins is not nearly the complete player the other FSU ends are. He may be one-dimensional, but it’s a dimension — rushing the passer — that Dallas needs as it switches from a 3-4 to a 4-3 front.
48. Steelers MONTEE BALL RB Wisconsin
As Pittsburgh transitions to more of a zone blocking scheme, it has to consider a back like Ball, who has been remarkably durable for a guy who carried the ball 924 times for 5,140 yards.
49. Giants KEVIN MINTER LB LSU
Minter is a classic Mike backer type. And even though the Giants recently acquired Dan Connor, there’s no reason to pass on a run-stopping presence who has first-round grades on a lot of draft boards.
50. Bears MARKUS WHEATON WR Oregon State
Chicago will have two new starters on the offensive line (which is a good start) and a tight end, all of which have to make Jay Cutler breathe easier. But adding a lightning quick, capable receiver (OSU’s all-time receptions leader) to the role Devin Hester never quite grew into might make even Cutler smile.
51. Redskins J.J. WILCOX S Georgia Southern
Wilcox would be a bit of a project, as he’s only played one season at safety (though he did register 88 tackles and two INTs). But he’s a natural around the ball, having played both running back and slot receiver.
52. Vikings KAWANN SHORT DT Purdue
Kevin Williams, the longest-tenured Vikings player, just redid his contract through 2014. But Minnesota needs to bring in some new blood — and the other DTs named Williams (Sylvester and Brandon) are better fits for a 3-4 system.
53. Bengals JOSEPH RANDLE RB Oklahoma State
Cincinnati needs to back up BenJarvis Green-Ellis with a back who has a different gear. Randle has impressive straight-line speed for a 204-pounder, and he’d be a reliable receiver out of the backfield for Andy Dalton.
54. Dolphins (from Indianapolis) SAM MONTGOMERY LB LSU
Miami keeps checking positions off its list, landing a pass rusher to play opposite Cameron Wake. Montgomery had 17 sacks over his last two seasons at LSU, and will only improve as he develops additional moves for his rush repertoire.
55. Packers TERRON ARMSTEAD T Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Green Bay has had all kinds of trouble keeping its tackles healthy. Here, they land a freakish athlete who made the best of his opportunity against top-level competition at the East-West Shrine Game, the Senior Bowl and at the Combine, where he ran a ridiculous 4.71-second 40.
56. Seahawks SIO MOORE LB Connecticut
The Seahawks are the last team on the clock for the first time. And they pick up a prospect whose productivity (last two seasons: 15.5 sacks, 31.5 TFL, 17 passes defended) are even more impressive than his Combine credentials (4.65 in the 40, 29 bench press reps).
57. Texans KHASEEM GREENE LB Rutgers
Houston would add a versatile defender who has demonstrated the quickness to cover tight ends and slot receivers, rush the passer and, most of all, wrap up ball carriers. He averaged nearly 140 tackles each of his last two seasons.
58. Broncos KYLE LONG G/T Oregon
Long played tackle for Chip Kelly — a ringing endorsement of his athleticism if ever there was one. But he’s more likely to move inside to guard at the NFL level. The Broncos will tap into his versatility while giving him a chance to figure out which position suits him best.
59. Patriots ROBERT ALFORD CB Southeastern Louisiana
Alford is strong enough to press but also has the discipline to play zone and the anticipation to jump throws. He also has the agility to play slot corner. Clearly, Bill Belichick will find a variety of ways to use a corner like that.
60. Falcons GAVIN ESCOBAR TE San Diego State
This may be slightly early for Escobar, but he may be the best receiving tight end left on the board. He’s got the height (6-6), the hands and can handle most of the route tree. Now is as good a time as any for Atlanta to get someone to learn from and eventually replace Tony Gonzalez.
61. 49ers MARGUS HUNT DE SMU
San Francisco could have taken Hunt in the first round. He’s still on the board and is too intriguing (6-8, 277, 38 reps at the Combine, 8 sacks in 2012, 17 blocked kicks in his career) to pass up twice.
62. Ravens ROBERT WOODS WR USC
There’s not much spectacular about Woods’ game. All he does is run precise routes and catch what’s thrown to him. Sounds a little like the guy he’d be replacing in the Ravens’ offense, Anquan Boldin.