23. Minnesota - LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
It seems clichéd, but Rick Spielman likes prospects from Notre Dame, and Te’o immediately fills a need. We aren’t sure if he will play at a high level on more than two downs, but the Vikings might think so.
24. Indianapolis - DL Datone Jones, UCLA
Don’t be surprised if Jones is a top 20 selection. The versatile defensive lineman wins on the outside with force and on the inside with quickness. He would line up as a 5 technique in Indianapolis.
25. Minnesota - DT Sylvester Williams, UNC
A wide receiver is certainly possible, but I think the NFL covets Williams more than those of us on the outside believe. He is often mentioned as a 3 technique, but I think Williams does his best work quickly penetrating from the 0 or 1 alignment.
26. Jaguars (Trade with Packers) - QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
The Jaguars might have their selection go quarterback at pick No. 33, but it is tough to wait on a signal caller you believe in. However, I’m not sold on this pick being Geno... it could easily be Matt Barkley or E.J. Manuel.
27. Houston - T Menelik Watson, FSU
Just because I project this pick does not mean I agree with it. Quite the opposite, actually. However, Watson appears to be locked into the first-round despite his inexperience. The athleticism apparently did not translate to workouts, and Watson has a good number of technique issues.
28. Denver - LB Arthur Brown, Kansas State
I really think Brown is going to remind John Fox of Jon Beason out of Miami. Some will call him small... but give me every single linebacker who is deemed “undersized.” Browns is aggressive on first contact to fight through blocks and has tremendous lateral speed.
29. Philadelphia (Trade with Patriots) - QB E.J. Manuel, FSU
Like the Jaguars, this selection could be a number of quarterbacks, but Manuel fits the bill in many categories. “Clean slate” and “coachable” are words frequently floating around Manuel, which leads me to think the NFL believes the QB was held back by coaches in college.
30. Atlanta - DE Bjoern Werner, FSU
Yes, the team needs a corner, but Werner will help the pass defense. The more I mock potential selections, the more I think Werner comes off the board later in round one.
31. Panthers (Trade with 49ers) - WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
Hopkins has a legitimate chance of being a much earlier pick, possibly even Carolina if they stay at No. 14. His style is very consistent and reliable, which some evaluators might think is tough to find in this receiver group.
32. Baltimore - S Eric Reid, LSU
Thanks to first-round buzz, it appears the NFL values Reid more than outsiders. He needs the offense to be kept in front of him, since Reid struggles when changing angles or recovering.