22. Philadelphia Eagles - CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Gilbert was not very good in 2012, but Oklahoma State’s more aggressive defense played into his hand in 2013. He still struggles to turn and run while mirroring receivers, but there has been plenty of buzz about Gilbert. He has great ball skills as well.
Brandon Boykin is locked into the slot. Bradley Fletcher has one year left on his deal, while Cary Williams has two. Dee Ford is also a possibility here.
23. Kansas City Chiefs - DL Louis Nix, Notre Dame
Many of you will question this pick because the Chiefs already have Dontari Poe, but hear me out. This would allow KC to utilize a large number of two man lines with stand up rushers on the edge, and Mike Devito is versatile enough to play along with the duo in odd front situations.
Nix III ended his season on the sideline after undergoing knee surgery. The injury impacted his season, but there were shades of Vince Wilfork back in 2012. Obviously he can stop the run, but Nix can also press the interior and reset the line of scrimmage. Disruption between the tackles is a difference maker.
24. Cincinnati Bengals - DB Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
This is probably a bit of a stretch, but with Leon Hall suffering another major injury and Terence Newman aging, Joyner could offer versatility needed in the Bengals’ defensive backfield. He wins at safety, in the box, or lining up in the slot to counter mismatches on offense. Yes, Joyner lacks ideal size, but he can be physical.
25. San Diego Chargers - CB Bradley Roby, Ohio State
Roby still has plenty of talent, even if it was not on display at all times this season. He is very aware at knowing when to peel off his route and attack underneath patterns and is not afraid to lower his shoulder for a big hit. The closing speed is there as well. Roby does need to stick to his man tighter when mirroring routes in man coverage.
26. Cleveland Browns (via Colts) - WR Odell Beckham Jr., LSU
I doubt the Browns spend this first-round pick, the one they acquired for Trent Richardson, on another running back. Beckham Jr. can win in a variety of ways and at multiple levels of the field. Put him in the slot or out wide. Beckham Jr. can also win at the catch point in contested situations, something that is tough to find for someone of his size.
27. New Orleans Saints - Edge rusher Dee Ford, Auburn
Ford is not just a speed rusher. Turn on his game against Texas A&M and you will see burst, strong hands, and leverage to keep his opposition on skates. The argument between a 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB can be a bit of a waste of time now. Line Ford up wide and let him win. He could fill a sub-package pass rushing role early on in his career if necessary.
28. Carolina Panthers - OL Jack Mewhort, Ohio State
Receiver is commonly mocked to the Panthers, but tackle is their biggest need. Sure, this can be viewed as a need based selection, although one personnel executive mentioned Mewhort as a possible first-rounder. Mewhort is easy to like, especially when he wins, thanks to his tendency to extend his arms with a powerful latch to sustain and control his block.
29. New England Patriots - TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
Amaro is a very fluid mover that can be a mismatch with safeties, corners or linebackers. He is a willing blocker, but I wish his hands were a bit stronger at the catch point. Amaro and Gronk can absolutely coexist.
30. San Francisco 49ers - WR Jarvis Landry, LSU
It might be time to find Anquan Boldin’s eventual replacement, since he will not play forever. Landry lined up inside and out for the Tigers and can dominate at the catch point despite measuring in around 6’0/200 pounds. Colin Kaepernick tends to rely on these types of receivers.
31. Denver Broncos - Edge rusher Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech
Do not knock Attaouchu too much for his Senior Bowl performance. At least I will not be doing so. Attaochu is a defensive end. He needs to have a minimum amount of responsibilities early in his career. This was apparent during his junior year, where Attaouchu seemed to be thinking more than reacting. Malik Jackson offers great interior pressure, and Attaochu can offer help on the edge, even in a sub-package role early on.
32. Seattle Seahawks - WR Kelvin Benjamin, Florida State
I expect the Seahawks to cut Sidney Rice. Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, and Jermaine Kearse have all displayed the ability to win at the catch point downfield. This is an area where Benjamin can shine, since 75 percent of his catches were recorded 6+ yards downfield. He needs to be more consistent on the easier grabs, but Benjamin’s flashes are outstanding.