Evan Silva

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Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft

Friday, March 02, 2012



22. Rams (Projected Trade) -- Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still

On both sides of the ball, line play has been a seemingly unfixable deficiency for St. Louis. At the 22nd pick, the Rams would consider both Still and Stanford's Jonathan Martin if the draft plays out as we project. Still is more of a sure thing, and coach Jeff Fisher's defenses have long featured dominant interior performance. Look for the Rams to draft the best offensive player left at No. 33.

23. Lions -- Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin

The Lions plan to re-sign free agent left tackle Jeff Backus, but he's not long for the league going on age 35 and returning from a biceps tear. Contract-year right tackle Gosder Cherilus is coming off another poor season. Martin could give Cherilus a run for his money in training camp while being groomed as Backus' long-term replacement. Boston College's Luke Kuechly could be an enticing alternative should the Lions fail to retain free agent middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch.

24. Steelers -- Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams

Adams' soft playing style doesn't fit the Steelers' usual modus operandi, and he's got plenty of weight-room work to do after benching 225 pounds 19 times in Indy. But the Pittsburgh coaching staff consistently gets the absolute most out of offensive linemen, and they may envision a future star in Adams' tremendous physical gifts. In a best case scenario, Adams could develop into the Steelers' left tackle of the future, with Marcus Gilbert on the right side and Willie Colon at guard.

25. Broncos -- Boise State running back Doug Martin

The 2012 defensive tackle class is rising quickly, so much so that the Denver's biggest weakness may not be worth addressing with a reach at No. 25. As Josh Norris has repeatedly mentioned, Martin's game resembles Jonathan Stewart's from the standpoint that he's a built-up running back with versatility to play on all three downs and deceptive, breakaway long speed. Willis McGahee is entering his age-31 season with a long track record of injuries and no value in the passing game.

26. Texans -- LSU wide receiver Rueben Randle

Randle plays faster than his 4.55 official forty suggests. “Unofficially” timed as fast as 4.5-flat in Indy, Randle goes 6-foot-3, 210 and is a defense's worst nightmare in the open field. He averaged 16.8 yards per career reception in the SEC, including a 17.3 mark as a junior in 2011. Randle is ready to start as a No. 2 receiver, and he could be Andre Johnson's long-range successor as Houston's No. 1.

27. Patriots -- LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers

Brockers isn't the athletic pass rusher some outlets have claimed him to be, but he is a powerful run defender ideally suited for "five technique." Put together beautifully for 3-4 teams at 6-foot-5, 322 with 35-inch arms, Brockers could help New England transition back to Bill Belichick's preferred defensive system. Just don't get caught up in the hype of Brockers as a top-20 talent.

28. Packers -- Virginia Tech running back David Wilson

Wilson is a tough, competitive, explosive runner, and his athleticism shows up on the field. Not the least bit fearful of contact, Wilson possesses rare balance and is ready to break tackles in the pros. The Packers would need to refine Wilson's passing-game skills and vision, but he'd add a breakaway rushing element to an offense that lacks it. His game is suited for a one-cut scheme.

29. Ravens -- Wisconsin center/guard Peter Konz

Konz was a three-year starting center at Wisconsin, but NFL teams project him to guard at 6-foot-5 and 314 pounds with 33-inch arms. In Baltimore, Konz would be an immediate replacement for likely outgoing left guard Ben Grubbs. Konz could succeed 36-year-old center Matt Birk in 2013.

30. 49ers -- Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill

Playing in a Georgia Tech offense that ran the ball on 81.8 percent of its plays led to some "focus drops" by Hill, but he displayed reliable hands in Combine drills and maximized his college pass-catching chances. Hill's 29.3 yards-per-reception average led Division I last year, and busted Demaryius Thomas' single-season school record. Hill isn't just a workout freak. He is physical after the catch, consistently creates downfield separation, and would be an ideal bookend in San Francisco for Michael Crabtree, who's proved to be more of a short to intermediate NFL receiver.

31. Patriots -- Appalachian State wide receiver Brian Quick

Quick packs 220 pounds onto his 6-foot-4 frame, and his 34 1/4-inch arms were second longest among wideouts in Indianapolis. Answering questions about his long speed, Quick was timed "unofficially" as fast as 4.48 in the forty-yard dash. Patriots area scouts put a first-round grade on Quick's 2010-2011 tape, and he's every bit worth this pick for a team pursuing a vertical presence.

32. Giants -- Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly

At the Combine, Kuechly ranked among the top-five linebackers in the forty-yard dash (4.58), vertical (38 inches), broad jump (10-foot-3), three-cone drill (6.92), 20-yard shuttle (4.12), and 60-yard shuttle (11.43). Inside linebackers don't typically go high on draft day, but none in this year's class has a better shot to crack the top 32 than the most decorated defender in Boston College history. Kuechly would have no trouble winning a Week 1 starting job for the Super Bowl champs.

Just Missed: Alabama S Mark Barron, Stanford TE Coby Fleener, Miami RB Lamar Miller, North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins, South Carolina WR Alshon Jeffery, Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden, North Carolina LB Zach Brown, Boise State S George Iloka, Nebraska CB Alfonzo Dennard, Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy, Clemson DT Brandon Thompson, Notre Dame S Harrison Smith, Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler, Rutgers WR Mohamed Sanu, UConn DT Kendall Reyes, Clemson DE Andre Branch, Wake Forest WR Chris Givens, Oklahoma CB Jamell Fleming, Nebraska DT Jared Crick, Alabama LB Dont'a Hightower, Georgia TE Orson Charles, Clemson TE Dwayne Allen, Washington DT Alameda Ta'amu, Iowa State T/G Kelechi Osemele, Wisconsin G/C Kevin Zeitler.



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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