Evan Silva

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Post-Free Agency Mock Draft

Monday, March 25, 2013



22. St. Louis Rams -- Texas S Kenny Vaccaro

A hard-nosed tackler whose real strength is pass coverage, Vaccaro is a complete and NFL-ready prospect. Coach Jeff Fisher had a tendency to draft defensive backs early during his 17-year run as the Tennessee/Houston coach, and now has two starting safety positions to fill in St. Louis. If Vaccaro lasts until pick No. 22, the Rams probably wouldn't take long to turn in their draft card.

23. Minnesota Vikings -- Clemson WR DeAndre Hopkins

The Vikings shouldn't be done adding receiver talent following the Greg Jennings signing. They need to keep surrounding Christian Ponder with weapons. Hopkins has a wide catching radius and arguably the draft's best hands, plucking passes out of the air even in contested situations. He'd be the Z receiver in Minnesota, with Jennings at X and Jarius Wright manning the slot.

24. Indianapolis Colts -- LSU DE/OLB Barkevious Mingo

The Colts' starting outside linebackers if the season began today would be 32-year-old Robert Mathis and free-agent pickup Erik Walden, the latter of whom has nine sacks across 68 career games. Mingo needs technique work and will undergo an NFL position change, but he's the most explosive edge presence left. Mingo has the potential to develop into a franchise pass rusher.

25. Minnesota Vikings -- Florida International S Jonathan Cyprien

Safeties in Minnesota's Cover-2 scheme must both be sure tacklers and possess sideline-to-sideline range. Cyprien was a box defender at Florida International, but his stock has risen during the pre-draft process because he stood out in coverage at the Senior Bowl before running in the low 4.5s at his Pro Day. He'd be a sizable upgrade on Jamarca Sanford opposite Harrison Smith.

26. Green Bay Packers -- North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams

Like the Giants' Jerry Reese, Packers GM Ted Thompson is a best-player-available picker whose draft intentions are impossible to pin down. It's easier to pinpoint Green Bay's needs. One is at right defensive end, where 2012 second-rounder Jerel Worthy is recovering from a major knee injury and may have zero sophomore impact. A quick penetrator off the snap, Williams goes 6-foot-3, 313 with long arms (33 1/2"). He'd work in a rotation with Mike Neal across from B.J. Raji.

27. Houston Texans -- Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson

Patterson is a top-ten prospect in terms of upside, but NFL evaluators may envision the JUCO transfer as a raw, boom-or-bust project who must polish up his routes. He's an obvious candidate to be drafted later than expected. Patterson would still be a no-brainer pick for the Texans, who are intent on adding perimeter speed and would use Patterson as a No. 2 wideout, working him in gradually as a short to intermediate threat opposite Andre Johnson. Patterson shouldn't take long to establish himself as a winner versus single coverage and post-catch tackle breaker.

28. Denver Broncos -- UCLA DL Datone Jones

At 6-foot-4, 283, Jones is viewed as a 'tweener because he lacks the ideal body type of a 4-3 defensive end, 4-3 tackle, or 3-4 "five technique." Jones just makes plays. After losing Elvis Dumervil to Baltimore, the Broncos are in the market for pass-rush help and could use Jones as an interior pocket pusher in the nickel package. Current Denver nose tackle Terrance Knighton can't play on passing downs.

29. New England Patriots -- California WR Keenan Allen

Allen isn't quite the vertical field-stretcher New England is believed to be searching for, but his run-after-catch ability and route-running chops make him a pro-ready NFL prospect. Allen has drawn comparisons ranging from Miles Austin to Reggie Wayne. While Danny Amendola is entrenched at one receiver spot, the Pats won't enter the season with Donald Jones at the other.

30. Atlanta Falcons -- Florida State DE Tank Carradine

The Falcons did well to secure Osi Umenyiora as John Abraham's right end replacement, but their long-term pass-rushing corps remains unsettled. Umenyiora is entering his age-32 season, and left end Kroy Biermann is movable chess piece who plays all over the defense. Coming off a torn right ACL, Carradine should be rounding into form just as Atlanta begins its 2013 playoff push.

31. San Francisco 49ers -- Alabama NT Jesse Williams

A physical plugger at 6-foot-3, 323, Williams is precisely the kind of player GM Trent Baalke and coach Jim Harbaugh value in the trenches. Free-agent pickup Glenn Dorsey is more of a Ricky Jean-Francois-type utilityman than solution at nose tackle. Williams would replace Isaac Sopoaga between Justin Smith and Ray McDonald, keeping the Niners' impenetrable run defense intact.

32. Baltimore Ravens -- Tennessee WR Justin Hunter

Baltimore's offense will change in Jim Caldwell's first full season as playcaller, but the receivers will still frequently be required to defeat man coverage on isolation routes. Hunter's shaky hands are a definite concern -- and the reason he probably won't crack the top-25 picks -- but he is capable of creating separation at the intermediate and deep levels of the field. The Ravens are unlikely to enter the season with Jacoby Jones as the uncontested starter opposite Torrey Smith.

Left Out of Round One: Georgia LB Alec Ogletree, Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks, Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o, Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore, Florida State OT Menelik Watson, USC QB Matt Barkley, Alabama T/G D.J. Fluker, SMU DE Margus Hunt, Stanford TE Zach Ertz, Auburn OLB Corey Lemonier, Boise State CB Jamar Taylor, LSU ILB Kevin Minter, Georgia NT John Jenkins, Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib, Arkansas-Pine Bluff OT Terron Armstead, Ohio State DT Johnathan Hankins, Florida State QB E.J. Manuel.



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



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