Silva's Two-Round Mock DraftWednesday, April 24, 2013
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17. Steelers -- Notre Dame TE Tyler Eifert
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert is typically a best-available drafter, but his offensive skill-position corps has eroded so precipitously that Colbert may stray from that approach, at least in the first round. Eifert isn't a slouch, of course, and he'd be a huge upgrade on what the Steelers have at tight end now with Heath Miller's 2013 status in doubt due to three torn knee ligaments. Eifert can create mismatches in the passing game and hold his own as a blocker. He'd essentially be playcaller Todd Haley's new slot presence, with Emmanuel Sanders at X and Antonio Brown at Z receiver.
18. Cowboys -- Missouri DT Sheldon Richardson
In this proposed scenario, the Cowboys would have to think long and hard about selecting Chance Warmack over Richardson. Ultimately, I think they might lean toward addressing a defense in transition as new coordinator Monte Kiffin installs a 4-3. Richardson is a gap-shooting three technique, which is a critical position under Kiffin. Jay Ratliff would then play 4-3 nose tackle.
19. Giants -- Alabama OG Chance Warmack
Giants left guard Kevin Boothe is a sub-average starter working on a one-year deal. Right guard Chris Snee is 31 and coming off hip surgery. The Giants must get younger up front, making Warmack a logical fit in addition to being the best player left. Coordinator Kevin Gilbride heads up a power-running offense. Warmack is a power-blocking guard. While most mock drafts project Warmack in the first half of round one, guards are annually drafted later than mockers expect.
20. Bears -- Kansas State LB Arthur Brown
This pick would be a perfect blend of need and value for Bears GM Phil Emery. Chicago, in fact, has one of the better rosters in the NFL no one is talking about and isn't beholden to one position at the 20th choice. Linebacker is one relatively suspect spot since none of the Bears' current starters (Lance Briggs, James Anderson, D.J. Williams) are signed beyond 2014. Anderson and Williams are on one-year deals. Brown would be Brian Urlacher's long-term successor inside.
21. Bengals -- Florida International S Johnathan Cyprien
The Bengals love Cyprien and will hold their breath he gets by the Rams and Cowboys. They sent defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to Florida International on Monday for a private workout of Cyprien and seem clearly to be eyeballing Reggie Nelson's running mate with this pick.
22. Rams -- Texas FS Kenny Vaccaro
Vaccaro is the quintessential safety for today's NFL game. He can lock down slot receivers one on one -- ask Tavon Austin -- and support the run game attacking downhill. Vaccaro is also terrific in centerfield coverage, leaving him with no noticeable flaws. The Rams have shown a significant amount of pre-draft interest in Vaccaro and have a safety need. He is every bit worth this pick.
23. Vikings -- Tennessee WR Cordarrelle Patterson
The Vikings' signing of Greg Jennings and fast development of third-year tight end Kyle Rudolph allows GM Rick Spielman to swing for the fences in his pass-catching corps. The Vikings badly need a true "X" receiver -- it was Patterson's position at Tennessee -- and his dynamic, game-breaking ability could restore some of the juice lost with Percy Harvin's departure. Patterson's natural talent is top-ten caliber. Concerns about the way he runs routes have been overblown.
24. Colts -- Florida State OLB Tank Carradine
Carradine played right end in Florida State's 4-3, but NFL scouts are confident he is athletic, bendy, and explosive enough to play outside linebacker in a 3-4. I recently watched four games from Carradine's 2012 season and came away highly impressed with his hand usage, tireless energy, and consistency in disrupting pass plays even when he wasn't sacking the quarterback. Carradine is so good that I wouldn't be surprised if he were selected before the 24th pick. If he does last this long, GM Ryan Grigson should view him as an enormous upgrade on Erik Walden.
25. Vikings -- Notre Dame MLB Manti Te'o
I watched Te'o's entire college career and am not convinced his game is first-round caliber, but the Vikings have shown more interest in him than any team during the pre-draft process. ESPN is so confident Minnesota will draft Te'o that they're sending a reporter to the Vikings' Winter Park facility to have it covered live on Thursday night. Minnesota has a big need at middle linebacker, and GM Rick Spielman loves Notre Dame players, selecting four of them over the past five drafts.
26. Packers -- Florida State LT Menelik Watson
There has been buzz in Green Bay that the Packers will move right tackle Bryan Bulaga over to the left side, replacing struggling two-year starter Marshall Newhouse. Watson can play either spot. Though raw, Watson has an ideal build for an NFL tackle and athleticism to fit Green Bay's zone-blocking scheme. The Packers will figure out their two tackle starters in training camp. No matter the sides they play, Bulaga will be one and Watson could easily be the other.
27. Texans -- Tennessee WR Justin Hunter
Hunter is considered a somewhat developmental prospect after his performance slipped last season coming off a torn ACL, but he ran pro-style routes in Tennessee's pro-style offense and can take the top off of defenses. The Texans don't just need a No. 2 receiver; they need a potential long-term No. 1 as Andre Johnson goes on 32. Hunter is talented enough to be both.
28. Broncos -- UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin
Running backs must be able to pass protect to function in Peyton Manning's offense. Blitz pickup is one of Franklin's primary strengths, along with inside running ability, foot quickness, and an impressively competitive playing style. The Broncos realize 2012 third-rounder Ronnie Hillman is a change-up back only. Franklin would replace injured 31-year-old Willis McGahee as the starter.
29. Patriots -- UCLA DL Datone Jones
The Patriots are multiple on defense and place a high value on players capable of filling multiple roles. Jones is at his best as an interior pocket pusher, but also holds his own as a traditional base 4-3 end. Pats defensive end starters Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones were forced to play too many snaps in 2012 because New England had no depth. They'd all play better in a rotation.
30. Falcons -- Alabama CB Dee Milliner
I don't really think Milliner will drop this far, but I do have a sneaking suspicion he'll go to the Falcons. GM Thomas Dimitroff has 11 picks -- his most since 2008 -- and only seven or eight at most will have a realistic chance of making Atlanta's roster. It's no secret Dimitroff is willing to trade up. Following the departure of Brent Grimes and release of Dunta Robinson, the Falcons' largest hole is right corner opposite Asante Samuel. I think a trade could happen anywhere in the Nos. 4-14 range. Dimitroff can dangle the 30th and 60th picks, and a late-rounder to move up.
31. 49ers -- Boise State CB Jamar Taylor
An explosive athlete with 4.39 wheels and a 10-foot-7 broad jump, Taylor is "coverage versatile" with an ability to play both off-man and press-bail techniques. His speed to stay in deep threat receivers' hip pocket stands out on tape. The 49ers are interested in trading up -- and have plenty of ammo with a league-high 13 picks -- so perhaps they'll take that route. If not, Taylor would be a very solid late first-rounder at one of the few positions San Francisco's roster is somewhat weak.
32. Ravens -- California WR Keenan Allen
Terrell Suggs. Anquan Boldin. Even Haloti Ngata had an average Combine. The Ravens don't acquire pre-draft test freaks; they target football players. Allen's 4.71 Pro Day forty time likely sent up a red flag for most teams, but GM Ozzie Newsome will pounce if Allen lasts to the 32nd overall pick. A polished, savvy route runner with outstanding hands and pro readiness, Allen would be an ideal Z receiver complement to vertical stretcher Torrey Smith, with Dennis Pitta manning the slot.