Evan Silva

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Silva's Two-Round Mock Draft

Friday, April 18, 2014



17. Baltimore Ravens -- Michigan OT Taylor Lewan

Off-field woes may adversely affect Lewan's stock, but the Ravens have a locker room strong enough to embrace him. He's also a top-half-of-the-first-round talent. Baltimore has a pressing right tackle need after letting Michael Oher walk in free agency. Lewan is a no-brainer pick at 17.

18. New York Jets -- UCLA OG Xavier Su’a-Filo

The Jets are returning to Ground 'N Pound offense, with Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory in the backfield and dual-threat Michael Vick likely to unseat Geno Smith at quarterback. Ideally, Rex Ryan's 2014 team will push for the NFL lead in rushing attempts while leaning on its front seven to stay competitive on a weekly basis. New York's offensive line was a below-average run-blocking unit last year due to shaky guard play. Su'a-Filo is a nasty interior blocker with plus athleticism.

19. Miami Dolphins -- Alabama ILB C.J. Mosley

Right guard and tackle are the Dolphins' biggest on-paper needs, but they may have to look elsewhere if Martin, Lewan, and Su’a-Filo all fly off the board before No. 19. New GM Dennis Hickey was clearly displeased with incumbent MLB Dannell Ellerbe's 2013 performance, pursuing but ultimately whiffing on would-be replacements such as D'Qwell Jackson in free agency. Mosley gives the Fins a plug-and-play upgrade with pass-coverage skills to play on all three downs.

20. Arizona Cardinals -- Auburn DE/LB Dee Ford

Blake Bortles and perhaps even Johnny Manziel should both tempt GM Steve Keim if they fall as far as this mock projects, but round two is a likelier target area as Arizona pursues its long-term quarterback successor for 34-year-old Carson Palmer. Edge rusher is a more pressing need with John Abraham entering his age-36 season, and little behind him on the rush 'backer depth chart.

21. Green Bay Packers -- Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro

I believe tight ends may go earlier than most expect because this year's class is incredibly top heavy with only four or five likely starters, and a huge drop off after that. The NFL is also an increasingly tight end-oriented league. Amaro would be a seamless fit into Green Bay's offense, replacing Jermichael Finley at "move" tight end and offering a big talent upgrade on Andrew Quarless. Amaro is a smooth-moving, soft-handed pass catcher with underrated blocking tools.

22. Philadelphia Eagles -- Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard

Dennard's shorts-and-t-shirt measurables aren't on par with Justin Gilbert or Kyle Fuller's, but his game tape is more impressive than both, and his skill set will appeal to the Eagles. Second-year DC Billy Davis combines blitz-heavy concepts with press coverage on the perimeter. Dennard is the premier press-man corner in this year's draft. He would be a Week 1 starter in Philadelphia.

23. Kansas City Chiefs -- Louisville FS Calvin Pryor

The Chiefs' hands were tied in free agency due to cap constraints, and they don't have a second-round pick. They need a plug-and-play starter at No. 23, because they don't pick again until No. 87. Pryor manned the deep middle at Louisville, but attacks the run like a strong safety and offers plus ball skills. He would team with Eric Berry to give Kansas City an imposing back-half tandem.

24. Cincinnati Bengals -- TCU CB Jason Verrett

Verrett lacks prototypical cornerback size (5'9 1/2, 189), but is a sudden, quick-twitch mover with 4.38 wheels and an attacking style of play. He projects as a shutdown slot defender who won't embarrass himself when asked to move outside. Cincinnati is needy at corner with Leon Hall coming off his second Achilles' tear in three years, and Terence Newman and Pacman Jones both well past their primes. 2012 first-rounder Dre Kirkpatrick has been a big disappointment.

25. San Diego Chargers -- Ohio State CB Bradley Roby

Roby's stock is picking up steam, so it's entirely possible he doesn't last into the 20s. He is a special athlete and covers with swagger. It's just hard to overlook Roby's inconsistent tape and technical flaws. Either way, I think he would be a value pick for the Chargers, who are the NFL's most cornerback-needy team. Shareece Wright would be their "No. 1" if the season began today.

26. Cleveland Browns -- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

I don't pretend to know what will happen in the draft. I'm connecting dots and simply looking for reasonable explanations of why particular players might attract particular teams. And I think this year's quarterback class is flawed, and the signal callers will not go as early as others predict. I do think the Browns make sense for Manziel, whether it's at No. 4 or 26. New OC Kyle Shanahan has a diverse quarterback history, having tutored Matt Schaub, Rex Grossman, and Robert Griffin III. Shanahan has consistently designed his offenses to emphasize strengths and mask weaknesses. I think he would be an outstanding teacher for this year's most polarizing quarterback prospect.

27. New Orleans Saints -- Boise State DE/LB Demarcus Lawrence

Drawing comparisons to Aldon Smith, Lawrence has been a draft-process riser with ideal length and athleticism, and big-time pass-rush potential. Preventing Lawrence from leaping into the teens is a suspect off-field history; he was suspended three times at Boise State. But NFL teams tend to overlook character in favor of upside. And Lawrence has the latter in spades. He would give Saints DC Rob Ryan a dangerous bookend for Junior Galette, battling Victor Butler for snaps.

28. Carolina Panthers -- Virginia OT Morgan Moses

Although Carolina's receiver deficiencies get more attention because wideout is simply a more well-known position, offensive line is GM Dave Gettleman's most glaring need. As is, I'd rank Carolina's O-Line as a bottom-three unit across the league. Moses is not the prettiest athletic specimen, but consistently got the job done against college football's top pass rushers. He must polish his technique, but has a good chance to be an adequate day-one starter with room to grow.

29. New England Patriots -- Florida DT Dominique Easley

Game-tape watchers know Easley displays dominant interior pass-rush tools, but he tore both of his ACLs in college and will fall in the draft due to scary medicals. The Patriots have a history of taking chances on players like this, however, and currently lack a penetrating three technique. Easley would team with Vince Wilfork to give New England a formidable defensive tackle tandem.

30. San Francisco 49ers -- Oregon State WR Brandin Cooks

Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree are physical, short to intermediate wideouts who win in contested situations. The 49ers lack a field stretcher to fully capitalize on Colin Kaepernick's hose of an arm. Although Cooks' most common player comparison is Tavon Austin, San Francisco could use him in a Victor Cruzian or DeSean Jacksonian role, threatening the perimeter and running vertical routes out of the slot. Cooks is going to be a far better NFL receiver than Austin.

31. Denver Broncos -- Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier

Linebacker is Denver's biggest need, and athletic freak Shazier offers value at the bottom of round one with sideline-to-sideline range and cover skills to stay on the field for three downs. The Broncos could explore moving WLB Danny Trevathan inside or train Shazier there, letting him take his lumps on the job. Shazier would add a ton of athleticism to the second level of Jack Del Rio's defense.

32. Seattle Seahawks -- Minnesota DL Ra'Shede Hageman

The Seahawks run a defense that utilizes 3-4 concepts on the strong side and 4-3 concepts on the weak side. Their strong-side end for the last three years was Red Bryant, whom Seattle was forced to release in a salary-cap move. Hageman is a far more athletic version of Bryant with much more disruptive ability. The biggest knock on Hageman is his inconsistent snap-to-snap effort. He would be a role player on the Seahawks, contributing 25-30 snaps per game.


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



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