[ CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 1 ]
After the first round is over, teams now have about 18 hours to reassess their boards and target the players that they had viewed as first-round talents that remain on the board. Historically, there has been a lot of movement with the early picks of the round, which could be good news for the Vikings – unless, of course, there is a player they covet that they can’t believe is still hanging out on the board.
1. St. Louis Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State. The Rams have two of the first seven picks in the round and, having addressed their need at wide receiver, they address their next biggest need. Having cut both of their 2011 starters (Fred Robbins and Justin Bannan), it’s clear help is needed.
2. Indianapolis – Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford. The Colts jettisoned a lot more than just Peyton Manning when they did their offseason roster purge. Among them was to cut Dallas Clark. It seems like a natural to give Andrew Luck his playmaking TE from college to join him in the pros.
3. Minnesota – Rueben Randle, WR, LSU. The Vikings have one of the game’s premier slot receivers in Percy Harvin and need a player who can play outside the numbers and be a deep threat. Alshon Jeffery is a possibility here, but Randle is the big-play threat the Vikings can use to take a safety with him and open things short and over the middle for Harvin, Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson. There may be a push to take CB Janoris Jenkins, but, given his mea culpa admissions of ongoing marijuana use, the Vikings may pass on his talent, which is getting close to the point of being worth the risk.
4. Tampa Bay – Doug Martin, RB, Boise State. The Bucs running game suffered when LaGarrette Blount got banged up last year. Martin is undersized, but is fearless and gives the Bucs a dual rushing/receiving threat they need.
5. Cleveland – Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State. The Browns opted out of reaching for Ryan Tannehill with the fourth pick of the draft, but they make their move to get some immediate competition for Colt McCoy. Weeden is over-aged at 29, but has the ability to be a decent NFL QB and, while McCoy will enter camp with the job, it may not be for long.
6. Jacksonville – Nick Perry, DE/OLB, USC. After taking wide receiver Michael Floyd in the first round, the Jags would be thrilled to have Perry fall into their laps in the second round. A versatile player who could help add another piece to an improving defense, he could find himself on the field more than most second-rounders – seeing time at both DE and OLB.
7. St. Louis (from Washington) – Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama. The draft harvest is only beginning for the Rams, who came away with the go-to receiver they needed in Justin Blackmon, a pocket-collapsing DT in Jerel Worthy and now one of the most physically gifted CBs in the draft. Jenkins has more than his share of baggage with drug use and multiple children out of wedlock, but, at this point, he is worth the risk on greatness.
8. Carolina – Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. The Panthers got a defensive stud in Dontari Poe in the first round and now give Cam Newton a weapon to play opposite Steve Smith. Jeffery is a first-round talent who has a chance to make an immediate impact, so he is an excellent value at this point.
9. Buffalo – Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State. Ryan Fitzpatrick has done a solid job as the Bills’ starting QB, but Osweiler has the upside to become immediate competition and, if Fitzpatrick goes down like he did last year, the drop-off won’t be so pronounced. He will be a backup to start, but could end up competing for (and winning) the job as early as 2013.
10. Miami – Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina. The retirement of Jason Taylor has left a void for a linebacker who can bring the heat from the outside. Brown is a sideline-to-sideline defender who will help bring the pressure that will be needed to compete for a playoff spot.
11. Seattle – Orson Charles, TE, Georgia. The Seahawks lost John Carlson in free agency and need to replace him in the offensive game plan. Charles is undersized, but, like RB Marshawn Lynch, is capable of getting in beast mode himself and will likely become an impact player quickly in the Seattle offense.
12. Kansas City – Devon Still, DT, Penn State. Romeo Crennel is calling the shots as head coach and defensive coordinator, and one of the biggest defensive needs is finding someone who can create pressure up the middle, as well as being solid against the run. Still was viewed by many as a first-round prospect for much of the 2011 season and all that has changed is that a couple of other DTs have passed him due to big Combine performances. The Chiefs would be ecstatic if they can add another piece to the defensive puzzle.
12. Kansas City – Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern State. A small-college phenom who played tackle in college, he could become a dominating interior lineman at the next level. Given the Chiefs’ revolving door on the O-line last year, any help they can get would be appreciated.
13. Dallas – Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin. The Cowboys need an upgrade on the O-line and a veteran Big Ten mauler like Zeitler may be just what the doctor (and Jerry Jones) ordered.
14. Philadelphia – Ronnell Lewis, OLB, Oklahoma. The Eagles defense needs a severe makeover and, after taking a pass-rushing DE in the first round, they address their biggest defensive need here. Lewis will be given every chance to win a starting job from Day 1 and has the athleticism to be a playmaker the Eagles so sorely lacked last season when the Dream Team came crashing down into a nightmare.
15. New York Jets – Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers. Mark Sanchez has caught a lot of heat for not elevating his game, but much of the problem has been not having playmaking receivers around him. Sanu is a solid possession receiver who should help open up Santonio Holmes by taking over the intermediate middle passing game that was so lacking last season.
16. New England (from Oakland) – Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame. Former Pats coach Charlie Weis built Smith to be a player in the mold of the types that were so successful in New England. Smith will have a shorthand view of the defense and can step in immediately to provide a much-need upgrade.
17. San Diego – Alameda Ta’amu, NT, Washington. The Chargers need a pure nose tackle in the middle of their own 3-4 and Ta’amu is the best option available at this point, as the DT crop begins to thin out quickly.
18. Chicago – Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson. The Bears cleared the decks of tight end talent when Mike Martz was the offensive coordinator. Now that Mike Tice has the job, you can bet the tight end is going to return to the Bears’ offensive game plan.
19. Philadelphia –Lamar Miller, RB, Miami. Shady McCoy was the only show in town last year and needs a running mate. Miller is a one-cut slasher like former Hurricane Clinton Portis and could be an ideal change-of-pace type runner to keep McCoy fresh and give the Eagles another big-play threat in the offense.
20. Tennessee – Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall. Fifth-round rookie Karl Klug led the Titans in sacks last year with five. If that isn’t reason enough to address DE in the draft, what is?
21. Cincinnati – David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech. The Bengals haven’t re-signed Cedric Benson and, even if he does come back, he won’t be a long-term solution. Wilson has the home-run capability Benson doesn’t and will be in the lineup one way or another.
22. Detroit – Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana. The Lions secondary got torched far too often last yearn and cornerback is arguably their most pressing need. Johnson is a value pick at this point.
23. Atlanta – Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss. The Falcons didn’t have a first-round pick, so this is their first chance to address their needs. The O-line took a big step backward last year and Massie has the opportunity to compete for a starting job immediately and, at the very least, provide much needed depth, whether it be at tackle or guard. His potential versatility makes this pick a no-brainer for a team that, despite having playmaking wide receivers, are still a run-first offense.
24. Pittsburgh – Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State. If one of the running backs we have going in this round falls, he will get strong consideration. But the Steelers build from within and Sanders is a versatile OT that can be groomed to become a starter down the line.
25. Denver – Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska. The Broncos need help in the secondary and Dennard is arguably the best CB to line up against slot receivers available in this year’s draft.
26. Houston – Mychal Kendricks, MLB, Cal. The Texans created a need by trading away DeMeco Ryans and, with only two inside LBs off the board, they can get a value pick that fills a need.
27. Green Bay – LaMichael James, RB, Oregon. The Packers have gotten by with Ryan Grant and James Starks the last couple of seasons with little in the way of results. 2011 rookie Alex Green went down to injury and James is the type of explosive back that the Packers currently don’t have. Nothing will take the pressure off Aaron Rodgers more than a breakaway threat at the running back position, where James is a value pick at this point.
28. Baltimore – Amini Silatolu, G, Midwestern State. The Ravens lost Ben Grubbs to free agency and he will be difficult to replace. But Silatolu has the prerequisite skills to be a starter. The leap from MSU to the NFL will be pronounced, but the Ravens are adept at coaching up talent to get them prepared for the show in a short period of time.
29. San Francisco – Mitchell Schwartz, G, Cal. The Niners parted ways with starting right guard Adam Snyder. Schwartz was a four-year starter at tackle for Cal, but back issues are going to push him inside, where he could be a solid fit here.
30. New England – Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia. A perfect player for the Pats system, not only does he bring speed to the table as a much-needed D-back, he is an elite return man who can serve multiple roles – a staple of the Bill Belichick scheme.
31. New York Giants – Jeff Allen, OT, Illinois. The Giants need upgrading on the offensive line and, while not an elite prospect, Allen gives them a boost at a position they need most if they intend to defend their Super Bowl title.
[ CLICK HERE FOR ROUND 1 ]
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.