Mel Kiper Jr. 2012 NFL Draft: Analyzing Expert's Most Accurate Round 2 Picks

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2012

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 25: Linebacker Lavonte David #4 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers waits to be introduced on senior day before playing a  game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium November 25, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska defeated Iowa 20-7. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)
Eric Francis/Getty Images

ESPN's NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. released his latest mock draft recently, and while most of the focus is on the first round, that has been discussed ad nauseum by this point.

There isn't anything particularly groundbreaking in the first round of Kiper's mock, so it is far more interesting to discuss what he projects to happen in the second.

There seems to be a good amount of talent in this year's draft, so there is no reason why a team can't get a future Pro Bowler in the second round.

While not every single one of Kiper's second-round selections make perfect sense, he was right on in his assessment of many of them and looks to have made some logical predictions.

Here are three projected second-round picks that Kiper got right in his newest mock: 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers Take LB Lavonte David at No. 36


If not for his 6'0", 233-lb frame, Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David would likely be a first-round pick.

There is some concern with regards to whether David can handle the physicality he's sure to see at the NFL level, though, so it seems quite likely that he won't be taken any earlier than the second round.

Even with his size deficiency, David is one of the best defensive playmakers in the draft and would be a great fit for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 36.

Not only do the Bucs desperately need some help at linebacker, but David should work well in their system. The Cover 2 should mask some of David's size issues as he will be allowed to operate in space and make tackles in the open field.

There have been countless linebackers on the small side who have made a big impact in the NFL, and since the Buccaneers have a system that is tailor made for David's abilities, they won't hesitate to take him. 


Cleveland Browns Take QB Brandon Weeden at No. 37


They didn't sign Peyton Manning or Matt Flynn this offseason, didn't trade up to take Robert Griffin III and probably won't take Ryan Tannehill, but the Cleveland Browns desperately need a quarterback.

I fully understand that Colt McCoy hasn't been afforded a lot of time to prove himself, but he hasn't shown any discernible qualities that lead me to believe he can be a quality NFL signal-caller. Because of that, the Browns would be wise to use the No. 37 overall pick on Oklahoma State gunslinger Brandon Weeden as Kiper predicts.

There is a stigma surrounding Weeden since he is already 28 years old, but that should be viewed as a positive from the Browns' point of view. They need a guy who can step in and play right away, and because of Weeden's maturity, he may be able to do that.

On top of his experience level, Weeden can make all the throws as his arm is both strong and accurate.

Weeden doesn't come without risk since he has a much shorter shelf life than most prospects, but the Browns will gamble and hope that things click early. 


Buffalo Bills Take WR Brian Quick at No. 40


He hasn't received much hype throughout the draft process, but Appalachian State wide receiver Brian Quick is an extremely interesting prospect.

At 6'3" and 220 lbs, he has the type of size that you look for in a playmaking receiver. His 4.55-second 40-yard dash proves that his big frame doesn't hinder his ability to get down the field.

Because of that combination of size and speed, he has garnered comparisons to past small-school receivers such as Vincent Jackson and Terrell Owens.

One team that could really use his skill set is the Buffalo Bills.

It would make a ton of sense for the Bills to take Notre Dame wideout Michael Floyd in the first round, but they don't seem to have interest, so they could address that need in the second.

No. 1 target Stevie Johnson would benefit from a threat on the opposite side of the field and Quick could be just that.

The Bills haven't hosted many receivers prior to the draft, but they have spoken with Quick, so it's obvious that they like him and will target him on day two.