2012 NFL Mock Draft Round 2: Chris Polk and More 2nd Round Steals
As April 26th nears, teams across the NFL are preparing their draft boards, weighing needs against desires as they attempt to build their rosters of the future.
While the first round can tend to be rather cut-and-dry when it comes to selections, the second round is when the true intrigue starts for front offices. In the next two days, management across the league will scour their big boards, attempting to find the hidden gems lost in the mass fray of talent, hoping they are the team that comes away with a bona fide "steal" during this year's draft.
Predicting who exactly will be that defining steal of the draft is near-impossible, but we at Bleacher Report have done our best to highlight some of the better values that should become available during the second round in our 2012 NFL second round Mock Draft.
33. St. Louis Rams: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
The Rams will need to add talent and depth to an aging defensive line, and Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy provides a great option as the first pick of the second round.
Despite a poor showing at the combine, Worthy still possesses enough natural talent, explosiveness and size to make him an attractive option to start off day two of the draft.
34. Indianapolis Colts: Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin
The second best guard prospect in the draft, Kevin Zeitler could provide the Colts with the first true steal of the 2nd round.
The Colts will look to protect their pricey investment in Andrew Luck, and building a talented young offensive line will be imperative to that goal. Zeitler may lack the athleticism to attract a first round selection, but his great technique and knowledge of the game make him an attractive choice for the Colts.
If Zeitler isn't snagged by the Ravens at 29th in the first round, the Colts may have a chance to improve upon their luck with a steal like Zeitler to start round two.
35. Minnesota Vikings: Stephen Hill, WR, Georgia Tech
Surrounding Christian Ponder with talent at receiver is a top priority for the Vikings heading into the draft, and former Georgia Tech wideout Stephen Hill may be their best option as a potential second round steal.
Outside of Percy Harvin, Minnesota lacked any real dynamic talent in their receiving corps last year, and Hill could be just the spark the Vikings' offense needs. The former Yellow Jacket is raw in terms of professional polish, but caught every scout's attention at the combine with a 4.36 40-yard-dash. If the Vikings could add Hill, his status as a vertical threat could add a new dynamic to their offense.
If Hill is snatched up earlier in the draft(most likely the 49ers at 30th), look for Minnesota to try and grab another WR prospect in the round.
36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Wilson, RB, Viriginia Tech
The Buccaneers are looking to add solid depth at running back to complement LeGarrette Blount in the backfield, and RB David Wilson may be their best option at 36th.
The former Hokie is a small but versatile back, and could combine with the bruising power of Blount to make for a potent backfield next season.
37. Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
The Browns are in the market to add another young QB to their depth chart, and the 28-year-old former baseball player Weeden appears to have caught their eye during combine season.
Weeden's age may be a concern, but his polish and success in college may be enough to hook the Browns.
38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Devon Still, DE, Penn State.
The Jaguars will need to bolster a rather anemic defensive line if they want to improve upon 2011's disappointing performance. A talented DT like Devon Still may be just the man for the job.
The former Nittany Lion started off the year rated much higher on a lot of teams' draftboards, but his stock has fallen recently. However, Still possesses a good amount of upside and athleticism, and if the Jaguars could get him, they could add a lot to their weak line.
39. St. Louis Rams: Harrison Smith, S, Notre Dame
The Rams will need to address weaknesses in the secondary during the 2012 draft, and they could have a chance to fill them early by acquiring S Harrison Smith as a steal at 39th.
The Rams are in need of a safety, and Harrison represents their best chance in a rather thin pool for the position this year. Harrison has the size and speed to be successful at the pro level, and his decision making and aggressiveness have also been praised.
If no other team decides they want to snag arguably the best safety prospect in the draft, the Rams could alleviate some of their problems in the secondary rather quickly.
40. Carolina Panthers: Josh Robertson, CB, Central Florida
Defense will be the focus of this year's draft for the Panthers, and beefing up a weak pass defense will be an early priority.
Carolina's best bet at 40th is Josh Robertson out of Central Florida, but they could also elect for Trumaine Johnson or Janoris Jenkins, who should both still be available at this point.
41. Buffalo Bills: Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss
The Bills enter the 2012 draft with fewer needs than normal, but the offensive line still needs help if Buffalo is going to have the breakout season being discussed by fans.
To shore up their line, the Bills may opt for Bobby Massie at 41st. Massey possesses impressive athleticism for his enormous size, and would be able to make an impact quickly with Buffalo in 2012.
42. Miami Dolphins: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU
After getting rid of their best receiver in Brandon Marshall during the offseason, Miami will need to rebuild their receiving corp starting with their number one option. Rueben Randle could find himself fulfilling that role.
Rueben has all the intangibles necessary to be a solid starting wideout in the NFL, and if he can progress and further develop in his first few years, he could be just what the Dolphins need to replace Marshall.
43. Seattle Seahawks: Andre Branch, OLB, Clemson
The Seahawks are weak at the linebacker spot after losing David Hawthorne in free agency, and will look to fill their void with draft day talent.
Andre Branch could be who the Seahawks look to for filling their needs at LB, and his pass rushing abilities are a definite boost to a team that suffered from a weak rush last season.
44. Kansas City Chiefs: Alameda Ta'Amu, NT, Washington
Head coach Romeo Crennel and the Chiefs are looking to implement a 3-4 defense in Kansas City in 2012, and nose tackle Alameda Ta'Amu may be the perfect candidate to anchor this new defensive set around.
Ta'Amu's most impressive feature is his ideal size for the NT position. If he can develop skill-wise, he could become a very important player in the Chief's defensive future.
45. Dallas Cowboys: Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama.
Simply put, if Janoris Jenkins falls as projected, he is simply too talented of player for the Cowboys to pass up at 45th.
Jenkins may have some character and work ethic questions, but his tremendous upside should be enough to entice Jerry Jones and Dallas management.
46. Philadelphia Eagles: Mychal Kendricks, ILB, California
Mychal Kendricks may be slightly undersized compared to the typical NFL linebacker, but his more than impressive resume and athleticism make him a steal for the Eagles this late in the second round.
The former Pac-12 defensive player of the year, what Kendricks lacks in physical stature he more than makes for in aggressiveness and intangibles. He posted 107 tackles and 14.5 TFLs last year with Cal in an offense-heavy league, and has been praised for his productiveness and ability to play all over the field.
The Eagles don't have an urgent need at the ILB position, but Kendricks' talent and upside make him too attractive to pass up for Philadelphia to pass up.
47. New York Jets: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State.
The Jets need to find someone who can start right off the bat at right tackle, and Adams appears to be their best option at this point in the draft.
If Adams is gone, look for the Jets to draft a RB or WR to add some weapons to Sanchez's offensive attack.
48. New England Patriots: Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech.
Improving a secondary that finished 31st in pass defense last season will be an important goal for the Patriots in this year's draft.
With Jenkins likely gone at this point, Hosley presents the next best option for the Pats in round 2. Versatile and productive in his time with the Hokies, Hosley should develop nicely under the tutelage of New England.
He is also a danger in the return game, and could contribute in more than just pass coverage next year.
49. San Diego Chargers: Amini Silatolu, OG, Midwestern St.
The Chargers need to beef up their offensive line during the offseason, and they could definitely do worse than Silatolu at this point in the draft.
Silatolu was a dominant force at his small Division II school, and impressed scouts during the combine by showcasing the athleticism necessary to play at the professional level. Silatolu may get overlooked because of his limited level of exposure and weak competition in college, but if the Chargers can bring him in, they could get a certified steal at 49th.
50. Chicago Bears: Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
The Bears are looking to add more weapons for Cutler to work with next season, and a pass-catching tight end would certainly fit this description.
Dwayne Allen is the best option for Chicago at this point in the round, and has impressive hands and NFL size for a TE.
51. Philadelphia Eagles: Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall
The Eagles will look to build on to an already strong defensive class in the 2012 draft, and may have the chance to lock up another second round steal in Vinny Curry.
Curry is a talented pass rusher with an innate ability to get to the QB. He made himself a standout during the senior bowl week, but has flown under the radar as a prospect until recently. If the Eagles are able to snatch up Curry, they could have the chance at two great steals in the second round.
52. Tennessee Titans: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska.
The Titans need help in their linebacking corps, and Nebraska LB Lavonte David is a great steal this far into the second round.
David has all the physical gifts necessary to hang in the pros, and he showed great work ethic in going from a junior college with no scholarship offers to the fourth-best tackler in Nebraska history.
If David can continue his strong work ethic and development in the NFL, he could be a great grab for the Titans at 52nd.
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami
The Bengals are searching for a good young back to challenge BenJarvus Green-Ellis for the starting spot at RB, and Miller is good option at 53rd.
Miller has good speed and athleticism, and was projected as a first round prospect at points during the year. If the Bengals pick him up, he should see a significant number of carries behind Green-Ellis to start the year.
54. Chicago Bears: Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina
The Bears are always looking to add talent on the defensive side of the ball, and if Brown is still hanging around when it comes to their selection, the Bears will likely eschew needs for one of the best players still remaining in the draft.
55. Atlanta Falcons: Kelechi Osemele, LT, Iowa State
The Falcons had somewhat abysmal play out of LT Sam Baker last year, and will look to bolster their strength at the position during the draft.
Osemele is a good option to do just that. He has first-round caliber talent, one of his only drawbacks being unfamiliar with a pro-style blocking. If the Falcons can develop his comfort and skill within the pro system, Osemele could remedy some of Atlanta's line problems.
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mitchell Schwartz, OT, California
The Steelers will look to do a better job of protecting Ben Roethlisberger in 2012, and adding depth to an aging offensive line should help towards that goal.
Mitchell Schwartz is a good option at the latter half of the round. Several sources have him as the 5th best tackle in the draft, and has great size for an NFL tackle. With a few years to develop he should be a very solid lineman for the Steelers.
57. Denver Broncos: Brock Osweiler, QB, Arizona State
While Denver may have their QB of the now, Peyton Manning's age means they have to start thinking about their future early, and Osweiler may be the perfect pet-project for Elway.
The former Sun Devil gunslinger has prototypical size for an NFL QB, but is young and lacks game experience and polish. However, the ability to sit behind one of the greatest QBs of all time in his first few years should give Osweiler proper time to develop into a real talent at the position.
58. Houston Texans: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
Jenkins has gotten lost in a rather deep draft class of receivers, but he could be a steal for the Texans this late in the round.
The former Illinois wideout caught for over 1200 yards and 8 touchdowns last season, and posted the third fastest 40 time of the combine at 4.39. With Andre Johnson's durability issues, the Texans could add some depth to their receiving corps by adding the deceptively-gifted Jenkins at 58th.
59. Green Bay Packers: Trumain Johnson, CB, Montana
The Packers are looking to add depth at to their aging secondary, and Johnson should be a good option at the tail end of the second round.
The former Montana corner is a tall, athletic defender whose size allows him to play as a safety or an in-between. The Packers could develop him into Charles Woodson's protege and eventual replacement in the Green Bay secondary.
60. Baltimore Ravens: Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
The Ravens need to find a solid backup to replace Ricky Williams behind starter Ray Rice, and the stocky, strong Martin may be the perfect fit for the position.
If Martin isn't snatched up by Tampa Bay or Cincinnati a little earlier in the round, he could be a tremendous steal for the Ravens at the end of round two. Martin is a powerful, versatile back who can both bruise in the middle as well as catch the ball on the outside.
If the Ravens are able to snag Martin this late, he could become a tremendous backup/3rd down back learning behind Ray Rice.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Jeff Allen, OG, Illinois
The 49ers were clearly unhappy with their right side of the offensive line in 2011, and chose not to retain any of their starters from that side this offseason, so look for them to fill their needs in the draft.
Jeff Allen is a great fit for the 49ers, as he could compete immediately for the starting job at guard, as well as fill in at tackle if needed.
62. New England Patriots: Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
The Patriots continue their rebuilding of the secondary by taking the former Bulldog with the second to last pick in the round.
Boykin lacks size, but is an athletic defender who plays well in coverage, and can also be a playmaker in the return game for the Patriots as well.
63. New York Giants: Chris Polk, RB, Washington
The Giants lost part of their back tandem of 2011 when Brandon Jacobs departed for San Francisco, and will look to rebuild it by adding a complementary back in the draft.
Polk is a perfect fit to sit behind Ahmad Bradshaw on the depth chart. His speedy, shifty style of running should be a good counterpoint to Bradshaw's vertical, bruising style of play, and not being forced to carry the ball in heavy doses should decrease Polk's durability concerns.
If the Giants opt to take Polk as the last pick of round two, they may grab one of the more underrated RB talents in the draft, and could prove to be quite a steal in the long run.
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