The first round of the 2012 NFL draft was full of surprises, leaving many players expected to be first-round picks still available in the second round. It certainly changed the way each team will select on Day 2.
How will the second round unfold as a result? These are my best projections for who will be selected by each team.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 11
The St. Louis Rams need to upgrade at offensive tackle to better protect quarterback Sam Bradford, and Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin is a huge steal at No. 33. Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill and Alabama outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw also make sense, but they shouldn’t pass up Martin.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 5
Pairing tight end Coby Fleener back up with Stanford teammate Andrew Luck is tempting, but Upshaw’s value is much too good to pass up here. The Colts need to find defensive personnel who fit their 3-4 defense, and Upshaw is a tremendous fit and steal.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 27
The Ravens re-signed center Matt Birk to a three-year contract, but at 35 years old, he is unlikely to play all three seasons. The time is now to find an heir apparent at center, and Wisconsin’s Peter Konz is a very good value and a perfect fit late in the first round.
Konz could start right away by being plugged in to fill the void at left guard left by the free-agent departure of Ben Grubbs, while being groomed into the team’s center of the future.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 16
The Denver Broncos need to upgrade at defensive tackle, and after trading down twice, their projected first-round selection is still available in Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy. Big steal in second round.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 31
Clearly, nothing Tom Heckert says can be taken for granted. He guaranteed the Browns would not trade up to No. 3 per The Plain Dealer, and they did. Later, he told ESPN's Bob Holtzman on their draft coverage that they were targeting a wide receiver at No. 22.
That said, I thought their receiver target would be Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill, and it is a huge surprise that he is still available in the second round. Would be a great choice for the Browns to give them another playmaker.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 46
The Jaguars need to find a pass-rusher, and Marshall’s Vinny Curry is the best pass-rusher available. Given the number of pass-rushers already off the board, they should take Curry here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 22
The Rams need a wide receiver, and they get tremendous value by selecting South Carolina’s Alshon Jeffery with their second pick of Round 2.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 28
The Panthers really need to upgrade at defensive tackle, and Penn State’s Devon Still is very good value as a second-round pick. Should be an easy match between the two sides here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 17
The Buffalo Bills need to find an offensive tackle, and Georgia’s Cordy Glenn would project to be exactly the type of offensive tackle they like. The Bills like tackles with length, and Glenn has 35.75-inch arms. Great value in the second round and great fit.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 48
After drafting their quarterback in the first round, the Dolphins should be in the market for a pass-rusher with this selection, especially with a run on pass-rushers continuing from the late first-round up to this pick. Clemson’s Andre Branch fits the bill.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 30
The Seahawks could be in the market for a speed back to complement the power of feature back Marshawn Lynch. Miller is the fastest running back in the draft, and would be a perfect fit and good value here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 45
The Chiefs filled a major need at right tackle by signing Eric Winston to a four-year contract, but they could use an upgrade over Ryan Lilja at left guard. Therefore, addressing the offensive line by selecting Iowa State’s mammoth offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele would make sense here.
The Chiefs brought in Osemele for a visit, a sign that they are interested in him. He is a good value in the second round to address an area of need.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 34
With their third second-round pick, the Rams get another great value and a playmaker at the linebacker position. Brown could be in play at No. 33 and No. 39, and would be another great addition at a need area at this pick.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 37
The Eagles already made one big move to add a playmaker to their linebacker corps this offseason by acquiring middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Texans, but they need a playmaker at outside linebacker. Nebraska’s Lavonte David fits the bill.
David is undersized, but he is instinctive and a very good athlete. David could add the speed, coverage ability and sound tackling that the Eagles need in their linebacking corps.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 40
Al Toon was once a star wide receiver for the New York Jets. He had an eight-year career that included three consecutive All-Pro selections from 1986 to 1988. Twenty years since Toon has last played with the Jets, his son could be drafted by the same franchise.
The Jets could really use another playmaker at the wide receiver position, and Toon is the best wideout available. He is good value in the middle of the second round.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 36
The New England Patriots received this selection from the Oakland Raiders in the 2011 NFL draft as part of a package in exchange for their third- and fourth-round picks in that draft.
One man that is known to be in Urban Meyer’s “circle of trust” in the coaching world is Bill Belichick. Belichick has previously drafted former Meyer players from his time at Florida who fell in the draft due to off-field troubles, including tight end Aaron Hernandez and inside linebacker Brandon Spikes. The next could be Janoris Jenkins.
Janoris Jenkins has a history of off-field troubles that led him to be dismissed from Florida, but that was not until Will Muschamp took over as Gators head coach. Meyer kept Jenkins around for his talent, and Janoris went as far as to say that he would have been “still playing for the Gators” in 2011 if Meyer was still head coach, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
If Belichick asks Meyer for his advice once again with Jenkins, and Meyer gives him a good review, then chances the Patriots will take a chance on Jenkins. His talent would make him a first-round pick if it were not for his off-field problems. The Patriots need help at cornerback, and Jenkins could be the No. 1 cornerback they have lacked for years if they can keep him out of trouble.
If the Patriots do not feel like taking a risk, then Georgia’s Brandon Boykin is another cornerback option. However, I believe the Patriots would take Jenkins in this situation.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 32
The Chargers need to upgrade at right tackle, and really should address a thin offensive line unit with their second-round pick. Mike Adams has slipped in the second round due to character concerns, but he is very good value in the middle of the second round. Mississippi’s Bobby Massie is another offensive tackle option.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 65
The Chicago Bears need to upgrade at the tight end position and can take the first player off the board at the position here. That would likely be Stanford’s Coby Fleener. Clemson tight end Dwayne Allen and Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin could also be options.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 39
The Philadelphia Eagles acquired this draft selection along with cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in 2011 in exchange for quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Having traded Asante Samuel (per ESPN), the Eagles should be in the market for another cornerback. Georgia’s Brandon Boykin is an athletic cornerback who is a natural fit for the nickel position he would play with the Eagles.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 52
After adding to the offense in the first round, the Titans should definitely be going to the defensive front or secondary in the second round. The best value in those groups is Clemson defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, so he is the best choice.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 62
The Cincinnati Bengals could use a big, athletic No. 2 wide receiver to start across from A.J. Green, and LSU’s Rueben Randle fits the bill. Oklahoma outside linebacker Ronnell Lewis is also a possible choice.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 58
The Detroit Lions need to upgrade at cornerback, and have many options available to them with this pick. However, if they choose to avoid the top cornerbacks with red flags around them, their best bet might be Vanderbilt’s Casey Hayward.
Hayward is an instinctive, playmaking cornerback who could be a very good fit in the Lions secondary. He may never be a standout, but he has the skills to be a solid No. 2 cornerback and can help the Lions in their secondary.
Other possible cornerback choices are Virginia’s Chase Minnifield and Iowa’s Shaun Prater. The Lions could also address the offensive line by selecting Mississippi offensive tackle Bobby Massie.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 49
With Tony Gonzalez potentially playing his final season in the NFL and little behind him on the depth chart, the Falcons need to find a playmaking tight end to be Gonzalez’s heir apparent. Louisiana-Lafayette’s Ladarius Green would be a great fit.
Like Gonzalez, Green is a tall, athletic tight end with great receiving skills. He is not much of a blocker, which has him rated behind Clemson’s tight end Dwayne Allen. Still, I think the Falcons would go with Green’s downfield receiving ability and select him over Allen here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 87
The Steelers offensive line has been a serious issue for years, so using another pick and continuing a complete overhaul in that area makes sense. With Mississippi offensive tackle Bobby Massie still available, they should pounce on the opportunity to select him.
Massie is a raw talent, but his stock has been on the rise, and he would be an upgrade at right tackle. According to Tony Pauline of draftinsider.net, the Steelers are rumored to be interested in him, so selecting him would make sense here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 53
The Denver Broncos could use an upgrade at running back. Washington’s Chris Polk is a powerful back with speed, and would be a good fit and value here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 63
The Houston Texans are looking for a big, athletic No. 2 wide receiver to start across from Andre Johnson. Juron Criner is a good value choice late in the second round who could fit the bill.
Washington nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu is another potential choice.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 52
The Packers need a 5-technique defensive end, and Connecticut’s Kendall Reyes is good value late in the second round. He is a big, athletic defensive lineman who would fill that role well.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 116
Ronnell Lewis told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Ray Lewis is his favorite player. If he falls to No. 60 overall, chances are good that he will have an opportunity to play alongside his idol.
The Ravens are in the market for another outside linebacker, having lost Jarret Johnson via free agency this offseason. Lewis fits the model for the hybrid pass-rusher that they need.
Lewis has some character and injury concerns that made it tough for him to stay on the field at Oklahoma, but if the Ravens are willing to take a risk, they could end up with a steal. California inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks and Virginia Tech cornerback Jayron Hosley are other options here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 139
The 49ers need to upgrade at right guard, so drafting Amini Silatolu in the second round makes perfect sense for them. Tony Pauline of draftinsider.net heard from sources that the 49ers would target Silatolu in round one, so they could definitely be interested in selecting him here.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 78
Projected Trade: The New England Patriots trade the No. 62 overall selection to the Kansas City Chiefs for the No. 74, No. 146, No. 182 and No. 218 overall selections.
The New England Patriots should be a certain choice to trade out of this pick, given that they have no selections after the second round. Meanwhile, the Chiefs are in the market to add a quarterback. They could be willing to give the Patriots some much-needed late-round draft picks in exchange to get Kirk Cousins, who they covet and have had a private workout with.
Overall Prospect Rank: No. 38
Dwayne Allen’s stock has slipped since a poor combine performance, but he remains the best tight end prospect in the draft class and should not fall into the third round. Allen is a terrific value with the last pick of the second round and fills a need at tight end for the Giants.
Allen does not have great downfield speed, but he is a well-rounded tight end who blocks well and is a reliable receiver.
They could decide to address the linebacker position by selecting Florida State’s Nigel Bradham. That said, they really should not pass up Allen here.
Note: There are only 31 picks in the second round. The Saints lost their second-round draft pick as a result of punishments handed down for the bounty scandal.
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