As the excitement and disappointment generated from first-round picks in the 2012 NFL Draft fades, several franchises will look at their teams and see glaring needs at skill positions.
The Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans all have needs on the offensive side of the ball, while the New England Patriots could use help on defense. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of quality skill players left to choose from.
The Browns have already loaded up at skill positions, drafting running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden in the first round. They still need a top wide receiver though, and Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill can provide that for them. Hill has impressive speed for his size (he ran the 40 in 4.36 seconds despite weighing 215 pounds) and has physical attributes that are reminiscent of another Yellowjacket wide receiver that seems to be doing pretty well right now with the Detroit Lions.
Taking Hill will give Weeden a big, fast target and help provide some balance in an offense that will otherwise be dominated by Richardson and the running game.
St. Louis Rams
When the Jacksonville Jaguars traded up to the fifth spot and stole Justin Blackmon off the board, the Rams' best option was to trade down, which they did. They took defensive tackle Michael Brockers and left the wide receiver need unfilled. The current projection is that the Rams will take offensive guard Cordy Glenn with the first pick of the second round, but they also have Dallas' pick as a result of yesterday's trade and the Washington pick from the Robert Griffin III trade.
That's three picks in the second round, and the Rams would be incredibly stupid to avoid using them on some skill position help. Wide receivers Rueben Randle, Brian Quick and Alshon Jeffery could all make an immediate impact. At cornerback, the Rams would be smart to take a risk on Janoris Jenkins, who has the talent of a top-ten pick but severe character issues.
At first glance, the Texans look set at the offensive skill positions with Arian Foster running out of the backfield, Matt Schaub throwing passes and Andre Johnson catching them. But they could use a better No. 2 receiver to take some of the attention off of Johnson and also fill in for him if he gets hurt.
With the 56th overall pick, it is unlikely that Houston will be able to score on Hill or Jeffery, but they could still end up with a chance to take Randle. Quick will likely be undrafted at that point and Wisconsin star Nick Toon is a good option as well.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady would certainly appreciate some help on defense so that he could just throw touchdowns for fun instead of with the game on the line all the time. We all know about his great competitive spirit, but wouldn't it be nice to be able to enjoy the second half without having to worry about the defense giving up your lead?
The Patriots' passing defense was second-worst in the NFL last year and they have an opportunity to improve that squad here in the second round. If Jenkins is available they may consider him but New England may need more of a sure thing at this point to be interested in taking him. Instead, they could invest in corner Trumaine Johnson of Montana or Central Florida corner Josh Robinson. At this point, anything would help.
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