With the first day of the 2013 NFL draft in the books, it’s now time to look ahead to the second and third rounds.
Friday night’s action should be even more exciting than the opening round, as a number of big name players are still on the board—especially those prospects at skill positions.
Let’s take a look at how things should play out in Rounds 2 and 3.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)
Smith had to endure the embarrassment of attending the draft in New York and not being selected in Round 1. EJ Manuel was the only quarterback drafted on Thursday, going to the Buffalo Bills at No. 16.
As unfortunate as that was, the Jags should stop Smith’s slide immediately with the first pick in Round 2.
The Mountaineers signal-caller is easily the best prospect on the board at his position and represents a major upgrade over the incumbent Blaine Gabbert. He is pinpoint accurate and has an incredible work ethic, which should help him become a top-notch pro in short order.
With Jacksonville already adding a franchise left tackle in Luke Joeckel with the No. 2 overall pick on Tursday, the offensive line will be strong enough to protect Smith and assist him while he adapts to the pace of the NFL.
34. San Francisco 49ers (via Kansas City Chiefs): Jesse Williams, DT (Alabama)
San Fran moved up to get its safety, Eric Reid, in the first round, and now they can concentrate on the front seven.
Williams is a big run-stuffer that plays with a mean streak. That kind of attitude will mesh well with the 49ers’ smash mouth style of defense.
35. Philadelphia Eagles: Jamar Taylor, CB (Boise State)
With Lane Johnson coming off the board at No. 4 to address Philly’s offensive line woes, the team can now work on improving its secondary.
Taylor is the best corner remaining and should be able to compete for a starting job from Day 1. The Boise State product excels in both man and zone coverage, which will provide head coach Chip Kelly with the versatility he desires in his defenders.
36. Detroit Lions: Menelik Watson, OT (Florida State)
The Lions didn’t get a chance to draft one of the elite offensive tackles in the first round, but they’ll be happy to nab the underrated Watson here at No. 36.
This athletic tackle is adept at quickly moving around and picking up pass-rushers, while showing some promise in the running game. He’s an ideal prospect if the Lions wish to keep QB Matt Stafford upright and their offense clicking.
37. Cincinnati Bengals (via Oakland Raiders): Manti Te’o, ILB (Notre Dame)
Surprisingly, Te’o didn’t hear his name called within the first 32 picks of the draft. It’s going to take five more before the Bengals finally rescue this talented but controversial linebacker.
While Cincinnati found a diamond in the rough with ILB Vontaze Burfict last season, it could further bolster its linebacking corps by adding another young, marquee player to the roster with this selection.
Coach Marvin Lewis would be able to comfortably slot in the slightly undersized Te’o behind a dominant defensive line, knowing that his short-to-intermediate route coverage skills and run-stuffing ability would perfectly compliment the team's pass-rushers.
38. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Nassib, QB (Syracuse)
With their offensive line being addressed via Jonathan Cooper at No. 7 overall, the Cardinals can nab a high-upside quarterback to challenge Carson Palmer—who is not a long-term solution—for the starting gig.
There was much buzz about the Orange QB going early in the first round, but he remains on the big board heading into the second day of the draft. Nassib possesses a cannon arm and all the tools to succeed. He just needs to work on the mental aspect of his game.
(39.) Cleveland Browns exercised pick in 2012 Supplemental Draft
39. New York Jets: Matt Barkley, QB (USC)
The Jets should be willing to pull the plug on the Mark Sanchez experiment on Friday if they see Barkley available at No. 39.
While the USC quarterback struggled during a tumultuous senior season, he has the smarts and accuracy to earn the QB1 job for Gang Green.
40. Tennessee Titans: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB (UConn)
The Titans filled a huge void on the O-line and pulled off arguably the steal of the draft with Chance Warmack at No. 10, and now they’ll get another extremely valuable player in Wreh-Wilson.
This Huskies standout is great at locking down the opposing wideout, as he possesses the height and speed to cover most receivers in the league.
41. Buffalo Bills: Justin Hunter, WR (Tennessee)
With EJ Manuel being tabbed as the quarterback of the future in Buffalo, the Bills will immediately need to start bringing in more weapons for the young signal-caller.
At 6’4”, 195 pounds and able to vertically leap an eye-popping 39.5 inches, there is no telling how great Hunter could wind up becoming.
The young man is definitely the top receiver left on the board, and he is the perfect player to place alongside Stevie Johnson in the passing game, as he provides a different type of threat.
He may not have the elite speed of some of the other wideouts in this draft, but the Volunteers’ stud will provide Manuel with a reliable set of hands and a huge target.
42. Oakland Raiders (via Miami Dolphins): Johnathan Jenkins, DT (Georgia)
The Raiders improved their secondary by drafting D.J. Hayden at No. 12, and now, they get to add some young talent to a depleted defensive line.
Jenkins has the right combination of size, athleticism, skill and—most importantly—motor to help change the culture in Oakland and return this organization to glory.
43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kawann Short, DT (Purdue)
The Bucs were able to crush the run in 2012, but their lack of pressure and disruption was noticeable on passing downs.
Short can not only help keep Tampa atop the league in terms of run defense, but he can also knife his way into the backfield in order to get pressure on the quarterback when left in single coverage.
44. Carolina Panthers: Johnthan Banks, CB (Mississippi State)
As many expected, the Panthers grabbed their versatile defensive lineman in Star Lotutelei on Thursday, opening the door to improve the secondary in Round 2.
Banks is the top cornerback remaining on the board and should be a candidate to start in Carolina. He is better in zone coverage, but has the physical tools to eventually develop solid man coverage skills.
(45.) New Orleans Saints forfeit pick.
45. San Diego Chargers: Kevin Minter, ILB (LSU)
Now that D.J. Fluker is ready to help the offensive line, the Chargers should look to the other side of the field and take Kevin Minter.
This hard-hitting ILB will bring his playmaking ability and run-stopping skills to a linebacking unit that sorely needs an injection of youth and talent.
46. Buffalo Bills (via St. Louis Rams): Barrett Jones, OG/C (Alabama)
Manuel is going to have a tough time succeeding as a rookie signal-caller unless the Bills are able to find a top-tier offensive line talent in this draft.
Jones could be their guy, as the ‘Bama standout is capable of playing practically every position on the offensive line and excelling at each one. His versatility and protection will make life easy for the new QB in Buffalo.
47. Dallas Cowboys: John Cyprien, S (Florida International)
While Dallas’ decision to trade down and select Travis Frederick may not have been the popular move, it will have been worth it if they can grab Cyprien here.
The FIU star can put the hurt on his opponents and has all the physical tools needed to continue dominating in the NFL. If he can improve his coverage skills and recognition ability, he may wind up making an All-Pro team.
48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eddie Lacy, RB (Alabama)
After missing the playoffs in 2012, the Steelers have plenty of needs all over the field.
One of the biggest areas of concern is at running back, so Pittsburgh would be wise to make Lacy the first RB off the board in the 2013 draft. This bruising Crimson Tide stud has the frame to take an every-down pounding and the speed to quickly get into the second level.
49. New York Giants: Tyrann Mathieu, CB (LSU)
The G-Men addressed the O-line in Round 1, so now its time to improve the worrisome cornerback position. It seems that there are always injuries and ailments plaguing the team's secondary, so Mathieu could provide some much-needed depth and playmaking ability.
Of course, the former LSU star has some baggage and character issues, but Big Blue will soon forget about those if he’s forcing fumbles, snagging interceptions and delivering outstanding run support.
50. Chicago Bears: Zach Ertz, TE (Stanford)
The Bears need to surround Jay Cutler with more weapons in the passing game—something they failed to do by selecting Kyle Long in Round 1, even though tight end Tyler Eifert was on the board.
They’ll get a chance to make up for that in this scenario, as Ertz—the second-best TE in this class—is sitting here waiting to have his name called. He has great hands and would make for a nice diversion to draw coverage away from Brandon Marshall.
51. Washington Redskins: Shamarko Thomas, S (Syracuse)
With just a handful of picks in this draft, the ‘Skins need to make the most of them and hit some home runs.
They could find quite a bit of value in Syracuse’s Thomas, an athletic safety with great playmaking ability—although his smallish stature is of some concern.
52. New England Patriots (via Minnesota Vikings): Tank Carradine, DE (Florida State)
The Patriots pulled off a great deal to steal four draft picks away from the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for the No. 29 selection.
They’ll begin the process of parlaying those picks into serviceable players, starting with the defensive line. Carradine is an insane value at No. 52 and should be able to compliment the up-and-coming Chandler Jones at defensive end.
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Montee Ball, RB (Wisconsin)
Even though the Bengals went offense with their first-rounder, they could make another big splash with a skill position player here.
Ball is a talented running back that would likely get the starting nod over BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He may not be an athletic specimen or a physical freak, but he’s a good football player that gets the job done consistently.
54. Miami Dolphins (via Indianapolis Colts): David Bakhtiari, OT (Colorado)
The ‘Phins traded up to take Dion Jordan at No. 3, but they still have a void at tackle with Jake Long’s departure.
Bakhtiari isn’t nearly as skilled as its former left tackle, but he could help Miami plug the hole at the position and keep second-year QB Ryan Tannehill upright.
55. Green Bay Packers: Le’Veon Bell, RB (Michigan State)
The Packers need to add an edge and true threat to the running game, making Bell the obvious choice here.
He’s a bruising back that can plow through defenders, while possessing the speed to be downright dangerous in the open field.
56. Seattle Seahawks: Sam Montgomery, DE (LSU)
Despite being one of the best defenses in football last year, the Seahawks defensive line could use an upgrade or two—especially to provide depth and injury insurance.
One way to achieve that is by selecting Montgomery, the LSU star that was often seen causing havoc in the backfield. He has the strength and speed to continue that production in the NFL.
57. Houston Texans: Terron Armstead, OT (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
The Texans can now afford to upgrade the right tackle position, as they greatly improved their offensive attack with the DeAndre Hopkins pick in the first round.
Armstead is a good choice to replace Derek Newton in the future, as the small school prospect is extremely raw and likely a year or two away from taking the reins. However, he looks capable of becoming an elite player due to his strength and quickness.
58. Denver Broncos: Giovani Bernard, RB (North Carolina)
With the passing game looking set and the defense projected to be impressive yet again, it’s time for Denver to find an elite RB.
Knowshon Moreno put together a nice stretch last season, but Bernard’s crafty style of running may impress the Broncos brass enough to get him selected late in the second round.
59. New England Patriots: Robert Woods, WR (USC)
The Patriots know that their window to win with Tom Brady is only open a few more years, at most.
With that in mind, adding Woods—an elite No. 2 receiving prospect—into the mix just makes perfect sense.
60. Atlanta Falcons: Robert Alford, CB (Southeastern Louisiana)
The Falcons have to improve their defensive back situation and that can be achieved by nabbing Alford in Round 2.
He’s an underrated prospect who excels in coverage and represents immense value here at No. 60.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Vance McDonald, TE (Rice)
While Vernon Davis is clearly the main tight end for the 49ers, the team could put together a two-headed attack if they select McDonald.
It’s clearly worked for the Patriots (see: Gronkowski, Rob and Hernandez, Aaron), which is why the Niners should try and replicate that success.
62. Baltimore Ravens: Keenan Allen, WR (California)
With some of the top receiving threats from the Ravens’ Super Bowl run gone, it’s time to add a high-upside prospect.
Allen is the best on the board at this spot and could soon become a serious threat next to Torrey Smith.
Round 3 Mock
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Phillip Thomas, S (Fresno State)
64. Jacksonville Jaguars: Darius Slay, CB (Mississippi State)
65. Detroit Lions: Ryan Swope, WR (Texas A&M)
66. Oakland Raiders: Arthur Brown, ILB (Kansas State)
67. Philadelphia Eagles: William Gholston, DE (Michigan State)
68 Cleveland Browns: Logan Ryan, CB (Rutgers)
69. Arizona Cardinals: Brennan Williams, OT (North Carolina)
70. Tennessee Titans: Dwayne Gratz, CB (UConn)
71. St. Louis Rams: Brandon Williams, DT (Missouri Southern State)
72. New York Jets: Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)
73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Margus Hunt, DE (Southern Methodist)
74. Dallas Cowboys (via San Fransisco 49ers): David Quessenberry, OT (San Jose State)
75. New Orleans Saints: Akeem Spence, DT (Illinois)
76. San Diego Chargers: Jamie Collins, LB (Southern Miss)
77. Miami Dolphins: Quinton Patton, WR (Louisiana Tech)
78. Buffalo Bills (via St. Louis Rams): Khaseem Greene, ILB (Rutgers)
79. Pittsburgh Steelers: Terrance Williams, WR (Baylor)
80. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Swearinger, S (South Carolina)
81. New York Giants: Bacarri Rambo, S (Georgia)
82. Miami Dolphins (via Chicago Bears): Gavin Escobar, TE (San Diego State)
83. New England Patriots (via Minnesota Vikings): David Amerson, CB (North Carolina State)
84. Cincinnati Bengals: Kiko Alonso, LB (Oregon)
85. Washington Redskins: Aaron Dobson, WR (Marshall)
86. Indianapolis Colts: Larry Warford, OG (Kentucky)
87. Seattle Seahawks: Jordan Hill, DT (Penn State)
88. Green Bay Packers: Brian Winters, OG (Kent State)
89. Houston Texans: B.W. Webb, CB (William & Mary)
90. Denver Broncos: Jonathan Bostic, ILB (Florida)
91. New England Patriots: Brian Schwenke, C (California)
92. St. Louis Rams (via Atlanta Falcons): Montori Hughes, DT (Tennessee-Martin)
93. San Francisco 49ers: Dallas Thomas, OT (Tennessee)
94. Baltimore Ravens: Alex Okafor, DE (Texas)
95. Houston Texans (compensatory selection): Travis Kelce, TE (Cincinnati)
96. Kansas City Chiefs (compensatory selection): Stedman Bailey, WR (West Virginia)
97. Tennessee Titans (compensatory selection): Jordan Poyer, CB (Oregon State)
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