Round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft was intriguing to say the least, which only amplifies the suspense for Rounds 2 and 3.
Taking into account what unfolded on Thursday, regardless of how Friday pans out, nothing will come as a surprise. There will be players who continue to drop, along with those who get selected sooner than expected.
It's simply the nature of the draft.
To that end, let's catch a glimpse of what to anticipate before the festivities resume.
Note: Highlighted players in italics.
33. Jacksonville Jaguars: Matt Barkley, QB (USC)
Jacksonville must get a long-term solution under center. Matt Barkley is NFL ready, and the Jaguars provide solid talent around him to develop quickly.
34. San Francisco 49ers (via KC): Jesse Williams (DT) Alabama)
The tenacity of Jesse Williams fits San Francisco perfectly. He brings youth to the 49ers up front, as well as the talent to constantly draw double-teams and collapse the interior of the pocket.
35. Philadelphia Eagles: Johnthan Banks, CB (Mississippi State)
Philadelphia allowed 33 passing touchdown in 2012, but only managed a measly eight interceptions.
Opting for Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks at the beginning of the second round quickly helps fix this massive weakness. During his tenure for the Bulldogs, Banks defended 41 passes and took three of his 15 interceptions back for a touchdown.
Additionally, the man recorded 221 tackles and forced five fumbles. The area of greatest impact, though, comes with changing the field after a turnover: He racked up 321 interception return yards.
Not only will this help the Eagles regarding man coverage and overall awareness, but the pass rush gets a bit more time to apply pressure.
36. Detroit Lions: Menelik Watson, Tackle (Florida State)
The entire skill set of Menelik Watson will help Detroit establish more consistent balance. In turn, the Lions not only remain explosive through the air, but get more physical on the ground.
37. Cincinnati Bengals (via OAK): John Cyprien, Safety (Florida International)
John Cyprien's ability to locate the rock is quite impressive. Cincinnati needs a playmaker in the secondary to take advantage of opportunities because the front seven will get pressure. Therefore, enter Cyprien to deliver big hits and make plays on the ball to win the field-position battle.
38. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Nassib, QB (Syracuse)
Ryan Nassib brings the pro-style experience to immediately develop in Arizona. At the very least he comes in as training camp competition, but the future is with him. And courtesy of sound decision-making, Nassib helps the Cardinals find balance and efficiency in a tough defensive division.
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39. New York Jets: Zach Ertz, TE (Stanford)
Zach Ertz possesses everything you want in a tight end, which will allow him to contribute immediately. He's a physical presence when run blocking and is a dependable target downfield. The Jets must establish balance in 2013, and Ertz definitely assists in this development.
40. Tennessee Titans: Alex Okafor, DE (Texas)
Tennessee's defense got impressive sack production from its linebackers in 2012. So, complementing them with Alex Okafor along the line inflates the Titans' numbers. With a quick step to beat single blocks, Okafor's impact also constricts running lanes to win on first and second down.
41. Buffalo Bills: Terrance Williams, WR (Baylor)
No matter who is under center for Buffalo in 2013, the Bills have a great chance to field an explosively balanced attack. First, the offense must continue relying on C.J. Spiller since he's definitely among the best all-around backs in the game.
Second, electing to snag Baylor's Terrance Williams provides an incredible jolt to the aerial onslaught.
After playing second-fiddle to Kendall Wright before the 2012 campaign, Williams burst last season with 1,832 yards on 97 receptions, which comes to an 18.9-yard-per-catch average.
Williams' elite ability to stretch the field will press any secondary on its heel and force linebackers to remain alert over the middle. In short, that just diverts some focus away from Spiller and the Bills then gain more control of the tempo.
42. Oakland Raiders (via MIA): Sam Montgomery DE, (LSU)
The Raiders desperately need to field a better pass rush. That begins with Sam Montgomery, a defensive end capable of slipping blocks around the outside and forcing a running back to help on the edge. If anything, that lets Oakland get into better down-and-distance positions as the game progresses.
43. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tank Carradine, DE (Florida State)
The Buccaneers are emerging as a tough NFC threat. Still, Tampa Bay must land a solid pass-rusher to complement the improved coverage. Welcome Tank Carradine, Florida State's underrated presence that has a knack for wrecking the backfield and closing lanes versus the run.
44. Carolina Panthers: Jamar Taylor, CB (Boise State)
Carolina gave up a 66.8 completion percentage in a pass-oriented division. That warrants the selection of Jamar Taylor, because he possesses the ability to generate turnovers and minimize yards allowed after the catch.
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45. San Diego Chargers: Jamie Collins, LB (Southern Miss)
San Diego's pass rush receives an enormous boost with Jamie Collins. Between 2011 and 2012 he racked up 39.5 tackles for loss and defended 14 passes. This level of production alone assists the pass defense, because the Bolts allowed 28 passing scores a year ago.
46. Buffalo Bills (via St. Louis): Manti Te'o, LB (Notre Dame)
Buffalo gets a big steal with Manti Te'o at No. 46 overall. As a linebacker that offers reliable short-area quickness, Te'o's instincts and playmaking skills will suit the Bills well. The end results are more running lanes stuffed and turnovers generated against the pass.
47. Dallas Cowboys: Kawann Short: DT (Purdue)
Kawann Short is a rare force on the interior line. He registered 45 tackles for loss in his final three seasons, which will easily transition to pro football. Dallas takes him in Round 2, and Short will quickly produce courtesy of DeMarcus Ware's presence on the outside.
48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Le’Veon Bell, RB (Michigan State)
Le'Veon Bell is a bruising back that knows how to accumulate yards after contact. That style of play embodies the Steelers, because Pittsburgh works best by controlling the line of scrimmage. Now the play action gains relevance, and the Steelers present much better balance this season.
49. New York Giants: Shamarko Thomas, Safety (Syracuse)
New York's defense in 2012 was not reliable in any facet. The Giants struggled to get a pass rush, failed to generate turnovers and were vulnerable against the run.
Helping solve each aspect is Sharmarko Thomas out of Syracuse.
Against the run he brings the body control and balance to fill lanes, blitz the edge and deliver big hits. In coverage, Thomas possesses the agility to isolate man-to-man or react quickly when shelling in zone.
Throughout his career for the Orange, Thomas accounted for 263 tackles and collected 16.5 for loss. Last season was his most productive output, because he also forced three fumbles and snagged two picks.
50. Chicago Bears: Arthur Brown, LB (Kansas State)
Arthur Brown's instincts for reacting will instantly impact Chicago's front seven. He can play outside or inside, and supplies the wherewithal to shield in zone coverage and fill multiple gaps against the run.
51. Washington Redskins: Tyrann Mathieu, DB (LSU)
Washington must upgrade its pass defense, and Tyrann Mathieu is the definition of a playmaker. Although he's a bit undersized, Mathieu has a nose for the ball and helps change the field position after generating turnovers.
52. New England Patriots (via MIN): Quinton Patton, WR (Louisiana Tech)
Another receiving target for Tom Brady will keep the Patriots moving effectively. Quinton Patton has the quickness and route running to win against Cover 1, not to mention he'll never face double-teams. Given New England's ground game and other receiving threats, Patton ends up impacting more than anticipated.
53. Cincinnati Bengals: Montee Ball, RB (Wisconsin)
Cincinnati provides Andy Dalton with a slew of reliable targets in the passing game. And because of that, drafting Montee Ball simply completes the offensive arsenal. He's a complete back who has the talent to take over the No. 1 ball-carrier spot, and Ball never sees a stacked box courtesy of the Bengals' receiving weapons.
54. Miami Dolphins (via IND): Larry Warford, Guard (Kentucky)
Kentucky's Larry Warford is arguably the most overlooked prospect this draft. For one, he offers the ability to chip-block to the second level and form a wall on the pocket's interior. And two, Miami needs a force along the offensive line to win the immediate point of attack.
55. Green Bay Packers: Phillip Thomas, Safety (Fresno State)
Green Bay's pass defense was solid in 2012, but adding Phillip Thomas puts the Packers on another level. Possessing the skills to generate turnovers and fill alleys, Thomas capitalizes behind the cheese's excellent pass rush and improved run defense.
56. Seattle Seahawks: John Jenkins, DT (Georgia)
Defending the run with a beast in the trenches gives Seattle increased Super Bowl odds. John Jenkins has the size to plug two gaps and eat blocks at a constant rate. When facing a single-block situation, though, he does provide the talent to get interior quarterback pressure or at least collapse the pocket.
57. Houston Texans: David Amerson, CB (North Carolina State)
The presence of Ed Reed back deep is going to force many quarterbacks to check down or immediately attack the outside in Cover 3. David Amerson, however, has a talent for recording interceptions and making plays on the ball in general. And he'll be able to take more risks, because the instincts of Reed drastically enhance Houston's ability to force turnovers.
58. Denver Broncos: Giovani Bernard, RB (North Carolina)
The complete repertoire of Giovani Bernard is the Broncos' future in the backfield.
Despite a brief college career, Bernard amassed 2,481 rushing and 852 receiving yards on 92 receptions for North Carolina in just two seasons. This dual-threat talent will immediately spruce up Denver's ground game, because a constant presence for slamming the trenches is needed on first down and short-yard situations.
Moving to the later downs, Bernard supplies to athleticism to bounce outside, take a screen or check down upfield and pass protect. Already fielding one of the NFL's top passing attacks, the Broncos' offensive puzzle is now put together.
Even more impressive, Bernard can assist on special teams if needed. Last year he served on punt returns and gained 263 yards while averaging 16.4 per attempt (two touchdowns).
59. New England Patriots: Barrett Jones, Center/Guard (Alabama)
New England's Dan Connolly turns 31 years old during the early parts of the 2013 campaign. That will match the age of Logan Mankins. In turn, opting for the dynamic Barrett Jones solidifies youth, depth and talent for Tom Brady's line. Factor Jones' run-blocking forte, and the Patriots maintain a physical attack in the long run.
60. Atlanta Falcons: Khaseem Greene, LB (Rutgers)
Atlanta's ability to defend the run has to receive an upgrade. Fortunately, Khaseem Greene is a dependable 'backer that will read quickly in the trenches to make plays at the line. Considering that he recorded 29 tackles for loss and forced 12 fumbles from 2010 through 2012, the guy will impact for the Dirty Birds.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Vance McDonald, TE (Rice)
After boosting up the defense earlier this draft, San Francisco gets Colin Kaepernick a big receiving target in tight end Vance McDonald. Even though he didn't put up electric numbers for Rice, McDonald was a red-zone advantage and is a strong possession guy to move the chains on third down.
62. Baltimore Ravens: David Bakhtiari, Tackle (Colorado)
David Bakhtiari is a reach for Baltimore at the cliff of Round 2, but his potential is quite high. Featuring a nice jump at the snap to reach the second level, Bahktiari also pass protects rather well. Despite being undersized, his foundation of balance and footwork will develop as reliable depth at right tackle.
Round 3 Mock Draft
Note: (*) equals compensatory selection
63. Kansas City Chiefs: D.J. Swearinger, Safety (South Carolina)
64. Jacksonville Jaguars: Damontre Moore, DE (Texas A&M)
65. Detroit Lions: Darius Slay, CB (Mississippi State)
66. Oakland Raiders: Johnathan Hankins, DT (Ohio State)
67. Philadelphia Eagles: Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)
68. Cleveland Browns: Dwayne Gratz, CB (Connecticut)
69. Arizona Cardinals: Terron Armstead, Tackle (Arkansas-Pine Bluff)
70. Tennessee Titans: Robert Alford, CB (Southeastern Louisiana)
71. St. Louis Rams (via BUF): Eddie Lacy, RB (Alabama)
72. New York Jets: Mike Glennon, QB (North Carolina State)
73. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Wilson, QB (Arkansas)
74. San Francisco 49ers (via CAR): Brandon Williams, DT (Missouri Southern State)
75. New Orleans Saints: Sio Moore, LB (Connecticut)
76. San Diego Chargers: Kevin Minter, LB (LSU)
77. Miami Dolphins: Leon McFadden, CB (San Diego State)
78. Buffalo Bills (via St. Louis): Logan Ryan, CB (Rutgers)
79. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Hunter, WR (Tennessee)
80. Dallas Cowboys: Bacarri Rambo, Safety (Georgia)
81. New York Giants: Bennie Logan, DT (LSU)
82. Miami Dolphins (via CHI): Dallas Thomas, Tackle (Tennessee)
83. New England Patriots (via MIN): Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB (Connecticut)
84. Cincinnati Bengals: Kiko Alonso, LB (Oregon)
85. Washington Redskins: J.J. Wilcox, Safety (Georgia Southern)
86. Indianapolis Colts: Chase Thomas, LB/DE (Stanford)
87. Seattle Seahawks: Cornelius Washington, DE (Georgia)
88. Green Bay Packers: Johnathan Franklin, RB (UCLA)
89. Houston Texans: Jon Bostic, LB (Florida)
90. Denver Broncos: Travis Kelce, TE (Cincinnati)
91. New England Patriots: Shawn Williams, Safety (Georgia)
92. St. Louis Rams (via ATL): Josh Evans, Safety (Florida)
93. Dallas Cowboys (via SF): Brian Winters, Guard/Tackle (Kent State)
94. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Woods, WR (USC)
*95. Houston Texans: Jordan Poyer, CB (Oregon State)
*96. Kansas City Chiefs: A.J. Klein, LB (Iowa State)
*97. Tennessee Titans: Corey Lemonier, DE (Auburn)
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