Mel Kiper is one of the most respected names in the NFL draft game. The guru has earned his status as an expert by putting out popular mock drafts on a regular basis that accurately identify the needs and desires of each NFL team heading into the annual event.
Kiper has recently taken his mock drafts a step further, going above and beyond the first round and into the second day. The renowned draftnik just released his second-round mock (subscription required), a comprehensive list that includes prospects for each and every club selecting Friday night.
The ESPN analyst admitted he leaned toward team need when making these projections, so keep that in mind as you check out his complete slate of picks. Keep reading after that, as I will highlight some of the most notable selections from this latest mock.
|Pick / Team||Prospect|
|33. Houston Texans||Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State|
|34. Washington Redskins||Joel Bitonio, T, Nevada|
|35. Cleveland Browns||Marqise Lee*, WR, USC|
|36. Oakland Raiders||Allen Robinson*, WR, Penn State|
|37. Atlanta Falcons||Demarcus Lawrence*, DE, Boise State|
|38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Xavier Su'a-Filo*, G, UCLA|
|39. Jacksonville Jaguars||Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt|
|40. Seattle Seahawks (from MIN)||Stephon Tuitt*, DE, Notre Dame|
|41. Buffalo Bills||Morgan Moses, T, Virginia|
|42. Tennessee Titans||Stan Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska|
|43. New York Giants||Austin Seferian-Jenkins*, TE, Washington|
|44. St. Louis Rams||Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana|
|45. Detroit Lions||Lamarcus Joyner, DB, Florida State|
|46. Pittsburgh Steelers||Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame|
|47. Dallas Cowboys||Kony Ealy*, DE, Missouri|
|48. Baltimore Ravens||Davante Adams**, WR, Fresno State|
|49. New York Jets||Bruce Ellington*, WR, South Carolina|
|50. Miami Dolphins||Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU|
|51. Chicago Bears||Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State|
|52. Arizona Cardinals||Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech|
|53. Green Bay Packers||Chris Borland, ILB, Wisconsin|
|54. Philadelphia Eagles||Jarvis Landry*, WR, LSU|
|55. Cincinnati Bengals||Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh|
|56. San Francisco 49ers (from KC)||Martavis Bryant*, WR, Clemson|
|57. San Diego Chargers||Timmy Jernigan*, DT, Florida State|
|58. New Orleans Saints||Marcus Martin*, C, USC|
|59. Indianapolis Colts||Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State|
|60. Carolina Panthers||Cyrus Kouandijo*, T, Alabama|
|61. San Francisco 49ers||Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota|
|62. New England Patriots||Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State|
|63. Denver Broncos||Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama|
|64. Seattle Seahawks||Jace Amaro*, TE, Texas Tech|
*Junior/redshirt junior **Redshirt sophomore. ESPN
Derek Carr to Houston Texans at No. 33
The Houston Texans had a multitude of options at their disposal in Round 1, but they ultimately decided to stay put and grab the safest possible prospect with the top overall selection—that being Jadeveon Clowney out of South Carolina.
Clowney is as close to a sure thing as there is in this class, but the once-in-a-generation talent excels at getting after quarterbacks, not playing the position. Houston still has a major hole to fill under center, and it could fill that hole with the first pick in the second round.
Kiper elected to slot in Fresno State’s Derek Carr here, explaining the decision as such:
I can see Houston passing on him because of the connection to the past, but I don't believe the Texans have to do so if they just want the best QB. This Carr can thrive.
The guru is referring to the Texans’ formative years, when Carr’s brother, David Carr, led the team after being selected No. 1 overall in the 2002 draft. David is regarded as a major bust, but he had little in the way of protection and took a serious beating during his five seasons with the franchise.
Derek Carr could have much more success than his brother, who never made the playoffs during his time with Houston. The Bulldogs product would be stepping into a much better situation, as the team has plenty of talent all over the field but suffered through a tough campaign in 2013.
However, there is a chance the Texans do not even need a quarterback by the time they pick Friday night. There are whispers that the organization is pursuing Ryan Mallett of the New England Patriots and could swing a deal prior to the start of the second round.
Tom E. Curran of CSNNE noted that the deal may be completed soon, but there are conflicting reports:
One source reports that a Ryan Mallett-to-the-Texans trade may completed soon. According to that source, the Patriots will receive a third-round pick in return. Another source, however, says nothing is doing at the moment on Mallett to Houston.
John McClain of The Houston Chronicle explained possible reasoning behind this deal:
If Texans get Mallet a big reason will b QB coach George Godsey, who coached Pats TEs last 4 years and knows him well.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 8, 2014
Should Houston pull this trade off, expect the club to go in a different direction than Carr. However, if the Texans haven’t addressed the quarterback situation by the time they are on the clock, the Fresno State star just might be the right play.
Marqise Lee to Cleveland Browns at No. 35
The Cleveland Browns have had quite a nice start to their draft, maneuvering all over the board to nab the players they wanted at the right price.
While some may argue the team reached for cornerback Justin Gilbert inside the top 10, the front office did a wonderful job addressing the quarterback problem by getting Johnny Manziel at No. 22.
Kiper believes that the Browns will now look to surround Johnny Football with some more weapons, helping to ease his transition to the NFL. The analyst has the organization taking USC’s Marqise Lee, a dynamic playmaker who would be a perfect third option in the Cleveland passing attack.
Here is Kiper’s reasoning: “He's the No. 22-ranked player on my final Big Board and is a good fit opposite Josh Gordon. This offense now looks full of weapons.”
Not only is Lee a superb value at No. 35, but he’s going to give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares as they try to slow him down while also limiting Gordon and stud tight end Jordan Cameron.
Is Lee a good choice for the Browns in the second round?
Considering a good majority of mock drafts and experts believed that Lee would fall in the first round, the Browns should jump to the podium if the wideout is still available when they are on the clock come Day 2.
The team still has other needs, such as replacing Pro Bowler T.J. Ward at safety, but ultimately, there is too much value to pass up with this selection. Kiper seems to have hit the nail on the head by suggesting it.