25. Seattle Seahawks: Jake Locker, QB, Washington
Matt Hasselbeck may not return to Seattle as he approaches his 36th birthday, and Charlie Whitehurst has not done much to prove that he can get the Seahawks back to the playoffs consistently. Seattle has some playmakers in Mike Williams, Golden Tate, John Carlson, and Marshawn Lynch, but is in need of a field general who can set everything into motion.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Ravens defense is missing a true shutdown corner because guys like Ladarius Webb, Josh Wilson, and Fabian Washington are best suited as second or third corners. They should add another player to the mix, and Brandon Harris is a complete player who has the potential to be the answer at left cornerback.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Liuget’s stock is soaring, and I’m sure that he will go much higher in my next mock draft. As it stands now, though, Liuget would help solidify a questionable defensive tackle spot, where Corey Peters, Peria Jerry, and Jonathan Babineaux could easily be upgraded.
28. New England Patriots: Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh
The Pats need to be able to stretch the field better, and Baldwin is a very effective deep threat. He’s not a burner but he can get downfield and win jump ball situations. He will be just what the Patriots are looking for and has averaged over 17.5 yards per reception over the last two seasons.
29. New York Jets: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
The Jets are a very talented team with a lot of impending free agents. Who they decide to let go will likely dictate the direction they go with this pick. Right now, they could stand to upgrade the pass rush so they don’t have to blitz as often, exposing their inexperienced safeties. Calvin Pace, Bryan Thomas, and Jason Taylor are merely average at this stage of the game, and Justin Houston could be the best of the bunch before long.
30. Chicago Bears: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
Chicago’s offensive line was a mess this season, especially the right side of the line. The J’Marcus Webb experiment at right tackle cannot last another season if the Bears want to be serious contenders. Anthony Castonzo is much more athletic and just seems to have a better feel for the game.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
The Steelers have some issues at offensive tackle, and even though Willie Colon and Max Starks returning from injuries, guys who have missed so much football cannot always be counted on. They may be better off drafting a potential left tackle of the future to team with Maurkice Pouncey to form a formidable and youthful offensive line.
32. Green Bay Packers: Cameron Heyward, DE, Ohio State
The Packers could stand to replace the aging Chad Clifton or draft another running back, but the Packers like to draft the best player available. Ted Thompson should like Cameron Heyward, a tough, instinctive player from the midwest who has good pedigree. He could replace Ryan Pickett, who is into his thirties, along the defensive line.