17. New England Patriots: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Jordan has seen his stock rise significantly, and there is no way he falls much further than this. New England has identified the 5 technique position as their greatest area of need, so the Jordan pick is a great combination of need and value.
18. San Diego Chargers: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
The Chargers need to keep Philip Rivers upright, and Carimi would be an ideal bookend tackle across from Marcus McNeill.
19. New York Giants: Mike Pouncey, G/C, Florida
The Giants live and die by the trenches, and they need to find some replacements for an aging group of offensive linemen. They will love Pouncey’s versatility and pedigree.
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Aldon Smith, DE, Missouri
The Bucs did a horrendous job getting to the quarterback in 2010, and that is the area they need to fix. Aldon Smith is very athletic and has a ton of upside here and there’s no telling how good he can be.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
Kansas City only has one consistent pass rusher, but to have a consistent and effective defense in today’s NFL, teams need at least three. Houston is a step in the right direction here.
22. Indianapolis Colts: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
The Colts will look to upgrade their offensive line here, but Corey Liuget simply presents too much value here and it’s not like Indianapolis can’t use a big-time run stuffer in the middle of their defense.
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa
The Eagles will be looking to retool their defense, and the organization seems to believe that defensive end is a big priority for this team. Brandon Graham may not be healthy next year, and Juqua Parker is getting old, so Trent Cole and Darryl Tapp could use a relief end that would eventually do a good job replacing them.
24. New Orleans Saints: Drake Nevis, DT, LSU
The vibe coming out of New Orleans is that this selection will be used on a front seven defender. Adrian Clayborn or Akeem Ayers would be dream picks here, but Nevis fits the Saint mold even better. He plays with intensity and is a local product.
25. Seattle Seahawks: J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
Seattle needs to upgrade their pass rush, and while Chris Clemons is decent enough at right end, Seattle needs a bigger left end who can both stop the run and get after the passer. That sounds like a position created specifically for J.J. Watt.
26. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Ravens need a lockdown cover man because Chris Carr only performs well in contract years and Josh Wilson is more of a number two corner. Harris plays with the swagger that the Ravens love, and I’m sure Ray Lewis will be lobbying for a player who hails from the U.
27. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Ballard, DE/DT, Iowa
The Falcons need another impact defensive lineman to pair with John Abraham, and a lot of teams have become intrigued by Christian Ballard’s quickness and power combination, allowing him to potentially play the 7, 5, or 3 technique at the next level or some combination of the three.
28. New England Patriots: Titus Young, WR, Boise State
The Patriots will be searching for a deep threat to replace Randy Moss as Brandon Tate is not getting the job done. Titus Young has been drawing comparisons to DeSean Jackson recently, and a team may take a chance on him towards the end of round 1.
29. New York Jets: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
The Jets will have to replace a ton of players this offseason, so this is a tough pick to predict seeing as nobody is sure who will be retained yet. However, we do know that the Jets are very old in their front seven, and Muhammad Wilkerson would be a great candidate to replace Shaun Ellis, who is coming off perhaps his last great season.
30. Chicago Bears: Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College
If you’ve watched the Bears play any, you know how awful right tackle J’Marcus Webb is. He is not ready to start at this level and must be upgraded, period.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jimmy Smith, CB, Colorado
The Steelers are not picking 32nd because Aaron Rodgers picked apart Bryant McFadden and William Gay in the Super Bowl. Jimmy Smith could be an option to upgrade them and is being hyped up a lot right now. He will be much higher in my next mock.
32. Green Bay Packers: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
The Packers are pretty stacked top to bottom, but one area they need to address in their offensive line. Chad Clifton is almost 35, and without him, the Packers have a miserable offensive line. They need to protect Rodgers, and Sherrod is a good left tackle of the future.