17) San Francisco 49ers Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa Morgan’s nemeses at the Orange Bowl, Bulaga made a name for himself and his stock is rising. The 49ers would like to solidify their offensive line and a solid LT would allow them to move Joe Staley to the right side.
18) Pittsburgh Steelers Taylor Mays S USC The Steelers defense came back to earth in 2009 and showed some weaknesses. Ryan Clark is getting up in age and the Steelers would love to add a player with the reckless abandon that Mays displays. He’d be a perfect fit alongside Troy Polamalu to give Pittsburgh one of the most potentially feared safety tandems in the NFL.
19) Atlanta Falcons (coin flip dependent) Carlos Dunlap DE Florida Atlanta needs a pass rushing talent to come in and take the pressure off John Abraham, who struggled in 2009. They’re in good shape situationally with players like Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury, who may one day occupy Abraham’s starting spot, but Atlanta needs an immediate impact at DE.
Dimitroff and Co. will do their due diligence with Dunlap, who was suspended from Florida just before the SEC Championship after a drunk driving arrest. It appears to be the only mistake the 2008 National Championship Game’s MVP has made. Prior to the arrest, he was arguably the top end in the draft.
The Falcons have a strong group of character guys in the locker room that would help Dunlap, who appears genuinely sorry and regretful for his indiscretions, keep his head on straight. A strong pass rusher opposite Abraham, along with defensive tackles Peria Jerry (last year’s No. 1) and Jonathan Babineaux, could make the Falcons’ defense one of the more imposing young units in the league.
20) Houston Texans Brian Price DT UCLA With an offense loaded with weapons, the Texans want to continue to improve a defense that features DE Mario Williams and last year’s top pick Brian Cushing. Price is disruptive and can add more urgency to a defense on the rise.
21) Cincinnati Bengals Golden Tate WR Notre Dame With the unfortunate loss of receiver Chris Henry the Bengals will be in the market for a wide receiver. With Bryant off the board, they might not be so quick to turn in Tate’s name, but receiver is a need and he’s the best one left. A little undersized and without elite speed, Tate’s best qualities are his reliable hands and his toughness.
22) New England Patriots Navorro Bowman OLB Penn State One of the better linebacker prospects in this draft may fall to the second round because teams are hesitant to take a chance on a player lacking the discipline that Bowman’s shown. A number of off-field problems have appeared during his time at Penn State, but his talent is undeniable on the field. New England needs talent like his at linebacker and may still believe their locker room is strong enough for a character-concern guy.
23) Green Bay Packers Bruce Campbell OT Maryland Campbell’s had his share of injuries during his time at Maryland and it’s hurt his stock. The Packers need to get younger and talented along the line to better protect their young franchise quarterback. Campbell is the best value selection for them here while still filling a strong need.
24) Philadelphia Eagles Brandon Graham OLB Michigan Graham was a do-everything player in his time at Michigan and the Second-Team All American would be a good fit for the Eagles who will look to improve at linebacker. Philly features some underwhelming linebackers and Graham’s versatility would be a nice addition.
25) Baltimore Ravens Patrick Robinson CB Florida State The once imposing defense of the Ravens showed some cracks in ’09 at the cornerback position. Chris Carr is not the answer and Domonique Foxworth is making too much money to give up on just yet. Robinson is a very balanced corner with the size and speed desired and would be a good fit immediately for the Ravens.
26) Arizona Cardinals Terrance Cody DT Alabama It may look like a reach here for the Cardinals, but Cody is a good value. In Cody they get a player that fills a huge need, that of a huge, space-eating nose tackle in the middle of their 3-4 defensive line. He’s got some improving to do to get in better shape and fine-tune his technique, but the tools are there.
27) Dallas Cowboys Charles Brown OT USC The Cowboys need to find someone to play left tackle with more discipline than Flozell Adams, who is also 34. Brown is the last remaining tackle with first-round potential. If they want an obvious starter-quality lineman, he may be their last chance in the draft.
28) San Diego Chargers Jerry Hughes OLB TCU Hughes is a great fit for the Chargers and their 3-4 defense. The pass rush is critical to what the Chargers do and Hughes fits the bill, in addition to being an all-around football player. A smart and durable player, the two-time All American will be a solid pro for a long time.
29) New York Jets Damian Williams WR USC There’s no question the Jets love to run the ball, but they still need a few playmakers at receiver and it’s unclear whether Braylon Edwards is that guy. Williams brings good elusiveness and toughness and is a receiver young Mark Sanchez can grow with. It helps that Sanchez and Williams spent time together while at USC.
30) Minnesota Vikings Earl Thomas S Texas Thomas is one of the more curious players available in the draft. Evaluators are split on whether he’s a better fit at cornerback or safety, the position he played in college, once in the pros. What they do know is he was a highly productive member of the Texas defense. The redshirt sophomore All American set a school record for interceptions last season with eight, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Thomas could be a utility type for the defense, much like Percy Harvin is for the Vikings’ offense.
31) New Orleans Saints Jared Odrick DT Penn State The transformation of the Saints defense will continue here with the selection of Odrick. He’d pair well with Sedrick Ellis to give New Orleans two players up front with decent bulk but also good quickness. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year saw double teams on a regular basis in college and with less of that in the pros, he could be an impact player. With he and Ellis on the inside and Will Smith and Charles Grant on the outside, the Saints could feature one of the most feared defensive lines in all of football.
32) Indianapolis Colts Sean Weatherspoon OLB Missouri The Colts could add talent to a linebacker corp that played solid but didn’t always do anything to emerge. Weatherspoon is built like the perfect linebacker and his ability translates inside or out. His speed fits in well with the Colts and the speed they already possess. A solid pick for a team that doesn’t like to take chances, Weatherspoon could step in and be a fixture.
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