NPC Mock Draft 6.0 (3 Full Rounds, and Steelers Picks in Rounds 4-7)

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Round 2

33. St. Louis Rams: Zach Brown OLB (North Carolina)

The Rams ranked 31st against the run last season, and they are in desperate need of good players at the OLB position.  If New York passes on him at #32, St. Louis can get one of the best 4-3 LB’s of the 2012 Draft Class in the form of Zach Brown.  At 6-2 230 lbs. Brown has improved each and every season at U.N.C. and finished his Senior campaign with 91 Tackles, 11.5 Tackles For Loss, and 2 INT’s.  Brown is incredibly athletic and he set the school-record for the indoor 60 meter dash with a time of 6.72 seconds as a Sophomore when he competed for the Tar Heels track team.

34. Indianapolis Colts: Alshon Jeffery WR (South Carolina)

Alshon Jeffery’s stock has gone up since his recent Pro Day, and he should contend for a possible selection in the 1st Round.  If the 6’3″ 216 lb. prospect is still on the board at #34, the Colts would be hard pressed to let this potential weapon for Andrew Luck slide past theme.  It will be interesting to see which team picks Jeffery and where because he is such a “boom-or-bust” prospect, but the Colts have such a need to acquire pass catchers for Andrew Luck that passing up on an athlete of Jeffery’s quality in Round 2 would be asinine.

(Previous Selection: Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson)

35. Minnesota Vikings: Alfonzo Dennard CB (Nebraska)

Minnesota will look to address their utterly horrible situation at Cornerback with multiple picks in 2012.  Luckily for them, Stephon Gilmore should be available to them at #35.  Minnesota’s Pass Defense in 2011 was pathetic, and I’m being kind here.  The Vikings Ranked 26th in Total Pass Yards Allowed, 29th in YPA Allowed, and gave up the most Pass TD’s in the entire League (34).  Alfonzo Dennard (An All-Big 12 Performer in 2010) had a solid career at Nebraska and teamed with Prince Amukamara to form one of the best CB duos in college football during their time together.  The scrappy 5’10 205 lb. Dennard could immediately entrench himself near the top of the CB depth chart, and help the Vikings’ Pass Defense for years to come.

(Previous Selection: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina)

36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Wilson RB (Virginia Tech)

The Buccaneers will be looking for a RB to pair with LeGarrette Blount in the future, and could use a early pick to do it.  During his career at Virginia Tech, Wilson displayed great speed, toughness, an ability to run through the tackles, and used his 5’10 205 lb. frame effectively.  In addition to his prowess on Offense, Wilson also was a solid Kick Returner in college and could be called upon in Tampa Bay to fill that role early in his career.  If Wilson can work on his ball-security skills, he could be a solid value pick early in Round 2.

(Previous Selection: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska)

37. Cleveland Browns: Mike Adams OT (Ohio State)

Cleveland has some terrific and Pro Bowl players in LT Joe Thomas and C Alex Mack, but they are still in need of a solid RT that can give whoever is playing QB a nice set of book-ends for the next 7-10 seasons.  The massive (6’8″ 320 lbs.) Mike Adams from Ohio State could give Cleveland the answer it is looking for at RT.  Adams is a road-grading OT who would best be served opening holes for Hardesty, Ogbannaya, and any other of Cleveland’s Backs in the future, and he is athletic enough to hold his own in pass-protection.

(Previous Selection: Lamar Miller, RB, Miami FL)

38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rueben Randle WR (Louisiana State)

If Jacksonville wants “The Blaine Gabbert Experiment” to pan out, they’d better think about getting him some WR threats to air it out to in 2012.  Mike Thomas is a solid possession guy, but the Jaguars still had better think about getting a competent deep man to pair with him.  Randle is an imposing figure at 6’3″ 208 lbs. and can immediately come in and become Jacksonville’s most potent deep threat.  Adding a guy which stretches the Defense vertically is vital not only for Gabbert’s development, but it helps guys like Thomas and TE Marcedes Lewis find pockets of space underneath.

39. St. Louis Rams: Jerel Worthy DT (Michigan State)

St. Louis will be looking to upgrade the interior of their Defensive Line this season, and could get some terrific value if Jerel Worthy of Michigan State is available in the beginning of Round 2.  At 6’3″ and 310 lbs., Worthy could help out at the 1 Technique DT or the 3 Technique DT for a team like the Rams that is in search of help at both spots, and whose Defense against the ground game was terrible last season.  To compete against the 49ers and Seahawks, St. Louis must improve on the Defensive side of the ball against the run, period.

(Previous Selection: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina)

40. Carolina Panthers: Kendall Reyes DT (Connecticut)

If the Panthers elect to fill their need at Offensive Tackle or Defensive End in Round 1, they will likely be looking to find a Defensive Tackle like Kendall Reyes early the following day.  An All-Big East performer in 2010 and 2011, Reyes performed well as a Defensive Tackle during his time with the Huskies, and registered 13.5 Tackles For Loss and 4.5 Sacks this past season.  Although he played mostly as a 4-3 Tackle, Reyes has the frame (6’4″ 296 lbs.), to fit perfectly into a 3-4 scheme as a 5-Technique Defensive End or a 3-Technique in a 4-3 scheme.  Jerel Worthy is an experienced DT with three seasons of starting experience in college under his belt.

(Previous Selection: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State)

41. Buffalo Bills: Zebrie Sanders OT (Florida State)

Losing Demetrius Bell was an enormous blow to a team that was already thin at Tackle like the Bills.  That being said, they will likely look to select a Tackle like Zebrie Sanders.  At 6’5″ 307 lbs. and a 4 year starter at Florida State, Sanders has all the experience in the world to transfer to the N.F.L..  Sanders’ experience playing both Left and Right Tackle spots in college is intriguing, and it should factor in greatly if he is asked to start the 2012 season on the bench and is called upon to be the “Swing Tackle” on game-days.

(Previous Selection: Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers)

42. Miami Dolphins: Kelechi Osemele OG/OT (Iowa State)

In addition to the QB and WR positions, the Dolphins also must upgrade their Offensive Line.  I mean, it wouldn’t hurt to protect a young signal-caller like Ryan Tannehill.  Anyway, the Dolphins could look to target Kelechi Osemele to fill in on the Right side and pair with Jake Long to have a couple of young and talented bookends.  Osemele projects as a Guard or a Right Tackle at the pro level, but he did display quite a bit of athleticism in college where he played Left Tackle and Guard at Iowa State and started 3.5 seasons in college.  His large build 6’5″ 347 lbs. and ability to run block should allow him to kick inside or stay outside with a team like Miami looking to upgrade at a lot of spots along their Offensive Line.

(Previous Selection: Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida State)

43. Seattle Seahawks: Chandler Jones DE/OLB (Syracuse)

While the Seahawks did re-sign Red Bryant, they still could use a young pass-rushing threat to attack teams from the outside.  For a while I had Melvin Ingram mocked to Seattle until his stock went up, but the Seahawks could find a formidable pass rushing threat like Syracuse’s Chandler Jones down the road.  A 2011 All-Big East selection and standing 6’5″ and weighing 265 lbs., Jones has a stout “tweener” frame to play DE in a 4-3 and pack on about 10 more lbs., or stand up to play OLB in a 3-4 set at his current weight.  Putting Jones along Seattle’s Defensive Line or up as a Linebacker in sub and pass-rushing packages early in his career would make the Seahawks a scary team to face in passing situations.

44. Kansas City Chiefs: Brock Osweiler QB (Arizona State)

With “Neckbeard” now backing up Tony Romo, and Brady Quinn being Brady Quinn, Matt Cassel should see little to no threat to his starting job being taken away in 2012.  That being said, Kansas City might want to think about bringing in and developing a talented young QB over the next couple of seasons.  In terms of his athletic ability, the 6’7″ 240 lbs. Osweiler committed to Gonzaga on a basketball scholarship before deciding to go to Tempe to play QB.  His sample size of 15 games started is small, but his arm strength and athleticism could make him a danger to opposing Defenses down the road.  Osweiler’s accuracy and ability to throw on the run may need a bit of work, and he shouldn’t be asked to be the Day 1 savior of a franchise.  Still, the upside is there, and Kansas City can afford to take a chance on him.

45. Dallas Cowboys: Harrison Smith S (Notre Dame)

Dallas had the N.F.L.’s 23rd Ranked Pass Defense in 2011, and their ineffectiveness really cost the team at some crucial points in meaningful games (both Giants contests).  If Dallas wants to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, fixing the CB and S situation is of the utmost importance.  Harrison Smith (6’2″ 212 lbs.) was a 3-year starter at Notre Dame and has quite a few tools to succeed for Dallas in the coming years.  Smith is a tough player that can play near the line of scrimmage as a former Linebacker in college.  His pass-coverage needs a little bit of work as he was burned a few times at Notre Dame, but many scouts still consider his upside to be high.

46. Philadelphia Eagles: Juron Criner WR (Arizona)

One thing which the Eagles have been lacking over the course of the last few seasons has been a large, physical WR that can take advantage of mismatches created by DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and the other Offensive weapons at Michael Vick’s disposal.  Luckily for Philadelphia, this is a deep draft when it comes to big physical pass catchers.  I have personally watched Criner throughout his college career in Tucson, and I can say with full effect that he is going to be a terrific pro player for a team like the Eagles or whichever team drafts him.  His size-speed combo (6’3″ 224 lbs.) is tough to match up with, and Philadelphia will find themselves a “gamer” that can stretch the field, has great hands, and make life difficult for the opposing Defenses.

47. New York Jets: Mohamed Sanu WR (Rutgers)

Whether or not it’s Sanchez or Tebow taking the snaps, both guys will need a down-field target to throw to if the Jets wish to have any success on Offense in 2012 (Ranked 26th in Yards Per Attempt last season with 6.5).  Dustin Keller and San-smokio Holmes are adequate options underneath, but adding Mohamed Sanu to that combo would be huge.  Sanu, who stands 6’2″ and 215 lbs., established himself at Rutgers as a go-to guy in the passing game.  A three year starter in college who is big and strong and uses his size well, Sanu would give Sanchez or Tebow an imposing target to find when teams key on the underneath routes.

(Previous Selection: Kendall Reyes, DE/DT, Connecticut)

48. New England Patriots: Lamar Miller RB (Miami FL)

Lamar Miller is known as a speedy guy that can shoulder the load early in his career with Danny Woodhead, and in time could give the Patriots a #1 RB for the first time since “Clock Killin'” Corey Dillon was grinding it out in New England.  Inserting Miller in the game and getting him close to 15 touches would instantly make New England and their Offense more potent.  A RS-Sophomore at 5’10” 215 lbs. that averaged 5.6 YPC on 1,272 Yards and scored 9 TD’s last season, Miller doesn’t have a lot of tread on his tires, so the Patriots should be getting him for the best years of his career barring an injury.

(Previous Selection: Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall)