49. Jacksonville Jaguars- Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
While I’m not a huge fan of Smith, I think this is a solid value in the middle second round. Smith is still a bit raw in terms of his overall polish at the WR position, and I don’t like his tendency to body catch at times, but he has a good deal of potential to work with. The Jags simply do not have a threat at the WR position right now with Sims-Walker being shown the door, so they need playmakers. If it wasn’t Smith, it would have been Boise State’s Titus Young. Young is a bit smaller than you like in an outside receiver, and Mike Thomas is a good enough slot receiver, so a perimeter threat like Smith is more ideal. A corner or safety are bigger needs for the Jags, but the value just is not commensurate with this selection. Some people may say a developmental QB like Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick would be smart, but I just don’t see him a viable long term solution, so I’d wait for somewhere in the third round to consider him.
50. San Diego Chargers- Bruce Carter, OLB, North Carolina
The Chargers have a very talented team returning, and with two picks in this round and their biggest need already address in round one, they can take the best player available. To me that comes down to either Bruce Carter or Alabama OT James Carpenter. Carter is coming off of an injury, and is probably not ready to play right now, so this is more of a future benefit for San Diego. Carter has played in the 4-3, but he has the size and pas rush ability to transition fairly easily to the 3-4 OLB spot. Unlike the DE converts, he’s got experience and ability to play in space in pass coverage, so I think this is a very good fit. A starting RT like Carpenter would be great here, but there is enough depth at that spot for me to pass at this point and assume I can get a solid player in that role with the second pick the Chargers have in this round.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
I was very tempted to go with another DE, and double up two rounds in a row at the same position, but I just don’t see how I can have the Bucs do this for two years in a row (remember, they took back-to-back DTs in last year’s draft in rounds one and two). With the recent off the field transgressions of starting corner Aqib Talib, I think the team may be moving on and cutting him because of character concerns. House is another player who I feel is flying under the radar after a subpar 2010 season due to a minor injury. With Tampa Bay, House can learn from one of the best in the business in Ronde barber, and he won’t necessarily be counted on to more than likely only play the nickel spot as a rookie. House has the length and size to be a very good press corner, and with a young and very talented defensive line starting to take shape, he will eventually be a cornerstone for this defensive backfield.
52. New York Giants- Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
Sure, the Giants have Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw on the roster, but I don’t think both will be there when the season starts. Jacobs started to show last year how big backs in the NFL simply cannot hold up long term (the last one I can think of that did was Jerome Bettis). With Bradshaw’s fumbling woes, and no history of him showing he can be the full time feature back, it’s prudent to take a very good insurance policy in Ryan Williams. He’s an ideal back to put into a rotation, and the Giants have shown the propensity to do just that. Williams is not the biggest back out there, but he’s got good speed and hits the hole hard. A linebacker would fit better for need, but the players left just aren’t worth passing over a very good talent in Williams at this point.
53. Indianapolis Colts- Marvin Austin, DT, North Carolina
I may have waited a little too long to take Austin, but I still have some unanswered concerns with him after not playing for the entire season due to NCAA violations. I questioned his consistency play to play, and I wanted to see him work on this in 2010, but I never got to see that. So with that in mind, and considering the fact that he obviously did enough to warrant a full one year suspension, I was a bit risk weary with him as a prospect. But at this point, his reward outweighs the risks, and he’s an ideal fit for a team that needs to get bigger on both sides of the trenches. The Colts addressed the OL in the first, and they very well could keep addressing this with an assortment of bigger lineman that would help drastically improve their run blocking, but the DT spot needs some beef as well. Austin is thought of more as a pass rusher, but he’s also a very good run stopper as well. He’s very quick for his size, and he fits this scheme perfectly. If Austin is gone, then dipping back into the OL well is probably best. But USC’s Jurrell Casey is also a very good fit at DT for this defense.
54. Philadelphia Eagles- Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh
Before anyone questions this by saying that the eagles drafted a DE in the first round last year in Brandon Graham, hear me out. Graham injured his knee though late in the season, so trusting that he will be back at 100% at the start of the season is not good business. Plus, the Eagles love to run rotations of players out there at this position, so depth is key. Sheard is a very solid value at this point, and he’s slipped on my board only because of some off the field questions regarding a fight earlier in his college career. He’s a bit of a tweener player, but that’s what Philly likes for their DEs. Sheard needs to work on his strength with holding the point of attack, but what he does know well is rushing the passer. A corner is a bigger need here, but the eagles can get by with what is there, especially considering the value they can get here with upgrading their pass rush to hide the secondary deficiencies.
55. Kansas City Chiefs- Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
The Chiefs absolutely have to come away from this draft with another perimeter receiver who can take away the double coverage from breakout star Dwayne Bowe. It was clear that once teams caught on that Bowe had done enough to turn the corner and realize his potential, that they needed to focus on shutting him down and letting the other receivers beat them if they could. Well, they couldn’t. Yes, the Chiefs are a run first team, but I think that is partially because they lack another weapon in the pass game. Dexter McCluster is a gimmick player who fits better in the slot. Hankerson is the bigger perimeter player who is very solid in the short to intermediate range, which is what is missing. There are some concerns with Hankerson’s focus as he did have a decent amount of drops this year, but I don’t question his hands. I think he’s a player who will get better as a pro with a better QB throwing to him. What this also does is give Kansas City two very good red zone threats that can go up and get the jump ball in the corner of the end zone. This is a bit of a no-brainer for me with fit, need, and value.
56. New Orleans Saints- James Carpenter, OT, Alabama
I am aware that in the first round I said that the Saints have Charles Brown on the roster ready to take over if Bushrod leaves, but this is more for the RT position. Carpenter has some ability to play LT, but I don’t think he has the feet to do so. He’s a very good fit as a RT, and I also think that worst case scenario he can play some OG as well. He’s versatile, and proven against top level pass rushers at the SEC level. Some media outlets prefer the I-AA product in Villanova’s Ben Ijalana, but I prefer the player with big time college experience instead. Jurrell Casey isn’t a bad idea at DT, but he’s a bit too similar to current DT Sedrick Ellis. And Iowa’s Christian Ballard can play DE even though he played DT in college, but he’s better fit to a three man front. He would not be a bad idea though if Greg Williams plans on adding some odd man front looks this season.
57. Seattle Seahawks- Marcus Cannon, OL, TCU
As you may recall from my OL coverage, you will remember that I said Cannon is one of my personal favorites in this draft on the offensive line. The Seahawks have publicly stated, after getting rid of zone-blocking guru Alex Gibbs, that they want to build a bigger offensive line. Cannon is a mountain of a man who played tackle in college, and could possibly be tried out at RT, but is best fit inside as a guard. Putting him in next to outstanding, young, franchise level LT Russell Okung would bring back memories of the golden days of Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson. I could see connecting the dots of Jurrell Casey to his former coach in Pete Carroll, but I feel that OL is simply a much bigger need for this team at this point. Cannon could easily go lower as I don’t see many other media outlets as high on him as I am, but if my evaluation is right, he could also go higher than this.
58. Baltimore Ravens- Titus Young, WR, Boise State
It’s a bit tough for me to go with the pick I think is right here, balanced with the fact that I know how conservative the Ravens tend to draft, but Baltimore absolutely needs to add youth and speed to its receiving core. Young is not the ideal perimeter receiver as he’s a bit slight in build, but I do think he can play there and won’t have to play only in the slot. Young is quicker than fast, but that’s what allows him to gain separation from the DB and get open downfield. He’s a very good return man as well, so it’s a two-for-one value with this pick. An OT would help, even if for depth only, but that is a position that can be addressed later. Young is simply far too good of a value this late in the second round. I do think this pick should be a receiver regardless, so if Young and Hankerson are gone, don’t be surprised to see another suspended UNC player in Greg Little come off the board here.
59. Atlanta Falcons- Greg Little, WR, North Carolina
A run on WRs starts here, as there is about to be a large drop off in talent after Little goes. Troy’s Jerrel Jernigan is about the only other receiver in this tier that I would consider here, but he’s strictly a slot receiver in my opinion, and Little is more of the prototypical NFL WR. Yes, he’s rusty having not played at all last year, but I think he has potential to be one of the top four or five WRs overall when it’s all said and done. Even though I do strongly believe this, I’m worried about how the time off may have affected his progress and the fact that he also made a big enough mistake to warrant a year long suspension by the NCAA. At this point of the draft though, his risk is worth the reward. Michael Jenkins has never become the compliment to Roddy White that the Falcons needed, so they need to admit the mistake and draft someone to move on with.
60. New England Patriots- Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
I’m going with a player I really like here, even if there are better players to choose with a ‘best player available’ mentality. Acho is another underrated player who seems to have been somewhat ignored in the lead up to draft day, and I feel that’s a mistake. Acho has the speed and athleticism to transition to the rush OLB spot, and he has the length and size the Pats tend to prefer at this position. Sam Acho can get after the passer, he’s smart, he has a good motor, and he’s clean off the field to boot. Iowa’s Christian Ballard is the best player available at this point, and would fit well in this defense too, but New England has already addressed this position. I can’t justify going back to the position when a player I like an awful lot at another position of need is still on the board.
61. San Diego Chargers- Ben Ijalana, OL, Villanova
This shakes out just as I expected where San Diego was able to address DE and OLB with their first two picks, and can still come back and get a potential starter at RT in Ijalana with their third pick in the first two rounds. I am weary not only of the level of competition Ijalana played against, but also the fact that he had to delay his personal workouts due to having double hernia surgery. That’s not a long term issue, but it’s still enough to make me wonder if there is some kind of medical concern with him. If he’s clean medically, this is a decent spot for him to fall to as he won’t necessarily be forced into starting right away unless he earns it. Ijalana has the elements you look for in a prototypical tackle though as he’s big enough and has the long arms to play the position. The games I saw him play, he dominated the competition he played against. But that is a big difference between the big time guys at the next level. It would have been great to see him play at the Senior Bowl, as he could have proven doubters like me wrong by showing well against the top Seniors in the game, but the injury prevented this. He’s worth the gamble here though.
62. Chicago Bears- Jurrell Casey, DT, USC
I’m slightly shocked Casey is still available, but he’s a perfect fit as a three-technique, even though he’s big enough to play the 4-3 nose spot as well. I’m confident that if the Bears give Henry Melton a chance, he will be a very good impact pass rusher at this position. But Melton is not big enough to hold up over an entire game, so the Bears need someone for the rotation that is talented enough to contribute immediately. Casey has shown flashes, but I was a bit surprised he came out early as I felt he needed more time to improve, so he will get that training and experience on the job. The value is simply too high at this point to look elsewhere, especially since it’s also a position of need. Christian Ballard could fit this role as well, and so would LSU’s Drake Nevis, but I rate Casey higher than those two so he’s my pick. If none of those players are available, then I’d love to see a center or guard as the pick here with either Penn State’s Stefen Wisniewski or Miami’s Orlando Franklin. If a big, physical WR like Greg Little is here, I’d be very tempted to pull the trigger on a secondary need due to the value and fit for what is missing at that position for the Bears.
63. Pittsburgh Steelers- Christian Ballard, DE, Iowa
This is true Steelers through and through as they can sit back and just take the best player available. I would say Pittsburgh needs to upgrade at the DE spot, but it’s not as big of a need as addressing the OL or CB spot. The problem is I don’t see a value at the OL position that overrules taking a much better value at this point in the draft. Ballard played mostly as a DT at Iowa, but did play some on the outside. He’s not big enough to hold up as a DT in a 4-3, he’s not quick enough to play the DE spot in that scheme, which makes him ideal as a five-technique DE in the 3-4. He can fit immediately into the rotation and he will eventually take over as the long term starter with going on third year pro Ziggy Hood at the other spot. If Ballard is gone, I could see a NT prospect like Kenrick Ellis of Hampton. Or alternatively I could see an OL like Clint Boling of Georgia or James Brewer of Indiana.
64. Green Bay Packers- Allen Bailey, DE, Miami
This pick came down to two former Hurricanes: Bailey or OL Orlando Franklin. I went with bailey because I think he has more potential to provide an impact than Franklin. Bailey played some DE and some DT at Miami and he is the classic tweener type that will fit very well at DE for the Packers three man front. He’ll provide a bit more pass rush potential than the current group of players the Packers rotate in at this position, and that’s probably the best way to use his skills while he continues to mature as a football player. Bailey is an absolute physical specimen with good athletic ability, but his technique is not consistent enough. Green Bay is the perfect place for a player like him to go where he won’t be counted on to play a full time role right away and he will benefit from good coaching and situational play. Franklin would be a good fit as he can probably start at OG right away and at worst provides a good swing back up at both OG spots and at RT, but getting a player like Bailey who has a higher ceiling is a better value at the end of round two. A swing OL can easily be had in the next few rounds as there is good depth there.