22. Jared Odrick – DE – NE
Let’s be honest, if the draft falls this way, New England trades down with a team who wants Earl Thomas (that’s you Philly). But as is, the Patriots have a lot to consider here. They can fill a pass rush need with Sergio Kindle or add another RB to their stable with Ryan Matthews. But these are the Patriots, who build from the lines out. The only choices here are Maurkice Pouncy, who could be groomed to take over for Dan Koppen or Stephen Neal, or Jared Odrick, the mammoth DT at Penn State. He could set the edge opposite Ty Warren, allowing whoever plays LB to make plays on the ball.
23. Sergio Kindle – LB – GB
Green Bay began the transition to a 3-4 defense last year and adding Kindle to rush the passer will make the transition complete. With elite pass rushing skills and above average coverage ability, having Kindle opposite Clay Matthews makes the Packers LB needs non-existent for the next 10 years.
24. Earl Thomas – S – Phi
This is a dream scenario for Philadelphia, which struggled to fill the void left by Brian Dawkins surprise departure last offseason. A playmaker in the defensive backfield, Thomas will take advantage of all the pressure that Philly’s front seven creates.
25. Demaryius Thomas – WR – Balt
Sure, trading for Anquan Boldin and resigning Derrick Mason would seem to have the Ravens set at receiver. But neither one is a burner who can stretch the field and allow Joe Flacco to showcase his big-time arm. Thomas is a true deep threat that will allow Boldin and Mason to work the underneath.
26. Jerry Hughes – LB – Ari
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt knows how to shuffle linebackers to keep them pressuring the quarterback, from his time in Pittsburgh. Joey Porter is nothing more than a stop-gap solution for the Cards and Hughes is considered a hybrid DE/LB, similar to Lamar Woodley in Pittsburgh.
27. Charles Brown – OT – Dal
Releasing Flozell Adams created a massive hole on Tony Romo’s blindside. The Cowboys need to draft the best tackle on the board, to compete with incumbent Doug Free. Worst case scenario and the Cowboys have quality depth along the offensive line.
28. Ryan Mathews – RB – SD
Best available talent meet biggest need for a Super Bowl hopeful. Tomlinson is gone and this is Phillip River’s team now, but they still need to grind out some tough yards on the ground. Mathews can take over one first and second down, while Darren Sproles can continue on third down and special teams.
29. Carlos Dunlap – DE – NYJ
The biggest need for loaded Jets team is to get younger along the front seven. Dunlap is immensely talented, but off-field concerns have many teams shying away. Nobody has ever lumped the word “shy” with Rex Ryan before, as all off-season they’ve been acquiring character issues. Dunlap can begin with sub-packages, rushing the passer; then he can grow into taking over Shaun Ellis’ starting spot.
30. Maurkice Pouncey – OG – Min
When your bread and butter is running the ball with the most devastating RB the league has seen in years, you want to make sure you continue to open holes for him. At worst, Pouncey starts at center this year. He could be the eventual successor to Steve Hutchinson at LG.
31. Rodger Saffold – OT – Indy
Protecting Peyton Manning is priority number one in Indianapolis. With a questionable running game, keeping Peyton healthy is all the more important considering all the responsibility heaped on his shoulders. Bringing the hometown kid in to compete with Charlie Johnson and Tony Ugoh should be the goal here.
32. Sean Weatherspoon – LB – NO
Scott Fujita left in free agency, so filling his position is most important to the defending champs. Weatherspoon is a a well-rounded athlete who, combined with Jonathan Vilma and Scott Shanle, will give Gregg Williams the mobile unit he desires.