This is Real Football Services' Round 2 mock draft exclusively for newyorkjets.com.
Round 2 will start off the second day of coverage in the NFL's new draft weekend configuration — Friday Night Lights! Unlike past years, teams will now have a chance to restack their board after Round 1 and reevaluate their needs against the events of opening night and the players that are still on their board.
This may seem like an unimportant detail, but the break gives teams time to reassess and develop a strategy for acquiring the players they need and want in Rounds 2 and 3, a luxury they've never had before. The result should be a lot more movement of picks and phone conversations revolving around potential trades. The question is who are the movers and shakers? Who will be willing to make a deal to go get the player they want?
A few teams are in position to do just that with multiple picks in Round 2. The Chiefs have two of the first 18 picks on Friday and could use one or both to make a deal for a player who begins to fall at the end of Round 1. The Buccaneers will pick twice in the first 10 picks and could be in great shape to get into the bottom of the first. Philly also has two picks. But not surprisingly, it is New England that has once again put itself in great position with three second-round choices, giving the Patriots four of the first 53 selections in the draft.
Those kinds of numbers give them great flexibility to do any number of things. Obviously they can package picks and move up, they'll have more opportunities to field offers to move down and accumulate even more picks, or they could just end up with an impressive haul of very good young football players to restock their roster. They will be a team to watch late on the first day and throughout the second.
These picks are based on the selections made in our Round 1 mock on Monday. Next week we'll come back with a final adjusted look at the first round.
1. St. Louis (33 overall) — Demaryius Thomas, WR, Georgia Tech
As we mentioned in our first-round mock, any QB for the Rams is going to need protection and some viable targets in the passing game. Scouts and coaches have told us Thomas is better than Calvin Johnson when healthy.
2. Detroit (34) — Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Georgia Tech
As head coach Jim Schwartz says, the Lions need everything but a QB and a WR. But Kevin Smith is still recovering from last season's knee injury so this is a necessary pick. Some question Dwyer's ability to be successful on the next level after playing in Tech's triple option, but he has considerable size and speed, and Cal's Jahvid Best has durability issues
3. Tampa Bay (35) — Kareem Jackson, CB, Alabama
The Bucs need to rebuild their entire defense. After they addressed the D-line in Round 1, Jackson is an ideal Cover-2 corner for their defensive scheme.
4. Kansas City (36) — Daryl Washington, LB, TCU
Another hard-working solid citizen and a willing special teams contributor who fits the Scott Pioli mold. Washington has the athletic ability to play in coverage and the speed, quickness and tackling ability to be a force against the run. He can play inside or outside in the Chiefs' 3-4 and is considered a first-round talent by some.
5. Philadelphia (37, from Washington) — Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida
The Eagles are lacking depth at DE, but the presence of Trent Cole, Juqua Parker and the newly acquired Daryl Tapp will allow Dunlap, who has excellent size and strength for the position, to develop as a wave pass rusher in year one.
6. Cleveland (38) — Jahvid Best, RB, California
Best's speed and open-field running ability make him a great complement to Jerome Harrison, and his skills as a returner could lighten some of the load for Joshua Cribbs. Best has 4.3 speed and is very elusive in space.
7. Oakland (39) — Rodger Saffold, T, Indiana
The Raiders got their QB, now they need to protect him. Saffold flew under the radar for a while, but a great showing in the postseason, beginning with the East-West Shrine Game, showed him to be a viable LT prospect. Allowed just three sacks and one pressure in the Hoosiers' last 440 pass attempts.
8. San Diego (40, from Seattle) — Brandon Ghee, CB, Wake Forest
A three-year starter for the Demon Deacons, Ghee is a big hitter and willing run defender who could play safety. He's at his best in zone coverage but has the tools to develop into a strong man cover corner with some coaching.
9. Buffalo (41) — Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
It doesn't seem like Trent Edwards has the confidence of anyone in Buffalo right now, but whoever does line up under center this season is going to need some reliable weapons beyond Lee Evans. Tate runs precise routes, has strong hands and a competitive fire rarely seen in today's wideouts, and runs like a tailback in the open field.
10. Tampa Bay (42, Chicago) — Nate Allen, S, South Florida
Allen is a guy with speed, range and ball skills who has a lot of experience playing in a Cover-2 scheme. He's a sure open-field tackler and willing run support player who can challenge Tanard Jackson for the Bucs' FS spot.
11. Denver (43, from Miami) — Terrence Cody, NT, Alabama
The Broncos signed Jamal Williams in the offseason but he's 33 years old, and backup Ronald Fields lacks the strength and bulk to two-gap over the center. Cody will work in rotation with Williams and learn the ropes.
12. New England (44, from Jacksonville) — Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
With three picks in this round, Bill Belichick can take a flyer on a player like Tebow who can develop behind Tom Brady. In the meantime, Little Bill has a knack for making the most of a player's talents and finding a way to get him to contribute. You could see Tebow displaying his athleticism and toughness on offense, defense and special teams this season.
13. Denver (45) — Damian Williams, WR, Southern Cal
Brandon Marshall is gone and like it or not, the Broncos have an awful lot of production to replace. Williams is a Donald Driver type with excellent hands, very good route-running skills, and a willingness to make plays in traffic. He had over 1,000 receiving yards with a freshman QB in 2009, has been extremely productive at the highest levels of college ball, and brings added value as a return man.
14. New York Giants (46) — Tyson Alualu, DT, California
Though he played 3-4 DE in college, Alualu's ideal fit is as a 3-technique tackle in a 40 front. Tom Coughlin will love his relentlessness, intensity, attitude and maturity. He did not miss a game during his college career and was highly productive in a position that is supposed to set up plays for the linebackers.
15. New England (47, from Tennessee) — Lamarr Houston, DE, Texas
Houston is rising up most draft boards and is a perfect fit for the Patriots mold. He's smart (Academic All-Big 12), tough (played through multiple injuries) and a competitive high-motor player with a great work ethic. Though he made his name as a DT at Texas, he played two years at DE and has the size and strength to play over the tackle in the 3-4.
16. Carolina (48) — Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois
Even Steve Smith is asking for receiver help in Carolina. The 31-year-old can't go on forever and he can't do it alone. Despite a tough 2009 season, Benn has excellent hands and a knack for making the tough catch, shows good burst in and out of his cuts, and is a dangerous runner after the catch.
17. San Francisco (49) — Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
The Niners can crow all they want about not needing a QB, but they will be hard-pressed to pass up the value McCoy brings at this spot. The winningest QB in college football, he is intelligent, poised, patient and a natural leader. Mike Singletary will love all of that, and McCoy has the smarts and short-to-intermediate accuracy to be successful in a West Coast offensive system. They will need to address their need at RT later in the draft, but trying to find one here would be a reach.
18. Kansas City (50, from Atlanta) — Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
Burnett does everything well, which is a good thing for a team that has a defense that needs everything. He's extremely productive (11 INTs over the last two seasons), excellent in man and zone coverage, and a willing run support player who likes to lay the wood.
19. Houston (51) — Chris Cook, CB, Virginia
As we said in our Round 1 mock, when you play against Peyton Manning twice every season, you need a stable of good corners. Cook has ideal height and length for a press corner and uses his hands well at the LOS. He could also develop into a safety over time. A great week at the Senior Bowl impressed scouts.
20. Pittsburgh (52) — Alex Carrington, DE, Arkansas State
Brett Keisel is 31 years old and has missed six games over two seasons. Aaron Smith missed all but five games a year ago. Ziggy Hood (last year's No. 1) adds depth, but Carrington is a physical run defender who holds up at the point of attack and never loses contain. The Steelers have never been afraid of small-school guys either.
21. New England (53) — Rob Gronkowski, TE, Arizona
Gronkowski missed all of the 2009 season due to back surgery, but his stellar pro day workout should have eased any concerns about his health. He's got some of the best hands in the draft and an excellent combination of size and speed, and he's a legitimate in-line blocker, maybe the best in this class. He's a throwback type player who will fit well in Belichick's army.
22. Cincinnati (54) — Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, South Florida
Some have Pierre-Paul listed as a top-20 pick. We can't do it. Blessed with natural tools, speed and quickness, he has the makings of an explosive pass rusher. But he has so little experience and such limited pass rush technique that he will take significant time to develop. His selection is a little easier to swallow here, even though he's likely to go much higher once the draft gets here next week.
23. Philadelphia (55) — Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois
Shawn Andrews is gone and the O-line as a whole needs depth and improved play. Asamoah is smart and tough and plays with a mean streak. He can compete for the starting RG spot, where he played in college, but is versatile enough to play either side and block at the point of attack or on the move.
24. Green Bay (56) — Koa Misi, OLB, Utah
A defensive end in college, Misi is a high-character guy with a great football IQ and a stellar work ethic. He's very athletic, with the speed to cover backs and the strength and tackling ability to be a factor against the run. He could eventually be the piece to complete the Pack's transition to the 3-4.
25. Baltimore (57) — Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, CB, Indiana (PA)
Players with size, speed, hands and return ability are hard to come by, but Owusu-Ansah has them all. His versatility gives him the ability to contribute in a lot of ways: at corner and safety and on special teams. He'll have to adjust to the level of competition but has the skills to make an impact.
26. Arizona (58) — Sean Lee, LB, Penn State
The Cards need to replace Karlos Dansby, and while Lee may not be the explosive playmaker that Dansby can be, he has the versatility and the football intelligence to play in any spot at the LB level. A sure tackler with excellent key-and-diagnose skills, he has also shown flashes as a blitzer and is able to get into coverage drops quickly. He's a natural leader and a high-character guy.
27. Dallas (59) — Bruce Campbell, T, Maryland
Some have called Campbell a first-round talent based on his off-the-charts athleticism, but we believe cooler, more sensible heads will prevail come draft weekend. Campbell left school early despite just 17 career starts and his inexperience shows in his technique and inconsistent play. There are also questions about his durability and intelligence. The Cowboys can give him the time he needs to develop behind Doug Free and groom him as their next LT.
28. Seattle (60, from San Diego) — Corey Wootton, DE, Northwestern
With the retirement of Patrick Kerney, the Seahawks needs to find another edge rusher. Despite some injury history, Wootton has the size, length and speed to be effective off the edge as a pass rusher. But his versatility is his best trait. He is an effective contain player against the run, can move inside on third down, and has experience dropping into coverage (4 INTs). He's a lunchpail guy with a great work ethic who can do all the things Pete Carroll loves to do with his defense.
29. JETS (61) — Jason Worilds, OLB, Virginia Tech
A high-effort player and the MVP of the Hokies' strength program, Worilds is a productive pass rusher who recorded 30 tackles for loss and 12 sacks over the last two seasons as a college DE. He has excellent agility, deceptive strength and explosiveness and a great motor, which makes him an ideal candidate for the move to 3-4 rush linebacker. Coaches love his effort and hustle. He's the kind of guy who will volunteer for every special teams unit and could become the player that Vernon Gholston hasn't been.
30. Minnesota (62) — Linval Joseph, DT, East Carolina
A gap-shooting DT with surprising quickness and athleticism for his size (6'5", 328), Joseph needs to improve his play strength, stamina and technique. But for now he can be effective in a rotation and serve as the eventual replacement for the 37-year-old Pat Williams.
31. Indianapolis (63) — Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida
A tough, physical corner who is willing in run support and possesses strong ballhawking skills, Murphy showed well at the Senior Bowl and would be a good fit for the Colts' Cover-2. He has the potential to play safety as well and has good return skills.
32. New Orleans (64) — Donald Butler, LB, Washington
Though he predominantly played inside in college, Butler doesn't have a big frame and has shown an ability to play in coverage, which will likely make him an OLB at the next level. He's relentless in pursuit and is a good open-field tackler. He gets high character grades and has a knack for playing his best in the biggest games. He'll be a nice replacement for Scott Fujita, who was lost to free agency.