With the NFL Draft just a month and half away, teams begin to enter the final stretch of the pre-draft preparations. As we get closer to the draft and the prospects finish up all their work outs for draft boards begin to solidify it allows us to start predicting what teams might try and do based on needs and availability. So let us see how this years draft could play out as we kick off of our mock draft with the bottom third with picks 32 through 21.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Kevin Minter, ILB LSU:
The Super Champion Ravens will have a lot of turnover this upcoming season as key players are either retiring or coming up as free agents. The biggest hole to fill in the inside linebacker position as Ray Lewis has retired and Darnell Ellerbe is a free agent. Kevin Minter might be the guy the Ravens tap at the back end of the first round. Minter is a highly instinctive linebacker that was a productive tackler for the LSU defense. He also possesses a non-stop motor and passion for the game that the Ravens would love.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Datone Jones, DE UCLA:
The Niners are a team does not have a lot of holes, but they could use depth that has the potential to fill in the starting role as the roster gets older. They would like to possibly get one of the top corner backs but the Patriots get Trufant before the Niners can, so they will look to improve their defensive line. Jones is a player that fits the 3-4 defensive end position perfectly. He has a solid frame combined with good length. He has good quickness and could provided some upside as pass rusher from the end position.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Alex Okafor, DE Texas:
The Falcons made great strides as a defensive unit last season. They will look to upgrade their defensive end position especially following the release of John Abraham. Okafor is very different than most of the ends in the class as he does not have overwhelming speed, but has great strength and length. He will be a great run stopper and will grow into a good supplemental pass rusher.
29. New England Patriots – Desmond Trufant, DB Washington
The Patriots could look to grab a wide receiver at this point, especially if they lose Wes Welker to free agency. They will most likely grab a defensive back to improve their secondary particularly at the corner position. They could resign Talib as a free agent to fill one of those positions, but will still need to draft one to provide depth at least. Trufant would be a good match for the Patriots with his athleticism and physical play.
28. Denver Broncos – Johnathan Hankins, DT Ohio State
The Broncos will look to beef up their interior line and this draft has plenty of it. Hankins would provide a lot beef for the Broncos. He is strong enough to dominate blockers one on one and disrupt the pocket. He would provide versatility along the line as he played both inside and outside at the college level.
27. Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson
The Texans have been looking for a second receiver to pair with Andre Johnson for a long time and this draft provides them with a lot of good choices. Hopkins would fill that need perfectly. He has good solid frame that allows him to be effective inside. He can also make impacts over the top on the outside as well. He has some of the best hands in the draft.
26. Green Bay Packers – Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame
The Packers could use some help on defense or on the offensive line, but giving Aaron Rodgers a potential star tight end could make him unstoppable. Jermichael Finley struggled mightily last year and at one point was rumored to be receiving his release from the team. Eifert is easily the top tight end in this class and is a weapon all over the field. He has made strides in his blocking abilities and could become an all-around player.
25. Seattle Seahawks – Barkevious Mingo, DE LSU
The Seahawks have drafted very well recently and shocked everyone by taking Bruce Irvin in the first round last season. Despite the emergence of Irvin the Seahawks could still use some more pass rushers, especially with the injury to Chris Clemons. Mingo is a player I have falling not due to his abilities, but to the rise of others at his position. This will allow the Seahawks to grab a player that a lot of people compare to Bruce Irvin. Mingo possesses better speed and more athletic upside than Irvin and the two could become a feared pass rushing duo.
24. Indianapolis Colts – John Jenkins, NT Georgia
The Colts moved to a 3-4 defense last season and will look to improve their nose tackle position as Antonio Johnson is a free agent and was not really suited for the position. John Jenkins is that suited very well for that position. He is a mountain of a man that just eats up space. He has very good feet for a man his size. He could be run plug that the Colts have been looking for.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Keenan Allen, WR California
The Vikings desperately need a wide receiver to pair with Christian Ponder. Percy Harvin is the only threat the Vikings have, but has provided a lot of headaches for the coaches there. Keenan Allen was seen as the best receiver in this draft before he was injured and Codarrelle Patterson began to emerge. Allen has great size and agility. He does not have great straight line speed but he has good acceleration and short area quickness that allows him to get in and out of breaks and create separation. He has the potential to be a number one for the Vikings.
22. St. Louis Rams – Johnathan Cyprien, SS Florida International
The Rams missed out on their top target in Kenny Vaccaro with their previous pick and will look to address their safety position with this pick. Johnathan Cyprien would most likely be a strong safety that you stick in the box, but in a division that prefers to run the ball that could be perfect. He has a knack for making plays and has been shooting up draft boards following an eye opening Senior Bowl. He could provided Jeff Fisher with an enforcer on the back end of his defense.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Alec Ogletree, ILB Georgia
The Bengals need to improve their linebacker position and replace Rey Maualuga was one of the worst starting linebackers in the league. They will luck out with Ogletree falling to them due to his off-field problems, but the Bengals have a history of risking a pick on a guy with a troubled history. Ogletree is a very rangy and athletic linebacker. He can play sideline to sideline due to his great speed and agility.