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Mason's Second-Round Mock

Posted May 9, 2014

Independent analyst Andrew Mason gives his predictions for the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Bradley Roby was atop the Broncos' board when their turn came just before 9:30 p.m. MDT on Thursday night. And when the Broncos turned in their card with Roby's name on it, it ensured that a majority of this year's first-round picks would be on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage.

Roby was the ninth defensive back taken in the first round, owing to the quality of the position group atop the draft and the premium placed on pass defense in this era. Don't expect that run to continue Friday night, as the pendulum might swing back to the offense.

"With the depth on the offensive side, we still feel like we'll be able to get some good football players on the offensive side," Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway said.

But will the Broncos go on offense in the second round? It all depends on what transpires in front of them. Here's one idea of how the first part of the night might go:

33. HOUSTON (2-14): QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois

Even though it's unfair, the Texans can't pick the younger brother of their first No. 1 overall pick, who spent his five years in Houston under siege and came to symbolize the club's failure to launch through its early years. But that doesn't mean they can't find a quarterback with plenty of potential, although Garoppolo may not be ready to start immediately.

34. WASHINGTON (3-13): G Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA

New head coach Jay Gruden has myriad needs, but upgrading the protection for Robert Griffin III must be atop the list. The interior is in dire need of an upgrade, and who better than the best guard in the draft?

35. CLEVELAND (4-12): WR Marqise Lee, USC

Everything's coming up Cleveland. The Browns can get a first-round-caliber receiver for a second-round slot. If Lee blossoms, Johnny Manziel will have no excuses; he'll have an elite No. 1 wide receiver (Josh Gordon), a dynamic young tight end (Jordan Cameron) and one of the best left tackles in the game (Joe Thomas). The pieces would be in place. Fun times in Cleveland again.

36. OAKLAND (4-12): QB Derek Carr, Fresno State

There will be chances to bolster the wide receiver corps later, but Carr appears to be well-regarded by the Raiders and his descent into Round 2 turns this into a value pick.

37. ATLANTA (4-12): DE Kony Ealy, Missouri

Two picks, two premium positions. Atlanta's weaponry is for naught without improving their pass protection and pass rush, and if they can pounce on Ealy, they will have addressed both.

38. TAMPA BAY (4-12): G David Yankey, Stanford

With Carr and Garoppolo off the board, quarterback would be a reach here, and the Bucs have too many other needs to fill. Su'a Filo would have been a perfect fit had he fallen this far. There are questions over whether Carl Nicks can return to the starting lineup; Yankey would put the Bucs at ease.

39. JACKSONVILLE (4-12): DE/LB Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State

Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley's background comes into play here. Two years ago, the Jaguars had no trepidation about taking a pass-rush specialist in the first round, and they selected Bruce Irvin. Lawrence is not the ideal size for an every-down defensive end in this scheme, but brings pass-rush potential that the Jaguars do not currently possess. The Jaguars can even experiment with Lawrence as a strong-side linebacker to increase his use; he has the quickness and change-of-direction ability to drop into coverage.

40. SEATTLE (13-3, from Minnesota): DL Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame

Tuitt can play all over the defensive line, which makes him perfect for the Seahawks, who liberally rotate their linemen to come at foes in waves. The quality and depth of wide receivers ensures the Seahawks can address that need later.

41. BUFFALO (6-10): OT Cyrus Kouandijo, Alabama

The focal point of the Bills' draft is obvious: help E.J. Manuel. Sammy Watkins gave him a potentially elite target. Kouandijo, a high-ceiling tackle, will help keep the second-year quarterback upright. The Bills are all-in on Manuel, and the quality of tackles available here ensures they don't have to reach to sustain their draft strategy.

42. TENNESSEE (7-9): NT Louis Nix, Notre Dame

Another example of a team that ought to sprint to the podium if a particular player is on the board. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton plans to run a hybrid 4-3/3-4 scheme. Jurrell Casey's recent weight loss makes him an awkward fit for nose tackle. Nix, on the other hand, is a perfect fit. The Titans may think about quarterback here, and the Chargers could consider a trade up to try and nab Nix, but if the draft order remains status quo, this is the pick.

43. N.Y. GIANTS (7-9): DT Ra'Shede Hegeman, Minnesota

I strongly considered mocking Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins to the Giants, but the Giants' defensive line remains shaky, especially on the inside, where their tackles are either aging or unproven.

44. ST. LOUIS (7-9): WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt

The wide receiver the Rams were unable to get in Round 1 will be available here. Matthews has it all: good film and excellent measurables, including the biggest hands of any wide receiver at the Combine. It is those hands which offer the hope that with a bit of work, he should overcome the occasional drop issues he had in college.

45. DETROIT (7-9): CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska

A few years ago, a cornerback like Jean-Baptiste would have been a mid-round choice, with his draft prospects limited by his 4.61 speed. But this is the era of physical corners: either you have to play bigger than your size (like Bradley Roby) or you've got to have size to begin with. Jean-Baptiste is raw and doesn't have the best straight-line speed, but is big (6-foot-3 and 218 pounds) and athletic (best vertical jump and third-best broad jump among Combine defensive backs).

46. PITTSBURGH (8-8): LB Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech

There are plenty of possibilities for Attaochu earlier -- Tennessee is one team that could have him in their sights. But the Steelers need to fortify themselves at outside linebacker, and Attaochu has the type of raw skills that the Steelers have successfully honed.

47. DALLAS (8-8): DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

Before reports surfaced regarding his diluted sample at the Combine, he would have been perceived as a solid first-round pick for the Cowboys. Here, he could be a value, assuming he doesn't run afoul of the league's substance-abuse program in the future.

48. BALTIMORE (8-8): OT Joel Bitonio, Nevada

Morgan Moses is a possibility here, but Bitonio is an ideal match for what new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak will ask of his blockers.

49. N.Y. JETS (8-8): LB Kyle Van Noy, Brigham Young

In the Jets' 3-4 defense, he can play every down and would get a chance to display his versatility. He's not a pure pass rusher, but could be used in plenty of ways.

50. MIAMI (8-8): G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State

With Ja'Waun James in the first round and Jackson here, the Dolphins will have addressed the two holes that remained up front as they rebuild a line that was in tatters -- physically and mentally -- by the end of the season. Jackson is a bit of a freakish athlete; he's incredibly light on his feet for someone of his girth (336 pounds).

51. CHICAGO (8-8): DT DaQuan Jones, Penn State

After barely missing out on Aaron Donald in the first round, Jones will allow the Bears to address one of their key areas of need. They would still like to find a linebacker or safety, but the value on those is better later.

52. ARIZONA (10-6): QB A.J. McCarron, Alabama

The Cardinals surprised many by not taking a quarterback after they moved down from 20 to 27 in the first round. McCarron is a cerebral quarterback who should be a good fit with Cardinals coach Bruce Arians.

53. GREEN BAY (8-7-1): TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

He's a big, agile, potentially elite target down the middle for Aaron Rodgers, and his basketball background evokes comparisons to Julius Thomas. This would be a dream scenario for Seferian-Jenkins -- and perhaps for Rodgers, too, especially if the 6-foot-5, 262-pounder can improve his blocking.

54. PHILADELPHIA (10-6): WR Cody Latimer, Indiana

It's a bit of a surprise that Latimer has lasted this long. The Eagles' first-round pick of Marcus Smith raised eyebrows because it seemed to come way too soon. This one will cause the same reaction, for the opposite reason.

55. CINCINNATI (11-5): C Marcus Martin, USC

The Bengals need a center, and Martin is an outstanding fit, and could start from his first day. Another possibility is defensive end; Scott Crichton could be in play if they decide they're dissatisfied with the progress of 2013 draft pick Margus Hunt.

56. SAN FRANCISCO (12-4, from Kansas City): WR Davante Adams, Fresno State

The 49ers need a downfield threat, and Adams did some of his best work downfield, particularly when going up for jump balls. He plays faster than his 4.56-second 40 time would indicate.

57. SAN DIEGO (9-7): NT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech

As mentioned earlier, it would not surprise me if the Chargers moved up for Nix; he so perfectly fills a gaping hole in San Diego's defense. Ellis might be a bit of a reach here, but the Chargers may not be willing to gamble that a nose tackle like this lingers for another round.

58. NEW ORLEANS (11-5): CB Antone Exum, Virginia Tech

The Saints got their sizzle with Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks in the first round, but they must turn their attention to defense, particularly edge rushers and cornerbacks. Exum is a good start.

59. INDIANAPOLIS (11-5): C Weston Richburg, Colorado State

It's not hard to glimpse at this pick and see the genesis of a decade-long collaboration between Richburg and quarterback Andrew Luck. Richburg fills a need, has the acumen to learn the checks and calls immediately and identifies pass rushes up the middle with preternatural quickness.

60. CAROLINA (12-4): OT Antonio Richardson, Tennessee

The reconstruction of the offensive line, delayed by one round because of the pick of Kelvin Benjamin, begins in earnest. Don't expect this to be the last offensive lineman picked by the Panthers.

61. SAN FRANCISCO (12-4): CB Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State

At 5-foot-8 and 184 pounds, Joyner does not have ideal size, but plays much larger than his size. His instincts and tackling technique are excellent; his only shortcoming involves playing with too much aggression. But that energy will endear him to Jim Harbaugh.

62. NEW ENGLAND (12-4): TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

It's an upset that he's still here, and with constant injury concerns for Rob Gronkowski, this is a pick that is much about need as best player available.

63. DENVER (13-3): LB Chris Borland, Wisconsin

By speed measurements, Borland is not necessarily an ideal three-down linebacker. But he plays faster than his time, makes few mistakes, takes the right angle almost every time, hits like a truck and can absorb a scheme rapidly. Elway has spoken of the wide receiver depth, and Mississippi's Donte Moncrief is a legitimate possibility here, but there are so many potential standout receivers that the Broncos might choose to wait, especially since they can wait, draft a developmental receiver and slowly groom him -- assuming there is not a tsunami of injuries to the position.

64. SEATTLE (13-3): WR Jarvis Landry, LSU

There are other, more explosive receivers available, but Landry's precision and consistency make him a good fit as an intermediate target for Russell Wilson and a complement to Percy Harvin.

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