*Underclassmen, **Redshirt Sophomores
Penn State OG/OC, Stephen Weisknewski – The Patriots could use an upgrade at center. Dan Koppen has been adequate, but his skills are diminishing.The entire AFC East runs the 3-4, and they all have excellent nose tackles who can push the pocket. Stephen Weisknewski is a fundamentally sound lineman that comes from great blood lines. He is versatile, and can come in right away and start.
Auburn QB, *Cam Newton – Chan Gailey won’t pass up on Cam Newton if he’s here in the second round. Gailey’s offensive philosophy is a match made in heaven for Cam Newton. The NFL is transitioning to a mobile quarterback league, and Newton will be apart of that movement. He possesses the athleticism and arm strength to give opposing defenses problems for years. The Bills will have the luxury of allowing Newton to sit and learn behind Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Illinois RB, *Mikel Leshoure – The Bengals offense needs a shot in the arm. I’m not down on Cedric Benson, but he may leave via free agency. If he does, Mikel Leshoure is the right guy to replace him. Leshoure reminds me a little of Arian Foster. Has excellent agility and quickness for his size. Isn’t the fastest guy, but can break off some big runs and he’s also a threat out of the backfield. I’m a fan of Bernard Scott, and I think Leshoure and Scott would make a fantastic duo.
Miami CB, *Brandon Harris – Champ Bailey may be saying bye bye to the Denver Broncos soon. If that indeed happens, the Broncos must find a replacement. The NFL is a passing league, and they cannot afford to have a gaping hole at the left cornerback position. Brandon Harris is a well rounded corner who has first round skills and plays with some physicality.
LSU DT, Drake Nevis – The Browns will soon find themselves in need of a lot of pieces on defense. A schematic switch is a difficult one, especially when the majority of your players don’t fit the scheme you aspire to switch to. I look for the Browns to strengthen the middle of their defense with a 4-3 defensive tackle. Drake Nevis is yet another player with first round abilities that has fell to the top of the second. He is excellent against the run, and specializes at penetrating into the backfield. He plays the game with a nasty attitude, and that should rub off on the other defensive players.
Arkansas QB, *Ryan Mallett – There was way too much defensive talent on the board for the Cardinals to take a quarterback in the first round. But, that doesn’t change the fact that they are still in need of one. I do not trust Derek Anderson, Max Hall, or John Skelton. The second round is a good spot for the Cardinals to pick up a quarterback, and not have it hold major repercussions for the organization if the player fails. Due to Ryan Mallett’s character concerns, lack of mobility, and sometimes poor footwork, he has fallen in the draft. That is okay though. The Cardinals get their quarterback of the future, and they didn’t spend much to get him. He has the talent and skill set to succeed in the NFL, he just needs some time to develop and mature.
Wisconsin OG/OC, John Moffitt – If the Titans don’t make the focal point of their offense Chris Johnson, then they will find themselves in deep trouble again in 2011. What was once a nasty and dominating offensive line, has become average, quite quickly. Adding John Moffitt gives them a player with a nasty attitude and a dominating run blocker. He can line up at center or at guard. He is exactly what the Titans need to get their offense back on track.
UCLA S, *Rahim Moore – I for one have not given up on Mike Jenkins. There is some talent there. Terrance Newman also has a couple years left in him. I think with the proper coaching, the cornerbacks can perform much better in 2011. A problem area that I see is the safety position. There is no one back there that can make a play and change the game. Rahim Moore is that play-maker. His stats were down from 2009, but that is due to the poor play of the players in front of him. When a player gets 10 interceptions in one season, like Moore did in 2009, they are definitely considered a play-maker. The Cowboys could use the talents of Moore in their secondary, yesterday.
Miami WR, Leonard Hankerson – I don’t remember the last time the Redskins had a number one receiver. Santana Moss has been the guy over the last several years, but his size limits him on occasion. Getting a go to receiver is a priority in the draft. Leonard Hankerson’s stock is up. I’ve been high on him for a while, and now after his week at the Senior Bowl, people see what I was referring to. Hankerson brings size, ball skills, refined route running, and strong hands to the field, everything you want in a number one receiver.
Temple DE, *Muhammad Wilkerson – The 3-4 transformation must continue. The Texans cannot waste anytime at getting in the right people to fit the scheme. Run defense will be key in the AFC South. Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew can cause a lot of problems, and the Texans face them twice a year. Muhammad Wilkerson is a big dude who can eat up blocks and get after the quarterback some. Wade Phillips should have a field day with him.
Texas CB, *Aaron Williams – The Vikings pass defense is a big weakness currently. With the NFC North possessing some of the best quarterbacks and receivers in the league, it is a weakness that much be attended to soon. Antoine Winfield is old and often injured. He will be 34 next season, and it is time to find his replacement. Aaron Williams is a big and athletic corner who has a lot of talent. He can come in and play right away.
Texas CB, Curtis Brown – The Lions have done a good job of drafting lately, and they continue it with this pick. Their secondary needs to be overhauled. Curtis Brown is a big and physical corner who has great instincts. With the Lions newly refined pass rush, Curtis Brown and the defensive line can work in unison to disrupt opposing teams passing games.
Ohio State DE, Cameron Heyward – The 49ers sport one of the best run defenses in the NFL. That won’t remain if they don’t acquire some young talent for their odd front. Cameron Heyward is yet another player with first round abilities, that has fallen due to the depth of the defensive line positions in the draft. Heyward has the size and strength to play the 5-technique. He can also kick inside and rush the passer on passing downs. He is not needed immediately, and that is a good thing. It is better for defensive linemen to be apart of a rotation before starting. It allows them to become acclimated with the technique and size of NFL linemen.
Iowa S, *Tyler Sash – The Broncos lost the majority of their games because they have a ton of holes, the majority of them being on defense. That secondary needs a play-maker. The rest of the AFC West has big time safeties, and now the Broncos get one. Tyler Sash may be the most unknown play-maker in the nation. How does 13 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 3 forced fumbles, and 458 return yards sound? Quite nice right? Sash has the size and ball skills to become one of the better safeties in the NFL. People will soon know who he is.
Notre Dame TE, *Kyle Rudolph – There are two things a quarterback needs to lean on, one is a productive running game, and two is a tight end that can move the sticks. The Rams already have one of those, and now it’s time to get the other. Kyle Rudolph was a dominating force before his season was ended due to injury. He will instantly cause match-up problems for linebackers, safeties, and nickel backs. With his size and hands, he’ll be a reliable target for Bradford for years to come.
Nevada DE/OLB, Dontay Moch – If it’s one thing the Raiders like, it’s speed. They place speed above all else. One of the fastest players in the draft is defensive end/outside linebacker Dontay Moch. It has been reported that he has ran a 4.2 forty-yard dash. If they Raiders don’t retain Kameron Wimbley, then Moch will slide right in. I don’t think he is a second round talent, but the Raiders have showed the knack to reach for players with above average speed.