16. St. Louis Rams
Kenny Vaccaro, S-Texas
Analysis: Jeff Fisher’s rebuilding of this team is exciting to watch and picking up more key pieces in this year’s draft will continue that process. The Rams are building around their defense and Vaccaro would be a huge part of that. He’s flying up draft boards now and may go much higher, but the Rams would be thrilled to see him here at this point.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ezekiel Ansah, DE-BYU
Analysis: The Steelers defense needs a boost and Ansah’s emergence at the Senior Bowl makes him an awesome addition at this point in the draft. He’s only played football for a few years but should excel if Dick LeBeau gets the chance to coach him up.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Johnathan Hankins, DT-Ohio State
Analysis: Hankins will be a huge pickup for Dallas as they move from a 3-4 to a 4-3 under Monte Kiffin. His versatility and run-stuffing ability will pay off as they look to slow down their NFC East foes.
19. New York Giants
Lane Johnson, OT-Oklahoma
Analysis: Johnson is the best tackle left on the board and a solid fit for the Giants need help with Will Beatty and Sean Locklear headed for free agency. Johnson had a great Senior Bowl and has risen this far and could even go higher if he grades well at the combine.
20. Chicago Bears
Tyler Eifert, TE-Notre Dame
Fantasy Impact: The Bears aren’t known for taking pass-catchers in the first round and could definitely go with Alec Ogletree to replace Brian Urlacher, but I think that Eifert would be an incredible fit into the Bears scheme and give Jay Cutler even more weapons in his offense. The Bears should allow Alshon Jeffery to continue to develop on the opposite side of Brandon Marshall and adding a pass-catcher over the middle with great hands like Eifert gives Jay Cutler another great target especially in the red zone.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB-Oregon
Analysis: The Bengals offense continued to develop this year and their defense is seen by many to be one pass-rusher short of being an elite unit. Jordan could go as early as the top ten, but is a great value for the Bengals at a position of need at this point in the draft.
22. St. Louis Rams (from Washington Redskins)
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR-Tennessee
Fantasy Impact: Patterson is an elite playmaker whose stock is soaring right now. If he’s still available this late, the Rams will jump at the opportunity to add a big-play threat on the outside for Sam Bradford. The receivers on the Rams roster currently have shown flashes of talent but not consistency. This would be a big-time addition and could pay off in boosting Bradford back into the top-QB2 levle and Patterson could be a fantasy WR3 option immediately in St. Louis.
23. Minnesota Vikings
Terrance Williams, WR-Baylor
Fantasy Impact: Williams has the upside to be the top receiver in the class. He could be a huge addition alongside Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph in the Vikings passing game. If the Vikings can get another reliable pass-catcher, Christian Ponder could continue his development and Adrian Peterson would only be more effective with a more balanced offense.
24. Indianapolis Colts
Jonathan Cooper, OG-North Carolina
Analysis: The Colts need help along the inside of their offensive line and Cooper could start immediately to help the Colts protect their investment from last year’s draft, Andrew Luck. Cooper moves very well for a guard and will be a big asset to the Colts in both the run and pass protection
25. Seattle Seahawks
John Jenkins, DT-Georgia
Analysis: The Seahawks are usually one of the teams that surprises in the draft, but they always seem to get good players. Jenkins would seem to fill a need on the inside of the line and fits with the Seahawks workman-like attitude on defense.
26. Green Bay Packers
Barrett Jones, C/OG-Albama
Analysis: Lots of Packers analysts are starting to look at Jones as the best fit for the Packers. With Jeff Saturday on his way out, the Pack will need a smart run-blocking center and Jones would appear to be a great fit for Green Bay.
27. Houston Texans
Alec Ogletree, MLB-Georgia
Analysis: The Texans defense was never the same after Brian Cushing went down. With Cushing expected to return, he could play alongside Ogletree behind J.J. Watt making the Houston defense that much better. Ogletree would help the Texans stop the run which with their running game could put them back into the race for the top of the AFC next season.
28. Denver Broncos
Sharrif Floyd, DT-Florida
Analysis: The Broncos have three unrestricted free agents along their defensive front and could use a tackle to plug in next to last year’s second-round pick Derek Wolfe. This would give them a young interior to the defensive line that can stuff the run and also make plays getting after the quarterback. Floyd is rising quickly and may go earlier, but the Broncos will be thrilled if he’s on the board this late
29. New England Patriots
DeAndre Hopkins, WR-Clemson
Fantasy Impact: The Patriots are most likely going to go with a wide receiver or corner back, but with Bill Belichick at the helm you never know what surprises are in store. If they do go wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins play-making ability would be extremely attractive. Whoever the get at wide-out will have to share targets, but could pay off big-time if they connect with Tom Brady and establish themselves as an option in one of the best offenses in football.
30. Atlanta Falcons
Margus Hunt, DE-Southern Methodist
Analysis: The Falcons need a pass rusher and Hunt is expected to grade off the charts at the combine. Remember Mike Smith is a defensive coach first and with the tools he has on offense should be able to stock his defensive front with this pick.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Eric Reid, S-LSU
Analysis: Reid is the second-best safety in the draft and the Niners need to help their secondary behind a great defensive front seven. As Joe Flacco proved, their secondary was beatable especially deep and Reid would be a big piece to add to fill that void going forward.
32. Baltimore Ravens
Kevin Minter, MLB-LSU
Analysis: Maybe you heard that Ray Lewis is supposed to retire? After riding off with a win in the Super Bowl, look for the Ravens to waste little time getting their replacement. Minter could be an instant replacement with great ball skills and the ability to make tackles in bunches.
In the weeks to come continue to check back here at CPR for the latest on what could go down on draft day and what it could mean for your teams (real and fantasy) for next year.
So what do you think? Who did I miss who’s rising up your board and who should your team take in this situation? Let me know your feedback in the comments and check back next week to see what adjustments are made as we head into the thick of draft season.