Updated 2013 NFL Mock Draft (3.0): Picks 19-32
The Packers focused heavily on defense in last year's draft, and it was very much improved in 2012. However, there are still a couple of areas where the Packers struggle: they gave up 4.5 yards per carry (26th in the league), and the only player to register more than 4.5 sacks was Clay Matthews.
My only concern with Short here is that there is some concern over whether or not he can fit in a 3-4 defense, which the Packers run. Though his ideal scheme would be a 4-3, I'll bet that Short can play the five-technique for the Packers' defense, where he'll collapse the pocket and take on blockers to free up linebackers to make plays.
27. Houston Texans: Robert Woods, WR, USC (previously Kevin Minter)
The Texans have long struggled to find a receiver who could be effective playing opposite of Andre Johnson, but the matter is now becoming more urgent with Johnson turning 32 years old in July. Woods is similar to Johnson in that he is the complete package - fast, athletic, crisp route runner, strong hands, high football IQ. I'm not saying he is as good as Johnson, just that he has many of the same traits to a certain extent. With two versatile receivers like Johnson and Woods, you can get creative on offense, and hopefully when the time comes for Johnson to retire, Woods will be ready to take the reigns as the No. 1 in Houston.
28. Denver Broncos: Giovani Bernard, RB, UNC
The Broncos are pretty much set in most facets of the game, but their weakest area in 2012 was their ground attack, with which they averaged only 3.8 yards per carry on the season. Part of that was due to the injury to Willis McGahee, but with McGahee turning 32 years old next October and having a history of knee issues, the Broncos shouldn't be planning on using him as a workhorse for too much longer. With Peyton Manning's 37th birthday coming later this month, the run game will likely be more important each year he's on the team.
I like Bernard's versatility better than that of Eddie Lacy, my top ranked running back. The more versatile a running back is, the better fit he is in Peyton Manning's backfield. Bernard has averaged 46 receptions over his past two seasons at UNC, which is something Peyton would probably like to utilize. He's no slouch when taking handoffs either, as he averaged 6.7 yards per carry in 2012.
29. New England Patriots: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech (previously Tavon Austin)
Wes Welker is gone. Brandon Lloyd is gone. Slot machine Danny Amendola is in, but the Patriots are still without a viable outside receiver. Patton is the best receiver on the board, and fits the bill as an outside presence. He has drawn comparisons to Reggie Wayne, as he lacks top-end speed, but wins with great patience and body control. Aside from Amendola, the Patriots' top receivers are currently Donald Jones, Matt Slater, and Jeremy Ebert. They must address the position.
30. Atlanta Falcons: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State (previously Sam Montgomery)
The Falcons were one of the worst teams against the run last year, giving up 4.8 yards per carry. While their pass defense created turnovers, they also struggled to get to the quarterback, finishing the season 28th in sacks. Werner is an every-down defensive end best suited for a 4-3 base defense who can improve the unit in multiple areas with his pass rushing ability and strong run defense.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas (previously Johnathan Hankins)
As I said earlier, I would be very surprised if Vaccario made it past the Rams at 22, but if he does, he could be in for a bit of a free fall. The 49ers, I'd imagine, would be ecstatic if he fell to this spot. Having just lost Dashon Goldson to the Buccaneers, the Niners have a void to fill in the secondary - Goldson has been the league's best safety in pass coverage. Vaccaro is a versatile defender who can play deep zones as well as any safety in this draft, but also lock down slot receivers in man coverage. He's also effective in run support, making him versatile enough to play free safety or strong safety, though the 49ers would likely draft him as the former.
Once again, I'm sure he'll get scooped up before this - I just couldn't get my heart set on any earlier landing spot. He's definitely more of a mid-first round talent than late-first.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Jonathan Cyprien, S, FIU (previously Matt Elam)
It's no longer safe to assume that the Ravens' defense will be dominant year in and year out. The team has already lost Ray Lewis, Dannell Ellerbe, Paul Kruger, Bernard Pollard, and Cary Williams to free agency. In addition, they may not be able to retain Ed Reed. In Cyprien, the Ravens would get a player who would bring a similar style of play as Pollard, who was the team's leading tackler in 2012. Cyprien could affect the game in multiple ways as an in-the-box safety who also displays great instincts and athleticism against the pass. If the Ravens do lose Ed Reed, I'd think more seriously about Matt Elam going here, as he is more likely to be able to switch between the two safety positions.