2013 NFL Mock Draft (Second Round)
The Bucs' 32nd ranked pass defense wasn't just a result of bad play in the secondary - they also struggled to get to the quarterback. Tied for 29th in the league with only 27 sacks, the Bucs had only one player register more than five. With Adrian Clayborn coming off a torn ACL, and Michael Bennett signed to a one-year deal, defensive end is a position that needs to be addressed. Hunt, who had 8.0 sacks at SMU last season, should give the pass rush a boost.
44. Carolina Panthers: Robert Woods, WR, USC
As I said in the first round, the Panthers' biggest need is at receiver, but there were simply no receivers good enough to take with the 14th overall pick (assuming Patterson was selected already). Now, however, would be a good time to fill that void, and Woods - who has scored double-digit touchdowns for USC the past two seasons - could be their man.
45. San Diego Chargers: Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Nope - not a typo. That's how you spell his name. The Chargers run defense was incredibly strong in 2012, but their pass defense was very mediocre. Both starting cornerbacks are now free agents, so the position is pretty much a mess right now. Banks recorded 3+ interceptions in each of his four years at school, and is ranked by some as the second best corner in the draft.
46. St. Louis Rams: Eric Reid, S, LSU
The Rams' defense was much improved last season, thanks in large part to a great group of young cornerbacks. The Rams also have a strong defensive line and a great middle linebacker, but there is a hole in the center of their secondary. The Rams will be in search of starters for both safety positions this offseason, and Reid can fill one of them. Reid is a versatile player who is strong against both the pass and run, and could become a useful defensive playmaker in the middle of the field.
47. Dallas Cowboys: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
The Cowboys are transitioning to a 4-3 base defense, which is a natural fit for Short, who profiles as a strong three-technique interior pass rusher. The Cowboys need another defensive tackle to pair with Jay Ratliff - that is, if they even keep Ratliff. After a DUI capped off his injury-plagued season, Ratliff is considered to be on shaky ground in Dallas. If the Cowboys were to cut him, it would only increase the chances that they go after a player like Short early in the draft.
48. Pittsburgh Steelers: Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
Mike Wallace is not returning to the Steelers - it's as simple as that. Kevin Weidl of Scouts Inc. has compared Wheaton to Mike Wallace. "Speed, speed, speed," Weidl said. Wheaton is an electrifying player who can take the top right off a defense at any time, and he could be a great replacement to seamlessly adapt to life without Wallace. The Steelers are going to want a solid running back in this draft, but unless Lacy, Bernard, or Ball fall to them, they won't take one with this pick.
49. New York Giants: Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers
The Giants, who just cut starting linebacker Michael Boley, gave up a ton of yards in 2012, both on the ground and through the air. They managed to keep teams from putting many points on the board thanks to the third most takeaways in the league. What they need now is a player who can plug up opposing ground attacks and help out in the passing game. Greene, who will likely be a weak-side linebacker in the NFL, is a great fit. Mel Kiper thinks "he's the kind of guy who's going to make 150 tackles for an NFL team at some point."
50. Chicago Bears: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
This draft for the Bears will likely be all about helping out Jay Cutler. I have them getting him some help on the offensive line in the first round, and here I have them giving him a reliable pass catcher. The Bears' receiving core was a one-man show in 2012 - Brandon Marshall was the only player who topped 375 yards receiving. Ertz has the pass catching ability of a wide receiver with the size of a tight end. He'd be a huge upgrade over Kellen Davis, who had 19 catches for 229 yards in 15 starts.
51. Washington Redskins: Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State
I was tempted to give the Redskins a much-needed receiver in this spot, but pass defense was definitely their biggest weakness in 2012. Thomas' eight interceptions and three defensive touchdowns both led the FBS, and he also added 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. He's a versatile defender who would likely start immediately in Washington.
52. Minnesota Vikings: Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Remember Bryce Brown? The short lived fantasy football waiver wire pickup of the year? This is his brother. Not only was he the best player on the K-State defense, he was also the first player to intercept Geno Smith, nearly two months into the season. He's athletic with a ton of range and can blow up plays between the tackles. The Vikings need to upgrade their middle and weak-side linebacker positions, with starters Jasper Brinkley and Erin Henderson becoming undesirable free agents in March. The Vikings would love to get Brown here, but I have a feeling his stock will be on the rise once the Combine is underway.