Early mock draft update: 21 – 31

The second draft of our early mock draft comes to an end today. We updated the top-20 picks of the first round last week and are ready to finish the deal.

This second mock draft has seen a lot of change, and picks 21 – 31 are no different. In fact, every single selection differs from the first early mock draft we ran over a month ago.

With pick 21, for example, Washington previously took LSU wide receiver Early Doucet. But in this mock, another high-hyped receiver has slipped out of the top 20 and may be too tempting for the ‘Skins to pass up. Hit the jump to see picks 21 – 31.

[Picks #1 – 10]
[Picks #11 – 20]

21. Washington Redskins: Desean Jackson, WR, California [previous: Early Doucet, WR, LSU]

MM: Despite being on the small side, the Redskins cannot ignore Jackson’s world-class speed which he put on display at the combine. It remains to be seen if Jackson can overcome his size at the next level.

22. Dallas Cowboys: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas [previous: Limas Sweed, WR, Texas]

MM: Jerry Jones gets the other Arkansas runningback in this draft in Jones. While not as physically gifted and naturally talented as McFadden, Jones is no slouch. He will become the lightning to Marion Barber’s thunder in the Dallas rushing attack and should help in the return game as well.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Branden Albert, G, Virginia [previous: Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh]

MM: The Steelers lost guard Alan Faneca this offseason but easily could replace him with Albert, a versatile guard from Virginia. Improving the offensive line should be a priority for Pittsburgh in the draft after last year’s inconsistent performances.

24. Tennessee Titans: Early Doucet, WR, LSU [previous: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas]

MM: The Titans added tight end Alge Crumpler via free agency and can continue adding playmakers to offense with the addition of Doucet. Vince Young surely would rejoice.

25. Seattle Seahawks: Fred Davis, TE, USC [previous: Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas]

MM: This almost is the worst-case scenario for the Seahawks. Early indications out of Seattle suggest they want a runningback in the draft, but the top four guys are off the board. At least they get the No. 1 tight end of this year’s crop, which would fill a need for Seattle’s offense.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn [previous: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee State]

MM: The Jags’ defensive line took some hits this offseason, but the draft is a good way to replenish the resources. Groves is a fast pass-rusher who is versatile enough to be used in a number of situations and positions.

27. San Diego Chargers: Dominique Cromartie-Rodgers, CB, Tennessee State [previous: Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma]

MM: The Chargers lost nickelback Drayton Florence in free agency, but this might be a dream come true. Cromatie-Rodgers’ cousin, Antonio Cromartie, already starts at cornerback for the Chargers. Even with Quentin Jammer entrenched in the starting lineup, DRC’s incredible talent, skill and potential will help him see plenty of action as a rookie.

28. Dallas Cowboys: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan [previous: Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona]

MM: The Cowboys add two explosive offensive players in the first round. Manningham disappointed with a slow forty-yard dash as the combine, but the film does not lie. He has a natural ability to separate from defenders and will be a good receiver from the slot for Dallas.

29. San Francisco 49ers: James Hardy, WR, Indiana [previous: Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan]

MM: The 49ers need to address the wide receiving corps via the draft. Enter Hardy, a tall, fast receiver from Indiana. Mike Martz has a history of finding and developing talent at the wide receiver position (Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Kevin Curtis, Shaun McDonald) which should benefit both Hardy and the 49ers’ offense.

30. Green Bay Packers: Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas [previous: Calais Campbell, DE, Miami]

MM: The Packers’ are a relatively young team, except at the cornerback position. Talib has been ranked as the top cornerback in some draft publications, so getting him here would be a steal for the Packers.

31. New York Giants: Dan Connor, LB, Penn State [previous: Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson]

MM: Losing Kawika Mitchell in free agency may hurt the Giants defense a little next season. Connor is rated as one of the top linebackers in this draft and could help fill the void left by Mitchell’s departure.

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7 Responses

  1. As a Steeler fan, who believes they must go OL in both Rounds 1 &2, I like the Albert selection.

    I also think this is an usually deep draft, especially in OL, WR, RB and DL–all places where the Steelers could use young players–so a trade “down” to pick up extra choices in two and three would not totally surprise me.

    The only player in the first round “chosen” after Albert who might tempt me, is Cromartie-Rodgers.

  2. I can guarantee you the Cowboys will draft at least one CB in this draft in the first round. Guaranteed…write it down. They are old and thin at DB and that was a weak link last year.

    In reviewing you mock, there is no way the Cowboys will pass on Aqib Talib to take a WR in James Hardy. Rather, with the run on CB’s that will probably develop, look for the Cowboys to draft a CB with the #22 pick and then Felix Jones at #28 if he is there. If not, then they go with a WR or BPA assuming that is not an OL or DL.

    Further, there are a few mocks out there that have the Cowboys taking a LB or OL in the first round….THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN

  3. interesting picks – i love mock drafts. they are rarely right, but still fun to do. being a packer fan i like the choice you hvae for them at 30 – id love to get this guy!

  4. If you are saying that Kentwan Balmer has a short motor and lacks work ethic, it seems unlikely that the Lions will draft him due to Rod Marinelli’s focus on “football character”. Plus we just got rid of a DT with a poor work ethic in S Rodgers. Thoughts?

  5. i am a eagles fan and i see them taking phillip merling the DE from clemson in the 1st and dustin keller in the 2nd and dexter jackson in the 3rd and wesley woodyard

  6. Tim Ruskell does not draft for need in the first round and will not draft a tight end when there are better football players on the board. I think the Seahawks will draft a tight end in the second or third round.

  7. @ EJones

    That is the kind of inside information I need to make these mocks even better. It does make sense for the Lions to pass on Balmer now b/c of his character issues. Thanks for the scoop!

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