17. Pittsburgh- DeAndre Hopkins (WR- Clemson) The Steelers lost Mike Wallace to Miami and Heath Miller was banged up late last year. Sanders was almost lost to the Patriots. Big Ben could use a legitimate second option behind Antonio Brown. Hopkins has a larger body than Brown and could be the red zone threat the Steelers need.
18. Dallas- DJ Fluker (OL- Alabama) Fluker could be a plug and play right tackle that could anchor the offensive line for the foreseeable future. He can also play some guard, and with a 6'6, 335 lb body, Fluker could be an absolute mauler and finally give the Cowboys a running game that they've been lacking ever since they lost the Julius Jones/Marion Barber tandem many years ago. This would also force other teams to respect the run and buy Tony Romo some more time in the pocket. If given time, Romo is, statistically, a very good QB. Fluker may be gone by this point, but if he fell to 18, he could be quickly scooped up by the Cowboys.
19. New York Giants- Tyler Eifert (TE- Notre Dame) The Giants lost the productive Martellus Bennett to the Bears over the off-season, so they may be looking to grab the best pass-catching tight end in the draft. Eiffert has drawn comparisons to Rob Gronkowski, but I would expect him to be a little more cerebral than the meat-headed “Gronk”. This would be a fantastic intermediate receiving option for Eli Manning.
20. Chicago- Star Lotulelei (DT- Utah) Star has received a lot of hype leading up to the draft. Some called him a top 5 lock, and even that he is the most talented player in the draft, regardless of position. The bottom line is this: he's a high-motor nose tackle and that position doesn't usually get drafted exceptionally high. The other reason he slid this far is because his heart, at one point, was pumping way below normal capacity, and that put up some pretty big red flags for a lot of teams. Since then, he has been told that his heart is pumping normally, but the damage to his draft stock may have already been done. If the Bears can get him with the 20th pick, it could be a very big pay off. The best case scenario is that this guy is a Haloti Ngata clone. If that's the case, the Bears should be thrilled to snag him here.
21. Cincinnati- Eric Reid (S- LSU) Eric Reid was an absolute stud at the combine. His measurables alone make him worthy of this spot, but the fact that he was an All-American at LSU makes him a first round lock. Who doesn't love a safety with a 6'1, 210 lb frame that can jump 41″? Cincinnati replaces Reggie Nelson with this pick.
22. St. Louis- Cordarrelle Patterson (WR- Tennessee) Patterson, Tyler Bray's favorite target for the Volunteers, has a unique skill set. He is tall with a good-sized frame, but is as explosive after the catch as receivers 4 or 5 inches shorter than him. He's not quite as big as Calvin Johnson, but he would be a major upgrade to the Rams receiving corps.
23. Minnesota- Manti Te'o (ILB- Notre Dame) The media circus is in the past, and the fact of the matter is that Te'o is a very instinctual inside linebacker. He has good tackling technique and can be a leader on the defense. He will rack up 100+ tackles per season beginning his rookie season. Unlike most, I don't look at his 7 interceptions during his senior season because prior to that, he didn't have any at all. He will be a run-stopper and an above average zone pass defender from the linebacker position at the next level.
24. Indianapolis- Datone Jones (DL- UCLA) Jones is the kind of hybrid DT/DE player that the Colts have historically loved. His big body would indicate that he would be a natural fit for the tackle position, but he's leaner than most tackles, so he could become a multiple technique D lineman in the NFL. Indianapolis is all set on offense, so it's time to begin piecing together the defense.
25. Minnesota- Desmond Trufant (CB- Washington) The last name Trufant is synonymous with pass coverage in the state of Washington. During his stint at Washington, Trufant was often put on an island with no safety help over the top and can defend well man to man. He doesn't rack up the interceptions, but the potential is there. In a division with Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler, and Aaron Rodgers, it would be wise to take a top-tier CB with one of their two first round picks.