17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Minter, LB, LSU. Minter is a consummate football player; tough, smart, quick, and a little edgy. Sounds like a perfect Pittsburgh Steelers LB, no?
18. Dallas Cowboys: Eric Fisher, T, Central Michigan. Taking the physically imposing Fisher would allow Tyron Smith to return to the right side where he belongs. Tony Romo’s collarbone endorses this pick.
19. New York Giants: Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State. If they can teach Rhodes to stop holding on 80% of the pass plays, the Giants pick up the most physical and dynamic corner on the board in Rhodes. Because Corey Webster must never start again.
20. Chicago Bears: Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame. It almost seems too convenient that the thumping Te’o falls to Chicago with their rich legacy of dominating presences at middle linebacker. Sometimes fate is a convenient little darling.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia. I’m going to stick with Austin to the Bengals until I get compelling evidence not to, which probably will not come before draft day. He is perfect for what their pedestrian offense needs and takes away any excuses for Andy Dalton in his critical third season.
22. St. Louis Rams (from WAS): Keenan Allen, WR, California. I would really like this pick for the Rams, giving Sam Bradford a receiver with some size that can get open all over the field and reliably catch the ball when it’s thrown his direction.
23. Minnesota Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee. As badly as they need QB help, they probably feel they need to give Christian Ponder a better chance with a weapon like Patterson, a fairly gifted but raw talent.
24. Indianapolis Colts: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah. Star falls some here because he doesn’t rush the passer dynamically and game tape reveals a guy who isn’t effective all the time. The Colts would happily install him in the middle of their needy defense.
25. Baltimore Ravens: Ezekiel Ansah, DE, BYU. The potential here is very high, and Ansah has shown his learning curve is accelerated. Baltimore must transform their defense for playing with no Lewis or Reed, and Ansah is a good place to start.
26. Seattle Seahawks: Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama. The high-motor Aussie would bring depth and true grit to the Seattle line, as well as improving the run defense.
27. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame. This presumes that J. Finley departs, which means Green Bay needs a new flexed-out tight end. Eifert isn’t as fast but is more apt to actually catch the ball more than 55% of the time.
28. San Francisco 49ers: Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State. Hankins could go in the top 8 or he could slide here; his stock is one of the most variable of any player in this draft. In San Francisco he would bring beef and pass rushing ability from the interior line.
29. Houston Texans: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson. Houston is one of those teams where their #1 need is plainly evident. They must get help for Andre Johnson. Hopkins would be a great fit with his quickness and creativity.
30. New England Patriots: Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State. He missed all of 2012 but could have gone higher than this in last year’s draft. Value and versatility make him a nice fit with New England, bringing a more dynamic pass rusher to the rotation.
31. Denver Broncos: Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia. Ogletree plays LB more like an oversized safety, which is exactly what he is. He could be very good in covering tight ends and RBs out of the backfield at the next level.
32. Atlanta Falcons: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas. Dominating his bowl game grabbed some attention, and he can play either end spot. I would remind Falcons fans that his scouting report will read scarily similar to Ray Edwards coming out of Purdue.