1) Miami Dolphins - Phillip Merling/DE/Clemson
Instant Analysis: Merling slipped down draft boards much farther than
anticipated. He has a variety of pass rush moves and he'll play end in their
anticipated 3-4 scheme.
2) St. Louis Rams: Donnie Avery/WR/Houston
Instant Analysis: The speedy wide receiver will likely challenge for a
slot role this season and he'll get a chance to return kicks or punts.
3) Washington Redskins (from Oakland Raiders via Atlanta Falcons): Devin
Instant Analysis: No surprise here as they would have considered him had
their not made a trade in the first round. Washington was looking for a big
receiver with speed and they got one to play opposite Santana Moss.
4) Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Flowers/CB/Virginia Tech
Instant Analysis: Flowers is decent value here and he'll come in right
away and compete for the starting job which was vacated once Ty Law was cut.
5) Green Bay Packers/WR/Jordy Nelson
Instant Analysis: Kind of a surprise pick here as Green Bay is deep at
the receiver position. However, veteran WR Donald Driver turned 33 earlier this
year and he might only play a few more seasons.
6) Atlanta Falcons/LB/Curtis Lofton
Instant Analysis: Atlanta was looking for a young, versatile linebacker
with upside and Lofton fits the bill nicely. He could be the eventual
replacement for MLB Keith Brooking.
7) Seattle Seahawks (from Baltimore Ravens): John Carlson/TE/Notre Dame
Instant Analysis: Seattle was in dire need of a young tight end who could
catch the ball well so they went with Carlson here.
8) San Francisco 49ers: Chilo Rachal/G/USC
Instant Analysis: With the loss of both starting guards, depth became an
issue so the team selected Rachal here although some believe this player may
have been available later in the round.
9) New Orleans Saints: Tracy Porter/CB/Indiana
Instant Analysis: New Orleans was looking for a developmental cornerback
who could eventually replace veteran CB Mike McKenzie and they got one with
10) Buffalo Bills: James Hardy/WR/Indiana
Instant Analysis: Buffalo badly wanted to find a receiver with size
during the early portion of the draft to play along side Lee Evans and they got
their man in Hardy.
11) Denver Broncos: Eddie Royal/WR/Virginia Tech
Instant Analysis: Denver really needed to upgrade their receiver position
and they're getting started with Royal who also could compete for playing time
on special teams returns.
12) Minnesota Vikings (from Philadelphia Eagles via Carolina Panthers):
Tyrell Johnson/S/Arkansas St.
Instant Analysis: Minnesota is looking to eventually replace SS Darren
Sharper and the heady Johnson will likely back him up this season then replace
Sharper when he decides to retire.
13) Chicago Bears: Matt Forte/RB/Tulane
Instant Analysis: No surprise here as Chicago was looking for a big back
that would fit their power rushing philosophy. Forte moved well up draft boards
after a great week of Senior Bowl practices and he didn't disappoint at the
combine. He'll push struggling starting RB Cedric Benson for playing time right
14) Detroit Lions: Jordan Dizon/LB/Colorado
Instant Analysis: We noted earlier this week that Dizon was moving up
draft boards with teams that ran a cover-2 defense. Detroit runs a cover-2 and
Dizon could compete for the MLB job while backing up WLB Ernie Sims.
15) Cincinnati Bengals: Jerome Simpson/WR/Coastal Carolina
Instant Analysis: Simpson has good size and runs well after the catch.
He'll push for playing time as their fourth receiver this season and he could
vie for a bigger role in future years.
16) Philadelphia Eagles: Trevor Laws/DT/Notre Dame
Instant Analysis: Philadelphia was looking for depth for the interior of
their defensive line and they found it with Laws. He'll also offer them an
inside pass rush which they were lacking.
17) Washington Redskins (from Houston Texans via Atlanta Falcons): Fred
Instant Analysis: While Davis may a good value here, he isn't known for
his blocking and with Chris Cooley already installed as the starter, this pick
is rather curious.
18) Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson/WR/California
Instant Analysis: Philadelphia badly needed to get some speed at the
receiver position and they were also looking for a return specialist. They may
have filled both roles with the speedy Jackson.
19) Arizona Cardinals: Calais Campbell/DE/Miami-Fla.
Instant Analysis: The mammoth end should have no problem transitioning to
Arizona's 3-4 scheme. He'll provide some instant depth this season and he could
compete for a bigger role as time progresses.
20) Washington Redskins: Malcolm Kelly/WR/Oklahoma
Instant Analysis: Washington wanted to add size at the receiver position
from this draft and they did that twice with the additions of Devin Thomas and
Kelly. While Thomas has speed, Kelly is bigger and is more of a possession
receiver but he'll also help their red zone offense.
21) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Quentin
Instant Analysis: You have to give Jacksonville a lot of credit here.
Groves could have easily been selected in the first round and now they've gotten
two solid end prospects out of this draft. The defensive end position was the
one area where they needed to be aggressive in the draft and they did just that.
22) Pittsburgh Steelers: Limas Sweed/WR/Texas
Instant Analysis: Pittsburgh was looking for a tall receiver and they got
one of the tallest ones in this draft with Sweed. Once he's up to speed with
their playbook, look for him to push for playing time in their No. 4 role and he
could also see time in their red zone package.
23) Tennessee Titans: Jason Jones/DT/Eastern Michigan
Instant Analysis: Here's one of true sleepers of the draft who could be a
big surprise at the next level. Tennessee isn't deep at the interior of their
defensive line so Jones could be active on game day. In fact, he could push for
time in their tackle rotation early on.
24) Baltimore Ravens (from Seattle Seahawks): Ray Rice/RB/Rutgers
Instant Analysis: Rice is a perfect fit for what Baltimore was still
looking for form the running back position. They were looking for a change of
pace to starter Willis McGahee and Rice is the perfect fit for that role.
25) Green Bay Packers (from Cleveland Browns): Brian Brohm/QB/Louisville
Instant Analysis: Brohm is seen by scouts as a system specific QB meaning
he really can only play in a certain system. That one is the West Coast. We told
you they weren't kidding when they were looking hard at quarterbacks this week.
26) Miami Dolphins (from San Diego Chargers): Chad Henne/QB/Michigan
Instant Analysis: Henne has a better than average arm and he'll be called
upon to throw the ball deep in their revamped offensive scheme. However, the job
should be John Beck's at least for this season.
27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Jacksonville Jaguars): Dexter Jackson/WR/Appalachian
Instant Analysis: The speedy receiver is a good route runner and has ton
of upside. The knock on him is his size but Tampa Bay badly needs a
developmental receiver and Jackson will fill that role. He could replace Joey
Galloway in a few years.
28) Indianapolis Colts: Mike Pollack/C/Indianapolis
Instant Analysis: Nice selection here of Pollack who will be the eventual
replacement for Jeff Saturday in a few years. Pollack is also capable of filling
in at guard if needed.
29) Green Bay Packers: Patrick Lee/CB/Auburn
Instant Analysis: Lee had a terrific Senior Bowl week and parlayed that
for a big move up draft boards. While he doesn't possess great speed, he's
physical like veteran CB Al Harris who Lee may replace in a few years.
30) Dallas Cowboys: Martellus Bennett/TE/Texas A&M
Instant Analysis: The tall and athletic tight end is also a willing
blocker. He'll be a very solid backup for Jason Witten.
31) New England Patriots: Terrence Wheatley/CB/Colorado
Instant Analysis: New England was looking for a young and fast cornerback
to compete for playing time in the spot vacated by Asante Samuel. Wheatley will
start off behind a bunch of veterans this season but will eventually be given a
shot at serious playing time.
32) New York Giants: Terrell Thomas/CB/USC
Instant Analysis: New York was looking for a young cornerback who could
eventually challenge for a starting job. The hope is that Thomas will be able to
do that in year two.