NFL Mock Draft: Expect big names to be available in Round 2

Fans will recognize many of the players in Sporting News’ latest mock draft second round. SN draft expert Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts believe Notre Dame’s Golden Tate, Alabama’s Terrence Cody and a handful of Florida standouts will come off the board with picks 33-64.

1. St. Louis Rams 

Golden Tate could wind up wearing gold and blue in St. Louis.
Golden Tate could wind up wearing gold and blue in St. Louis.

Golden Tate*, WR, Notre Dame. If the Rams grab Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford in the first round, the overhaul of the offense can continue with Tate. He has the ability to make big plays running after the catch.

2. Detroit Lions

Earl Thomas*, S, Texas. The Lions want to add speed to their secondary/defense and Thomas has the explosiveness and play-making ability to upgrade the back end of their secondary quickly.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois. The Bucs’ OL has struggled with consistency in recent seasons and they need to upgrade. Asamoah brings the athleticism to be a good NFL guard and possibly even a tackle.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

Arrelious Benn* , WR, Illinois. The Chiefs need offensive weapons and Benn is a well-built and very athletic receiver who has the talent to be a big-time player in the NFL if he can play up to his ability more consistently.

5. Washington Redskins

Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati. While many expect them to take Clausen in the first round, Pike is the tall, strong-armed QB that Mike Shanahan seems to prefer.

6. Cleveland Browns 

Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State. Cox is a first-round talent who will likely slide due to off-field concerns. But the Browns need to improve their secondary and here he is too good of a value for the Cleveland to pass up.

7. Oakland Raiders

Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida. The Raiders need to replace Kirk Morrison and Spikes is the type of tough, hard-nosed middle linebacker the Raiders have won with over the years.

8. San Diego Chargers (from Seattle)

Jeff Owens, DT, Georgia. After losing Jamal Williams, the Chargers desperately need a nose tackle. Owens is the best true NT in this year’s draft and could start as a rookie.

9. Buffalo Bills

Corey Wootton, DE , Northwestern. With the Bills switching to a 3-4 scheme, they need to get big, tall, long-armed DE’s to fit their scheme; Wooten fits that perfectly.

The War Room has Carlos Dunlap staying in the Sunshine State.
The War Room has Carlos Dunlap staying in the Sunshine State.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Chicago)

Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. The Bucs want to upgrade their pass rush and while Dunlap’s lack of consistency is a real concern, his size, strength and athleticism are too good to pass up right now.

11. Miami Dolphins

D’Anthony Smith, DT, Louisiana Tech. The Dolphins are still trying to bring in big, strong defensive linemen to play DE in their 3-4 scheme. Smith, who played DT in college, fits the bill perfectly.

12. New England Patriots (from Jacksonville)

Damian Williams* , WR, USC. With Wes Welker’s 2010 season up in the air and Brandon Tate an unknown, the Pats need some help at receiver, and Williams is a smart route runner who has excellent hands and good run after catch ability.

13. Denver Broncos    

Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati. The Broncos are going to get rid of Brandon Marshall (at least that is what I keep hearing), so they grab the explosive playmaker Gilyard.

14. New York Giants

Lamarr Houston, DT, Texas. After losing Fred Robbins in free agency, the Giants need to add some young talent at DT. Houston has the strength, athleticism and competitiveness to be a very good backup as a rookie and eventually a starter.

15. New England Patriots (from Tennessee)

Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse. The Patriots’ D-line is not getting any younger and they have little line depth, so they grab Jones who played DT in college, but is a good fit at DE in their 3-4 scheme.

16. Carolina Panthers

Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU. The Panthers have been trying to find a big receiver to play opposite Smith for a number of years and with Dwayne Jarrett having flopped, they jump at the chance to grab Lafell, who would have likely been a first-rounder a year ago.

17. San Francisco 49ers

Jahvid Best*, RB, Cal. The 49ers need a change of pace to take the pressure off Gore and a big-play returner to help them win field position battles, and Best has the talent to be a big time playmaker in the NFL.

18. Kansas City Chiefs (from Atlanta)

John Jerry, G, Ole Miss. The Chiefs need offensive line help and Jerry has the athleticism, size and strength to be a left tackle in the NFL if he can keep his weight under control and play as well as he did in 2009 for the rest of his career.

19. Houston Texans

Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford. The Texans want to get a big back who can carry the load and make big plays. Gerhart has shown the ability to be that type of back and will also be a big asset in their passing attack.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers    

Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama. The Steelers must add youth to their defensive line and Cody has the bulk and strength to anchor their 3-4 scheme at nose tackle.

21. New England Patriots

Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee. The Pats have been disappointed in Laurence Maroney and Hardesty brings the tough, physical and aggressive running style to their offense that Bill Belichick likes.

22. Cincinnati Bengals    

Donald Butler, ILB, Washington. The Bengals want to bring in speed and athleticism to their defense, and Butler is a very fast and physical player.

23. Philadelphia Eagles

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. The Eagles have a good tight end in Brent Celek, but they have a history of drafting elite players that slip in the draft and Gresham is a very talented tight end with a lot of upside.

24. Green Bay Packers    

Rodger Saffold, T, Indiana. The Packers want to get some youth at OT as Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are nearing the end of their careers, so they grab the very athletic Saffold, who could be their left tackle of the future given a season or two to learn as a backup.

25. Baltimore Ravens

Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida. The Ravens do not pass up the chance to grab Murphy, who has the athleticism, instincts and playmaking skills to be a very good cornerback in the NFL.

26. Arizona Cardinals

Anthony McCoy, TE, USC. The Cardinals want a tight end who can make plays as a receiver, but also has the size, strength and competitiveness to be a very good blocking tight end, which is vital in their offensive scheme.

27. Dallas Cowboys

Kyle Wilson,  CB, Boise State. They have two good starters, but Wilson is a playmaker who should upgrade the Cowboys at nickel cornerback and could become a starter if Terence Newman leaves in free agency in a season or two.

28. Seattle Seahawks (from San Diego)

Charles Brown, T, USC. The Seahawks need a young left tackle and Brown was played the position under Pete Carroll at USC, so it makes sense for the Seahawks to grab him here.

29. New York Jets

Devin Ross, CB, Arizona. The Jets have an elite CB in Darrelle Revis and a very talented one in Antonio Cromartie, but Cromartie needs to step up his play and Ross brings the toughness, aggressiveness and playmaking skills that fit the Jets’ scheme well.

30. Minnesota Vikings

Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers. They have Antoine Winfield who is a sure thing, and Benny Sapp and Asher Allen who are still developing, so the chance to add another young CB with very good athleticism makes a lot of sense.

31. Indianapolis Colts

Nate Allen, S, South Florida. Bob Sanders cannot stay healthy and they want to have young talent for the future, so they grab the well-built and athletic Allen, who should become a starter down the road.

32. New Orleans Saints

Aaron Hernandez*, TE, Florida. Jeremy Shockey is definitely closer to the end of his career than the beginning and Hernandez is a young, athletic tight end with excellent receiving skills.

*–Denotes underclassman

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus an updated mock draft (now three rounds long), Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

Fans will recognize many of the players in Sporting News’ latest mock draft second round. SN draft expert Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts believe Notre Dame’s Golden Tate, Alabama’s Terrence Cody and a handful of Florida standouts will come off the board with picks 33-64.

1. St. Louis Rams 

Golden Tate could wind up wearing gold and blue in St. Louis.
Golden Tate could wind up wearing gold and blue in St. Louis.

Golden Tate*, WR, Notre Dame. If the Rams grab Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford in the first round, the overhaul of the offense can continue with Tate. He has the ability to make big plays running after the catch.

2. Detroit Lions

Earl Thomas*, S, Texas. The Lions want to add speed to their secondary/defense and Thomas has the explosiveness and play-making ability to upgrade the back end of their secondary quickly.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jon Asamoah, G, Illinois. The Bucs’ OL has struggled with consistency in recent seasons and they need to upgrade. Asamoah brings the athleticism to be a good NFL guard and possibly even a tackle.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

Arrelious Benn* , WR, Illinois. The Chiefs need offensive weapons and Benn is a well-built and very athletic receiver who has the talent to be a big-time player in the NFL if he can play up to his ability more consistently.

5. Washington Redskins

Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati. While many expect them to take Clausen in the first round, Pike is the tall, strong-armed QB that Mike Shanahan seems to prefer.

6. Cleveland Browns 

Perrish Cox, CB, Oklahoma State. Cox is a first-round talent who will likely slide due to off-field concerns. But the Browns need to improve their secondary and here he is too good of a value for the Cleveland to pass up.

7. Oakland Raiders

Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida. The Raiders need to replace Kirk Morrison and Spikes is the type of tough, hard-nosed middle linebacker the Raiders have won with over the years.

8. San Diego Chargers (from Seattle)

Jeff Owens, DT, Georgia. After losing Jamal Williams, the Chargers desperately need a nose tackle. Owens is the best true NT in this year’s draft and could start as a rookie.

9. Buffalo Bills

Corey Wootton, DE , Northwestern. With the Bills switching to a 3-4 scheme, they need to get big, tall, long-armed DE’s to fit their scheme; Wooten fits that perfectly.

The War Room has Carlos Dunlap staying in the Sunshine State.
The War Room has Carlos Dunlap staying in the Sunshine State.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Chicago)

Carlos Dunlap, DE, Florida. The Bucs want to upgrade their pass rush and while Dunlap’s lack of consistency is a real concern, his size, strength and athleticism are too good to pass up right now.

11. Miami Dolphins

D’Anthony Smith, DT, Louisiana Tech. The Dolphins are still trying to bring in big, strong defensive linemen to play DE in their 3-4 scheme. Smith, who played DT in college, fits the bill perfectly.

12. New England Patriots (from Jacksonville)

Damian Williams* , WR, USC. With Wes Welker’s 2010 season up in the air and Brandon Tate an unknown, the Pats need some help at receiver, and Williams is a smart route runner who has excellent hands and good run after catch ability.

13. Denver Broncos    

Mardy Gilyard, WR, Cincinnati. The Broncos are going to get rid of Brandon Marshall (at least that is what I keep hearing), so they grab the explosive playmaker Gilyard.

14. New York Giants

Lamarr Houston, DT, Texas. After losing Fred Robbins in free agency, the Giants need to add some young talent at DT. Houston has the strength, athleticism and competitiveness to be a very good backup as a rookie and eventually a starter.

15. New England Patriots (from Tennessee)

Arthur Jones, DT, Syracuse. The Patriots’ D-line is not getting any younger and they have little line depth, so they grab Jones who played DT in college, but is a good fit at DE in their 3-4 scheme.

16. Carolina Panthers

Brandon LaFell, WR, LSU. The Panthers have been trying to find a big receiver to play opposite Smith for a number of years and with Dwayne Jarrett having flopped, they jump at the chance to grab Lafell, who would have likely been a first-rounder a year ago.

17. San Francisco 49ers

Jahvid Best*, RB, Cal. The 49ers need a change of pace to take the pressure off Gore and a big-play returner to help them win field position battles, and Best has the talent to be a big time playmaker in the NFL.

18. Kansas City Chiefs (from Atlanta)

John Jerry, G, Ole Miss. The Chiefs need offensive line help and Jerry has the athleticism, size and strength to be a left tackle in the NFL if he can keep his weight under control and play as well as he did in 2009 for the rest of his career.

19. Houston Texans

Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford. The Texans want to get a big back who can carry the load and make big plays. Gerhart has shown the ability to be that type of back and will also be a big asset in their passing attack.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers    

Terrence Cody, DT, Alabama. The Steelers must add youth to their defensive line and Cody has the bulk and strength to anchor their 3-4 scheme at nose tackle.

21. New England Patriots

Montario Hardesty, RB, Tennessee. The Pats have been disappointed in Laurence Maroney and Hardesty brings the tough, physical and aggressive running style to their offense that Bill Belichick likes.

22. Cincinnati Bengals    

Donald Butler, ILB, Washington. The Bengals want to bring in speed and athleticism to their defense, and Butler is a very fast and physical player.

23. Philadelphia Eagles

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Oklahoma. The Eagles have a good tight end in Brent Celek, but they have a history of drafting elite players that slip in the draft and Gresham is a very talented tight end with a lot of upside.

24. Green Bay Packers    

Rodger Saffold, T, Indiana. The Packers want to get some youth at OT as Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher are nearing the end of their careers, so they grab the very athletic Saffold, who could be their left tackle of the future given a season or two to learn as a backup.

25. Baltimore Ravens

Jerome Murphy, CB, South Florida. The Ravens do not pass up the chance to grab Murphy, who has the athleticism, instincts and playmaking skills to be a very good cornerback in the NFL.

26. Arizona Cardinals

Anthony McCoy, TE, USC. The Cardinals want a tight end who can make plays as a receiver, but also has the size, strength and competitiveness to be a very good blocking tight end, which is vital in their offensive scheme.

27. Dallas Cowboys

Kyle Wilson,  CB, Boise State. They have two good starters, but Wilson is a playmaker who should upgrade the Cowboys at nickel cornerback and could become a starter if Terence Newman leaves in free agency in a season or two.

28. Seattle Seahawks (from San Diego)

Charles Brown, T, USC. The Seahawks need a young left tackle and Brown was played the position under Pete Carroll at USC, so it makes sense for the Seahawks to grab him here.

29. New York Jets

Devin Ross, CB, Arizona. The Jets have an elite CB in Darrelle Revis and a very talented one in Antonio Cromartie, but Cromartie needs to step up his play and Ross brings the toughness, aggressiveness and playmaking skills that fit the Jets’ scheme well.

30. Minnesota Vikings

Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers. They have Antoine Winfield who is a sure thing, and Benny Sapp and Asher Allen who are still developing, so the chance to add another young CB with very good athleticism makes a lot of sense.

31. Indianapolis Colts

Nate Allen, S, South Florida. Bob Sanders cannot stay healthy and they want to have young talent for the future, so they grab the well-built and athletic Allen, who should become a starter down the road.

32. New Orleans Saints

Aaron Hernandez*, TE, Florida. Jeremy Shockey is definitely closer to the end of his career than the beginning and Hernandez is a young, athletic tight end with excellent receiving skills.

*–Denotes underclassman

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus an updated mock draft (now three rounds long), Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

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