Viking Update mock draft, round two

Rick Spielman (Greg Smith/USA Today)

April means extending our draft coverage even further, and that includes adding a second round to our mock draft. Will the Vikings fill an immediate need in the second round?

OVERVIEW: Typically, in the first round of the draft, teams are more likely to draft talent over need if a player they view as an elite talent for the long-term future of a franchise is available. However, you get to the second round, it becomes much more of an "all or nothing" proposition. Drafting for need becomes much more of a front-burner concern. As a result, as many as half the picks in this round will get traded as teams try to position themselves to land a player they covet. For teams in the back half of the round, they will have the benefit of having two fewer picks to deal with – Cleveland doesn't have a pick at No. 7 after using a supplemental draft pick on wide receiver Josh Gordon last year and New Orleans doesn't have a pick at No. 14 as a result of the Bountygate scandal, which means the round will have just 30 picks rather than 32.

1. Jacksonville – Matt Barkley, QB, USC. It was much too high to take Geno Smith at No. 2 overall. But Barkley is much less a risk this deep into the draft. If someone doesn't trade into the end of the first round to get him, Blaine Gabbert is put on notice to put up or get out.

2. San Francisco (from Kansas City) – Matt Elam, S, Florida. The only major free agent loss that hasn't been addressed in San Francisco is safety Dashon Goldson. Elam is a first-round talent and helps the trade of Alex Smith to the Chiefs make more sense.

3. Philadelphia – Kawann Short, DT, Purdue. The Eagles need to have more of a presence in the middle of the defense and Short is a starter with a wealth of experience that can help upgrade that deficiency almost immediately.

4. Detroit – Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State. The Lions would be ecstatic if Banks, a first-round talent, is on the board. Needing to upgrade the defense, getting Day One starters at DE and CB will go a long way to bringing Detroit back from the cellar of the NFC North.

5. Cincinnati (from Oakland) – Kevin Minter, MLB, LSU. The Bengals continue to build their defense with a depth value pick. MLB Rey Maualuga was inconsistent but signed to a low-ball, two-year contract to return to Cincinnati. However, he has no guarantees of remaining a starter and would be facing an immediate challenge from Minter.

6. Arizona – Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State. Drew Stanton or a potential trade/free agent signing is going to lessen the need a year or two down the road. Glennon would be the first legitimate draft investment in QB the Cards have made since Kurt Warner retired.

7. Cleveland – NO PICK. The Browns tendered a second-round draft pick in last year's supplemental draft and were awarded WR Josh Gordon.

8. New York Jets – John Jenkins, DT, Georgia. The Jets need a lot of help, but after landing a pass-rushing linebacker in the first round, they address the middle of the D-line in hopes of shutting down the opposition's run game.

9. Tennessee – Justin Pugh, G, Syracuse. The Titans didn't take a step to fill the void left by retired Steve Hutchinson in the first round due to the availability of a DE prospect they needed more, but they take care of it here. Pugh will immediately compete for a starting job.

10. Buffalo – Robert Woods, WR, USC. The Bills have changed the face of their offense at QB, but they need a complement to Stevie Johnson. Woods is a smooth-as-silk receiver who doesn't have great speed but is the chain-mover every offense needs, much less one that will (sooner than later) turn the offense over to a young QB.

11. Miami – Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn. The Dolphins upgraded a lot of positions on their team in the offseason, but a long-term solution is needed. Brent Grimes is a great signing, but it was only a one-year deal and he replaces Sean Smith. Depth is still needed and Miami gets it here, continuing an impressive offseason rebuilding.

12. Tampa Bay – Datone Jones, DE, UCLA. The Bucs are keeping up with a 2013 draft trend – doubling down on defense in hopes of having the puzzle pieces in place to make a run at being a playoff-caliber team once again. Jones is a nice piece to that puzzle.

13. Carolina – Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech. Steve Smith isn't getting any younger and the backup band for Cam Newton has been weak at best after his lead singer. He has been likened to Smith for both his skill and intensity and would have a great teacher/mentor if he lands here.

14. New Orleans – NO PICK. This pick was taken away in a punitive action by the NFL for the presumption of guilt in the Bountygate scandal.

15. San Diego – D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston. Derek Cox was signed to replace Antoine Cason. Hayden is drafted to be the eventual replacement for Quentin Jammer, who can get pushed for one more good season before Hayden takes over his spot.

16. St. Louis – Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin. For Rams fans who have been spoiled over the last 15 years by Marshall Faulk and Steven Jackson, another 'Sconny running back will have big shoes to fill. But a need is a need and this is a definite need.

17. Dallas – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M. A free-faller, one thing that can be said about Jerry Jones and the Cowboys draft staff is that they watch a lot of film. Being from Texas, they know what Moore can (and can't) do. A first-round prospect who has slipped farther than he should, this is a value pick for the heart of Texas.

18. Pittsburgh – D.J. Swearinger, S, South Carolina. We had the Steelers passing on Kenny Vaccaro in the first round against our better judgment. Not so this time around. The need for a young safety is too strong and the Steelers build through the draft.

19. New York Giants – Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU. The G-Men let Osi Umenyiora go and, at his point in the draft, Montgomery is one of the top talents on the board and seems like a glove fit.

20. Chicago – Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State. The Bears are still paying for naming Dr. Emmett Brown (a.k.a. Mike Martz) as their offensive coordinator. He gutted the team of tight ends because he had no use for them in his offense. The rebuilding at Ground Zero continues.

21. Washington – Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Welcome to the draft, Mr. Snyder. Thanks to the RG3 trade, this is the first pick the Redskins have and they need to take a big swing and hope for the best. An NFL Scouting Combine darling, someone is going to roll the dice on Armstead. Washington is a logical candidate at this point.

22. Minnesota – Kevin Reddick, ILB, North Carolina. While Reddick is a better fit in a 3-4 scheme, the Vikings need to address the currently vacant MLB position and Reddick is the type of guy who eats glass and gives everything on the field. While I'm still not unconvinced the Vikings will use one of their first-round picks on Manti Te'o to give them enough Notre Dame players to qualify for off-campus fraternity status, the Vikings need to improve the middle tooth of their defense and Reddick is a safe pick to accomplish that.

23. Cincinnati – Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida International. The Bengals need depth at the position and need someone to push Reggie Nelson for his starting job. Cyprien is a prospect with the radar pointing upward. Three defensive picks for the Bengals and they may be the favorite by some to win the AFC North next year.

24. Miami (from Indianapolis) – Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M. Most view Michael as a Day 3 prospect because of significant character flaws. Similar flaws dropped players like Randy Moss and Warren Sapp from the No. 1 pick to much farther down the scale. Michael is the most physically talented RB in the draft and, with the reduced guarantees on rookie contracts, is worth the risk on greatness here.

25. Green Bay – Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama. The Packers are thin on depth up the middle and this is how they do business. Williams won't start immediately, but will be motivation for those fighting for playing time to amp it up a little bit.

26. Seattle – Sio Moore, OLB, UConn. The Seahawks are building a team that will make a legitimate Super Bowl run if they stay healthy. Nobody was more impressive in the postseason (from Senior Bowl to Combine) than Moore and Pete Carroll appreciates athleticism more than most scouts who base decisions more on measurables and game tape.

27. Houston – Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama. An ideal fit for a 3-4 scheme, Johnson is a melding of talent, need and a staff capable of "coaching-up" a player with space coverage issues. They can bring out his strong suits.

28. Denver – Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State. At some point Champ Bailey is going to go directly from starting for the Broncos to eating his evening meal at 4 p.m. with the other retirees. Taylor has the raw skill to be an NFL talent. Playing behind a Hall of Famer for a year will hasten his transition to the big time.

29. New England (projected trade to team unknown) – E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State. Manuel will go in the first two rounds. Chances are it won't be to the Patriots, but they are in position in both the first and second rounds to use their pick as a bargaining chip for future (higher) draft picks. It's what they do. Someone will bite.

30. Atlanta – Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State. A rising draft prospect, the Falcons have a Super Bowl team in place and, combined with the loss of Brent Grimes to free agency and the release of Dunta Robinson, this pick makes as much sense as any to date in the draft.

31. San Francisco – Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati. He has some growing up to do and Vernon Davis may not be the prototypical role model, but the 49ers have a way of harnessing talent to buy into the system. If Kelce is willing to accept the "49er way," he could be a steal at this point and give the 49ers their own Gronk-Hernandez tandem.

32. Travis Frederick, C, Wisconsin. The Ravens went to Minnesota to get a center to take them to the next level. They go to Wisconsin this time. It might be a little early to draft a center, but Ozzie Newsome is who he is because he matches talent and need like few others and this pick makes a ton of sense from that perspective.


John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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