Today, we will be completing the first round of our first NFL Mock Draft of the season. Feel free to interact with Steelers_101 on the picks by commenting on the post, on our facebook fan page or on twitter @Steelers_101.
22. Cleveland Browns (From Atlanta) – WR Kendall Wright – Baylor
Last season, the Browns offense struggled with subpar performances from their wide receiving corps and need an upgrade at the position. In Wright, they get a player that is often compared to Carolina Panthers wide out Steve Smith for his ability to make a big play.
23. Detroit Lions – CB Dre Kirkpatrick – Alabama
Over the past few drafts, the Lions have had the chance to grab some talented players who fell into their lap, and that trend continues here. At one time, Kirkpatrick was a projected top five selection, who now falls to 23, giving the Lions extremely good value.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – OT Mike Adams – Ohio State
The Steelers are in a tough position with this selection having a number of needs, with no talent fitting that need perfectly. In the end, the Steelers grab an offensive tackle to help them continue to build along the front line. Adams has prototypical size for a offensive tackle and is finally starting to tap into his potential. This is also a prime spot for a trade, as the Steelers may decide to grab an extra selection and position themselves closer to the value of their needs.
25. Denver Broncos – DT Devon Still – Penn State
Still is a big and physical run stuffer, who could come in and immediately pay dividends for the Broncos. After a strong combine, he is rising up some draft boards at the ever-fluid defense tackle position.
26. Houston Texans – WR Stephen Hill – Georgia Tech
The Texans need a wide out opposite of all world wide out Andre Johnson. Hill is on the rise after a stunning combine. Though he is raw, he is big, 6-4, 215 pounds, and has demonstrated rare straight line speed by cranking out a 4.36 40-yard dash at the combine.
27. New England Patriots (From New Orleans) – CB Stephon Gilmore – South Carolina
The Patriots defense struggled in 2012, and the need depth all over. Gilmore, is a big 6-1, 193 pound cornerback with the ability to succeed in multiple schemes and a tremendous value. As fans know, a trade is a possibility any time that the Patriots are on the clock and there is a decent chance they deal one of their two first round picks this season as well.
28. Green Bay Packers – LB Andre Branch – Clemson
Branch is a defensive end, who may be able to transition to the outside for the Packers 3-4 scheme. If he can, he should provide another solid pass rusher with the ability to stack up against the run. After an impressive combine, he should come off the board in this vicinity.
29. Baltimore Ravens – S Mark Barron – Alabama
The Ravens are in a solid position to build depth at many positions with this pick. With an aging defense, they start searching for players to take over for some future Hall-of-Famers. Their first selection is Barron, who has the potential to learn behind Safety Ed Reed before taking over after Reed’s retirement.
30. San Francisco 49ers – OG Kevin Zeitler – Wisconsin
The 49ers are a solid team and are building through the draft. While they may prefer a cornerback or wide receiver here, there is no value. Instead, they continue to build their offensive line with Zeitler. A versatile lineman, he is quietly rising up draft boards after an impressive pro Day.
31. New England Patriots – DT Kendall Reyes – Connecticut
Reyes can play both end and tackle for the Patriots, allowing them to continue to be a hybrid front. If there has not been a trade yet, a trade is a real possibility here.
32. New York Giants – DT Jerel Worthy – Michigan State
Worthy will continue to help the Giants maintain one of the more dominant front fours in the league. Big, strong and athletic, he has the ability to step in and contribute on day one.
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