Once upon a time, Rex Ryan was known for defense. For all of the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow talk, defense is what will dictate how this team fares in the future. Barkevious Mingo is another LSU guy who was expected to have a better year than he is currently having. That said, this kid has an NFL body and proved last year that he can hang tough in the grittiest college football conference around. This is the perfect place to nab him in the draft – ideal value pick.
9. Oakland Raiders: Dee Milliner
The Oakland Raiders’ defense has a lot of holes, but the biggest one (by far) is pass protection. This draft has a pretty terrible selection of top-tier cornerbacks, though, so who goes here depends on who you fancy. At the moment, Dee Milliner is shining on the best team in the country. That said, Johnathan Banks and Xavier Rhodes would work here, too.
10. St Louis Rams: Keenan Allen
Too bad Marqise Lee can’t be taken here. You need defense to succeed in the NFC west, sure, but Sam Bradford legitimately has zero passing options right now. Get the kid some help. Keenan Allen is the best receiving option available in this year’s proceedings, and he will provide a huge boost to an anemic group of receivers.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Johnathan Banks
CB, Mississippi State
The Bengals need a defensive boost. Manti Te’o might have been good here, but he will likely be gone by the time they’re up to bat. If he is in fact off the board, then the team will likely look to nab a corner. Johnathan Banks would make a lot of sense.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Rhodes
CB, Florida State
The Bucs’ offense has been tremendous in recent weeks, so look for the focus in this year’s proceedings to be on defense. They passed on Morris Claiborne last time and traded Aqib Talib last week, so that pretty much makes it official: this squad is taking a corner here. Xavier Rhodes is the only halfway decent one who will be available once Milliner and Banks are off the board.
13. San Diego Chargers: Luke Joeckel
OT, Texas A&M
The Chargers need to do something for Philip Rivers here. Either give him a quality wide receiver, or give him some o-line protection. With Allen likely off the board by this point, they’ll likely opt for the latter option. Luke Joeckel is versatile enough to play right or left tackle, and he’ll be a great fit for a Chargers line that hasn’t been particularly impressive this year.
14. St. Louis Rams: Taylor Lewan
Having addressed the wide receiver problem earlier, the Rams will shift their attention onto o-line here. Taylor Lewan is a beast physically, and he’ll at the very least take up a lot of space on a unit that needs to start giving Sam Bradford a little more time to throw.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: Barrett Jones
With Andy Reid gone, this team’s picks will become a lot easier to predict. The Eagles' offensive line, currently, is porous. Regardless of whether they’re protecting Michael Vick or Nick Foles, this group needs an upgrade. Barrett Jones is versatile and can be lined up at guard, center or tackle – making him the perfect piece for a line that doesn’t know exactly how it wants to play next year yet.