Meadville Tribune

Sports

April 25, 2013

COMMENTARY: Draft short on stars but heavy on talent

(Continued)

MEADVILLE — 10. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

Cooper will provide a quick upgrade for the Titans. His explosiveness can open gaping holes for Chris Johnson and keep the pass rush off young QB Jake Locker.

11. San Diego Chargers: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU

I had Mingo as a top 10 talent in this year’s draft. So to get him here is a pretty good steal for the Chargers.

12. Miami Dolphins: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama

The Dolphins addressed a lot of their woes in free agency, but also lost OT Jake Long. Fluker steps right in at right tackle, allowing second-year man Jonathan Martin to move to the left side. Problem solved.

13. New York Jets: Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

Teams backed off from Lotulelei because of a heart issue at the combine. However, doctors have said he is ready to go, making this an absolute steal for the Jets as they now look to strengthen the defense between the tackles.

14. Carolina Panthers: Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri

The Panthers were terrible against the run last season. Richardson is must-have help for the D-Line if the team plans to take the next step.

15. New Orleans Saints: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

The Saints should draft the best defensive player available. By my calculations, that is Vaccaro.

16. St. Louis Rams: Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

There is a lot the Rams need and they do have two first round picks. They use this one to grab help in the passing game.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame

Personally, I would take Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes. However, someone in the Steelers’ front office has it in mind that Ike Taylor is the second comings of Rod Woodson. And for the 10th straight year, I disagree (and judging by Taylor’s ZERO Pro-Bowl selections, I am not the only one). And since the team is “set” at corner, I think the Steelers look for a way to replace Mike Wallace. In my opinion, current WRs Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders will take up most of the slack. However, this Eifert kid would add a dimension Ben Roethlisberger has not seen yet. I am talking a Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez type of talent that can not be effectively covered. He is too fast for linebackers and too big for safeties. That allows him to stretch the seam, opening up the middle of the field for both the passing and the running games.

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