NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Rounds 2 & 3

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

59.) Colts: SS Jimmy Ward, Northern Illinois (5’11, 193) – Ward isn’t flashy but is a sound tackler and is so good in coverage that he could fill in at CB if needed. He should be able to replace Antoine Bethea in the starting lineup as a rookie. Solid value late in the 2nd.

60.) Panthers: OT Joel Bitonio, Nevada (6’4, 302): After LT Jordan Gross’ surprise retirement, the Panthers have a hole on the left side of their offensive line. Bitonio had a great Senior Bowl and then showed surprising athleticism and speed at the combine with a sub-5 40-time and top five results in the 3-cone, broad jump, short shuttle, and vertical leap. Bitonio’s game tape is solid, specifically his performance against 1st round prospect Anthony Barr who he held without a sack in their match-up. Bitonio is shorter than ideal for a LT, but he is a half-inch taller than former LT Jordan Gross, so it may not be an issue for Carolina.

61.) 49ers: CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood (6’1, 198) – Desir is making a huge jump up in competition from tiny Lindenwood college, but showed he could handle it at the Senior Bowl and then ran well at the combine (4.59) for a guy his size. There is a lot of potential here, Desir has great size, arm length and ball skills. The 49ers lost both starting corners from last year’s team (Rogers, Brown), so Desir would be a welcome addition.

62.) Patriots: TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech (6’5, 265) – He’s a perfect fit for the Aaron Hernandez role in the Pats offense, so they may take him in round 1 and not risk losing him in round 2. Amaro had a disappointing combine so he may drop this far, though he did look better at his pro day. Knowing Belichick’s penchant for trading down I think they will either move back from 30 or up from 62 to secure Amaro’s services.

63.) Broncos: G David Yankey, Stanford (6’6, 315) – The Broncos lost starting guard Zane Beadles to free agency, but find a replacement in Yankey. His speed was disappointing at the combine (5.48), but has great size, position versatility, intelligence and was a team captain at Stanford. Guards don’t need to run very far in the Broncos zone blocking scheme anyway. Yankey is a good value pick this late in the 2nd round and could contribute immediately for the Broncos.

64.) Seahawks: T Ja’Wuan James, Tennessee (6’5, 311) – The Seahawks lost starting right tackle Breno Giacomini in free agency, but probably would be looking for a replacement even if he stayed. James would have been a LT at most colleges, but with Antonio Richardson entrenched there, James got a lot of experience playing on the right side which is beneficial since that is probably his best fit in the NFL. James is a powerful run blocker with good feet and surprising quickness for his size. His technique needs some work, but it’s close enough to NFL ready that he should be able to start at RT from day 1.