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My second attempt at picking non-first-rounders: the North divisions edition

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Updated Oct. 06, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.
By Eric Edholm

OK, onto Part Two of something I started last week: predicting good matches of draft prospects and teams past Round One. I have moved on now with the AFC North and NFC North divisions, picking six players total for the four teams in each of those respective divisions. Let me know how I did. Again, I am shooting for a 15-percent success rate, which I will calculate after the draft.

Here goes ...

AFC North 

Baltimore Ravens

Boise State DB Gerald Alexander — He’s a fast-rising prospect who could make an immediate impact in the Ravens’ secondary as a nickel back and on special teams. They have had a knack for finding good DBs in the draft, and Alexander could go as early as Round Three (they do not have a third-round pick currently) but fits in best in the fourth.

Nebraska LB Stewart Bradley — To many, Bradley is a perfect SAM linebacker in a 3-4 defense (even though the Huskers only played a couple of series in a 3-4 alignment the past two seasons) because of his size. He was not a big playmaker in college, but he was very solid. A very nice fit here in Round Two.

Cleveland Browns

Michigan State QB Drew Stanton — There’s still a very good chance that Brady Quinn could win over the Browns, but more likely, the team opts for RB Adrian Peterson and goes for a quarterback — either Stanford’s Trent Edwards or Stanton — in Rounds Two or Three. Stanton would be a decent fit at No. 67 near the top of Round Three.

Cincinnati Bengals

Georgia Tech OG Mansfield Wrotto — Wrotto plays with the power they desire, and he fills an immediate need with Eric Steinbach walking in free agency. Not that Wrotto would for sure start right away, but he’s better inside than outside. A nice pick with the 114th pick overall, in Round Four.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Texas CB Tarell Brown — The Steelers will consider a cornerback or offensive lineman in Round One, perhaps Pitt’s Darrelle Revis, but if they choose to go with another need, such as a pass rusher, they will look to take a corner somewhere on Day One. Brown has some injury history and might be a slight character concern, but he’d fit the mold of a big, tough corner the team is looking for. They choose 46th overall in Round Two. Of course, there has been considerable talk that the Steelers will attempt to move up in Round One to take Penn State OT Levi Brown, which almost certainly would cost them their second-rounder.

Illinois WR Laurént Robinson — Adding speed at wideout would be good, and Robinson came into Pittsburgh for a visit on Tuesday to meet with team officials. He likely would be on the board when the Steelers pick 119th, in the fourth round.

NFC North

Chicago Bears

New Mexico LB Quincy Black — There are obvious tie-ins, with Black growing up in Chicago and with Brian Urlacher's connection to the school. But there are football connections, too, and that includes the Bears’ scheme and the potential (probable) need for a starting WILL ’backer with Lance Briggs’ situation unsettled. The Bears’ system favors speed, and Black ran a 4.49 at the Combine. The team likely would look at him in Round Two, where they pick 37th as of now.

Detroit Lions

Stanford QB Trent Edwards — He’s the best fit for Mike Martz’s offense after the first two QBs, Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell, are gone. And it’s looking more and more as if the Lions will pass on a QB with the second pick. Another name to keep an eye on is BYU’s John Beck, whom the team might like better than Drew Stanton. The Raiders are warming on Edwards and could take him one pick before the Lions if Oakland chooses Calvin Johnson No. 1 instead of JaMarcus Russell.

Stanford LB Michael Okwo — Perhaps he's a little too close to Ernie Sims (small, tough, feisty, injury-prone), but Okwo fits the Lions' system and they are desperate for linebackers who do so. Okwo would be a Rod Marinelli-type guy and would step right in on special teams. A good pick in Round Four; the Lions own the second pick of the second day of the draft, at No. 101.

Green Bay Packers

Nebraska RB Brandon Jackson — With rumors that Cal RB Marshawn Lynch might slide past the Packers’ pick in Round One, perhaps in lieu of a defensive back there, the Packers would be wise to look at Jackson, who would fit in well with the team’s zone-blocking scheme. That style has produced some good backs lower in drafts, historically, so there’s no need to take Lynch high. Jackson to the Pack in Round Four at pick No. 112.

Delaware TE Ben Patrick — The team needs a well-rounded athlete at the position, and Patrick has tested very well since the end of the season. With Bubba Franks past his prime and David Martin gone to Miami, tight end is a big need. Patrick might not last until the 73rd pick, which is where Green Bay picks in Round Three, but if he does, the team would be all over him. It’s a down year for tight ends, to say the least.

Minnesota Vikings

Oklahoma LB Rufus Alexander — Though he’s not terribly fast, he’s very active and makes for a good fit in the Vikings’ cover-2-influenced system. Another benefit is that Alexander likely will make an instant impact on special teams, where the Vikings need a lot of help. He certainly would be available with the Vikings’ fourth-rounder (No. 106), but there’s a chance he slides to the fifth round (where the Vikes pick 146th).

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