NFL DRAFT PICK BY PICK: DAY TWO
By Simon Carroll
Deciding who ‘won the draft’ is a fools errand. Most analysts say it will be at least three years before we truly know whether a draft pick was a success or not, and history tells us that a 50% strike rate is par for the course when it comes to scouting prospects.
What we will do is add some context to each pick – whether it fills a team need and how, schematically, a franchise’s latest star will fit into their system. We can also look at the value of each selection in relation to common perception, i.e. was he a steal or did a team reach for him? And if there was a trade involved, what was the cost of doing business?
For all the analysis of the first round picks from Thursday, click here. We now turn our attention to day two, and all 74 picks from rounds two and three:
33. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
If new franchise QB Joe Burrow didn’t have enough weapons in Cincy already, he does now. Higgins is a big-bodied, physical outside receiver who can go up and get the football and be a real red zone threat.
34. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Michael Pittman, WR, USC
Talk about a size & speed prospect – Pittman is an aggressive pass catcher who ticks all the boxes for Indy. he’s got some polishing to do but that just means he can get better. The Colts give Philip Rivers every chance to be a success.
35. DETROIT LIONS
D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Surprising, but a great pick. The Lions aren’t sold on Kerryon Johnson, and one way to take the pressure off Matthew Stafford is to gvie him a running game he never really has had during his time in Detroit. Kerryon is a three-down, do it all back who adds a new dimension to this Lions offense.
36. NEW YORK GIANTS
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
There is no safety as versatile or as complete as McKinney in this draft class. Extremely smooth with good mental processing, physical in contact and showcases good ball skills, he can line up anywhere needed in that secondary and help create mismatches for The Giants.
37. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Of course Bill Belichick trades back to select a small-school safety. Dugger is slightly undersized but is still able to come down into the box and even moonlight as a linebacker. He’s competitive and provides special teams value – something the Patriots covet.
38. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The Matt Rhule era begins by building the defensive front. YGM was a potential first round pick due to his elite athleticism and speed into the backfield. He pairs up with Brian Burns and fellow rookie Derrick Brown to form a devastating pass rush trio.
39. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Robert Hunt, OT/IOL, Louisiana
This Dolphins offensive line still needs plenty of work. Robert Hunt is an incredibly gifted tackle/guard prospect who has the versatility to allow Miami to slot him in wherever they need. Growing up with nothing, he went to a training camp at Louisiana with no pads or equipment and left with a scholarship.
40. HOUSTON TEXANS
Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU
After losing DJ Reader to Cincy, Houston needed to bolster their defensive line. Blacklock is an interior pass rusher with remarkable quickness for his size. He was a borderline first round prospect, and The Texans get good value with this pick here.
41. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Oh I love this pick. Despite a relatively deep running back room, Indy add a true three-down ball carrier to take the pressure off Rivers and the passing game. 6,000 yards rushing in three years in Madison, JT reminds me of Adrian Peterson with his ability to slip through small gaps and finish violently.
42. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
A solid draft for Jacksonville continues with the addition of Shenault. If you’re all-in on Gardner Minshew, he needs more than just DJ Chark to throw to. Shenault is deadly with the ball in his hands. Expect manufactured touches for him as they look to take advantage of his explosion.
43. CHICAGO BEARS
Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Signing Jimmy Graham in free agency was nothing more than a band aid for Chicago at a position that has caused them consternation since Martellus Bennett left town. Cole Kmet is raw but has an all-round game that Matt Nagy will hope to be able to develop into a reliable starter in the near future.
44. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Grant Delpit. S, LSU
A poor 2019 that highlighted some tackling issues allowed Delpit to slide into day two, but he didn’t have to wait long. His instincts and athleticism jump off the screen, and Cleveland will be banking on the 2018 version to solidify their secondary.
45. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Antoine Winfield Jr, S, Minnesota
The secondary was a definite area of need for Tampa, and they get themselves an absolute baller in Winfield. The son of the former Viking Antoine Jr, Winfield has exceptional ball skills and can basically perform any role asked of him on the back end.
46. DENVER BRONCOS
KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
An unusual decision from Denver to double down on pass catchers after taking Jerry Jeudy in round one. Hamler is a different animal, a jitterbug burner who will be the gadget guy in this stacked offense.
47. ATLANTA FALCONS
Marlon Davidson, IDL, Auburn
I like the fit of Davidson in this Falcons defensive front despite not being as high on the Auburn prospect as most. Playing mostly end at college, expect Davidson to slide inside and ply the three-tech next to Grady Jarrett. That’s some considerable interior pass-rush in Atlanta right now.
48. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
Fresh off surprising us in round one with the reach for Jordyn Brooks, the Seahawks are up to their old tricks agian. At least this time they address a position of need, but Taylor was a day three pick for me. A pairing of LJ Collier and Darrell Taylor is hardly going to strike fear into the quarterbacks of the NFC West.
49. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
This is a pick I like. Claypool is essentially a receiver-tight end hybrid that can play inside or out. He showcased impressive athleticism at the combine, and is an acrobatic ball catcher. Expect Randy Fichtner to utilise him in numerous ways in Pittsburgh.
50. CHICAGO BEARS
Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
In a division with some BIG receivers, the Bears needed to get more physical at corner and they certainly did that with the selection of Johnson here. The former Utah Ute has had some injury problems but when he’s fit he’s a handful for any opponent. He has ideal length and strenght to dominate in press man coverage.
51. DALLAS COWBOYS
Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Once again, Dallas stand pat and allow elite talent to fall their way. The brother of Bills wide receiver Stefon, Trevon Diggs has similar ball playing skills as his sibling. Highly intelligent with good footballing instincts, he’s a worthy replacement for the departed Byron Jones
52. LOS ANGELES RAMS
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
This pick seems a little luxurious for The Rams who have a plethora of issues to address on defense. Having said that, Cam Akers is a premium ball carrier who should partner with Darrell Henderson to form a dangerous two-headed monster in the backfield following the departure of Todd Gurley.
53. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Wow. This was a pick that left a lot of Philly fans picking their jaws up off the floor. That’s not to say Hurts isn’t worth it – he’s at worst an elite backup QB with starting potential who can spell a brittle Carson Wentz in a pinch. He’s a leader and a winner – but is this too early for The Eagles when they have questions at linebacker and in their secondary?
54. BUFFALO BILLS
AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
An excellent pick for the Bills, who select Epenesa with their first pick of this draft. Epenesa fell too far for his talent, with teams worried that he doesn’t really have a home in a traditional scheme. Myself, I view him as a versatile lineman with high production. He can line up in odd or even fronts and will be a three-down player next to Ed Oliver in Buffalo.
55. BALTIMORE RAVENS
JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
The rich continue to get richer. An offense brimming with talent and explosion just added another dimension with Dobbins, who can find the open field in the blink of an eye. He’s added to a talented backfield with Mark Ingram, Gus the Bus and Justice Hill.
56. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
A high character guy added to the defensive front in Miami. Flores puts a premium on leadership and work ethic, and Davis brings both of those by the bucket load. He also has the smarts to find his way to the football on every down.
57. LOS ANGELES RAMS
Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
A direct replacement for Brandin Cooks who was traded to Houston, Jefferson is a very different kind of receiver. Very reliable hands and an innate ability to make the line to gain on every reception will be well received on an offense that has seen some playmaking ability leave town this offseason.
58. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
This is a little early for me, especially considering Josh Jones was still on the board. But Cleveland brings incredible athleticism and more than adequate reach to a stale offensive line. This pick addresses a significant need as the Vikings look to improve their offensive output in 2020.
59. NEW YORK JETS
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
After an amazing combine, Denzel Mims flew up draft boards and was getting buzz as a late first round pick. That didn’t quite materialise, but The Jets will be delighted with the value that the big receiver offers them here. He should mitigate the loss of Robby Anderson nicely.
60. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
A team lacking pass rush just got a shot in the arm with the addition of Uche. As is the way with Belichick pass rushers, Uche will be the hybrid OLB/DE that can line up in numerous positions and perform a variety of roles for this defense. Uche’s speed is elite.
61. TENNESSEE TITANS
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Another first round talent that slips to the bottom of the second round, Fulton shouldn’t be too upset. He lands on a defense that is ready to challenge once again. His competitive nature fits in well with the culture that Mike Vrabel has instilled in Tennessee.
62. GREEN BAY PACKERS
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College
I love the fit of this pick – AJ Dillon is a 250lb beastly ball carrier who should make hay in the tough NFC North. His game is a lot more diverse than he gets the credit for, but it;s his size and aggression that Green Bay will lean on. After going for their QB of the future in round one, this is another pick that seems a little luxurious.
63. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Willie Gay Jr, EDGE, Mississippi State
The Chiefs take a punt on a prospect with significant character concerns but riduculous potential. Willie Gay is as raw as they come and needs to harness his potential, but the upside is off the charts. If he can keep his nose clean he could be a pro bowl talent at the next level.
64. CAROLINA PANTHERS
Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
More talent added to this defense, which looks to be focusing on physicality with the addition of Chinn to the secondary. The small school standout lvoes nothing more than dropping into the box and smacking someone in the mouth. The Matt Rhule era is going to be fun!
65. CINCINNATI BENGALS
Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
One of my fvaourite players in this draft, I was convinced Wilson would fall to day three. Luckily the Bengals saw sense and took the multi-functional linebacker, who showed he really could do it all in Wyoming.
66. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Antonio Gibson, RB/WR, Memphis
Call him a receiver, a running back – whatever. Gibson is a playmaker who you put the ball in his hands in space and he’ll do the rest. The Redskins were desperate for someone that had game-breaking ability like this.
67. DETROIT LIONS
Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
Much like The Patriots seleciton of Uche, Detroit will be relying on the athleticism of Okwara to line him up in multiple spots and make plays. He can drop into coverage but excels torpedoing into the backfield. Just let him loose!
68. NEW YORK JETS
Ashtyn Davis, S, California
Dare I say it – the Jets are having a pretty good draft? They get Becton, Mims, more picks from a trade back and the most athletic safety in the class. Ashtyn Davis is a track guy that showcases remarkable click and close speed to the football. His football instincts are still developing but the sky is the limit.
69. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Damien Lewis, IOL, LSU
Three picks from Seattle and if i’m honest, I don’t like any of them. Certainly not value wise. Damien Lewis is a reliable interior blocker but with other prospects on the board he feels like a considerable reach at this point of the draft.
70. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Brandon Jones, S, Texas
This is a good example of a player fitting a scheme perfectly. Jones’ versatility in that Dophins secondary is the same reason The Patriots selected Kyle Dugger earlier. Miami’s vision for this defense is slowly being realised.
71. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M
After a failed attempt to sign Michael Brockers in free agency, Baltimore have been keen to add more depth at defensive tackle. Madubuike represents impressive value at this juncture and his interior pass-rushing capability will be welcomed on this Ravens defense.
72. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Just like they did with Isaiah Simmons in the first round, The Cardinals sit there and allow talent to fall to them. The ridiculous slide of Josh Jones is halted as he heads to the desert to protect Kyler Murray, who was sacked 48 times last year.
73. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Davon Hamilton, IDL, Ohio State
Having fastidiously filled holes through this draft so far, The Jags continue to address the defense. Hamilton will help them get more stout against the run, something they really struggled to contain last season.
74. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
The Saints move up to take incredible value with Baun here, who likely fell due to a failed drug test at the combine. His positional versatility make him a dangerous movable piece on this defense that Dennis Allen will love to create mismatches with.
75. DETROIT LIONS
Jonah Jackson, IOL, Ohio State
This is one of those picks that isn’t sexy but will be looked back on fondly in three years time. Jackson is a physical interior lineman with an appetite for moving people out the way. With all the talent leaving that line this offseason, the Lions find a day one starter.
76. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Ke'Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt
A reach, but an understandable one. The Buccaneers are in the business of giving Tom Brady as much chance to win as possible. The last piece is a run game. And if Bruce Arians has identified Vaughn as the back to do it, then who am I to argue? Establishing the run will help their new quarterback take them to the playoffs.
77. DENVER BRONCOS
Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa
A bit of a reach, but Ojemudia has size and length to be a problem for receivers. The departure of Chris Harris meant The Broncos needed some more reinforcement in the secondary.
78. ATLANTA FALCONS
Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
This is a sneaky decent draft haul from Atlanta. Hennessy is an ultra-mobile interior lineman who may be asked to swing or play guard when needed, but ultimately is the future replacement for the aging Alex Mack.
79. NEW YORK JETS
Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
The first Jets pick i’m not wild about. It addresses a need which is fine, but I think that Zuniga’s teammate Jonathan Greenard would have been the better pass rusher to shoot for.
80. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Lynn Bowden Jr, RB/WR, Kentucky
A new quarterback? Just kidding. Bowden played everywhere imaginable for Kentucky to a high standard. He’s a tough SOB and a true team player who Gruden can come up with a package of plays for and take advantage of his playmkaing ability.
81. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
This is now a heavy focus on weapons for Derek Carr. Bryan Edwards fell down draft boards due to injury in the pre-draft process, but he literally was THE passing game in South Carolina. A secure target who can move chains, he pairs well with the more dynamic Ruggs on this offense.
82. DALLAS COWBOYS
Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma
Example number three of talent falling to the Cowboys. This time it definitely fills a need – They brought in Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy from the Panthers this offseason, but neither are long term solutions. Gallimore brings youthful athelticism to the defensive tackle position.
83. DENVER BRONCOS
Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU
I like this pickup. The Broncos focused on the o-line in free agency but still need to add more protection for Drew Lock. Cushenberry can play either guard or center and should help in both the run and passing game.
84. LOS ANGELES RAMS
Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
The oft-injured Terrell Lewis is well worth a punt from the Rams here, who are absolutely desperate for pass rush help with the departure of Dante Fowler. On his day, Lewis has the instincts and anticipation to be around the football on every play.
85. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Julian Blackmon, S, Utah
Julian Blackmon has only played safety for one season but his measurables meant he was very productive at the position. As he learns the nuances he’ll get even better. His ability to also play corner will please the Colts too.
86. BUFFALO BILLS
Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Zack Moss looks graceful across the turf but don’t think for one minute he won’t run right through you. He has a nasty streak which bodes well for the blue collar city of Buffalo, who were always in the market for a back to pair with Devin Singletary.
87. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama
A cerebral, intelligent edge rusher, Anfernee Jennings isn’t a three down player. But he can be relied upon to get into the backfield on obvious passing downs and is a special teams standout.
88. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Jordan Elliott, IDL, Missouri
The nomadic Elliott has bounced around college teams and has never really lived up to his potential. Cleveland will be hoping he can develop into a reliable run defender as they look to improve an area they struggled mightily in last season.
89. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
More cornerback help to a decimated position group after taking Gladney in the first round. Much like Gladney, Dantzler is undersized but a feisty, competitive corner. He will compete to start from day one on this defense.
90. HOUSTON TEXANS
Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
The focus remains on the defense for Houston, who grab Greenard here. The Florida standout fits The Texans 3-4 scheme well, lining up at outside linebacker and using his natural speed to bolt through the line of scrimmage.
91. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA
The sleeper tight end of the draft class, New England look to address a position that has been lacking since the retirement of Rob Gronkowski. Asiasi was rising up draft boards late in the process.
92. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
A wide receiver in a running back’s body, Duvernay combines track speed with superb hands. He’s a little one-dimensional but will fit in this offense nicely. Expect Lamar to give him the ball in space and let him turn on the jets.
93. TENNESSEE TITANS
Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State
Speed and intelligence are the hallmarks of Darrynton Evans’ running style. Another prospect who has gone somewhat under the radar, he should offer a nice change of pace to the rumbling style of Derrick Henry.
94. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati
Josiah Deguara might be my favourite player in the draft. A shallow position group, Green Bay find the one guy that can do everything you ask of him. 100% effort on every snap, his mentality will work well down at Lambeau Field.
95. DENVER BRONCOS
McTelvin Agim, IDL, Arkansas
Agim predominantly played as an edge rusher for Arkansas before kicking inside to tackle last year. He’s still very raw and needs a lot of work, but the pass rushing tendencies are there and he offers a high ceiling. Learning off Jurrell Casey can only help his development.
96. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
Lucas Niang is a behemoth tackle who battled through injuries during his time at TCU. Despite always being dinged up he allowed just one sack in two years in Fort Worth. He possesses good agility for his size and will be a swing tackle for KC early on.
97. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU
A reliable center field marshal, Phillips excels in the run game, tackling anything and everything that comes near him. With the departure of Joe Schobert he fills a need at the heart of this defense.
98. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
The Ravens double down at Linebacker after selecting Patrick Queen in round one. Harrison is a classic thumper – dominant against the run. Very different to his fellow rookie Queen, Baltimore will be hoping they can combine to form a fearsome presence at the second level.
99. NEW YORK GIANTS
Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut
Okay. I’m starting to get nervous because I like all of Dave Gettleman’s selections so far in this draft. Peart was a man amongst boys at college but competed well in the all-star game against his fellow rookie prospects. He’ll likely need a season to develop but I fully expect him to be a starter in a few year’s time.
100. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Tanner Muse, LB/S, Clemson
A classic Mike Mayock pick. Muse is a violent thumper from a thoroughbred college program. This is a reach for me, but he should provide suitable backup to the returning Jonathan Abram. Interesting they announced him as a linebacker; perhaps they have a different role in mind for him…
101. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech
I had to do a little research on this pick because i’d barely seen any of Keene’s tape. This is definitlely too early for him but Belichick doesn’t comply with common consensus. Keene’s versatility is the key here – he can be utilised on the line of scrimmage or in the backfield as a h-back or fullback.
102. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte
YES! Alex Highsmith is a Touchdown favourite. His growth as a pass rusher has been remarkable at Charlotte, and we were confident he’d crack day two. I fully expect him to go to Pittsburgh and steal Bud Dupree’s starting job before the end of the season. An edge rushing duo of TJ Watt and Highsmith is quite frankly scary.
103. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Davion Taylor, LB, Colorado
Another prospect that had been shooting up draft boards late in the process, Taylor is an athletic freak. He strorms round the field in a whirlwind fashion and helps provide this Eagles linebacker corps with some playmaking ability it has been sorely lacking.
104. LOS ANGELES RAMS
Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
An absolute steal at the bottom of the third round, Burgess is a stud. His speed, ball skills and instincts are top notch, and he’ll be a day one starter for The Rams. The fourth Utah Ute to come off the the board, Burgess just might be the best of the lot…
105. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
Love this fit. The Saints trade up late on day two to snag Trautman, who was The Touchdonwn’s TE1 in this draft class. His pass-catching ability will be welcomed by Drew Brees, and Sean Payton will be busy this offseason concocting some two TE sets to have both him and Jared Cook on the field.
106. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Tyre Phillips, IOL, Mississippi State
The Ravens finish off the third round with the selection of Phillips, an underrated guard. Run blocking is where he excels, which bodes well for new ball carrier JK Dobbins. The retirement of Marshal Yanda meant Baltimore were certain to address the interior of their o-line at some point in this draft.