Two rounds full of fun, trades and drama ensued Friday night. When the dust settled, there were winners, and there were losers. Nick Chiamardas gives you the winners of rounds two and three, while I tell you who the losers are. You may find it interesting that Nick and I disagree on one team. That team appears in both the winners and losers column of the article. We analyze, you decide.
The Ravens continue to restock the cupboard on defense. They traded up in round two to grab Arthur Brown from Kansas State. Brown was viewed by some as a first rounder, so this pick has great value.
They then selected the big DT Brandon Williams in the third. Williams will compete right away and so far the Ravens have found three future starters on defense.
They reached for EJ Manuel in round one but were able to give the young QB some firepower today by drafting sure-handed Robert Woods from USC and former Olympian Marquise Goodwin from Texas. When you think about adding these new weapons to a group including Stevie Johnson, CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson, Buffalo's offense actually sounds a bit scary.
The Bills also landed Oregon ILB Kiko Alonso in round two. It was a bit of a reach, but aside from the character questions, Alonso grades out fairly well. He might become one of the better cover linebackers from this draft and should start from day one.
Many thought the Dolphins might target a corner in round one. Instead they traded up for Dion Jordan and settled the cornerback issue on day two with the selection of Jamar Taylor. Taylor was one of my favorite corners coming into the draft; He’s a fluid defender capable of matching up with opposing teams' best options.
Those that didn’t think the Dolphins would target a corner in round one thought they’d target a tackle. Instead, Miami opted to wait until round three, where they drafted Dallas Thomas. Thomas was suffering from an injury early this draft season and I think that really caused his stock to drop. He’s a physical player who is quick enough to potentially compete at left tackle.
There’s probably not a team in the second that took advantage of great value on the board with each pick on day two. The Chargers second round selection of Manti Te'o gives them an immediate leader on defense; Te'o should do well.
The Bolts were the beneficiaries of another former first round talent in Cal WR Keenan Allen. Allen was once the top receiver on the board until a late injury caused teams to back off. He will recover and ultimately provide Phillip Rivers with a reliable target.
The Steelers have filled needs throughout the draft with smart, ‘Steeler-like’ picks. In the second round they grabbed Michigan St. running back Le’Veon Bell. Bell is the biggest, most physical back in the draft. He’s quicker than you’d think by looking at him and fits perfectly into the Steelers offense.
The Steelers also addressed the large vacancy left by Mike Wallace at wide receiver when he took his talents to South Beach by taking Markus Wheaton from Oregon State. Wheaton isn’t as fast as Wallace but will likely benefit similarly when Big Ben extends plays.
I really try not to be a homer, I do. But Trent Baalke and the 49ers front office make it nearly impossible. The Niners grabbed Florida State DE Tank Carradine after trading down in round two. Coming off an ACL tear, Carradine is a bit of a risk but has a very high ceiling. He could line up as a pass rusher this year and potentially grow into a 5-technique end to replace Justin Smith. The 49ers also acquired Tennessee’s third round pick in 2014.
Later in the second the 49ers gave up a sixth round pick to move up and select tight end Vance McDonald. I’m a big fan of McDonald and can’t wait to see how the 49ers utilize his versatility. McDonald has a bit of a hands issue but he could become a special player.
In the third the, 49ers traded the seventh round pick acquired from the trade with Tennessee to Green Bay in moving up to select OLB Corey Lemonier from Auburn. I like Leomonier’s athleticism and desire to pressure the QB. He probably would have been a first round pick next year had he stayed at Auburn.
While I included the Jets as a winner day one, they are far from winning anything on day two. As I watched the NFL Network, a fan's reaction said it all. The fan had his hands on his head and said, "how?" in disbelief. I don't know how the Jets can draft a quarterback with that pick, when they have so many other holes to fill. Realistically, the Jets will not be a contender next season, and they should have been drafting the best player available (that also fills a need).
Obviously I am not a Geno Smith fan; His skills did not warrant a selection here. He would have continued to plummet in the second round if it wasn't for a dysfunctional New York Jets front office. The Jets should have rolled the dice with Mark Sanchez (who they will be unable to release or trade) and David Garrard for a season. As far as who they should have drafted here instead, there are far too many players to name. The Jets should have followed the Jaguars model in round two, bypassing a quarterback and filling an area of greater immediate need instead.
Another quarterback who is going to feel my wrath here. I ranked Mike Glennon behind Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, and even Tyler Bray. Glennon is a highly inaccurate passer at all levels (short, medium, and deep throws). Besides his inaccuracy, Glennon tends to make a lot of very questionable decisions, and I highly doubt he will be able to read NFL defenses. Yes, he does have a strong arm, but what is a strong arm if you don't have the smarts or accuracy to utilize it correctly?
I will concede that drafting cornerback Johnthan Banks in the second round was a good choice for them (good physical corner), but the selection of Glennon in the third has them as a loser in my book. I understand bringing in some competition for Josh Freeman, but Glennon is not competition and is instead a wasted pick. If they were to go quarterback, it would have been wise for them to wait one more round to do so; Take a look at how many quarterbacks are still on the board.
The Bills' day two started off well, selecting talented USC receiver Robert Woods. Then it went downhill from there. The next two picks by the Bills were Oregon inside linebacker Kiko Alonso and Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. Granted, both players have some upside and ability, but there were better players available at both positions.
After the Bills picked Alonso at No. 46, the Ravens took Arthur Brown at pick No. 56. Brown is a brute and sure tackler of a linebacker who also possesses good coverage skills. This is who the Bills should have selected instead.
After the Bills took Goodwin at pick No. 78, the Steelers took a much better receiver in Markus Wheaton at pick No. 79. The Bills must have gotten caught up in the "speed factor", because Goodwin is very raw as a receiver. Wheaton was the best receiver in the Pac-12 this season, racking up 91 receptions for 1,244 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Goodwin's 4.27 forty time is impressive, but it's hard to tell if he will ever materialize into a player that is more than a return specialist. If they wanted a gadget player/return specialist, the Bills could have acquired one later on in Denard Robinson.
I don't know if the Seahawks are a loser necessarily, but their pick second round pick confused me, so let's talk about it. With their second round pick, the Seahawks opt to draft a running back, which is not a position of need. Texas A&M RB Christine Michael could turn out to be a very good pro, but "beast mode" Marshawn Lynch is going to hog all his carries. Last year the 'Hawks picked up running back Robert Turbin, and I'm not sure how much of an upgrade Michael is over him. It is good to have depth at the running back position, but with good running backs still available heading into day three (Johnathan Franklin, Stepfan Taylor, Andre Ellington), the Seahawks may have drafted a running back too early.
Then at the tail end of the third round they pick up Penn DT Jordan Hill, whom I thought would be a fifth round choice. The Seahawks could have had Alabama DL Jesse Williams here, but they chose not to grab a guy who was deemed an early second round pick. Their two picks on day two were head scratchers. And here comes the hate from Seahawks fans in 3, 2, 1.
MORE DRAFT COVERAGE
- Day 1 draft grades, Day 2 grades
- Day 3 TV, pick info
- 49ers Pre-Draft Roster
- Prospect Scouting Reports
- Consensus Top-400 big board