After another day of excitement and intrigue, Day Two of the 2017 NFL Draft is in the books. While it may be jumping the gun to grade out winners and losers on prospects who have yet to hit the field, we can look at the teams who appear to have hit the mark filling their needs, and those who fell short losing the day. We continue our look into the winners and losers of Day Two.
Cleveland Browns: After a solid Day One for the Browns walking away with Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, and David Njoku, the quarterback needy team finally pulled the trigger on a signal caller selecting Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer in the second round (No. 52). Although they may have missed out on their top Ohio native quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky, the Browns made a great decision in drafting another Ohio native in Kizer. The Browns stuck to their board and instead of reaching in panic for their quarterback, or trade away the farm for Jimmy Garoppolo, they remained poised and came away with a solid selection in Kizer, a potential franchise player that should mesh well with Hue Jackson.
In the third round (No. 65), the Browns also came away with a solid defensive tackle in Charlotte's Larry Ogunjobi. Ogunjobi brings explosion, power, quickness, and active hands to a defensive unit that needs some interior pass rush presence.
New Orleans Saints: After getting blindsided by the 49ers on Day One, and apparently getting put on hold by Reuben Foster in order to take the call from John Lynch, the Saints had an excellent Day Two, nonetheless. Although Malik Hooker was not able to fall to them in the first round, the Saints selected an underrated safety with terrific range in Utah's Marcus Williams in the second round (No. 42). With three selections available to them in the the third round, the Saints took advantage of their opportunities drafting Tennessee's running back Alvin Kamara (No. 67), Florida's linebacker Alex Anzalone (No. 76), and Florida Atlantic's defensive end Trey Hendrickson (No. 103) filling key areas of need.
Kamara joins a roster of Mark Ingram and newly signed free agent Adrian Peterson, where the latter two are expected to share backfield duties. The skill-set of Kamara brings versatility and wide receiver hands and route running capabilities. Anzalone brings great range, speed, and instincts, and provided he can stay healthy, should have a very long and fruitful NFL career improving the Saints disappointing linebacking corps. Hendrickson brings that edge presence with an explosive first step quickness and a relentless pursuit of the football.
Dallas Cowboys: After the newfound devotion in Tacos, the Cowboys impressed staying put drafting high value prospects that fell to them in Colorado's cornerback/safety combo Chidobe Awuzie in the second round (No. 60) and Michigan's cornerback Jourdan Lewis in the third round (No. 92).
Awuzie, a physical corner with excellent technique, quickness, and instincts, gives the Cowboys versatility capable of playing the boundary, the slot, and safety position. Although Lewis is limited on size (5'10"), his game is big with top-notch coverage skills. The red flag hanging over Lewis' head is he's facing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge with a July trial date, and although he has adamantly maintained his innocence expecting all charges to be dropped, what happens at his next trial day will determine his outcome. As for Jerry Jones, he firmly stands behind Lewis after what he stated was a thorough look into Lewis' situation. Looking at on the field production only, the Cowboys come out winning; however, if July turns out against Lewis, despite the selection of Awuzie, Day Two enters the Losers category.
Drew Pearson: In what was the highlight of the night, former Dallas Cowboy's Drew Pearson had an epic toe-to-toe battle with the Philadelphia Eagles fans during what I've considered to be the finest and brilliant draft pick announcement, ever! Watch the glorious moment below.
Chicago Bears: I really feel bad for the Bears, but I do enjoy the televised fan reaction during the Mitchell Trubisky pick. I'm grinning while writing this recalling their bewildered expressions of horror and pain. With the fiasco and loss of draft capital in Day One, Day Two was tasked to get things back on track. Unfortunately that did not happen. With other needs pressing, the Bears reached on a prospect when they selected Ashland's tight end Adam Shaheen in the second round (No. 45). Although I am a fan of Shaheen, drafting him in the second is too rich for my blood, especially a prospect from Division II that is still relatively new to the position, albeit a bright future with ascending skills. Nevertheless, one would hope you'd expect your Day One and Day Two picks to be immediate impacts for your team.
Carl Lawson: The fall of Auburn's edge prospect Carl Lawson is perplexing, especially when pass rushers are a premium in the NFL. He is very athletic and strong with a relentless pursuit to the ball carrier. Showcases a tremendous quick first-step and a consistent high-motor always running hot. He is very strong at the point of attack and quite simply, a dominant disrupter on the field. Although Lawson has some injury concerns, suffering a torn ACL in 2014 and hip injury in 2015, he looked good in 2016. Right now it seems medical is the factor for the downfall, unless something else is later uncovered.
What about the San Francisco 49ers:
Yesterday, the San Francisco 49ers continued to strengthen and build upon the defensive side of the ball with the selection of Colorado's cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon in the third round (No. 66). I absolutely love the pick! The selection of Witherspoon continued to fortify and embrace the new look defense the 49ers intend to employ with drafting a "Richard Sherman" type corner after already selecting a "Michael Bennett" type defensive lineman in Solomon Thomas the day prior, and a sideline to sideline explosive thumper in Reuben Foster epitomizing and bringing "these violent delights have violent ends" into fruition.
But the 49ers were not done!
An eyebrow raising intriguing trade-up into the end of the third round brought Kyle Shanahan's offensive mindset out from the defensive theme of the draft. A quarterback was selected creating immediate bewilderment, similar to the "WTF" moment I had upon initially hearing the hiring of John Lynch as the 49ers new General Manager. Iowa's C.J. Beathard was the choice (No. 104) and although the decision appeared to many as a reach (he was a 5th-6th round prospect for me), for the most part, the realization of the offensive guru behind the decision helped ease some concerns. However, I admit, initial reaction was bleak and Shanahan and Lynch's press conference thereafter slowly walked me back off the ledge.
In the end, I would put the 49ers under the Winners category, but towards the bottom of the list due to the Beathard selection. Nevertheless, I get it. Shanahan wanted his guy and the 49ers made it happen.
Who are your Winners and Losers for the second day of the 2017 NFL draft?