NFL Draft: Day 2 Recap

Rounds 2 and 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft are over, and Day 2 always carries a lot of intrigues. Teams are less concerned with finding elite talent worthy of Round 1 and instead take their preferred player. There are still some reaches and slides, but it’s less shocking than on Day 1. Here’s what unfolded on Day 2 – overall picks are in brackets after the player name.

The Rich Get Richer

Several teams managed to add great prospects to give them quality depth and versatility at different position groups. The Indianapolis Colts took Wide Receiver Michael Pittman Jr (34) as a complement to WR TY Hilton, before trading up for Running Back Jonathan Taylor (41). Taylor has a great Offensive Line blocking for him, and the Colts have amassed a very strong Offense if Quarterback Philip Rivers doesn’t decline further.

Elsewhere, Denver Broncos have a young, exceptional WR group, adding WR KJ Hamler (46) to play the slot, after taking WR Jerry Jeudy on Day 1. The Baltimore Ravens drafted RB JK Dobbins (55) with one of five Day 2 picks, to add to their run-heavy Offense. The New Orleans Saints got the best player available and addressed one of their few needs when they managed to get Edge/LB Zack Baun (74). The Buffalo Bills had a strong running attack in 2019 and got even better with the versatile RB Zack Moss (86).

Head-Scratchers

While there is a good argument to be made about building depth and adding strength upon strength, sometimes it isn’t the right move. Detroit Lions’ selection of RB D’Andre Swift (35) was puzzling. While he was for many the top RB in the Draft, the Lions had strength in existing RB Kerryon Johnson, and still had needs at OL, LB, Edge, and Safety. Later in Round 2, the Philadelphia Eagles took QB Jalen Hurts (53), which is a high pick for a backup QB.

The Chicago Bears’ selection of Tight End Cole Kmet (43) was an odd one. It gave them TEN TEs on the roster while ignoring other needs and better players available to fill said needs. The New England Patriots drafting LB Anfernee Jennings (87) was questionable, as they needed to instead improve most positions on Offense, although they did trade back into Round 3 for two Tight Ends in Devin Asiasi (91) and Dalton Keene (101). These picks weren’t hugely impactful and cost them a few late-round picks in the process.

Defensive Backs and Wide Receivers Dominate Again

With no Safeties, but 6 CBs taken in Round 1, Round 2 was no different. New York Giants took Safety Xavier McKinney (36) and a pick later, New England Patriots drafted Safety Kyle Dugger (37). Back-to-back Safeties then went to Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Grant Delpit (45) and Antoine Winfield Jr (46), respectively. A few picks later, consecutive CBs were drafted, as Jaylon Johnson (50) went to Chicago Bears and Trevon Diggs went to Dallas Cowboys (51). Late Round 2 saw the Tennessee Titans getting Kristian Fulton (61) as a steal, and Carolina Panthers traded up to draft Safety Jeremy Chinn to end Round 2.

On the other side of the ball, WRs continued to be drafted in high numbers, as Cincinnati Bengals made Tee Higgins (33) the first pick of Day 2, right before the Colts took Pittman. Laviska Shenault (42) went to Jacksonville Jaguars, the Broncos took Hamler, Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Chase Claypool (49), and Los Angeles Rams took Van Jefferson (57). New York Jets took Denzel Mims (59) to close out the round at WR.

Round 3 saw a slowing at both positions but wasn’t ignored completely. Washington Redskins took WR/RB Antonio Gibson (66), Raiders took WR/RB Lynn Bowden Jr (80) and Bryan Edwards (81) with back to back picks, while Ravens took Devin Duvernay (92). Defensively, Safeties Ashtyn Davis (68) went to the Jets, Brandon Jones (70) to the Dolphins, Julian Blackmon (85) to the Colts, Tanner Muse (100) to Las Vegas and Terrell Burgess (104) to the Rams. CBs Michael Ojewudia (77) went to Denver and Cameron Dantzler (89) to Minnesota.

Other Round 2 Picks

Many picks in Round 2 were just common sense, as best player available or major need type picks. A handful of Edge players and Defensive Linemen went after a few were deemed worthy of Round 1. These were Yetur Gross-Matos (38) to Carolina Panthers, Ross Blacklock (40) to Houston Texans, Marlon Davidson (47) to Atlanta Falcons, Darrell Taylor (48) to Seattle Seahawks, AJ Epenesa (54) to Buffalo Bills and Raekwon Davis (56) to Miami Dolphins. New England Patriots traded up for Edge Josh Uche (60) from Michigan to pair with last year’s Michigan stud Chase Winovich.

Miami also took OL Robert Hunt (39) earlier in the round, and Minnesota Vikings shored up their OL with OT Ezra Cleveland (58). Los Angeles Rams drafted RB Cam Akers (52), with Green Bay Packers also addressing the position in AJ Dillon (62). The penultimate pick of Round 2 was Kansas City Chiefs drafting LB Willie Gay Jr (63).

Other Round 3 Picks

Round 3 had a strong emphasis on the trenches, as Seahawks drafted OG Damien Lewis (69), Ravens took DT Justin Madubuike (71) and Arizona Cardinals drafted OT Josh Jones (72). Jaguars drafted DT Davon Hamilton (73), Detroit traded up for OG Jonah Jackson (75), Atlanta drafted Center Matt Hennessy (78) and DT Neville Gallimore (82) went to Dallas a pick before Denver drafted Center Lloyd Cushenberry III (83). Late Day 2 picks then saw Browns add DT Jordan Elliott (88), Denver selects DT McTelvin Agim (95), Chiefs draft OT Lucas Niang (96), Giants take OT Matthew Peart (99) and Baltimore draft OT Tyre Phillips (106).

Round 3 started with Cincinnati Bengals drafting LB Logan Wilson (65) and Detroit Lions taking Edge Julian Okwara (67), and the Jets took Edge Jabari Zuniga (79). Tampa Bay added another weapon for Tom Brady in RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn (76), while the Rams addressed a major need with LB Terrell Lewis (84). Houston Texans drafted Edge Jonathan Greenard (90), Titans added RB Darrynton Evans (93) for depth, and Green Bay finally added receiver help in TE Josiah Deguara (94). The final picks of the round saw a handful of LBs in Jacob Phillips (97) go to Cleveland, Malik Harrison (98) to Baltimore, Alex Highsmith (102) to Pittsburgh, and Davion Taylor (103) to Philadelphia. The New Orleans Saints selected TE Adam Trautman (105) after a trade back into Round 3.

Winners and Losers

Winners

The New York Jets stuck to their strategy and it paid off. After drafting OT Mekhi Becton to protect QB Sam Darnold in Round 1, they gave him a weapon in WR Denzel Mims who fell to them late in Round 2. The two biggest needs of the Jets also happened to be the best player available for them.

Other teams were equally opportunistic. Tennessee Titans landed CB Kristian Fulton, who many saw as a Round 1 prospect. The Colts grabbed RB Jonathan Taylor when he was still on the board, and the Saints made up for their Day 1 whiff by taking projected Round 1 prospect Zack Baun. The Cardinals also benefitted from OT Josh Jones sliding to Round 3, getting the protection up front some thought they might address in Round 1. The Jaguars getting Davon Hamilton was outstanding value for a Round 3 pick, and potentially have a dominant defense if their Round 1 and 3 picks pan out.

Losers

The Seahawks doubled down on their unique approach to the Draft. After a surprise pick in Round 1 with Jordyn Brooks, they drafted Edge Darrell Taylor in Round 2. Neither were considered to be worth taking at those high positions, so Seattle is hoping they get more from these players than others expect. Although they redeemed themselves slightly by taking OG Damien Lewis, OT was a bigger concern for them.

Green Bay continued to build for the future as they added an Offensive skill position in RB AJ Dillon. However, he doesn’t offer much as a receiver, leaving QB Aaron Rodgers with few targets downfield. TE Josiah Deguara was added late but doesn’t excuse the approach in the first two rounds. Wasting the last few good years they have with Rodgers is baffling.

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