A few observations from the second day of the NFL's first three-day draft...
Clausen and McCoy fall, but to ideal places
In the short term, Jimmy Clausen(notes) and Colt McCoy(notes) will remember their draft experiences with very little fondness. Notre Dame's Clausen, estimated by some to be a top-10 pick stayed on the board until the Carolina Panthers took him with the 48th overall selection in the second round. Texas' McCoy, the winningest quarterback in NCAA history, was thought to be an early second-rounder by the majority of draft pundits, but he had to wait until the third round - the 85th overall pick - before he could call an NFL team his own. McCoy is now the property of the Cleveland Browns.
Before we feel too badly for these two, it's worth noting that they're in ideal circumstances for their talents, Clausen, who is pro-ready from a playbook perspective, can manage the short-to-intermediate game, but his deep throws leave a bit to be desired. He'll work well in Carolina's power-running schemes, and he's got a decent shot at a starting spot with a team that isn't anywhere near the bottom of the league as he would were he drafted early.
McCoy gets to work with Browns team president Mike Holmgren, who knows as much about quarterback development as anybody in the NFL. Five years from now, Clausen and McCoy might be thanking their lucky stars they had to wait so long.
Rational draft picks from the Raiders? Really?
Well, yes. It was wacky enough when Al Davis and his crew took Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain(notes) with the eighth overall pick - McClain is a great player who fits a pressing need. But then, the Raiders somehow avoided the temptation to overdraft athletic projects on day two, instead picking up Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston(notes) with the 44th pick and Hillsdale offensive tackle Jared Veldheer(notes) with the 69th. Houston is a potentially great inside defender, and Veldheer reminds some of current Patriots star tackle Sebastian Vollmer(notes). No straight-line speedsters who don't know the game? No third-round picks wasted on guys who aren't even on draft boards? What in the name of Stryker Sulak(notes) is going on here?
From the inside out...
Speaking of Houston, it seems that the 2010 defensive tackle class is everything it was cracked up to be. Through the third round, an amazing 13 DTs were selected, including two of the first three overall picks. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers went with light and fast, picking Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy(notes) and UCLA's Brian Price(notes) as ideal 3-tech penetrators who will take off after quarterbacks every chance they get. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Ravens took Alabama's Terrence Cody(notes), a 350-pound mountain of a man who will line up inside with the 345-pound Haloti Ngata(notes), producing a line that no running back will want to deal with more than once.
More second-round bargains for Belichick
Nobody in the NFL likes second-round picks more than Bill Belichick, and New England's head man proved once again that he knows how to spend that particular currency. Two years ago, the Pats' defense was known more for savvy but slow veterans. Now, it's all about rebuilding and adding speed and power to that equation. With his three second-round picks in 2010, Belichick took two defenders - defensive end Jermaine Cunningham(notes) and inside linebacker Brandon Spikes(notes) - from Florida, where his longtime confidante Urban Meyer has ruled the roost. Cunningham is a somewhat injury-prone player who projects well as a pass-rusher, while Spikes is an explosive downhill tackler.