Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft was a wild one, from the Cleveland Browns breaking the No. 1-pick intrigue to gamble on Baker Mayfield, to the Baltimore Ravens swooping in to select Lamar Jackson with the last pick of the night.
After an evening filled with big trades, stunning reaches and satisfying steals, there is still plenty of talent to be had on Friday. Here are the names to watch for when the second round gets started.
LSU RB Derrius Guice
The first round saw more running backs picked than expected. That Guice is still standing is a bit of a stunner. It’s not that he was a sure first rounder. But with a coveted combination of power and breakaway speed, Guice was widely considered a better prospect than Sony Michel (Patriots, No. 31) and Rashaad Penny (Seahawks, No. 27). Did a controversy over alleged inappropriate questions at the combine have anything to do with his falling stock?
UTEP G Will Hernandez
Hernandez is regarded as a guy who can step in from Day 1 and be an anchor on an offensive line for 10-plus years. Any team looking to strengthen their interior line would be wise to target Hernandez early on Thursday.
Iowa CB Josh Jackson
Jackson’s knock is that he doesn’t have elite speed, which is likely why he wasn’t taken on Thursday. At 6-1, he has excellent size and is considered an elite playmaker with a nose for the ball and outstanding cover skills.
Iowa C James Daniels
Like Hernandez, Daniels looks like a guy who will start in Week 1 this season with the potential to keep his job for a decade. He comes from an Iowa pedigree of producing outstanding NFL lineman and has a first-round grade. If you want a center, come get him.
Boston College DE Harold Landry
Landry surprisingly returned to Boston College for his senior season last year when he looked like a potential first-round pick. An ankle injury limited him last season, but doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern for the speedy pass rusher. While slightly undersized (6-2, 250 pounds) Landry’s athleticism gives him the upside of a tremendous Day 2 value.
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South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert
The draft was light on first-round tight end talent, but Goedert leads the pack on guys who could go early on Day 2. A 6-5 athletic pass catcher, there are questions about his ability to block NFL caliber talent after playing in the Missouri Valley Conference. If he can be effective when called upon to block, he could end up being a great second-round value.
SMU WR Courtland Sutton
Sutton’s not a speedster, but he is that giant (6-3, 218 pounds) you want fighting in the corner of the end zone with smaller cornerbacks on a fade route. Think Plaxico Burress or Muhsin Muhammad. He’s probably not a No. 1, but he has the upside of a high-end No. 2 receiver who quarterbacks will look to in tight spots.
Stanford FS Justin Reid
Reid looks like an instant starter with speed, playmaking ability and smarts to match his Stanford pedigree. It’s a bit of a surprise he’s still here after the Pittsburgh Steelers went safety at No. 29, but took Virginia Tech’s Terrell Edmunds instead.
Georgia RB Nick Chubb
Early in his Georgia career, Chubb looked bound for the first round as a fast, powerful runner who racked up touchdowns and 100-yard games. But a knee injury during his sophomore year robbed him of some of his explosiveness. He recovered to still show NFL talent, but wasn’t the same player named first-team All-SEC his freshman year.
Texas OL Connor Williams
Williams once looked like a lock for the first round while at Texas, but a knee injury during his junior year has apparently left lingering questions with NFL scouts. Teams looking to gamble on upside for a strong, athletic 6-5, 300-pounder with an injury history could pick up a very nice second-round value.
Penn State TE Mike Gesicki
A pure pass catcher, Gesicki could be a valuable weapon for a team not depending on him to block. A high school slam dunk champion and volleyball player, he could be a big-time playmaker downfield. Just don’t line him up anywhere near Von Miller.
USC RB Ronald Jones
He’s smallish (5-11, 205 pounds) and has durability concerns, but a team looking for a fast, explosive playmaker for say, 15-20 snaps a game could strike gold. He’d seem a good fit for the Patriots if they hadn’t already selected Michel.
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