Winners, losers of Day 2 of NFL draft
|04.28.12 at 1:18 am ET|
The first two days of the NFL draft have come and gone, which means that there’s two more rounds of transactions to sort through. Now that the dust has settled, we take a look at the winners and losers of Day 2.
Small school prospects: The trend of small-school prospects getting their names called started right away Friday, as St. Louis took FCS Appalachian St. receiver Brian Quick over higher profile receiving prospects. This pick was followed up shortly by two Division II players: North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins and Midwestern St. guard Amini Silatolu. Yes, Jenkins was a Florida transfer, but he still has the boom-bust risk of any small-school selection. The third round was just as productive for smaller programs, with FCS Montana cornerback Trumaine Johnson selected with the second pick of the day. Then, with their first pick of the draft, the Saints picked up defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, out of Regina, a Canadian college program, at No. 89 overall.
Baltimore Ravens: The Patriots may have snatched linebacker Dont’a Hightower from them by trading up to No. 25, but the Ravens got another quality Alabama linebacker — Courtney Upshaw — to fall into their laps in the second round. One of the surprise fallers of Day 1, Upshaw didn’t have to wait too long in the New York green room on Day 2. He comes into a perfect situation for the Ravens, who were in dire need of an outside linebacker. He could work his way into a starting job very quickly.
Bryan Anger, P, Jacksonville Jaguars: Anger’s selection was a major shakeup, as its been some time since a punter was drafted this high. The last punter to be drafted in the third round was Dustin Colquitt at No. 99 out of Tennessee. However, at No. 70 overall, Anger is the highest drafted punter overall since Todd Sauerbrun went 56th overall to the Bears in 1995.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Bengals: Sanu thought he was drafted by the Bengals with the 27th overall pick Thursday night. However, the phone call from the “Bengals” turned out to be a New Jersey prankster who happened to get Sanu’s number. Fortunately for Sanu, the actual Bengals eventually came calling on Day 2, drafting the Big East all-time receptions leader with the 20th pick of the third round.
Rams: In a continuation of their ability to pick up second round picks yesterday, the Rams addressed three of their major needs on Day 2. The Rams needed a receiver and got a potentially dynamic one in Quick. They also needed help in the secondary, taking a risk on a first round talent in Jenkins in the mid-second round and getting a good value with Johnson in round three to help solidify the secondary. Finally, the Rams needed an insurance policy for their quickly-aging workhorse, Steven Jackson, and got first pick on backs on Day 2: Cincinnati’s Isaiah Pead.
Patriots fans: Just one day after trading up and getting a premier pass rush prospect and a highly ranked linebacker, the Patriots reverted to the ways of old by selecting two players most fans have never heard of, and trading down to do so. The Tavon Wilson pick blindsided a lot of fans and experts. This was supposed to be a weak class at safety – a position of need for the Patriots – but selecting a complete unknown at the position isn’t exactly a crowd pleaser. The Pats’ third round selection of Jake Bequette was also a bit of a buzzkill.
Patriots defensive backs: Plaxico Burress and Brandon Marshall may be gone from the division, but the Jets grabbing Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill, another receiver that’s at least 6-foot-5, isn’t a good sign for the Patriots defensive backs. Hill has a long way to go as a receiver, but he’s not going to get slower or shorter anytime soon.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets: At a glance, Sanchez seems to have benefited from this draft with the selection of Hill. However, the Jets failed to address their biggest need offensively – offensive line – through the first three rounds and don’t have another selection until the sixth round. The addition of Hill also won’t help him keep fans from clamoring for backup Tim Tebow, who had some big moments with Denver wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, who’s a near carbon copy of Hill in terms of size and speed. Thomas also went to Georgia Tech like Hill.
Reuben Randle, WR, New York Giants: Randle had the unwelcome honor of being the last player selected out of the green room this year, going to the Giants at No. 63, the last pick of the shortened second round (the Saints forfeited their second round pick).
Lamar Miller, RB, Miami: It was only a couple weeks ago that Miller was expected to be one of the backs taken on Day 1 as a more explosive option than actual first-round picks Doug Martin and David Wilson. On Day 2, though, three more running backs were taken ahead of Miller, who now has his name mockingly dangled on “best available” boards heading into Day 3. Mississippi tackle Bobby Massie and Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins are other prospects who unexpectedly fell, but neither has fallen as far as Miller has over the whole process.
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