NFL Draft: Round 2 Analysis

Thankful that the first round finished in near record time, there's a lot more energy left to break down every second-round pick of the 2008 NFL draft:
↵
↵Dolphins take Phillip Merling at No. 32. So Miami didn't move Jason Taylor for a first-round pick after all, and after landing their franchise offensive tackle in Round 1, they get a great value in an edge pass rusher in Round 2. Merling slipped a bit because of a recent workout and potential injury issues.
↵
↵Rams take Donnie Avery at No. 33. Finally, the first wide receiver is off the board. Avery is a bit of a surprise, but he's been a big mover at the position because of his speed. I like him in St. Louis' mix with Torry Holt, Drew Bennett and Reche Caldwell, and I think he can make a few big plays for Marc Bulger right away.
↵
↵Redskins take Devin Thomas at No. 34. Wide receiver run all of a sudden. I thought Washington might go for Thomas in Round 1, but it was smart to trade down and get him anyway. He's the right choice over Cal's DeSean Jackson here, because Thomas is better complement to both Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El. I guess the Redskins have relearned the importance of the draft.
↵
↵Brandon Flowers
↵
↵Chiefs take Brandon Flowers at No. 35. Kansas City is having a solid first day. The Chiefs address another need with a big, physical corner from Virginia Tech's fin defense. I think he joins first-round tackle Glenn Dorsey as an immediate rookie starter.
↵
↵ 
↵
↵

↵Packers take Jordy Nelson at No. 36. Some people might see this is a reach, but I like Nelson's versatility as a wide receiver and explosive return man. Green Bay didn't have any glaring weaknesses as your NFC runner-up, so it could a little off the reservation to get a luxury pick. I loved watching Nelson produce at K-State. ↵

↵
↵

↵Falcons take Curtis Lofton at No. 37. Atlanta has had trouble finding the right mix of linebackers for its defense. Lofton can help solidify the Falcons in the middle as a solid tackler against the run. New coach Mike Smith definitely needs someone like that to help turn things around soon. ↵

↵
↵Seahawks trade up to take John Carlson at No. 38. Receiving tight ends are hot at the moment, and Carlson's stock is helped by that trend. He made a lot of big plays for Notre Dame, most notably as Brady Quinn's go-to short-to-intermediate target a couple years ago. Seattle hasn't had a reliable option at a key West Coast position for a while, and Mike Holmgren makes it point to get one in his last Seahawks draft.
↵
↵

↵49ers take Chilo Rachal at No. 39. Wow, with all these Trojans being taken, you would think USC is like a college football powerhouse. Oh wait, it is. Staying in state to grab Rachal to keep improving their offensive line is a good, safe move for the still rebuilding Niners. ↵

↵
↵Saints take Tracy Porter at No. 40. Porter is an underrated cornerback, and there is no question he brings great athleticism to the position. There are questions about his size and toughness, but at this point, almost any talented corner is an upgrade over much smaller-framed free-agent bust Jason David.
↵
↵Bills take James Hardy at No. 41. Hoosiers run! OK, it's not all that unexpected, as Porter and Hardy were both rated as second-round picks. Buffalo was smart to wait and take its wide receiver here, because Hardy is a nice tall red zone complement for another former Big Ten star, big playmaker Lee Evans. If Hardy can stay out of trouble, he won't stay out of the end zone for long.
↵
↵Broncos take Eddie Royal at No. 42. Wide receivers are suddenly flying off the board. Denver needs some insurance at the position, looking at both Javon Walker's departure and Brandon Marshall's injury/unhappiness. The bonus is that Royal can help in the return game, where Denver also needs a spark.
↵
↵Vikings trade up to take Tyrell Johnson at No. 43. Minnesota always seems to be looking for young playmakers for its secondary, and it isn't fazed by going after small-school prospects. Johnson showed coming from Arkansas State wasn't an issue with great workouts, and other than Kenny Phillips, he might be the draft's only other potential rookie starter at the position.
↵
↵Bears take Matt Forte at No. 44. Chicago will probably get criticized for this pick, but I like it. I didn't see Forte run the ball much at Tulane, but I did watch him closely in the matchup against Glenn Dorsey and LSU's top run defense. He ran tough, showing great versatility and competitiveness. He should be more motivated and more productive than Cedric Benson right away.
↵
↵Lions take Jordon Dizon at No. 45. The Lions, much like the Bengals and the Falcons, have struggled to find the right three-man mix at linebacker, either because of injuries or downright bad picks. Dizon has a real good shot at starting in the weak side in Detroit's cover-2 defense. A much better pick than Gosder Cherilus in Round 1.
↵
↵Bengals take Jerome Simpson at No. 46. The wide receivers have really dominated this round, haven't they? Even the small-schoolers such as this Coastal Carolina product are being swept up. Cincy released Chris Henry, and who knows what will happen with Chad Johnson? This is a way to hedge its bets. Yes, Simpson has talent without any of that off-field baggage.
↵
↵Eagles take Trevor Laws at No. 47. Philadelphia understands the importance of having several big, athletic bodies to rotate on its defensive line, and that's why its front office keeps dipping into end and tackle. Laws can be a good part-time contributor inside as a rookie.
↵
↵Redskins take Fred Davis at No. 48. Cue up the Trojans band and fight song again. What a pro football producing machine Pete Carroll has going in SoCal. With Davis, a talented receiving tight end, to go along second-round wideout Devin Thomas, it gives Jason Campbell and Todd Collins a few more cogs and Jim Zorn's offense more versatility.
↵
↵Eagles take DeSean Jackson at No. 49. Wow, what a fall for the Cal explosive wideout and return man. That's why Philly kept trading way down -- it had some indication it would get a great versatile value in the second round with how so of the bigger school receivers have dropped. With how bad the Eagles' receiving corps is, it wouldn't be surprising if Jackson started as a rookie.
↵
↵Cardinals take Calais Campbell at No. 50. I'm not crazy about Campbell as an impact pass rusher, at least early in his NFL career. But the Cards needed someone to come off the edge after letting Calvin Pace walk as a free agent.
↵
↵Redskins take Malcolm Kelly at No. 51. OK, now the Redskins are going a little overboard with grabbing three receivers -- Thomas, Davis and Kelly in the same round. There's only so many places on the field after Chris Cooley, Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El. In the win-now NFC East, Washington should have added an end or linebacker, some player to help them right away on defense. Now they have two wideouts who slipped and a tight end with some character issues.
↵
↵Jaguars trade up to take Quentin Groves at No. 52. Talk about a rejuvenation at defensive end for Jack Del Rio. First-rounder Derrick Harvey and Groves will help to immediately shoot up the Jags' sack total, and one will be helped by still having John Henderson holding down one of the tackles. The Jags made it a point of getting the ends they wanted, and with no true glaring needs, they could afford to be aggressive to ensure the both players' selections.
↵
↵Steelers take Limas Sweed at No. 53. Wow, Pittsburgh is thinking offense on Day 1, and it came away with two exciting skill position players. First, Rashard Mendenhall should be a nice complement to Willie Parker, and Sweed can start out as a good No. 3 behind Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes before potentially replacing Ward down the line. Ben Roethlisberger should be very happy about signing his long-term deal now.
↵
↵Titans take Jason Jones at No. 54. Another defensive end helped by the boom at the position, Jones is another smart Day 1 pick by Tennessee. The team lost Antwan Odom to the Bengals as a free agent, and Jones can get off the edge nicely with Kyle Vanden Bosch drawing attention on the other side.
↵
↵Ravens take Ray Rice at No. 55. I liked what all the undersized running back did at Rutgers, and I like what he can do taking away some touches from Willis McGahee. I just think the Ravens had bigger needs. Obviously, with Joe Flacco, they are thinking rebuilding mode with offense, but they needed to also address their aging defense. Kind of a luxury pick for a team that couldn't afford to make one.
↵
↵Packers take Brian Brohm at No. 56. Again, another pick for which the Pack will get criticized, but another one I like. Great value here for a quarterback who might end up being the best one in this class. This should light a fire under Aaron Rodgers and also gives Green Bay someone to develop if Rodgers can't quite be the successor to Brett Favre.
↵
↵Dolphins take Chad Henne at No. 57. OK, I guess the Dolphins aren't completely sold on John Beck, and thanks to the Pack, we'll never know if they liked Brohm better than Henne. So Henne will at least be in the familiar position of having Jake Long protecting him. The Henne-Beck battle is likely to be wide open in camp. I'm not crazy about Henne, who doesn't quite have the frame and talent of either Ryan or Brohm, and to me, Henne lacks "it" as a clutch QB.
↵
↵Buccaneers take Dexter Jackson at No. 58. I guess the Bucs had fond memories of their own former Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson when they made this pick. OK, probably not, because that DJ was a safety and this one is a small-school wide receiver. Jackson and his Mountaineers teammates, however, proved they can play against the big boys with their win over Henne's Wolverines. I like Jackson's skill sets, and he fills a big Bucs need.
↵
↵Colts take Mike Pollak at No. 59. This is the first time we've heard from Indy in the 2008 NFL draft. And of course, Bill Polian chimes in with a good one. Pollak is this class' top center and a near-future replacement for aging star Jeff Saturday.
↵
↵Packers take Patrick Lee at No. 60. After going a bit of the luxury route with both Jordy Nelson and Brian Brohm, Green Bay grabs its cornerback of the near future to replace either Charles Woodson or Al Harris down the line. Lee is a good fit because of his physical playing style.
↵
↵Cowboys take Martellus Bennett at No. 61. So Dallas cleared some roster room in trading away one tight end, Anthony Fasano, to Miami, and it decides to stay in state to grab another talented one here. Bennett can be a decent blocker in double tight-end sets opposite Jason Witten, and he'll also be able to help as a short-area receiver as a rookie.
↵
↵Patriots take Terrence Wheatley at No. 62. It was inevitable after losing both Asante Samuel and Eugene Wilson that the Pats would come away with at least one defensive back on Day 1. Wheatley is undersized but the Pats have used such corners with great success in the past.
↵
↵Giants take Terrell Thomas at No. 63. And we have our final pick of Day 1, and it's Day of the Trojans as the seventh USC product comes off the board. Jerry Reese has done it again, addressing a need with a great value. Miami safety Kenny Phillips and Thomas will be fine young additions to the Super Bowl champs' only true weakness, the secondary.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.