Day two of the 2015 NFL Draft went by in a flash. Rounds two and three are now in the books, and 67 more players have found new homes. It's always tough to really judge a pick right after its been made, but in my mind, a few teams selections stood out above the rest. Here are a few day two hauls that piqued my interest (in no order):
The Falcons had to wait until after the Super Bowl to officially hire their new head coach in Dan Quinn, so they were definitely behind the 8 Ball in Draft preparations. That late start hasn't shown up in the results. To add to their pick of Vic Beasley in the first, Atlanta grabbed LSU cornerback Jalen Collins in the second round then Indiana's Tevin Coleman in the third.
Beasley, of course, fits the mold of that Seahawks "LEO" rusher, and Jalen Collins is just about the most "Seahawky" cornerback this draft class produced. Collins stands six-foot-one and weighs 203 pounds, but he boasts 32 1/8-inch arms and a 78 1/8-inch wingspan, among the longest in this year's cornerback draft class. That length has been a hallmark for Seattle cornerbacks over the past few years and no doubt Quinn hopes to turn Collins into his version of Richard Sherman. His defense requires that his corners disrupt at the line and use their length to break up passes downfield, and Collins has the skill set to do both of those things.
Adding a cherry on top, Thomas Dimitroff and Quinn grab Tevin Coleman in the third, a great value for the first team All-American. Coleman's north-south style seems ideal for the Falcons and their move to Kyle Shanahan's wide-zone blocking run game, and he boasts a mix of decisiveness and speed that should translate to the pro game immediately.
Bottom line: I think the Falcons have taken three players that can come in and contribute immediately.
The Ravens get value in both rounds
Maxx Williams is the consensus top tight end in this class and prior to the draft was considered a borderline first-round type of talent. The Ravens got him with the 23rd pick of the second, after trading ahead of the Steelers (who apparently also wanted him, sick burn), and now have a pretty intriguing up and coming tight ends group with last year's third-round pick Crockett Gilmore waiting in the wings behind Dennis Pitta, whose hip is still a question mark.
Pairing Williams with first-rounder Breshad Perriman gives Joe Flacco a couple of dangerous new offensive weapons. And, in an outcome that's becoming typical for Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens, they nabbed Iowa DT Carol Davis with the 26th pick of the third round. The enormous physical specimen (6'5, 320 pounds, 11-inch hands) was expected by some to go in the late first or early second round. He will fit in nicely with Baltimore's front-seven.
The Browns ... are ... drafting well?
I know this is a sentence that may not get uttered all too often, but I really like what the Browns have done over the first two days of the draft. Following up a solid first round in which they grabbed Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving, they added pass rusher Nate Orchard out of Utah, running back Duke Johnson out of Miami and defensive lineman Xavier Cooper out of Washington State in the second and third rounds.
I like all those picks. A lot. Orchard will upgrade the pass rush, Johnson will add a lightning element to their backfield (Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell are more one-speed guys), and Xavier Cooper is one of the most athletic defensive linemen in this draft. Cleveland is adding quality players on both sides of the ball in this draft, and they still have five picks today.
Once again, I like what the Cowboys are doing
Kind of like I said above, it feels weird to say this, but I've actually liked what the Cowboys have done over the past few years in the draft. They've built one of the best offensive lines with their draft capital, and went back to the well again in the third by selecting Florida's Chaz Green. Green will come in as Doug Free's likely eventual replacement, and he'd gone through this draft process as a pretty heavy sleeper. I like that pick.
Of course, that came only after the Cowboys had picked up Randy Gregory in with the 60th overall pick -- 28th in the second round -- and the one-time presumptive early first rounder presents excellent value. He is not a perfect prospect -- there are worries about his playing weight and obviously his off-field red flags, but he's an explosive, athletic player that could come in and upgrade Dallas' pass rush early on. Pair him up with last year's second rounder Demarcus Lawrence and let them go to work.
Texans add two potential day-one starters
The Texans got great value with their second and third round picks, adding Mississippi State LB Benardrick McKinney at 43rd overall, then trading up to grab WR Jaelen Strong at 70th overall. Both players were projected as potential late first- or early second-round players, so Rick Smith and Bill O'Brien have got to be feeling good.
McKinney is old-school, with great length and power, and Lance Zierlein actually compared him to Brian Cushing in his scouting report, so it makes a lot of sense that the Texans would like him. Meanwhile, Strong was one of Friday's most-surprising fallers. He'll head to Houston and likely take over opposite DeAndre Hopkins, a nice pair of weapons for whoever wins the quarterback competition there.
Jaguars looking to run the football?
Gus Bradley comes from the Pete Carroll coaching tree so you know that a tough, physical run game is one of the top priorities. Not only does it take pressure off of your young and inexperienced quarterback, it helps your defense stay off the field.
Well, after not getting much production from Toby Gerhardt last year, Alabama's T.J. Yeldon is a great selection for Jacksonville, and they'll pair him with the surprisingly effective Denard Robinson. Yeldon's been underrated throughout this process in my opinion, and he's slippery inside the tackles with great feet, balance, and quickness. As Jaguars Sr VP of Technology and Analytics Tony Khan tweeted right after the pick, "Our new RB TJ Yeldon had the highest elusive rating in the 2015 draft class vs. Power-5 Conference teams, and a speed score of 105.5."
Of course, the Jags need guys to block for their running backs, and South Carolina's A.J. Cann in the third was a steal. He'll start day one, and he is as consistent as they come in this class.
Chiefs hit on three Day 2 picks
Kansas City lost last year's starting center Rodney Hudson to free agency, but grabbed a nice potential replacement for him in Missouri's Mitch Morse in the second. Morse could start there early in his career and he's a tough, smart and versatile lineman.
I'm sure you've heard that no receiver scored a touchdown for the Chiefs last year, so they grabbed the absurd athletic freak of nature out of Georgia, Chris Conley. Conley should fit in nicely in KC coming from a run-heavy pass-deficient offense at Georgia, but he gives Alex Smith a speedy downfield threat and potentially dangerous red zone player.
Finally, after adding Washington's Marcus Peters in the first, John Dorsey added nickelback Steven Nelson with a third-round comp pick, stocking the shelves even further at defensive back. KC now has Peters, Nelson, Sean Smith, Ron Parker, Hussain Abdullah, Sanders Commings, Philip Gaines, Tyvon Branch and Kelcie McCray in their secondary, and hopefully they can get Eric Berry back soon as well. That's a strong group.
Giants upgrade two need spots
The Giants desperately needed a safety and so they traded up into the 33rd spot to grad Alabama's Landon Collins. Check. They needed more pass rush, so when UCLA defensive end and physical specimen Owamagbe Odighizuwa fell to them, it was a natural fit. Check.
Rams want to run?
After St. Louis took RB Todd Gurley with the 10th overall pick, a lot of people asked the question of whom the Rams planned to have blocking for him up front. Well, they answered that on Friday by taking Wisconsin tackle Rob Havenstein and Louisville offensive lineman Jamon Brown with their next two picks. There you have it.
They then added Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion in the late third.
Bucs have a clear plan
Tampa Bay had a somewhat similar situation to St. Louis when they picked Jameis Winston first-overall. Many asked: "OK, but who's going to be protecting him?" Well, the Bucs also answered that, by taking Penn State's Donovan Smith in the second and Hobart's Ali Marpet in the third. Really solid haul for Tampa in my opinion.
It's a big man's game in Washington
Newly appointed GM Scot McCloughan still believes that the NFL "is a big man's game" and he's proven that with his first three picks. After grabbing probably the top offensive lineman in the class in Brandon Scherff with their first-rounder, McCloughan picked Mississippi State DE/DT Preston Smith in the second. The 6'5, 270-pounder can play inside and out, and will upgrade Washington's pass rush immediately.
On the other side of the ball, McCloughan upgraded the running back position, as well, with the selection of Florida's Matt Jones. Jones fits their system well and is a massive 6'2, 231 pounds. He catches well out of the backfield, he churns for extra yards, he runs effortlessly through arm tackles, and he'll pair nicely with Alfred Morris.
A few other notables:
- I loved that the Panthers added Michigan's Devin Funchess. Putting him in the receiver corps with Kelvin Benjamin gives Cam Newton two enormous red zone targets.
- I also thought that the Titans' decision to go get Oklahoma's Dorial Green-Beckham was an interesting one, and Marcus Mariota won't be short playmakers at the receiver position with Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, Hakeem Nicks and Harry Douglas already on the roster.
- The Seahawks' decision to draft Michigan's Frank Clark will raise some eyebrows because of the domestic violence arrest from last year. If he can stay clean and get on the field, though, that's a talented and athletic pass rusher they just picked up. After trading for Jimmy Graham with their first rounder, the Seahawks added a speedy and explosive receiver in the second by trading three picks to jump up 23 spots and grab Kansas State's Tyler Lockett. At worst, he'll instantly improve their pitiful return game.
- Sammie Coates in Pittsburgh just makes too much sense. The wide receiver factory has a chance to churn out yet another talented player. I also really liked the Lions' pick of Ameer Abdullah. They spent the first round upgrading their offensive line, then they went out and got someone to replace Reggie Bush and run behind it.