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NFL Draft grades 2015: Teams play it safe in round 2

A lot of talented players with issues – whether it was character or injuries – fell in the second round. Teams played it safe, but did they make the right choices?

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

The tired football adage goes that a missed first-round pick will get a general manager fired but a missed second-round pick won't. That didn't matter in the second round. Teams clearly were worried about some players who had character questions or injury concerns. In other words, a few teams were playing it safe.

That dovetails with the first round where we saw several highly talented players fall because of various off-field concerns or injuries. One of those players – wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham – came off the board fairly high in the second round. Another – Nebraska's Randy Gregory – plummeted further than expected.

Below are the grades for the second round of the draft. They are determined by a mix of value, need, readiness, scheme fit and more.

33. New York Giants -  Landon Collins, S, Alabama

The Giants paid a bit of a steep price giving up a fourth- and seventh-round pick to get Collins, but he was arguably the best player available who didn't have character concerns. He fills the need for the Giants as someone who can come down and play the run. The Giants were fortunate to get him here.

Grade: A-

34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State

The Buccaneers smartly added an offensive tackle, and it was a necessity after giving up 52 sacks last year and drafting a pocket passer in Jameis Winston. The need is a good match, but I had offensive tackles like Jake Fisher of Oregon and T.J. Clemmings of Pittsburgh rated higher.

Grade: B-

35. Oakland Raiders - Mario Edwards, DE, Florida State

Edwards was a blue chip recruit for Florida State who never quite materialized. Maybe he was playing out of position or bulked up too much, but he didn't make much of an impact throughout his career. Edwards is a project. He's versatile and flashed at times but wasn't as consistent as someone like Preston Smith of Mississippi State.

Grade: C

36. Jacksonville Jaguars - T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama

Running back was arguably Jacksonville's biggest need on offense, so this clearly fills a need. I preferred someone like Jay Ajayi of Boise State, but maybe there were concerns about his injury past. Yeldon is a smooth runner with solid power and speed. If he can hold on to the ball – and that's the real issue with him – this pick becomes much more justifiable.

Grade: B-

37. New York Jets - Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State

Well, the Jets have a heck of a receiving group now, but can Geno Smith get them the ball? That's the big issue with this choice. Smith is a nice addition to go with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Smith is the vertical receiver who will open up the rest of the field for Marshall and Decker, so he maximizes things in the passing game. Smith has to be refined as a receiver, but he's special at that one thing he does well.

Grade: B

38. Washington - Preston Smith, OLB/DE, Mississippi State

On the surface, Smith looks like a natural 4-3 end, but his sensational Combine numbers showed he can play in space. Opposite Ryan Kerrigan, Smith gives Washington a nice one-two combination as pass rushers. Smith is a complete player too.

Grade: A-

39. Chicago Bears - Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

The Bears entered the draft with wide receiver and nose tackle as their biggest needs. In regard to need and fit, they're two for two. The knock on Goldman is inconsistency. But when he's on he can absolutely wreak havoc. He almost single-handedly won Florida State a game against Clemson last season, but was a non-factor in a few games.

Grade: B-

40. Tennessee Titans - Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri

If I were allowed, I'd give this grade a TBD. Green-Beckham is supremely talented and supremely flawed on and off the field. His developmental potential is high, though. If DGB figures it out and stays clean, he could be a stellar player. But a safer player like Jaelen Strong was still available. From a talent standpoint, this pick is justifiable, but a risk.

Grade: B

41. Carolina Panthers - Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan

This pick cost the Panthers a lot, giving up a third- and sixth-round pick this year and they still ignored offensive tackle when Oregon's Jake Fisher was available. This is an interesting choice, though, because Funchess is a big receiver who can do do many of the same things Kelvin Benjamin does.

Grade: C+

42. Atlanta Falcons - Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

Collins is a highly talented player with a lot of size. You can understand why new head coach Dan Quinn went after Collins. Teams need three good corners and along with Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant, they certainly have that now.

Grade: B+

43. Houston Texans - Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State

The strength McKinney has for the Texans is his ability to play inside and outside. From a need standpoint, McKinney fits one of Houston's biggest. But a player like UCLA's Eric Kendricks would be a better fit because of his athleticism and ability to drop in coverage.

Grade: B-

44. New Orleans Saints - Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington

The Saints needed a pass rusher, and got the nation's sack leader from a year ago. Kikaha is limited right now to being a pass rusher, but he's a good one assuming his knees hold up. I had a much higher grade on Eli Harold of Virginia and Owamagbe Odighizuwa of UCLA.

Grade: B-

45. Minnesota Vikings - Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

The Vikings got a steal with Kendricks. My No. 19 rated player in the draft this year, Kendricks is a complete linebacker who will fit nicely next to former college teammate Anthony Barr. Kendricks is a plug-and-play linebacker. He could be the early frontrunner for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Grade: A+

46. San Francisco 49ers - Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford

Tartt is a complete safety who fits nicely next to Eric Reid. Tartt is an aggressive player who will come up and support the run but don't discount his ability to play in space as a pass defender.

Grade: B-

47. Philadelphia Eagles - Eric Rowe, CB/S, Utah

(Insert your own terrible joke about Chip Kelly trading up but not getting an Oregon player) The Eagles needed to add a defensive back early in this draft and the versatile Rowe is a perfect choice. Rowe fits the mold of what the Eagles want at corner.

Grade: A

48. San Diego Chargers - Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

The Chargers were fortunate to get Perryman at this point in the second round. There might not be a lot of flash in Perryman's game, but he's ready to go as a pro. Perryman plays with a ton of effort, rarely misses tackles and should quickly become a leader on San Diego's defense.

Grade: A

49. Kansas City Chiefs - Mitch Morse, OL, Missouri

The Chiefs needed to add a lineman in the draft – and Morse is a versatile scheme fit – but my grade on Morse is much lower than where he was picked.

Grade: C-

50. Buffalo Bills - Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State

There are few more athletic cornerbacks in the draft this year than Darby. He's a moldable player, but his instincts aren't always on point. It's hard to ignore Darby's potential, though.

Grade: B-

51. Cleveland Browns - Nate Orchard, OLB, Utah

There were some games where Orchard absolutely exploded last season – namely against UCLA and Stanford. Orchard didn't test especially well during the pre-draft process, but in the short area he packs some oomph. The Browns needed to draft an edge player and Orchard was among the best.

Grade: B

52. Miami Dolphins - Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma

Phillips, who was considered by many as a first-rounder, is an intriguing player to put next to Ndamukong Suh. When Phillips is playing hard, he can be a load to stop. Phillips needs to get his stamina in order, but when he's on, watch out.

Grade: B+

53. Cincinnati Bengals - Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

This was a pick some – including me – thought the Bengals would make in the first round of the draft. With Andrew Whitworth and Andre Smith approaching free agency, this makes sense. Fisher can play guard as well. The grade would be higher if the Bengals didn't use a first-round pick on the same position.

Grade: B+

54. Detroit Lions - Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

This pick came as something of a surprise considering Tevin Coleman of Indiana and Jay Ajayi of Boise State were available. Regardless, Abdullah is a complete back with few holes in his game. The biggest issues are fumbles. He's not the biggest or fastest, but he's a complete player.

Grade: B

55. Baltimore Ravens - Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

The Ravens moved up for this pick and it was brilliant. Williams, a redshirt sophomore, is the best tight end in the draft by a wide margin. With Dennis Pitta's health always a concern, Williams can come in and be a weapon for the Ravens.

Grade: A+

56. Pittsburgh Steelers - Senquez Golson, CB, Ole Miss

The Steelers needed to address the secondary and they got arguably the cornerback with the best hands and instincts in this year's draft. This is much higher than I would have taken Golson, but he does exactly what the Steelers need.

Grade: B

57. St. Louis Rams - Rob Havenstein, OT, Wisconsin

Havenstein doesn't make it look good, but he gets it done. He's pro-ready coming out of Wisconsin and is the type of right tackle that St. Louis needs to open up run lanes for first-round pick Todd Gurley. I had a much higher grade on Pittsburgh's T.J. Clemmings, though.

Grade: C+

58. Arizona Cardinals - Markus Golden, DE/OLB, Missouri

The Cardinals like their outside linebackers to have some power and Golden provides that for Arizona. This is a good range for him. There are zero questions about him off the field and he will be a good pro.

Grade: A-

59. Denver Broncos -  Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State

During the college football season Sambrailo got some buzz as a first-round pick. He slid some during the offseason process because he got pushed around a bit at the Senior Bowl. His future in the NFL is possibly at right tackle, but he needs to get stronger.

Grade: B-

60. Dallas Cowboys - Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Suffice to say, the Cowboys got a steal with this pick. That's assuming Gregory doesn't have issues with drugs going forward. Gregory is a high-end edge rusher with speed and size. He has every trait you want in a pass rusher you can mold.

Grade: A

61. Tampa Bay Buccaneers  - Ali Marpet, G, Hobart

The Buccaneers are playing the second round exactly how you'd want. Marpet may not have graded out this high, but he's a mauler of a guard who can come in straight away and give Tampa another blocker up front.

Grade: B

62. Green Bay Packers - Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)

This pick is only odd since the Packers took Damarious Randall in the first round of the draft. Rollins is raw and filled with potential, though. He's a physical player who could be Green Bay's replacement for Davon House.

Grade: B+

63. Seattle Seahawks - Frank Clark, DE, Michigan

From an off-the-field standpoint, this pick is an F. He was kicked off Michigan's roster for a domestic violence issue and was less than contrite about it at the NFL Scouting Combine. That's why he has such a low grade. On the field, though, there's a lot to like with Clark. He was consistent and fits into Seattle's system nicely. This grade would be much higher if there weren't the off-field issues.

Grade: C+

64. New England Patriots - Jordan Richards, S, Stanford

It's hard to rationalize this pick – no one thought Richards would go this high in the draft. You can understand the pick because he is what Bill Belichick likes in safeties. But it seems like this is a player who could have been picked much later in the draft.

Grade: D+