26 April 2013

2013 NFL Draft: Day 2 Preview

Where will Geno Smith land?
After a first round that was certainly all over the place (my grades here), what should we expect from tonight in the second night of the 2013 NFL Draft? We've got some pretty intriguing storylines in the mix, some of which will be overblown to the point of exhaustion, but that is the nature of the beast, eh? Here is what to watch for tonight.

When will Geno Smith's slide end?
You had to feel for Smith last night. After all, he had to wait in the blue room for his name to be called and it never did, while teams like the Bills ruin their future by taking a guy that is going to bust in E.J. Manuel. However, now Smith has the opportunity to go all Aaron Rodgers on the clubs that passed on him. Also, he should not have to wait very long to go tonight. In fact, don't be surprised if the Jaguars take him with the first pick of the 2nd round. Personally, I think the Eagles, who have no plan whatsoever at quarterback it appears, will take him at 35 but the Jets are interested at 39. Other teams that could consider him include Arizona (38) or Oakland (42), and we should also not count out a trade from somebody else.

Where will the other top quarterbacks go?
As mentioned earlier, with an incredulous touch, only one quarterback went in the first round and it was E.J. Manuel. That could result in an early run on quarterbacks, and Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley should be early targets. If you put a gun to my head, I would say that Nassib goes with the first pick to the Jaguars and Barkley goes to to Oakland. Other quarterbacks to look out for tonight include Matt Scott of Arizona, who is an ideal fit for an offense that loves the zone read, Mike Glennon of N.C. State, who makes sense for the Cardinals and there are reports that the Bears love him, Tennessee's Tyler Bray, Arkansas's Tyler Wilson or Zac Dysert of Miami (OH).

[Insert obligatory Manti Te'o question]
In case you missed it, despite Adam Schefter declaring it to be "Te'o time" late in the 1st round, and despite all the rumors that the Vikings were going to trade up for the Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te'o is still on the board. Personally, I'm not that surprised that Te'o is still available, but other people that know more than me are, so that's saying something. I do think he will be a good NFL linebacker, despite how awful he looked against Alabama in the title game, and I would be surprised if he was available past the Bears at 50, considering they almost took him in the first.

When will the running backs get in the mix?
For the first time in 50 years, a running back was not taken in the first round of the NFL draft, a fact that does not surprise this guy because at no point in any of my mocks did I have a running back going in the 1st. They will go at some point tonight, though, and I think Eddie Lacy, Gio Bernard are locks for the 2nd, with Jonathan Franklin, Le'Veon Bell, Marcus Lattimore and Montee Ball potentially picks for tonight as well. Lacy seems like a lock for the Bengals at 37 and look for several other clubs to potentially backs as well.

Who is the best player available?
Cornelius Carradine, or as the kids these days call him, "Tank," surprised me when he fell out of the first round last night, but considering he tore his ACL in November and thus got overshadowed by Bjoern Werner, maybe I shouldn't be surprised. He has one of the highest ceilings of the pass rushers in this draft and he has all the tools. Many clubs will be interested, and could we see somebody like Atlanta move up for him?

[Insert obligatory Tyrann Mathieu question]
You know between his 1st round party and draft expert Dez Bryant saying he is the "best player in the draft," I was really thinking that Mathieu could push into the 1st round. That's actually a lie, just wanted to note those two things. Personally, I've thought that he was overrated, that his excellent play was due in a fair part to Morris Claiborne, and his character issues really turned me off. Ignore the many failed drug test, he apparently no-showed some team meetings. I don't think you will see him drafted until the 3rd round tonight, but I could see a club desperate for corner help making a play for him late in the 2nd.

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