10 May 2014

2014 NFL Draft: Best picks of Day 2

The second and third rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft are in the books. Therefore, here are the best picks from Day 2.

1st Round Grades

2nd Round
33. Houston Texans - Xavier Su'a-Filo, G, UCLA
The first pick of the second day is a good one as Houston bolsters the interior of their offensive line with a very good guard. Houston needs an upgrade at left guard and potentially at right tackle and Su'a-Filo could potentially be either one. He is an excellent pass blocker against both power and speed rushers, and he has very good athleticism for an interior lineman. Su'a-Filo could play with a little more power in the run game but he is very good at pulling around the end.

36. Oakland Raiders - Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Yes, Oakland is trying to win now it appears but nobody was ever going to confuse Matt Schaub as their long term option. That and the fact that Carr is a good value at 36 make this a fine pick. Carr has the arm to make all the throws, he is accurate, makes good decisions and has plenty of experience. However, he can get flustered against the pass rush

37. Atlanta Falcons - Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Atlanta has worked hard on upgrading their defensive line this offseason and add another talented prospect to the mix in Hageman after he fell to this selection. He has ideal size and power as well as explosiveness off the line of scrimmage to where he can probably play either tackle or end in the NFL. He needs to show more consistency at times but he excels against the run and has some pass rush ability as well due to his moves and his athleticism.

38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Tampa Bay could have used an upgrade at tight end as well as another target for Josh McCown and this talented U-Dub product should fit the bill. Seferian-Jenkins' draft stock has dipped due to a foot injury that limited him in that he was not able to perform at the Combine, as well as due to off the field issues. However, he is a big tight end but also very athletic which leaves him as difficult for defenses to cover. What is key for him is that he is a solid blocker as well.

39. Jacksonville Jaguars - Marqise Lee, WR, USC
It does not look like the Jaguars are expecting Justin Blackmon to return to the team anytime soon and that left Chad Henne and first round pick Blake Bortles without much options in the passing game beyond Cecil Shorts. Now they got a steal in Lee who should become a top option for the Jags offensively. Lee did battle some injuries during his junior season but he is an explosive wideout that is tremendous with the ball in his hands. He runs good routes, consistently gets separation, and can contribute in the return game.

40. Detroit Lions - Kyle Van Noy, DE/OLB, BYU
I had mocked Anthony Barr to Detroit lately due to their need for some pass rushing juice off the edge, and they could also use an upgrade at the strongside linebacker position. Van Noy can do both. He is a tremendous pass rusher off the edge thanks to his athleticism. He is relentless and has tremendous instincts as well and in Provo, he lived in opposing backfields.

43. New York Giants - Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
The Giants had to address their offensive line at some point early in the draft and they helped to bolster their interior offensive line further by taking the rock solid center out of Colorado State. Richburg is an intelligent and a versatile lineman that plays with excellent technique and excels in blocking in the run game. He also avoids penalties, something Tom Coughlin always appreciates.

44. Buffalo Bills - Cyrus Kouandijo, T, Alabama
Kouandijo is definitely a risk. He needs to lose some weight and he did take a step backwards in 2013. However, he has the talent to be a very good right tackle and will fill a need for the Bills there. He utilizes his length and his bulk to mash and maul in the running game but while he is athletic and has good hands, he is a mess against speed rushers on the edge.

45. Seattle Seahawks - Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
In the wake of Golden Tate leaving the Pacific Northwest for Motown, Seattle could have used another receiver and help Russell Wilson fulfill his talent even more with an improved receiving corps. Richardson is a burner that will help stretch out the defense. He also is a good route runner and works hard but the one concern with him is that he is rail thin.

46. Pittsburgh Steelers - Stephon Tuitt, DT/DE, Notre Dame
I love this selection as it is a tremendous value for an underrated prospect. Yes, Tuitt added some weight and disappointed in 2013. But he is an excellent fit for the Pittsburgh defensive scheme as he excelled in Notre Dame's 3-4 scheme. He is excellent at stuffing the run. He also should be a player in the pass rush as well thanks to his combination of power and quickness and can beat some tackles off the edge.

48. Baltimore Ravens - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
This was not a big need for the Ravens but you can really never have too many lineman as the more lineman you have allows you to rotate guys in and out to keep them fresh. Not to mention that this is a very good value. Jernigan needs to improve his pass rushing action but he is a very good lineman against the run. He is tough to move off the line of scrimmage.

49. New York Jets - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
New York needed to come out of this draft with some playmakers for whoever their quarterback is, meaning receiver or tight end. I like them going with the talented Texas Tech prospect here. He projects to be a matchup nightmare than offenses love to employ at the position. He has great hands and can make the tough catches in traffic.

53. Green Bay Packers - Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State
James Jones left Titletown for Oaktown, while Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson hit free agency at the end of 2014. Not to mention that Ted Thompson loves to add weapons for Aaron Rodgers and this is a very nice selection. Adams has really nice hands, runs really good routes, and has nice size that he takes advantage of. He may not be particularly fast but he is quick.

56. Denver Broncos - Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana
The Broncos did have a need for another wideout after Eric Decker headed off towards the Meadowlands and in his place, the Broncos landed a similar player in Latimer. Latimer has solid size and he likes to get physical with cornerbacks a little bit. He runs fine routes, is good at jump balls and is athletic. He may not be a speed demon but again, neither was Decker.

58. New Orleans Saints - Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska
In following the Seattle model, teams are starting to crave big cornerbacks and that should be good news for Jean-Baptiste, who is over 6-2. Jean-Baptiste should excel in press coverage but he has shown the movement skills to be a quality contributor in other man schemes. He also could play safety and so his versatility has to be key for a New Orleans secondary that has to improve in 2014.

60. Carolina Panthers - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
How Ealy fell to the 60th selection, I do not have a clue. The fact that this is a tremendous value selections outweighs the fact that end is not a pressing need, but do not forget that Greg Hardy will hit free agency next year. Ealy is an excellent athlete with a nice combination of size and speed. He is a balanced pass rusher with an all-around game coming off the edge and he also is very good against the run as well.

61. Jacksonville Jaguars - Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
I do not mind the Jaguars double-dipping at receiver on Day 2 because they simply need more talent on the roster and for their future quarterback, they needed to add more weapons. And Robinson is a fine value here late in the 2nd round. Robinson may not be much of a deep vertical threat in the NFL as he is not particularly fast, but he is a tremendous leaper and he knows how to make the tough catches in traffic. He runs nice routes and he is very good at making something happen after the catch.

3rd Round
66. Washington - Morgan Moses, T, Virginia
Moses has excellent size and strength, but he is not a great athlete. That will probably limit him from playing left tackle in the pros. He is an excellent run blocker and with his physicality and arm length, he should be a mauler in the run game. However, there are concerns over whether he can stay in shape in order to be effective. But a team like Washington will live with the flaws to roll the dice on the talented tackle in order to find an upgrade on the right side.

70. San Francisco 49ers - Marcus Martin, C, USC
The Niners definitely had a need at the center position as their current starter, Jonathan Goodwin, is in his mid-30's. Fortunately for them, one of the top players at the position fell to them at 70. Martin is a nice fit as he is a strong run blocker that is also experienced and agile. He also has shown some versatility so he can work his way in at guard if needed.

72. Minnesota Vikings - Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
When you have a defense as bad as the Vikings did a year ago, I have no problem with them double dipping to vastly improve their pass rush. Crichton is a little undersized and he is not a great athlete either but he gives relentless effort every down. He is a very good pass rusher and is described by some as having an excellent bull rush. He is instinctive and gets off the snap quickly as well.

81. Oakland Raiders - Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State
Some thought that the Raiders were going to take Jackson one round earlier and that would have made sense, so getting him a round later is even better. Jackson was one of the better guards in this draft and he is truly a mauler in the running game that excels at driving players off of the line of scrimmage, making him very valuable in short yardage situations.

83. Houston Texans - Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame
It is a ridiculous that a guy like Nix who probably should have gone in the first round in my eyes falls to the middle of the third round. I do not think the Texans will mind, however, as he gives them an upgrade at the nose right away. Nix is the classic nose tackle than will set up shop and adsorb multiple offensive linemen while clogging rushing lanes. He is a truly physical threat at the point of attack and is tremendous against the run.

84. Arizona Cardinals - Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
As Darnell Dockett gets older, the Cardinals were going to have to start looking for a potential replacement at an important position in their defensive scheme. Martin needs to show more consistency and a stronger effort but he is very talented. He can look like a natural pass rusher at times and his strength, athleticism and moves can make him a threat to get to the quarterback off the edge.

87. Kansas City Chiefs - Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
With the rumors of trading Brandon Flowers being heard every once in a while and especially after the disappointing play of Dunta Robinson, it made sense for the Chiefs to look for a corner somewhere in this draft. They landed a good one here. Gaines has a nice set of size and speed and his athleticism gives him a high ceiling as a fine corner in the NFL after excellent with the Owls.

97. Pittsburgh Steelers - Dri Archer, RB/WR, Kent State
Ben Roethlisberger needs more weapons at his disposal for the Steelers' offense to improve and while Archer may not have a true position at the next level, he has the opportunity to be a key target for Big Ben. Archer is electric with the football in his hands and he has sensational speed. He can work in the backfield or in the slot and Todd Haley should be designing some unique ways to get him the ball in space.

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