Used to be a “second-day” pick meant a player drafted in the fourth round or later; now, with the NFL’s new TV-friendly format, there’s only one round of picks in the book heading into the draft’s second day. And with this being one of the deepest drafts in recent memory, there is plenty of talent still on the board for the next 64 selections.
Here’s a fantasy-skewed look at some of the big names and hidden talents who might hear their name called Friday evening.
Obviously, the marquee name still on the board is Jimmy Clausen. At one time expected to go as high as fourth overall to the Redskins, Clausen slipped past quarterback-needy teams like the Browns and Bills... and then kept sliding, right past the Vikings at #30 and into the second round. With Minnesota holding the second pick of the second day, they’ll potentially have another opportunity to address the quarterback position for that someday when Brett Favre retires—and actually means it. However, the Rams can expect to field calls all through the night from the Browns and Bills, among others, looking to move back up and address the most important position on the field.
Whatever teams miss out on Clausen—or opt to pass on him because of his toe or his attitude or whatever—could make a play for Colt McCoy of Texas. McCoy has slipped into the second round primarily because of his height (or lack thereof), but he’s a proven winner with the arm and accuracy to succeed in a West Coast system. The Vikings, Browns, and Panthers, among others, could be interested.
After the big four QBs are gone, teams will be reaching. Tony Pike, Dan Lefevour, and Jevon Snead are among the developmental signal callers who might go off the board before Saturday.
The Chargers and Lions addressed their running back needs on day one, but the Seahawks, Texans, and Patriots (with three second-round picks) among others, did not. Seattle and Houston are likely to be looking for a between-the-tackles runner, and the 2010 draft class obliges with bigger backs like Jonathan Dwyer, Toby Gerhart, and Anthony Dixon still on the board. Dwyer may have been hurt by a slow 40 time at the Combine, but he’s had success in a feature-back role as well as in Georgia Tech’s triple option and could be a big back-plus in the right situations. Gerhart is in a similar situation, pigeon-holed as a big back when in fact his 4.53 40 at the Combine was above average for his position. Some teams may project him as a Mike Alstott-like WCO fullback, but he could also wind up as a 20-plus carry feature back if given the opportunity. Dixon is also a bigger back, though he too has feature-back experience and could develop into such a role in the pros.
The Vikings could be looking to fill the void left by Chester Taylor’s defection to Chicago, but they might be more inclined to look for a speedy complement to Adrian Peterson; Dexter McCluster and Joe McKnight certainly fit that bill. Ben Tate and Montario Hardesty, lesser known backs who could fill a feature back role if presented the chance, could hear their name called on Friday as well.
Golden Tate and Arrelious Benn were mentioned in some mock first rounds, though it’s not a total shock to see either falling into the draft’s second day. Both could have their wait dramatically shortened should the Rams seek a pitch-and-catch target for their new feature quarterback. If the Rams don’t make a move at the top of the board, there are plenty of other teams in the market for a pass-catcher—among them the Buccaneers, Browns, Bengals, Ravens, and Panthers.
Tate, an undersized playmaker, and Benn, an underused target with all the physical tools required of an NFL receiver, are the cream of the crop—but they’re certainly not the only receivers on Friday’s board. Brandon LaFell and Eric Decker offer bigger, more physical targets while Damian Williams, Mardy Gilyard, and Jordan Shipley are smaller, faster playmakers.
The next tier of receivers likely to be tapped on Friday includes Dezmon Briscoe, Jacoby Ford, and maybe even everybody’s favorite sleeper, Taylor Price.
Only one tight end went off the board in round one; expect the position to be much busier on day two. Rob Gronkowski, reportedly the top tight end on some boards, is likely the first to hear his name, but there are tight ends for every offensive scheme who fit in this range of the draft. Those looking for more of a pure receiver could target Aaron Hernandez, Jimmy Graham, or Dorin Dickerson; teams who ask their tight ends to block more frequently might be eyeing Ed Dickson, Anthony McCoy, Dennis Pitta, and Tony Moeaki.
The Ravens traded out of round one, but they could use the second-rounder acquired from Denver to address their future at the position. If they don’t, the Patriots have three of the next 10 picks and they’ve been known to collect tight ends. The Browns, Falcons, and Cardinals could also dip into this deep talent pool on the draft’s second day.