The Gents Draft Review: Day 2
Day 2 had feel good stories, a run on defensive tackles, an insane amount of talent and a kicker going in the 2nd round.
If anything, day 2 might have been better than day 1…
Myles Jack: One of the big stories of day 1 was that Myles Jack didn’t come off the board. Jack was considered a top 5 talent up until as recently as a week and a half ago, but injury concerns saw him hit day 2’s proceedings, with no definite answer where he’d land. Jack however didn’t stay on the board too long, with Jacksonville pulling the trigger with the 36th pick. This could work out incredibly well for both parties. The Jags get a player they were going to pick up with the 5th pick and Jack joins a young, defence that’s on the rise. A great opportunity to shine for him and I couldn’t be happier.
Jaylon Smith: Continuing the feel good stories, I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little choked up when Smith was picked up by the Cowboys. Jaylon Smith’s injury has been a hot topic throughout the off season, with his surgically repaired ACL and LCL possibly seeing him miss the entire season. Smith, like Jack was a top 10 prospect when removed from the injury, but on day 2 there were a lot of people believing that even at this point it was a reach. The Cowboys have rolled the dice here and bet on the future. If he comes into the 2017 season fresh and healthy, the Cowboys would have essentially traded a 2nd round pick in 2016 for a 1st round pick in 2017.
Shon Coleman: Round 2 certainly had narrative, with Coleman being another positive story coming out of a draft that’s been full of them. Coleman is no stranger to the draft podium, announcing the Rams 2014 pickup of Aaron Donald. The Auburn tackle, has had a rough road to the NFL. In 2010 he was diagnosed with Leukaemia. In 2012 he redshirted with Auburn and then played up until 2015. Last night he was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 3rd round. Shon Coleman joins a team that’s desperate for players with a great work ethic, which he will undoubtedly bring.
Christian Hackenberg: One of my least favourite moves of the draft so far. I’m not high on Hackenberg at all. Yes he has an arm, yes he can move, but he has accuracy issues, struggles to go through his reads and is skittish, thanks to being behind an offensive line that resembles a turnstile. If they don’t hit on Hackenberg (and I do apologise for all these snappy taglines), then they’ve got a QB group of Geno Smith, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. It might be time to give Fitz a buzz. If Hackenberg had a chance to sit for a while, I’d probably be less down on this pick, but on that Jets team, with a lack of a solid starter I’d be surprised if that’s a luxury they can afford.
Deion Jones & Su’a Cravens: 2 great picks for the modern game. Both are smaller line-backers that can play at safety if needed too, so when going up against no huddle offenses they provide scheme versatility to eliminate mismatches. I really like both players and both fits, which I believe should make the Falcons and Washington instantly better
All the Defensive Tackles: I got it wrong on the pod, believing that we’d see a mad rush on DTs in the 1st round. Really it came on day 2, with a total of 9 going over the 2 rounds. What’s particularly crazy is the amount of players with 1st round grades going. Jarran Reed (Packers), A’Shawn Robinson (Lions), Chris Jones (Chiefs), just a staggering list of players that in any other year would have certainly gone in round one. Robinson in particular I like, giving Detroit a viable Suh replacement potentially. All these players though should become key pieces and have the potential to be game changers.
Tennessee Titans: The more I look at that trade the more I love it. Tennessee have addressed big needs head on, with Conklin in the 1st, giving them a 2nd starting grade tackle, Kevin Dodd (who should never have fallen) in the 2nd and Austin Johnson, Derrick Henry and Kevin Byard, all filling huge needs for this team. With the Colts actually addressing needs and the Texans and the Jags getting better, the AFC South is fast becoming much more competitive division. Excellent drafting so far from all the teams.
Best of the Rest
Reggie Ragland: Easily one of my favourite players in the draft, fell to the Buffalo Bills, who now with the additions of Lawson, Ragland and Washington have a solid, deep defence. No excuses this year Rex. Ragland still, I think become the defensive rookie of the year. Especially in the middle of that defence.
Cody Whitehair: I have seen a lot of crappy drafts in my following of the seemingly cursed Chicago Bears. This though… wasn’t one of them. Whilst I was a little critical of moving up to take Leonard Floyd, they more than made up for it in round 2, with a succession of trades back, deeper into the 2nd round, accumulating draft picks on the way. The Bears ended up with an extra 4th (which had been lost in the trade in round 1) and a 4 next year. On top of which they still picked up a player they wanted. Whitehair is versatile and can slot in at tackle, guard or center meaning the Bears can field a line-up of their top 5 players. What doesn’t seem to be getting any traction however is the idea that we might see Kyle Long play left tackle, which is something I am fully on board with. Long is one of the most talented players on our offence and proved his versatility last year, playing guard, right tackle and left. I think Whitehair gives us an opportunity to put the best player in the best position.
Mackensie Alexander: It’s like the Vikings outright decided they wanted to get nastier, which with Treadwell and Alexander, they did. Alexander isn’t a player you pick up if you want a tall ball hawking corner. What he is however is a great player with the tenacity to become a true shut down corner. Alexander might be the player to bring the best out of Trae Waynes. An excellent pick from the Vikings.
Austin Hooper: The Falcons have another weapon and finally a tight end that could at least come close to filling the giant sized shoes of Tony Gonzalez. Realistically though he just needs to be another option for Matt Ryan.
Le’Raven Clark: The Colts come into this draft and don’t just pick up 1 offensive linemen… but 2. Is this actually Ryan Grigson? Is he a pod person? Can someone check?
The Kicker: The elephant in the room here, but you know what… I don’t hate it. The Bucs traded back into the 2nd to pick up Robert Aguayo and in doing so, crossed off another position of need leaving relatively few. The Bucs have had little success on special teams in recent years, and if Aguayo can provide an element of stability then he’s worth the pick, especially looking at his stats. Hasn’t missed an extra point, made 5 field goals of 50+ yards, has an 88.5% success ratio and scored a total of 405 points. So yeah I like the pick, just don’t tell Duncan.
That’s day 2 in review, join me again tomorrow for a complete round up of the draft. Enjoy rounds 4-7!