So with a thoroughly eventful Day 1 of the Draft now in the books, we turn our heads to Day 2 with Rounds 2 and 3 coming up. We list some of the names to watch and look out for who have yet to be picked; with potential team fits for all players.
Dalvin Cook, Florida State – RB
I think there’s only one place to start with this piece and that’s the dramatic fall of Dalvin Cook out of the first round; a huge shock of yesterday! For someone who could still turn out to be the best Running Back of this class to fall out of the first round is unheard of. The main knock against him now is his fumbling issues, which if they carry over will drive NFL coaches crazy turning the ball over. I fully expect him to be one of the first 5 players off the board today, and will the subject of much trade talk as teams try to trade up to get him.
Potential Fits: GB, PHI, MIN, WAS
Photo Credit: Mark Wallheiser/AP
DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame – QB
Believe it or not there was a time early in the process where many believed Kizer was the QB with the highest ceiling of any in this draft. That was before the DeShaun Watson hype train kicked into gear and Trubisky dazzled at his Pro Day. This could be as these two QBs are ready to start Day 1, where as Kizer likely needs some time to groom under an elder QB. Thankfully some teams in the league are looking at exactly this type to backup for a year or two then start.
Potential Fits: LAC, ARZ, NYG, PIT
Photo Credit: Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports
Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky – OL
If you’re a fangirl of Offensive Linemen and their big sexy asses, this wasn’t the draft for you to watch with only two going in the first round; Garrett Bolles and Ryan Ramczyk. Lamp has the potential to help a lot of teams right away at Guard, and has the versatility to play anywhere across the O-Line, which is why many tabbed him as a first round selection. If he doesn’t go in the first half of the 2nd round, I’ll be completely speechless.
Potential Fits: DEN, JAX, CIN, HOU
Photo Credit: Ray Carlin/USA TODAY Sports
Zay Jones, East Carolina – WR
At the start of the first round there was a quick burst of Wide Receivers taken with Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross going inside the top 10, but that then followed without a single wideout being taken (but three TEs did get picked). There’s some debate as to who the next WR off the board should be, and Zay Jones has a compelling case, with 158 catches for 1,746 yards and 8 TDs last season to set all sorts of school and conference records. Maybe doesn’t have the speed that deserved a 1st round grade, but he’s not far behind in other aspects.
Potential Fits: SF, CHI, LAR, BUF
Photo Credit: PirateIllustrated.com
Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut – S
We couldn’t go through a UK NFL post about who to watch on the second day of the draft without mentioning Melifonwu. The London born (not sure if you knew that or not, nobody mentions it) Safety has all the physical tools and isn’t afraid to start throwing his body about to make tackles. He has filled up the stat book last year at UConn with 118 tackles, 4 Interceptions and 2.5 tackles for loss; and looks like he’ll be going towards the end of the 2nd round, maybe dipping into the 3rd.
Potential Fits: CLE, OAK, DAL, PIT
Photo Credit: UConn Athletics
Sidney Jones, Washington – CB
Perhaps a player not expected to go early on Day 2, but certainly a name to keep an eye on is Sidney Jones, who after being touted as a Top 10 pick at one point has fallen drastically due to an unfortunate torn achilles tendon on his Pro Day. It’s definitely not a career ender, and he could well be ready to help out an NFL team before the mid-point in the 2017 season. So if a team is willing to take a chance on him fully healing, they could get a steal with Jones.
Potential Fits: IND, PHI, MIA, SEA
Photo Credit: Peter Haley/The News Tribune
Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt – LB
For all the teams that missed out of Reuben Foster in the first round, then they can’t be too disappointed as Zach Cunningham appears to be a very similar if slightly less heralded player. A very downhill tackler ready to knock a Running Back out of his shoes who has had a good nose for the ball could jump straight in as an instant starter with the help of some more experienced team mates; with a view to eventually taking over at MLB and being a true leader of the defence.
Potential Fits: BUF, TEN, ATL, NE
Photo Credit: Mark Humphrey/AP
Joe Mixon, Oklahoma – RB
Onto one of the more controversial players in this years draft, as Joe Mixon will look to be drafted by a team on Day 2 of the draft. It’s been said so often this off-season that it’s almost a cliche; but Mixon’s talent is first round grade no question and is up there with the best in terms of all-purpose Running Backs. But the off-field issues keep circling back to bite him and may well cost him that opportunity. Mixon may well also be off some boards completely; but surely the talent is too much to pass on in the 2nd/3rd round.
Potential Fits: CAR, DET, KC, GB
Photo Credit: Alonzo Adams/Associated Press
Malik McDowell, Michigan – DT
If you’d have even entertained the idea of Malik McDowell dropping to the 2nd or even 3rd round back in January or February time, then you’d have been marked crazy (for that, and the fact you were thinking about mocks in January). But he has shown that he has almost as much raw talent as any other Defensive Tackle in this class. But he had a habit of seemingly disappearing in some games. The motor and desire to perform at the next level has really come out as a red flag in the pre-draft process, but if he proves these doubters wrong it’s an absolute steal here.
Potential Fits: SEA, BAL, IND, TB
Photo Credit Mike Carter/USA TODAY Sports
Budda Baker, Washington – S
One of the more underrated players in this draft could well be Budda Baker. With a very top heavy safety class, looking at Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker here, he looks a step behind these and therefore gets dropped down boards and forgotten. But he is only a step behind, and should probably grade as a first round talent in other drafts; and could well turn out to be a Pro Bowl calibre safety despite his main knock that he’s undersized.
Potential Fits: CHI, NYJ, NO, WAS
Photo Credit: John Lok/The Seattle Times