NFL Draft Round 2 2013: High-Upside Picks Who Will Pay Huge Dividends

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2013

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 15:  Margus Hunt #92 of the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

While teams are often afraid to take risks with the first-round picks, the second round of the NFL draft is a great opportunity to find players with a lot of upside.

Every one of these prospects had some sort of concern that kept teams from drafting them in the opening round. However, they are more than capable of outshining their counterparts taken a day earlier.

It might take a few years to see these men make an impact on the NFL, but they should all eventually be big-time players at the next level.


No. 40 San Francisco 49ers: Cornellius "Tank" Carradine, DE, Florida State

The only thing that kept Tank Carradine out of the top 10 in the first round was a torn ACL. He missed the final few games of the season at Florida State after knee surgery in December, but he has recovered nicely in only four months

At a workout held only a week before the draft, the defensive end showed off impressive speed and reminded people what made him such a highly regarded player in the first place.

Teams were still scared to take him on Day 1, but the 49ers made a smart move by grabbing the talented pass-rusher.

In San Francisco, he can wait to be healthy while learning from some of the best defensive players in the NFL. Eventually, he should be able to take over for Justin Smith and help this unit remain one of the best in the league. 


No. 42 Oakland Raiders: Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State

With the run of offensive linemen taken in the first round, it was a bit surprising that Menelik Watson did not hear his name called.

This ends up being good news for the Oakland Raiders, who get a player who can be a force on the offensive line for years to come.

Watson has great size and very good strength, which will allow him to be a mauling right tackle immediately for the Raiders. However, he is still raw and could eventually become an elite blindside blocker.

He could be great once he learns more technique, but his athleticism will take him far for the time being. 


No. 53 Cincinnati Bengals: Margus Hunt, DT, SMU

Few prospects did more to improve their stock at the combine than Margus Hunt.

Not only was this the first up-close look of the 6'8" monster for many teams, but the defensive lineman also displayed an incredible display of strength and speed. He ran a 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds and totaled 38 reps on the bench press, both among the best at his position (via

The only problem is that, like Watson, Hunt is very raw and must learn more technique to be able to succeed at the next level.

On the Bengals, he will not be asked to do much early, although he can provide a lot due to his versatility to play multiple positions on the defensive line. Eventually, his pure athleticism will turn him into a star in the NFL.


For a complete list of Round 2 picks, check out