The biggest splashes when it comes to the NFL draft always come in the first round, especially in today’s instant-gratification society. However, the best way to build a consistent winner is by stocking a team with depth and talent through the later rounds in the draft.
That is exactly what every team in the league hopes to do Friday during Round 2. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a full mock draft for the second round and then dig into some analysis on a few of the top available players:
|1||Houston Texans||QB Derek Carr|
|2||Washington Redskins||LB Chris Borland|
|3||Cleveland Browns||WR Marqise Lee|
|4||Oakland Raiders||QB Zach Mettenberger|
|5||Atlanta Falcons||DE Kony Ealy|
|6||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||DT Ra'Shede Hageman|
|7||Jacksonville Jaguars||RB Carlos Hyde|
|8||Seattle Seahawks||TE Jace Amaro|
|9||Buffalo Bills||DT Timmy Jernigan|
|10||Tennessee Titans||DT Stephon Tuitt|
|11||New York Giants||OT Cyrus Kouandjio|
|12||St. Louis Rams||WR Jordan Matthews|
|13||Detroit Lions||WR Allen Robinson|
|14||Pittsburgh Steelers||CB Lamarcus Joyner|
|15||Dallas Cowboys||DT Louis Nix|
|16||Baltimore Ravens||G Xavier Su'a-Filo|
|17||New York Jets||WR Cody Latimer|
|18||Miami Dolphins||OT Morgan Moses|
|19||Chicago Bears||DE Demarcus Lawrence|
|20||Arizona Cardinals||OT Joel Bitonio|
|21||Green Bay Packers||TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins|
|22||Philadelphia Eagles||WR Jarvis Landry|
|23||Cincinnati Bengals||DE Scott Crichton|
|24||San Francisco 49ers||CB Bashaud Breeland|
|25||San Diego Chargers||LB Jeremiah Attaochu|
|26||New Orleans Saints||OT Antonio Richardson|
|27||Indianapolis Colts||G Gabe Jackson|
|28||Carolina Panthers||LB Kyle Van Noy|
|29||San Francisco 49ers||WR Donte Moncrief|
|30||New England Patriots||TE Troy Niklas|
|31||Denver Broncos||CB Victor Hampton|
|32||Seattle Seahawks||G Trai Turner|
Projected picks are personal opinion
RB Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
Had this draft class entered the NFL 15 years ago, there is a very realistic chance Carlos Hyde would have been a top 10 pick.
Although running back has been devalued in today’s NFL, Hyde brings the prototypical speed and size combination to the table that teams are always looking for, with the elusiveness to dart past people in the open field and the power to steamroll linebackers in the hole.
In his final year at Ohio State, Hyde became the first Urban Meyer-coached running back to crack 1,000 rushing yards in a season with 1,521 and 16 touchdowns on the ground. What’s more, he did that even while missing the first three games of the campaign due to a suspension.
Will Carlos Hyde tally more than 500 rushing yards as a rookie?
If we were to project ahead, Hyde has the chance to be an immediate contributor if put in the right situation.
So many teams in the NFL rotate backs that if he was paired with a fast and shifty runner, it could be something of a thunder and lightning combination. Furthermore, Hyde should rack up some touchdowns on the goal line because of his size, so he is worth keeping an eye on in your fantasy leagues.
Running back may be devalued as a position as a whole, but Hyde has elite-level talent and should thrive in the NFL.
WR Marqise Lee, USC
There was a point in Marqise Lee’s career that many saw him as a potential No. 1 pick in the draft, but an up-and-down 2013 season derailed those hopes.
However, there is very little he cannot do on paper from the wide receiver position. He has great hands, can run after the catch, fights through contact, isn’t afraid to go over the middle and can beat defenders deep to stretch the defense.
His size also makes him a solid red-zone target, so look for Lee to rack up some touchdowns in year one.
DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota
Ra’Shede Hageman is a physical monster who can swallow up multiple offensive linemen on one play in the middle of the defensive front, which opens up the defensive ends and the linebackers to attack the quarterback from the edge. Furthermore, he is a complete run-stuffer in the middle of the defense and could serve as the ideal middle man in a 3-4 scheme.
He seemed to have the right attitude about the draft hoopla as well, via Marcus R. Fuller of the Pioneer Press: "I'm just kind of embracing everything. Obviously, it's kind of overwhelming. But it lets me know to keep focusing and to stay hungry. I have a goal at hand, and I plan on reaching that."
As long as Hageman maintains that hunger, he could be giving quarterbacks and offensive coordinators nightmares for years to come.
QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
It’s safe to say ESPN’s Todd McShay isn’t a fan of Derek Carr’s game as a potential early draft pick:
Most surprising part of '14 draft process so far is all the Derek Carr love. Good arm but not accurate downfield and/or under pressure.— Todd McShay (@McShay13) February 17, 2014
To his credit, the Fresno State quarterback did throw for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his final season, but much of that was because of quick screens and high-percentage passes.
Carr still has some work to do in terms of throwing the ball downfield with consistency and accuracy, especially in the face of NFL pressure. The best situation for him would be to land at a spot with an established quarterback so he can learn the ropes for a year or two and improve on his perceived weaknesses.
WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Nobody in the history of the SEC tallied more catches and receiving yards than Jordan Matthews, so whichever team drafts him knows it will get production.
What’s more, Matthews did that will less than stellar quarterback play throughout his Vanderbilt career, so imagine what he can do with an NFL signal-caller in place. Matthews improved on his receiving yards and receptions every year he was on campus, so his work ethic is also spoken for.
Matthews can run slant routes through the middle, go get the ball at its highest point on jump balls in the end zone and has the speed necessary to beat corners deep with a move or two. He has the chance to be a solid No. 3 receiver from the day he steps on an NFL field and improve from there.
Follow me on Twitter