Day 1 of the 2014 NFL draft is now in the books, but teams looking to build a Super Bowl contender know hitting on their picks in Rounds 2 and 3 is just as important on Day 2.
While the first round is generally filled with the draft's biggest names and playmakers, the second and third round still present teams with the opportunity to acquire future Pro Bowlers. Playmakers on both sides of the ball—such as Pro Bowlers LeSean McCoy and T.J. Ward—have been taken in the second round of the draft before going on to highly productive careers.
After an action-packed first round in Radio City Music Hall, here's a full list of predictions for every team in the second round:
|33.||Texans||Derek Carr||QB||Fresno State|
|40.||Seahawks (from MIN)||Ra'Shede Hageman||DT||Minnesota|
|42.||Titans||Demarcus Lawrence||DE||Boise State|
|43.||Giants||Jace Amaro||TE||Texas Tech|
|44.||Rams||Allen Robinson||WR||Penn State|
|45.||Lions||Scott Crichton||DE||Oregon State|
|46.||Steelers||Louis Nix III||DT||Notre Dame|
|47.||Cowboys||Timmy Jernigan||DT||Florida State|
|48.||Ravens||Stephon Tuitt||DT/DE||Notre Dame|
|50.||Dolphins||Lamarcus Joyner||CB/S||Florida State|
|54.||Eagles||Kyle Van Noy||OLB||BYU|
|55.||Bengals||Carl Bradford||OLB||Arizona State|
|56.||49ers (from KC)||Jeremiah Attaochu||OLB||Georgia Tech|
|57.||Chargers||Billy Turner||OG/OT||North Dakota State|
|58.||Saints||Weston Richburg||OC||Colorado State|
|59.||Colts||Gabe Jackson||OG||Mississippi State|
|60.||Panthers||Jack Mewhort||OT||Ohio State|
|61.||49ers||Donte Moncrief||WR||Ole Miss|
Round 2 Highlights
Houston Fans Experience Deja Vu All Over Again
A quarterback wearing "Carr" on the back of his jersey won't be a new sight for Texans fans. Most would rather forget the David Carr era, but taking a shot on his younger brother Derek is something that makes some level of sense.
The younger extension of the Carr family arguably has the best arm in the draft and was highly productive as a starter for Fresno State.
Questions over his ability to handle pressure in the pocket to deliver a strike remain, but after securing Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall selection, the Texans would be best suited at least attempting to find a starting-caliber quarterback.
Atlanta Becomes a Big Winner With Investment in Front Seven
In the first round, the Atlanta Falcons grabbed one of the safest picks in the first round in Jake Matthews. He'll offer a consistent and solid presence at whichever tackle spot the Falcons want to plug him in. What they missed out on, though, was a pass-rusher.
Fortunately for Atlanta in this scenario, a first-round talent slips through the cracks and into their hands in the second round. Kony Ealy is the kind of explosive pass-rusher who can carve out a role on defense right away. He has the versatility to help out as a defensive end or rush linebacker in the Falcons' multiple scheme.
With two immediate contributors in the trenches on both sides of the ball, it would be hard to deny that the Falcons came away with a strong start to their draft haul.
Timmy Jernigan's Free-Fall Ends in Dallas
After a successful final season at Florida State that ended in a national championship, defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan had earned speculation that he could be a first-round pick. However, a failed drug test at the combine in February put a damper on those talks in the lead-up to the draft.
Still, Jernigan is one of the most explosive defensive tackles in the draft. His disruptive ability would be ideal for the Cowboys' 4-3 alignment and head coach Jason Garrett told The Dallas Morning News that the team will assess things like failed drug tests on a "case-by-case basis":
“You always try to evaluate all of that personal stuff on a case-by-case basis,” Garrett said. “Our scouts do a great job of going through what the player is all about, where he came from, his upbringing, his family life, any off-the-field issues or instances, and we go through it and we make a decision on where that player should fit or could fit into our program."
Failing a drug test at the combine is about as boneheaded a move as you'll see. But given Jernigan's talent level, someone will look past it sooner or later. The Cowboys needs up front make them a likely candidate.
Arizona Puts Its Future in Zach Mettenberger's Hands
There was a lot of speculation that the Arizona Cardinals could be in play if Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel slid all the way to 20 on draft night. Both of them did and the Cardinals didn't bat an eyelash. Instead, they actually traded down with the Saints and took hard-hitting Deone Bucannon.
That doesn't mean they've given up on finding the signal-caller of the future, though. Bruce Arians has worked with Carson Palmer, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger during his career. All four of those quarterbacks have varying degrees of athleticism, but are big-bodied quarterbacks with great arms.
That means the quarterback whisperer is just the right guy to groom the 6'5", 225-pound heavy-footed Mettenberger into a viable NFL starter.
49ers Continue to Build Defense with Jeremiah Attaochu
The 49ers have become an annual contender during the Jim Harbaugh era for their ability to get after the quarterback. However, that trend hit a wall last season as the Niners ranked just 18th in the league in sacks.
This should lead to an early investment in the pass rush from the team that went safety in the first round. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has identified Attaochu as someone with excellent upside:
Watching Jerry Attaochu bend the edge is so much fun. Cameron Wake-like dip-and-drive.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 17, 2014
It stands to reason that the Niners are thinking the same thing when watching Attaochu's film from Georgia Tech.
|65.||Texans||DaQuan Jones||DT/DE||Penn State|
|67.||Raiders||Jimmy Garoppolo||QB||Eastern Illinois|
|68.||Falcons||Troy Niklas||TE||Notre Dame|
|69.||Buccaneers||Telvin Smith||OLB||Florida State|
|70.||Jaguars||Kareem Martin||DE||North Carolina|
|71.||Browns||Carlos Hyde||RB||Ohio State|
|72.||Vikings||Davante Adams||WR||Fresno State|
|76.||Lions||Terrence Brooks||FS||Florida State|
|77.||49ers (from TEN)||Phillip Gaines||CB||Rice|
|83.||Eagles* (from PIT)||Keith McGill||CB||Utah|
|88.||Bengals||Will Sutton||DT||Arizona State|
|93.||Patriots||Crockett Gillmore||TE||Colorado State|
|96.||Vikings (from SEA)||Walt Aikens||CB||Liberty|
|97.||Steelers||Will Clarke||DE||West Virginia|
|99.||Ravens||Dri Archer||RB/WR||Kent State|
Round 3 Highlights
Raiders Patience Rewarded with Garoppolo
The Oakland Raiders entered the draft as a team that most felt needed a quarterback. They didn't let that keep them from choosing the best player available in Khalil Mack in Round 1, though.
That's the kind of patience that will be rewarded if Garoppolo does, in fact, fall into their laps in the third round. Don't let his small-school pedigree fool you—he's already drawing comparisons to a fellow Eastern Illinois alum, per Rich Cimini of ESPN:
QB Jimmy Garappolo said he has met Jets QB coach D Lee several times during scouting process. Lee told him release reminds him of Romo #nyj— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) May 7, 2014
Yes, Matt Schaub has been brought on to start for the Silver and Black right now, but Garoppolo could be the future.
Browns Hype Continues to Swell with Hyde
The Browns ensured they'd be the most-talked-about team in the NFL by taking Johnny Manziel at No. 22 in the first round. Now they could add to that flash by taking Ohio State product Carlos Hyde in the third.
Hyde's size and speed combination made him a wrecking ball of a back in college. With the oft-injured Ben Tate representing the Browns' only proven commodity at running back, it makes some sense that they will add another weapon in the backfield.
Between Hyde's ability to break tackles and Manziel's theatrics the Browns will definitely see an increase in their time on SportsCenter. Even if it doesn't equate to any increase in the standings.
Ravens Find Ray Rice's Successor in Tre Mason
At 5'8", 208 pounds, Tre Mason is built like a bowling ball. With 4.5 speed and the downhill running of a traditional power back, he has the tools to hit a home run every time he touches the ball.
For Ravens fans, all this should sound familiar. It is nearly identical to a description of Ray Rice—back when Ray Rice was one of the game's best backs, of course. The former Rutgers star is coming off a disappointing season in which he averaged just 3.1 yards per carry.
That opens the door for the Ravens to find a running mate for up-and-comer Bernard Pierce. Mason fits the bill and should give the Ravens a formidable stable going forward.
Patriots Find Their Tight End in Gillmore
Jace Amaro has been a popular pick for the New England Patriots in mock drafts. After all, he's the kind of athletic tight end that most figured would pair nicely with Rob Gronkowski and liven up the Patriots offense.
After passing on the Texas Tech product in the first round, it's tough to see the Patriots taking him now.
What they may opt for is Crockett Gillmore. At 6'6", 260 pounds, Gillmore possesses a similar frame and shows a knack for high-pointing the ball in the air. Those receiving abilities would come in handy as the Patriots look for the flexibility on offense they once had.
Ravens Go Offense Again with Do-It-All Dri Archer
Dri Archer may be listed as a running back, but he's far from the traditional bruiser that Mason would be for the team. With 4.26 speed, he's the kind of player who can be successful however you get him the ball.
The Ravens are in a position to go with the best available player on the board and it just might be Archer here. With his ability to make plays in space, he's reminiscent of Darren Sproles. Except faster. Just think about that.
The Ravens offense was absolutely stagnant last year with few dynamic weapons for Joe Flacco to work with. That would come to an end here.
With starting-caliber players to be found in both the second and third round, fans will want to continue to monitor the draft well into Friday night. You could be watching your team take their next pro bowler.