The 2010 draft class was considered one of the deepest in several years, with a lot of good talent throughout the Top 100 picks.
The second and third rounds are often a whirlwind of activity, as teams trade back to acquire more late picks or move up to make sure they get a guy that they might think other teams are pursuing heavily.
Whether they were movers, shakers, or both, these five teams maximized their assets on the draft’s second day and earn a gold star.
Oakland originally held the No. 39 pick in the second round, with defensive tackle seeming to be their biggest need.
They got a good one in Texas’ Lamarr Houston, who played both end and tackle in Austin and had 10 tackles and a sack in the BCS National Championship game.
But the best part is that they got him at No. 44.
By trading down twice, the Raiders added a pair of later picks as well—acquiring a fifth-rounder from Tampa to move down to No. 42, and then a sixth-rounder from New England to bump back to No. 44.
Between Houston and first-round pick Rolando McClain, the Raiders significantly improved their run defense.
Add in their third-rounder, a potential sleeper in unheralded offensive tackle Jared Veldheer, and the Raiders have done very well for themselves on the first two days.
I’m going to borrow a phrase from a Paula Abdul song to describe the Pats’ second day: One going up, one coming down, but they seem to land on common ground.
First, “Dealin’” Bill Belichick traded a sixth-rounder to Oakland to move up two spots from No. 44 to No. 42. The Patriots subsequently selected Arizona TE Rob Gronkowski, a 6’6” 250-pound bruiser with great hands who could be a franchise tight end for Tom Brady.
Later, Belichick traded down, getting a fifth-rounder from Houston to drop from No. 58 to No. 62. But they still got a decent player in Florida LB Brandon Spikes, who will fit New England’s blitzing schemes well on the inside of the 3-4.
In between, they used their own second on one of Spikes’ teammates, DE Jermaine Cunningham—a versatile guy who missed the Combine due to injury but could play as either a down lineman or a rush linebacker in New England.
In the third round, they used one of their two picks on Ohio’s Taylor Price—a speedy, athletic receiver who could be an option in a Wildcat formation—and traded the other to Carolina for a second-rounder in 2011.
Not a bad haul for Belichick, who took three very big steps towards rebuilding an aging defense.
On Thursday, Andy Reid traded both of his third-round picks to move up and select Brandon Graham at No. 13—a somewhat iffy selection that also sapped a bit of the Eagles’ deep later-draft arsenal.
Consider the latter wrong rectified.
Left with a pair of second-rounders as his second day ammo, Reid made some shrewd moves.
First, he used the No. 37 selection (the “Donovan McNabb” pick) on South Florida’s Nate Allen, a great combo safety who could step in as the Birds’ starting free safety right away.
But the second pick, No. 55 overall, was turned into so much more.
First, Reid got a fourth-rounder (No. 125) overall from Dallas to move down to No. 59. Then, he got a pair of fifth-rounders (Nos. 134 and 146 overall) from
Cleveland to drop back to the third round.
And at No. 71, Reid got another "undersized" speed rusher in Washington DE Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, the Huskies’ all-time leading sack leader. With that pick, the Birds now have a quartet of “undersized” yet seedy pass rushers who could make life hell for the NFC East’s quarterbacks.
Not only did he get two good players, he actually increased the Birds’ overall draft total. All of the moves give the Birds eight selections on Saturday, and the new total of 11 is one more than they originally had on Thursday morning.
That’s a productive day.
Tampa Bay did most of their damage in the first hour of the night.
First, they selected UCLA DT Brian Price at No. 35, a player who had a first-round grade and should combine with Gerald McCoy to be a very good one-two inside punch for a rapidly-improving Buccaneers defensive line.
Next, they swapped second-rounders with Oakland, giving up a five to select Illinois WR Arrelious Benn at No. 39. The Bucs desperately needed receivers, and for a later pick, they got a rangy outside receiver who many considered to be the third- or fourth-best wideout in the draft.
Finally, the Bucs used their third-round pick on CB Myron Lewis, a rapid riser who was a three-year starter at Vanderbilt and plays a lot like a taller, faster version of current Bucs stalwart Ronde Barber.
While their Friday wasn’t flashy per se, the Buccaneers got three very solid players who can all step in right away.
Teams that trade completely out of the first round are always prone to criticism if they foul up later selections.
Luckily, the Ravens won’t have to worry about that.
The Ravens traded their No. 25 pick to Denver for No. 43, No. 70 and a fourth-rounder…and even if the fourth-rounder is a package of frozen crab cakes, it
was worth it.
With the No. 43 pick—the one they got for giving Denver their first rounder (No. 25)—the Ravens stole Texas DE/LB Sergio Kindle. And I say stole because Kindle has tremendous talent and was considered a mid-first prospect earlier this week.
At No. 70 they got an offensive weapon in Oregon tight end Ed Dickson, who has a receiver’s hands and speed and can learn from one of the best in Todd Heap.
Their own second-rounder was a pretty solid selection as well, as they got Alabama NT Terrence “Mount” Cody—a beastly big body who will make a solid nose tackle rotation with the aging Kelly Gregg and make the Ravens’ already fearsome rush defense even more impenetrable.
Add in the fact that their original third-rounder went to Arizona for Anquan Boldin, and that’s a hell of a haul.