NFL Draft 2011: 5 Bold Predictions for Day 2 of the NFL Draft
The 2011 NFL Draft's first round featured plenty of surprises, but none more than at the quarterback position.
Most NFL Draft analysts had Jake Locker graded out as a first-round selection—very few had him heading to a team in the top 10 picks. Very few had Christian Ponder rated as somebody sniffing anywhere near the first round.
For Locker to go No. 8 overall to the Tennessee Titans and Ponder to land with the Minnesota Vikings at No. 12, it sets up a domino effect.
The second and third rounds start this afternoon, and there are plenty of clues of what to expect based on these events.
Let's break down what it all means.
Expect a Run on Quarterbacks in Round 2
The Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins and San Francisco 49ers were all linked to rumors of possibly targeting Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert or Jake Locker depending on how the chips fell.
All four teams chose to go the defensive route in the first round instead of addressing any needs at quarterback. With each of these teams (along with the Oakland Raiders) picking in the second round by the 48th selection, expect a second run at the quarterback position.
Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallett and Colin Kaepernick will all have suitors, and it'll be interesting to see which of these teams targets which of these three quarterbacks. I wouldn't be surprised to see a trade or two take place to ensure a team gets their guy.
Da'Quan Bowers Will Find a Home in Round 2
Talent is not an issue when it comes to Da'Quan Bowers. The defensive end from Clemson led college football in sacks in 2010 with 15.5. He has NFL size at 6'3'' and 280 pounds, and if he can stay healthy, he could be an All-Pro for years in the NFL.
We're talking about a guy who at one point was projected as a top-five pick and somebody who won the 2010 Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the top defensive player in all of college football last season being available in the second round.
He had surgery on a torn meniscus following the season, and all of a sudden he is available on the second day of the draft. Unless there is some additional medical information I'm not privy to, I can't believe he is still on the board.
He will be the biggest wild card at the start of Round 2, and it'll be interesting to see if he's drafted outright, or if a team moves up to nab him.
Running Backs Will Be En Vogue on Day 2
Mark Ingram was the only running back selected in the first round.
That will not be the case for the second day of the draft.
Ryan Williams, Mikel Leshoure, Daniel Thomas, Johnny White, Kendall Hunter, Taiwan Jones, Dion Lewis and DeMarco Murray could each have their names called by the end of the third round.
At least one of these guys will be a star at the next level, so it will all come down to which systems and opportunities they wind up in.
Cornerbacks Will Jump off the Board, Too
Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara may both wind up as household names when it's all said and done. But the only remaining player drafted from the secondary was Jimmy Smith.
Expect a run on corners at some point on Day 2.
Brandon Harris, Ras-I Dowling, Johnny Patrick, Joshua Thomas, Marcus Gilchrist, Curtis Brown, Brandon Burton, Jalil Brown and Shareece Wright will be in the mix for selections on the second day.
The Raiders Will Draft for Speed
Without fail, year in and year out, the Oakland Raiders take a player way higher than talent merits based on one physical trait alone...speed.
Whether it's Louis Murphy, Bruce Campbell or the 50 players before, owner Al Davis values straight-line 40-yard dash times more than any other person in the sport.
Look for names like Derrick Locke (4.40) or Leonard Hankerson (4.43) to warrant consideration on the second day due to their prowess on the timed clock at the NFL combine.