2011 NFL Draft Grades: 5 Biggest Winners and Losers from Day 2

Michael AkelsonCorrespondent IApril 29, 2011

2011 NFL Draft Grades: 5 Biggest Winners and Losers from Day 2

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    2011 NFL Draft Grades: Houston Texans, Detroit Lions among winners; New England Patriots, Da'Quan Bowers among losers.

    After an immensely entertaining first round concluded Thursday night, we wondered if Day 2 would keep us interested.

    It did just that.

    With a bizarre amount of reaches and a few huge free falls, it kept us on our toes the whole night. Let's explore the winners and losers.

Winner: Houston Texans

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    Who they picked:

    Brooks Reed, OLB/DE, Arizona

    Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

     

    Why they're winners:

    The Houston Texans picked up two guys who had first-round talent level in the second round.

    They also picked up two players who will without a doubt help them improve on what was one of the worst secondaries in NFL history last season.

    Reed is an absolute stud who goes hard every play, and Harris should be able to make an impact right away.

Loser: Ryan Mallett

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    Why he's a loser:

    Ryan Mallett was the biggest and strongest armed quarterback in this draft.

    Usually that can help you climb into the late first round as Joe Flacco and Josh Freeman have proved in recent seasons, but that wasn't the case for Mallett.

    His character issues potentially pushed him from being a first-round pick, all the way to the Patriots at pick No. 73 with whom he won't even have a chance to play for a while.

    Although he does get the benefit of learning from Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, so I guess it's not the worst thing that could of happened.

Winner: Detroit Lions

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    Who they picked:

    Titus Young, WR, Boise State

    Mikel Leshoure, RB, Illinois

     

    Why they're winners:

    The Detroit Lions have yet to make a pick due to need in this draft, but as long as they keep stealing great players like this, that's just fine.

    On Day 2, the Lions picked up a speedy wideout in Titus Young who will draw double teams away from Calvin Johnson and they picked up the second-best running back in the draft in Mikel Leshoure.

    The Lions offense got a lot better Friday night.

Loser: Justin Houston

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    Why he's a loser:

    This guy was going in the first round in nearly every mock draft, yet every single team who needed a pass rusher let him go by in round two.

    I'm not sure exactly why, but no matter what it's not a good sign for Houston.

    He fell all the way to No. 70 and lost bags and bags of money.

Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

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    Who they picked:

    Rodney Hudson, C, FSU

    Justin Houston, DE/OLB, Georgia

    Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

     

    Why they're winners:

    The Chiefs first picked up Rodney Hudson, who figures to be a pretty good NFL center.

    Then they got the steal of the draft when they picked a first-round talent in Justin Houston with the 70th pick; the guy should be a great pass-rusher in the NFL.

    I'm not sure why he fell so far.

Loser: New England Patriots

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Who they picked:

    Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia

    Shane Vereen, RB, Cal

    Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU

    Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas

     

    Why they're losers:

    It appeared the Patriots were set for a great Day 2 in the NFL Draft going in with five picks, including the first pick of the day.

    It turned into a train wreck for the Pats.

    First they reached for Ras-I Dowling despite Brooks Reed, who should have been a no-brainer for New England here, still being on the board.

    Then they continually moved down the board, which could possibly benefit them on Day 3, but it certainly did them no favors Friday.

    The Pats consistently traded away from Justin Houston, who was a perfect fit for their system, and instead they reached for two running backs who don't seem like high-impact guys at all.

    Their fourth pick may have been their best, picking up Ryan Mallett, but there's no guarantee he ever starts a game in New England so it's hard to call that a good pick either—even if he does get two great mentors.

    This has to be one of Bill Belichick's worst drafts ever. I don't know what he's thinking. Although he did grab a second-round pick for next year, I'm highly unimpressed.

Winner: Andy Dalton

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    Why he's a winner:

    Many people would call Andy Dalton a loser after dropping out of the first round, but I think he's a big winner.

    The former TCU quarterback gets put into a surprisingly good situation in Cincinnati, which is a team on the rise.

    TO and Chad Ochocinco will both be elsewhere next season, and Dalton gets to try and reinvent the franchise with a great young receiving corp of A.J. Green, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham.

    Watch out for the Bengals in a few years.

Loser: Da'Quan Bowers

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Why he's a loser:

    In my opinion Da'Quan Bowers is the biggest loser of Day 2.

    It's been said by nearly every NFL analyst that he will most likely have a very short career and probably a one-contract player.

    Unfortunately for Bowers that one contract will not be nearly as high as it should be for a kid his talent due to the fact he fell to the late second round.

    You really have to feel for this kid. I hope he proves us all wrong and plays a long, healthy career, but that's unlikely.

    Poor kid.

Winner: Colin Kaepernick

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    Why he's a winner:

    Colin Kaepernick benefited a lot thanks to Ryan Mallett's off-the-field problems. It probably moved him up at least 15-20 picks, if not more.

    So that's the first reason he's a winner, but not the only one.

    Kaepernick is also a winner because he gets to take over a team that has talent all over the field and he will also have a chance to adjust behind Alex Smith for a few years.

    He'll get to throw to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree in a few years—not too shabby.

Loser: Oakland Raiders

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Who they picked:

    Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn St.

    Demarcus Van Dyke, CB, Miami

    Joe Barksdale, OT, LSU

     

    Why they're losers:

    As usual the Raiders kept us scratching our heads on draft day.

    Their first pick wasn't horrible, but it was certainly a reach for Steven Wisniewski.

    Then Oakland made their usual 'WTF' trade of the draft when they traded the Patriots their second-round pick next year for the Patriots' third- and fourth-round selections this year about 10 picks before the Patriots were even on the board.

    They used that pick on Joe Barksdale, who was projected as a low fourth-round pick by ESPN.

    Not to mention Al Davis made his annual 'reach for a player who ran a great 40-yard dash at the combine but is terrible at everything else' pick in Demarcus Van Dyke.