NFL Draft 2011: Notes for Day 2 from Radio City Music Hall
Here are my notes from the entire day while at the draft here on Day 2 at the draft.
-Before the draft started on Day 2, I got to talk to two first-round picks in Prince Amukamara (now the Giants) and Cameron Jordan (now on the Saints). Both surprised that they ended up where they did, but seemed a little more comfortable now that they had a night to reflect on it. Check out here for all of my draft weekend interviews:
-Got a chance to listen in on an interview with John Clayton as he talked to a Penn State radio show next to me, and he made a great point on what the Patriots needed to do. He said that if they don't add a pass rusher soon, all of their high picks like Devin McCourtey, Brandon Meriweather, and now Ras-I Dowling will struggle. Haven't gotten a pass rusher through two rounds.
-The 49ers tried to keep it under wraps, but after needing to trade up on draft day to get Colin Kaepernick, two things were for certain: the 49ers DID NOT like Alex Smith long term, and they liked Kaepernick enough to give him the keys to a talented. At least until the Andrew Luck sweepstakes next year...
-Bruce Carter of North Carolina ended up Dallas in the second round, and may end up being the steal of the round. A first-round talent, he fell to the second thanks to being out this season with a serious knee injury. He could be a high impact player once he's healthy, and give this Cowboys a new focal point for the future.
-Not many people that play the game of football really are hoping to play for the Oakland Raiders, and even agents say, behind closed doors, that they'd rather their players not end up in Oakland because of the way they do business down there. But Penn State center Stefan Wisniewski, who's father played for the Raiders, said during the draft process that he'd love to end up in Silver and Black. Al Davis obliged, and added a center to the offense.
-Da'Quan Bowers FINALLY found a location, landed in Tampa Bay in the second round. Now the Bucs have four top two round picks slated to start for their defensive line. Last year, they went back to back defensive tackles in Gerald McCoy and Brian Price, and now they took Adrian Clayborn and Bowers in back to back round picks. Bowers has elite talent, and if his knee isn't as major as it's been made out to be, this will be the steal of the entire draft.
-Marvin Austin, formerly thought of as a Top 10 pick had he declared as a junior before he was suspended all of his senior season, landed in New York in the second round. Our third-rated defensive tackle, had he shown improvement and at least a solid motor in his senior year, I have no doubt he could've been as high as Nick Fairley on boards. Steal for the Giants, added even more talent to their defensive line.
-Adding depth to the running back core is something all teams want to do in the draft, especially if they can get the best value. Mikel LeShoure, viewed by some as a first-round level running back, fell to the late second round. The Lions jumped on him, and with his power and size for a running back, he could be an ideal complement to Jahvid Best.
-The Ravens were looking to add speed in this draft on the offense, and so far, they've been able to bring in Torrey Smith from Maryland, who's a raw deep threat for Joe Flacco and eventually be a big play complement to the physical inside route running Anquan Boldin. I expect them to add more speed in the early part of Day 4.
-Brandon Harris of Miami (FL) fell on draft day for whatever reason, even though he has good man coverage ability and can fit in almost every system out there. The Texans, who added to their defensive line and pass rush earlier in the draft, got lucky in getting maybe the third or fourth best cornerback in this class.
-Justin Houston, who ended up in Kansas City, and Martez Wilson, who ended up in New Orleans, were likely mocked to those teams a few weeks back...in the first round. Houston is one of the drafts quickest 3-4 rushers and has a devastating first step, but his positive test for marijuana at the NFL combine plummeted his draft stock. He and Baldwin in the first round are two high-risk picks for the Chiefs already this early. Wilson likely fell because concerns about his stiffness as in space, not really being able to take the ideal angles as a rusher. Still, he's a great fit for the attacking Gregg Williams defense.
-Ryan Mallett found a home in this draft. And it wasn't in the first. Or the second. Or to a team that will allow him to start early. Or to a team that needs a franchise quarterback. Mallett ended up in New England, who scooped him up with their second third-round pick, will likely try and sit on him for a few years, potentially getting a Matt Cassell plus return on him in the future. And if he doesn't work out character-wise, odds are no one outside of the Patriots would find out, barring something major.
-Leonard Hankerson and Jerrel Jernigan, my third and fourth-best receivers in the entire draft, fell to the 3rd round on draft day, but couldn't have ended up in better situations. Hankerson goes to the Redskins, where he may end up being the No. 2 receiver there right away. Jernigan adds a much needed big play threat to this team, and he could be the slot receiver of choice early on for Eli Manning.
-Akeem Dent, third-round pick for the Falcons, was a surprise to many and a shocker on my board, but Chad Reuter of CBSSports.com told me that he'd heard for a while that teams were looking at him in that range, and Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News had him ranked as the No. 1 inside linebacker in this class. A shocker to our draft board, we had him as a sixth to undrafted guy, but not a shocker through and through.
-Kenrick Ellis ended up in New York, and could make a huge impact early, literally. An elite talent as a 350 pounder, he could end up being a better NFL nose tackle than first rounder Phil Taylor. Yeah, I said it.
-The Raiders traded New England it's 2012 second-round pick for a New England third (along with a few other picks included). The Patriots were set to go into 2012 with only five draft picks. Now they have four in the top two rounds in that draft.
Biggest Steals: Da'Quan Bowers, Leonard Hankerson
Biggest Reaches: Akeem Dent, Chris Conte, John Moffitt
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