PHILADELPHIA — The second day of the NFL Draft is when teams fill out their roster with the necessary depth to overcome injuries and other problems. Depth is the key to consistently winning in the NFL, and there are a lot of potential starters to be had in the second and third rounds.
Here are the notable winners and losers from Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
The Seahawks traded down twice, once out of the first round Thursday and again Friday in the second round. They settled at No. 35 and selected Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell. He fills a weakness in the interior of Seattle’s defensive line, as the tweet below explains.
The Seahawks also addressed their most glaring weakness — the offensive line. They drafted LSU center Ethan Pocic in the third round. Pocic is 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, and will add much-needed athleticism to a Seattle offensive line that often failed to protect quarterback Russell Wilson in 2016.
Replacing a likely Hall of Fame running back in Adrian Peterson wasn’t going to be easy, but the selection of Florida State star Dalvin Cook at No. 41 certainly will help. Cook is a first-round talent, and Minnesota wisely traded up to take him. He ran for 1,765 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior for the Seminoles last season, in addition to 33 receptions for 488 yards and one touchdown. Cook is a dual-threat RB who should make for a productive duo with veteran free-agent signing Latavius Murray in Minnesota next season.
The Colts arguably had the best safety in this draft class, Ohio State’s Malik Hooker, fall to them at No. 15 in Round 1, and they further bolstered their secondary in Round 2 by taking Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson at No. 45. Wilson was a second-team All-SEC selection last season. He’s not great against the run, but his coverage skills are very good.
Indianapolis, which has had the 30th-ranked pass defense over the last two seasons, wasn’t able to improve the depth and talent of their secondary in free agency, so making that area a priority in the draft was the right move.
Cam Robinson had a very good 2016 season for Alabama and is a first-round talent. At 6-foot-6, he brings tremendous size and strength to a lackluster Jaguars offensive line that now must block for LSU running back Leonard Fournette, who Jacksonville selected with the No. 4 overall pick. Robinson also is a versatile player capable of playing left tackle or left guard. This was a great value pick by the Jaguars.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints traded up in Round 3 to take Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara. New Orleans gave up a 2018 second-round pick as part of the deal for a player who likely will be third on the depth chart behind veterans Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson. That’s not good value for the Saints, who have a defense with plenty of weaknesses that need to be addressed.
The selection of Joe Mixon was a strange one by Cincinnati. The Oklahoma running back is talented, but his well-documented off-the-field issue should have forced the Bengals to pass over him in Round 2. Instead, the Bengals took Mixon with the 48th overall pick despite already having two quality running backs on their depth chart in Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. This pick just doesn’t make sense on several levels.
Los Angeles Rams
The selection of South Alabama tight end Gerald Everett at No. 42 in the second round was a bit of a reach, plus tight end isn’t a position of need for the Rams. There are more glaring weaknesses on the offensive line and defensive backfield. In Round 3, the Rams took a chance on wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who put up phenomenal stats in college but played against very weak competition at Eastern Washington.
The Rams didn’t exactly do much to give their fans reasons for optimism, especially after not having a first-round pick Thursday.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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