For the second round of this year’s NFL draft, I’m expecting many teams to go on the defensive side of the ball. I’m also expecting many teams to make picks that won’t make headlines but will fill a hole. That is especially true when it comes to teams filling the trenches. There are linemen that will go in this second round that most people haven’t heard of yet. But they can have a major impact on that team’s success next season. With this lack of star power, expect to see some big names in the third and firth rounds when most teams just look at talent and don’t have any holes left to fill. While most people focus solely on the first round of the draft, this second round will have players with first round talent and can strengthen a roster right off the bat. With this deep of a talent pool, there will be players picked in the third or fourth round that can have a positive impact in the future.
Chris Lindstrom – OL – Boston College
Lineups Analysis: The Cardinals need some help protecting Josh Rosen, especially since Kliff Kingsbury is likely going to turn them into an air raid team. This pick won’t be the most popular, but Lindstrom is a powerful guard with good hand usage. He’s also a good pass blocker. If the Cardinals want a low risk high reward kind of guy, then they should go with Lindstrom here.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – S – Florida
Lineups Analysis: The Colts secondary got exposed when they went against the Chiefs in the playoffs. For them to take the next step they need to get a guy who can come up and stop the run, but they confidently put back in coverage. Gardner-Johnson seems to be that guy. He’s aggressive in the run game, hits hard and has good ball skills. He should be able to boost their defense early on.
35. Oakland Raiders
Te’Von Coney – EDGE – Notre Dame
Lineups Analysis: The Raiders defense has seemed lost since losing Khahil Mack, and they need someone to be a field general. Coney is a strong run stopper, but also has some coverage ability. If the Raiders go with him, it will be because he fits the hard-hitting style that the old Raiders defense was known for.
Julian Love – CB – Notre Dame
Lineups Analysis: The 49ers need someone who on the defensive side of the ball to be able to step up and create plays. Julian Love is a solid cover corner with good ball skills. He’ll be a guy who will force turnovers and that is what the 49ers need. Also pairing a young corner with Richard Sherman can’t hurt.
37. New York Giants
Dru Samia – OL – Oklahoma
Lineups Analysis: The Giants’ desperately need help on the offensive side of the ball. If they go for a skill position in the 1st round, then they’ll need to protect their Quarterback. Dru Samia is a powerful lineman who is one of the best pass blockers in this draft. He should be able to come in and contribute from day one.
Drew Lock – QB – Missouri
The Jags need a field general on offense. I don’t think they will get Haskins or Murray in the 1st, so they’ll address this need in the second round. Lock will need some time to develop but the strong, accurate arm he showed in college should be enough for him to go early in the second round.
Amanu Oruwariye – CB – Penn State
Lineups Analysis: The Bucs need help on the defensive side of the ball, and I think this pick is just them going with the best player available. Oruwariye is a very aggressive, hard-hitting corner who showed signs of being solid in coverage. His talent alone will be enough for him to get playing time even if his aggression can almost look like recklessness on occasions.
40. Buffalo Bills
Hakeem Butler – WR – Iowa State
Lineups Analysis: The Bills need to give Josh Allen some more weapons. Butler can take the top off the defense and he made his name being able to high point jump balls. He should be able to help this passing attack take the next step.
41. Denver Broncos
Irv Smith Jr – TE – Alabama
Lineups Analysis: The Broncos are in need of any help on offense. Smith is big target with solid hands. He is also not scared to lower his shoulder pads and help in the ground game. Having a threat like him at tight end should help open the pass game for Case Keenum and put more pressure on defenses.
Charles Omenihu – DL – Texas
Lineups Analysis: The Bengals could use some help in the front seven, and especially with pass rushing. Omenihu is a good pass rusher with good use of hands and a quick first step. He can be overpowered in the ground game, but his ability to get to the quarterback should be enough for him to go early in the second round.
43. Detroit Lions
JJ Arcega-Whiteside – WR – Stanford
Lineups Analysis: Matthew Stafford hasn’t had a good big target since Calvin Johnson. Granted Whiteside isn’t going to show up and play like Megatron right away. But with his talent, he might be able to be a go to target eventually. He will need some development before being that number one receiver but with his talent he should still see some playing time quickly.
Josh Jacobs – HB – Alabama
Lineups Analysis: The Packers haven’t had a big time running back for a while and they need someone else in the back field to take the weight off of Aaron Rodgers’ shoulders. Josh Jacobs is a powerful running back who boosted his draft stock in the playoff game against Oklahoma. He should be good enough to fill the hole in the backfield that has been there since Eddie Lacy.
45. Atlanta Falcons
Austin Bryant – DE – Clemson
Lineups Analysis: The Falcons could use some help in the front seven, and Bryant can help with both run stopping and getting to the quarterback. He is athletic and has an explosive first step. With him joining his fellow Clemson grad Vic Beasley, it could be the start of a dominant pass rush.
David Edwards – OT – Wisconsin
Lineups Analysis: The Redskins need help protecting their quarterback especially since their last one broke his leg last year. With hat injury still fresh on their mind, they will probably try and ease the mind of anyone in that backfield. Edwards is a good tackle, he still needs development before being a perineal starter, but his upside is still enough to risk a second-round pick.
Tre Lamar – LB – Clemson
Lineups Analysis: The Panthers defense has been centered around Luke Kuechly, and it’s about time to give him some help right next to him. Lamar is a talented run stopper that has the athleticism to step back into coverage. With the leadership of Kuechly, he’ll be able to develop and eventually take over for him.
48. Miami Dolphins
Jerry Tillery – DT – Notre Dame
Lineups Analysis: The Dolphins need help in the trenches, and standing at six foot seven inches, and 310 pounds, might be their answer. Tillery is a force up front, with his strength he can bull rush almost any lineman in front of him. He has tremendous upside and should be a safe pick for the Dolphins.
49. Cleveland Browns
Gerald Willis III – DT – Miami
Lineups Analysis: The Browns need to bolster their defense if they want to take the next step forward and become a playoff team. To help with this is the force from Miami. Willis is a big defensive tackle who just simply can over power opposing offensive linemen. His first step isn’t the best, but it has shown signs of improvement. He also has some character concerns after being dismissed from Florida, however you can’t pass up his talent at this point in the draft.
Jaylon Ferguson – DE – Lousiana Tech
Lineups Analysis: Just like the two teams before, the Vikings need some help up front. Especially when it comes to getting to the passer. Ferguson is the NCAA all time sacks leader and was a truly dominant force in the pass rush. He does struggle against the run, but that’s not enough to hinder his potential. Some people might consider this a high-risk pick; however his talent should be enough to make the Vikings feel comfortable with this decision.
51. Tennessee Titans
Deebo Samuel – WR – South Carolina
Lineups Analysis: Wide receiver isn’t a glaring need for the Titans, it just comes down to picking the best available player here. Samuel is a good route runner and has the speed to break away deep. Having a deep threat like him will help open the field for Corey Davis, making them a dynamic duo.
Taylor Rapp – S – Washington
Lineups Analysis: The Steelers have strayed away from the old “steel curtain” days but going defense here can help bring their defense back to the top. Rapp is solid run support safety that can hit hard and still go back in coverage when needed. His coverage skills aren’t great but when a safety can hit like him, it evens out. He’s versatile enough for the Steelers to be confident with this pick.
53. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Baltimore)
D’Andre Walker – LB – Georgia
Lineups Analysis: The Eagles don’t have many glaring holes to fill, so they can just pick the player with the most upside. Walker is an athletic outside linebacker. He is mainly known for his pass rush, but he can cover if he needs to. Even though his coverage skills aren’t great, he still shows enough versatility to one day develop into a solid player.
54. Houston Texans (Via Seattle)
Kaden Smith – TE – Stanford
Lineups Analysis: The Texans showed a lot of potential last season. Their core is young and promising, and to continue that trend they can go with the pass catching tight end from Stanford. Smith has good hands and he isn’t afraid to block to help the ground game. He should be able to give Deshaun Watson another weapon to pass to.
55. Houston Texans
Khalen Sanders – DL – Western Illinois
Lineups Analysis: With back to back picks they can address both sides of the ball. Saunders might be the most underrated player in this draft. His athleticism and block shedding are impressive even if it was against FCS teams. He’ll be able to learn around JJ Watt and develop into a three-down force.
56. New England Patriots (Via Chicago)
Juan Thornhill – S – Virginia
Lineups Analysis: The Patriots don’t have many weaknesses, but if you had to point somewhere it would be their defense. Thornhill is a versatile safety who can come up into the box or cover deep. He is mainly a run support safety, but with enough development he could become a dominant defensive back.
Trayvon Mullen – CB – Clemson
Lineups Analysis: With their second pick in the second round the Eagles can go defense again with the ball-hawking corner from Clemson. Mullen has great ball skills along with good size. His skill set should give him a good chance against the receivers in NFC East. He will need some time to develop into more of a lock down corner, but the potential is there.
58. Dallas Cowboys
Caleb Wilson – TE – UCLA
Lineups Analysis: The Cowboys have lacked a true threat out of the tight end position since Jason Witten retired. They can add a solid weapon by drafting Wilson. He is a vertical threat that put his hands and route running on display this season. He isn’t the best blocker, but he can still help Dak in the passing game.
Chase Winovich – DE – Michigan
Lineups Analysis: The Colts can get an athletic pass rushing defensive end from Michigan. Winovich has an explosive first step to get around most offensive tackles. He might slide in the draft because he has struggled with injuries, but even with those concerns he still has a high ceiling. He could help move the Colts defense to the next level.
Yodney Cajuste – OT – West Virginia
Lineups Analysis: The Chargers could use some help protecting Rivers since he isn’t the most mobile quarterback in the league. Cajuste is a good pass blocker, he does show some weakness in run blocking. But the Chargers will be more focused on his pass blocking and he was able to show his pass blocking almost fifty times a game when playing for West Virginia.
Mack Wilson – LB – Alabama
Lineups Analysis: The Chiefs struggled on the defensive side of the ball, picking up a talent like Wilson would be a tremendous addition. He is very athletic, and he can blitz. His coverage skills aren’t the best, but it would still be a good pick for the chiefs. He might slide due to his last performances in college, even though he still had a great career at Alabama.
Jonathan Abram – S – Mississippi State
Lineups Analysis: The Saints have struggled defensively, and Abram is the best defensive player still available. He is also one of the best cover safeties in this draft. He can play man to man when needed to. His tackling isn’t the best, but in a league leaning towards more air raid, he fits right in.
Elgton Jenkins – C – Mississippi State
Lineups Analysis: The Patriots again are looking for more depth and their offensive line is no exception. Jenkins is a good, powerful center that can open holes in the ground game and hold his own in pass protection. He will need some time to develop but eventually he could be a starter for them.
64. Kansas City Chiefs (Via Los Angeles Rams)
Saivion Smith – CB – Alabama
Lineups Analysis: The Chiefs should continue trying to fix their defensive woes. Picking up a guy like Smith would be huge. He is good press and man to man corner. His ball skills will also help force turnovers for a team that rarely did so. With his talent he might be able to start right off the bat.