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Day 2 Observations

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Alas, the much anticipated first round of the NFL Draft is finished and despite it beginning the way everyone thought with a pair of quarterbacks selected by the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles respectively, there were some surprise picks and plenty of talented guys are still available.

We’re going to give some observations based on the first round.  The first 16 picks can be found here. 

17. Atlanta Falcons- Keanu Neal, S, Florida- There were only a few perceived reaches in the first round and this is certainly one of them.  Neal has all the tools to become a great player, but based on his collegiate body of work it’s tough to consider this a great pick with guys like Shaq Lawson still on the board.

18. Indianapolis Colts- Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama- Need meets value here as one of the best center prospects in the last few years goes to the Colts to protect Andrew Luck.  With all of the top offensive tackles already off the board, this pick makes sense.

19. Buffalo Bills- Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson- This is a little bit of a surprise as it would seem like a guy such as Noah Spence would fit in to Rex Ryan’s defense a little better than Lawson.  Still, the Clemson product had a great career and he should fit in well playing opposite Jerry Hughes.

20. New York Jets- Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State- Outside of Myles Jack, Lee was the best “healthy” linebacker prospect in this year’s draft, and Jets coach Todd Bowles will find the right way to use him.  Expect him to have a big rookie season playing behind one of the best defensive lines in football.

21. Houston Texans- Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame- It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that the Texans were going to select a wide receiver, and with Corey Coleman already off the board, they chose the speedy Fuller.  I feel that Josh Doctson would have been a better pick here as he’s more consistent, but Fuller will take the top off of a defense.

22. Washington Redskins- Josh Doctson, WR, TCU- The Redskins will say that they picked the best available player on their board and they might be right, as there isn’t an immediate need for Doctson.  With that said, he was perhaps the best receiver in the class and should make an impact right away.

23. Minnesota Vikings- Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss- The Vikings needed receiver help and they dealt up to get Treadwell, who most had as the best in the class.  He doesn’t have top end speed, but he can still be a playmaker as he has great hands and body control.

24. Cincinnati Bengals- William Jackson, III, CB, Houston- With the top four wide receivers off the board, the Bengals addressed their secondary with one of the more athletic cornerback prospects in the draft.  Decent value and a solid fit.

25. Pittsburgh Steelers- Artie Burns, CB, Miami- The Steelers make a potential pick with Burns, who didn’t have a stellar collegiate career, but tested out well.  Pittsburgh is desperate for help in the secondary and this is a bit of a reach.

26. Denver Broncos- Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis- The Broncos traded up to get their quarterback. Most people think Lynch was the most raw prospect of the top quarterbacks, but he should fit in well to Gary Kubiak’s system and don’t count out the chance of him starting on opening night.

27. Green Bay Packers- Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA- Ted Thompson had to get a big run stuffer to replace B.J. Raji, and he hopes that the Pac-12 star will do just that.  I’m not sure of the pick value here, as it’s likely that Green Bay could have moved back and still grabbed Clark.

28. San Francisco 49ers- Joshua Garnett, OG, Stanford- The 49ers traded back into the first round to get the local Stanford product.  It’s not a sexy pick, but San Fran needed to sure up the interior of their offensive line.

29. Arizona Cardinals- Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss- Nkemdiche is a risk with his behavior, but his raw talent is unquestioned.  This is one of the best landing spots for a guy who many believed during the college season would be a top-5 pick.

30. Carolina Panthers- Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech- This is a bit of a head scratcher as the Panthers don’t have a real need at defensive tackle and you’d think that they could have jockeyed back and still got their man.

31. Seattle Seahawks- Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A & M- This is purely a needs based pick, and it’s somewhat of a surprise that the ‘Hawks didn’t address their defensive line with all of the top offensive linemen off the board.

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.