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When the likes of Bruce Irving, Brandon Weeden and A. J. Jenkins all went in the first round of the NFL Draft, they guaranteed that certain elite prospects would fall into the second round and become highly sought after commodities when it all kicked off again in New York for the second night of the draft.
The Indianapolis Colts surprised no one by taking Stanford tight end Coby Fleener with their first pick, giving first overall pick Andrew Luck a familiar target in his first season in Indianapolis. They took another tight end in the third round, Dwayne Allen out of Clemson, much to the ire of many other teams with this years’ draft class seemingly stretched thin at the tight end position.
After trading out of the first round, Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome seemed to have worked his magic again, taking a legitimate first-round prospect in Courtney Upshaw and a late-first/early-second talent in Kelechi Osemele, both of whom could replace departing starters Jarret Johnson and Ben Grubbs. They also traded up in the third round to secure running back Bernard Pierce in the third, a problem position for Newsome since the retirement of Ricky Williams.
A plethora of other players who were unlucky to not make it into the first round also went early in the second round including Derek Wolfe (Denver Broncos), Andre Branch (Jacksonville Jaguars) Alshon Jeffrey (Chicago Bears) and Peter Konz (Atlanta Falcons).
The Green Bay Packers made a good job of shoring up their defense, taking both Jerel Worthy and Casey Hayward in the second round, arguably the best defensive tackle and cornerback left on the board. They will join first-round selection Nick Perry in giving Green Bay fans hope of an improved defensive performance this season.
Shorn of star cornerback Cortland Finnegan, the St Louis Rams took a big gamble on defensive back Janoris Jenkins out of North Alabama. The youngster was arguably the best corner in this years’ draft class after sixth-overall pick Morris Claiborne, but a number of off-field issues have seen his draft stock plummet since the combine.
Other picks of note included the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills improving their offensive lines with the acquisitions of Amini Silatolu and Cordy Glenn respectively. The Bills will be thrilled with the selection of Glenn who very few experts had falling into the second round, let alone down to the ninth pick in the round.
The two New York-based teams were also keen to improve their offenses, but instead went for wide receivers. The Jets, keen to give Mark Sanchez viable targets, picked up Stephen Hill out of Georgia Tech, and will be hoping his large frame and electric pace are enough to help out Sanchez. He was not the only large wideout to end up in New York, with Rueben Randle going to the Giants with the last pick of the second round, giving the Giants a very formidable looking receiving corps.
Quarterbacks also played a prominent part in both rounds, with the Broncos finding their quarterback of the future, drafting Brock Osweiler who will learn under Peyton Manning for their foreseeable future, and the Seattle Seahawks erased any talk of trading for Colt McCoy when they picked up Russel Wilson in the third round to compliment current QB’s Tavaris Jackson and Matt Flynn. The Philadelphia Eagles also found a viable backup to Michael Vick in Arizona’s Nick Foles.
Image Courtesy of Baltimore Ravens