Some teams own the NFL draft board. This means that they move up and down at their own leisure, consistently picking off their top targets at key positions. Much like in previous drafts, the San Francisco 49ers did that to a T on Friday. There were, however, some other up-and-coming organizations who also controlled Day 2 of the draft. Here are the best picks from the second and third rounds of the 2014 NFL draft.
33. Houston Texans: Xavier Su’a-Filo, Guard UCLA
Some had Su’a-Filo as a top-20 pick and the Texans were able to steal him atop the second round. Not only did this pick represent value, it was at a position of utmost need. This UCLA product is an immediate Day 1 starter and fits Houston’s blocking scheme to a T.
36. Oakland Raiders: Derek Carr, Quarterback, Fresno State
— NFL (@NFL) May 8, 2014
My No. 5 overall player in the draft, Oakland was able to pick up yet another stud after selecting Khalil Mack in the first round on Thursday night. Not only does Carr possess franchise quarterback upside, he could vie for the starting job with Matt Schaub as a rookie in 2014.
37. Atlanta Falcons: Ra’Shede Hageman, Defensive Tackle, Minnesota
— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) May 9, 2014
Yet another top-10 player on my big board, Hageman is the most talented interior defensive lineman in the entire draft. A bit raw due to technique and remaining too high at the point of contact, once Hageman gets that straightened out, he’s an All-Pro caliber defensive tackle.
41. St. Louis Rams: Lamarcus Joyner, Defensive Back, Florida State
Joyner is what I would call a poor man’s Tyrann Mathieu. A bit under-sized, he flies to the ball, has outstanding field awareness and can play multiple positions in the defensive secondary. Joyner will probably open as the Rams starting nickel back as a rookie. Not bad for a second-round pick at a position of need.
52. Arizona Cardinals: Troy Niklas, Tight End, Notre Dame
Niklas is just a physical beast at the line. At 6’6″ and 269 pounds, he’s too big for cornerbacks to cover. With above-average athleticism, safeties and linebackers are going to have an issue. Despite some issues with drops, Niklas becomes an immediate red-zone target for Carson Palmer. In addition to that, he’s an outstanding blocking tight end.
57. San Francisco 49ers: Carlos Hyde, Running Back, Ohio State
I thought Carlos Hyde was worthy of a 1st round pick.
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 10, 2014
A powerful down-hill runner. Sound familiar? It should, this is exactly the type of running back that is going to excel in the 49ers system moving forward. Some mainstream scouts even had a first-round grade on the Ohio State product. Hyde and Marcus Lattimore has a nice ring to it once Frank Gore hangs up his jersey.
70. San Francisco 49ers: Marcus Martin, Guard/Center, USC
Yet another steal for the 49ers. The consensus No. 1 center in the draft and a potential first-round pick, San Francisco was able to nab someone who could start from Day 1 in the third round, further solidifying its offensive line.
81. Oakland Raiders: Gabe Jackson, Guard, Mississippi State
The Raiders continue to absolutely kill this draft. After picking up Mack and Carr earlier, general manager Reggie McKenzie grabs an interior offensive lineman that could have easily gone in the first half of the second round. A Day 1 starter for the Raiders.
83. Houston Texans: Louis Nix, Defensive Tackle, Notre Dame
Nix’ medicals were probably the reason that he dropped. Many had come to the conclusion that he would be a first-round pick, but this slide down the draft boards benefits a Texans team that will now line up Nix, J.J. Watt and 2014 No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. That’s scary.
Photo: Andy Marlin, USA Today