Now that the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft is in the books, we can look forward to what promises to be a very active second day in Texas.
Sure we’ve seen some winners and losers already emerge. But in reality, the next two rounds of the draft will be just as important for team building. Which teams have the ammo to move up for a player of their liking? Will we see a run of receivers after that position fell on hard times in Round 1?
Here’s a look at the top storylines for Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Teams now have a ton of ammo to move up
By virtue of moving down just a few spots with the Buffalo Bills in Round 1, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up two second-round selections. They join the Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots in boasting multiple picks in Round 2. That’s no small thing for these squads. It affords them the ability to move up in the second round or trade said assets for future picks. In a draft that’s seemingly deep at multiple positions, this will enable these teams to find some tremendous value. We’re just surprised that other squads were so willing to give up valuable Day 2 picks.
Likely run of wide receiver coming
For the first time since 2010, no wide receivers were selected within the top-20 picks of the first round. That includes consensus No. 1 pass catcher Calvin Ridley and the big-bodied Courtland Sutton. We definitely predicted that this might happen. But it’s still somewhat of a shock to see it come to fruition. In fact, Maryland’s D.J. Moore was the first off the board to the Carolina Panthers at No. 24 overall. He was followed in line by the Falcons taking Calvin Ridley with the 26th pick. This means that Sutton remains available heading into Round 2. That’s a minor surprise.
Some top offensive linemen still available
By virtue of the Oakland Raiders reaching for UCLA’s Kolton Miller and two centers going around the midway point of the first round, there’s still a ton of attractive options available to teams in need of both pass protection and help in the run game. Interior linemen Will Hernandez and James Daniels were both considered likely first-round picks. Meanwhile, former Texas standout Connor Williams also dropped completely out of the first round. This will make for an interesting start to Day 2.
One major shoe dropped on Thursday with the Oakland Raiders acquiring star wide receiver Martavis Bryant from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a third-round pick. That’s a surprising bounty for Oakland to give up considering it signed Jordy Nelson earlier in the offseason. It’s also an indication that teams attempting to trade veterans on Day 2 could find value. Obviously, that includes the Seattle Seahawks and All-Pro safety Earl Thomas. Recent suggestions are that they’ve talked about a framework of a deal with Dallas. If so, it would not be a shock to see something come to fruition on Friday.
We can expect jockeying for quarterbacks
Lamar Jackson was the final of five quarterbacks to go off the board in Round 1. That came in the form of the Baltimore Ravens trading up with the defending champion Eagles for the former Heisman winner. This still leaves a couple solid options available to teams as Friday gets going. This list includes Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph and former Richmond standout Kyle Lauletta. Teams such as the New York Giants, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots didn’t go quarterback in Round 1. These three will likely be jockeying to add a signal caller in the second round.
Running back talent still everywhere
In an absolutely shocking move, Seattle opted to select San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny 27th overall. Needless to say, Twitter gave the team a hard time for that pick. It also means former LSU standout Derrius Guice is available to start the second round after New England selected Sony Michel 31st overall. USC product Ronald Jones also joins Guice as a running back many expected to go in Round 1.
Checking in on questionable character players
LSU’s Arden Key and the above-mentioned Derrius Guice are two players that boast first-round talent but found themselves fall completely out of Day 1. While we did expect Key’s drop to be rather dramatic, it’s still surprising that Guice is on the board. How far will he drop when Friday’s action gets going? It’s an interesting dynamic, especially given that Central Florida cornerback Mike Hughes went 30th overall to Minnesota after questions about his character. Heck, former Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was selected in the top 10 after recent racially insensitive tweets from years ago were found. How do teams value character? We’ll found out on Day 2.
A total of 20 of the 64 original picks slated to be made on Friday have been traded. That’s nearly a one-third rate. And in reality, we’re going to see a whole bunch more moves here. With a ton of first-round caliber players off the board, it would not be a shock to see a team like Indianapolis move a second-round pick in exchange for a first-rounder next year. These squads have ample opportunity to take advantage of what is a deep class. One the other hand, we’re expecting the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys to be among the most proactive teams in potential trade-up scenarios. It will make for an interesting Friday in Arlington.
Top-end cornerbacks remain available
Only three cornerbacks went off the board in the first round Thursday night. That included a player in Mike Hughes that most figured would fall out of Day 1. This also means a ton of top-end players at that position remain available heading into the second day of the draft. That list includes Carlton Davis (Auburn), Isaiah Oliver (Colorado) and Josh Jackson (Iowa). All three were expected to be first-round picks with Jackson himself being viewed by some as the top corner in the class. Cornerback-needy teams selecting at the top of Round 2 couldn’t be more excited about this.
Browns at the top of Round 2
Not only did Cleveland boast two of the first four picks in Round 1, it has two of the first three selections on Friday. After adding potential franchise quarterback Baker Mayfield at one and going corner with Denzel Ward at four, there’s still a lot of holes to fill. Will the Browns attempt to get Mayfield that big-bodied target in Courtland Sutton early or will it attempt to make a bigger splash with Derrius Guice? Only time will tell on this front, but it’s going to make for an interesting Day 2 in Ohio.