BBD Editor: Dan Hope
The first round of the 2014 NFL Draft didn’t go nearly how I projected it would—in fact, only Jadeveon Clowney and Jason Verrett landed in both the team and pick slot that I predicted—but that hasn’t stopped me, apparently in a draft-induced state of lunacy, from updating my projections for all 68 selections to come on Day 2.
The draft only gets harder to project from here on out, especially with some of the enticing that remains on the board, but there are many team/player combinations remaining in the draft that make a great deal of sense.
33. Houston Texans: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State
Twelve years after selecting his older brother as the first-ever draft choice of their franchise, the Houston Texans should take a chance on Derek Carr as their next hopeful franchise quarterback. The Texans aren’t going to become serious contenders until they fix their quarterback situation, and Carr, the clear-cut best signal-caller available, gives them the best chance to do that.
34. Washington Redskins: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
One of the most surprising players to still be on the board in Round 2, Su’a-Filo could be at immediate upgrade at left guard on an offensive line that could really use a reinforcement of talent.
35. Cleveland Browns: Joel Bitonio, OT/G, Nevada
After landing Johnny Manziel as part of the most impressive first-round haul of any team in this year’s draft, the Browns should be looking for athletic offensive line upgrades who can protect Manziel and give him the ability to extend plays and improvise. Bitonio, who is one of the most agile offensive linemen in this year’s class, could project as an upgrade at either right guard or right tackle.
36. Oakland Raiders: Marqise Lee, WR, USC
The Raiders should be in the market for another playmaker at wide receiver, and they could get great value by landing Lee, arguably the draft’s most well-rounded wideout yet still on the board, in the second round. His draft stock dropped due to a disappointing junior season, but he is a smooth route-runner who glides in the open field and finds lanes to extend plays.
37. Atlanta Falcons: Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State
If the Falcons are going to land a replacement for Thomas DeCoud at free safety, they’re going to have to act quickly after four safeties went off the board in Round 1. Brooks, an athletic defensive back who is skilled in coverage, aggressive in run support and has experienced all over the secondary, stands out well above the rest of the pack as the best safety available on the board.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
Despite signing Michael Johnson this offseason, the Buccaneers should still be in the market for another pass-rusher to play opposite him. Lawrence was a rising name leading up to the draft and even if only in a situational pass-rusher role, he is an explosive player off the edge who could give Tampa Bay’s defensive front another spark.
39. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyle Van Noy, OLB, BYU
A versatile player who can do it all as an outside linebacker, Van Noy could be the biggest steal of Round 2. He could be a major asset to the Jaguars defense as a skilled edge rusher who can line up in the LEO spot, while also being able to play any linebacker spot and in excel in space and in coverage.
40. Seattle Seahawks (from Minnesota Vikings): Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
A projected selection for the Seahawks at the No. 32 overall pick, Crichton would come with even better value in Round 2. Seattle is likely to be in the market for another defensive end after their pursuit of veteran defensive end Jared Allen fell short this offseason, and Crichton is a well-rounded player at the position who would form a strong rotation with Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril.
41. Buffalo Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT/G, Alabama
After moving up for a pass-catcher in Round 1, the Bills should prioritize upgrading their offensive line on Day 2. The best offensive lineman available in this scenario and one of Buffalo’s 29 pre-draft visitors, Kouandjio could be an upgrade at right tackle or kick inside and end up as a starter at left guard.
42. Tennessee Titans: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State
The Titans need a feature back after releasing Chris Johnson earlier this offseason, so they shouldn’t pass up Hyde, who stands out as the best running back in this year’s draft class.
43. New York Giants: Ra’Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
Projected as a potential top-16 draft selection, Hageman would be an exceptional value for the Giants at this slot. A raw talent who projects as a boom-or-bust player, it’s understandable why he’s still on the board, but he is a versatile defensive tackle with fantastic physical skills that could emerge as a star as he develops.
44. St. Louis Rams: Lamarcus Joyner, CB/S, Florida State
The Rams have a talent deficiency in their secondary, so with most of the top defensive backs already off the board, they shouldn’t wait past the second round to draft one. Joyner is easily the best secondary player available at this point, and could bring great value to the Rams as a hybrid free safety/slot cornerback.
45. Detroit Lions: Phillip Gaines, CB, Rice
A high-upside cornerback prospect with great length and athleticism, Gaines is a likely second-round beneficiary of the run on defensive backs. The Lions need to add talent to their secondary, and Gaines would be their best option and fit available at this point.
46. Pittsburgh Steelers: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
An ideal match of player, team and value, Tuitt is a great fit for Pittsburgh’s defensive line, which needs youth and reinforcement, as a 5-technique defensive end.
47. Dallas Cowboys: Louis Nix III, NT, Notre Dame
The Cowboys should be ecstatic if Nix, who could be a trade-up target if he starts to slide in Round 2, is still on the board at this point. Dallas needs a gap-plugging nose tackle to shut down running lanes alongside Henry Melton in the middle of their defense, and that’s exactly what they could get from Nix.
48. Baltimore Ravens: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
Having been rumored to be targeting Eric Ebron in the first round, the Ravens could look to snag one of a number of talented tight ends on the board in the middle of Round 2. Amaro is a skilled receiver who could give Baltimore another weapon over the middle of the field.
49. New York Jets: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
The Jets need to add weapons to their passing offense, so they would be smart to draft Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, the best receiver available in this scenario. He isn’t quite the field-stretching speed threat New York needs for its offense, but he is a physical receiver who uses his route-running prowess to get open and make plays.
50. Miami Dolphins: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
The Dolphins are likely to be in the market for a pass-catcher with one of their Day 2 picks, and could especially use another receiving threat to pair with Charles Clay at the tight end position. Seferian-Jenkins is a big, athletic in-line target who would be great value at the end of the top 50.
51. Chicago Bears: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
Projected by many to be a first-round pick, even as the Bears’ No. 14 overall selection by some, Jernigan would be a solid choice in the middle of Round 2 for Chicago to begin addressing its major need at defensive tackle.
52. Arizona Cardinals: Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
Moses is a big, technically sound blocker who is well-suited to transition to right tackle, where he could help solidify Arizona’s offensive line.
53. Green Bay Packers: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
The Packers are another team who shouldn’t plan to go too long in this year’s draft without selecting a pass-catcher, and there is a big drop-off after the tall, athletic Niklas at tight end.
54. Philadelphia Eagles: Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Another cornerback whose draft stock should rise as a result of the early run on secondary players, Desir is a small-school standout with terrific height for the position and great ball skills. The Eagles need to come away with some secondary talent in this year’s draft.
55. Cincinnati Bengals: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Mettenberger could an early second-round pick, but injuries and off-field concerns could also cause his draft stock to plummet. Cincinnati, a team who should be looking to develop a potential starting quarterback and has never been afraid to take character risks, seems like the logical landing spot for him in Round 2.
56. San Francisco 49ers (from Kansas City Chiefs): Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
The 49ers brought no truth to the rumors that they were looking to trade up for a wide receiver, but they should be in the market for a big, skilled wideout like Robinson on Day 2.
57. San Diego Chargers: Trai Turner, G, LSU
One of the most talented offensive linemen still available in this scenario, Turner would be a much-needed upgrade for San Diego’s interior offensive line.
58. New Orleans Saints: Marcus Martin, C, USC
Expected by some to be the New Orleans Saints’ first-round target, Martin is one of the most talented interior offensive linemen in this year’s draft and would fill a major need at center.
59. Indianapolis Colts: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
The Colts have a lingering need for interior offensive line talent, and shouldn’t pass up an opportunity to select Richburg, the best center in the draft class, if it comes to them.
60. Carolina Panthers: Antonio Richardson, OT, Tennessee
The Panthers could be looking for new starters on both sides of the offensive line in short order, but while Richardson is a somewhat raw talent, his combination of length, power and explosiveness gives him the potential to develop into a very good left or right tackle.
61. San Francisco 49ers: Trent Murphy, OLB/DE, Stanford
The 49ers would be smart to seek outside linebacker depth given the uncertainty of Aldon Smith’s future. Murphy, who started his Stanford career playing under 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, would be good value late in Round 2.
62. New England Patriots: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
Projected by some to be a mid-to-late first-round selection, Ealy would be a terrific value choice as a late second-round pick. Ealy is a somewhat raw talent, but he would give the Patriots another versatile playmaker for their defensive line who has impressive physical tools and can rush from both outside and inside.
63. Denver Broncos: Chris Borland, MLB, Wisconsin
The middle linebacker position is just about the only significant hole in Denver’s lineup, and they could fill it with terrific value by landing Borland, a skilled football player with terrific instincts and a nose for the football.
64. Seattle Seahawks: Billy Turner, G/OT, North Dakota State
The Seahawks should be looking to bring in competition for their underwhelming starters at guard. Turner was a dominant left tackle at the FCS level, but is better suited to kick inside at the next level.
See page 2 for Round 3 projections.