NFL Draft: 5 Unanswered Questions for Day 2
Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft was -- overall -- pretty tame.
We saw six defensive tackles, five defensive ends, and four offensive tackles come off the board through the first 32 picks. It's not that those players aren't exciting in their own right, but a lot of teams seemed to make solid overall choices on the first night of the draft.
Of course, that's only if we gloss over the head-scratching pick by the Oakland Raiders to select Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell fourth overall rather than trying to trade back, acquire more picks, and take him later. The Raiders needed pass-rushing help, but it was the decision to reach for Ferrell that spurred a meme.
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) April 26, 2019
New York Giants fans may have felt similarly when the team took Duke quarterback Daniel Jones sixth overall.
The sensible picks, sprinkled with a few puzzlers, still leave us with some huge unanswered questions entering Day 2.
Where Will Drew Lock Land?
Missouri passer Drew Lock posted efficiency marks that should have put him in first-round territory, yet he slipped out of the top 32. Just about everywhere you looked would've showed Lock as a better prospect than Jones. That doesn't matter now, but this does mean a team could be soaking up great value on a talented passing prospect.
The top of the second round doesn't boast many teams with an immediate need at quarterback, though the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos could take a look in case their new veteran passers don't pay off. John Elway has been known to be keen on Lock, too. Could the Cincinnati Bengals target Lock as an eventual replacement for Andy Dalton? Or could some team trade up and leap these potential suitors to land a first-round talent?
Who Takes the Tackles?
With four offensive tackles drafted already -- Jonah Williams by the Bengals, Andre Dillard by the Philadelphia Eagles, Tytus Howard by the Houston Texans, and Kaleb McGary by the Atlanta Falcons -- there are two (maybe three) top-flight tackles left.
Florida's Jawaan Taylor, Oklahoma's Cody Ford, and Kansas State's Dalton Risner all remain. Ford and Taylor were both green room invites, and there's a big drop off in evaluation after these three go.
We could see a second-round shakeup if some tackle-needy teams trade up to take one of the three.
When Will the Wide Receiver Run Happen?
This isn't a matter of if but rather when. With just two wideouts taken in the first round -- Marquise Brown by the Baltimore Ravens 25th overall and N'Keal Harry by the New England Patriots 32nd overall -- the deep wide receiver class can finally start to shine on Day 2.
Mississippi's DK Metcalf earned a green room invitation but has yet to find an NFL home. Neither has his teammate, AJ Brown. There are -- simply put -- a slew of polarizing wideouts who don't really have a consensus rank this year, and that's going to make the second night of the draft a fun one.
Which team bites on Metcalf's insane athleticism? Do any teams view Massachusetts' Andy Isabella a Day 2 talent? Who among the big-bodied receivers -- such as JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Hakeem Butler, and Kelvin Harmon -- gets taken first? Will any team take a shot on an injury-plagued Deebo Samuel in the second round? What about the Ohio State duo of Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin or Notre Dame's Miles Boykin? To me, this is the best storyline of the night by far.
What About the Defensive Backs?
Only three defensive backs were drafted in the first round last night, and none were off the board until the Green Bay Packers drafted Maryland safety Darnell Savage Jr. with the 21st pick.
The Raiders used their third pick in the opening round to take Mississippi State safety Jonathan Abram, and the Giants opted for Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker 30th overall, glossing over Byron Murphy and Greedy Williams.
Along with Murphy and Williams at cornerback, there are a bunch of capable options ripe for the picking -- Temple's Rock Ya-Sin, Vanderbilt's Joejuan Williams, Michigan State's Justin Layne, and Notre Dame's Julian Love, to name a few.
And then at safety, Nasir Adderley from Delaware, Taylor Rapp from Washington, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson from Florida, and Amani Hooker from Iowa should hear their name called sometime on Friday.
Will Teams Emphasize Running Backs?
So far, the running back class has been drafted accordingly: it's just Alabama's Josh Jacobs, taken 24th by the Raiders.
After Jacobs, there is no consensus on the rest of the backs in the class, and it's not even a guarantee that Round 2 features numerous rushers -- or even a single one at all. It could be until Round 3 that the second back gets drafted. Would that, then, trigger a run on rushers, or would teams still wait it out on a deep but overall unappealing class?
David Montgomery from Iowa State is a solid bet to be the next running back drafted, but Penn State's Miles Sanders and Memphis' Darrell Henderson could be next. After that, it's really anyone's guess about which of these running back prospects has earned a Day 2 grade from NFL teams.
That's going to be fascinating to watch.