The second round of the 2013 NFL Draft is in the books. Rounds 2 and 3 were nearly as exciting as the first round with trades and big names going off the board throughout the night. Here are my winners and losers from the second day of the draft.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
They might not be hitting any home runs but so far the Jags have gotten exactly what they needed, guys who are ready to play today. They took the safe pick Luke Joeckel in the first round and followed it up with a stellar day two. Selecting FIU safety Jonathan Cyprien with the first pick of the second round was one of the best value picks of the draft in my opinion. They followed that up by picking Dwayne Gratz who will also improve that secondary right away.
2. Baltimore Ravens
After winning the Super Bowl the Ravens immediately went into rebuilding mode. Ray Lewis retired, Ed Reed left for Texas, and Anquan Boldin was traded to San Francisco. Fear not Ravens fans, Ozzie Newsome knows what he is doing. After drafting Matt Elam Thursday, Newsome found the perfect player to replace Ray Lewis in linebacker Arthur Brown. He is athletic and has one of the best motors in the draft and is capable of becoming a truly special player in Baltimore. The Ravens finished the day picking up a solid defensive tackle in Brandon Williams. If he gets paired alongside Haloti Ngata, good luck running the ball.
3. Manti Te’o
Te’o makes the list because he was drafted by San Diego. Given all that has happened to the linebacker from Notre Dame, he couldn’t have been put in a better location. There is a heavy Polynesian presence in the community which should be a comfortable setting for the Hawaii native. Furthermore, the Chargers need an inside linebacker that can play in a 3-4 right away. Te’o can do that and should have time to develop without heavy scrutiny from the San Diego media.
1. Dallas Cowboys
Does someone want to give Jerry Jones a hug? Or should Cowboys fans just give him a swift kick out the door? You probably can’t agree on the answer to that but I bet you agree that their draft has been a disaster so far. After reaching for a center in the first round, Jones and Co. decided to take the best player on their board, Gavin Escobar, with the 47th pick. He will create matchup nightmares, but with Jason Witten in the Big D, tight end was hardly a position of need for the Cowboys. The same can be said regarding their 74th selection, wide receiver Terrance Williams. The Baylor product is talented and could have gone earlier, but there is a chance he doesn’t even start the season as the ‘Boys 3rd receiver. The only saving grace for Dallas may be the final pick of the evening, Georgia Southern cornerback J.J. Wilcox, who was taken with the 80th selection. He fills a need that the Cowboys should have addressed earlier in the draft.
2. Geno Smith and Mark Sanchez
Geno Smith falls into the same type of situation as Manti Te’o. It isn’t how far he fell that makes him a “loser”, but where he is going to. The New York Jets are a mess. No one can predict who will be starter. Mark Sanchez and Greg McElroy competed for the job last year and Tim Tebow, who got more press than both of them, hardly saw the field. Add Geno Smith the mix is like fanning the fire that the New York media will fan all season long. As for the appearance of Mark Sanchez’s name here? Well let’s just say I wouldn’t be shocked if this move wasn’t the beginning of the end for him in the Big Apple.
3. Matt Barkley
Now to Mr. Freefall himself. The former USC quarterback was once a lock to be selected in the top 10. But after a disastrous senior year he has watched his stock fall and himself fall through the first three rounds of the NFL Draft. The only good news for Barkley is that Jacksonville is slated to pick fourth on Saturday, and many have him being selected there.