The first round took nearly four hours on the first night of the NFL draft. Night 2 took about four and a half hours to do two rounds. It was fast paced and full of big picks, big trades and, for the Kansas City Chiefs sake, a sign of what’s to come in the immediate future.
Josh Rosen, the 10th-overall pick in last year’s draft by the Arizona Cardinals, is now a Miami Dolphin. We knew this was coming once Kyler Murray was taken with the first pick this year, and realistically we’ve known this was coming for quite some time. The Cardinals gained a second-round pick this season and a future fifth rounder in the deal, while the Dolphins now have a quarterback for the future.
Arizona is clearly ready to enter the Kliff Kingsbury era with as few ties to its disastrous 2018 season as possible. Rosen was terrible last year, but with few weapons, a bad offensive scheme and a putrid offensive line, it’s not like he had much of a chance. But he’ll get a fresh start in Miami, where he can learn a bit from Ryan Fitzpatrick and, despite having to play behind another bad offensive line, can hopefully take strides toward being the solid passer he was expected to be just one draft ago.
What kind of skeletons are in Hakeem Butler’s closet? The Iowa State receiver didn’t go in the first round, even though he was expected to be a second rounder, maybe a third at the worst. Apparently his nearly 84-inch wingspan wasn’t enough to entice any team with a pick in the first three rounds.
His consistency is a worry, but when he was on at ISU he played like Calvin Johnson redux. He’s a physical monster and at some point is going to make a team very happy. There have been 13 wide receivers drafted so far, including 11 on Day 2, and it’s hard to argue that there were that many prospects better than Butler this year.
DK Metcalf was the top wide receiver on the 580 Sports Talk composite big board and was regularly mocked in the first half of the first round. It was surprising enough that he fell out of the first round, but he almost fell out of the second as well. That was until the Seattle Seahawks snagged him with the last pick of the second round, giving Russell Wilson another weapon. There’s reason to be concerned about just how much Metcalf can do (his lateral quickness tests at the combine were pretty darn bad), but he’s fast, he’s big and he fills a huge need for Seattle. They got a potential top-10 pick at the tail end of the second round.
The Cincinnati Bengals need tight end help, considering Tyler Eifert is hurt all the time. Drew Sample was their pick in the second round, going 52nd overall. It’s not necessarily a bad pick by any means, because if he turns out well then nobody cares about value or anything like that. However, of the 20 draft boards that were factored into the aforementioned composite big board, precisely one of them had Sample has a top-100 prospect (ESPN’s Todd McShay had him ranked 72nd).
Kansas City’s first picks
Finally, the Kansas City Chiefs got into the mix on Friday night, waiting all the way until the back half of the second round to make their first selections of this year’s draft. And, unsurprisingly, general manager Brett Veach was aggressive in order to get his guy.
2nd round, No. 56 overall – Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia
Mecole Hardman runs a 4.33 40-yard dash. That’s the most important thing to know about this pick. Coach Andy Reid said on Friday night that Hardman is a player Veach has had his eyes on for a while and that it has nothing to do with the Tyreek Hill situation, but that seems like a flimsy claim. Either way, Hardman had a solid career at Georgia, can contribute on kick returns and, again, is a burner. Kansas City had to give up the 61st pick and a fifth rounder to get him, which leads you to believe the Chiefs didn’t think he’d last five more picks.
2nd round, No. 63 overall – Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Versatility is the name of the game with the new-look Chiefs defense, which makes Thornhill a great fit. He can cover, play free over the top or move into the box. Pair him with Tyrann Mathieu and all of a sudden Kansas City has a safety group that has the skills to do it all. Cornerback was more of a need than safety, but a defensive playmaker was most important and Thornhill fits the bill.
3rd round, No. 84 overall – Khalen Saunders, DL, Western Illinois
Shout out to Macomb, Illinois. Saunders was a monster at FCS Western Illinois, using his size and athleticism to dominate offensive lines in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. He played running back in high school, has a gymnastics background and a mean streak on the field. It’s a crowded defensive line room now for Kansas City, but defensive line depth is undeniably positive and Saunders will factor into the rotation instantly. As an aside, it’s clear Tanoh Kpassagnon was a wasted pick more and more every day.
AFC West selections
After a first round, the Broncos had an objectively strong second day. First, they ended up with K-State’s Dalton Risner at No. 41, arguably the most versatile offensive lineman in the draft, a Colorado native and simply an incredible person. Then Denver finally took its future quarterback in Missouri’s Drew Lock, a player with plenty of first-round grades who slid near the middle of the second round. Think what you will about Lock’s potential (I’m not high on it, for example), but this team desperately needed a young quarterback (even if it cost them three picks to move up for him). They added some defensive line depth in the third round too, picking Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones.
The Raiders initially had just the 35th pick on Day 2, but finished with an extra fourth rounder, a fifth rounder and still filled their biggest remaining hole by grabbing Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen after trading back twice to No. 40. Oakland made decent, need-based picks on Thursday even if it didn’t get great value, but it made several sensible, wise moves on Friday.
Los Angeles Chargers
After making a smart, if not unspectacular, selection in Round 1 by taking Jerry Tillery, the Chargers made another pair of strong picks on Day 2 by getting safety Nasir Adderely from Delaware in the second round and offensive tackle Trey Pipkins from Sioux Falls in the third. Adderley was widely regarded as the best safety available, thanks to his versatility in coverage, so getting him late in the second round was a steal. I’m not going to pretend to know anything about a Division II offensive lineman, but the Chargers needed protection help so it was understandable at least.
Local players selected
As previously mentioned, Dalton Risner was taken early in the second round by the Broncos, making this 26 years in a row that K-State has had a player drafted. A former Jayhawk was also taken when the Green Bay Packers took tight end Jace Sternberger with the 75th selection. You may remember him from two years at Kansas when noted incompetent coach David Beaty couldn’t get him on the field. He then went spent a year at junior college, moved on to Texas A&M and now is a third-round pick. Just in case you still doubted Beaty’s inability to do anything right.
KU’s Daniel Wise is expected to be drafted on Day 3, while K-State’s Alex Barnes could also be a late-round pick.