The first round of the NFL Draft has concluded, but to be honest, there weren’t a whole lot of surprises. When all was said and done, 24 of our top 32 players were selected in round one, with only a handful outside the top 35. Still, there are some really good players still on the board for the second round, not the least notable of which are Geno Smith and Manti Te’o. According to our final big board, here are our top remaining players for day two of the draft:
1. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Brown is a former Miami Hurricane transfer who came to Kansas State and became one of the top playmakers on their defense. He has really good range sideline to sideline, and can play either inside or outside linebacker in a 4-3 defensive scheme. He is the 17th overall ranked player on our board, so whoever picks him up in the second or third round is going to get a heck of a value. Team leader, guy with solid athletic ability and can make plays behind the line of scrimmage.
2. Manti Te’o, LB, Notre Dame
Te’o is the subject of a lot of scrutiny because of his lack of straight line speed, but it’s hard to question his playmaking ability. I think he has a chance to be a starter at MLB for a long time in the NFL, and some team is going to get a steal. I think he’d be a great fit for the Chicago Bears. He will bring a team toughness, consistency, and leadership. He is the 21st ranked player on our final board.
3. Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State
Watson is a really raw player, but based on the steam he was gaining and the amount of linemen anticipated to be selected in the first round, I didn’t see him getting out of the top 32 picks. He is still pretty new to the game, but he has a ton of upside and freakish athletic ability. He will be a bit of a project, but is worth a gamble in the second round and was the 22nd ranked player on our board.
4. Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Lacy was our top ranked running back going into the draft, and I think he will be a great value at this point. I could have seen him going as high as 16th to the Rams, but the problem is, running backs aren’t valued as highly anymore in a pass oriented NFL. Lacy is a powerful guy with good quickness and agility, and he can put the ball in the end zone. I think he presents great value as the 23rd ranked player on my board.
5. Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State
Carradine is an athletic freak with great size who can rush the passer. I think he fell a bit because of his one year of starting experience and now his medical concerns coming off the knee injury. He will be a steal for some team looking for a guy to develop as a pass rusher. I could see him going anywhere in the 2nd round at this point, given teams’ needs. He is our 27th ranked player.
— Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State (28th on Big Board)
— Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia (30th on Big Board)
— Matt Barkley, QB, USC (31st on Big Board)