Day 2 of the draft was swamped with trades and players falling farther than expected. The third round saw offensive linemen and cornerbacks go off the board frequently. Let’s take a look at four winners and four losers from day 2 of the 2021 NFL draft.
Winner- Kansas City Chiefs
Despite trading their first-round pick to the Ravens for Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr last week, the Chiefs hit the mark on their first two draft picks, linebacker Nick Bolton and center Creed Humphrey. Nick Bolton joins a thin group of linebackers and instantly makes it stronger, his fast-paced play is what this team needs separating the secondary from the defensive front. Bolton is a thumper and has a heartwarming story. When Creed Humphrey was drafted it completed their line. Humphrey’s leadership, blocking style, and power should make him the heart of the offensive line that protects Patrick Mahomes and is a definite upgrade over free-agent acquisition Austin Blythe.
Loser- Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have more pressing needs like the offensive line, cornerback, and linebacker, but Seattle chooses to add a receiver to their already full receiving room. D’Wayne Eskridge was not only a less than ideal position pick but wasn’t even the best receiver they could have drafted, LSU’s Terrence Marshell who ended up in Carolina was there and so was Tutu Atwell, who was picked next by the Rams. Russell Wilson needs blocking and the loss of cornerback Shaquill Griffin is not good for their fragile secondary.
Winner- Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers first-round pick left one more big position of need, a cornerback. Their second pick ended up being Asante Samuel Jr. who will most likely be a day one starter in their secondary. Samuel can be placed in the slot and attacks the football while it’s in the air instead of waiting for it, he fills a big hole in their secondary and has a lot of upside. Josh Palmer will join Kennan Allen and Mike Williams as targets for Justin Herbert, Williams is another tall receiver who according to Chris Trapasso, is a ‘starting No. 2 receiver in the NFL’. Palmer is quick off the line and is a fabulous route runner and can keep his speed as he goes downfield, a great addition to the growing offense. Tre’ McKitty was LA’s final choice on Friday and will be the fourth rostered tight end on the team. He is one of the best blocking tight ends of the class and can help their run game. McKitty has the ability to catch the ball off his body and will be partnered with Jared Cook who was acquired through free agency. Los Angeles has addressed their big needs and can now go about adding depth.
Loser- Indianapolis Colts
The Colts drafted edge rusher, Kwity Paye, during the first round on Thursday, on Friday they set out with one pick and selected another edge rusher in Vanderbilt’s Dayo Odeyingbo. Recently retired tackle Anthony Castonzo is leaving a spot that has to be filled if the Colts want to return to their two-way offense from 2020. A tackle like Jalen Mayfield, Brady Christensen, or Robert Hainsey would have been a perfect pick because of their versatility and positional flexibility. The downside to the pick of Odeyingbo is he is coming off an Achilles injury and wasn’t the top edge rusher on the board, plus it wasn’t an offensive lineman. Team after team kept trading up and taking lineman, so the Colts probably decided there weren’t any worth a second-round pick, on the bright side it seems like once fully healthy Indy will be getting a quality player.
Winner- New York Giants
The Giants are winners because they drafted great value with the 50th overall pick, Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari, who many have as the best edge in the draft, fell out of the first round and deep into the second. It seemed like a common theme for edge players to drop as did Joseph Ossai and Carlos Basham Jr. New York finally has an explosive run stopper and specializes in getting to the QB. Cornerback Aaron Robinson was a sneaky pick the Giants made in the 3rd round because not only will he be a tall slot corner but he will also help in the run game. Aaron is praised for his route recognition and his ability to find the football, he will be an instant slot corner unless needed on the outside, which he can do too.
Loser- Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are losers for their decision to value a tight end over a center that will not only start right away but who resembles former center, Maurkice Pouncey. The Steelers did end up finding their possible center replacement with Illions’s center/guard Kendrick Green. Pat Freiermuth is talked about as a blocking tight end but Pittsburgh has a 6’8 tight end by the name of Zach Gentry who is never seen, maybe use him more. Pittsburgh still could’ve used the pick on another position, maybe a linebacker that could have been Nick Bolton or a tackle like Jalen Mayfield. There are too many possible scenarios where Pittsburgh can come out with two quality lineman and draft a tight end later in the draft, once again the Steelers leave fans and others questioning what just happened.
Winner- Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins started day 2 of the draft by drafting Oregon safety Jevon Holland, who was the first safety off the board. Holland does fill a need in the Miami secondary and has instincts that are through the roof. Although his speed isn’t anything to be overly happy about, he will bring ball production to the Miami secondary that has two great corners and help with run support from time to time. Miami also selected Notre Dame offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg just a few picks after Jevon Holland. Eichenberg will instantly help out along the offensive line that remained mediocre through 2020, his experience and flexabilaty between tackle and guard drew teams to him and will help the Miami run and pass game. Liam has a very high ceiling and can be a productive member of the Dolphins line. The Dolphins also drafted Boston College tight end Hunter Long who can do everything. Long is a sneaky good receiver who has magnets for hands, his blocking isn’t bad either and will partner great with Gesicki.
Loser- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys reached on two of their four selections they had on day 2, they ended up taking two corners and two edge rushers. Kentucky corner Kelvin Joseph is probably their best spot pick from the night because he is tall and kept up with some of the fastest receivers in college football. He is inconsistent in his play but the amount of reps he’s taken at the college level is promising. Dallas reached on edge rusher Chauncey Golston and cornerback Nahshon Wright. UCLA edge Osa Odighizuwa is their best overall pick from night 2, he is a leverage freak that has great power to drive back blockers. Osa has decent hand work and is a pretty average athlete. Dallas has had a pretty decent draft so far and have seven picks during rounds 4-7.