NFL Draft Talk Volume LXI
Now that the 2019 NFL draft is officially underway and there were many prospects with first-round grades that fell out the first round who could prove to be day two-steals and others that were expected to get taken on day two. Here are some of the best value picks from rounds two and three: • Byron Murphy to the Cardinals: He was viewed as the highest rated corner according to many draft experts and a near lock to get selected in the first round but Arizona will now field a scary corner tandem with Patrick Peterson and the corner from Washington that they took at the top of the second round at No.33 overall. • Ben Banogu to the Colts: His stock has been on the steady rise ever since his impressive outing at the combine made scout take an extensive look at his even more impressive tape. He will now be able to complement newly acquired pass rusher Justin Houston in Indy after being taken No.49 overall. • Irv Smith to the Vikings: Minnesota now has what could be the most lethal tight end duo in the league after taking the dynamic Alabama stud with the 50th overall pick and pairing him Pro Bowler Kyle Rudolph. • AJ Brown to the Titans: Tennessee picked one of the most versatile and dynamic receivers in this year’s class who can run routes out-wide as well as in the slot at No.51 overall out of Ole Miss. • Mecole Hardman to the Chiefs: While some experts might view this as a bit of reach, this pick is a direct result of the now grim looking future of Pro Bowl returner/receiver Tyreek Hill stemming from his recent legal troubles. They took what is essentially a clone of Hill out of Georgia at No.56 overall. He’s blazing speedster that can contribute in the return game and pair well with Pat Mahomes rocket arm. • Nasir Adderley to the Chargers: He was considered a bubble first rounder early on in the pre-draft process but his stock took a bit of a hit after posting an average time in the 40-yard dash at the combine. Los Angeles took one of the best ball-hawking free safeties in this draft out of Delaware at No.60 overall and will pair him with their Pro Bowl rookie strong safety that they drafted in the first round a year ago in Derwin James to form a dangerous young safety tandem. • Taylor Rapp to the Rams: Like Adderley, he was on the first-round bubble, but a hip flexor injury raised some red flags about his health a caused him to drop to the late second where Los Angeles selected him with the 61st overall pick out of Washington. He’ll be able to learn under the wing and tutelage of one of the smartest safeties in the league in Eric Weddle who the team signed this offseason. • Juan Thornhill to the Chiefs: He was a late riser in the pre-draft process that many pundits thought could potentially sneak into the bottom of the first but instead he lasted until the bottom of the second where Kansas City took him at No.63 overall out of Virginia. The Chiefs will now have two “do it all” safeties patrolling their secondary with Thornhill and high-priced free agent Tyrann Mathieu. • Jachai Polite to the Jets: At the onset of the pre-draft process he was being mocked to go high in the first round but an underwhelming performance at the combine coupled with even worst interviews, the former Florida pass rusher was available for New York to take at No.68 overall. • Dre’Mont Jones to the Broncos: Denver was able to pick up an interior defensive lineman out of Ohio State who had a high second round grade by many experts in the third round at No.71 overall. • Jace Sternberger to the Packers: Green Bay got a steal in the third round when selected the seam-stretching tight end out of Texas A&M with the 75th overall pick to pair with another dynamic pass-catching tight end in Jimmy Graham. • Jaylon Ferguson to the Ravens: It is a beautiful irony that Baltimore lands the pass rusher who broke college career sack record of Terrel Suggs who they lost this offseason in free agency in this draft with 45 over four years at Louisiana Tech. He led the nation with 17.5 sacks last season, and many believed he was a late first to mid second round pick who the Ravens were happy to select at No.85 overall in the third round.