Following an eventful first round of the NFL Draft, there were lots of questions to be answered and moves to be made ahead of Day Two.
Here's my review of Rounds 2 and 3. With plenty of talent available following some surprising fallers, who would be able to snap up a value pick?
Quarterbacks Continue To Fall
Analysts had talked about the comparative weakness of this year's quarterback class compared to 2021, when five passers were taken in the first fifteen picks.
Just one quarterback, Pitt's Kenny Pickett, went in the first round. Remarkably, no signal-callers were taken in the second round. Cincinnati's Desmond Ridder broke the fall, going to Atlanta at No.74. He had been talked about as the fourth or fifth quarterback taken, so this was a surprise in itself. He lands in a great spot with the Falcons, with Kyle Pitts and Drake London to throw to if he can unseat Marcus Mariota as the starter.
Malik Willis finally came off the board at No.86. He is heading for Tennessee who can take their time to develop him behind Ryan Tannehill. Don't be surprised if he starts by the second half of the season. Willis is a little raw, but has a rocket for an arm and slick running skills. Carolina snuffed out rumours of a trade for Baker Mayfield by selecting Ole Miss passer Matt Corral at No.94. Corral is a fierce competitor and walks into a camp battle with the disappointing Sam Darnold.
Another Run On Receivers
With six receivers taken in Round 1, the sheer depth of this receiving class meant there was still plenty of talent available in later rounds. 13 wide receivers were selected in the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft, which tied for the most taken. A further four were selected in the third round.
Green Bay acted early in Round 2, trading their two second round picks (Nos. 53 and 59) to division rivals Minnesota Vikings, to move up to No.34. Here, they selected the 6'4", 208lb North Dakota State receiver Christian Watson. Will that come back to haunt the Vikings, who will have to face him twice a year? Watson offers pace and a deep receiving threat, a nice replacement for the departed Marques Valdes-Scantling. An interesting footnote - Watson's dad, Tim, was drafted by the Packers in the sixth round of the 1993 Draft.
As on Day One, a run on receivers came quickly. Baylor's Tyquan Thornton was taken by the Patriots at No.50, followed by George Pickens (Georgia) to Pittsburgh at No.52, Alec Pierce (Cincinnati) to the Colts at No.53 and Western Michigan's Skyy Moore to Kansas City at No.54. Jalen Tolbert from South Alabama was a nice pick up for the Cowboys in the third round at No.89.
Bulldogs Break The Record
After five University of Georgia defensive players were taken in Round One (a record), two more of the Bulldogs' defense went on Day Two.
Nakobe Dean, who marshalled that defense so superbly in their title-winning game against Alabama, was finally picked up at No.84, joining his team-mate Jordan Davis in Philadelphia. It was an explicably long fall for the talented linebacker, whose medical history had raised concerns for a few teams. Fellow linebacker Channing Tindall was taken by the Miami Dolphins, with their first pick of the Draft, at No.102.
This is the highest number of defensive players taken from one college in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, overtaking Alabama in 2017 and LSU in 2013, who both had six players selected from their defense.
In other news...
The New York Jets' great draft continued. Teams started to turn their attention to running backs. and the Jets added the best of these in Iowa State's Breece Hall, moving up from No.38 to No.36 and giving up a fifth-round pick to do so. Hall is the cousin of Roger Craig, the great San Francisco 49er who won three Super Bowls. New York will be happy if he can repeat that. They add the best back to the best receiver and the best cornerback. Not a bad haul.
Georgia running back James Cook, brother of Dalvin, the three-time Pro Bowl running back for Minnesota, gives Josh Allen a nice boost on the Buffalo Bills' offense, going at No.63. Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State was picked up by Seattle at No.41.
When historians look back at this Draft, one of the best value picks may prove to be David Ojabo, born in Nigeria and who lived in Aberdeen before moving to the US. Ojabo is a talented defensive end who played opposite Aidan Hutchinson, the No.2 pick yesterday, at Michigan. Ojabo was selected by the Ravens at No.45, a torn achilles during a pre-Draft workout causing him to slide down the order. He may have to sit out the majority of the year, but Baltimore effectively have a top 10 pick for 2023.
Available on Day 3...
With the 106th pick kicking off the fourth round in a few hours' time, there is still some strong talent from the college football ranks available.
North Carolina QB Sam Howell, who the season before last, was talked about as a potential No.1 overall pick, is still on the board. Nevada QB Carson Strong has possibly the biggest arm of any passer in the Draft, but he is not the most mobile.
Clemson receiver Justyn Ross, a national champion who caught passes from Trevor Lawrence, but missed a season to injury, wold be a great value pick up in the later rounds, Khalil Shakir of Boise State is another good receiver still on the board. Other offensive threats representing a bargain at this stage of the Draft include Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller and namesake tight end Isaiah Likely from Coastal Carolina.
Sauce Gardner's fellow corner from Cincinnati's impressive secondary, Coby Bryant is still on the board and teams looking for help up front should keep an eye out for the giant 6'8", 384lb tackle Daniel Faalele from the University of Minnesota.