Ridder, Dean, Willis Slide in Day 2
NFL Draft - Each Sunday during the regular season, the FO staff shares thoughts with each other about the games that each of us are watching. We share information about the games that the rest of the group might not be watching, ask questions, and keep everyone else informed about which games they might want to tune into (if they can). On Monday, we compile a digest of those thoughts and produce this feature. By its nature, it can be disjointed and dissimilar to the other articles on the site.
We are doing special editions of Audibles this week covering the first two days of the draft, but the same rules apply. While these thoughts are generally written with Audibles in mind, they do not represent a standard review of all the games (or picks) each week. That means we aren't going to cover every game, or every important play, or every draft pick. We watch the games that we, as fans, are interested in watching, so your favorite team's game might not be covered to your fullest desires or even at all. (If you are a Seahawks or Patriots fan, you are probably in luck; if you are a Lions fan, not so much.) We have no intention of adding new authors solely to cover every game on a given Sunday, nor will we watch a different game from the ones that we're personally interested in watching just to ensure that Audibles covers every game.
Audibles covering Night 1 of the draft can be found here.
As always, Football Outsiders' 2022 NFL draft coverage is presented by Underdog Fantasy!
The Hangover from Round 1
Vincent Verhei: Seahawks scheduled to have back-to-back picks at 40 and 41, near the start of Round 2. I'll go on record as saying they'll use one pick on a quarterback, probably Matt Corral, and the other on the best corner or edge rusher available.
Bryan Knowles: Wait, there was a Round 1 of the draft? This comes as news to the 10 teams that didn't make a pick in Round 1, which I believe is an NFL record. At least the Cardinals got Hollywood Brown and the Buccaneers got to trade out of the first—and may be trading down again, with rumors having them getting lots of calls for pick 33. But the Bears, Browns, Broncos, Colts, Raiders, Rams, Dolphins, and 49ers are just now getting involved. So lots of "top picks" still to come!
Vincent Verhei: Eighteen of the picks in the first round were traded at least once, most in the last decade and surpassing the 10-year average by about 50%. Nine of them were involved with trades for veterans, also most in that timespan.
The preceding paragraph was brought to you by the Football Outsiders Almanac Research Division, L.A. Rams Chapter.
Carl Yedor: Based on what I have read in the aftermath of last night, we could end up seeing some more movement early on this evening. The Vikings were entertaining trade offers for pick 32, though with no fifth-year option available in Round 2, those offers may not be as juicy today. Tampa Bay traded back from 27 to 33, and it would not surprise me if they move down even more here. Between them and Seattle having the back-to-back picks that Vince alluded to, we could see the wheeling and dealing continue apace tonight.
Bryan Knowles: If they keep Criss Angel hanging above the draft stage all night and just never mention him again, I'm in.
Mike Tanier: That wasn't Criss Angel. It was Mickey Loomis escaping from the salary cap.
Vincent Verhei: Hmm. Who would be the NFL's answer to Penn & Teller then? The Ryan twins?
Mike Tanier: Jerrah and Stephen showing us peeks at how the magic is done.
Vincent Verhei: There you go.
Round 2: Picks 33 to 40
Bryan Knowles: After all the talk today on Twitter about the Buccaneers maybe trading out of 33, it's the Vikings who pull off the first trade of the day, shipping No. 34 to the Packers for 53 and 59. Surely, surely, surely, this is for the receiver to keep the veins bulging out of Aaron Rodgers' forehead.
Vincent Verhei: I hope it's Malik Willis.
Bryan Knowles: I would accept Breece Hall for the jokes as well.
Mike Tanier: Darn. It's Christian Watson. I was readying a GIF of an anime villain losing his sh*t. Overpaid for Watson by giving up both seconds though.
Aaron Schatz: Again, I'm going to criticize trading up. How confident are we that Christian Watson is going to be a better NFL player than whoever would be available at No. 53? Is it possible to be "another second-round player value" confident? I really don't think so.
Bryan Knowles: It seems like the Packers could have traded down and gotten Watson, and then still had a pair of second-round picks to work with. I'm also not thrilled with Watson as filling Davante Adams' role—obviously, no rookie replaces Adams, but Watson's more of an Marquez Valdes-Scantling-style player than an Adams-style.
Aaron Schatz: In fact, MVS was the exact comparison they made on NFL Network.
Cale Clinton: Hey, at least Aaron Rodgers has somebody, now. Watson joins Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb. Green Bay's not working with much at receiver at the moment.
Scott Spratt: The Packers just love 6-foot-5 receivers. I think I'm right in saying Randall Cobb is the only wideout they have had under 6-foot-1 that's had a season with 10 or more targets in the last five years.
Tom Gower: I didn't see corner, particularly a young corner, as a key Titans need. They must have really liked Roger McCreary, who wasn't on my limited draft prep radar as maybe a middle-Day 2 pick at a position where there are a bunch of guys I'm not great at distinguishing between who are often scheme-specific anyway.
Bryan Knowles: And now the Jets trade up, and if this isn't for Nakobe Dean, I will be absolutely stunned.
… and, apparently, I am stunned. It's running back Breece Hall. They just got Michael Carter last year! Shanahanclan coming in with their emotional support Day 2 running backs yet again.
Vincent Verhei: Going off what Aaron said: the Jets just gave up a fifth-rounder to move up all of two spots in the second round. The Jets stink. They could use that fifth-rounder. I guess they were terrified the Texans would have taken Hall.
Cale Clinton: The Jets have actually been good at picking in late rounds under Joe Douglas, too. Two of their last fifth-round picks were Michael Carter (the safety) and Bryce Hall; they landed Brandin Echols in the sixth last year too. Good chunk of their defensive back room made up of recent Day 3 picks. Day 3 guys getting quality game day reps for the Jets is either a feather in the cap of the Jets front office, or an indictment of who was already playing in the Jets secondary.
Mike Tanier: I don't hate Hall here. He is better than Carter, the rest of the Jets running backs stink or are injured vaporware, and it's the second round.
Bryan Knowles: I'd be happier with it if they hadn't traded up to do it. Even "just" a fifth-round pick is valuable when you need talent basically everywhere. It's not that Hall is a reach or something; it's just an odd use of high draft capital. I guess it's the Jets' fourth pick, so you could look at it like that instead.
Mike Tanier: That's how I see it. They already got CB1, Edge1, WR1, and now RB1.
Aaron Schatz: Well, not Edge1. Like Edge4 or something. But a good value at Edge.
Scott Spratt: Jets fans must love Todd McShay's Le'Veon Bell comp for Breece Hall.
Cale Clinton: The Jets now have the most confusing roster in football
and Bryce Huff
and Quinnen and Quincy Williams pic.twitter.com/9w51bTEqob
— New York Jets (@nyjets) April 29, 2022
Bryan Knowles: And we have another trade, with the Falcons sliding up as the Giants keep sending picks to go further and further back. Could this be jumping ahead of the Seahawks for Malik Willis? Apparently not—it's edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie, which I am sad about because it's a logical pick and I'm here for chaos. The NFL must really, really hate this quarterback class.
Mike Tanier: Only because they watched them.
Mike Tanier: Bears are taking a cornerback. Sell your shares in Justin Fields stock.
Round 2: Picks 41 to 48
Aaron Schatz: The Seahawks took a running back because of course the Seahawks took a running back. They can't help themselves. Rashaad Penny who?
JP Acosta: The Seahawks consistently are chaotic evil in the NFL draft.
Vincent Verhei: I listed running back as "not a need" in the ESPN draft guide. I also said they would draft one anyway because of course they would. I thought Hall would have been a real possibility, but once he was gone I figured they would wait a few rounds. What a fool I am.
Cale Clinton: That Rashaad Penny hot streak at the end of last year? Earned him a cool $5.8 million this year and another running back to share handoffs with. More money for less work is an easy W.
JP Acosta: To be fair to them, I can get with the Boye Mafe pick. He's not good against the run but he'll give them enough in pass rush. Kenneth Walker? I don't know…
Scott Spratt: I'm afraid the Walker pick may also signal that Chris Carson's neck injury will end his NFL career. That stinks, Carson was an awesome player and late-round success story.
Bryan Knowles: The Vikings, who have been bouncing all around this draft, have just shot back up to No. 42. Someone, eventually, is going to draft Malik Willis. A second quarterback has to go at some point here. And with Kirk Cousins eternally uninspiring…
Cale Clinton: I was just thinking about Willis. I thought Pete Carroll was the perfect head coach to handle dealing with the growing pains of the Liberty quarterback. Minnesota would have been second, letting Willis sit behind Kirk Cousins. Who stops the slide now? My money's on Detroit, unless Brian Daboll wants to use the last year of Daniel Jones' rookie contract as a stopgap for Willis.
JP Acosta: I don't think this is Willis here. I think they need defense more.
Bryan Knowles: And right you are, JP. It's cornerback Andrew Booth, who's recovering from core muscle surgery but should be back for training camp. I was kinda hoping against hope he'd slide a little longer.
JP Acosta: When Booth is healthy, he's a goblinman in zone coverage. His ability to read route distribution and attack is up there with Derek Stingley and Sauce Gardner. Honestly thought he'd go Round 1.
Cale Clinton: "Goblinman" is an elite draft descriptor word.
JP Acosta: Derrik came up with it to describe Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, I just use it for prospects.
Vincent Verhei: Ed Marinaro is further evidence that crotchety old guys who don't give a f*ck make everything better.
JP Acosta: Remember the "Wrap it Up" Box from Chappelle's Show? Marinaro needed to get hit with one of those.
Bryan Knowles: We needed the NFL Films music to crank up to play him off. I didn't know the NFL had legalized the filibuster.
Bryan Knowles: After trading down a of couple times, the Giants take Playmaker's sleeper receiver, Wan'Dale Robinson. Put a quarter in the Deebo Samuel comparison jar; people love him for a light, gadgety, move-him-all-over the field player—so it's a good thing Jason Garrett is out of town. If not for projected draft position adjustment, Robinson would have ranked as the fourth-best receiver prospect in this draft. Of course, the flip side of that is that Robinson was projected to be a third- or fourth-round pick, and the Giants just took him at 43.
JP Acosta: Did Nakobe Dean die or something?
Cale Clinton: Day 2 is so much more fun than Day 1. Criss Angel spinning like crazy, Ed Marinaro monologuing, now a quick cameo from Bodega Boys' own Kid Mero to announce the Giants pick? I'm certainly entertained.
JP Acosta: Need a WCW-era wrestler to announce a pick. Anyone know where The Shockmaster is these days?
Vincent Verhei: Sid Vicious would be perfect if Arkansas had a team.
Aaron Schatz: You people don't understand, Nakobe Dean is FIVE-FOOT-ELEVEN. That's miniscule. He's practically one of the 7 Little Johnstons.
Bryan Knowles: And here come the Texans, trading back up. And this, too, is not Malik Willis—it's John Metchie. That's a Bill O'Brien player for you, Rivers! We're in a race to see if Willis or Dean will fall furthest at this point.
Vincent Verhei: Interesting move by the Texans. Seems like they gave back a lot of the draft capital they gained last night.
JP Acosta: I am unsure of that pick by the Texans. I'm not sure if Metchie is worth the early Day 2 pick they used. His touchdown celebration is gonna be top-three in football though.
Tom Gower: I was disengaged from this draft process, but Metchie better be one heck of a player for that trade-up. Per Seth Walder, the ESPN draft chart suggests the surplus value the Browns received is equal to the 85th pick in the draft. That's a crazy overpay, especially relative to the other trades we have seen today.
Cale Clinton: With two receivers going in a row, I'm curious when the Skyy Moore slide stops. Can't say I have personally watched any Western Michigan tape, but I have seen everyone and their mother compare him to Golden Tate. Excited to see who lands him.
Mike Tanier: Skyy Moore is really good. I think there was some helium in all the first-round talk, and he caught a lot of RPO slants against MAC defenders, but he's good. He should roll soon. Wan'Dale Robinson is also a guy I loved, and I think he was a fine pick for the Giants.
Aaron Schatz: I love David Ojabo to the Ravens. Dude would have been in the top 20 without the injury and he's going to the defensive coordinator he played for at Michigan. I know that the numbers show no team really is better at drafting than any other over the long term but it does sort of feel like the Ravens are in fact better.
Vincent Verhei: Being a Ravens fan must be fun. It does seem like they have a good draft every year. It also seems like they make safer picks than most other teams. That's a funny thing to say after they just drafted Ojabo, coming off a big injury, but when was the last time Baltimore reached for somebody or took a big gamble? They just say "hey, this guy's a good football player" and draft him. Just keep things simple and don't out-think yourself, which is something few teams in the NFL can do consistently.
Scott Spratt: The Ravens are really padding their Adjusted Games Lost, aiming to break their own record from 2021.
Bryan Knowles: Josh Paschal was someone I was growing quite fond of as I was poking around potential late Day 2 picks. Dan Campbell is going to absolutely love him. Kneecaps beware.
Cale Clinton: "Only three-time captain in program history." Campbell's landing some culture-changers in Detroit. The days of soon-to-be-free-agent veterans popping champagne in the locker room because they don't have to play for Matt Patricia anymore are long gone.
JP Acosta: Josh Paschal is very much a kneecap-biting SOB. The culture is taking form in Detroit.
JP Acosta: Washington is just loading up on Alabama defensive tackles. Phidarian Mathis is such a Ron Rivera pick.
Cale Clinton: Seattle Seahawks : Running Backs :: Washington Commanders : Alabama Interior Defensive Linemen.
Mike Tanier: Down in the valley of the shadows, it's Alabama, you, and me.
Cale Clinton: If Kansas City is still looking for a wide receiver, this board is shaking out great for them. George Pickens and Skyy Moore still hanging around. Thought Chicago might have plucked one of them, but they go with Penn State safety Jaquan Brisker instead.
JP Acosta: Fine, I will play wide receiver for the Bears.
Mike Tanier: Bears are just setting Justin Fields up for failure and I find it gross and upsetting.
Round 2: Picks 49 to 56
Bryan Knowles: Saints take Tennessee cornerback Alontae Taylor. Taylor wasn't going to be available the next time they picked, but that's in the fifth round. Taylor has speed for days, but he's not really a polished player at this point. He was a receiver when he showed up on campus! So, that's someone who's going to take a little time to get ready, which is an odd fit for the rest of what the Saints are doing, roster-management-wise.
JP Acosta: Interesting. The measurables are there, but the production isn't there yet. The Saints do need a second corner though.
Aaron Schatz: The Patriots did it again. They took receiver Tyquan Thornton out of Baylor. When we wrote the Playmaker Score article, Thornton had an estimated draft position of "UDFA." He was 155th on Arif Hasan's consensus board. Grinding the Mocks had him around 120. They traded UP to do this, giving up a fifth-round pick to move up a few spots. They just do not care at all about anybody else's draft board, and they are giving up value by taking guys too early.
Bryan Knowles: Bill Belichick cares not for the big boards of puny mortals.
Cale Clinton: 4.28s 40-yard dash time for Thornton. Gotta go fast. Not something they had from any of the receivers already rostered. Side note: any takers on N'Keal Harry? Please?
Vincent Verhei: No, Cale. No, there are not.
JP Acosta: Bill Belichick is just trolling at this point. Has to be.
Scott Spratt: I'll note that I had not prepped for Thornton for the KUBIAK updates I'm running tonight.
Cale Clinton: Nike the dog is running this draft, I'm convinced.
Mike Tanier: Nike would have selected Skyy Moore or George Pickens (!) like a good boy.
Cale Clinton: I don't even really get the receiver pick, either. I still see cornerback and linebacker as their top two needs at the moment. New England at least has guys to catch the ball. Maybe the board hasn't shaken out how they'd like at either position, but are they really going to go with Jalen Mills and Malcolm Butler as their starting cornerbacks?
Aaron Schatz: I think Terrance Mitchell is more likely than Butler.
Tom Gower: The Colts, with Michael Pittman, drafted an outside receiver in Alec Pierce. The Chiefs, who I thought needed a perimeter ball-winning receiver to complement what they had, took Skyy Moore. Can you guys pull off a trade so this makes more sense to me?
Mike Tanier: They are all out of whack 'cus Belichick jumped in front of them and took Thornton. ;)
Cale Clinton: Kansas City has made out like bandits just picking up players on the slide. Trent McDuffie, George Karlaftis, now Moore. Quite the haul thus far, and they still have eight or nine more picks in hand this draft.
And Andy Reid's doing it all while rocking a beautifully bold Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirt. Legend.
Vincent Verhei: Cards' biggest needs were corner and edge rusher. So they spend their first-rounder on a trade for Hollywood Brown and their second-rounder on Trey McBride, a tight end, to play in Kliff Kingsbury's Air Raid. I know our forecast was high on McBride's receiving ability, but I'm still perplexed. The Big 12-ication of Arizona continues.
JP Acosta: I hope George Pickens attempts to fight Marcus Peters. It would be like Dio vs. Jotaro levels of insanity
Mike Tanier: What are their Stand abilities?
Round 2: Picks 57 to 64
Bryan Knowles: I like the Buccaneers' trade up for Luke Goedeke; I'm just trying to figure out how the line is going to shake out for this year. It's left guard Aaron Stinnie that they could stand to upgrade, so I guess they'll slide Goedeke inside from his tackle slot? I can see that, but that means he has now moved from tight end to tackle to guard in just a few years. Gravity slowly pulling the big man inside; he'll be an All-Pro center by 2029.
Vincent Verhei: Falcons select QB-to-LB convert Troy Andersen. Gonna be fun when he, Marcus Mariota, and Feleipe Franks are all in the backfield at the same time.
Bryan Knowles: Andersen over both Dean and Willis is … well, it's a choice, I'll say that.
Scott Spratt: Are my Panthers going to get a quarterback in the fourth round?
Aaron Schatz: We clearly all were wrong in estimating what NFL teams thought about Malik Willis' upside. But the league was also totally wrong, because they invited Willis to the green room obviously expecting him to go in the first round or at worst the top of the second. It looks like we're about to make it through Round 2 without any more quarterbacks taken.
The last time only one QB was taken in the top TWO rounds? 2000. (Chad Pennington).
— Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier) April 30, 2022
Only one QB was taken in the top two rounds in 1996. (Tony Banks, 2nd round). No QBs went in the first 2 rounds in 1988.
— Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier) April 30, 2022
It's worth noting that a half-decent QB was drafted by the #Patriots in the 6th round of that 2000 draft when Pennington was the only QB selected in the top two rounds.
— Mike Tanier (@MikeTanier) April 30, 2022
Bryan Knowles: 49ers open their draft books with edge rusher Drake Jackson, and I can get behind that. He needs to add some bulk, but he's got athleticism for days. He was seventh in SackSEER, and would be right up with the big three if it didn't adjust for draft position.
Mike Tanier: He needs to either add bulk or cut down and commit to it. Jackson is like the Jared Leto of defensive ends.
Bryan Knowles: Well, don't give me a comparison that makes me immediately hate the pick, Mike!
JP Acosta: Drake Jackson is super bendy, but USC tried to do way too much with him. They moved him off ball, moved him to the edge where he's best. Once he gets into an NFL weight room he's going to be great as a situational runner.
Vincent Verhei: Second round ends and Kenny Pickett remains the only quarterback off the board. I bet we get a run here shortly. All of these guys are long shots, and first-round picks would not have been worth the risk, but third-round picks are.
Bryan Knowles: And, once again, why on earth is Nakobe Dean still on the board as we enter Round 3.
Aaron Schatz: Ian Rapoport just said on NFL Network that Dean hurt his pectoral and declined to have surgery on it so he's getting medical red flags.
Round 3: Picks 65 to 84
JP Acosta: Luke Fortner is rock-solid, and will probably start at center from Day 1 in Jacksonville.
Vincent Verhei: We're 67 picks into the draft and the Giants have added a top pass-rusher, two starting offensive linemen (most recently Joshua Ezeudu out of North Carolina), and a new receiver. It's easy to say "team with lots of picks is having a good draft," but … it really does feel like the Giants are having a good draft.
JP Acosta: They have all been good value too.
Aaron Schatz: Jacksonville takes Chad Muma. Are they planning to specialize in base defense? How many off-ball linebackers does that team need? (Their base is a 3-4, by the way, so even their base defense only needs two off-ball linebackers.)
Mike Tanier: Maybe it will be an early 1980s 3-4, with four actual linebackers. Travon Walker would be a great defensive end in that scheme. Derrik Klassen and I are Muma stans for what it's worth.
JP Acosta: I love Muma the player, but this feels weird. They paid Oluokun a lot of money and drafted Devin Lloyd Round 1. I guess it's just a figure-it-out pick.
Bryan Knowles: The Jaguars are going to debut the 1-5-5 defense this year; we're just not ready for it.
Carl Yedor: I have had some obligations this evening so I'm just checking in now and of course the Seahawks went with a running back earlier than most expected. Walker is pretty well-regarded, but on the hierarchy of Seattle's needs, running back was not very high. Their last pick of the evening is coming up, and I'm hoping for either a corner or more pass-rush help here. They did draft Boye Mafe alongside Walker in the second round, so maybe they think combining him with Darrell Taylor will be enough.
Vincent Verhei: Hey! The Bears remembered that wide receivers are A Thing!
JP Acosta: The Bears drafted a wide receiver!!!
Cale Clinton: … who turns 25 next month!!
Mike Tanier: And is kinda-sorta a return man.
Cale Clinton: No one is drafting quarterbacks because they're waiting to buy low on the Justin Fields reclamation project in 2023. Maybe that's just wishful thinking, hoping someone can save Fields from this franchise.
Bryan Knowles: Velus Jones was born a month and a half before A.J. Brown.
Tom Gower: Don't worry, it's not like he's older than Darnell Mooney. Oh, wait, he is. At least he's younger than new teammate Equanimeous St. Brown, who completed his entire rookie contract and signed with the Bears in the offseason. By almost nine months.
Vincent Verhei: Velus Jones was born three YEARS before Trey Lance, almost to the day.
Another offensive tackle for Seattle after Russell Wilson is gone. The first made sense; the second is 90% pettiness.
Carl Yedor: But Vince, think of all the running they can do now with those offensive linemen! I say that in jest, but I do think this draft needed to be aimed at more foundational pieces with an eye towards a quarterback next year. There were a lot of holes on the roster (please ignore the running back pick, thank you), and going with two offensive linemen and an edge rusher in the first two days makes some sense. Did I just compliment Pete Carroll? Oh dear, I hope not.
Vincent Verhei: Interesting that both of Seattle's new tackles played for Mike Leach in college—Abraham Lucas at Washington State, Charles Cross at Mississippi State. Probably a coincidence, but still interesting.
Cale Clinton: Colts going with extra beef at tight end, drafting 6-foot-7, 259-pound Jelani Woods out of Virginia. He and Mo Alie-Cox could get minutes in an NBA frontcourt
JP Acosta: The Colts are building the tallest tight end room ever and quite frankly I'm here for it.
Bryan Knowles: The quarterback drought is over! But it's not Malik Willis, it's Desmond Ridder going to the Falcons at pick 74. Wooooooow.
JP Acosta: Desmond Ridder was my top quarterback this year. I think he's ready right now if a team wants to start him, and is more accurate than people say he is.
Tom Gower: Like the 2019 Titans, I assume Marcus Mariota is starting in September, and ask me who the 2022 Falcons' starting quarterback in October is when we get to October.
JP Acosta: The Texans trade up to take Christian Harris from Alabama, who I think fits the Tampa-2 mold for a Will linebacker. He has range for days.
Cale Clinton: Houston has now picked up two players I thought would have made good Patriots, Metchie and Harris. Belichick loves his Alabama guys, and I guess Nick Caserio does too.
JP Acosta: When the Patriots pick Nakobe Dean I am going to be so mad
Cale Clinton: Maybe Leo Chenal if they're just as hung up on the torn pec as everyone else. Depends on what direction they go. Dean feels like the direction New England was headed following the Mack Wilson trade, Chenal fits the prototypical Patriots linebacker build.
They have gotta go defense sometime soon, right?
JP Acosta: Eventually they have to, but the inner machinations of Bill Belichick's mind are an enigma…
JP Acosta: The Ravens take Travis Jones at 76. Jones is basically a small-scale Jordan Davis, and they got him in the third round. Baltimore continues to run circles around other teams in the draft.
Vincent Verhei: Weren't we talking about WCW-era wrestlers earlier? Because Alex Wright just got drafted by the Browns.
JP Acosta: He's gotta do the dance for his first sack celebration.
Cale Clinton: Malik Willis update: At least he's being a good sport about the draft slide.
— Malik Willis (@malikwillis) April 30, 2022
JP Acosta: The Broncos drafted Greg Dulcich, another tight end for Russell Wilson to not be able to see over the middle.
Bryan Knowles: He's off the board! The Philadelphia Eagles finally stop Nakobe Dean's fall. He may need a redshirt year due to his apparently catastrophic medicals, but that's a first-round talent in the middle of the third round. Yikes.
Aaron Schatz: Sad that Dean didn't make it to the Patriots two picks later.
JP Acosta: I LOVE the fit for Nakobe in Philly. Speed and range is what Philly needs at the position and if you're worried about him taking on blocks he has Jordan Davis in front of him again.
Cale Clinton: Let's see how the medicals shake out, but man, we could look back in a year or two calling this the steal of the draft. Trade a first-rounder for A.J. Brown and end up with another first-round talent.
Vincent Verhei: Mike, I assume you are pointing at the smiling picture of Reggie White again.
Between Ridder and Dean, when was the last time the third round had more star power than the second round?
JP Acosta: I assume Mike is running around the block screaming "Fly Eagles Fly" at maximum volume
Cale Clinton: New England finally gets their cornerback! The Patriots take Houston's Marcus Jones with 85 overall. Undersized slot corner with ball-hawking skills and a lot of special teams experience.
If there's one thing consistent across all three of their picks thus far, it's that they have gotten real athletes with every pick. Strange posted a 9.95 Relative Athletic Score for interior offensive line, per Kent Lee Platte of Math Bomb. Thornton has a 4.28s 40 and a 1.41s 10-yard split. Jones' claim to fame? A kickoff return touchdown, a punt return touchdown, an interception for a touchdown, and a receiving touchdown during his time in Houston.
Round 3: Picks 85 to 105
Bryan Knowles: And for the 17th time or so, a team trades up and I have to wonder if it's for Malik Willis. The Titans jump up four slots and … yes, yes it is! Both of the remaining consensus first-rounders go off the board real quick here. They jumped over Kyler Murray, Dak Prescott, and Josh Allen's teams to go get him, so I suppose the Raiders were hearing from somebody else to justify the Titans making the move.
JP Acosta: I cannot tell you how much I like this for Malik but hate this for every other AFC South team. Willis gets to sit behind Ryan Tannehill, who might be out after next year.
Vincent Verhei: Might be the best possible spot for Willis, from a neutral fan's point of view. I feel like Willis will blow up bad teams but get shut down against good defenses. Putting him in Tennessee should give him four games a year against the Jacksonville and Houston secondaries, who seem to struggle far more often than not.
Tom Gower: Hm, Malik Willis. The Titans are in the position to do the right thing, to let him sit for a year behind Tannehill and then … well, if Willis isn't ready enough for you after a season, you need to get a bridge quarterback. Or maybe a different replacement starter. I wrote about this a few years ago—the NFL has this weird thing about whether and when to draft quarterbacks. Not the great prospects like Trevor Lawrence last year, but the more questionable ones like you see every year, including this one. On the one hand, don't elevate bad prospects. You're likelier to get a starter at a different position. Even by the second and third rounds, most quarterbacks never become even average starters. People I know and like keep hyping quarterbacks drafted on Day 2 and most of them don't do anything. On the other hand, a quarterback on his rookie contract is the most valuable commodity in the NFL, even if he's just an average starter. It's the exact sort of conflicted formula that almost guarantees cognitive dissonance and no clear answers, and I just hope it works out.
Bryan Knowles: What was I saying about the Shanahanites and their emotional-support Day 2 running backs?! Ty Davis-Price gets to replace Trey Sermon as the guy Kyle Shanahan drafts and then forgets exists for 90% of the season.
JP Acosta: I know it passed already but who is Wayne Newton and why does he look like a mannequin?
Vincent Verhei: Wayne Newton is a cheeseball Las Vegas legend who has looked like a mannequin since I was your age.
Bryan Knowles: Reportedly, the Panthers and Browns were working on a Baker Mayfield trade, but talks broke down because the Browns wouldn't take enough of Baker's contract. So instead, the Panthers trade back into Day 2 of the draft and take Matt Corral!
JP Acosta: Deciding to take Matt Corral instead of Baker Mayfield is wild. I'm not as high on Corral as others, but Matt Rhule needed to do something desperate to try and save his job. Matt Corral is very much a vibes quarterback.
Scott Spratt: Corral is Chris Simms' top quarterback prospect, so I'll be buying my playoff tickets after we finish up tonight.
Cale Clinton: Don't know if anyone mentioned Kyle Brandt's electric pick announcement for the Buffalo Bills in the third round. He capped it off by taking a bite out of a Buffalo wing he pulled out of his pocket. Brandt's now in the desk with NFL Network's draft crew, and he just revealed he has been holding onto that wing for THREE DAYS. That wasn't from craft services backstage. He bought it in Westchester, carried it with him through airport security, and has just … had it in his pocket all through Vegas. He likened the consistency to a "warm gummy bear." Claimed it was still delicious.
JP Acosta: Now I wanna try and do that.
Cale Clinton: The Miami Dolphins have entered the chat. Their first pick of 2022 comes at 102 overall, landing Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall. Joins a young nucleus of Dolphins linebackers in Jerome Baker and Jaelan Phillips.
JP Acosta: The Georgia defense was made up entirely of goblinmen and Tindall is another part of that. He is FAST. Gotta work on reading keys but get him going downhill and he's a menace.
Cale Clinton: Chiefs go linebacker right after Miami, landing Leo Chenal. Big, downhill linebacker out of Wisconsin. Measuring 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, currently a unique body type in Kansas City's smaller, rangy linebacker room. I have liked everything the Chiefs have done the last two days.
JP Acosta: Steve Spagnuolo is going to love Chenal's blitzing acumen.
Vincent Verhei: The Dolphins' first pick comes at 102 (Georgia LB Channing Tindall); the Rams made their first pick at 104 overall (Wisconsin G Logan Bruss). They're the first teams without a pick in the top 100 since the 2008 Browns, who also picked at 104 after trading away first-, second-, and third-round picks for Brady Quinn, Corey Williams, and Shaun Rogers. The Rams got Matthew Stafford and Von Miller for their picks, which worked out better for them. The legacy of the Dolphins' picks is complicated, but they got Jaylen Waddle, Liam Eichenberg, and others in the process. Oh, and Tyreek Hill.
I had offensive line listed as the Rams' quiet need, so, sure, no problem with taking a guard.
Bryan Knowles: We close out Day 2 with Danny Gray headed to San Francisco, because Kyle Shanahan needs his speedy YAC guys. Gray could be an Isaiah McKenzie type; returner and occasional receiver, but third round seems a bit high for him.
Lots, and I mean lots, of good talent still available. The draft may have been a bit shallow at the top, but there are 20 or 25 guys still out there who could easily have gone today.