<
>

Thumbs up, thumbs down for Rounds 2-3

Our NFL Nation reporters assess how each team did in Day 2 of the 2014 NFL draft.

NFC EAST


Demarcus Lawrence, OLB: The Cowboys targeted Lawrence for a long time and made sure they were going to get him by giving up their second- and third-round picks to the Washington Redskins. He was not going to last until No. 47, so the Cowboys got the best right defensive end on the board. Lawrence had 20 sacks in his two seasons at Boise State and the Cowboys needed a pure right defensive end. Thumbs up

-- Todd Archer


Weston Richburg, C / Jay Bromley, DT: I liked the Richburg pick because the New York Giants needed a center and they appear to have snagged the best one in the draft. But if there’s one thing not to like about the pick, it's that he likely was a guy they could have gotten later. Bromley, the third-round pick, was unquestionably that. Even he admitted he didn't expect to be taken Friday, and he was out grocery shopping when the Giants called. Richburg is a quality player, but the draft is about value and the Giants are ignoring that concept. Thumbs down

-- Dan Graziano


Jordan Matthews, WR / Josh Huff, WR: The Philadelphia Eagles valued Vanderbilt’s Matthews enough to move up 12 spots from 54 to 42 to nab the gifted 6-foot-3 wide receiver. Matthews has the ability catch difficult passes across the middle, and he can also run the deep route. At No. 86, the Eagles selected Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff. With the ability to stretch the field (1,140 yards receiving as a senior) and play well on special teams, it was a terrific choice. Thumbs up

-- Andy Jasner


Trent Murphy, OLB / Morgan Moses, OT / Spencer Long, OG: I liked that the Washington Redskins added another pick by trading down in the second round. I don’t know if any of these three will develop into quality starters, but Murphy will help and Moses has a high ceiling. Selecting Long late in the third is a stretch, but this draft was as much about them developing in 2015 and beyond. Thumbs up

-- John Keim


NFC WEST


Troy Niklas, TE / Kareem Martin, DE / John Brown, WR: Despite insisting they were going to be drafting the best player available, the Arizona Cardinals appeared to draft for need in the second and third rounds. Picking Niklas was a stretch but it’ll benefit the Cards in the long run. However, Arizona’s two third-round picks, Martin and Brown, seemed to be better suited later in the draft. Martin will be a project while Brown will be fighting for playing time. Thumbs down

-- Josh Weinfuss


Carlos Hyde, RB / Marcus Martin, C / Chris Borland, ILB / Brandon Thomas, G: The San Francisco 49ers had an outstanding day. It started with a trade for Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson, who becomes an instant key contributor. Hyde could be a steal and can help the 49ers in the short and long term. Martin could start as a rookie, and Borland could play for an injured NaVorro Bowman right away. Thomas is injured but is projected as a long-term starter. Thumbs up

-- Bill Williamson


Lamarcus Joyner, DB/ Tre Mason, RB: The St. Louis Rams had major needs at safety and cornerback and Joyner is versatile enough to help fill both. Mason was a bit of a surprise but the Rams are clearly committed to running the ball and he can help spell Zac Stacy. One pick filled two holes, the other feels more like a best player available choice. Thumbs up

-- Nick Wagoner


Paul Richardson WR / Justin Britt OT: Once again, the Seahawks do the unexpected, picking players not expected to go in the second round, but the staff has earned the benefit of the doubt. Richardson is a true speedster from Colorado at 6 feet, 180 pounds and similar in style to Percy Harvin. Britt was all SEC at Missouri (aggressive, mean and tough) but was not ranked as a top-10 OT. Thumbs up

-- Terry Blount


NFC NORTH


Ego Ferguson, DT/Will Sutton, DT: After the first-round pick, the second seemed a bit of a letdown, but Ferguson addresses a major need, and his addition indicates a shift philosophically to a preference for more of a run-stuffing defensive tackle instead of a penetrating pass rusher. The Bears pulled off the defensive tackle double dip in Round 3 with the selection of Sutton, who produced 20.5 sacks in three college seasons. Thumbs up

-- Michael C. Wright


Kyle Van Noy, LB / Travis Swanson, OC: The Detroit Lions filled two needs, taking a versatile linebacker who can play three downs in Van Noy and a versatile offensive lineman who could be the center of the future in Swanson. Swanson might not play this season, but he will be able to learn under Dominic Raiola before eventually replacing the stalwart. Van Noy, college teammates with Ezekiel Ansah, can play both the run and the pass. Thumbs up

-- Michael Rothstein


Davante Adams, WR / Khyri Thornton, DT / Richard Rodgers, TE: While the pick of Adams in the second round could be another in a long line of Ted Thompson success stories with second-round receivers, he appeared to reach for Thornton and Rodgers in the third round. Both may have been available on Day 3. Thumbs down

-- Rob Demovsky


Scott Crichton, DE / Jerick McKinnon, RB: The Minnesota Vikings have been betting on their coaching staff’s ability to develop players throughout this draft, and Friday was no different. They took a high-energy pass-rusher in Oregon State’s Crichton, and an intriguing running back in Georgia Southern’s McKinnon (who was a triple-option quarterback in college). There’s a fair amount of projection required with the Vikings’ draft, but if their coaching staff is able to develop players, they could end up with a high-ceiling draft class. It’s a bold strategy at the very least.Thumbs up

-- Ben Goessling


NFC SOUTH


Ra'Shede Hageman, DE/ Dez Southward S: Hageman was a first-round talent who was still available on Day 2 and brings versatility, athleticism, and toughness up front. He could really be a difference-maker. Southward helps fill a pressing need at safety. Thumbs up

-- Vaughn McClure


Kony Ealy, DE / Trai Turner, OG: Ealy was a player I had as a possibility in the first round because general manager Dave Gettleman likes the big-time pass-rushers. Ealy, a physical specimen at 6-4, 273 pounds, is that and Gettleman had him with a first-round grade. He'll create competition, depth and add yet another weapon to one of the best front sevens in the NFL. Getting Turner isn't a sexy pick, but a solid one. He's big and nasty and could step right in as a starting right guard with Nate Chandler competing at left tackle with Byron Bell. Thumbs up

-- David Newton


Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB: The New Orleans Saints only had one pick, but it seemed like a perfect choice. They filled their biggest remaining need with a big, physical cornerback in Nebraska’s Jean-Baptiste. And they got great value with a high-upside player whom some considered a potential first-rounder. Thumbs up

-- Mike Triplett


Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE / Charles Sims, RB. The Bucs continued to address the offensive side of the ball. Seferian-Jenkins is an upgrade over the flock of mediocre tight ends the Bucs had on the roster. Sims was taken because the Bucs viewed him as the best receiving running back in the draft. Thumbs up

-- Pat Yasinksas


AFC EAST


Cyrus Kouandjio, OT / Preston Brown, LB: Both players were pre-draft visitors to Buffalo, so neither selection was unexpected. Kouandjio, known as a better run-blocker than a pass protector, will be in the mix to start at right tackle. Brown is a run-stopping linebacker who adds depth at a position that has been in flux with the Bills’ coaching changes on defense. Thumbs up

-- Mike Rodak


Jarvis Landry, WR / Billy Turner, OT: After failing to work out a trade on Thursday, new Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey moved around the draft board three times Friday. Miami got two potential contributors in Landry and Turner and now has five picks at its disposal on Saturday. Thumbs up

-- James Walker


Jimmy Garoppolo, QB: Immediate New England-based reaction to using a late second-round pick on Garoppolo trended negative, but there’s no more important position than quarterback. ESPN’s Bill Polian can best attest to that, as his Colts struggled after Peyton Manning went down in 2011 and it cost him his job. In New England, Garoppolo offers short-term insurance and a potential succession plan for Tom Brady. Thumbs up

-- Mike Reiss


Jace Amaro, TE / Dex McDougle, CB: The New York Jets addressed two needs in the second and third round, picking pass-catching tight end Amaro and cornerback McDougle. There’s risk. Amaro could be a product of a pass-happy system at Texas Tech and McDougle missed most of his senior year due to shoulder surgery. They passed on some talented receivers. Thumbs up

-- Rich Cimini


AFC WEST


Cody Latimer, WR / Michael Schofield, T: The Denver Broncos thought enough of Latimer to move up seven spots to take him with the 56th overall pick. A big, physical receiver with 4.4 speed in the 40, he should get into the Broncos’ rotation from the start. With the Broncos’ plans to get bigger and more physical in the offensive line, Schofield will get a chance to work at right tackle with the ability to play at guard as well. Thumbs up

-- Jeff Legwold


Phillip Gaines, CB: Starter Brandon Flowers and third cornerback Marcus Cooper struggled at times last season, so Gaines gives the Kansas City Chiefs some insurance in case they don’t bounce back. General manager John Dorsey prefers bigger cornerbacks and though Gaines isn’t a giant, he’s big enough (6-0, 193 pounds) where he won’t be dwarfed by bigger receivers. The Chiefs ignored a bigger need at wide receiver. Thumbs down

-- Adam Teicher


Derek Carr, QB / Gabe Jackson, G: Carr, like first-round pick Khalil Mack, fell into the Oakland Raiders’ lap and they could not have been more pleased. Now, he gets to sit and learn the nuances of the position behind Matt Schaub. And Jackson, a 6-foot-3, 340-pound guard is a road-grader who seems to fit Oakland’s returning power-blocking scheme.Thumbs up

-- Paul Gutierrez


Jeremiah Attaochu OLB / Chris Watt, OG: Attaochu is the centerpiece pick of Day 2. San Diego Chargers GM Tom Telesco said they targeted the Georgia Tech edge-rusher early, ultimately trading up seven spots in the second round with Miami to No. 50, giving up the Nos. 57 and 125 overall picks to make sure they got their man. Attaochu provides versatility because he has experience in 3-4 and 4-3 defensive fronts. And he’ll get to learn from an experienced pass-rusher in Dwight Freeney. San Diego’s third-round selection, Notre Dame interior offensive lineman Watt, is a solid performer who is assignment correct and provides depth for an aging offensive line. Thumbs up

-- Eric D. Williams


AFC NORTH


Timmy Jernigan, DT / Terrence Brooks, FS / Crockett Gilmore, TE: The Baltimore Ravens continued their defense theme in this draft. They got a run-stopper in Jernigan to replace Arthur Jones, and they added a much-needed starting free safety in Brooks. The Ravens did reach for a blocking tight end in the third round. Thumbs up

-- Jamison Hensley


Jeremy Hill, RB / Will Clarke, DE: The Bengals began Friday night with a little controversy, taking LSU product Hill over Buckeye State favorite, Carlos Hyde. Aside from the two arrests for sexual assault and battery that are part of his off-field record, there’s a lot for the Bengals to like about Hill on the field. He rushed for 1,401 yards against largely SEC competition and was a fixture in a pro-style offense that contains some elements of Cincinnati’s new offensive scheme. Along with taking Hill, the Bengals snagged a player in Clarke who was the best carbon copy of former Bengal Michael Johnson in the draft. Thumbs up

-- Coley Harvey


Joel Bitonio, OT / Christian Kirksey, LB: News that Josh Gordon was facing a one-year ban for another failed drug test started the draft’s second day. It ended with the Browns taking Bitonio and Kirksey. Bitonio is a good player, Kirksey sounds enthusiastic, but neither will line up to catch passes from Brian Hoyer and/or Johnny Manziel. Thumbs down

-- Pat McManamon


Stephon Tuitt, DE / Dri Archer, RB: I loved the pick of Tuitt, who could start at defensive end this season and provide an inside pass rush when the Steelers play their nickel defense. I’m not nearly as high on their selection of diminutive running back Archer, arguably the fastest player in the draft. If he turns into a Darren Sproles-type of player as ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. envisions, the Steelers had a great second day. At the very least, Archer gives them a home-run threat in the return game. Thumbs up

-- Scott Brown


AFC SOUTH


Xavier Su'a-Filo, G / C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE / Louis Nix III, NT: This thumbs down is under protest as it has nothing to do with the three players the Texans drafted today. They all are good players who could have important roles in the Texans’ future. But … THEY STILL NEED A QUARTERBACK. Thumbs down

-- Tania Ganguli


Jack Mewhort, OL/ Donte Moncrief, WR: Mewhort has played all five positions along the offensive line at one point in his career. His best chance to play is likely at guard because of the uncertainty at that position with the Colts. Hugh Thornton struggled there as a rookie last season and Donald Thomas is coming off a torn tendon in his quad and torn bicep. Moncrief is a tall receiver the Colts have lacked in recent years. He was also picked for the future, as Reggie Wayne will be a free agent in 2015 and it's uncertain how many years the 35-year-old will continue to play. Thumbs up

-- Mike Wells


Marqise Lee, WR / Allen Robinson, WR: The addition of receivers Lee and Robinson addressed the Jaguars' biggest need on offense entering the second round. Lee is a first-round talent who slipped to 39 because of concerns over his knee. Robinson was the No. 2 receiver on the Jaguars' board and they traded up to get him. Expect both to be in the starting lineup for the season opener. Thumbs up

-- Michael DiRocco


Bishop Sankey, RB. The Titans had just one second-day pick even after trading back. They used it on the first running back of the draft. In Sankey, they think they have a well-rounded back well-suited to Ken Whisenhunt’s offense. He lacks Chris Johnson's speed, but should be more complete. Thumbs up

-- Paul Kuharsky