NFL Nation: 2014 NFL Round 2 Rapid Reaction

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The pick: Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State

My take: The Jaguars traded their third-round pick (70th overall) and a fifth-round pick (150th overall) to San Francisco for the 61st overall selection and took Robinson. The Jaguars got the big, physical receiver they needed in the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Robinson, who caught 177 passes for 2,479 yards and 17 touchdowns in three seasons at Penn State. That including a junior season in which he caught 97 balls for 1,432 yards and six touchdowns despite playing with a freshman quarterback. The Jaguars will pair him with Marqise Lee, whom they took with the 39th pick, to give them a young tandem that can hopefully grow along with rookie quarterback Blake Bortles.

Goodbye, Justin?: If there was any doubt that the Jaguars have pretty much given up on receiver Justin Blackmon, Robinson’s selection should all but cement it. GM David Caldwell said the team has already planned on not having him in 2014 and coach Gus Bradley said Friday night that he had hoped things would have gone better than they have. The Jaguars have had little contact with Blackmon and he still must apply for reinstatement and likely will have to serve an additional suspension before being cleared.

What’s next: The Jaguars have seven picks in Rounds 4-7 Saturday and are expected to address offensive line, running back and pass-rusher.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The pick: Jack Mewhort, offensive lineman, Ohio State

My take: Mewhort is kind of a surprise pick when you consider the need for a safety and that there were still some quality receivers available at No. 59.

Mewhort would be considered a utility player if he played baseball. He's played every position along the offensive line. He was an All-American center, and had him as the second player at that position coming out of high school in Toledo, Ohio, in 2009. He played guard during the 2011 season at Ohio State, then switched to left tackle for his final two seasons with the Buckeyes. Mewhort started the final 39 games he played at Ohio State.

Mewhort's best chance to play with the Colts is likely at guard because they're set at tackle with Anthony Castonzo and Gosder Cherilus, who both had impressive 2013 seasons. Playing time at guard is up in the air. Hugh Thornton struggled during his rookie season, and Donald Thomas is coming back off a torn tendon in his quad and a torn biceps.

The ultimate goal is to protect quarterback Andrew Luck better. Luck has been sacked 73 times in his first two seasons.

Add one more to the résumé: Tackle, guard and center aren't the only positions Mewhort can play. He's also capable of handling long-snapping duties. The Colts are set there, though, with Matt Overton. Overton made the Pro Bowl team last season. But Mewhort is capable of being the emergency long snapper.

What's next: The Colts have the No. 90 overall pick. They'll have three picks in the final four rounds Saturday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The pick: Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington

My take: An instinctive and quick back, Sankey should fit in nicely with Shonn Greene and Dexter McCluster in the Titans' backfield and could easily wind up with the highest number of carries in his rookie season. The Titans view him as a versatile three-down back who can run inside and out, catch passes and be reliable in pass protection. He said he has been compared to Giovani Bernard, LeSean McCoy and even Emmitt Smith. Titans area scout Marv Sunderland said Sankey runs like Tiki Barber did, without the fumbling issue. That's a heck of a group to be compared to. The Titans triggered a run on running backs by tabbing the first one in the draft with the 54th overall pick.

Unfortunate: Sankey will be at the team's upcoming rookie minicamp. But after that, because the school year won't be over for the University of Washington, he can't be with the team for its 10 organized team activity days. Ken Whisenhunt is confident the smart Sankey will do well to keep up with things via his iPad playbook that will get updated with current practice video.

What's next: The Titans will sit out the third round. They gave their pick to San Francisco last year when they moved up for Justin Hunter. They aren't slated to pick again until No. 112 in the fourth round Saturday, but the trade back in the second round with Philadelphia means they also have the 122nd pick.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The pick: Cody Latimer, WR, Indiana

My take: The Broncos saw their opportunity to jump up to get the kind of receiver they wanted on this draft board and took it. They moved up seven spots in the second round to grab Latimer. In a draft filled with big, fast wideouts, Latimer fits the bill at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, a player who ran in the 4.4s in the 40-yard dash at his pro day.

The Broncos decided they simply couldn't wait any longer to get a receiver who carried a first-round grade from many teams. With Emmanuel Sanders having signed as a free agent to replace Eric Decker, Latimer projects as a rotation player at wide receiver at the outset. Given Wes Welker's concussion history and the fact both Welker and Demaryius Thomas are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents following the 2014 season, the Broncos needed to use the deepest receiver class in memory to help fortify the position. Latimer will contribute this season.

Learning curve: A high percentage of Latimer's catches at Indiana were on short and intermediate routes, such as quick slants and screens, so he will have to show he can do a little more down the field with the Broncos. He came out a year early, so he has plenty of room to grow coming off his lone 1,000-yard season with the Hoosiers (72 catches, 1,096 yards and 15 touchdowns). He has a powerful frame, strong hands and a fearless approach to the game. He'll be asked to run a far larger variety of routes in the Broncos' offense and be able to function in a no-huddle offense that does most of its work at the line of scrimmage, but he fits the physical profile the Broncos were looking for in this draft at the position.

What's next: It was almost a slam dunk that the Broncos were going to grab a receiver in the second round. So, as they move into the third round and beyond, the Broncos will be looking for a running back, a middle linebacker and a right tackle.
videoDAVIE, Fla. -- The pick: Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU

My take: The Dolphins made the first two draft-day trades of the Dennis Hickey era. Miami swapped second-round picks with the San Diego Chargers and picked up an additional fourth-round pick and also with the San Francisco 49ers for an additional fifth-rounder. The Dolphins also added depth at receiver with Landry. The Dolphins were in a good spot Friday. This is a team without many glaring needs remaining after addressing the right tackle position in the first round with Ja'Wuan James. That provided an opportunity for Miami to trade down and pick up an additional pick later in the draft.

Plenty of competition: The Dolphins are deep at wide receiver. In addition to Landry, Miami also has Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Damian Williams and Armon Binns. It's a talented and competitive group that will battle for roles and roster spots in training camp.

What’s next: The Dolphins hold the No. 81 overall pick in the third round Friday. They don’t have any must-have positions to address, but Miami could look to add depth at positions such as safety, linebacker and tight end. The Dolphins have seven picks remaining.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The pick: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

My take: General manager Dave Gettleman said he wouldn't hesitate to take a "blue goose" (rare) pass-rusher at end if one was available. He got a pretty good one in Ealy, who had 14.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and 14 quarterback pressures this past season in the tough SEC. He'll provide depth for Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy and be insurance in case the Panthers can't sign Hardy (franchise tag) to a long-term deal or they decide to part with Johnson's big cap numbers after this season. The Panthers obviously put more value on Ealy than an offensive tackle like Morgan Moses, who remained on the board.

Message sent? The drafting of Ealy could send a message to Hardy that he needs to get a long-term deal done before the July deadline or he might become expendable after this season. It also could send a message to backup end Frank Alexander, who was suspended for the first four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy, that he might not have a future in Carolina. Even if it doesn't, it creates more competition at the end position, and this team is being built around competition.

What's next: Carolina still needs to take an offensive tackle, and there are several who should be on the board when they pick next at 92. I also wouldn't be surprised to see them take another wide receiver with the depth at that position still strong.
METAIRIE, La. -- The pick: Stanley Jean-Baptiste, CB, Nebraska

My take: This seems like another terrific fit for the New Orleans Saints. They filled another top need, and they appeared to get great value in a guy that some analysts thought might even sneak into Round 1 because of his upside. Jean-Baptiste (6-foot-3, 218 pounds) has that size so many teams in the NFL have begun to covet in the wake of the Seattle Seahawks' success with big corners, and he has drawn a lot of physical comparisons to Richard Sherman -- though he's still a raw prospect with a ways to develop. ESPN analyst Todd McShay, who had Jean-Baptiste rated 40th overall on his board, said Jean-Baptiste has a chance to be a steal.

If you can't beat 'em … The Saints have been first in line this offseason among teams that are happily willing to follow the Seahawks' blueprint. New Orleans' first big, bold move of the offseason was to spend big in free agency on ball hawking safety Jairus Byrd (the closest thing available to Seattle's Earl Thomas). They also took a flier on future Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey in free agency and ponied up to keep physical safety Rafael Bush from leaving as a restricted free agent. Throw in last year's big free-agent signing, cornerback Keenan Lewis, and last year's first-round pick, safety Kenny Vaccaro, and you might have the most loaded secondary east of Seattle. I'm not immediately penciling in Jean-Baptiste ahead of Bailey, Corey White or Patrick Robinson in the starting lineup just yet, but the Saints are loaded with options -- something versatile defensive coordinator Rob Ryan must love.

What's next: The Saints traded away their third-round pick, so they could either stay patient for the rest of the night or use their extra fifth-round pick to move back up if they love a specific player. Their biggest remaining need is for depth at the guard and center positions. They could also use some young developmental talent at linebacker. But from this point on, it will be more about stockpiling talent for the future than trying to fill immediate needs. The Saints currently have four picks remaining (a fourth, two fifths and a sixth).
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The pick: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

My take: I can't argue with the value. The 49ers, with a league-high five picks tonight, waited and let the board come to them. They made two trades and pounced on Hyde. Frank Gore, entering the final year of his contract, is nearing the end of his career. Hyde will be the big back for the 49ers for the next several years. The 49ers continue to rely on a punishing rushing game and this pick confirms it.

Don’t forget Lattimore: The 49ers took running back Marcus Lattimore in the fourth round last year. He is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in 2012. The 49ers won’t rush him. But a tandem of Hyde and Lattimore could be pretty special down the road.

What’s next: The 49ers will likely look at cornerbacks, receivers and offensive linemen next.
CINCINNATI -- The pick: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU.

My take: The Bengals were sitting comfortably when the 55th overall pick went on the clock Friday night. There were a slew of highly talented players whom they could have taken with their various needs. Good running backs were available, offensive linemen were available, defensive ends were available, safeties were available and linebackers were, too. So they could have gone virtually anywhere. With the Bengals moving to a more physical offense under newly promoted offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, the Bengals were smart to take a running back in the second round. In Hill, they get a big, bruising ball-carrier who can push the pile as well as make defenders miss. He is also a solid receiving threat out of the backfield, too.

Hill's addition could soon spell the end for BenJarvus Green-Ellis' time in Cincinnati. Green-Ellis split carries with Giovani Bernard last season but didn't perform as well as the Bengals had hoped. If Green-Ellis does reach chopping-block status -- and Jackson made it clear that "right now" Green-Ellis is still an option in the backfield -- he would provide the Bengals a cap savings of $2.5 million this season.

No Hyde: The Bengals had a chance to take Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde with the 55th pick, but they went with a player whom many fans weren't expecting. The Bengals liked Hyde according to Jackson and running backs coach Kyle Caskey in a post-pick news conference, but Hill's selection was in part the product of his playing in a pro-style offense and a conference as competitive as the SEC.

What's next? Now that the Bengals have addressed one offensive need, they ought to turn their focus in the third round to either defensive line or quarterback. They still need a defensive end to help fill former end Michael Johnson's shoes. Johnson signed with Tampa Bay in free agency back in March. The Bengals are also in need of offensive line help and could take a player at center, guard or tackle.

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The pick: Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

My take: Over the last two years, the Green Bay Packers have lost their career receiving leader (Donald Driver) to retirement, a Pro Bowler (Greg Jennings) to the Minnesota Vikings in free agency and an underappreciated veteran (James Jones) to the Oakland Raiders in free agency. They needed to fortify their receiving corps even though they still have a pair of standouts in Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. They also are high on Jarrett Boykin, who had a breakout season last year with 49 catches. Cobb and Nelson are entering the final years of their contracts, but this pick should not change the fact that they both will be extended. The Packers' strength is their passing game, so why not give Aaron Rodgers more help?

Second-round success: General manager Ted Thompson has done well with second-round receivers. He picked Jennings in 2006, Nelson in 2008 and Cobb in 2011 -- all in Round 2. Also, he drafted receiver Terrence Murphy in 2005's second round, but Murphy's career came to an abrupt end because of a neck injury.

What's next: The Packers have two picks in the third round, Nos. 85 and 98. The 98th pick is a compensatory selection that cannot be traded.
video The pick: Trent Murphy, LB, Stanford

My take: The Redskins needed help at a few areas and perhaps pass-rusher was not high on the fans' lists. But it was on the coaches' -- and it was on mine. The Redskins did not solve their pass-rush problems just by signing Jason Hatcher. Now Murphy gives the Redskins another pass-rusher to complement fellow outside linebackers Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo. The Redskins played nickel coverages about 70 percent of the time last season, so there will be opportunities to use all three.

The Redskins had hoped to use certain sets with extra outside linebackers on the field a year ago, but then-rookie Brandon Jenkins was rarely active. They can use two of these three linebackers on the same side, providing a different look and problems for the line. Murphy plays with an attitude that should work well with these players. Washington's pass rush has struggled the past two years and now it has more depth than it has had in a while. Also, if the Redskins don't hang on to Orakpo after this season then they have his replacement -- or if they don't want to keep Kerrigan after the 2015 season. It's not a foregone conclusion that this means Orakpo is now on a one-year clock in Washington. But it could be tough to keep all three.

Protecting RG III: In our poll this week, the No. 1 spot fans wanted to address was right tackle with 51 percent of the votes. And the Redskins had a chance to address this position when they were on the board at 34.

But once they traded down I figured they were going for defense (and a pass-rusher). The one choice I liked in that round was Nevada's Joel Bitonio because if he couldn't play tackle he could slide inside to guard and be a stud. I wasn't a fan of Morgan Moses and Cyrus Kouandjio's knees were too much of a concern for Washington.

The Redskins did pick up an extra third-round choice in the trade and the draft is deep at right tackle. So there’s a chance they can pick one up later Friday. If so, that player would be unlikely to provide immediate help but would become the right tackle of the future.

What's next: The Redskins have two picks in the third round -- the 66th and 77th overall. The Redskins need to continue adding youth to their defense, but other positions to watch here include right tackle, tight end or even running back.

Jets pick Jace Amaro in 2nd

May, 9, 2014
May 9
videoFLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The pick: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech

My take: The Jets continued their extreme makeover on offense, selecting the most prolific pass-catching tight end in the nation. They can't use the "no weapons" alibi anymore. Amaro joins wide receiver Eric Decker, running back Chris Johnson and quarterback Michael Vick (if he starts) in a new-look offense. The Jets still have Jeff Cumberland at tight end, but Amaro gives them a legitimate threat in the passing game.

Make no mistake, Amaro is a catcher, not a blocker. Consider: 97 of his 106 receptions last season came when he lined up in the slot or a wide receiver position. At 6-foot-5, 265 pounds, Amaro is a big target, but he runs well (4.74 seconds in the 40). He racked up 1,352 yards last season, an FBS record for tight ends. The numbers are deceptive because Texas Tech ran a wide-open, pass-happy offense, but you can't throw a wet blanket on 106 catches. The concern is that he might be a one-year wonder. He was a nonfactor in his first two seasons.

A new dimension: The Jets hadn't drafted a tight end since 2008, when they picked Dustin Keller at the bottom of the first round. Amaro's arrival should allow offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg to open up his playbook, incorporating the tight end position into the passing game. A year ago, the Jets didn't use many two-tight end packages at all. Now they can use Cumberland as the traditional "Y" (in-line tight end), with Amaro flexed out as a receiver. Their tight end production was below average last season -- 63 receptions and only six touchdowns. If Amaro is as good as advertised, the beneficiary will be quarterback Geno Smith. Nothing helps a young quarterback more than a reliable tight end who can work the middle of the field.

What's next: The Jets own a third-round pick (80th overall). They could go in a number of directions -- wide receiver, cornerback or pass-rusher.

PITTSBURGH -- The pick: Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

My take: The Steelers addressed one of their most glaring needs, and they did so without taking a cornerback or wide receiver with their second-round pick. I like the pick, though I would have thought long and hard about taking Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer or Nebraska cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptise with this selection.

Tuitt will help fill a gaping hole at defensive end. Tuitt, who doesn't turn 21 until later this month, had been widely projected as a late first-round pick. He put on weight in the 2013 offseason after recovering from a hernia injury and didn't play up to expectations as a junior. The Steelers worked out Tuitt in Atlanta and are confident that his weight issues are a thing of the past. "We feel like we got a steal," Steelers defensive line coach John Mitchell said.

Tuitt has the size and physical talent to excel as a 5-technique defensive end, and he will get an opportunity to learn under Mitchell, who molded Aaron Smith and Brett Keisel, among others. Tuitt had 21.5 career sacks at Notre Dame, so he can push the pocket as well as hold up physically against the run. Mitchell said Tuitt would have been a top-10 pick in the draft had he been healthy in 2013 and built on a sophomore season in which he had 47 tackles and 12 sacks. "When you're drawing up an end for our defense, that's the guy you want," Mitchell said of Tuitt.

Still no CB or WR: The Steelers have yet to address two of their biggest perceived needs, and part of that is probably because of the draft's depth at wide receiver and cornerback. Teams seem to be content to wait until later to take a wide receiver because there are so many quality ones in this draft. The Steelers figure to take a cornerback or wide receiver later Friday.

What's next: The Steelers don't pick again until late in the third round since it is a compensatory selection. They traded their third-round pick last year to the Browns for a fourth-round selection. They used the pick on safety Shamarko Thomas, and the Steelers made the trade because they were confident they would get a third-round pick this year as compensation for free-agent losses in 2013. The pick is No. 97 overall, and the Steelers are not allowed to trade it.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The pick: Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State

My take: The Ravens once again went for value over need, taking the fourth-best defensive tackle in the draft (according to ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr.). This adds to the depth on the defensive line, where the Ravens lost Arthur Jones in free agency. Jernigan can clog up the middle and absorb double-teams, which is surprising given he's slightly undersized. Jernigan is just stout and uses that to anchor the middle. He is also a smart, disruptive run defender. Jernigan made nine tackles in the national championship game despite battling illness.

Disputed drug test: Jernigan was considered a first-round pick before he reportedly had a positive drug test at the NFL combine because of a diluted sample. Jernigan's agent later said there were “hydration issues” that caused his irregular drug test result. Jernigan was scheduled to be in New York for the first round of the draft, but he decided not to attend the event.

What's next: The Ravens have two picks in the third round. Their most pressing needs remain offensive line and safety. But the Ravens also could address wide receiver, tight end and running back in this round as well.

Eagles pick Jordan Matthews in 2nd

May, 9, 2014
May 9

PHILADELPHIA -- The pick: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt, No. 42.

My take: Matthews had a solid season for the Commodores, catching 112 passes for 1,477 yards and seven touchdowns. He's 6 feet 3, 212 pounds and will have a chance to make an immediate impact alongside Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. With the losses of DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant, Matthews will have a major opportunity to play right away. He has ability in all areas of the game and this was a strong pick.

Stepping in: Matthews can make plays in the middle of the field and he has terrific speed as well (4.6 in 40-yard dash). With a lack of depth at wide receiver, Matthews is walking into the right situation. By the way, Matthews is the cousin of Jerry Rice.

What's next: The Eagles moved up from No. 54 to take Matthews and traded their fourth-round pick, No. 122 overall. Philadelphia still has two picks remaining in the third round -- Nos. 83 and 86.


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