Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft was full of trades up and down the board as many teams landed value prospects who were expected to go much earlier than where they were taken.
There also were players who continued to fall and a fair share of questionable reach picks.
That’s the typical mixed bag that comes with the second and third rounds, which are important complements to support what teams did with more limited picks in the first round.
What teams, positions and players make the grade for best of Friday night, and which should be filed under the worst draft developments? Here Sporting News recaps the key highs and lows from Day 2 by sorting the winners and losers.
NFL Draft 2019: Day 2 winners and losers
Josh Rosen and the Dolphins, for a happy trade. Miami needed to give up only No. 62 overall and a 2020 fifth-rounder for Rosen, a very low price considering he went No. 10 overall only last year. The Dolphins knew the Cardinals were desperate to move Rosen after locking into Kyler Murray and played them well, made easier by the Giants, Redskins and Broncos all drafting quarterbacks within the first 42 picks.
Rosen lands in an ideal spot to develop his football smarts and skills, behind Ryan Fitzpatrick with offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea.
Patriots, for being the Patriots. Wide receiver N’Keal Harry was a mic drop at the end of Round 1, but then New England took multiple encores by using ample draft capital on Day 2 to manipulate the board in its favor with cornerback Joejuan Williams, edge pass rusher Chase Winovich, running back Damien Harris and offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste. The Patriots are once again ahead of the game with their stockpiling at the positions needed most.
Ravens, for getting outside linebacker Jaylon Ferguson and wide receiver Miles Boykin. Ferguson was a first-round talent who channels the best of past Baltimore edge players, from Jarret Johnson to Terrell Suggs and a steal to help replace Suggs and Za’Darius Smith. Boykin will team with Marquise Brown to take Lamar Jackson’s passing game to another level, playing off an established power running game that now features Mark Ingram. Well done, Erik DeCosta, to draft like mentor Ozzie Newsome.
D.K Metcalf and A.J. Brown, for a worthy wait. The former Ole Miss wide receivers had to be disappointed for not going in the first round and Metcalf got emotional about it when he met the Seahawks. Brown ended up in the right place for him, too, with the draft-hosting Titans.
Metcalf may step into more of a No.1-like role if Doug Baldwin is unable to continue playing with his injuries, as an ESPN report stated. Brown could be more of a co-No. 1 with Corey Davis, also increasing the value of veteran slot acquisition Adam Humphries. That also makes Russell Wilson and Marcus Mariota big winners.
Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin, for speeding to big arms. Campbell and McLaurin matched each other in going from making big plays for Ohio State into running extremely fast 40-yard dashes at the Combine. Now they get further rewarded, as Campbell stays on the fast track of Indy to play with Andrew Luck, while McLaurin requires no adjustment to a new quarterback, getting a quick reunion with Dwayne Haskins. They are fast-tracked to NFL success.
Browns, for getting Greedy. The Browns didn’t even need the No. 17 overall pick (which they traded to the Giants as part of the Odell Beckham Jr. deal) to get a virtual first-round pick. Greedy Williams was the top corner in the class and with Denzel Ward, he can form the best duo Cleveland has seen at the position since Frank Minnifield and Hanford Dixon.
Eagles, for piling on the offense. Carson Wentz saw the future of his pass protection arrive in Philly with Andre Dillard on Thursday night. Then they gave him another versatile running back (Penn State’s Miles Sanders) and another massive target (Stanford’s J.J. Arcega-Whiteside) on Friday. That’s on top of not having to worry about Nick Foles anymore. Congrats to the Eagles for keeping up with the rest of the division revving up their scoring potential.
Tight ends. Six came off the board on Day 2 to follow the Iowa duo of T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant from Thursday. In order, they were Alabama’s Irv Smith (Vikings), Washington’s Drew Sample (Washington), San Jose State’s Josh Oliver (Jaguars), Texas A&M’s Jace Sternberger (Packers), San Diego State’s Kahale Warring (Texans) and Ole Miss’ Dawson Knox (Bills).
There’s plenty of receiving upside across the board, and there are still some great values in Day 3, such as Stanford’s Kaden Smith and LSU’s Foster Moreau. This strong class stamps the post-Gronk changing of the guard at the position.
Bears, for making their one pick of the draft count. That pick was Iowa State running back David Montgomery, which is the prototypical Matt Nagy running back, much more so than the traded Jordan Howard. Strictly on-field speaking, Nagy, the former Chiefs offensive coordinator, might have his new Kareem Hunt.
Texans, for sticking with the offensive line. Houston got docked for badly ignoring its front five in last year’s draft. That was before it got the wakeup call of Deshaun Watson being sacked a league-high 62 times and anemic running game to boot. Northern Illinois’ Max Scharping was a shrewd second-round pick. Don’t be shocked if he starts at right tackle opposite first-round left tackle Tytus Howard.
Tyreek Hill. This applies on so many levels. First, hearing the horrible audio that led to his indefinite suspension from the Chiefs makes you lose all respect for him, given he’s already on a second chance. Then Kansas City went ahead and drafted a Hill clone on the field in Georgia wide receiver/return man Mecole Hardman. It’s pretty clear Hill is headed toward being an ex-Chief soon and, outside of John Dorsey and the Kareem Hunt-signing Browns, it’s hard to see another team wanting any part of pursuing him.
Cowboys, for starting late and slow. The Cowboys needed a safety badly and defensive end was a close second. Instead they reached for a one-note defensive tackle (Trysten Hill) and a backup interior offensive lineman (Connor McGovern) with their first two picks of the draft. Let’s hope they can dig deep for some more immediate impact on Day 3.
Joe Flacco and Cam Newton. For Flacco it is deja vu over again. After Jackson quickly displaced him in Baltimore, second-rounder Drew Lock is more than capable for doing the same, burning his bridge quarterback time in Denver. Carolina went third round for Will Grier as the fourth quarterback off the board, just enough to make Newton a little nervous about just how much the team is worried about his health and how much he has to do to secure his next big contract with his current deal down to two more years.
Georgia’s bloodline guys, for not being drafted. Running back Elijah Holyfield, son of former heavyweight champion Evander, will hope he gets his name called as a power back on Day 3. Wide receiver Riley Ridley, brother of the Falcons’ Calvin, saw plenty of lesser all-around talents at his position go on Friday.
Notre Dame’s defensive stars, for also still waiting. Inside linebacker Te’Von Coney and cornerback Julian Love were versatile productive parts of the Irish’s back seven for a long time, but perhaps that cursed them a little on the board. Coney’s position had a splash early with Devin White and Devin Bush, but it cooled off in a hurry. Love will hope he can still find a shot at top nickel duties on Saturday.
Higher-ranked safeties. Alabama’s Deionte Thompson, Florida’s Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Miami’s Jacquan Johnson at one point were all tabbed for the first round, but even with a wave of safeties going, they have unable to ride it. All of them have starting potential down the line in the right systems.
Rams, for dancing around their pressing needs. The Rams have gone two nights without addressing edge pass rusher or interior offensive line. Instead, it’s been more about backup-level players – safety Taylor Rapp, running back Darrell Handerson, cornerback David Long and offensive tackle Bobby Evans – with not much rookie boost yet to their quest to repeat as NFC champions. Their offseason of veteran losses has paled in comparison to the unreal 2018 version, too.
Buccaneers, for three secondary reaches. White was a home run with the No. 5 overall pick, but the three defensive backs they took on Day 2 (Central Michigan cornerback Sean Bunting, Auburn cornerback Jamel Dean and Kentucky safety Mike Edwards) were all stretches.
We get that’s Todd Bowles’ specialty, but it’s overkill, especially with the glaring need for an edge pass rusher and an offensive tackle.