Published On: Fri, Apr 27th, 2018

The party's not over: 5 predictions for Day 2 of the NFL draft

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With Day 1 of the 2018 NFL Draft in the books, there is still a lot of fun to be had at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington with over 200 players waiting to find out where they’ll be playing next season. As we prepare for Rounds 2 and 3 to kick off Friday night, here are five predictions for Day 2.

Landry’s, Jackson’s slides end within 1st 4 picks

Edge rusher Harold Landry and cornerback Josh Jackson are the two most surprising players to still be available after the first round of the draft, but that won’t last much longer. The three teams who own picks in the top five slots of the second round – Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, and Indianapolis Colts – could all use a pass-rusher, and Indianapolis, which has two picks in that range, are looking for a cornerback.

If for some reason those three teams don’t want either Landry or Jackson, there are plenty of teams who now have some time to negotiate a move up to improve their defenses.

Guice’s ‘character concerns’ push him past 2 other RBs

Derrius Guice admitted he made a last-minute decision not to wear an ultra-flashy suit to the red carpet as he heard character concerns were dropping his draft value. There turned out to be merit to his decision as three running backs – Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny, and Sony Michel – were all taken ahead of him.

As the position’s value has taken a hit overall, teams are more likely to wait for a rusher in a later round and take a player who fills a more premium role. With Nick Chubb and Ronald Jones II also still on the board, Guice will continue to slide until some team gets a steal of a talent.

Cowboys trade up for Sutton to replace Dez

Many expected to see the Dallas Cowboys use their first-round pick to replace Dez Bryant, but linebacker Leighton Vander Esch got the nod at No. 19.

The move may have been a smart one for Jerry Jones and Co. as only two receivers went off the board in the opening round and Courtland Sutton – the receiver with maybe the class’ highest ceiling – is just sitting there on Day 2. Dallas holds the 18th pick of the second round, which may be too long to wait for Sutton, but they’ve never been afraid to move up to get the prospects they covet most.

A 6-foot-3 receiver from Texas who played at a school in Dallas? Expect him to have a star on his helmet by the end of Friday night.

3 QBs go in 2nd round, none in 3rd

Bad news for any teams hoping for a quarterback to slide their way late: there aren’t too many good ones left.

After Lamar Jackson became the fifth quarterback taken in the first round with the 32nd pick, only three quarterbacks with a hope of doing damage in the NFL remain on the board – Mason Rudolph, Luke Faulk, and Kyle Lauletta. The teams who really, really want to take a passer will make the necessary calls to ensure they can trade up to get one of these three in the second round.

And as those three are crossed off the “best available” list, the teams that don’t land one of them will notice the drop-off in talent and opt for other positions before circling back to the passing crop on Day 3.

Another active player is dealt

The Pittsburgh Steelers tried to move on from the Martavis Bryant situation relatively unnoticed as they announced a deal to send the receiver to the Oakland Raiders for a third-round pick in the midst of Day 1. The move continues an offseason trend that has seen a drastic increase in teams’ willingness to trade active players, and it won’t end with Bryant.

Related – Report: Seahawks, Cowboys have discussed 2nd-round pick for Earl Thomas

Day 2 often sees its share of trades, and this year will be more of the same, but teams – especially those short on second- and third-round picks – will begin using more roster assets to improve draft position. The Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, who both made moves in the first round, could fit the bill as they look to remain in the championship hunt and have pieces to deal – players like Brandon Graham, Ronald Darby, Mark Ingram, and P.J. Williams, who are all set to become free agents after next season.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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