2011 NFL Draft: The Second Round, Picks 1-16
This is a quick list of every selection in the second round with an early reaction.
If you would like to catch up first, I have done:
The Top 10 (it’s worth seeing the picture at the least)
If you’re interested, I found a great website that details the NFL Draft. It is called, Draft History. That link will take you to the list of the 2nd round.
1. New England Patriots–Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia (pictured):
I’ll admit, I was stunned. The Patriots have gone DB crazy in the first two rounds of the last few years. In 2009 the Patriots selected both Patrick Chung (SS, Oregon) and Darius Bulter (CB, Conn) in the second round. Then in 2010, they selected Devin McCourty (CB Rutgers). At that point I thought they would be set for a long time. Apparently Butler is not as good as they want while Chung is a rising star and McCourty continues to impress. With this pick, the Patriots go back to the proverbial well and select yet another corner. Do they not believe in their own drafting capability? They seem to believe in collecting picks but not spreading the wealth amongst the team. It confuses me.
2. Buffalo Bills–Aaron Williams, DB, Texas:
This was a great selection. The Bills added a great DT in round one with Marcel Dareus and now they add a guy who can be a playmaking safety with the ability to drop down and cover the slot receiver. Great move, Buffalo!
3. Cincy Bengals–Andy Dalton, QB, Texas Christian (TCU):
Excellent pickup! Dalton was my #2 rated QB for the draft and I think he’ll be a great pick for the Bengals. If you don’t already know, they are planning on running a form of the West Coast offense, which Dalton will shine in. He has great accuracy and the ability to throw in tight windows within 25 yards. Not only was this great, but the selection of WR AJ Green in the first round only makes it better.
4. San Francisco 49ers–Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada (pictured up top):
An interesting move after all the talk of bringing free agent QB Alex Smith back for another year, Kaepernick can be a starting-caliber quarterback in this league. That is a fact. The question remains to be seen if he can be a fulfilled potential, a form of Randall Cunningham. Most assume that Kaepernick needs at least a year to sit and learn an offense, but it remains to be seen. Personally, I have no idea the concepts that he understand. Off-hand I would imagine that he needs practice taking the ball from under center and reading the defense after turning his back.
5. Cleveland Browns–Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh
Sheard replaced DE Greg Romeus as the top pass-rusher to be taken in 2011. Romeus was thought to be a top-20 lock but fell to the 7th round due to injuries. Sheard arrives on a Browns team that is in transition and slowly showing progress. The Browns are switching to a 43 defense and could use the help up front. Their best pass-rusher from a year ago, Rush-Backer Matt Roth, may hit free agency and in the event that he is retained, it is a question if he even fits the scheme. Sheard has a quick first-step and with some coaching help in releasing blockers, he should be a great addition to the Browns.
6. Arizona Cardinals–Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech(pictured):
I thought this was a terrible pick. I’m not personally a big fan of Williams and I thought that he might be available in the late-second or early-third round. However, the Cardinals felt they needed a third back. Beanie Wells is a fine back. Tim Hightower is a fine back. They fumble sometimes, but so does Adrian Peterson. As out-of-balance as the Cardinals were in 2010, there should have been no expectation for earth-shattering numbers. My only guess is that Hightower will not sign another contract with the team and the Cardinals wanted a 1-2 punch. With so many needs, it made more sense to re-sign Hightower and draft another position here. I don’t see value or need, maybe I’m blind. Williams was my #4, click to read more.
7. TN Titans–Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA
WOW! This would’ve been an outstanding draft choice for the above-listed Cardinals, but the Titans get a steal here. Ayers will beef up the depleted LBing corps and brings some energy to the pass-rush. I can imagine that on third downs the Titans will consider lining Ayers up at DE, where he starred early on in 2010 before moving permanently to OLB.
8. Dallas Cowboys–Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina
This was a great move. The Cowboys forfeited the idea of “win now” and played their card for the future. Carter may have to sit out a year due to injury, but he was at one point considered a top-15 selection. There are normally only 15 of those and this one was available at pick 40. Great job, Dallas! With MLB Sean Lee and now Bruce Carter, the Cowboys are building a great long-term LB corps.