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Connor Cook, Noah Spence among NFL draft's best Day 2 prospects
3:20 | NFL
Connor Cook, Noah Spence among NFL draft's best Day 2 prospects
Friday April 29th, 2016

As Day 2 of the 2016 NFL draft kicks off Friday evening, Myles Jack’s slide will be front and center among the notable storylines. If the abundant risk of taking him in Round 1 scared teams away, a race could be on for his services once Cleveland goes on the clock again at No. 32. Heck, the Browns could take Jack themselves and end all the drama right away.

Counting Jack, Round 2 could be heavy on defense. Several defenders projected to land in Thursday’s opening 31 picks failed to make the cut: DL Jarran Reed, DT Andrew Billings, DT A’Shawn Robinson, LB Reggie Ragland, CB Mackensie Alexander and Jack, to name a few. Based on the sheer numbers of it all, at least a couple of them could be in line for a lengthy wait again during Round 2.

There will be 67 picks made Friday, starting with the Browns (barring a trade). Here’s how it all might unfold:

SI’s best players available | BEDARD: Tunsil the talk of Round 1

Round 2
 
  • 32

    32Su’a Cravens
    LB/S, USC
     

  • 33

    33Mackensie Alexander
    CB, Clemson
     

  • 34

    34Kevin Dodd
    DE, Clemson
     

  • 35

    35Chris Jones
    DT, Mississippi State
     

  • 36

    36Shilique Calhoun
    OLB, Michigan State
     

    As mentioned above, a boatload of defensive talent made it out of Round 1. So while Connor Cook could be tempting for Cleveland or Dallas here, the five teams kicking off Friday’s festivities all stock up on D.

    I laid out an Ezekiel Elliott-Kevin Dodd 1-2 punch for Dallas as part of a three-round mock earlier this month—a setup that perhaps seemed overly optimistic about Dodd’s availability on day two. Noah Spence’s red flags would make him a tough sell for a Cowboys team already dealing with myriad off-field problems at defensive end.

    The Titans finally end Alexander’s slide, dropping him in as the No. 1 or 2 cornerback on what should be a decent unit.


  • 37

    37Jarran Reed
    DT, Alabama
     

  • 38

    38Noah Spence
    DE, Eastern Kentucky
     

  • 39

    39Vonn Bell
    S, Ohio State
     

  • 40

    40Myles Jack
    LB, UCLA
     

  • 41

    41Connor Cook
    QB, Michigan State
     

    The respective falls of Spence and Jack come to an end within the top 40—Spence as another pass rusher for what is becoming a potent Jacksonville defense; Jack as maybe the steal of the draft if he proves at all healthy. New York has long needed an impact linebacker.

    For a team that could use a little restocking up front defensively, the Chiefs have to feel great about being able to trade down and have the likes of Reed, A’Shawn Robinson, Andrew Billings and others still available. Reed is versatile enough to play end in a 3–4 but also can help plug the middle.

    And Cook’s wait as QB4 ends with the Bears starting to plan their future beyond Jay Cutler. This may not help them in 2016, but the Bears can nab a value pick here if the Browns pass on Cook up top in Round 2.


  • 42

    42Derrick Henry
    RB, Alabama
     

  • 43

    43Sterling Shepard
    WR, Oklahoma
     

  • 44

    44Jonathan Bullard
    DT, Florida
     

  • 45

    45A’Shawn Robinson
    DT, Alabama
     

  • 46

    46Andrew Billings
    DT, Baylor
     

    The list of strong, arguably Round 1-worthy names continue. Henry should help the Dolphins move on sans Lamar Miller, and both he and Jay Ajayi would enjoy plowing for yards behind newcomer Laremy Tunsil.

    Two significant steps forward for the Titans’ rebuilding plan: a polished receiver in Shepard and a hulking presence for the D-line. Both Oakland and Detroit land big bodies, too.

    • McCann: Legal fallout of Tunsil's leaked Twitter video


  • 47

    47Cody Whitehair
    G/T, Kansas State
     

  • 48

    48Emmanuel Ogbah
    OLB, Oklahoma State
     

  • 49

    49Reggie Ragland
    LB, Alabama
     

  • 50

    50Hunter Henry
    TE, Arkansas
     

  • 51

    51Jason Spriggs
    OT, Indiana
     

    Either Whitehair or Spriggs arguably could have been a better pick for the Seahawks at No. 31 than OT Germain Ifedi, so there’s certainly no shame in grabbing them here. The Saints and Jets have to upgrade along their lines somewhere during this draft.

    Ragland was a prospect who seemed to be an option for the Bills in Round 1. Landing him in Round 2 counts as thievery.​ 

    WATCH: Why did Myles Jack fall out of Round 1?


  • 52

    52Justin Simmons
    S, Boston College
     

  • 53

    53Sheldon Day
    DL, Notre Dame
     

  • 54

    54Jeremy Cash
    S, Duke
     

  • 55

    55Michael Thomas
    WR, Ohio State
     

  • 56

    56Nick Martin
    C/G, Notre Dame
     

    Bell at No. 39 did not touch off a safety run in this mock, but there figures to be one somewhere on Day 2 given the talent left at that position. Simmons has been overlooked as a top-50 level prospect, while Cash is the type of versatile chip Mike Zimmer can get the most out of in Minnesota.

    Is this too low for Thomas? We’ll see. He was considered a possible Round 1 pick. Given the landscape coming out of Thursday, though, it’s possible he continues to drift a bit as teams snatch up defenders.

    •​ Rounding up every trade from Round 1 of NFL draft

  • 57

    57Kentrell Brothers
    LB, Missouri
     

  • 58

    58Kyler Fackrell
    OLB, Utah State
     

  • 59

    59Xavien Howard
    CB, Baylor
     

  • 60

    60Kenneth Dixon
    RB, Louisiana Tech
     

  • 61

    61Javon Hargrave
    DT, South Carolina State
     
  • 62

    62Sean Davis
    CB/S, Maryland
     

  • 63

    63Deion Jones
    LB, LSU
     

The Packers and Chiefs check off significant needs here. The Steelers do, too, to some extent—they have Bud Dupree, Lawrence Timmons and Arthur Moats at OLB, but that trio hardly will scare any offensive lines.

New England’s first foray into the 2016 draft sees Bill Belichick land a couple of high-upside impact players: Dixon, maybe the best three-down back in this class outside of Elliott, and Hargrave, a nimble playmaker up front.

Round 3
 
  • 64

    64Darian Thompson
    S, Boise State

  • 65

    65Jalen Mills
    CB/S, LSU

  • 66

    66Le’Raven Clark
    OT, Texas Tech

  • 67

    67Will Redmond
    CB, Mississippi State

  • 68

    68Kendall Fuller
    CB, Virginia Tech

  • 69

    69Christian Westerman
    C/G, Arizona State
  • 70

    70Tyler Boyd
    WR, Pittsburgh

  • 71

    71T.J. Green
    S, Clemson

  • 72

    72Jihad Ward
    DL, Illinois

  • 73

    73KeiVarae Russell
    CB, Notre Dame

 

  • 74

    74Braxton Miller
    WR, Ohio State

  • 75

    75Joe Thuney
    OL, NC State

  • 76

    76Christian Hackenberg
    QB, Penn State

  • 77

    Joe Dahl
    G/T, Washington State

  • 78

    78Cyrus Jones
    CB, Alabama

  • 79

    79Kamalei Correa
    OLB, Boise State

  • 80

    Malcolm Mitchell
    WR, Georgia

  • 81

    81Connor McGovern
    G, Missouri

Let's start in this spot with the Browns’ back-to-back picks: Hackenberg and Dahl. The former is a high-profile fallback option at quarterback, a slightly damaged prospect Hue Jackson can break down and build back up while Robert Griffin III handles starting duties. The latter is a sleeper with the ability to help at guard or tackle. 

Mills, like Cleveland’s mock-draft pick of Cravens to open Round 2, brings athleticism and positional versatility. We had him ranked as a top-40 prospect, meaning he is well worth a shot at 65. 

Circle Miller as another Day 2 wild card. Could he sneak into Round 2? Will he tumble into Day 3? All possibilities are on the table, but his promise as an elusive jack of all trades makes him a likely Friday selection. 

  • 82

    Kevin Byard​
    S, MTSU

  • 83

    Dak Prescott
    QB, Mississippi State
     
    • 84

      84K.J. Dillon​
      S, West Virginia

    • 85

      85Austin Johnson
      DT, Penn State

    • 86

      86Paul Perkins​
      RB, UCLA

    • 87

      87Hassan Ridgeway
      DT, Texas

    • 88

      88Nick Vannett​
      TE, Ohio State

    • 89

      89Tyvis Powell
      S, Ohio State

    • 90

      90Juston Burris
      CB, NC State

    • 91

      91Jordan Jenkins
      OLB, Georgia

    • 92

      92DeAndre Houston-Carson
      S, William & Mary

    • 93

      Kyle Murphy
      OT, Stanford

    • 94

      94alex collins
      RB, Arkansas
    • 95

      95Bronson Kaufusi
      DE, BYU

    • 96

      96Jaylon Smith
      LB, Notre Dame

    • 97

      97Willie Henry
      DT, Michigan

    • 98

      Austin Hooper
      TE, Stanford 

    The sixth QB off the board heads to the Jets—even if Ryan Fitzpatrick eventually re-signs in New York, it’s hard to say that franchise has a future QB. Prescott is a more exciting talent than their 2015 pick Bryce Petty. The bar is high for his NFL future, although the floor is pretty low.

    Vannett and Hooper in this grouping follow Hunter Henry (50, Atlanta). Tyler Higbee sabotaged his draft chances with a recent off-field incident but there should be several TEs called between Rounds 2 and 5. 

    Perkins will have to wait his turn in Minnesota, a potentially disappointing outcome for the many crowding his bandwagon. But he can be a more dynamic three-down option than Jerick McKinnon, and that duo together can ease much of Adrian Peterson’s load. Eventually, the No. 1 gig would be Perkins’s to lose. 

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