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By Tom Fink
The story of the first round on Thursday night had to be the eight trades that occurred, highlighted by the Cowboys moving up to No. 6 from pick No. 14 to select LSU Cornerback Morris Claiborne. Other trades included the Patriots sliding into the No. 21 spot to grab Defensive End Chandler Jones out of Syracuse and the Jaguars swapping picks with Tampa Bay so they could get Oklahoma State Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon at No. 5.
Some of the surprises from Day One happened when the Seahawks took pass rush specialist Bruce Irvin out of West Virginia at No. 15 and when the 49ers snagged Wide Receiver A.J. Jenkins from Illinois. Both players have a ton of upside as Irvin has 22 1/2 sacks in two seasons with the Mountaineers and Jenkins tallied 90 catches for more than 1,200 yards for the Illini in 2012.
There were a handful of guys projected to go in the first round who have fallen into the second, so you should expect to see OG Cordy Glenn (Georgia), OT Jonathan Martin (Stanford), WR Stephen Hill (Georgia Tech) and LB Courtney Upshaw (Alabama) go early on Friday night.
Here are some other things to look for in the 2nd and 3rd Rounds:
Three of a Kind: The St. Louis Rams were able to land LSU DT Michael Brockers in the first round but they aren’t anywhere close to being done as they possess the No. 33, No. 39 and No.45 picks in the second round. Expect them to address their needs on the offensive line, in the defensive backfield and at wide receiver with those three picks. Their targets probably include guys like OT Bobby Massie (Ole Miss), WR Reuben Randle (LSU) and Janoris Jenkins (North Alabama).
The Rich Get Richer: Highly skilled teams like the Patriots, Broncos, Ravens and Eagles all hold multiple picks in the second round on Friday. Pay close attention to who they draft as they’ll be joining successful squads who will likely put them in a position to succeed immediately. The rookies will be surrounded by players like Tom Brady, Von Miller, Ray Lewis and Michael Vick, so you should expect these teams to fill their needs with players who are NFL ready and not guys who will take years to groom.
Line Dance: The second and third rounds are going to be dominated by selections of players on the offensive and defensive lines. From DE Vinny Curry (Marshall) to DT Devon Still (Penn St.), there are seven or eight defensive lineman projected to go in the second round alone. The numbers are pretty similar on the offensive line as prospects like OG Kelechi Osemele (Iowa St.) and C Peter Konz (Wisconsin) will likely go early on Friday evening.
The Next Quarterback: The first round saw four quarterbacks selected as Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden are now off the board. So which signal caller will be the next QB taken? Many feel that either Kirk Cousins (Michigan St.) or Brock Osweiler (Arizona St.) will be the next to go, but be sure to tune in to NFL Network at 7 p.m. EST to find out.
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