The first round of the NFL draft ended with a few players still left in the green room at AT&T Stadium, including an All-American.
Heading into the second round of the draft Iowa All-America cornerback Josh Jackson, Texas offensive lineman Connor Williams and LSU running Derrius Guice remain available. All three are safe bets to be selected some time Friday, when rounds two and three are completed. It probably won’t take too long.
The NFL also invited UCF’s Shaquem Griffin to the draft. It was no surprise the linebacker who lost his left hand to amputation as a child did not go in round one. He is one of the draft’s biggest wild cards after putting on a show at the combine. It would not be shocking if a team called Griffin on Day 2.
Six more intriguing players likely to come off the board Friday:
Mason Rudolph, QB, 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, Oklahoma State
There was some talk that Rudolph could slip into the first round and make it a record tying six quarterbacks taken. Instead, he’ll look to become the first selected on Day 2. He could be a nice value. Rudolph is a big guy, with a good arm who throws a nice deep ball. The Giants own the second pick of the second round. Maybe he’s the guy they can groom to take over for Eli Manning. Denver at 40 could be a possibility along with Miami (42) and New England (43).
Will Hernandez, OG, 6-2, 345, UTEP
Six offensive linemen were taken in the first round, including two centers that could play guard and a tackle that could slide inside. Nobody bit on Hernandez, a powerful run blocker with quick feet. With Cleveland and the Bears among the first to pick in the second round, Hernandez should not have to wait too long to be picked. He might be the best offensive lineman left, though Iowa center James Daniels could be in that discussion, too.
Harold Landry, OLB/DE, 6-3, 252, Boston College
Landry was one of the best pass rushers in the country as a junior, but his senior year was wrecked by injuries. He might have to learn a more traditional linebacker’s role in the NFL after mostly playing as a defensive end at BC. But he is the best edge rusher left so he probably won’t have wait long into second round. The Colts at 36 and 37 could use a boost to the pass rush, but will he fit their new 4-3 defense? The Giants need pass rushers, too. A similar player to watch for is LSU’s Arden Key, who was being talked about as a possible top-10 pick before he had a poor and injury plagued 2017 season.
Ronald Jones II, RB, 5-11, 200, Southern California
The darting, slashing runner who always seems to fall forward. Jones is similar to Guice in style but not quite as big and strong. Georgia’s Nick Chubb is also still available after three running backs (Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny and Sony Michel) went in the first round. Jones, Guice and Chubb could all be up for consideration for Cleveland (picks 33 and 35) and Tampa Bay (38) early in the second round. All should be off the gone by the end of round two and provide good value.
Maurice Hurst, DT, 6-2, 282, Michigan
Hurst is an undersized tackle with some health concerns, but he was probably the most productive interior defensive lineman in the country last season. Scheme fit will likely be key, but defenses that need tackles who attack gaps and look to be disruptive in the backfield could find a day two steal in Hurst.
Christian Kirk, WR, 5-10, 200, Texas A&M
Only two receivers were selected in the first round (Calvin Ridley and DJ Moore). Next up could be Kirk, who also brings with him some serious skills as a kick and punt returner. He returned seven punts and kicks for touchdowns at A&M. His size might relegate him to slot receiver. If a team is looking for a bigger target, SMU’s Courtland Sutton, who is 6-5, is also left.