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Three Ideal NFL Draft Second Round Fits

Day Two of the NFL Draft is the best of the three days in terms of front-office talent being required and roster building. I look forward to it more than Night One and no I’m not a serial killer. Building on my detailed look into the best player/team fits in Round 1, here’s Round Two 1.0 fits.

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WR Ladd McConkey - Carolina Panthers #33 

How can new Carolina Panthers Head Coach Dave Canales and new General Manager Dan Morgan justly evaluate their projected future with Bryce Young by giving him a bologna sandwich for a receiving room? They have no choice: the new Carolina Draft room era begins with wide receiver. “Best player available!” A 34-year-old Adam Thielen is easily your best receiver. Don’t overthink it.

Here’s your current Panthers receiving room:

  • Adam Thielen - 103 catches, 1014 yards, 4 touchdowns 

  • D.J. Chark Jr. - 35 catches, 525 yards, 5 touchdowns

  • Jonathan Mingo - 43 catches, 418 yards, 0 touchdowns

  • Terrace Marshall Jr. - 19 catches, 139 yards, 0 touchdowns 

  • Laviska Shenault Jr. - 10 catches, 60 yards, 0 touchdowns 

  • Ihmir Smith-Marsette - 8 catches, 51 yards, 0 touchdowns

Who could potentially be the tier of receivers available? AD Mitchell, Xavier Legette, Keon Coleman, Troy Franklin, & Ladd McConkey. McConkey is the best route runner in this disturbingly deep receiver class. That’s a mouthful but chew it.

A few potential buzzkills at the bottom of Round 1 looking at this receiving tier include but are not limited to Buffalo, Baltimore, and Kansas City. If McConkey is there, he’s the fit for the need. To add to the best route runner comment, Ladd is not going to bring any drops with him to Charlotte.

Young needs someone he can depend on improvising in getting open and extending the play with sure catches. McConkey is respectfully walking laps around Terrace Marshall Jr., Laviska Shenault, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette and laughing at them at the finish line sipping a cold one. Mingo’s rookie season was rougher than the stat sheet shows. Props are being given to Thielen for 100+ catches and 1,000+ yards. Those numbers are always employed. At the end of the day, Father Time is checking his watch. Oh, I forgot to mention D.J. Chark Jr. Whatever. Chark and Mingo get shinier being bumped down a depth chart spot.

OC Zach Frazier -  Pittsburgh Steelers #51 

Zach Frazier’s late-season leg injury need not cloud evaluators' judgment, he has Center #1 upside. With a board of Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson, Frazier, and Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran, and if you include Duke’s Graham Barton as a Center, Pittsburgh has to have one.

Project JPJ to cost a 1st Rounder. Graham Barton is gone by Pick 51. Frazier is the better fit for Pittsburgh schematically and with proper value. For a zone-blocking scheme to be his strength, meet a nice fit. 

Ex-Atlanta Falcons Head Coach and new Steelers Offensive Coordinator Arthur Smith won’t be a mystery to project. He’s going to aim for heavy volume from Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren in the running game. A struggling Mason Cole is not going to translate for Smith and clear-cut areas of improvement at the position such as snap consistency must be handled now. 

While Frazier can look to keep improving in second-level development, he gets the line moving like what is required of a Smith-pounding run game. 600+ pounds on the squat rack worth of anchor is not getting moved. Pair that with impeccable leveraging skills and strong hands, this is the guy. 

FS Calen Bullock - Green Bay Packers #58 

Green Bay is due for a secondary overhaul it seems minus star cornerback Jaire Alexander.

  • Eric Stokes while a good player cannot stay on the field.

  • Keisean Nixon is Free Agency-bound

  • Darnell Savage is also set to potentially tempt the market

  • Backup second-year safety Anthony Johnson Jr. is just that, your backup safety

  • Rudy Ford could look to take the next step next year into the starting pairing. 

  • Is Carrington Valntine's ceiling capable of the next step?

Having said all that, starting caliber youthful talent is a requirement this April for Packers team building. Bullock, while sometimes critiqued for his slight 6’3, 190-pound frame, offers current versatility in rebuilding with his ability to play inside the slot and most importantly as a single-high, along with nine career interceptions worth of ball-hawking in Southern California. New Defensive Coordinator Jeff Hafley will require this skillset to match his safety-dependent scheme and improve a lack of ball production in his secondary. Who could be other options for the position for Green Bay? Minnesota’s Tyler Nubin is gone unless you go Round 1. Miami’s Kamren Kinchens is most likely gone. Of the three, Bullock is the best fit for Green Bay and the cheapest option. 

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