By now your early first round favorites are starting to fall into place. With the Combine wrapping up this week, our wishlists will start to solidify, and then we’re in for two months of repeated arguing (and agreeing) with each other. It’s what we do.
BUT WHAT OF THE SECOND ROUND!?!?!
I’ll kick off some discussion by hitting on two of my early favorites, then I’ll list a few more that I want to learn more about:
Rahim Moore, FS, UCLA
There are no safeties in this draft worth a pick at number 11, and really not even anywhere in the first round. In the unlikely event that Moore makes it around to the Texans’ pick at 42, you’d think they would sprint to the podium with the pick. Moore dropped off a bit in his junior season, but has shown himself to be a solid cover corner who plays with aggression against the run. He’s known to have good instincts and at least one site actually used the the words “classic ballhawk” do describe him.
Chances he makes it to Texans’ pick at 42: Not likely.
Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
Paea isn’t going through the full battery of “tests” at the NFL Combine because of a knee injury, but he did get a chance to show what he could do on the bench press. The result? A Combine record 49 reps of 225 pounds. Ridiculous. Does it mean he can play? Of course not, but this is not a guy making his reputation based solely on his lifting strength. Paea was a destructive force at Oregon State, and figures to be a key piece at the next level. A couple of pundits have said he’s a 4-3 tackle only, and he’s not much of a pass-rusher – but if you need a guy who can tie up multiple blockers, you can do a lot worse than Paea.
Chances he makes it to Texans’ pick at 42: I would have guessed “not likely but fathomable” prior to his bench press performance at the Combine, but because teams do tend to be wowed by impressive Combine performances, I’m going to guess “not likely at all.”
Others I’m curious about, but want to learn more (and all or most probably won’t be there):
Texas CB Aaron Williams
Miami CB Brandon Harris
Oklahoma FS Quinton Carter
Baylor DT Phil Taylor
More on the 2nd round later in the week. I’ll also share my “official” first round favorites, now that we’re about to be post-NFL Combine.