With one of the deepest talent pools in NFL Draft history, teams selecting in the first half of the second round Friday night knew they would have an opportunity to land talent usually scooped up much earlier. And as the proceedings played out Thursday night, two players with solid first round grades by NFLDraftScout.com and another 10 with first to early second round grades were still on the board.
Notre Dame's Louis Nix, the No. 2-rated defensive tackle and No. 24 overall prospect, was the top name still on the board, followed by Southern Cal wide receiver Marqise Lee.
UCLA guard Xavier Su'a Filo (No. 27 overall) is the top-rated offensive linemen entering Day two, while Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr sits in the most interesting position. The Houston Texans hold the top pick in Round 2, and Carr is the clear top-rated passer remaining, but the Texans would be hard-pressed to select the younger brother of the franchise's first ever draft pick -- David Carr (2002), who struggled through five inglorious seasons with the expansion team.
Here are the top-10 players still available:
1. DT Louis Nix, Notre Dame
The prototypical nose tackle, teams running a 3-4 scheme will be interested in the Notre Dame product early on day two. Off-season knee surgery likely the main reason he fell out of the first round, but Nix is too talented of a big man to last long in the second round.
2. WR Marqise Lee, USC
Considered by some to be a no-brainer first rounder, Lee should begin a run of 5-7 receivers drafted in the second round on Friday. He battled some drops and the long-term durability with his slight frame is a concern, but he's a playmaker down the field and dangerous after the catch.
3. OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA
A blocker with starting experience at tackle and guard, Su'a-Filo is the top offensive lineman left on the draft board and one of the top guards available in this draft class. He needs to clean up a few mechanical flaws, but has the natural skill set to step in early and be a reliable NFL starer.
4. QB Derek Carr, Fresno State
Who will be the first quarterback drafted on Day 2? The favorite is Carr who has the golden arm and leadership intangibles that should have him come off the board somewhere in the top-50 picks. The Oakland Raiders at pick No. 36 is a strong possibility to land the in-state product.
5. OT Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama
Just how bad are those knees? Kouandjio was dinged at the NFL Combine due to long-term durability concerns and although doctors later cleared him, it was enough to push him out of the top-32 picks. He has first round ability so in the second round, he becomes a value pick and worth the risk.
6. DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
A versatile interior player who can stuff the run, rush the passer and occupy multiple blocks, Jernigan's ability to play in any scheme will make him an attractive player on Day 2. A reported failed drug test at the NFL Combine could be one of the reasons he didn't hear his name called in the first round.
7. DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
A talented pass rusher, Lawrence emerged the last few seasons at Boise State as one of the more underrated prospects in the country. He's still rough around the edges and multiple one-game suspensions are a black eye on his résumé, but players like him that can bend the edge are always in high demand.
8. WR Allen Robinson, Penn State
One of the most productive targets in this draft, Robinson leaves Penn State second in school history in career catches (177). He isn't the fastest (4.58 40-yard dash) and needs to tighten his routes, but he accelerates well with aggressive hands to attack the ball and out-muscle defenders.
9. DE Kony Ealy, Missouri
A player with first round tools, Ealy has very smooth athleticism for his size with excellent movement skills and active hands, but just needs to understand how to use them. While raw in several areas, he is an attractive prospect to groom as left defensive end who can also kick inside to tackle.
10. OT Morgan Moses, Virginia
A mammoth human being, Moses lined up at left and right tackle in college with the length and wingspan to engulf rushers. He needs to improve his leverage and overall consistency, but projects as a reliable starter on either side and moves well for a player his size.
Top five by position:
1. Derek Carr, Fresno State (6-2, 214)
2. Tom Savage, Pittsburgh (6-4, 228)
3. Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois (6-2, 226)
4. AJ McCarron, Alabama (6-3, 220)
5. Zach Mettenberger, LSU (6-5, 224)
1. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State (6-0, 230)
2. Bishop Sankey, Washington (5-10, 209)
3. Tre Mason, Auburn (5-9, 207)
4. Jeremy Hill, LSU (6-1, 233)
5. Andre Williams, Boston College (5-11, 230)
1. Marqise Lee, USC (6-0, 192)
2. Allen Robinson, Penn State (6-3, 220)
3. Cody Latimer, Indiana (6-3, 215)
4. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt (6-3, 212)
5. Donte Moncrief, Mississippi (6-2, 221)
1. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech (6-5, 265)
2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington (6-6, 262)
3. Troy Niklas, Notre Dame (6-7, 270)
4. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa (6-5, 265)
5. Arthur Lynch, Georgia (6-5, 258)
1. Cyrus Kouandjio, Alabama (6-7, 322)
2. Morgan Moses, Virginia (6-6, 314)
3. Jack Mewhort, Ohio State (6-6, 309)
4. Antonio Richardson, Tennessee (6-6, 336)
5. Cameron Fleming, Stanford (6-5, 323)
1. Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA (6-4, 308)
2. Joel Bitonio, Nevada (6-4, 302)
3. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State (6-3, 336)
4. Trai Turner, LSU (6-3, 310)
5. Dakota Dozier, Furman (6-4, 313)
1. Marcus Martin, USC (6-3, 320)
2. Weston Richburg, Colorado State (6-3, 298)
3. Travis Swanson, Arkansas (6-5, 312)
4. Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma (6-4, 304)
5. Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt (6-5, 297)
1. Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State (6-3, 251)
2. Kony Ealy, Missouri (6-4, 273)
3. Scott Crichton, Oregon State (6-3, 273)
4. Kareem Martin, North Carolina (6-6, 272)
5. Trent Murphy, Stanford (6-5, 250)
1. Louis Nix, Notre Dame (6-2, 331)
2. Timmy Jernigan, Florida State (6-2, 299)
3. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame (6-6, 304)
4. Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota (6-6, 310)
5. Da'Quan Jones, Penn State (6-4, 322)
1. Carl Bradford, Arizona State (6-1, 250)
2. Kyle Van Noy, BYU (6-3, 243)
3. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech (6-3, 252)
4. Telvin Smith, Florida State (6-3, 218)
5. Chris Smith, Arkansas (6-1, 266)
1. Chris Borland, Wisconsin (6-0, 248)
2. Shayne Skov, Stanford (6-2, 245)
3. Preston Brown, Louisville (6-1, 251)
4. Brock Coyle, Montana (6-1, 235)
5. Lamin Barrow, LSU (6-1, 237)
1. Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State (5-8, 184)
2. Phillip Gaines, Rice (6-0, 193)
3. Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (6-3, 218)
4. Keith McGill, Utah (6-3, 211)
5. Jaylen Watkins, Florida (6-0, 194)
1. Terrence Brooks, Florida State (5-11, 198)
2. Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (5-11, 196)
3. Dion Bailey, USC (6-0, 201)
4. Ed Reynolds, Stanford (6-1, 207)
5. Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt (6-0, 207)
1. Brock Vereen, Minnesota (6-0, 199)
2. Dezmen Southward, Wisconsin (6-0, 211)
3. Craig Loston, LSU (6-1, 217)
4. Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama (5-11, 210)
5. Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (6-0, 212)