Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft was a wild one that saw three wide receivers go in the first nine picks, and three quarterbacks go in the top 12. The run on offensive players pushed some elite defenders down the board, leaving teams like the Redskins, Colts and 49ers with absolute steals in the first round.
While a huge number of extremely talented players were taken Thursday night, there are still a ton of great prospects available. If your team needs a defensive back or running back, you’re in luck because some of the top players are still on the board.
Here are the 20 best available prospects heading into the second round.
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Forrest Lamp, OL, Western Kentucky
Lamp is arguably the best guard available in a weak offensive line class, while also having the potential to play right tackle at the next level. Concerns about his short arms are likely the biggest reason for his draft-day fall, but a team is going to get an immediate starter in the second round with Lamp.
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Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
There are concerns about his off-field baggage, but on the field, Cook is a dynamic playmaker. He can do it all, from running between the tackles to catching passes out of the backfield. It’s a bit surprising to see him still available after being projected to go in the top 20.
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Jones likely would’ve been a first-round pick if not for an Achilles injury at his pro day, but that should only cause him to miss minimal time as a rookie. He should be back on the field by October at the latest, which will allow him to have an impact in Year 1. Still, there are concerns that he won’t be the same after this injury.
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Kevin King, CB, Washington
King was often pegged to both the Seahawks and Chiefs as a potential late first-round selection for those teams, boasting great size (6-3, 200) and elite quickness at cornerback. He ultimately fell out of the first round, as did many of the top cornerbacks, but in a Cover 3 scheme, he can be a really valuable player.
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Budda Baker, S, Washington
Baker is a Swiss army knife in the secondary, having the ability to play nickel corner, strong safety or free safety. And wherever he lines up, he’s going to make plays. Some consider him a poor man’s Tyrann Mathieu because of his small stature and ability to find the ball, but expect Baker to make a name for himself in the NFL.
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Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
Wilson is as physical as any cornerback, never shying from contact on the edge. He doesn’t have the pure cover skills some of the other defensive backs have, but his effort is never lacking and his size at the cornerback position is something teams will look closely at.
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Cam Robinson, OL, Alabama
Robinson’s position in the NFL remains to be seen, potentially fitting at right tackle or inside at guard. The fact that he probably can’t play left tackle drives down his value a bit, but Robinson can be an immediate starter for a team like the Seahawks. He should come off the board within the first 10 picks of the second round.
Awuzie is a sticky defender in man coverage, but he’s scheme-versatile, too. As a pure cover guy, he can hang with the best receivers, he just needs refining in his technique at the line of scrimmage. He could have easily been a first-round pick in a deep cornerback class.
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Tyus Bowser, OLB, Houston
Bowser is raw and needs plenty of work as a pass rusher, but he’s one of the best athletes in the draft. If he can find the right situation with a team that can hone his athleticism and turn him loose as a right end, he’ll become a force to be reckoned with.
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Marcus Williams, S, Utah
If you’re looking for a single-high safety with great ball skills, Williams is your guy. He racked up five interceptions in each of the last two seasons and projects as a starter right away at free safety. There will be a run on safeties early in the second round, and Williams will be included in the mix.
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Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn
Melifonwu is one of the most athletic players not only in this class but in recent years. He projects as a safety at the next level, but a Cover 3 team could look at him as a big cornerback with great speed. It’s somewhat surprising to see him still available, but you have to be more than a workout warrior to land in Round 1. His tape doesn’t match his Combine numbers.
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Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt
Cunningham loves to play downhill against the run, filling holes and leveling opposing running backs. He can be a Day 1 starter for a team with a solid front seven already. He’s one of the top linebackers in this class.
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DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
Kizer was once expected to be a top-10 pick, but questions about his readiness to be an NFL quarterback pushed him down the board all night long. He should be selected fairly early on Friday night, but the number of teams needing a quarterback has shrunk significantly.
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Tim Williams, OLB, Alabama
Williams comes with serious baggage, having drug issues that could wind up being a recurring problem in the NFL. On the field, he was an underutilized player for Nick Saban, playing limited snaps. When he did rush off the edge, he was effective. Williams projects best at outside linebacker, where he can use his speed.
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Alvin Kamara, RB, Tennessee
If not for an extraordinarily deep running back class, Kamara likely would’ve been a first-round pick. He’s an all-around back who can be a three-down player in the NFL, which is obviously very valuable in today’s game. He’ll be taken shortly after Cook, if not before.
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Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
McDowell is a great talent, but his work ethic is a serious concern. He doesn’t have a high motor, he often takes plays off, and he doesn’t seem to have a real fire for the game of football. It’ll take a perfect scenario for his potential to be maximized.
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Carl Lawson, DE, Auburn
Lawson has injury concerns that teams will have to be comfortable with, but his quickness and feet as a pass rusher are outstanding. He has tremendous potential as a pass rusher off the right side as long as he’s good to go medically. He’s one of the top edge players still available.
Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
Based on talent alone, Mixon is one of the best running backs in the class, if not the very best. Obviously, he has the off-field issues that caused him to be taken off of some teams’ draft boards completely, but the talent is there. He’ll be an immediate starter for whichever team selects him.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
Smith-Schuster is as fiery and dedicated as any player in the draft, and he certainly won’t be out-worked by anyone in the NFL. That being said, he lacks top-end speed and leaves something to be desired as a No. 1 receiver, but he can be an Anquan Boldin-type player at the next level. That’s a pretty solid projection in my book.
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Marcus Maye, S, Florida
Maye can play strong safety or free in the NFL, which is important for teams that like to interchange their players in the secondary. He’ll contribute right away on special teams, too, which is valuable for rookie safeties.