NEW YORK -- When the NFL decided to break up the first three rounds of the draft into two days, teams thought the second round would basically become a "second first round."
Turns out they were right.
Reuter: Winners/losers from Round 1
Which teams improved in the first three hours of drafting? Which squads took a step back? Chad Reuter has winners/losers. **More ...**
Some very talented players went to teams on Friday evening -- in both the second and third rounds -- leading to a stronger buzz at Radio City Music Hall than expected. The following headlines cover the ups and downs of the second day of the draft.
Winners right off the bat
•*Reigning in Baltimore:*Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome trades completely out of the first round, but still ends up with the solid strongside linebacker his defense needed in Alabama's Courtney Upshaw at No. 35. Some worry about a lack of explosion in Upshaw's game, but the Ravens will just line him up outside to set the edge and attack the passer when needed. Getting massive Kelechi Osemele from Iowa State in the second round (a very strong starting guard if he doesn't project to tackle for them) and powerful running back Bernard Pierce in the third were also solid picks.
•*Packers play it smart:*Green Bay Packers GM Ted Thompson is more likely to trade down to accumulate picks than make a strong move up the board for a player he covets. But he will take a chance if he sees a player worth the price. Grabbing Michigan State's Jerel Worthy, a potential first-round pick, to play inside and outside in the team's three-man front in exchange for a fourth-round pick seemed a prudent move. Thompson then traded up again just 11 spots later in the second round to secure the services of Vanderbilt cornerback Casey Hayward by giving up a fifth-round choice. The two fourth-rounders they received from the league as compensation for lost free agents still allows the team to find depth at other positions while meeting two strong needs with players of good value.
•*Champs get even better:* The Giants added strong talent by just picking the top player on the board. Adding LSU receiver Rueben Randle with the last pick in the second round gives the Super Bowl champions a great third receiver to put on the field with Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz. Jayron Hosley's off-field issues and lack of size (5-10, 178) caused some teams to stay away, but the Virginia Tech corner's feisty playing style and a solid locker room made him worth investing the penultimate Friday night pick.
•*Two receivers find perfect fits:* The Giants weren't the only team to get a bargain receiver in the second round. Rex Ryan and the Jets found a younger version of Plaxico Burress to stretch the field in Stephen Hill at No. 43. The Bears gave quarterback Jay Cutler a physical downfield receiver in Alshon Jeffery two picks later. Adding Hill to Holmes in the Jets' offense, as well as pairing Marshall and Jeffery on the Bears, makes both teams more likely to challenge for a division title in 2012.
•*Bills keep Glenn close:*Cordy Glenn might have issues with quickness at left tackle at the next level, but the ex-Georgia Bulldogs' footwork looked good enough at the Senior Bowl to earn a shot on the blind side for the Bills. The power he showed at guard in 2010 will certainly be utilized if his stay at tackle is short-lived. Either way, he fits a major need for Buffalo.
Losers for now, but time will tell
•*Browns whiffed:*Mitchell Schwartz will be a solid right tackle in the league, but Cleveland's use of the 37th overall selection to bring him on board will be seen by most teams as a reach based on need. Improving their receiving corps with Hill or Jeffery might have made more sense. Selecting Cincinnati's John Hughes in the third round is a bit of a head-scratcher, as well.
•*Patriots stun, but not in a good way:* New England's pick of Illinois safety Tavon Wilson was the most surprising pick in the second round since Oakland took safety Mike Mitchell with the 47th pick of the 2009 draft. Wilson was not invited to the combine and received little buzz heading into the draft, leading most to wonder if the Patriots maximized the value of that pick.
•*Jags might have Angered fan base:* The Jaguars used the 70th overall pick to select Cal punter Bryan Anger. Now, Anger is clearly the best punter in the class and should have a long career. But a team in need of improvement in the offensive line and secondary should have addressed one of those positions at that point of the draft and picked up a specialist like Georgia's Drew Butler in the fifth or sixth round.