When Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen opted to not attend the NFL Draft in New York, he probably didn't envision himself taking an Aaron Rodgers-like plunge, only worse because Clausen's dip took him out of the first round entirely. He -- and a lot of us -- probably didn't figure Florida's much more criticized and scrutinized quarterback Tim Tebow would get drafted ahead of him either.
While his unsuspected drop from the first round wasn't captured publicly, the disappointment certainly must sting. Clausen figured to go in the first round, if not the top 10. Now, he is this draft's free-faller.
Clausen will get over it. If he has the moxie he's told teams and the media that he has -- while also trying to show everyone prior to the draft he was more mature than his rep at Notre Dame -- then he'll be just fine.
The thing is, how long will he have to wait to hear his name called?
Minnesota has the second selection of Friday's second round and taking Clausen with the 34th overall choice would be a huge value. However, the Vikings are built to win now and would seem more likely to draft a cornerback, running back, safety or defensive tackle after trading out of the first round with Detroit on Thursday night.
The Chiefs and their new offensive coordinator Charlie Weis -- Clausen's coach at Notre Dame -- could make an unexpected play for him with the fourth pick of the second round, but with offensive linemen Bruce Campbell and Vlad Ducasse available as well as nose tackle Terrence Cody and defensive tackle Linval Joseph on the board, they're more likely to address immediate needs.
Cleveland (38th overall pick), Oakland (39th) and Buffalo (41st) -- teams linked to Clausen in the first round -- could all get him for great value Friday. One of those teams, most likely Cleveland, could opt for Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. A slide out of the second round would be stunning for Clausen, but the way the first round of the draft unfolded, nothing can be discounted.
The St. Louis Rams open Round 2 and, with a ton of needs remaining, they can go in several different directions. There is an abundance of talent still available, which will make the Rams and Buccaneers trade targets. And with a full night for teams to restructure their draft boards, you can count on a lot of trades being brokered.
With coach Steve Spagnuolo's defensive background and general manager Billy Devaney's history for finding playmakers on defense, outside linebackers Sergio Kindle and Daryl Washington could be too hard to bypass. Having traded defensive tackle Adam Carriker, the Rams could also be seriously considering UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston or East Carolina's Linval Joseph. They also could solve some of the problems on the edge with USC defensive end Everson Griffen.
The team that can really make some inroads is Tampa Bay. With two of the top 10 picks in the second round, the Bucs can address some needs, and get quality talent and value in the process. They could be targeted for trades, but general manager Mark Dominik is holding some pretty powerful chips that might help Tampa Bay get better quickly.
Even so, the Bucs could use the third pick of the second round on Allen, Cook, Mays or safety Morgan Burnett. Kindle or Washington could be there at outside linebacker, and with needs at receiver, Tate or Benn might be there, too. And whomever they miss out on with this pick, there is still going to be major talent when they select again at 42. The Bucs are sitting pretty.
Can the Pats make it happen?
New England has stockpiled draft picks -- including three in the second round. It's time for Bill Belichick to show if he's as good as his rep.
The Patriots wheeled and dealed their way to four Day 2 picks. They have three second-round picks Friday, beginning with the 12th choice in the round. After taking cornerback Devin McCourty with the 27th pick in the first round, the Patriots could go wide receiver and defensive line with at least two of their picks.
Top 10 dandies
With as much interesting action that took place in the first round, some of the most intriguing moves happened with picks eight, nine and 10.
Yt started at No. 8 when the Raiders took inside linebacker Rolando McClain. McClain will either replace highly productive starter Kirk Morrison, or this is a sign the Raiders could be making a conversion to a 3-4 -- or at least use some 3-4 principles. This is a solid pick for Oakland, the first in a while that shouldn't have fans questioning the team for reaching in the first round.
Buffalo's choice of running back C.J. Spiller seemed somewhat peculiar since the Bills need help on the offensive line and the team has a nice return man in Leodis McKelvin. However, Spiller's ability to make plays in the open field as a slot receiver and to get in some favorable matchups out of the backfield could allow coach Chan Gailey to incorporate some of his creative offensive principles. Buffalo must get an offensive tackle (likely Bruce Campbell or Vladimir Ducasse) with the ninth pick of the second round.
The stunner of the round came with the 10th overall pick when Jacksonville selected California defensive end/tackle Tyson Alualu. Alualu is a very good, tough player who could help a defensive front that needs some energy and muscle. However, he is a player who was pegged as a second rounder. Jacksonville doesn't have a second-round pick, so maybe that's why it reached for Alualu, a player it liked more than Georgia Tech's Derrick Morgan (taken by the Titans) or South Florida's Jason Pierre-Paul (taken be the Giants).
The pick probably won't go over well with an already skeptical -- and dwindling -- fan base, but if Alualu turns out to solidify a leaky defense that had problems keeping offenses from getting to the second and third levels, then the Jags won't look like the team that made the biggest gamble of the first round.