NEW YORK -- Five surprise picks from Friday's second- and third-round draft action at Radio City Music Hall:
The New York Jets were widely expected to draft a wide receiver in the first round, given the club's dearth of depth at the position despite a couple of free-agent acquisitions. Not only did they pass on the position in Round 1, they passed in Rounds 2 and 3, as well. Granted, the club's second-round pick, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro, is as close to a receiver as a tight end can get after making 100-plus catches last year in a slot role for the Red Raiders. But tight ends don't take the top off of defenses with deep speed, and that's one thing the Jets are lacking entering Geno Smith's second year as quarterback.
Fifteen receivers are off the board. The Jets have three fourth-round picks on Saturday (Nos. 104, 115 and 137). Some of the more prominent receivers still available include Texas' Mike Davis, South Carolina's Bruce Ellington, Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis, Clemson's Martavis Bryant, and Pittsburgh's Devin Street.
Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix was considered a first-round talent on more than his share of mock drafts, and figured to be among the first players chosen at the top of the second round on Friday.
Nix was chosen by the Houston Texans, midway through the third round at No. 83 overall. One reason? As a nose tackle who specializes more in gap control than backfield disruption, he's not going to see much third-down action in the NFL. NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock addressed Nix's slide as the third round opened on NFL Network.
"A lot of teams look at him as a two-down player, and if that's what you are, you're not a first-round pick," Mayock said.
3) Missouri's Britt gets pleasant surprise
The second round of the draft was largely populated with players who were considered to at least have a shot at being a late first-round pick. The others were at least expected to be chosen by the end of the day, if not the round. But there was one "Who's that?" pick in the second round, and it was Missouri offensive tackle Justin Britt.
Said Mayock: "I had about a fifth-round grade on him."
When Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy put on a T-shirt with the number 60 on Wednesday while playing flag football with children as part of the NFL "Play 60" Youth Football Festival, he never would have thought he was wearing his draft pick spot two days early. He was. The Carolina Panthers made Ealy, who was considered a potential first-rounder, the No. 60 overall pick of the draft, just four picks from the end of the second round.
5) Running backs slide a long way
OK, so maybe it was no surprise that the first round came and went without a running back getting chosen. But pick No. 54? If Washington's Bishop Sankey had slipped just 10 more picks as the draft's first back off the board, the second round would have been sans a rusher as well. It was a record-breaking wait for the position as a whole. As it turned out, there was something of a run on running backs once Sankey was mercifully chosen by the Tennessee Titans. LSU's Jeremy Hill and Ohio State's Carlos Hyde were gone within three subsequent picks, to the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers, respectively.