Winner: Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore already had a great day one of the draft, and day 2 was just as impressive. David Ojabo is a very risky pick, as he tore his Achilles in workouts just six weeks ago at Michigan’s pro day. If he recovers, the Ravens could have found their next elite defender. If he doesn’t, then they’re out a second round pick. That’s a good risk to take.
That wasn’t Baltimore’s only pick on Day 2 however. Travis Jones is a uniquely gifted Defensive Tackle, with exceptional pass rushing skills you don’t always see at that position. Baltimore’s gone defense heavy in this draft, which is of some concern as Lamar Jackson still needs some help on offense. Despite that, this team does look ready to contend in an extremely tough AFC North.
Loser: Baker Mayfield
It was just two years ago that Mayfield delivered Cleveland its first playoff win since the team’s return to the NFL, but it already feels like a lifetime ago. After a regression in 2021, the team brought in Deshaun Watson to take over the QB reigns. The quarterback market in the offseason was more fluid than its been in years, and as today proved the QB draft class was historically week. Mayfield should have been able to find a solid landing spot, but the amount of team’s looking for a quarterback has drastically shrunk now, with Houston and maybe Seattle seeming like the most likely suitors. It’s hard to see either of these teams being interested in Mayfield as anything more than a stopgap.
Winners: Seattle Seahawks & Tennessee Titans
The Seahawks biggest need heading into the draft was figuring out what the heck was going on at offensive tackle and finding some potential franchise pieces to sure up those positions for years to come. They used an early first round pick on Mississippi State’s Charles Cross and then went #8 in the third round with Washington State’s Abraham Lucas, a one-time first round talent whose college career was beset by some injuries, but still brings top-level long-term quality, if healthy. Their back-to-back second round selections of Minnesota linebacker Boye Mafe and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III were really smart, as now their first four selections all have immediate plug-and-play potential.
As for Tennessee, the Titans were efficient as well, ticking off some boxes that definitely had some questions marks lingering around them. Auburn corner Roger McCreary may not excel in the run game, yet he’s very strong in pass coverage and that’s just where Tennessee needs all the help it can get and 6’ 5”, 315-pound tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere is the type of third-round offensive lineman that has a high-risk, high-reward option. Then, the Titans turned the draft on it’s head by snagging Liberty quarterback and everyone’s enigma of the class, Malik Willis, who could bring a new wrinkle to the Titans offense and begin to push Ryan Tannehill to secure his spot.
Loser: NFL Starters
Let’s just put it this way. If you’re an NFL starter and your position wasn’t picked on Day One, you’re not completely out of the woods just yet. Day Two was filled with countless talents that are not just going to leapfrog starters, but also going to push them to the brink. Don’t be surprised if by the end of this season, more Round 2 & 3 players overtake these guys and make their own name at the next level.