DaJuan Morgan, S NC State – I can't believe the Cowboys took a tight end when Morgan was still on the board. Here at PFW, we had Morgan ranked just behind Kenny Phillips at safety, who was the final pick of Round 1. Morgan covers a lot of ground in the secondary and really lays the lumber coming up against the run. In my opinion, Morgan is the top player on the board heading into Day 2. Some team is going to get itself one heck of a safety in the third round.
Ali Highsmith, ILB LSU - A little short but other than that, Highsmith has few holes in his game. Much like Jerod Mayo, Highsmith made a ton of plays in college. He has great range and the speed to run sideline-to-sideline. I also think Highsmith is the best coverage linebacker in this draft. He'll be one of the most under-drafted players in this class. Highsmith doesn't get the publicity that some of the other linebackers receive but it won't surprise me if he's one of the best players at that position to come out of this draft.
Reggie Smith, S Oklahoma – Smith is a versatile guy who can play either safety or corner in the NFL. I think he fits best as a free safety but Smith has the ability to line up at corner in nickel and dime situations. Smith has excellent range and made a lot of big plays in college. Getting a player with Smith's versatility on Day 2 of the draft is good value. Don't expect to see him last long once the third round kicks off.
Dan Connor, LB Penn State – I didn't like Connor as a first round pick but now he would be a steal. I think Connor is a better pro prospect than his former college teammate, Paul Posluszny, who went early in Round 2 last year. Connor does a good job of taking on blockers and is aggressive against the run. Don't be surprised if the Patriots grab Connor with one of their three third round selections Sunday.
Jamaal Charles, RB Texas – I think Charles compares favorably to Felix Jones, who was taken by the Cowboys with the 22nd pick in Round 1. Charles probably can't carry the ball 30 times a game but according to Jerry Jones, neither can Jones. Charles is a lightning bolt once he gets past the line of scrimmage. He produced as many big runs last year as any running back in college football. Because Charles is such a playmaker, I'm surprised he's still available but he won't last long. I expect Charles to go in the early portion of Round 3 and I think he'll be an excellent pick in that area. Let's put it this way, I would have taken Charles over Chris Johnson and Johnson went to the Titans with pick 24.
Jonathan Goff, ILB Vanderbilt - Goff is more of a two-down thumper but he's not as slow as some would make you believe. I think he's a perfect fit to play inside for a 3-4 team. Goff is a great tackler and makes up for his lack of speed by having the instincts to beat blockers to the spot. I think Goff would be an excellent selection by the Patriots in the 3-5 round area.
Chevis Jackson, CB LSU - Jackson is similar to Antoine Cason in my opinion. He's a physical player with very good instincts on the field. I was really impressed with Jackson's toughness after watching him on tape. Much like Cason, I think Jackson would be a perfect fit in New England's defensive scheme and would be a great selection with one of the Patriots three third round draft picks.
Kevin Smith, RB Central Florida - One of the most underrated players available this year in my opinion. Smith doesn't have that breakaway speed but he has good vision, quickness and runs with balance. Smith also has a powerful lower body that allows him to break a lot of tackles. And as far as his lack of breakaway speed goes, how many backs in the NFL can legitimately go 80 yards every time they touch the ball? Not many. I know two who couldn't: Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton. They turned out OK. Long speed when talking about a RB is the most overrated thing in the world.
Earl Bennett, WR Vanderbilt - This guy is one of the top receivers available in this draft and I can't believe some of the names that went before him. Bennett put up huge numbers at Vandy, despite playing with an erratic quarterback the last two seasons. He is a tremendous route runner with soft hands. And while he isn't a blazer, Bennett takes a lot of short passes and turns them into long gainers. He also knows how to use his body to shield smaller defenders. Bennett can flat-out play and will be a steal for some team on Day 2 of the draft.
Brad Cottam, TE Tennessee – Cottam is the best tight end still available in my opinion. At 6-7, Cottam is a huge red zone target and he's still getting better as a receiver. I wouldn't say he's a dominating blocker but at the same time he's not a liability in that area either. The Patriots could still use more depth at the tight end position, so Cottam could be a possibility on Day 2.
Curtis Gatewood, OLB Vanderbilt - I believe that Gatewood is one of the few college outside linebackers who can play that position in a 3-4 scheme. Gatewood is extremely athletic and really pressures the passer well. He played outside linebacker and defensive end in college, so he has the versatility the Patriots like. As a late round pick, I think Gatewood is an intriguing prospect for a team like the Patriots.
Jameel McCLain, ILB Syracuse - McClain is another late-round prospect at linebacker that I'm intrigued by. An extremely versatile player, McClain played ILB, OLB and DE in college. He really got off the ball quickly playing with his hand down and reminded me some of Mike Vrabel when I watched him on tape. People question McClain's speed but he ran much better than expected at the Combine. And let's be honest, you don't have to be a sprinter to run 10-20 yards. I think a guy with McClain's flexibility to play multiple positions would be a nice addition to New England's defense.