Winners and losers from NFL Draft Rounds 2 and 3: Commanders get busy, QBs fall out of spotlight

Winners and losers from NFL Draft Rounds 2 and 3: Commanders get busy, QBs fall out of spotlight

With another two draft rounds in the books, the NFL’s teams continued to collect puzzle pieces.

Some of those pieces are very obvious fits and look like real difference-makers. Others are intriguing, but could take some time to develop.

We’re breaking down some of the first-glance winners and losers of Rounds 2 and 3 and assessing where things stand entering Saturday’s final four rounds of the draft.


Defensive players — Overlooked for much of the first round, defensive players stepped into the spotlight Friday night as 20 came off the board in the second round alone. Seven defensive tackles and seven cornerbacks led the way. At one point, cornerbacks — largely overlooked in the first round — flew off the board as Iowa’s Cooper DeJean (Eagles), Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry (Saints), Georgia’s Kamari Lassiter (Texans) and Rutgers’ Max Melton (Cardinals) were taken in consecutive fashion (Picks 40-43).

Offensive linemen — Through three rounds, 25 offensive linemen have heard their names called. Nine selections came Thursday night, and then another 16 went off the board on Friday night. The 25 O-line selections are the most through three rounds in the modern draft era.

Washington Commanders — The day after selecting their franchise quarterback in Jayden Daniels, the Commanders had an active day making another five selections, including Michigan nickelback Mike Sainristil (18th pick of the second round/50th overall), a player many scouts view as a future star. Nick Saban described him as “pound for pound the best football player in this draft.” Another highlight acquisition: Kansas State tight end Ben Sinnott (21st pick of the second round/53rd overall), who draws comparisons to Baltimore’s Mark Andrews. This is the earliest Washington has taken a tight end since 2008 when they drafted Fred Davis 48th. Both positions fill real needs for Washington, and Sainristil and Sinnott have a chance to become real franchise cornerstones. Washington’s night concluded with the selection of a promising slot receiver in Luke McCaffrey, the brother of Christian McCaffrey.

Agree to Disagree: Should Commanders get a B-plus or D-minus for Day 2?

Buffalo Bills — After trading back twice and completely out of the first round, the Bills finally got to work and found some help at wide receiver with the selection of Florida State’s Keon Coleman. The 6-foot-3, 213-pound Coleman is a big target, who will move the chains. The Bills still need to add a speedy deep threat, but Coleman will serve Josh Allen and Buffalo well. Then, they met another pressing need with Utah safety Cole Bishop, who brings both play-making ability and leadership skills.

Arizona Cardinals — The night after landing one of the best wide receivers in Marvin Harrison Jr. and a promising pass-rusher in Missouri’s Darius Robinson, the Cardinals remained active, making five more selections while plugging holes on their roster with players like Melton (43rd), Florida State RB Trey Benson (66th), Illinois guard Isaiah Adams (71st), Illinois tight end Tip Reiman (82nd) and Boston College CB Elijah Jones (90th).

Michigan Wolverines — The national champs have had a big draft so far. The night after quarterback J.J. McCarthy went 10th overall to the Vikings, another six of his teammates — defensive tackle Kris Jenkins (Cincinnati, 49th overall), Sainristil (Washington, 50th), linebacker Junior Colson (Chargers, 69th), running back Blake Corum (Rams, 83rd), wide receiver Roman Wilson (Steelers, 84th), guard Zak Zinter (Browns, 85th) — also had plenty to celebrate.

Roman Wilson #1 and Michigan teammate Blake Corum #2 were both drafted Friday. (Photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)


Quarterbacks – After dominating the draft as six went within the first 12 selections of opening night, not a single quarterback heard his name called Friday night. South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler is the top remaining quarterback. Some scouts believe that he can eventually develop into a starter in this league. Will his wait extend past the fourth round?

Tee Higgins — The Bengals wide receiver will play the 2024 season on the franchise tag, but may have just become more expendable after this season following Cincinnati’s selection of Jermaine Burton, who posted a career-high eight touchdown catches and averaging 20.5 yards per reception last season.

Las Vegas Raiders — A night after missing out on a chance to fill their need for a franchise quarterback, the Raiders made a head-scratcher of a pick, selecting Maryland guard/tackle Delmar Glaze. The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Glaze was projected as a fourth-rounder and faced questions regarding whether he’ll ever mount to a starter. And even more importantly, he doesn’t meet the Raiders’ more pressing need for defensive impact players

Required reading

(Top photo: Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

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