2019 NFL Draft Second-Day Values: Defense

2019 NFL Draft Second-Day Values: Defense
2019 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2019 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2019 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2019 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
2019 NFL Draft Day-Three Sleepers

Published April 24, 2019.
By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

In the recent weeks, there have been a lot of questions about who are my value picks in the 2019 NFL Draft class. A value or sleeper prospect is basically a player who gets drafted after the first round and proves to be a steal. The second day of the draft is where the men are separated from the boys among NFL general managers. All the players have strengths and flaws, but the top evaluators find future starters and team building blocks on Day 2. Every year, I pick my favorite second-day value. In order to hold myself more accountable, I started putting in a runner-up in case the first choice is a surprise first-round pick. If a player goes in Round 1, I should not get credit calling them a second-day value pick if they pan out. Here is my track record over the last decade going back to my time with Pewter Report.

2008: Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech
2009: Mike Wallace, WR, Ole Miss
2010: Brian Price, DT, UCLA and Brandon Spikes, ILB, Florida
2011: Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
2012: Derek Wolfe, DL, Cincinnati

2013: Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
2014: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
2015: Cedric Ogbuehi, OT Texas A&M, and Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State
2016: Jaylon Smith, LB Notre Dame and Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
2017: Gerald Everett, TE South Alabama (runner-up: Akhello Witherspoon, CB, Colorado)

2018: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech (runner-up: Arden Key, DE, LSU)
2019: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland (runner-up: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina)

This year was difficult to project because a lot of the players who I wanted to pick I had to dismiss because they could be late first-round picks like Terrell Edmunds was in 2018. The players who I wanted to pick are Texas A&M center Erik McCoy, Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom, and Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram. All three are in the first round of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft, however, so I felt I shouldn’t pick any of those three. My choice came down to Maryland safety Darnell Savage or South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel.

Savage won out over Samuel, because I think Savage is going to be a success wherever he lands, whereas I could see Samuel having issues if he goes to a team that doesn’t use him properly or has a bad quarterback. Savage is tailor-made for the passing-driven NFL with his coverage skills. I think both players are going to be very successful in the NFL and steals in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Overall, this list is very strong with the one exception being Brian Price. Unfortunately, family tragedies robbed him of being able to put an NFL career together. Flowers has had a Pro Bowl career. Wallace has been a good pro receiver and helped get the Steelers to a Super Bowl. Houston was a pass-rushing terror for the Chiefs, while Wolfe has turned into a very good pro for the Broncos. Warford is one of the better guards in the NFL. He has been better than top-10 picks at guard in the same draft class, Chance Warmack and Jonathan Cooper. Hill flashed as a rookie before becoming a big disappointment.

Four years ago, I went with Cedric Ogbuehi with Ronald Darby being my backup. Since Ogbuehi was selected in the first round, he doesn’t count for the long-term track record, but that would be a miss on my part. On the flip side, Darby has played really well for Buffalo and Philadelphia in his career. In 2016, I had a hit with Jaylon Smith, but Sheldon Day is a bit of a miss. Day has flashed at times, but has had trouble breaking through. At this point it is too early to render any judgement on the 2017 and 2018 players.

Here is a breakdown of a top second-day-value prospect at each position for the 2019 draft class. All the players will be prospects who are likely going on the second day of the draft. If a player is a possible late first-round pick, I generally don’t include them as an option.

Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
There is a lot to like about Allen for the NFL. He is an instinctive defender who makes plays in both phases. With his size, strength, and physical style of play, Allen looks ready to have a long NFL career.

In the pass-rush Allen is a physical defender. He has a powerful bull rush and consistently pushes offensive tackles into the pocket. Allen plays with good leverage to get underneath the pads of tackles and then get them on roller skates in the backpedal. Allen has heavy hands to shed blocks and break free when he gets upfield. With versatile size and some quickness, Allen has the ability to rush from the inside as well as coming off the edge. As a pro, I don’t think he has the speed to produce double-digit sack totals, but I think hr could be a solid 6-8 sack producer who contributes to the pass rush.

Allen is a real asset in run defense, and his huge tackle total from 2017 – 100 – is no accident. Constantly, he put his team in good down-and-distance situations from making tackles near the line of scrimmage. Allen is very good at taking on blockers, tossing them to the side, and taking down running backs before they can get to the second level. He is a very tough run defender.

I think Allen is a safe pick for Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft to be a solid defensive end. He could be a power left end to go against right tackles in a 4-3 and would be a perfect fit as a 3-4 five-technique defensive end.

2018: Arden Key
2017: Malik McDowell
2016: Sheldon Day
2015: Michael Bennett
2014: Dominique Easley and Taylor Hart

Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
The NFL is a passing-driven league, and linebackers who can cover are a tough commodity to find. Wilson is the best pass-coverage linebacker in the 2019 NFL Draft, and that includes LSU’s Devin White. Wilson is a quick linebacker who covers a lot of ground in zone coverage while also showing the ability to run down the middle seam. Wilson should be a nice asset to cover tight ends running vertically down the middle of the field, and he also should be a good defender to help with receivers crossing the middle of the field. Wilson’s pass coverage is his best trait, and he should be an asset in coverage quickly in his NFL career.

If Wilson were better against the run and didn’t have some off-the-field concerns, he probably would be a first-round pick. But I think his pass-coverage skills are going to be excellent in the NFL and translate him to being one of the better value picks from Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft.

2018: Darius Leonard
2017: Zach Cunningham
2016: Jaylon Smith
2015: Denzel Perryman
2014: Kyle Van Noy

Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
In only three seasons, Love rewrote Notre Dame’s record book with the most pass breakups in school history. In 38 career games with 34 starts, Love put together a tremendous total of 39 passes broken up and was a real asset to helping the Fighting Irish to field one of the best defenses in the nation. There is a lot to like about Love for the NFL, but two things really set him apart: his instincts and his ability to play the ball. Love is an intelligent player who reads plays extremely well. With his instincts guiding him, Love does an excellent job of breaking on the ball to smack passes away or snatch them for interceptions. His ball skills are superb, as he shows recoverability and a knack for getting his hand on passes to prevent receptions. Love’s instincts lead to him having good route recognition, and that keeps him in close proximity to receivers. Overall, Love does a nice job of running the route to prevent separation.

Love has the ability to play inside or outside cornerback and could be a good weapon to move around. After playing on the outside, Love could move in to be a slot corner on third down. He has the ability to play zone or off-man coverage. While he is a bit undersized, Love is not a very physical defender with receivers, so he would not be a fit as a big press-man corner. Although he does not display physicality in coverage, Love is a willing tackler and good contributor to run defense.

2018: Isaiah Oliver
2017: Akhello Witherspoon
2016: Kendall Fuller
2015: Ronald Darby
2014: Marcus Roberson

Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Savage has a special skill set with the ability to contribute as a free safety and nickel cornerback. In the deep part of the field, Savage is good in zone coverage and has the potential to be a true single safety. He can play the deep centerfield and cover a lot of ground to shut down the deep part of the field. With his good instincts, speed, and athleticism, Savage is an asset to prevent big plays downfield and keep offenses from scoring quickly. Over the past two seasons, Savage totaled seven interceptions and his instincts put him in position to make plays.

Savage also is put together well with the ability to tackle downfield. He is not an eight- man-in-the-box run-defending strong safety, but that is not a big deal because NFL defenses are in nickel 70 percent of their snaps, so Savage’s coverage skills will be needed. On top of being a true free safety, Savage can play nickel corner on slot receivers. His 4.36 speed allows him to run with receivers, and he has good instincts.

I think Savage is going to become a good starting free safety and could end up being a Pro Bowl player. After the first-rounders go off the board, Savage is my choice for the best value pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

2018: Terrell Edmunds
2017: Marcus Maye
2016: Keanu Neal
2015: Damarious Randall
2014: Dion Bailey

2019 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2019 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2019 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2019 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
2019 NFL Draft Day-Three Sleepers

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