2020 NFL Draft Second-Day Values: Defense

2020 NFL Draft Second-Day Values: Defense
2020 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2020 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2020 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2020 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
2020 NFL Draft Day-Three Sleepers

Published April 18, 2020.
By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

In the recent weeks there have been a lot of questions about who are my value picks in the 2020 NFL Draft class. A value or sleeper prospect is basically a player that 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 two.

Every year I pick my favorite value for Day 2. 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 the first round, 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)
2020: Cam Akers, RB, Florida State (runner-up: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech)

This year was difficult to select, but I feel that Cam Akers could be one of the steals of the 2020 NFL Draft. Akers won out over Brooks because I think Akers has real boom potential for the NFL. He has a first-round skill set, and I think he could be a Pro Bowl selection during his rookie contract. I think Brooks is a safe pick to develop into a very good NFL linebacker.

Overall, this list is very strong with a few exceptions. I definitely hit on Brandon Flowers, Mike Wallace, Justin Houston, Derek Wolfe, Larry Warford, Jaylon Smith and Deebo Samuel. Here is a breakdown of a top second-day value prospect at each position for the 2020 NFL Draft class. All the players will be prospects who are likely to go on the Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft. If a player is a possible late first-round pick, I generally don’t include them as an option.

Jason Strowbridge, DE, North Carolina
There is a lot to like about Strowbridge for the NFL. The 6-foot-4, 267-pounder is strong and physical at the point of attack. He is really tough as a run defender, holding his gap and keeping offensive tackles from getting a push. In the pass rush, Strowbridge did not have big production in college, but he has some quickness and athleticism with the functional strength to fight through blockers. In the NFL, I could see him being a starting left defensive end to go against right tackles, and he has the upside to produce more rush in the pros. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has between 6-8 sacks in a typical season. I think Strowbridge is going to be an excellent value for some team in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

2019: Zach Allen
2018: Arden Key
2017: Malik McDowell
2016: Sheldon Day
2015: Michael Bennett
2014: Dominique Easley & Taylor Hart

Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
Brooks looks like a safe pick to develop into a three-down starter. He has above average instincts, not great, but is quick to read his keys to get in position to make plays. In the ground game, Brooks is a good tackler who wraps up ball-carriers and is reliable to get them to the ground. He has sideline-to-sideline speed and does well to shut down the perimeter.

Brooks fits really well for in pass coverage for today’s NFL. Team sources like his athleticism and coverage ability in zone. He handles a lot of ground in zone coverage, is a smooth mover in space, and does a nice job of disrupting throwing lanes. His quickness and athleticism allow him to have the potential to play some man coverage on tight ends and backs out of the backfield. On dump-off passes to the flat, Brooks can close quickly to hunt down backs and is a steady tackler in space. He has the speed to run down the middle seam as well.

2019: Mack Wilson
2018: Darius Leonard
2017: Zach Cunningham
2016: Jaylon Smith
2015: Denzel Perryman
2014: Kyle Van Noy

Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
I considered making Arnette my pick for top value or runner-up, but his character concerns, along with possibly going late in the first round, caused me to go with others inside.

Arnette has the physical skills, instincts and talent to be a top-20 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but team sources think there is a wide range of where he could be drafted, which is because Arnette has significant off-the-field concerns. Scouts call Arnette instinctive, tough and versatile. They like that he can play inside at nickel or line up outside with the ability to play man or zone. Arnette is very physical and has a feisty style of play that comes out with him being super competitive. Arnette challenges every throw and never makes it easy on receivers to get a reception. On top of having cover skills to stay with receivers, he is a very good tackler who doesn’t hesitate to hit. The 6-foot, 195-pounder has the size and speed to potentially be a No. 1 corner in the NFL. If he can stay out of trouble and focus on football, he could be a huge steal from the 2020 NFL Draft.

2019: Julian Love
2018: Isaiah Oliver
2017: Akhello Witherspoon
2016: Kendall Fuller
2015: Ronald Darby
2014: Marcus Roberson

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
The 6-foot, 217-pound Dugger has good size and is really fast. In pass coverage, Dugger is a versatile safety who can help a defense in a variety of ways. He is a play-making strong safety who is dangerous in zone coverage in the middle of the field. He can dish out some hard hits across the middle and has a knack for being around the ball. To go along with his size and speed, Dugger has enough athleticism to play man coverage on tight ends. However, short-area movement could be problematic for Dugger, so he should not play nickel corner against slot receivers. In run defense, Dugger is a tough safety who has good size and strength. He has the ability to take on power backs and is a good tackler. Dugger’s speed comes through with him flying downhill, and he will be a good fit as the eighth man in the box in run defense. Some team sources feel Dugger has hybrid potential where he could be moved to linebacker in the sub package.

Dugger will probably need some developmental time because he is making a huge jump in competition. Hence, having him serve as a rotational backup and special teams contributor for a year could be a good plan to ease him into the NFL. But by the end of his rookie contract, I think Dugger could become a good starting strong safety.

2019: Darnell Savage
2018: Terrell Edmunds
2017: Marcus Maye
2016: Keanu Neal
2015: Damarious Randall
2014: Dion Bailey

2020 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2020 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2020 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2020 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
2020 NFL Draft Day-Three Sleepers

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