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Drafting for Success: Winners of the Competitive Day 2 NFL Draft



On the second day of the 2023 NFL Draft, heartwarming stories emerged as players who were overlooked in the first round had their fortunes reversed. For instance, Will Levis, the Kentucky quarterback, who was initially passed over in the first round, became a highly sought-after prospect at the start of the second round. Similarly, Joey Porter Jr., the Penn State cornerback, missed out on being selected on Thursday, but was later recruited by the same team that his father had played for a couple of decades ago.


In fact, Day 2 and Day 3 of the draft are mainly reserved for uncovering the hidden gems that teams may have missed in the initial round. This is when teams can truly appreciate the worth of their scouting departments. While the first day of the draft tends to focus on star players, the rest of the event is dedicated to building the team's foundation, spirit, and character.



The New York Giants acquired star tight end Darren Waller from the Raiders earlier this offseason, providing a chance for the team's rookie tight end, Mayer, to make an impact. Mayer was projected to be a first-round pick but slipped to the second round, making him a valuable addition for the Raiders, even though they had to trade up to secure him. He is now joining a team that will likely utilize his impressive skills to the fullest. Head coach Josh McDaniels has a history of utilizing tight ends effectively, as seen with his previous work with future Hall-of-Famer Rob Gronkowski in New England. Additionally, new Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has a history of successful collaboration with one-time All-Pro tight end George Kittle in San Francisco. Mayer is expected to play a significant role in the Raiders' offense as a rookie, aided by his exceptional blocking skills that will also assist All-Pro running back Josh Jacobs.




The Packers have made it evident that they intend to equip Love with as many offensive weapons as possible. After selecting three wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft, the team acquired three more pass-catchers on Day 2 of this year's draft. One of these new additions is Luke Musgrave, an agile tight end from Oregon State who should have plenty of opportunities to fill the void left by Robert Tonyan's departure. Another promising addition is South Dakota State's Tucker Kraft, who was selected in Round 3.




In addition to these tight ends, the Packers also picked up Michigan State wide receiver Jayden Reed in the second round. Reed is known for his excellent hands and skilled route-running abilities. There is considerable excitement about Love's potential in his first full season as a starting quarterback, and the rapid development of these young receivers would only amplify this optimism.




At the beginning of the draft, Lions general manager Brad Holmes had five picks within the first three rounds, which he utilized expertly, trading them multiple times to acquire six players by the end of the second day of the draft, including a quarterback for future development. Holmes displayed confidence in his decision-making on Day 1, trading back to select Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs and using the 18th overall pick to acquire Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell, two prospects he believed were "ready to go right now," despite some criticism from draft analysts.




In the second round, Holmes addressed the team's needs by selecting Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta, who is expected to fill the void left by T.J. Hockenson after his trade to Minnesota last year. Additionally, Alabama safety Brian Branch was added to bolster the secondary, bringing versatility and intelligence to the position. In the third round, the team drafted Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, potentially grooming him as Jared Goff's eventual replacement. Finally, Holmes traded three Day 3 picks to acquire Western Kentucky defensive tackle Brodric Martin at No. 96.




On Day 2 of the draft, Steelers general manager Kevin Austin was surely pleased with his team's good fortune. Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr., a player with first-round talent, was still available early in the second round, and Pittsburgh eagerly snagged him with the 32nd overall pick. With a 6-foot-3 frame, long arms, and a tenacious approach to challenging receivers at the line of scrimmage, Porter is expected to help bolster the team's defense, which has already added linebacker Cole Holcomb, linebacker Elandon Roberts, and cornerback Patrick Peterson in free agency. The team also selected defensive tackle Keeanu Benton out of Wisconsin later in Round 2, showing a clear desire to become more aggressive on defense. Finding a player of Porter's caliber at such a good value only adds to the team's potential success, and he could very well become a standout star for the team.




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