Team Grades for Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft

Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft has come to a close, and it was as action-packed as the night before. We had the most trades ever in rounds 2 and 3 of a draft (16 by my count). Two more QBs found homes, we had 3 consecutive Volunteers get drafted, and we saw a few incredible reaches. Here you’ll find my grades for how the teams did on day 2. I’ll try to touch on every player taken. If you’re looking for my round one grades, head to this link.

All team picks are grouped together, and the teams are listed in reverse order of their records (i.e., what the order would have looked like if no picks were ever traded). Each player is accompanied by a value in parentheses such as (2-44). In this case, the player was picked in the 2nd round with the 44th overall selection. I also add an up arrow ↑ if the team traded up for the player, and I add a down arrow ↓ if the team traded down before making their pick. * means that the team acquired the pick in a pre-draft trade or a draft-day trade for a player.

  1. Chicago Bears – DT Gervon Dexter, Florida (2-53*); CB Tyrique Stevenson, Miami (2-56); DT Zacch Pickens, South Carolina (3-64) : B
    Chicago took all defensive players with their 3 picks. Dexter is a raw pass rushing DT with high upside. This is who they preferred over Jalen Carter. I don’t necessarily blame them, but considering that this was the Roquan Smith pick from Baltimore, I’d be a little disappointed as a Bears fan. Stevenson is a big corner who fits best in man schemes. He is a very willing tackler, but he needs to play with more discipline to become more consistent. Pickens is much like Dexter in that he’s an athletic DT with upside. This is a pretty decent group, but it could become much better or worse over time.

  2. Houston Texans – C Juice Scruggs, Penn State (2-62); WR Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, Houston (3-69): D+
    I didn’t understand the need to trade up for Scruggs. He wasn’t close to the top remaining center on my board (
    Olusegun Oluwatimi of Michigan is that player if you’re wondering). Ditto for Tank Dell, with BOTH star Tennessee WRs (Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman) and UNC’s Josh Downs available. Trading up for one of them would’ve been fine, but Dell is a bit undersized to go this early. The team only had two selections because of these trades, but they didn’t bring home any great prospects to show for it. Staying put or even trading down would’ve been better options.

  3. Arizona Cardinals – OLB BJ Ojulari, LSU (2-41); CB Garrett Williams, Syracuse (3-72); WR Michael Wilson, Stanford (3-94*): B+
    New GM Monti Ossenfort has been very eager to trade down in his first draft, and it’s a wise approach. The Cardinals aren’t going to be very competitive this year, and their roster has a bunch of holes. Acquiring as much extra draft capital as possible is the correct way to address that. Still, they got 3 players, two of whom I like. Ojulari is a solid SEC edge rusher who will help replace the retired JJ Watt. Williams would’ve gone much earlier than this if not for a torn ACL; this is a pick for 2024. I’m not crazy about Wilson; he’s slow and has an injury history, but he does have nice size.

  4. Indianapolis Colts – CB Julius Brents, Kansas State (2-44); WR Josh Downs, North Carolina (3-79*): A-
    Previous trades left the Colts with just two day 2 selections even after trading down in the 2nd round. Brents is a tall CB (6’3″) with freakish athleticism; he blew up the Combine and has great upside. Stephon Gilmore needed to be replaced, and this is a good option. Downs was also a very good pick. He’s a speedy receiver with a better route tree than people realize. Anthony Richardson will love him. The Colts went quality over quantity, and I’m all for it.

  5. Denver Broncos – WR Marvin Mims, Oklahoma (2-63); LB Drew Sanders, Arkansas (3-67*); CB Riley Moss, Iowa (3-83) : B-
    Denver made 1 fantastic move, 1 awful move, and 1 middling move. Trading up for Mims was terrible. Denver is loaded at WR already, and Mims is a smaller receiver who I had below players like Jalin Hyatt, Cedric Tillman, and Josh Downs. Sanders is the excellent pick. He’s a complete LB who I had in my first-round mock at one point. Moss isn’t exciting, but he has a high floor. His speed at the Combine was better than expected, and he simply produced for the Hawkeyes. Extra corner depth is always welcome in a division with Patrick Mahomes, but giving up a 3rd-rounder next year hurts.

  6. Los Angeles Rams – G/C Steve Avila, TCU (2-36); DE Byron Young, Tennessee (3-77*); DT Kobie Turner, Wake Forest (3-89): B-
    The Rams traded down a few times in an effort to replenish their minimal draft capital.
    They stayed put for their first two picks of the draft though. Avila is likely a guard for the Rams, and he’ll help fix LA’s rushing woes. He’s a non-flashy but quality player. Young is the opposite: a high-floor edge rusher with superior athleticism. How the team develops him will determine his outcome. Turner was a surprise to me. I didn’t have him going before round 6, and DT is clearly not a need for the team with Aaron Donald. Two out of three isn’t bad, so LA gets a decent grade.

  7. Las Vegas Raiders – TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame (2-35); DL Byron Young, Alabama (3-70); WR Tre Tucker, Cincinnati (3-100): C-
    No, I didn’t list the same player for two consecutive teams. There were 2 Byron Youngs in the SEC last season. This one is the undersized DT from Alabama. His athleticism is limited, but his motor is relentless. Playing next to Maxx Crosby will help. Tucker is a reach in my opinion and a poor one. He’s exclusively a slot receiver, a role that Hunter Renfrow has locked down. The main pick was a trade-up for Mayer, who I’m not as high on as most. He’s supposedly an elite TE, but I just see a run-of-the-mill big-bodied guy that every draft has several of. He does fill a major need at least.

  8. Atlanta Falcons – G/OT Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse (2-38); DE Zach Harrison, Ohio State (3-75): B+
    The Falcons had only 2 picks, but I think they made the most of them. Bergeron will probably move inside at the next level, which is fine because that’s where Atlanta needs help anyway.
    His stock had been gaining steam in recent weeks, and I had even seen a few drafts list him in round 1. Harrison is athletic but never seemed to reach his potential. The pressure of replacing guys like Chase Young may have been too much, but he has plenty of upside if the team remains patient.

  9. Carolina Panthers – WR Jonathan Mingo, Ole Miss (2-39); LB DJ Johnson, Oregon (3-80): B-
    After trading up to #1, Carolina didn’t have a ton of draft capital remaining.
    As a result, they made just 2 selections. Mingo was an excellent pick. He’s one of the few big-bodied WRs in this class, and Bryce Young needs someone like him. Johnson was a more peculiar selection. The trade up to take him was questionable given the Panthers’ already limited stock of picks, and I think he could’ve easily been obtained in round 4 or 5.

  10. New Orleans Saints – DE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame (2-40); RB Kendre Miller, TCU (3-71): A
    Mickey Loomis not trading through 3 rounds is one of the more surprising developments here.
    Even better, they took two really good players with their picks. Foskey was once a first-round prospect because he has polished pass rushing moves and good production. Cameron Jordan can teach him even more. Miller is a 3-down back who doesn’t have great speed, but he’s surprisingly elusive and definitely has power. With Alvin Kamara looking mediocre when given a full workload, Miller can provide the thunder to his lightning and balance things out.

  11. Tennessee Titans – QB Will Levis, Kentucky (2-33); RB Tyjae Spears, Tulane (3-81): D
    We’ll start with Spears.
    He comes with injury concerns due to his knee, but I’ve been very impressed watching him at Tulane. Spears put the AAC champs on his backs several times last season. He can start slowly behind Derrick Henry before potentially taking over. Now then; this draft is suddenly all about Levis. Tennessee considered him in round 1 but opted to trade up during round 2 to secure him. That was foolish because it cost a 3rd-rounder next year, and Levis just isn’t that good. We won’t know for sure this season most likely, but he’s definitely a flawed prospect.

  12. Cleveland Browns – WR Cedric Tillman, Tennessee (3-74*); DT Siaki Ika, Baylor (3-98): A
    couldn’t pick until round 3 due to the Deshaun Watson and Elijah Moore trades, but they did great with their 2 selections. Tillman is one of my more underrated WRs, and I like him more than half of the wideouts who went ahead of him. He’s great at making contested catches and has deceptive speed. Ika fell a bit because of injury concerns and the fact that he’s a 2-down nose tackle, but Cleveland was awful against the run last year. He’s exactly the type of defender they need.

  13. New York Jets – C/G Joe Tippman, Wisconsin (2-43): B
    With just
    one selection, the Jets couldn’t make much of a splash. They also made a very boring pick by taking an interior lineman. Boring is just fine though, and I’m sure Aaron Rodgers will appreciate Tippman’s solid blocking in front of him. He went in the appropriate range, and the lack of picks mostly has to do with acquiring Rodgers, so nobody should be too upset about it. This is a draft pick you cheer about more during the season than on draft day.

  14. New England Patriots – DE Keion White, Georgia Tech (2-46); S Marte Mapu, Sacramento State (3-76*): C+
    New England
    started this draft on an absolute tear, and they continued that in round 2. Keion White was a fringe first-round prospect, so getting him in the middle of the second round is tremendous value. His all-around skillset gives him the versatility that Bill Belichick craves. Their other pick was more typical of what we’ve seen from the Patriots lately. I didn’t actually have Mapu on my draft board. Sidney Jones and Antonio Johnson would’ve been much better selections. The Patriots have made surprising picks from low-level schools before, but this just felt unnecessary.

  15. Green Bay Packers – TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State (2-42*); WR Jayden Reed, Michigan State (2-50); TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State (3-78): B-
    As expected
    , Green Bay went after their pass catchers on day 2. What I didn’t expect though was for Brian Gutekunst to take THREE of them. Two of them were just fine, and I’m talking about the TEs. Musgrave has great pass catching ability, but he wasn’t as productive as expected in college. Kraft was highly productive but played at an FCS school. Dallas Goedert went to SD State as well and turned out fine, so I’m not too concerned. Reed is not an ideal pick. He’s a smaller slot receiver, and that’s more of a 4th-round talent. Much better receivers were on the board, but helping Jordan Love is most important.

  16. Washington Commanders – CB/S Jartavius “Quan” Martin, Maryland (2-47); C Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas (3-97): C
    Washington had an uneventful night
    , picking twice 50 slots apart. Martin is a strong choice. He’s a free safety that also tackles well in the box, and he and Emmanuel Forbes instantly reshape Washington’s secondary. Stromberg wasn’t a day 2 talent. He’s ok, but nothing special. Like I said about the Texans and Juice Scruggs, better options were available. This pick doesn’t move the needle for the Commanders, who still need more line help.

  17. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Joey Porter Jr, Penn State (2-32*); DT Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin (2-49); TE Darnell Washington, Georgia (3-93): A+
    I got Porter’s future team right but was a round too early.
    Pittsburgh had numerous offers to trade back but kept the pick and chose the right player. His physicality will be perfect for Mike Tomlin. Benton had started to get some first-round buzz, so obtaining him at 49 is great value; consistency is his only issue. Washington’s slide was very peculiar, but sources say that teams removed him from their boards due to failed medical exams. A late 3rd-round pick is well worth the risk, because Washington’s mismatch size and blocking ability are stellar. Amazing night for the Steelers.

  18. Detroit Lions – TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa (2-34); S Brian Branch, Alabama (2-45); QB Hendon Hooker, Tennessee (3-68); DT Brodric Martin, Western Kentucky (3-96): A
    weird as I thought Detroit’s first-round picks were, they had a much better night this time. LaPorta is one of my favorite tight ends, and he’ll effectively replace another Iowa TE (TJ Hockenson). Branch was a mid-first-round pick in my draft, so even with a trade up, this is excellent value. He’s the missing piece Detroit needed in their rebuild secondary. Hooker is also well worth a 3rd-round pick. He can recover from his ACL tear and learn behind Jared Goff before becoming either a strong backup or a future starter. The Martin pick was just odd, as I had him as an average player with a late-round grade.

  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – G/OT Cody Mauch, North Dakota State (2-48); EDGE YaYa Diaby, Louisville (3-82): C+
    GM Jason Licht knew he had to address his offensive line, which partly drove Tom Brady into retirement. I think Mauch is a good start. He’s a college tackle who will likely move inside at the NFL level. I still think the team needs a true tackle. Diaby has pass rushing skills, but he’s awful against the run. Selecting him and the undersized Calijah Kancey seems to be a recipe for disaster; Vita Vea can only do so much. I’m not super impressed with Tampa’s day 2 haul, but it’s alright.

  20. Seattle Seahawks – DE Derick Hall, Auburn (2-37*); RB Zach Charbonnet, UCLA (2-52): D
    Seattle might be having the worst draft so far in terms of addressing their needs.
    As much as I liked the players they took in round 1, they didn’t address weaknesses. Hall does, but he too isn’t a typical Seahawks pick. The team usually prefers players with traits and upside. Hall is a fairly polished prospect, but he doesn’t have a high ceiling. I have no clue why the Seahawks would take Charbonnet. Kenneth Walker was 2nd in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2022. If a complementary back was required, that should’ve been handled on day 3.

  21. Miami Dolphins – CB Cam Smith, South Carolina (2-51); RB Devon Achane, Texas A&M (3-84): C+
    Miami is one of the toughest teams to grade.
    On the one hand, both players they obtained are great values. I had Cam Smith in the 20s on my board, as he’s a corner with good size and skill. He just needs some more coaching to make him a more consistent asset. Achane is the fastest RB in the class, and he’s a dynamic weapon. But did Miami need either position? CB1 and CB2 are set with Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey, and the team re-signed all 4 of their RBs, including Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert. Miami went best player available and made great picks, but I don’t think they actually got better.

  22. Los Angeles Chargers – DE/DT Tuli Tuipulotu, USC (2-54); LB Daiyan Henley, Washington State (3-85): A-
    Like the Dolphins, LA
    has taken some great value players but not necessarily the ones they needed. Tuipulotu is one of my favorite edge rushers, and he led the FBS in sacks last year. On a team with Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa though, that feels more like a luxury, albeit a stellar one in a loaded AFC. Henley also could’ve gone a round earlier, as he’s the instinctive linebacker that Kenneth Murray never became. The latter had his 5th-year option declined today, so Henley might be groomed as his replacement. I still think the Chargers have had a very strong draft, and I love their new players.

  23. Baltimore Ravens – LB Trenton Simpson, Clemson (3-86): B
    Baltimore was one of
    a few teams with just 1 pick due to the Roquan Smith acquisition. They were bold with that one selection, taking a boom-or-bust LB in Simpson. The value is very good, and he’s clearly worth the risk in round 3. He could’ve been selected in round 2 without complaint. Baltimore just needs to use him properly. I suggest putting him in a Micah Parsons-like edge rushing role where his physical talents can shine. He won’t succeed if he plays in a traditional LB spot because he lacks the instincts to do so.

  24. Minnesota Vikings – CB Mekhi Blackmon, USC (3-102): B
    The last pick of the night was the only one
    made by the Vikings on day 2. And we all know how desperately Minnesota needs DBs. Blackmon’s size might limit him to the slot, but that doesn’t matter because the team needs a slot corner too. He has great speed to stick with receivers, and I think his talent is well worth a compensatory third-round pick. My only question is what happened to Kelee Ringo? I figured that he would go ahead of most of these other CBs. Regardless, the Vikings get a limited grade due to having only one pick, but they made a good one.

  25. Jacksonville Jaguars – TE Brenton Strange, Penn State (2-61); RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn (3-88): F
    Trent Baalke doesn’t always make conventional picks, and that held true tonight.
    I think this was the worst day 2 haul of any team in the NFL. Both players selected are day 3 talents, and neither fills a need. Strange has some decent ability to make people miss once he catches the ball, but Evan Engram is a superior version of that type of player. Bigsby is a 5th-round bruiser back prospect that makes no sense for a team with Travis Etienne and D’Ernest Johnson. This is not Jacksonville’s finest work.

  26. New York Giants – C John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota (2-57); WR Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee (3-73): A+
    Last night, New York watched all the WRs come off the board and wisely selected a good corner instead of reaching for another receiver.
    Their strong decision making continued on day 2. Schmitz is a top-3 center in this class, and the Giants could’ve plausibly taken him late in round 1. Hyatt is the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, and though I think he’s a bit limited in terms of his routes, he’s well worth a modest trade up in round 3. These are key contributors that will greatly enhance New York’s offense, and I am grading them accordingly.

  27. Dallas Cowboys – TE Luke Schoonmaker, Michigan (2-58); LB DeMarvion Overshown, Texas (3-90): B-
    loss of Dalton Kincaid to a leapfrogging Bills team stung Dallas for 2 days in a row. Apparently unable to recover from that and failing to obtain any of the other top guys like Michael Mayer or Sam LaPorta, they once again reached on a Michigan prospect. Schoonmaker is an average TE that should’ve gone after players like Tucker Kraft and Darnell Washington. Overshown is a much stronger pick. He can work sideline to sideline making plays, and he’s insurance in case of another Leighton Vander Esch injury.

  28. Buffalo Bills – G O’Cyrus Torrence, Florida (2-59); LB Dorian Williams, Tulane (3-91): B+
    Here’s another pick where I had the player and team pairing correct but the wrong slot.
    I mocked Torrence to the Bills at 27, so this is a steal. I suppose teams were scared off by his massive size and less athletic body, but he’s build properly for a mauling guard. Several teams in need of a guard passed on Torrence, and that became Buffalo’s gain. Williams is not someone I had on day 2. He’s undersized, so he struggles against the run. This isn’t a viable Tremaine Edmunds replacement.

  29. Cincinnati Bengals – CB DJ Turner, Michigan (2-60); S Jordan Battle, Alabama (3-95): A-
    Cincinnati is balancing need and value
    superbly. They obtained the fastest man in the class in Turner, who scouts feel has plenty of upside. He can learn and then hopefully replace Eli Apple. Battle is an experienced player with much less upside, but his floor is very solid. With Jesse Bates heading to Atlanta and Von Bell off to Carolina, acquiring a safety was a necessity. This is a good one, and the team was able to trade down to snag an extra pick before taking him.

  30. San Francisco 49ers – S Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State (3-87); K Jake Moody, Michigan (3-99); TE Cameron Latu, Alabama (3-101): D+
    Let’s deal with the elephant in the room:
    San Francisco spent a 3rd-round pick on a kicker. Forget that they didn’t re-sign Robbie Gould or that Christopher Dunn was the Lou Groza Award winner. Why take a kicker on day 2 at all? Reminder: Justin Tucker was a UDFA. Brown was a better pick and is the only Penn State player selected so far who actually belongs in the first 3 rounds. In this part of the draft, upside is the name of the game, and Brown has plenty. Latu is an average pick; he doesn’t have consistent hands, but he’s a jack-of-all-trades who can line up with George Kittle in two-TE sets.

  31. Philadelphia Eagles – OT/G Tyler Steen, Alabama (3-65); S Sydney Brown, Illinois (3-66*): A
    So Howie Roseman CAN take players from schools other than Georgia! Steen has some tackle potential, but his shorter arms might cause him to move to guard. That’s perfect because the Eagles lost a guard (Isaac Seumalo). Their tackles are already great. I also had Steen as a 2nd-round talent, so the Eagles are getting yet another steal. Brown is a bit undersized for his role as a strong safety, but he’s certainly good at it. Part of his skill has to do with instincts, as he’s always in the right place. He’ll be a good substitute for Marcus Epps or CJ Gardner Johnson. Another successful night for Philly.

  32. Kansas City Chiefs – WR Rashee Rice, SMU (2-55); OT Wanya Morris, Oklahoma (3-92): B-
    The Chiefs had an average night. It started poorly, with the team trading up for a 3rd- or 4th-round WR. I don’t completely hate it because at 6’2″, he can replace JuJu Smith-Schuster. Expecting him to be more than a #2 receiver would be a mistake though. In my final mock, I gave KC Anton Harrison with the idea that they might want another Oklahoma tackle. We’ll never know if that’s who they wanted because JAX took him in front of the Chiefs, but they nabbed the other OU tackle in Morris. He needs development, but he had a good college career and can slot in at RT early on.

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