2013 NFL Rookie Review: Best and worst of Round 2

1/8/14 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Most football fans focus almost exclusively on the first round of the NFL Draft, but what they may not know is that there are always difference-makers in the second round, as well. If an NFL team wants to get their losing ways turned around, making a quality pick in the second round is nearly a must. In this column, I'm going to go over a few of the best and worst picks (the "hits" and "misses") from the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Note: As I said when I went over the first round hits and misses, just because I deem a player a "miss" does not mean that the player will not improve in the future. The "misses" are simply players who had poor rookie seasons and did not make notable improvements over the course of the year.

RB Giovani Bernard (CIN), 37th Overall:
HITThis is an obvious one. Just about everyone - especially fantasy owners - knows about Bernard and his great rookie campaign. The change-of-pace back behind BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bernard provided a spark whenever he was inserted into the backfield. He racked up 1,209 yards from scrimmage with eight total touchdowns while also excelling in pass protection. He was also eighth among running backs with 56 receptions. On top of all that, Bernard graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 4 running back.

Blog Photo - 2013 NFL Rookie Review: Best and worst of Round 2Kawann Short (CAR), 44th Overall:
HITThe Panthers drafted defensive tackles with their first two picks, but Short is a much different player than first-round run stuffer Star Lotulelei. Short is a stud when rushing the passer, generating pressure on 10.8% of his pass rush snaps - good for eighth best among defensive tackles. Short is the perfect complement to Lotulelei, and was strong against the run as well.

ILB Kiko Alonso (BUF), 46th Overall:
HITHe struggled at times against the run and was not very strong as a pass rusher, but Alonso was among the best pass coverage linebackers in the NFL this season. He notched four interceptions and five passes defended in his rookie campaign and allowed just 6.6 yards per completion and a 74.0 passer rating on throws into his coverage. In addition, he was second among all inside linebackers in snaps. The Bills got a lot out of their second-round pick.

RB Le'Veon Bell (PIT), 48th Overall:
HITLike Bernard, Bell plays a high-profile position, so just about all football fans are aware of his great season. He got off to a slow start due to a preseason foot injury, but really produced once healthy. Bell racked up 860 yards and eight touchdowns while adding 45 receptions for 399 yards, bringing his yards from scrimmage total up to 1,259. His 3.5 yards per carry mark was a bit disappointing, but that was more due to poor run blocking than Bell's running ability. He'll be a workhorse with a shot at 300 carries in 2014.
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