Notable players remaining after the first round of the NFL Draft
Manti Te'o (LB, Notre Dame): You're probably sick of hearing about him, but this kid is just a rock solid ball player. No one will work harder to succeed than Te'o, and that could easily have a contagious locker room effect. There was heavy speculation that the Vikings were targeting Te'o in the first round, but he somehow slipped past all three of their first-round picks. He could end up being a good value for one of the struggling teams here in the early- to mid-second round.
Cornellius "Tank" Carradine (DE, Florida State): Carradine's stock shot up late after he ran a 4.75 forty on a knee in which he tore his ACL just a few months ago. He was an explosive, dominant force in college who many considered to be better than his teammate Bjoern Werner (who went 24th overall to the Colts). There were rumors that the Saints were "intrigued" by Carradine at 15th overall. He could provide fantastic value as a pass rusher to a number of teams who desperately need one, such as the Jaguars, Eagles, Jets, Raiders, and Buccaneers.
Keenan Allen (WR, California): Considered the top receiver by many at the beginning of the pre-draft process, Allen dropped steadily leading up to the draft due to a lingering injury, slow forty time, and failed drug test. Having fallen to the second round, some team is going to be thrilled that they have the opportunity to swoop this kid up. Though he lacks elite speed, he has a big body with a large catching radius and could end up being an Anquan Boldin or TJ Houshmandzadeh type receiver. Both of those players - Boldin in particular - ran unimpressive forty times before the draft.
Arthur Brown (LB, Kansas State): Brown could end up being the steal of the draft. With solid tape, Brown was thought to have secured a place in the first round after he reportedly "blew up" his pro day workout. Rotoworld has him ranked as a top-10 overall talent in this draft (yes, including the players who have already been selected), so several teams are likely salivating over the thought that he could fall to them.
Eddie Lacy (RB, Alabama): There are a number of rumors as to why Lacy dropped out of the first round. One is that he was unable to finish his pro day workout due to stamina issues, which Lacy attributes to his lack of preparation (he was fighting a hamstring injury until two weeks before the workout). Others say that teams are scared off by a toe injury. Regardless, Lacy is one of the more physical, punishing backs the draft has seen in recent years, and he pairs it with phenomenal balance. He could be off the board as early as 5th (37th overall) to the Bengals tonight.
We've got seven more players on the next page...
Jonathan Cyprien (FS, FIU): Some analysts had Cyprien ranked as their top safety prospect, and he was a popular pick for the Bengals at 21st overall in mock drafts. This athletic specimen who has the ability to cover an immense amount of the field has some raw attributes, but could very well turn into an exceptional pro. Some may consider him a boom-or-bust prospect, but he should come off the board relatively early on Friday night.
Menelik Watson (OT, Florida State): Offensive line was the theme early on Thursday night, and we could see another tackle come off the board early in the second round as well. Watson is considered a very high-upside prospect, as he only began playing football a few years ago (grew up in Manchester, UK), but displayed fantastic athleticism at the combine.
Damontre Moore (DE, Texas A&M): Perhaps the biggest free-faller of the pre-draft process, Moore was dropped out of first-round mock drafts after a horrendous showing at the combine. Teams question his ability to win with technique and athleticism, as well as his off-field work habits, and believe his college success may have simply been a result of his relentless motor (which only gets you so far in the NFL). Regardless, his top notch college production (12.5 sacks in 2012) is sure to get a team to swipe him up on Day Two.
Robert Woods (WR, USC): One of the more complete, polished receiver prospects in this draft. This guy has it all - precise route running, strong hands, explosiveness after the catch, and a high football IQ. I think someone is going to be lucky to pick this kid up in the second round.
Kawann Short (DT, Purdue): The best defensive tackle prospect left, in my opinion. I actually had Short ranked above first-round selection Sylvester Williams. He's a potentially game-changing interior presence who generates a great pass rush for a defensive tackle, racking up 19.5 sacks over his past three seasons at Purdue.
Margus Hunt (DE, SMU): Workout warrior who completely dominated the combine at the size of 6'8'', 277. Scouts question his ability to play with a low pad level due to his height, but he's probably got the best strength, length, and athleticism combination of anyone in this draft.
Zach Ertz (TE, Stanford): The No. 2 tight end on most people's draft boards should come off relatively early in Round 2, perhaps to the 49ers with the 2nd pick in the round.
All the Quarterbacks!: You were probably wondering where the hell Geno Smith was, but I was saving him to group with the whole rest of the bunch. In the 20 drafts previous to 2013, a quarterback was selected first overall 12 times. Not only did we not have a quarterback go first, we didn't see one go until 16th, and another one wasn't selected for the whole rest of the round. As a result, we have several high-profile names available at the highest-profile position. Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, Tyler Wilson, and Mike Glennon all await their name being called on Friday night. The top of the second round has plenty of quarterback-needy teams, with the Jaguars, Eagles, Cardinals, Jets, Raiders, and even the Buccaneers selecting in the top-11 tonight.