NFL draft 2020’s best available players in second round: Grant Delpit, Laviska Shenault among top options on board
There's still first-round talent awaiting teams on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL draft.
Thursday featured a number of the marquee players being selected, including the top 16 from USA TODAY Sports' pre-draft rankings. But 23 of the top 50 still remain.
Here's our pre-draft assessment of all of them, with their rankings in parentheses
Grant Delpit, S, LSU (17): Even though tackling troubles likely contributed to him not landing in the first round, Delpit is built to frustrate modern passing attacks with his ball-hawking tendencies and prompt recognition.
Josh Jones, OT, Houston (19): The former basketball standout is a fluid mover at 6-5 and 319 pounds, portending a promising future as a fixture at left tackle if he can become a more refined blocker.
Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama (20): Smothering receivers at the line of scrimmage is second-nature to the brother of Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs, though he might need to be placed in a scheme that emphasizes his length and playmaking ability and obscures his change-of-direction shortcomings.
Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado (23): A bully with the ball in his hands, Shenault still has work to do as a route runner to threaten defenses down the field instead of merely at the line of scrimmage.
Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin (25): While lacking the desired size for an edge rusher, Baun can become a mainstay in opponents' backfields by exploding upfield and employing his impressive finishing touch.
D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia (26): Instinctive and evasive both as a runner and receiver, Swift is a three-down threat who poses a serious problem for any defender trying to bring him down in the open field.
Ashtyn Davis, S, California (27): A December groin surgery might push Davis down some draft boards, but he has unmatched range among this year's safety class thanks to his elite speed, quickness and ball skills.
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor (29): At 6-3 and 207 pounds with 4.38-second speed in the 40-yard dash and a knack for hauling in circus catches, Mims has the makings of a No. 1 receiver — if he can polish his route-running and cut down on drops.
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama (30): Do-it-all defenders are in demand, and McKinney's comfort in taking on a range of assignments in coverage and against the run make him a valuable piece.
Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah (31): Physical to a fault, Johnson concedes nothing to receivers at the line of scrimmage and can be a vexing presence in a man-heavy secondary, so long as he exhibits better discipline.
Michael Pittman, WR, USC (32): Though not as dynamic as some of his pass-catching peers, the 6-4, 223-pound Pittman projects as a reliable target who can thrive working the underneath and intermediate areas of the field.
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU (33): Already a veteran of press coverage who has been battle-tested against a rash of top-notch receivers, Fulton stays collected in his assignments despite recovery speed issues that could pose a bigger problem at the next level.
A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa (34): Somewhat of an anachronism as an oversized edge rusher, Epenesa still can somewhat compensate for his subpar burst with power, length and fluidity, giving him a relatively high floor.
KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State (35): Soon to be among the NFL's slight receivers at 5-9 and 178 pounds, Hamler will make his mark as a deep-threat dynamo and slot target who can rack up yards after the catch, so long as he's not beset by the drops that plagued his college career.
Yetur Matos-Gross, DE, Penn State (40): Able to work back inside more comfortably than many other college pass rushers, Matos-Gross now must show he can create pressure with consistency after a hit-or-miss career with the Nittany Lions.
Terrell Lewis, DE/OLB, Alabama (43): His injury history is concerning after missing nearly two full years, but Lewis' length and explosiveness are imposing.
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU (44): A tornado on the interior, Blacklock is at times an all-or-nothing player who will either set a play off course or be washed out when a blocker locks onto him.
Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota (45): Size and injury history aside, the son of the former Vikings great handles all the important tasks for a safety by diagnosing plays from up high and rallying to the ball.
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson (46): Deep speed questions have hounded him since he sat out the 40-yard dash at the combine, but he shouldn't have trouble establishing himself as a jump-ball and red-zone weapon.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin (47): His body of work is that of a bell-cow back who possesses the speed to break off long gains, leaving the biggest questions about his ball-security issues and uneven pass-catching efforts.
Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri (48): In a class rife with promising Day 2 defensive tackle prospects, Elliott is an attractive option, with the ability to be both slippery and powerful when taking on linemen.
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State (49): As Dobbins' career continued, his patient, well-rounded running style became easier to appreciate.
Terrell Burgess, S, Utah (50): Man coverage skills are his calling card, and there's no shortage of teams who would benefit from someone who can match up with receivers from the slot.
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
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