2024 NFL Draft Day 2 winners and losers: 49ers, Cowboys stand out

2024 NFL Draft Day 2 winners and losers: 49ers, Cowboys stand out originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft is in the books.

Following the plethora of offensive talent taken in the first round, the second and third rounds saw much more defensive talent come off the board.

Cooper DeJean went to the Philadelphia Eagles, Kool-Aid McKinstry went to the New Orleans Saints and Edgerrin Cooper became a Green Bay Packer, among other picks.

Elsewhere, wide receivers continued to be in demand. Keon Coleman went to the Buffalo Bills, the Los Angeles Chargers picked Ladd McConkey and the New York Jets nabbed Malachi Corley, among others.

So, with one more day to go, let’s delve into five winners and losers from Day 2 of the 2024 draft on Friday:

With second-year quarterback Anthony Richardson set to return after a season-ending injury as a rookie, Indianapolis made sure to add top-end pieces to support him.

The Colts picked up Texas wideout Adonai Mitchell in the second round (No. 52 overall), giving Richardson one of the brightest talents available in that position. Mitchell is a robust vertical threat who should pair well alongside fellow receivers Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs, as well as running back Jonathan Taylor.

Then, in the third round, they picked tackle Matt Goncalves from Pittsburgh (No. 79 overall) to bolster the offensive line. He might not start right away but can become a key piece in front of Richardson in due time.

Not to harp on the Falcons even more after the drama from Round 1, but they could be nitpicked from Round 2. They drafted Clemson defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro with the No. 35 overall pick, passing on Johnny Newton (who went the next pick), T’Vondre Sweat (two picks later) and Brandon Fiske (three picks later).

Atlanta traded up to take Orhorhoro, so it’ll need to make sure he develops properly in order to avoid the regrets of passing up on arguably better talents.

Picking edge Bralen Trice of Washington in the third round (No. 74 overall) was fine given his pressure rates, but it’s not always the best thing when your third-round pick is viewed as the best of the bunch.

Quinyon Mitchell going to the Eagles may rival it, but Renardo Green could very well develop into the best cornerback from this class. The 49ers picked the Florida State defender with the last pick in the second round (No. 64 overall).

Green can play corner, nickel and safety and showed flashes of brilliance against top wideouts in college. San Francisco already has Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir as starters, but both have expiring contracts and Green can be put on the slow burner for the season.

San Francisco then addressed offensive line needs by adding the versatile Dominick Puni out of Kansas in the third round (No. 86 overall). Puni didn’t allow a single sack on 343 pass-blocking snaps in 2023, according to Pro Football Focus. The 24-year-old could be used across the line.

After picking wideout Ricky Pearsall in the first round, the 49ers could have three ready-now players hoping to make an impact to reach the Super Bowl again.

Jerry Jones publicly talked up the idea of drafting running back Jonathon Brooks on Thursday, but the Cowboys ended up seeing him get picked by the Carolina Panthers at No. 46 overall.

Dallas instead selected Western Michigan edge Marshawn Kneeland at No. 56 overall before getting Notre Dame linebacker Marist Liufau at No. 87 overall.

The Cowboys still don’t have a clear-cut RB1 after Tony Pollard’s departure. The Ezekiel Elliott rumors will only grow.

Head coach Jonathan Gannon was only eight the last time a team drafted seven players within the first 90 picks. That happened with the Cowboys in 1991.

Arizona drafted a little of everything, from fortifying Kyler Murray’s offensive options to adding better defensive talent. Here are there first seven picks:

  • Round 1, No. 4 overall: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

  • Round 1, No. 27 overall: DE Darius Robinson, Missouri

  • Round 2, No. 43 overall: CB Max Melton, Rutgers

  • Round 3, No. 66 overall: RB Trey Benson, Florida State

  • Round 3, No. 71 overall: G Isaiah Adams, Illinois

  • Round 3, No. 82 overall: TE Tip Reiman, Illinois

  • Round 3, No. 90 overall: CB Elijah Jones, Boston College

It’s a promising start for an Arizona side that finished dead last in the NFC West last season at 4-13. The Cardinals still have five more picks on Day 3, so more talent could be on the horizon.

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