2024 NFL Draft Winners and Losers: Eagles Dominate Again, University of Michigan Win Day 2

Who were the winners and losers from Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft? The Commanders, Eagles, Chiefs, and Colts earned high marks after Friday's action.

Day 2 of the NFL Draft is in the books. Every team in the league made at least one pick on Friday evening, hoping to find starters in Rounds 2 and 3.

Let’s run through Day 2 and identify the winners and losers, beginning with a team that made five selections tonight.

Round 2 Winners and Losers From the 2024 NFL Draft

Winner | Washington Commanders

The Washington Commanders found their franchise quarterback by selecting LSU’s Jayden Daniels with the No. 2 overall pick on Thursday night. First-year general manager Adam Peters couldn’t take a break on Day 2, when the Commanders had five more choices to make.

Any club that makes five picks in Rounds 2 and 3 should walk away with a haul, but Washington did well, even if we’re grading on a curve. Illinois DT Johnny Newton was the 12th overall player on PFN Draft Analyst Ian Cummings’ Big Board and should help incumbent Commanders Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne generate interior pressure.

Washington then grabbed Michigan CB Mike Sainristil to take over slot duties, added a potential starting TE in Kansas State’s Ben Sinnott, nabbed intriguing tackle/guard Brandon Coleman (TCU), and landed an oversized slot WR in Rice’s Luke McCaffrey to fill out the rest of Day 2.

Winner | The University of Michigan

Although the Los Angeles Chargers aren’t on our list, Jim Harbaugh had a banner night. Six players from his University of Michigan roster were drafted on Friday night: DT Kris Jenkins, Sainristil, LB Junior Colson, RB Blake Corum, WR Roman Wilson, and G Zak Zinter.

Add in J.J. McCarthy, who went 10th overall to the Minnesota Vikings in Round 1, and seven Wolverines came off the board in the first three rounds. That’s the most top-100 Michigan draftees in NFL history.

The University of Georgia set a league record with 15 draft picks in 2022. The 2024 Wolverines might not break that mark, but they still have prospects like WR Cornelius Johnson, G LaDarius Henderson, and TE AJ Barner on the board.

Loser | Atlanta Falcons

One day after stunning the NFL (and their starting quarterback) by drafting Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth overall pick, the Atlanta Falcons made another unforced error at the top of the second round.

Instead of sticking and picking at 43 or trading back to grab more capital, the Falcons gave up one of their third-rounders to move up eight spots and take Clemson DT Ruke Orhorhoro. Penetrating defensive tackles are in demand, but Orhorhoro ranked 57th on PFN’s Industry Consensus Board. The Falcons took him over higher-rated DTs like Newton (22), Braden Fiske (46), and Kris Jenkins (51).

Loser | Los Angeles Rams

Atlanta wasn’t the only team to make an ill-fated trade for a defensive tackle. If anything, the Los Angeles Rams‘ move up the board was even more misguided. GM Les Snead gave up the equivalent of the 35th pick in surplus value to get in position to draft Fiske.

At 24, Fiske is an older prospect. The Rams need interior help after Aaron Donald’s retirement, and Fiske’s experience could help him be ready to contribute on Day 1. Los Angeles has always been willing to use draft picks to target specific players, but this was a lot to pay for the right to draft Fiske.

Winner | Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs GM Brett Veach is pretty good at this. One day after moving up two picks to grab Texas WR Xavier Worthy, the Chiefs made another small trade on Day 2. Kansas City gave up picks No. 64 and 173 to acquire Nos. 63 and 211 from the San Francisco 49ers before grabbing BYU OT Kingsley Suamataia.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft: Top 50 Best Available Prospects Remaining

Suamataia was a popular mock draft selection for the Chiefs in the first round, so landing him at the end of Round 2 represents a coup. He should compete with 2023 third-rounder Wanya Morris to handle left tackle in front of Patrick Mahomes.

Winner | Philadelphia Eagles

Speaking of general managers who regularly dominate the draft, the Philadelphia Eagles‘ Howie Roseman traded up to select Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean, who was widely viewed as a first-round talent entering the draft.

The Eagles’ secondary was largely responsible for the club’s late-season collapse in 2023 and finished 28th in dropback EPA per play. Cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry are both on the wrong side of 30, while Philadelphia also needed another impact safety. CB Quinyon Mitchell and DeJean wouldn’t have seemed like a realistic haul for the Eagles 36 hours ago.

Winner | Indianapolis Colts

We criticized the Indianapolis Colts for failing to add another playmaker to their offense in Round 1. But the Colts found Adonai Mitchell in Round 2, scooping up the best wideout remaining on the board and a prospect widely viewed as a first-rounder entering the draft.

Mitchell is precisely what the doctor ordered for Indy’s Anthony Richardson-led passing attack. He’ll take the top of opposing defenses while Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs handle the short and intermediate areas. Mitchell’s lack of production is worrisome, but the Colts are always attracted to elite athletes like the Texas WR.

Loser | Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers cleaned up in their aforementioned trade with the Rams, but they undid much of that progress by trading up into the second round to take RB Jonathon Brooks. The Panthers gave up picks 52, 142, and 155 to move up to 46 before selecting the Texas product.

Carolina finished with the NFL’s worst record in 2023. They’re hardly a running back away from contending, and they’re the last team that should be trading up for an RB. Adding weapons around second-year QB Bryce Young is admirable, but the Panthers overextended themselves here.

Winner | RB Jonathon Brooks

While the Panthers’ decision to trade up for Brooks might not have made much sense, Brooks himself was a clear winner on Friday night. His draft slot over/under was set at 64.5, but he wound up being selected with the 46th overall pick.

The No. 65 selection in this year’s draft will sign a four-year deal worth $6.07 million, including a $1.23 million signing bonus. As the 46th choice, Brooks will instead get $8.42 million in total and a $2.9 million signing bonus.

Loser | Las Vegas Raiders

Yes, the Las Vegas Raiders exited Day 2 having added TE Brock Bowers and C Jackson Powers-Johnson to their roster. Both were top-27 prospects on the consensus board, and the Raiders might be pleased with the selections in the long run.

But the Raiders certainly didn’t consider positional value with the Bowers and JPJ picks. The Baltimore Ravens drafted C Tyler Linderbaum and S Kyle Hamilton with its first two picks in the 2022 NFL Draft and are happy they did. However, taking non-premium positions typically hurts the roster-building process over the long haul.

Winners | Free Agent OTs Donovan Smith and Mekhi Becton

The Commanders and New England Patriots found new quarterbacks and stabilized their rosters over the first two days of the draft, but both clubs might’ve failed to find starting-caliber left tackles in the draft.

Washington took Coleman at the top of the third round. New England went with Penn State’s Caedan Wallace one pick later. It’s hard to imagine either club will be comfortable putting Daniels or Drake Maye behind mid-round rookie blindside blockers.

That’s good news for Donovan Smith and Mekhi Becton, the top two offensive tackles remaining on the free agent market. Don’t be surprised if the Commanders and Patriots reach out to Smith or Becton after the draft is complete.

Looking for everything you need surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft? Make sure to check out the latest draft results, overall team grades, and updated best remaining players available at every position!

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