NFL

Oklahoma's Hurts only QB picked on day two of NFL Draft

By Sports Desk April 25, 2020

While teams select players in the first round of the NFL Draft hoping they will be game-changers, rosters are built on day two.

The Cincinnati Bengals opened the 2020 draft on Thursday by picking who they hope will be their franchise quarterback for the next decade. They opened round two on Friday by getting Joe Burrow a weapon, drafting Tee Higgins with the 33rd pick.

Twenty picks later came the biggest story of the second round with the Philadelphia Eagles grabbing Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts at number 53.

Hurts led Alabama to back-to-back national championship games as a freshman and sophomore before famously being benched for Tua Tagovailoa, and then led the Sooners to a Big 12 title this past season as a senior while garnering third-team AP All-American honors. He is a dynamic dual-threat quarterback that now joins an Eagles offense that is already led by an established QB in Carson Wentz.

Hurts ended up being the only quarterback selected on day two after both Jacob Eason from Washington and Jake Fromm from Georgia were passed over.

Higgins' selection continued the trend from the first round of wide receivers being gobbled up. After six receivers were drafted in the first round, seven went in the second. The 13 receivers selected in the first two rounds are the most taken through two rounds in draft history, breaking the record of 12 from 2014.

Higgins had 25 touchdown catches over the past two seasons with Clemson, the most by an ACC player in a two-year span since North Carolina State's Torry Holt had 27 from 1997-98.

One pick after Higgins was drafted, the Indianapolis Colts picked USC wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who tied for the FBS lead last season with four games of 10 or more receptions.

A run on running backs was expected for day two after only one went in the first round, and it did not take long for the first one to be selected, with the Detroit Lions taking Georgia's D'Andre Swift at number 35.

After playing behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel as a freshman in 2017, Swift amassed 2,267 rushing yards in his final two years with the Bulldogs. He averaged 6.55 yards per carry in his collegiate career, second best in SEC history behind Bo Jackson's 6.62 (minimum 400 carries).

Six picks later, the Colts continued to build their offense, selecting three-time All-American running back Jonathon Taylor out of Wisconsin. In just three seasons, Taylor rushed for 6,174 yards and his average of 150.6 rushing yards per game are the third most by a major conference player all time, behind O.J. Simpson (164.4) and Herschel Walker (159.4).

Three more backs were selected before the end of the second round with the Los Angeles Rams taking Florida State's Cam Akers at number 52, the Baltimore Ravens drafting J.K. Dobbins from Ohio State at 55 and the Green Bay Packers selecting Boston College's AJ Dillon at 62.

Not technically listed as a running back, though he carried the ball plenty of times at Kentucky, All-American Lynn Bowden was one of the more interesting picks of day two when he was selected with the 80th overall pick by the Las Vegas Raiders. 

The do-it-all playmaker started at receiver and quarterback as a junior in 2019, running the wildcat offense at QB, finishing the season with 1,468 rushing yards and 13 rushing TDs as well as 348 receiving yards. It will be intriguing to see how he will be used in Jon Gruden's offense. 

While the 2020 draft kicked off with Burrow being selected out of LSU, linebacker Jacob Phillips became the 10th player chosen from LSU when he was picked by the Cleveland Browns at number 97. The 10 players out of LSU are the most from one school through three rounds in the history of the draft.

The third round concluded with the Baltimore Ravens selecting guard Tyre Phillips out of Mississippi State. He became the 15th player out of the SEC selected in the third round after 10 SEC players were drafted in the second, a day after a record 15 first-round picks came from the SEC.

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