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2024 NFL Draft: ESPN releases Round 2 mock, predictions for landing spots for best available players

NS_headshot_clearbackgroundby:Nick Schultz04/26/24


2024 NFL Draft logo
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The first 32 players are off the board, and more phone calls will go out Friday night when the second and third rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft get underway. Ahead of the next round of selections, ESPN updated its Round 2 mock draft featuring some of the biggest names left on the board.

The first round featured plenty of offensive talent with the first 14 picks all coming from that side of the ball. There could be some more offense in the second round with a plethora of high-level receivers available, but ESPN projects defense out of the gate with two cornerbacks in its first three picks of the second round.

Here’s ESPN’s full 2024 Round 2 NFL mock draft.

33. Buffalo Bills (via Carolina Panthers) – Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

One of ESPN’s 10 best available players after the first round, there was a sense Cooper DeJean could go in the first round after a standout career at Iowa. However, some injury concerns could have played a role in his fall to Friday, and ESPN doesn’t think he’ll have to wait long to hear his name called Friday.

DeJean had a huge year at Iowa this past season as both a cornerback and punt returner. He had five interceptions and three pick-sixes in 2022, and over the last two seasons, added 31 punt returns back for 406 yards and a touchdown.

34. New England Patriots – Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Adonai Mitchell
Adonai Mitchell (Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Another receiver who made a case to go in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, Adonai Mitchell is in position to be one of the first players to go in the second round on Friday. He put together a big year at Texas after transferring from Georgia and formed a dynamic duo with first-round pick Xavier Worthy.

Mitchell became a key target for Quinn Ewers in Texas’ high-powered offense in his lone season with the Longhorns. He put together a big season, hauling in 55 receptions for 845 yards and 11 touchdowns to generate some NFL hype.

35. Arizona Cardinals – Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Kool-Aid McKinstry
© Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Kool-Aid McKinstry is right in the middle of an interesting cornerback class in the 2024 NFL Draft. The former Alabama standout looks to go early in Friday’s second round, and ESPN projects him to go to the Arizona Cardinals as a key part of the defense.

McKinstry totaled 93 tackles and two interceptions with the Crimson Tide, including career-best 35 stops to go with 2.0 TFLs, 1.0 sack and 15 passes defended in 2022. He entered the draft as ESPN’s No. 27 overall player in his best available rankings, and he could find himself going in the early part of the second round.

36. Washington Commanders – Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

As Missouri put together an impressive 2023 season, Ennis Rakestraw became a focal point of the defense. He graded as a late-first or early-second round pick, and he’ll now try to live up to that billing Friday night – and ESPN has him going to the Washington Commanders.

Rakestraw is coming off two impressive seasons at Mizzou, totaling 35 tackles in 2022 and 2023. He also showed he can keep pace with some of the top receivers in the SEC, which bodes well for his chances of success at the NFL level, as well.

37. Los Angeles Chargers – Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

Georgia WR Ladd McConkey
© Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

With Jim Harbaugh now in as head coach, the Chargers find themselves in desperate need of playmakers around Justin Herbert. That’s where ESPN has Ladd McConkey joining the equation as a second-round pick with plenty of upside – if he can stay healthy.

When healthy, McConkey was one of the most electric playmakers in the SEC. In 2022, he appeared in 15 games and totaled 762 yards along with seven touchdowns to help Georgia to a second straight national championship and prove how valuable he could be in an NFL offense.

38. Tennessee Titans – Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Illinois defensive tackle Jer'Zhan
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

One half of Illinois’ “law firm” in 2022, Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton is one of the top players still available as the second round gets underway. That’s where ESPN has the Titans filling some needs on the defensive side of the ball after taking an offensive lineman in the first round.

Newton put up huge numbers at Illinois, totaling 187 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss and 18 sacks with the Fighting Illini. He likely won’t have to wait around too long before hearing his name called in the NFL Draft.

39. Carolina Panthers (via New York Giants) – Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan

Western Michigan DL Marshawn Kneeland
© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last three years at Western MichiganMarshawn Kneeland put up huge numbers to improve his NFL Draft stock. He appeared to fly under the radar compared to other EDGE prospects, but Mel Kiper Jr. put him at No. 39 on his best available list entering Thursday.

Kneeland had a career-high 57 tackles this past season at WMU along with 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. All told, he had 28.0 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks to likely become a second-round pick when Friday comes around at the draft.

40. Washington Commanders (via Chicago Bears) – Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

Texas A&M LB Edgerrin Cooper
© Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN previously had Washington going defense in the second round, and that’s again the case at No. 40 with the pick coming from the Chicago Bears. That’s where Edgerrin Cooper could come up after a breakout year at Texas A&M this past season.

Cooper put up huge numbers for the Aggies in 2023 with 84 tackles, 17.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks. He had just 0.5 sack in his previous three years, which showed the leap he took as a senior in College Station.

41. Green Bay Packers (via New York Jets) – Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

Kamari Lassiter-Georgia-NFL
Tony Walsh / UGA Sports Communications

Following two big years to close out his career at Georgia, Kamari Lassiter found himself as a Day 2 projection heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. That holds true in ESPN’s Round 2 mock, which has him going to the Green Bay Packers with the pick coming from the Jets after last year’s Aaron Rodgers trade.

Lassiter had a career-high eight passes defended this past season at UGA and found himself as a key contributor on the Bulldogs’ vaunted defense. During his three years in Athens, he had 86 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 14 passes defended.

42. Houston Texans (via Minnesota Vikings) – Braden Fiske, DL, Florida State

DL Braden Fiske
Kirby Lee | USA TODAY Sports

An intriguing defensive prospect who helped his stock at the Senior Bowl, Braden Fiske will head into Friday as one of the best available players. ESPN has him going in the first part of the second round in its mock, heading to the Houston Texans to anchor the inside while Will Anderson Jr. handles the edge.

Fiske turned in an All-American season for Florida State in 2023, totaling 43 tackles to go with 9.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks across his 13 appearances. He was right behind Keon Coleman at No. 38 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s best available list and will wait to find out when his name will be called on Friday.

43. Atlanta Falcons – T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

TJ Tampa, Iowa State Cyclones cornerback
Photo by Nirmalendu Majumdar / USA TODAY Sports

With A.J. Terrell already on the roster, Atlanta could be in the market for another cornerback. That’s where T.J. Tampa could come into play from Iowa State, and ESPN projects the Falcons to do just that.

Tampa is coming off two big seasons in Ames, including a career year in 2023. He had 44 tackles along with 3.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions to make his case as a Day 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Picks 44-64

44. Las Vegas Raiders – Jonathon Brooks, RB, Texas
45. New Orleans Saints (via Denver Broncos) – Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon
46. Indianapolis Colts – Max Melton, CB, Rutgers
47. New York Giants (via Seattle Seahawks) – Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
48. Jacksonville Jaguars – Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan
49. Cincinnati Bengals – Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
50. Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints) – Junior Colson, LB, Michigan
51. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington
52. Los Angeles Rams – Cole Bishop, S, Utah
53. Philadelphia Eagles – Kingsley Suamataia, OL, BYU
54. Cleveland Browns – Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama
55. Miami Dolphins – Maason Smith, DT, LSU
56. Dallas Cowboys – T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas
57. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Payton Wilson, LB, NC State
58. Green Bay Packers – Javon Bullard, S, Georgia
59. Houston Texans – Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas
60. Buffalo Bills – Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
61. Detroit Lions – Jalyx Hunt, EDGE, Houston Christian
62. Baltimore Ravens – Roger Rosengarten, OT, Washington
63. San Francisco 49ers – Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia
64. Kansas City Chiefs – Matt Goncalves, OT, Pitt

The 2024 NFL Draft is being held in Detroit, Michigan, with the second and third rounds on Friday, April 26. The fourth through seventh rounds will then close things out on Saturday, April 27.