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Ranking the best available players for Day 2 of the NFL Draft

Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft is complete, and now teams will turn their attention to Day 2 for second-and-third-round action.

After offensive players dominated Day 1, it’s expected that there will be a few more defensive players taken on the second day of the draft. However, there are still some talented offensive players — particularly at wide receiver — who should hear their names called early on Friday evening.

Here’s a ranking of the top 10 available players entering Day 2 of the draft:

1. AD Mitchell | Wide receiver | Texas

AD Mitchell transferred to Texas ahead of the 2023 season and ended up thriving with the Longhorns. He’s a proven winner with plenty of production on the sport’s biggest stage — he scored a touchdown in all 5 of his career CFP contests.

Mitchell also tested exceptionally well at the NFL scouting combine and projects to be a starter at the next level sooner rather than later. He’d be a great pick for any team who needs a WR early in the 2nd round.

2. Kool-Aid McKinstry | Cornerback | Alabama

Kool-Aid McKinstry is a former 5-star prospect who was an immediate contributor over the past 3 seasons for Alabama. He became one of the SEC’s best shutdown cornerbacks, leaving Tuscaloosa with 23 career pass deflections.

At nearly 6-foot tall, McKinstry has great size for the CB position and should hear his name called early Friday evening.

3. Ladd McConkey | Wide receiver | Georgia

McConkey is virtually the polar-opposite of McKinstry: He’s a former 3-star wide receiver prospect who ranked outside the top-1000 nationally in his high school recruiting class. But McConkey was able to get on the field at UGA over other higher-rated wide receivers and had a very productive career in Athens.

He also tested very well athletically during the pre-draft process. McConkey ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the combine with a 10-yard split of 1.52 seconds. McConkey figures to be one of the first receivers off the board in Round 2.

4. Cooper DeJean | Cornerback | Iowa

Some people thought Cooper DeJean could get taken in Round 1, but he’ll have to settle for being one of the first players off the board on Day 2. DeJean considered to be one of the top defensive backs in this class and was also a productive player on special teams for the Hawkeyes.

5. Jer’Zhan Newton | Defensive tackle | Illinois

Newton is arguably the top interior defensive lineman available entering Day 2. He enters the draft after 4 years at Illinois, where he was incredibly productive in the middle of the Illini’s defense. He left Champaign with 27.5 tackles for loss and 18 sacks in his collegiate career.

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6. Junior Colson | Linebacker | Michigan

It’s a tough world for off-ball linebackers in the NFL these days, and Thursday night’s first round was another example of that. There weren’t any off-ball linebackers selected on Day 1 of the 2024 draft.

Junior Colson enters Day 2 as arguably the best player at that position on the board. He’ll hope that someone in Round 2 chooses to take a chance on a player at a non-premium position. Colson racked up 95+ tackles in each of this past 2 seasons at Michigan.

7. Keon Coleman | Wide receiver | Florida State

A former Michigan State transfer, Keon Coleman had an excellent final collegiate season in 2023 at Florida State. He was a big reason why the Noles went 13-0 en route to an ACC championship this past fall.

Coleman’s athleticism numbers at the combine were a bit disappointing, which is likely why he slipped to the 2nd round. But given his production and elite size, he’s expected to be off the board relatively quickly on Friday evening.

8. Edgerrin Cooper | Linebacker | Texas A&M

Between Colson and Edgerrin Cooper, there are some talented off-ball linebackers still on the board for Round 2. Cooper was a standout during his time at Texas A&M, totaling 30.5 tackles for loss over the past 3 seasons.

9. Ennis Rakestraw Jr. | Cornerback | Missouri

After McKinstry and DeJean are off the board, Rakestraw is likely to be the next cornerback selected. Rakestraw left Mizzou with 24 pass deflections in his career.

10. Spencer Rattler | Quarterback | South Carolina

There may be more talented players still on the board, but given the premium that gets put on this position during the draft, I think Spencer Rattler fits into the top 10 here. Rattler was very productive in college and has the pedigree of a former 5-star recruit.

The 2025 quarterback also looks considerably weaker than the 2024 group, so it may be prudent for a team such as the New York Giants or the Las Vegas Raiders to take a shot on a QB early in the second round.

Spenser Davis
Spenser is the news manager at Saturday Road and covers college football across all Saturday Football brands. Follow on Twitter.


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