Not long after the first round of the NFL Draft ended Thursday, Dane Brugler had already posted his mock draft for Round 2.
“It’s going to be interesting,” the CBS Sports senior NFL Draft analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “There’s some talent still on the board. Randy Gregory’s going to go. Dorial Green-Beckham’s (going to go). Still a lot of talent to be had.”
A lot of talent was had in the first round as well, with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota going first and second, respectively, to Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
“It was a fun night,” Brugler said. “It wasn’t as eventful as maybe we thought it could be. Only two trades, which is remarkable. The average for the first round is six. It’s crazy. So to only have two, I think, really took a lot of people by surprise. But nonetheless a great night. A lot of teams are better than what they were 24 hours ago.”
Gregory and Green-Beckham, meanwhile, are first-round talents with, well, not first-round morals – which is why they haven’t been drafted yet.
“Yeah, absolutely,” Brugler said. “With Randy Gregory, there’s so much going on there. He’s not flawless on the field, but he’s a top-10 talent. But the failed drug test at the combine was just kind of the latest strike on his resume. He was dinged multiple times at Nebraska for failed drug tests. It really got to the point where the coaches at Nebraska said, ‘Hey, stop testing him. He’s not going to pass. We need him on the field.’
“So for Randy Gregory – or both of these guys – it just comes down to reliability,” Brugler continued. “Sometimes that’s the best ability you can have. And so that’s why these two players dropped out of the first round. I think we’ll see them somewhere early on the second day. Teams are going to take a chance somewhere. That risk-reward becomes more likely for these teams in the early second round.”
But if teams tend to steer clear of prospects with questionable character, at least in the first round, then why did Denver move up to get Shane Ray at No. 23?
“That’s a good question,” Brugler said. “When you look at these character guys, it’s important that we don’t paint a broad brush and just put them all in the same category. We have to take each (prospect on a) case-by-case basis, each individual. And with Shane Ray, not only is it the marijuana citation that happened this past week, but also the injury. He’s dealing with a toe injury. You wonder, ‘Does he need surgery? Will he be 100 percent for training camp?’
“So Shane Ray has a lot of questions,” Brugler continued. “But it’s one of the things where at some point – and it’s different for every team – he becomes worth the risk. And for the Denver Broncos, once he fell out of the top 20 picks, the Broncos saw a chance to go up and get him. So for Denver, that’s when he was worth the risk. For Dorial Green-Beckham and Randy Gregory, we haven’t gotten to that point yet where a team says ‘Okay, this is where we feel these guys are worth the risk. We’ll take a chance on them.’”