NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Biggest steals of Day 2, including Cooper DeJean and Jer’Zhan Newton

2T38CMA Illinois defensive lineman Jer'Zhan Newton rushes the quarterback during an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

• Planning for the future: Despite not being in need of an interior defender, the Commanders landed Jer'Zhan Newton early in the second round.

• Bulking up the interior offensive line: Jackson Powers-Johnson was considered a mid-to-late first-rounder but fell to the Raiders in the middle of the second round. He'll form a nasty trio with Andre James and Dylan Parham.

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There were a number of picks worthy of being declared “steals” on Day 2, especially in the early and middle parts of the second round, but 10 names stuck out above the rest.

Here are the biggest steals from Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft. 

DI Jer’Zhan Newton, Washington Commanders

The 11th-ranked prospect on the PFF big board and one of the few ready-made impact defenders in the class, Newton likely slid out of the first round because of the partial Jones fracture he suffered midway through his senior season — an injury that forced him to sit out much of the pre-draft process.

Over the last two seasons, The Illinois product ranked first among the nation's interior defenders in total pressures (102) and total run stops (55).

He will reinforce an already strong position group as he joins Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen along the interior in Dan Quinn’s new-look defense.

CB Cooper DeJean, Philadelphia Eagles

DeJean fell out of the first round presumably because of the questions over his true position at the next level. However, his playmaking ability and coverage instincts give him a chance to succeed in any role in the secondary.

Over the last two seasons, the Iowa standout allowed just a 45.0 passer rating on throws into his coverage despite playing over 800 coverage snaps. DeJean also racked up seven interceptions and 12 forced incompletions while providing value as a punt returner.

The Eagles have now snagged both of PFF’s top-ranked cornerback prospects. Quinyon Mitchell and DeJean will form a solid young core in the secondary, while Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis take care of business up front.

Click here to see Cooper DeJean's 2024 NFL Draft profile!

 IOL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Las Vegas Raiders

A first-round-caliber player for many, Powers-Johnson might well be the best interior offensive lineman in the class. He should slot in as an instant starter at guard for the Raiders.

The Oregon product posted an elite 90.6 pass-blocking grade in 2023, allowing just one pressure while offering great movement skills to make an impact at the second level as a run-blocker in zone or gap schemes. He will provide a nasty presence on the interior of the Raiders' offensive line.

 WR Adonai Mitchell, Indianapolis Colts

A popular late-first-round option for teams looking for a high-ceiling receiver, Mitchell ultimately came off the board at No. 52. 

After transferring to Texas, Mitchell put together a strong season and showcased his playmaking ability, racking up 11 scores on 15.4 yards per reception.

Mitchell is an easy mover with a great release package and vice grips for hands. He has the talent to slot in as a Day 1 starter next to Michael Pittman Jr., giving Anthony Richardson a versatile receiving duo to develop alongside.

Click here to see Adonai Mitchell's 2024 NFL Draft profile!

 WR Roman Wilson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Wilson was in the conversation with the second tier of receivers in this class but fell to No. 84, giving the Steelers great value on a QB-friendly target who is also one of the best separators in the class.

A season ago, 26 of Wilson's 34 targets against single coverage were charted as “open,” leading to an absurd 99.9 receiving grade in those situations.

An easy projection to start Day 1 in the slot for Pittsburgh, Wilson should quickly establish himself as a trustworthy target who can help move the chains on key downs.

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