The bottom of the first round is always the most interesting segment of the draft. This is where teams who are too successful to end up at the top of the proceedings show why exactly they’re so successful. Anyone can look at a Heisman candidate who fits one of their many problem areas and pluck that guy out of the draft. It is much more difficult to find an under-the-radar talent whose potential nobody else realizes.
Two types of players tend to frequent this portion of the show: ultra-skilled and physically gifted guys with attitude problems, and not-as-athletic guys -- with at least one notable weakness -- who get by on grit and effort.
Generally speaking, those are the two broad categories that most of the players taken at the end of the first round can be separated into.
As always, a few maintenance issues we should get out of the way: 1. The draft order was determined by ESPN’s most recent power rankings. Obviously things will change as the season progresses, but that is the structure we opted to use for now. 2. We didn’t hold anyone’s performances from this weekend against them. (These guys have long résumés, there is no need to pick and choose individual outings.) 3. We weighed team needs over best player available whenever it was clear that a team had a really glaring hole. In the case of teams that didn’t have particularly glaring holes, we emphasized best player available.
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With all that in mind, here are picks 24-32.