27: Michigan Stags (St. Louis Stallions) – Elijah McGuire, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette
Michigan loves running the ball with a deep group of running backs but after trading Denard Robinson last year and Jeremy Langford this offseason the backfield was down to just Thomas Rawls. With Rawls as the grinding power back, Elijah McGuire is a great compliment to him, with very good hands to be a receiving back to go with pretty good explosiveness to boot. This looks like a great 1-2 punch.
28: Mississippi Cottonmouths – Lorenzo Jerome, S, St. Francis (PA)
It’s easy to see how Lorenzo Jerome might have slipped through the cracks. He’s not very big or fast and played at Division I-FCS St. Francis (PA). It’s not a great combination to get noticed but the Mississippi Cottonmouths clearly liked his physicality and instinctiveness and want to make him a big part of their defense. He also has return ability.
29: Iowa Threshers – Marquel Lee, ILB, Wake Forest
Marquel Lee was expected to be a first round pick, but he slipped into the second round and it’s to Iowa’s benefit as they got a guy who can be their day one leader on defense. Lee is a big, strong, tough inside linebacker who jut screams being a team’s enforcer. Expect some huge hits from this guy.
30: San Diego Diablos – Jordan Evans, ILB, Oklahoma
A very productive three-year starter at a great college program, Jordan Evans has proven he is a linebacker with a great mind for the game. He has a tremendous combination of size and speed and wows scouts with his measurables. The only reason he slipped in the draft is because sometimes he doesn’t have the physicality or aggressiveness needed and can get pushed over, but those mistakes certainly get made up for with all the good ones he makes.
31: Omaha Express (Houston Wranglers) – Adam Butler, DT, Vanderbilt
Omaha has made their defense an early focus and now get a bid guy up front to take up blockers for first round pick Calvin Munson. Butler is a big guy who can be a plug in the run game. He needs to build up his strength though before he starts demanding two blockers attention.
32: Minnesota Freeze – Jeremiah Valoaga, DE, UNLV
Only a one-year starter with marginal production. His speed might hurt his finishing when rushing the quarterback, and he needs to put on more bulk, but he’s a smart guy with a high motor and great technique.
33: New Orleans Nightmare (Memphis Bombers (Louisville Cougars)) – KD Cannon, WR, Baylor
New Orleans did well in the first round by grabbing a potential franchise quarterback as well as a guard to help keep him on his feet. Now they grab an exceptionally explosive wide receiver for Brad Kaaya to throw to. Cannon has 195 catches, 3,113 yard and 27 touchdowns in three years for Baylor. He’ll need to polish up his route-running, but that type of athleticism on the outside can be deadly for defenses.
34: Charleston Dragons – Conor McDermott, OT, UCLA
Another team building around their franchise quarterback; Charleston took Cooper Rush in the first round and now they get the big left tackle to work in front of him. Conor McDermott has a very high ceiling and should start right away from a Dragons offensive line that desperately needed to get younger.
35: Atlanta Firebirds (Utah Raptors) – Matt Breida, RB, Georgia Southern
After Alfred Morris dropped off a cliff, the Atlanta Firebird’s offense was way to one-dimensional and cost them the playoffs in 2016. Matt Brieda gets added to the mix with two other young, but unproven running backs: Terron Ward and DeAndre Washington. Brieda is a small back (just 5-foot-8) from a small school (Georgia Southern), with only marginal production (just 646 yards and three TDs as a senior), but he’s shifty and can catch. Even if he doesn’t become the lead back, he will carve out a role as the team’s third down back.
36: Columbus Explorers (Memphis Bombers (New York Marauders)) – Dylan Donahue, LB, West Georgia
A versatile edge-defender, expect Dylan Donahue to fill in for the departed John Simon on the edge. Donahue has the physical skills you look for at the position, but might be slightly undersized. That probably shouldn’t matter, though. He’s got great footwork and quickness that made up for it.
37: Dallas Six-Shooters (Birmingham Predators) – Austin Ekeler, RB, Western State
The loss of Rex Burkhead will really hurt the Six-Shooters but as they turn the backfield over the Jalen Ricard, Austin Ekeler will keep some o those Burkhead traits in the Big D. Like Burkhead, Ekeler is a smaller guy, but has nice power, elusiveness and hands.
38: Dallas Six-Shooters – Tanner Gentry, WR, Wyoming
The most obviously Dallas Hartwell type of pick there is; Tanner Gentry isn’t fast, but he’s tough and productive. Sometimes those eye-popping measurables only go so far and it’s just about whether a guy can catch the ball and make a play down the field. Gentray can do that. He has 1,326 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior at Wyoming while grabbing 72 passes. But still, we’ll have to see if his physical limitations hurt in at the next level.
39: Omaha Express (Louisville (Utah (New Orleans (Memphis (Omaha))))) – Aaron Jones, RB, UTEP (Traded to Houston)
A tremendous pick here, Aaron Jones had first round talent but depth at the position made him slip into the middle of the second round. Aaron Jones was flipped to Houston and probably shouldn’t have a problem beating Paul Perkins, Tyrell Sutton or Knile Davis out for the job. Jones impressively had a 40+ yard run in eight games of his final year at UTEP while producing as a receiver.
40: Charleston Dragons (Memphis Bombers) – Evan Johnson, OL, Saskatchewan
Once again, Charleston has a clear focus for their draft and they took another offensive linemen to make sure Cooper Rush is well protected. Evan Johnson is a very good interior linemen from Canada who should start right away.
41: Dallas Six-Shooters (Carolina Generals (New Orleans Nightmare)) – Christophe Mulumba-Tshimanga, OLB, Maine
After focusing on offense with their first three picks, Dallas went defense with their fourth selection in the first two rounds, grabbing a skilled Canadian edge defender in Christophe Mulumba-Tshimanga. As a senior in college he had 97 tackles and seven tackles for a loss with 3.5 sacks. At the next level he could be better as a pass rusher, but should at least be a good run-stuffer.
42: Washington Wave – Keelan Cole, WR, Kentucky Wesleyan
In a weak draft for receiver Division II Keelan Cole stands out. It’s a risk since he comes from a small school, but he’s a gifted athlete who was head and shoulders above the weaker competition he faced at Kentucky Wesleyan. Last year he caught 57 passes for 1,401 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging a remarkable 24.58 yards per reception. If you come from a small school and want to make it in the pros you better absolutely dominate the competition. Cole did.
43: Columbus Explorers – Avery Ellis, LB, Temple
Columbus again focuses on their defense with an edge guy. Like Donahue, selected just a few picks ago, Avery Ellis is a tough guy who will fight off blockers and stop the run, and also like Donahue, he could be a much better pass rusher at the pro level. He’ll just have to prove it, though.
44: Michigan Stags (New York Marauders (Atlanta Firebirds)) – Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida
The Stags commitment to having an exceptional backfield is something to appreciate, and Marlon Mack can be a great running back, but this pick doesn’t really seem to make sense. It’s perhaps just too much committed into one position when the offense needs more help. It’ll be hard to imagine Mack getting enough of an opportunity to truly shine like he could.
45: Pittsburgh Forge – Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU
Pittsburgh went offense in the first round and they didn’t waiver in the second round with the selection of Davon Godchaux. He’ll help their run defense for sure. He’s an explosive big man with great hands to fight off blockers and in college he also commanded a double-team. Now he didn’t typically fight those double teams off and didn’t produce as a pass rusher, but he’ll certainly eat up blockers and make his teammates better.
46: Orlando Rockets – Rigoberto Sanchez, P/K, Hawaii
It’s always a head-scratcher to see a specialists picked this early but when you’re a team as well-built as the Rockets you have the luxury of being able to focus on the one need you have. Well, it’s not a huge need but the typically consistent Justin Medlock is coming off a down season and Matt Darr isn’t the greatest. Rigoberto Sanchez will try to fill both role for the Rockets, giving that important extra roster spot to use elsewhere.
47: Michigan Stags – Jeremiah Ledbetter, DT, Arkansas
Michigan’s defense was great last season but there was still room for improvement, especially by the run defense. Jeremiah Ledbetter is an explosive defensive linemen. Though he does have limitations that make him more of a tweener, DT/DE, he’s stronger than his size and has the technical ability to make up for it.
48: Seattle Orcas – James Onwualu, OLB, Notre Dame
Why is Seattle’s defense always so great? Because they keep getting tremendous talent even when they don’t need it. James Onwualu will still be able to carve out a role because of his exceptional athletic ability. Onwualu used to play wide receiver but move to defense as he got bigger, but that experience playing offense leads to him being a very instinctual coverage linebacker. He’ll be able to focus on tight ends and will have the speed to keep up with them.
49: Los Angeles Stars – Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson
The Stars went out and got Ladarius Green in the offseason in hopes of being able to replace Tim Wright, but the Stars lost Chad Owens too, who was another physical, over-the-middle type of receiver, and the team’s leading receiver. Jordan Leggett is a tight end who excels at catching the ball and can be a centerpiece of a team’s passing attack. At the end of the second round this seems like a steal.
50: San Antonio Marshals – Jeremy Sprinkle, TE, Arkansas
The Marshalls finally found a tight end in Dion Sims, but he took his success to the NFL. Now the Marshalls will look to Jeremy Sprinkle to be their physical chain mover. At 6-foot-5, 252-pounds, Sprinkle looks the part and was better than his numbers showed at Arkansas. He’s got very long arms too, making the big man even more of a redzone threat to catch jump balls.
51: Carolina Generals – Geoff Gray, OG, Manitoba
There are a lot of unknowns on the Generals offensive line, which means there can always be room for another guy in there to compete for a starting spot. Geoff Gray is a massive Canadian prospect who is definitely a project, but is definitely very intringuing.
52: Philadelphia Bulldogs – Bucky Hodges, TE, Virginia Tech
Another team drafting a tight end hoping to replace their guy last year. Mychal Rivera never quite lived up to the billing in Philadelphia but he was still a good redzone threat and chain-mover. Bucky Hodge is a big guy who should be another redzone threat but he has great athleticism and can even comfortably be moved out off the line and be used as a split end. He’ll need to polish up his route tree but he should be able to have an impact catching the ball.
Best Pick: Marquel Lee, ILB, Wake Forest (Iowa Threshers)
The Threshers get an impact defensive player on their defense, a guy who should be the captain of that unit for a long time to come.
Most Questionable Pick: Marlon Mack, RB, South Florida (Michigan Stags)
It’s certainly not the talent because Marlon Mack is great, but after they picked Elijah McGuire with the first pick of the second round, drafting a second running back in the same round just seems like overkill. The Stags like having a three-headed monster at running back, but it just seems like a lot of draft picks and money has been invested in one position instead of spread out to help other areas the team might need.