The Best Players Available in Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft

The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft is in the books, and it was a historic night for the Minnesota Vikings.

Not only did they land a quarterback of the future in J.J. McCarthy, but they also grabbed pass rusher Dallas Turner after trading up to the No. 17 pick. However, the draft is still just getting started.

Of course, the Vikings don’t currently hold a pick in the second or third rounds, but they could swing a trade to try and move back into the rounds. Here is a look at the best players available heading into Day 2.

Best Players Available in Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft

2024 NFL Draft
Oct 21, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton (4) tackles Wisconsin Badgers running back Braelon Allen (0) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

DT Johnny Newton, Illinois

Johnny Newton lives in the backfield. Despite being a bit undersized at the DT spot, he constantly finds ways to maneuver his way around blockers and get after the quarterback. The sky is the limit for Newton if he continues to build out his frame.

WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

Adonai Mitchell just makes everything look so easy at the wide receiver position. He moves fluidly throughout his routes and effortlessly leaps into the air to highpoint a pass. There just isn’t a ton of play strength to him, and he doesn’t consistently bring in contested catches.

CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

There is a reasonable argument to be made that Cooper DeJean won’t be able to handle man coverage as a cornerback at the NFL level. Even if that is the case though, he easily has the awareness, speed, and ball skills to play centerfield as a safety while also immediately bringing a boost to special teams as a return man.

Oct 21, 2023; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) looks on during the game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

Jackson Powers-Johnson is such a wrecking ball in the trenches that he actually started a bowl game at defensive tackle for Oregon during the 2021 season. On the other side of the ball, though, he stands firm as a blocker and can slide into gaps to shut down any interior rush from the defense.

LB Payton Wilson, NC State

Versatility is the name of the game for linebackers in today’s NFL, and Payton Wilson’s tape is littered with it. He has the lateral athletic ability to hang in coverage, but he can be a force in the trenches as a blitzer with his 6’4″, 240-pound frame. He gets downhill in a hurry and racked up 30 tackles for loss over the past two seasons at NC State. Injuries are the concern as he suffered an ACL tear during the 2021 season.

WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia

Ladd McConkey is surgical as a route runner and consistently found open space in the short and intermediate portions of the field at Georgia. It’s tough to envision a world where he plays with too much strength at the NFL level, though, standing at 5’11” and 185 pounds.

Dec 30, 2023; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver Ladd McConkey (84) makes a catch and runs for touchdown against the Florida State Seminoles during the first half in the 2023 Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

C Zach Frazier, West Virginia

At 6’3″, Zach Frazier is likely limited to being a center in the NFL. He is terrific in that spot, though. Frazier is an absolute mauler who rarely gets beaten either in run blocking or pass protection.

CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

Outside of having the coolest name in this draft class, Kool-Aid McKinstry brings a lot to like as a CB2 with potential to eventually develop into a CB1. He isn’t quite elite in any category yet, but he is a solid prospect in terms of athleticism, size, and discipline in coverage.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.