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The 5 best available prospects on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL draft

Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) reacts after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
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Apr 26, 2024

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Apr 26, 2024

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32 players had their NFL dream realized when they were selected in the first round on Thursday, but who is the best still to come?

The first round of the 2024 NFL draft broke multiple records for the number of offensive players selected, with the first 14 picks all lining up on the offensive side of the ball. All told Round 1 included a record-tying seven wide receivers, a record breaking eight offensive tackles, five quarterbacks in the first 12 picks, and no running backs.

But as always there are players who are left behind. Below is a look at the five highest regarded NFL draft prospects who are still on the board, with the second and third round to commence on Friday starting at 7:00 PM ET in Detroit.

For complete analysis of the first round of the NFL draft, check out the latest episode of Locked On NFL – free and available wherever you get your podcasts!

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1. Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

DeJean is one of many defensive players who got bumped from the first round after a flurry of offensive players took precedent. With experience playing safety and corner, and a lock to be an impactful special teams player, DeJean is a very safe bet who will be off the board early in the second round.

2. Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois

Interior defensive tackles were not much of a focus in the first round, but any team looking to add to that area in the second will surely gravitate toward Newton – who was highly productive at Illinois. His frame, strength, and agility make him a desirable prospect on the inside.

3. Kool-Aid McKinstry, DB, Alabama

Not just an incredibly unique name, McKinstry is a highly cerebral corner with excellent acceleration and the versatility to be a well rounded corner at the next level.

4. Jackson Powers-Johnson, OL, Oregon

Powers-Johnson is among the top center prospects in the class, and while his athleticism isn’t otherworldly he should be a long time NFL starter thanks to his competitive nature, heavy hands, and strong processing ability.

5. Patrick Paul, OT, Houston

Another offensive line prospect who should find a new home early on Friday, Paul is an excellent pass protector at left tackle. He’ll need to develop his run blocking to be the complete package, but his long arms and lateral mobility are no doubt appealing to NFL scouts.

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