2014 Mid-American Conference Group of Five Draft: Round Two

Saving the football universe through MACtion, Round Two.

Welcome to Round Two of the first Hustle Belt Group of Five Draft.  Round One kicked off very un-MACtion-like with the first five picks being defense and offensive line.  The back half of the first round however, featured four quarterbacks and a wide receiver.  What can be expected in the second round?  Is it who can slap together the top defensive unit in the high flying MAC?  Or is it the first to 50?  Who's strapping on the work boots, grabbing the lunch pail, and reporting to work at The Factory?  WILL THE BOAT STAY AFLOAT?  Together we will slay the B1G dragon.  Your Round Two picks:

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14.  Christian Covington, Defensive Tackle, Junior, Rice

Just like it's no secret Miami was absymal on the offensive line last year, they were lacking on the defensive side as well. Covington, the son of one of the best defensive linemen in CFL history, flew under the radar because he grew up in Canada, but Rice got a gem. He made the C-USA all-freshman team his first year, then was named to the all-C-USA first team his sophomore year, blowing up offensive lines despite playing with a cast on his right hand for about half the season. Covington's size, ferocity, and defensive numbers -- which include 9.5 TFLs and 4 sacks last season, numbers most college defensive ends would be happy with, let alone defensive tackles -- have already made him the #2 prospect at his position for the 2016 NFL draft. Production like that would help the RedHawks immensely. - The Chuck

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15.  Devante Davis, Wide Receiver, Senior, UNLV

In the first round the Minutemen took a defensive tackle because we believe in Blake Frohnapfel (for now). Now we look to give Blake a second weapon. While Tajae Sharpe is an american hero, the loss of Rob Blanchflower means the Minutemen have only 1 true receiving option. That's where Devante Davis comes in. The past two years, Devante averaged over 14 yards per catch. Last year he hauled in 87 catches for 1290 yards. At 6'3", he proves a huge redzone target, and with 14 touchdowns last year he's shown he sniffs the ball out in the endzone. The Minutemen cannot get by on Sharpe alone, and with Davis lining up on the other side of him, opposing defenses will struggle to cover both players. Plus, with the defense stretched thin trying to cover two top tier receivers, the middle should open up for the running game. Welcome to the Minutemen Devante Davis.                - Jesse Allen

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16.  Wes Saxton, Tight End, Senior, South Alabama

After taking a much needed defensive lineman in the first round, I had the freedom to go wherever I wanted. Had Keeton still been here, he would've been my choice. That said, there's no QBs left that would be a no brainer over the current trio (with regards to both the future and the present), and I want to boost the offense with a somewhat solid defense now built to help remain competitive. That's where Saxton comes in. With a solid stable of running backs and a decent corps of wide-receivers, Terrell/Stewart/Thomas will need a big tight end to occasionally target to help relieve the pressure on the bigger names. Saxton fits the bill perfectly, while possibly becoming the best TE in the MAC right away.

While Saxton may not have the most gaudy stats, he's still one of the top tight ends in this upcoming draft. He also plays for a South Alabama team that doesn't have one of the most prolific aerial attacks. So when you see 50 catches for 635 yards last season, you know he can make plays on his own without much help. His 6-4, 240 lb frame will be a solid target in between Jay Harris and Corey Davis, and his size should help open up the run game off the tackles (having played in a run happy offense for the Jags no less). He does it all, helping alleviate the pressure on such a youthful group - Brandon Fitzsimons

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17.  Jordan Taylor, Wide Receiver, Senior, Rice

I know I passed up on a few receivers that are very skilled and talented, but this guy's got height. At 6'5" and 210 lbs., Taylor was fourth in the C-USA in receiving yards (848) with 55 receptions. I'm sure Brogan Roback would love a big target like that, especially in his first full-year as a starter. With him as a target, it creates some serious mismatches in a spread offense in the red zone. Jay Jones can be the smaller slot receiver, Tyreese Russell can bounce from TE to slot, Dustin Creel is also back, used as an X/Z receiver. Donald Scott, who would normally line up at the X or Z spot, already had his final season with EMU. And even though he was extremely fast, he couldn't even catch a cold.                 - Alex Alvarado

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18.  Elijah McGuire, Running Back, Sophomore, Louisiana-Lafayette

With both Dri Archer and Trayion Durham banged up last year, the Kent State running game really struggled. With Archer off to the NFL, a big-play threat is needed. Durham is solid, but he's a typical big back, at his best between the tackles. McGuire, on the other hand, is great in space, capable of scoring from anywhere by run or pass. He's arguably stronger than Archer too, and defensive backs may want to break down before taking him on. Last season he ran for 863 yards and 8 TDs on just 103 carries, and caught 22 passes for 384 yards and another 3 scores, despite starting just 1 game. - Al Burke

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19.  Kyler Fackrell, Linebacker, Junior, Utah State

I went explosive deep threat on the offensive side of the ball in round one, so I'm looking out for the defense by snagging some NFL talent in round two.  Fackrell started every game a season ago and is already taking up real estate on Mel Hairpiece's big board. At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Fackrell flies around the field, and instantly transforms an Akron defense that was successful stopping the run, but struggled against the pass, into one of the top defenses in the MAC. - Keith Scheessele

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20.  Jay Ajayi, Running Back, Junior, Boise State

Sticking with the offensive side of the ball, Ohio selects Boise State running back Jay Ajayi in round two. The 'Cats lost the two main pieces of their backfield this offseason. Both Beau Blankenship and Ryan Boykin had been staples of the backfield for years. Junior Daz' Patterson, a slew of freshman, and some converted position players now take over the role of carrying the rock. Patterson is more valuable when he's able to line up all around the field, and there's some questions about whether his smaller frame is up for the punishment of being an every down back.

With Ajayi, Ohio instantly has one of the top backs in the MAC. At 6 foot, 216 pounds, he's a powerful, big back who will be able to carry the load and give Rakeem Cato's offense (now) a dangerous backfield. He carried for nearly 1,500 yards this past fall, and 18 touchdowns, to go along with more than 200 yards receiving. Ohio's offense is ready to challenge Bowling Green's for tops in the MAC. - Bryan Vance

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21.  Brett Boyko, Offensive Tackle, Senior, UNLV

After taking Carden in round 1 the Chips got a much needed leader. What better to do than protect that leader with the 13th ranked tackle in college football currently (per draft scouts).

The Chips produced the #1 overall pick two years ago, and Boyko already possesses tremendous talent, making this a match made in heaven for both parties.- Jeremy Dugans

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22.  Kivon Cartwright, Tight End, Senior, Colorado State

Last season the Rockets tight ends were basically another offensive tackle. Which was effective don't get me wrong, as they averaged 240.6 Rushing Yards a game, which was 14th overall in the entire nation. Throwing in Kivon Cartwright would expand the play calling. Last season with the Colorado State Rams Cartwright caught 27 receptions for 462 yards and 6 touchdowns and was named to the John Mackey Preseason watch list for this upcoming season. With the play calling being mostly running plays for the Rockets maybe a few quick play action passes to Cartwright to back the linebackers off could both help the running game and also help the passing game. - Ian Davis

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23.  Matt Miller, Wide Receiver, Senior, Boise State

The Bulls have some holes on offense going into 2014, and while running back Branden Oliver would seem to be the obvious option that needs replacing, Buffalo looks to be strong at the position with a bunch of decent backs returning, as well as the majority of the offensive line. Receiver looks to be a greater need, with productive seniors Alex Neutz and Fred Lee graduating. The pair combined for 119 receptions, 1716 yards and 17 scores, more than half the team's passing yardage and TDs, last year. Asking one man to try and replace that production is a bit of a stretch, but Miller has improved steadily over the first three years of his career, and was outstanding in 2013, catching 88 passes for 1140 yards and 12 TDs. At an almost tight end-sized 6'3 and 220 pounds, he's fast enough (4.59) to show MAC defenders a clean pair of heels when given the chance. Or Oregon State for that matter. Did someone say "matchup nightmare"? - Al Burke

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24.  Tommy Shuler, Wide Receiver, Junior, Marshall

It would be ideal for Ball State to have a another stud receiver to play alongside Jordan Williams. With Willie Snead gone, you don't have that dangerous duo that the Cardinals had the year prior. It looks as if Ball State's defense will be the strong point of the team next year, so it's important to build up the offense. That's why junior wide receiver Tommy Shuler would be such an important puzzle piece for the Cardinals next year. We saw how successful Ball State was able to be with two great receivers, so it makes sense to try to replicate it. Pairing up Tyler Heinicke (Old Dominion quarterback who Ball State drafted in the first round of this draft) with Williams and Shuler would make this team an immediate passing threat. Now, Shuler may not put up Willie Snead type stats next year, but I'm sure he will be close. Last year, Shuler received for over 1,165 yards, and reeled in 10 touchdowns. With this pick, you can almost ensure that Ball State will have one of, if not the best, offense in the MAC. - NickLowe007

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25.  Brock Hekking, Defensive End, Senior, Nevada

The Huskies need some help on the defensive line and Brock Hekking from Nevada provides just that. Hekking led Nevada with 8 sacks and 10 tackles for loss, earning himself a spot on the 2nd team All-Mountain West. Hekking also rocks a sweet mullet to go along with his outstanding play. Hekking is a perfect fit for NIU as he will help the pass rush up front. A better pass rushing unit will mean less pressure on the talented but inexperienced secondary. Overall, the Huskies made out great in this draft, picking up guys who fit the system at a good value. With the additions of Keeton and Hekking, the Huskies will be competing for another MAC championship. - Mike Karpinkski

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26.  Travis Raciti, Defensive Tackle, Senior, San Jose State

With the final pick of the draft, BGSU selects San Jose State defensive tackle Travis Raciti. At 6 foot 3, 290 pounds, Raciti is a run stuffer. He isn't a pass rusher, but he gobbles up holes and clogs the line of scrimmage, which is exactly what the Falcons need. Paired with James Rouse, the Falcons' first round pick, suddenly BGSU's weakness on defense is a strength, making it nearly impossible to move the ball against the Falcons. - Bryan Vance

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