The Latest on the second and third rounds of the NFL draft.
The NFL will provide a dollar-for-dollar match on Friday of every donation to its fundraiser to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the matching donations by the league at the beginning of Friday night’s broadcast of Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft.
Money raised during the “Draft-a-Thon” will benefit COVID-19 relief efforts and pay tribute to healthcare workers and others on the front lines of the pandemic.
Donations will be divided among six charities: the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross; CDC Foundation’s All of Us; and the COVID-19 response funds of Feeding America, Meals on Wheels America and United Way.
The “Draft-a-Thon” had raised more than $4 million by early Friday evening.
The Indianapolis Colts made their first pick of the draft, No. 34 overall and the second pick of Day 2, grabbing Southern California receiver Michael Pittman Jr.
The son of the former NFL running back was a Biletnikoff Award finalist as the top receiver in the country last year. At 6-foot-4, Pittman is big and strong. He had 101 catches for 1,275 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Georgia running back D’Andre Swift was next off the board, going to the Detroit Lions. Swift was the second running back selected in the draft after LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the final player taken in the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Cincinnati Bengals held firm atop the second round of the draft, selecting receiver Tee Higgins to catch Joe Burrow’s passes.
Many teams covet the opening spot in the round, viewing it almost as a first-rounder because a player — usually several players — they graded as a top-32 guy has not been chosen.
But unless a club was willing to part with a 2021 first-round choice to move up for No. 33 this year, the Bengals were wise not to budge.
Besides, they likely rated Higgins as a first-round talent, too.
So in addition to finding what they hope will be their franchise quarterback in Burrow with the first overall pick, the Bengals (2-14 last season) added a threat who can make the spectacular reception.
Burrow and Higgins also worked out together heading toward the draft.
The second day of the NFL draft begins with nine AP first-team All-Americans available, including Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor and Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield. Eight AP first-team All-Americans were selected during the first round.
Maybe the most intriguing All-American on the board is Kentucky’s Lynn Bowden, who made the team as an all-purpose player. Bowden was Kentucky’s leading receiver, but injuries forced the Wildcats to move him to quarterback and him became a dominant runner, going for 1,468 yards.
In the NFL, Bowden is likely to move back to wide receiver, but his do-it-all skills could increase his value.
The Denver Broncos are hoping to get off to a better start in Day 2 of the NFL draft. Coach Vic Fangio says his internet and cable TV locked up on him Thursday just when the NFL draft was about to start.
The Broncos didn’t draft until the 15th pick, but Fangio says his IT expert, Russ Trainor, was frazzled.
Trainor summoned some Comcast engineers nearby and they quickly arrived at Fangio’s house to fix the problem.
Fangio says the cable guys had him back up and running within a few minutes.
Safety and running back.
Positions that were somewhat or totally ignored in the first round of the draft figure to get a lot of attention on the second day of selections.
The second and third rounds of the virtual draft could see, pardon the pun, a run on running backs. Only one, LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire, went on Thursday, to the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs in the final spot.
Look for Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, Ohio State’s J.K Dobbins, Utah’s Zack Moss and Florida State’s Cam Akers to find homes.
No safeties went — six cornerbacks were chosen — in the opening round. Alabama’s Xavier McKinney, LSU’s Grant Delpit, Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr., and Georgia’s J.R Reed are available.
As usual, the spotlight will shine on any quarterback remaining. That means Jake Fromm of Georgia, Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma and Jacob Eason of Washington could be called out by Commissioner Roger Goodell.
More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL