Round 2 and Round 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft are in the books, which means it’s already time to do some grading on what happened Friday night.
While some teams made more great picks, others had more whiffs. Some falling players landed in good spots, while others weren’t drafted at all.
Here are the winners and losers of Day 2, with the best and worst developments involving two first-round talents at running back.
During a bang-bang play in which Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop drove his helmet into Newton, Bishop was called for roughing but was not fined.
That was on the heels of Newton getting two such calls in his debut at Arizona, vs. both Cardinals linebacker Clark Haggans and cornerback Richard Marshall. Later in the Green Bay game, Riveron’s crew again was quick with the flag when Aaron Rodgers took a tough hit from Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy.
In his first two NFL games, Newton got three roughing calls. He got a league-leading eight in his favor as a rookie.
In 2015, Newton got zero roughing calls during his MVP- and NFC-winning campaign. Last season, he got only two despite the post-game spotlight after that Week 1 mess in Denver.
Riveron, in his new job “overseeing all aspect of the league’s officiating department,” naturally should make QB protection a point of emphasis. Ron Rivera and the Panthers shouldn’t hesitate, then, to bring it back up in regards to Newton.
Carolina’s offseason has been about trying to better protect Newton, whether that means improving its offensive line, getting more players to ease his rushing burden or getting him more options to get the ball out quicker.
Riveron’s hire only adds to the help.