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story.lead_photo.caption The Indianapolis Colts didn’t have a first-round selection, so their first pick of the draft was Southern California’s Michael Pittman at No. 34 overall. Pittman said he’ll be expected to “make an impact right now” for the Colts. (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Pitch and catch.

While only one quarterback, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, was taken on Day 2 of the NFL Draft on Friday, the guys who haul in passes were everywhere.

Starting with the top two selections on Day 2 -- Clemson's Tee Higgins to Cincinnati and Southern California's Michael Pittman to Indianapolis -- seven wideouts were drafted. Add that to the six who went in the opening session, and it set an NFL record through two rounds. Three more receivers were selected in the third round.

The NFL these days is built on passing offenses. This draft is loaded with outstanding pass catchers. Many teams had both Higgins and Pittman rated as top-32 talent.

[NFL Draft-A-Thon » arkansasonline.com/draftathon/]

So the Cincinnati Bengals held firm atop the second round by grabbing Higgins to catch Joe Burrow's passes. The pair worked out together heading toward the draft.

And Higgins idolizes Bengals star receiver A.J. Green.

"I actually model my game after him," Higgins said.

"Man, it's crazy. I was just talking about this to my good friend -- I could end up with the Bengals and be his teammate one day. Now that this moment is here, it's surreal."

In addition to finding what they hope will be their franchise quarterback in LSU's Burrow with the first overall pick, the Bengals (2-14 last season) added a threat who can make the spectacular reception.

Pittman takes his 6-4, 224-pound frame to Indianapolis.

The Colts had no first-rounder, but they quickly gave new quarterback Philip Rivers a target in Pittman, whose father also played in the NFL.

"I think they brought me in to make an impact right now, and they have Philip Rivers, who I think is a Hall of Famer," Pittman said. "I'm happy I get to start with like a Hall of Fame quarterback."

Hurts wound up in Philadelphia, which has an established QB in Carson Wentz. But the Eagles envision using Hurts, who was at Alabama before being beaten out as starter by Tua Tagovailoa.

"We're always going to be about the QB position," Eagles draft boss Howie Roseman said. "It's the most important position in sports. We think Jalen is an incredible teammate."

Two positions almost ignored in the first round got some attention directly after Higgins and Pittman were selected. Georgia's D'Andre Swift became the second running back chosen, by Detroit.

LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the only running back who went in the opening round, last to Super Bowl champion Kansas City.

Four more running backs went in the second round.

Safety was ignored on Thursday, but immediately was addressed by the Giants in Round 2 with Alabama's Xavier McKinney. New York's secondary has been a sieve.

"He also has that ability to be a quarterback on the back end, a signal caller for the defense," Coach Joe Judge said. "He fits the mold of a smart, tough, fundamentally sound guy we are looking to build with."

New England finally surfaced with the 37th overall spot after trading out of the first round. Coach Bill Belichick was nowhere in sight -- his dog appeared to be manning his laptop -- as the Patriots chose Kyle Dugger, a safety from Division II Lenoir-Rhyne.

Dugger not only was the first player not in FBS to be selected, but only the second from a non-Power Five conference. Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, who went 26th overall to Green Bay, was the other.

After a record 15 of the 32 players in the first round came from the SEC, another 10 SEC players came off the board in Round 2. And that's not including Hurts, who transferred to the Big 12 for his final season.

Through 106 selection in three rounds, 40 came from the SEC -- far more than the previous high. Forty for a conference through four rounds was the previous record.

National champion LSU had 10, tying the 2016 Ohio State record through three rounds, while perennial power Alabama added nine.

Other teams making their initial selections Friday night saw:

• TCU defensive tackle Ross Blacklock going to Houston;

• Chicago adding a 10th tight end to its roster in Cole Kmet of Notre Dame;

• Another Irish player, wideout Chase Claypool, a Canadian, to Pittsburgh;

• Florida State's Cam Akers to the Rams, who had released their standout running back, Todd Gurley, last month, with Gurley surfacing in Atlanta;

• Buffalo adding to an already solid defense with Iowa end A.J. Epenesa, one of the Big Ten's outstanding defenders.

NFL Draft second-round selections

SEL. TEAM PLAYER POS. SCHOOL

33.Cincinnati Tee Higgins WR Clemson

34.Indianapolis (from Washington) Michael Pittman Jr. RB Southern Cal

35.Detroit D’Andre Swift RB Georgia

36.NY Giants Xavier McKinney S Alabama

37.New England (from Chargers) Kyle Dugger S Lenoir-Rhyne

38.Carolina Yetur Gross-Matos DE Penn State

39.Miami Robert Hunt OT La.-Lafayette

40.Houston (from Arizona) Ross Blacklock DT TCU

41.Indianapolis (from Cleveland) Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin

42.Jacksonville Laviska Shenault Jr. WR Colorado

43.Chicago (from Las Vegas) Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame

44.Cleveland (from Indianapolis) Grant Delpit S LSU

45.Tampa Bay Antoine Winfield Jr. S Minnesota

46.Denver K.J. Hamler WR Penn State

47.Atlanta Marlon Davidson DE Auburn

48.Seattle (from NY Jets) Darrell Taylor DE Tennessee

49.Pittsburgh Chase Claypool WR Notre Dame

50.Chicago Jaylon Johnson CB Utah

51.Dallas Trevon Diggs CB Alabama

52.LA Rams Cam Akers RB Florida State

53.Philadelphia Jalen Hurts QB Oklahoma

54.Buffalo A.J. Epenesa DR Iowa

55.Baltimore (from New England) J.K. Dobbins RB Ohio State

56.Miami (from New Orleans) Raekwon Davis DT Alabama

57.LA Rams (from Houston) Van Jefferson WR Florida

58.Minnesota Ezra Cleveland OT Boise State

59.NY Jets (from Seattle) Denzel Mims WR Baylor

60.New England (from Baltimore) Josh Uche LB Michigan

61.Tennessee Kristian Fulton CB LSU

62.Green Bay A.J. Dillon RB Boston College

63.Kansas City (from San Fran.) Willie Gay Jr. LB Mississippi State

64.Carolina (from Kansas City) Jeremy Chinn S Southern Illinois

Third-round selections

SEL. TEAM PLAYER POS. SCHOOL

65.Cincinnati Logan Wilson LB Wyoming

66.Washington Antonio Gibson WR Memphis

67.Detroit Julian Okwara DE Notre Dame

68.N.Y. Jets (from N.Y. Giants) Ashtyn Davis S California

69.Seattle (from Carolina) Damien Lewis G LSU

70.Miami Brandon Jones S Texas

71.Baltimore (from L.A. Chargers) Justin Madubuike DT Texas A&M

72.Arizona Josh Jones OT Houston

73.Jacksonville DaVon Hamilton DT Ohio State

74.New Orleans (from Cleveland) Zack Baun LB Wisconsin

75.Detroit (from Indianapolis) Jonah Jackson G Ohio State

76.Tampa Bay Ke’Shawn Vaughn RB Vanderbilt

77.Denver Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa

78.Atlanta Matt Hennessy C Temple

79.N.Y. Jets Jabari Zuniga DE Florida

80.Las Vegas Lynn Bowden Jr. WR Kentucky

81.Las Vegas (from Chicago) Bryan Edwards WR South Carolina

82.Dallas Neville Gallimore DT Oklahoma

83.Denver (from Pittsburgh) Lloyd Cushenberry C LSU

84.L.A. Rams Terrell Lewis DE Alabama

85.Indianapolis (from Philadelphia) Julian Blackmon S Utah

86.Buffalo Zack Moss RB Utah

87.New England Anfernee Jennings LB Alabama

88.Cleveland (from New Orleans) Jordan Elliott DT Missouri

89.Minnesota Cameron Dantzler CB Mississippi State

90.Houston Jonathan Greenard LB Florida

91.New England (from Seattle) Devin Asiasi TE UCLA

92.Baltimore Devin Duvernay WR Texas

93.Tennessee Darrynton Evans RB Appalachian State

94.Green Bay Josiah Deguara TE Cincinnati

95.Denver (from San Francisco) McTelvin Agim DT Arkansas

96.Kansas City Lucas Niang OT TCU

Sports on 04/25/2020

Print Headline: Receivers cover lots of ground early in NFL Draft

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