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Draft Day Three: 10 to Watch

Posted May 10, 2014

Independent analyst Andrew Mason takes a look at the best players available entering the draft's final four rounds.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- You need only look at the Broncos' roster to see the value of second-day picks -- especially when you consider that three key starters arrived on the third day of recent drafts: fourth-rounder Julius Thomas (2011), fifth-rounder Malik Jackson (2012) and sixth-round pick Danny Trevathan (2012).

There's value and depth on Day 3, and still some intriguing names on the board. Here are 10 that are among the most notable available.

T/G Cameron Fleming, Stanford: He could move inside, but his skill set and size (6-foot-5 and 323 pounds) makes him an ideal fit for right tackle. A better Combine workout would have thrust him into the first day, but the bright, skilled lineman should make him a good Day 2 value. Fellow Stanford offensive lineman David Yankey also went undrafted Friday and could be a fourth-round target.

WR Bruce Ellington, South Carolina: He's explosive and athletic, given his basketball background, but is raw and undersized (5-foot-9, 197 pounds), which has caused him to get lost in the shuffle of bigger receivers who have similar speed. He also needs some developmental time, particularly in route-running. But his overall fundamentals are outstanding; he catches the ball properly and he does a good job getting separation.

DE James Gayle, Virginia Tech: A prime example of a player who is better against the run than the pass at this point, which leads to a slip to the third day. He had one of the best workouts among defensive ends and pass-rushing outside linebackers, including the best bench-press tally among that group. (26 repetitions). He also was seventh-best in the 40 and the broad jump, second-best in the vertical and sixth in the three-cone drill among defensive linemen. A three-year starter, Gayle had 34 tackles for losses and 18 sacks the last three years, and does a good job pushing offensive tackles back and off-balance.

WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley State: His production is ample, albeit at Division II: he caught 189 passes for 3,207 yards and 31 touchdowns the last two years. His Combine workout was outstanding, few blend speed size better than the 219-pound Janis. The concerns are over the relatively low caliber of college competition and small hands (nine inches). But he's a prime developmental prospect who could contribute immediately on returns.

DT Daquan Jones, Penn State: More than just a space-filler on the inside, the 322-pound Jones is adept at getting to ballcarriers and defusing runs from the inside, finishing with 11.5 tackles for losses. The emphasis on defending the pass has probably hurt his stock, but players of his size with agility are precious commodities, and he should contribute immediately to a defensive line rotation.

CB Keith McGill, Utah: The tallest and longest cornerback among those invited to the Combine, McGill should not last long on Day 3, given that big cornerbacks like him (6-foot-3, 211 pounds) are in vogue. His 4.51 40 time is good enough for him to stick; but he dropped to Day 3 because of shaky quickness numbers and a DUI arrest two years ago.

QB Aaron Murray, Georgia: SEC quarterbacks did not have a good night Friday; Murray, LSU's Zach Mettenberger and Alabama's A.J. McCarron all went undrafted. In some ways, Murray is the most intriguing of the prospects; he's coming off a torn ACL, and was likely dropped on some boards because of his stature (just over 6 feet) and small hands. But he was productive at Georgia, and possesses the requisite intangibles in leadership, poise and the ability to read defenses quickly.

LB Shayne Skov, Stanford: His straight-line speed prevents him from being an ideal every-down linebacker, but he's a splendid tackler, doesn't get flustered in traffic and diagnoses run plays quickly. In a past era, he would have been a second- or third-round pick, but with pass defense a league-wide priority, he slipped through the cracks.

LB Telvin Smith, Florida State: Smith is hard to classify: he has the aggression and instincts to play weakside linebacker, and his speed (4.51 seconds) makes him an asset. But some teams will be scared off by his 218-pound size, especially if they don't believe he can add good weight. He's likely a sub-package, nickel-alignment linebacker, but that could still put him on the field for 60 percent of the snaps, and if he as much of a playmaker as he was at FSU, he will bring good value for a second-day pick.

RB Andre Williams, Boston College: The highly productive Heisman finalist has adequate speed for a runner of his size (230 pounds), and has recovered from a shoulder injury that prevented him from improving his stock at the Senior Bowl. Williams is also an above-average blocker, but there could be concerns about his ability to contribute out of the backfield as a passing target; he had no receptions last year and generally operates better in traffic than space). But his durability and ability to break through the first tackler should ensure he finds a landing spot Saturday.

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