The marathon they call Day 3 of the NFL Draft has been completed, and there were plenty of notable names still in play even in the later rounds. Once the 4th round and beyond hits, these players will never be called busts, but this is the time in the draft where you land your sleepers. Let's take a look at some of the more notable moves on day 3.
Round 4: Lamar Miller, Kirk Cousins, Bobby Massie and others find homes
Players with very high grades coming into the draft were ripe for the picking when Round 4 began at noon on Saturday. Here are a few that slipped that could make decision makers look like geniuses, or dopes for passing on them.
Miami Dolphins' RB Lamar Miller: Miller has first round talent and should have been taken well before the 4th round. I guess teams passed on him due to just one full year of tape and his lack of power. But last time I checked, you don't need power when you blow by defenders.
Washington Redskins' QB Kirk Cousins: Yep, that actually happened. For some reason, the Redskins took yet another QB in the draft, landing Michigan State signal caller Kirk Cousins. I can somewhat understand the sentiment of landing yourself a #2 who you could develop in case something happens to RGIII, but I feel sorry for Cousins. I wish he would have landed with a team that gave him a legitimate shot at being a starter. All he is now is a clipboard holder and possible trade bait.
Arizona Cardinals' OT Bobby Massie: A future right tackle in the pros, Bobby Massie could have benefited by one more year in college but chose to come out early. I liked him as a Day 2 selection, and the Cardinals get a major steal here and a starting right tackle for the next decade.
Honorable mentions: #123 overall (CB Brandon Boykin Philadelphia Eagles), #125 overall (OLB Ronnell Lewis Detroit Lions), and #126 overall (DT Jared Crick Houston Texans).
Round 5: Steelers land underrated RB; Bills may have landed two starters
In Round 5, the players began to slip in terms of starting talent, but that doesn't mean there weren't some names out there who could start for teams on either side of the ball and most importantly; on special teams.
Buffalo Bills' OT Zebrie Sanders and ILB Tank Carder: If you would have polled myself or any other NFL Draft expert if Sanders and Carder would slip all the way to the 5th round, many would have called you crazy. The Bills were able to land both of them at #144 (Sanders) & #147 (Carder). The Bills have a need at LT even though they drafted Cordy Glenn in Round 2, and they also have an opening at the SAM linebacker position, where Carder could compete with penciled in starter Kirk Morrison.
Pittsburgh Steelers' RB Chris Rainey: The Steelers bolstered their offensive line early and often in the 2012 NFL Draft, landing Stanford G David Decastro in Round 1 and then OT Mike Adams in Round 2. With Rashard Mendenhall often injured, the Steelers needed another running back in the fold and they got one with former Gator Chris Rainey. He is your prototypical change of pace back who was once a track star. I could see him making a huge impact on third down for the Steelers and as a special teams’ contributor immediately.
Honorable mentions: #136 overall (DT Josh Chapman Indianapolis Colts), #151 overall (OT Senio Kelemete Arizona Cardinals), and #168 overall (WR Juron Criner Oakland Raiders).
Round 6: Dolphins and Browns get hidden gems
Miami Dolphins' WR B.J. Cunningham: The Dolphins need to load their talent up on the offensive side of the ball to help newly drafted QB Ryan Tannehill. Already landing a gem in RB Lamar Miller, the Dolphins also landed Cunningham out of Michigan State. Cunningham was a great route runner in the Big 10 and should be good enough to be a slot guy next level, or a possible #4.
Cleveland Browns' DT Billy Winn: I have got to say, the Browns hit the jackpot here landing Winn in the 6th round, as this guy was definitely a Day 2 talent at worst. He has been a beast for Boise State for numerous years and was as solid a defender that you could have seen in 2012. Some scouts questioned his work ethic, but things change for the better sometimes when you go to the next level. With good coaching, this guy could land in Hawaii someday. Well, I mean land a Pro Bowl check someday.
Honorable Mentions: #185 overall (QB Ryan Lindley Arizona Cardinals), #194 overall (WR Marvin McNutt Philadelphia Eagles), #198 overall (WR Tommy Streeter Baltimore Ravens).
Round 7: Patriots roll dice with red flagged player, Browns get highly touted CB
New England Patriots' CB Alfonzo Dennard: Dennard spent the beginning of draft week in jail, plummeting his draft stock from a first round possibility to a late 7th round pick. Dennard was a stud CB in college at Nebraska and has the makings of an elite corner if he stays out of trouble. New England is in a win-win situation with this one. Either they look like geniuses, or they cut a 7th round compensatory pick who has first round talent.
“Obviously the incident affected his draft position but certainly we're aware of it,” Bill Belichick explained. “We researched it, we found out as much as we could about it. Obviously, as an organization we're comfortable making the selection where we did.”
Belechick does it again.
Cleveland Browns' CB Trevin Wade: The Browns will land a major steal here if Wade plays up to his potential as he did as a sophomore at Arizona. His first two years at Arizona, Wade had a total of nine interceptions. But during his junior and senior seasons, he had just three interceptions. He is the perfect example of a player you take a flier on in the 7th round because he has already proven he can do it; they just need to find out why he tailed off as he got older.
Honorable Mentions: #210 overall (ILB Audie Cole Minnesota Vikings), #227 overall (WR Rishard Matthews Miami Dolphins), and #237 overall (DE Cam Johnson SF 49ers).
Fan Hub Action
Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
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