65. Texans: DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise St (6’3, 245) - A bit of a tweener, but has a good strength / speed combo and a variety of pass rushing moves. Lawrence could contribute right away as a situational pass rusher and eventually put on enough weight to be a 3-down DE.
66. Redskins: ILB Chris Borland, Wisconsin (5’11, 245) - Would love to see Borland fall to the Bears later in the round, but he has fallen farther than he should have already due to his height. Borland has the best instincts of any LB in the draft and will be a tackling machine and a leader wherever he ends up.
67. Raiders: QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois (6’2, 219) - The Raiders get their QB of the future in Garoppolo. He doesn’t have the biggest arm, but his quick release and sound decision-making should make him a solid pro and an upgrade over what the Raiders currently have at the position.
68. Falcons: DT Dominique Easley, Florida (6’2, 285) - A first round talent who slips to the 3rd based on concerns over two ACL injuries in college, the second coming late last year. This could be a steal for the Falcons if Easley recovers well. He has elite quickness and explosion off the ball. Easley is undersized but strong enough to shed blocks and hold up vs the run.
69. Jets: G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi St, (6’4, 339) - A massive interior lineman who is a mauler in the run game and has surprising agility for a man his size. Jackson needs some refinement in pass protection and he doesn’t have the speed to fit in a scheme that requires him to pull, but all the tools are there for him to be a pro bowl guard in any scheme that requires Jackson to fire off the ball and dominate the man in front of him.
70. Jaguars: RB Bishop Sankey, Washington (5’10, 203) - Well-rounded RB prospect with no glaring flaws except a smaller than ideal frame. Sankey runs well inside or out, makes people miss and avoids big hits with elite “shiftyness”, catches the ball well, and might be the best pass blocker of the top backs. Despite his slight build, Sankey showed he can break tackles and hold up over the course of a season as the primary ball carrier (616 carries last 2 seasons). He’s not as explosive as Mason or as powerful as Hyde, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the most productive NFL running back in this class.
71. Browns: S Dion Bailey, Browns (6’0, 200) - The Browns draft some insurance in case TJ Ward leaves in free agency. Bailey switched between OLB and Safety in college and played well at both. He is a sure tackler with great instincts and enough speed to be adequate in coverage. Bailey showed good hands in college with 11 career interceptions.
72. Vikings: DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (6’4, 250) - Jeffcoat fits the mold of current Vikings DEs Jared Allen & Brian Robinson. He’s a little light, but has good quickness off the edge and displayed good pass rush moves in college. Jeffcoat struggles at time to shed blockers and will struggle against the run until he gets stronger. He is the son of former NFL player Jim Jeffcoat who had 103 career sacks and two super bowl rings with the Cowboys.
73. Bills: ILB Shane Skov, Stanford (6’2, 245) - One of my favorite players in the draft and another guy I hoped would fall to the Bears, but Skov will fit nicely next to Kiko Alonso in the middle of the Bills defense and should be a solid run stopper right away.
74. Giants: LB Christian Jones, Florida St (6’4, 234) - Great athlete with good size and speed. Jones has been moving up draft boards quickly and this may be too low of a spot for him. Either way, the Giants need OLBs and they get a good one here in Jones.
75. Rams: QB Zach Mettenberger, LSU (6’5, 235) - Publicly the Rams are saying all the right things about Sam Bradford being the man, but I would be surprised if they don’t use an early-to-mid round pick on a QB of the future. Mettenberger has good size and a cannon arm, but showed inconsistent accuracy at the college level and he’s not mobile at all. With a year or two of grooming, he could end up being a very good NFL QB.
76. Lions: C Weston Richburg, Colorado St (6’4, 300) - The Lions get an eventual replacement for 35-year old C Dominic Raiola. Richburg helped his stock with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl and was one of the only O-lineman there who had any success against Aaron Donald and other speed rushers. Richburg didn’t miss a game in college, showed good intelligence making the line calls the last two seasons for CSU, and performed well against an upgrade in competition at the Senior Bowl. He has a shot to move up to the 2nd round and be the first center drafted.
77. 49ers: C Marcus Martin, USC (6’3, 310) - Is a center run starting? Ha, not sure that’s ever happened. Martin declared early after only one year of starting and could probably use another year of seasoning. Regardless of his inexperience, Martin has more potential than any center in the draft. He plays with a mean streak and a low center of gravity that allows him to excel in run blocking and anchor well in pass protection. The 49ers can afford to keep him on the bench for a year and then should have a solid starter for years to come.
78. Cowboys: DT Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina (6’3, 298) - The more I watch tape on South Carolina, the more that Quarles stands out. A month ago he was projected in the 4th round, but now I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves up as high as early in the 2nd. Quarles could very well switch places with the Cowboys 2nd round pick, Will Sutton. Either way, Dallas ends up with 2 DTs that can step into the starting lineup and make an impact right away. Quarles is a well-rounded prospect who holds the point well against the run and shows enough quickness to generate an interior pass rush (9.5 sacks last year). DTs that are good against the run and can get to the QB are rare and Quarles should continue to move up draft boards as long as he performs well at the combine.
79. Ravens: DE Chris Smith, Arkansas (6’1, 266) - Smith helped his stock at the Senior Bowl showing great quickness off the edge, the power to bull rush, and a surprising mix of pass rush moves. Smith has unusually long arms which help negate his lack of height. His elite acceleration off the ball will make him at worst a situational pass rusher, but I think he has enough talent to eventually become a 3-down DE.
80. Jets: WR Martavis Bryant, Clemson (6’4, 200) - The Jets get a deep threat to pair with Brandin Cooks and give Geno Smith a 3rd weapon from the draft. Bryant was inconsistent in college, but has great size and deep speed. Bryant made enough spectacular catches in college to get excited about his potential, but he also dropped plenty of easy ones and needs to get stronger to beat press coverage at the NFL level. It won’t happen right away, but Bryant could be special in a couple years.
81. Dolphins: DT Ego Ferguson, LSU (6’2, 309) - The Dolphins switch focus to the other side of the line as they will probably need a DT unless they can bring back both of their DT free agents (Starks, Soliai) before the draft. Ferguson is a great athlete and has tons of potential, but wasn’t as dominant as expected in college. He didn’t start until his junior year and while he excelled at stopping the run, Ferguson only had 1 sack in his three years at LSU. He has good quickness and sheds blockers well, so it’s possible the pass rush will develop eventually.
82. Bears: MLB Yawin Smallwood, Connecticut (6’3, 236) - Smallwood’s HC at UConn, Paul Pasqualoni, is the Bears new D-line coach and they could reconnect if Smallwood is still available at this point of the 3rd round. Smallwood was very productive in college (118 tackles, 9.5 TFLs, 4 sacks in 2013), has good range in run defense, is an instinctive blitzer with good closing speed, and is fast and fluid enough to cover tight ends and running backs. He is a well rounded MLB prospect and would probably go a round higher if he had played in the SEC.
83. Browns: G Cyril Richardson, Baylor (6’5, 348) - Was exposed a bit at the Senior Bowl as a straight ahead blocker only. He really struggled when asked to move laterally, but has the strength, size, and athleticism to eventually become a force inside.
84. Cardinals: QB AJ McCarron, Alabama (6’3, 214) - Carson Palmer only has a few mediocre years left at most, so the Cardinals need to start succession planning. McCarron doesn’t have flashy skills, but is winner with only 4 losses in his college career. He skipped the Senior Bowl so his arm strength is still a bit of a mystery, but it doesn’t look that great on tape. McCarron is a solid decision maker, with adequate mobility, and good size. To me he profiles as a back-up, game manager type but some team will fall in love with his intangibles and draft him a few rounds too early.
85. Packers: TE CJ Fiedorowicz, Iowa (6’6, 262) - The Pack get a replacement for free agent TE Jermichael Finley. Fiedorowicz isn’t as flashy as Finley, but his hands are way more reliable and he is an excellent blocker. Fiedorowicz wasn’t utilized as a receiver much in college but he showed surprising speed and agility at the Senior Bowl and could contribute as both a receiver and blocker right away.
86. Eagles: WR Paul Richardson, Colorado (6’1, 172) - Fast, explosive receiver who bounced back from an ACL injury in 2012 with a strong 2013 campaign (83, 1,343, 100). Richardson is a crisp route-runner with reliable hands. The primary knock on Richardson is that he’s only 172 pounds and might not be durable enough to be an every down WR. DeSean Jackson is only 175 pounds and he has done alright for the Eagles.
87. Chiefs: TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame (6’6, 270) - The Chiefs got sub-par play from their tight ends (McGrath, Fasano) last year and should be looking for an upgrade. Niklas has great size for the position which he uses well as a punishing blocker. Niklas switched to TE from the defensive side of the ball just two years ago and is understandably still developing his route-running skills. He has shown good hands and better than expected speed. His floor is a solid blocking TE who can be a safety valve receiver, but has the potential to become a weapon in the passing game down the road.
88. Bengals: LB Telvin Smith, Florida St (6’3, 218) - If he were 20 pounds heavier he might be a first round pick. Smith was one of the most impressive LBs I’ve watched in this class. He has elite speed and excellent instincts. In the Senior Bowl, Smith snuffed out 3 screen plays by himself. At FSU he was constantly around the ball and didn’t miss many tackles. Smith is solid in coverage and a violent blitzer. Teams are going to be wary of drafting a 218 pound linebacker and some will look to move him to safety. Wherever he ends up, Smith is a heck of a football player and will be an asset on special teams.
89. Chargers: CB Jaylen Watkins, Florida (6’0, 194) - The Chargers starting CBs were among the worst in the league last season and they need some new blood at the position. Watkins played both corner and safety at Florida, showing good versatility and a team first attitude. He stood out at the Senior Bowl as one of the most polished corners there and has the potential to be a solid outside cover guy. His lack of strength is a concern against the run, but Watkins has good technique and didn’t miss many tackles in college.
90. Colts – S Terrence Brooks, Florida St (5’11, 195) - Yet another Seminole defensive player, the 5th in this draft, Brooks is fast and a big hitter despite being a bit undersized. He has a tendency to go for the big hit a little too often which leads to some missed tackles, but he usually finds a way to take down his target. Brooks has great range in coverage and can cover slot receivers when needed. His height isn’t ideal but his excellent vertical leap adds an inch or two. One knock on Brooks is his hands. He only had 4 interceptions in two years despite putting himself in position for at least double that many picks. Brooks only played safety for two seasons, so he is still learning the position and could get considerably better with experience which would make Brooks a steal this late.
91. Saints: WR Jared Abbrederris, Wisconsin (6’1, 189) - Abbrederris could make the claim that he is the best route-runner in this draft and only Jordan Matthews would have a legitimate complaint. The Saints receiving core has been Marcus Colston and a rotating cast of mediocrity for the last few years, but Abbrederis could give them a reliable number 2 WR with great hands and the aforementioned route running ability. He is quicker than he looks, will lay out for the tough catch, and just knows how to get open.
92. Panthers: WR Davonte Adams, Fresno St (6’2, 215) - Another guy who knows how to get open. In two seasons at Fresno St, Adams caught a ridiculous 233 passes for 3,031 yards and 38 touchdowns. Those are Tecmo Bowl numbers, but somewhat inflated by the Fresno St spread offense and weak competition. Even taking those negative factors into account, it’s still pretty darn impressive. Adams has good size, reliable hands, and uses his body well to block out defenders. He runs well after the catch with the ability to make people miss and break tackles if they don’t. Adams doesn’t have elite speed but that is the only flaw I can see so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if Adams moves up to the 2nd round by draft day.
93. Patriots: DT DaQuan Jones, Penn St (6’4, 323) - Jones struggled with weight issues early in his college career, but trimmed down before his senior year and showed more explosion and consistency last season. He’s not much of a pass rusher, but he’s holds the point of attack well and can be an asset against the run. Played well in Senior Bowl practices and probably solidified no later than a 3rd round draft slot. His best fit is as a 3-4 NT and would be good insurance for the Pats if Vince Wolfork isn’t recovered from his achilles injury in time for the 2014 season.
94. 49ers : DE Brent Urban, Virginia (6’6, 298) - Long armed end with good strength and decent quickness off the edge. His best position in the pros will be as a 3-4 DE and he would give the Niners a back-up for Justin Smith and a potential replacement down the road.
95. Broncos: CB EJ Gaines, Missouri (5’10, 195) - Speedy coverage guy with good anticipation and ball skills. Unfortunately Gaines doesn’t have very good hands, with only 7 interceptions in three years as a starter. He tackles well though and is an all-around solid player. Gaines doesn’t have ideal height but plays bigger then 5’10 and usually did well against taller receivers ; He shut down TAM’s 6’6 WR Mike Evans (4 catches, 8 yards) in their match-up last November.
96. Vikings: CB Keith McGill, Utah (6’3, 214 ) - The tallest corner in this year’s draft, McGill helped his stock at the Senior Bowl. He showed surprising fluidity in drop-backs and better coverage ability than expected. McGill is an intriguing prospect, but not without warts. He missed as many games as he started in his two years at Utah and does not have good hands. I saw him drop one against ASU that hit him square in the numbers. McGill only had 1 int in two years as a starter. In his defense, McGill did have a pick at the Senior Bowl so maybe there is hope for his hands after all. The Vikings drafted 6’2 CB Xavier Rhodes in the 1st round last year so this would give them two very tall corners to match up with the Bears Marshall / Jeffrey combo.