NFL Mock Draft - Round 3

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Round 3

65.) Texans: Antonio Richardson, Tennessee (6’6, 336) – Texans RT Derek Newton was one of the worst starting tackles in the league last season (-24.3, 56/60) and they at least need some competition at the position. Richardson is a massive tackle prospect with surprisingly light feet for his size. “Tiny” struggled in pass pro as a left tackle, but he could step in on the right side and become a run-blocking force quickly. With some technique improvement Richardson could eventually become an all-around stud at tackle. 

66.) Redskins: ILB Chris Borland, Wisconsin (5’11, 248) – The Redskins re-signed ILB Perry Riley and brought in ILB Darryl Sharpton from Houston, but they don’t have much depth and Sharpton would be better off as a backup. Borland would be a lock for the first round if he were a few inches taller, but he’s shorter than ideal for the position. His lack of height will hurt him covering taller tight ends, but that’s really his only flaw. Borland might have the best instincts I’ve seen at the college level since Luke Kuechly. He ran a 4.7 40 at his pro day, so his speed is only average, but his elite instincts allow him to play a tenth or two faster on the field. If Borland can get there, he’s going to make the tackle. He’s a big hitter with 14 forced fumbles in his college career, has a knack for making big plays when needed, he is solid in zone coverage and is a leader on and off the field.

67.) Raiders: DT Domanique Easley, Florida (6’2, 288) –  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 Raiders 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. His comment that he would rather watch cartoons than a football game might hurt his stock a little, but he is too talented to drop much farther than this.

68.) Falcons: DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise St (6’3, 251) - With the Falcons switching to a 3-4 alignment, they need guys who can generate pressure off the edge. They got a good one in the 2nd round with Van Noy, but Lawrence is a nice complement on the other side at either OLB or DE. He’s a bit of a tweener, but has a good strength / speed combo and a variety of pass rushing moves. Lawrence could contribute as a pass rusher right away at either position.

69.) Jets: QB AJ McCarron, Alabama (6’3, 220) – The Jets brought in Michael Vick to be their QB in 2014 making it clear that Geno Smith isn’t the future, so the Jets need to start succession planning. McCarron doesn’t have flashy skills, but is a proven winner with only 4 losses in his college career. His arm strength looked just mediocre at the combine, but that isn’t what he relies on to succeed. McCarron is a solid decision maker, with adequate mobility, good size, and throws an accurate catchable ball.

70.) Jaguars: C Marcus Martin, USC (6’3, 220) – 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. With Jags legend Brad Meester retiring, they need a replacement and Martin has potential to be very good in a year or two. You know a franchise sucks when a decent center is a one of their best players ever.

71.) Browns: G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi St (6’3, 336) – 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, but all the tools are there for him to be a pro bowl guard as long as he isn’t required to move much laterally.

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