NFL Mock Draft - Round 3

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72.) Vikings: DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (6’3. 247) - Jeffcoat fits the mold of recent 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. Jeffcoat can slide right into their defensive end rotation and take over Emerson’s role as third down pass rusher.

73.) Bills: S Ed Reynolds, Stanford (6’1, 207) – The Bills dysfunctional relationship with free safety Jairus Byrd is over and they need a replacement. Reynolds isn’t the natural athlete that Byrd was, but he’s no slouch and smart in coverage with natural instincts, good ball skills and solid range. Reynolds showed a knack for making big plays, returning 3 of his 6 picks for TDs in 2012.

74.) Giants: OLB Christian Jones, Florida St (6’3, 240) – 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: WR Martavis Bryant, Clemson (6’4, 211) – The Rams get a legit deep threat to go with their eclectic collection of underneath receivers. Bryant was inconsistent in college, but has great size and deep speed. The 4.42 40 Bryant ran at the combine is pretty ridiculous for a guy that is 6’4 and probably locked up a draft spot no later than this one. 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 of years.

76.) Lions: DE Kareem Martin, North Carolina (6’6, 272) - He’s better against the run than the rushing the passer, but did flash some ability last year with 11 sacks after only 8 combined the two previous years. Martin doesn’t have natural pass rush moves, but he has prototypical size and uses a strong punch to keep blockers off him and diagnose plays. Martin was a team captain and his leadership skills get mentioned in every scouting report I’ve seen. With all the thugs on the Lions defensive, they could use a solid citizen who could bring a stabilizing presence to their overly emotional defensive line. North Carolina has churned out some quality DEs in the past (Robert Quinn, Julius Peppers, Quinton Coples) so maybe the Lions will get lucky with Martin in the 3rd.

77.) 49ers: OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech (6’3, 252) – With Aldon Smith’s future with the team in jeopardy due to numerous off-field mistakes, the Niners get a potential replacement in Attaochu. He showed plenty of potential as a pass rusher at the Senior Bowl and enough athleticism to play the 3-4 OLB position, but his ideal role would be the way the 49ers use Aldon Smith as a hybrid DE/OLB.. Attaochu has a very quick first step and the natural ability to get to the QB. He wasn’t able to run at the combine but ran an impressive 4.58 at his pro day. Attaochu has a chance to be special as a pass rusher and could go higher than this if a team thinks he has a quick learning curve at OLB.

78.) Cowboys: ILB Shane Skov, Stanford (6’2, 245) – One of my favorite players in the draft, Skov will be a quality replacement for Sean Lee who is moving to WLB. Skov will give the Cowboys a solid tackler and blitzer up the middle as well as some toughness and leadership which just wasn’t there last season after Lee got hurt.

79.) Ravens: T/G Brandon Thomas, Clemson (6’3, 317) - After taking a tackle in round 2 the Ravens don’t have a glaring need for another O-lineman, but they are rumored to be so high on Thomas that they considered him with their 1st round pick until he tore his ACL during a private workout. I don’t think they will pass on him if he is still available in the 3rd.  It never hurts to have O-line depth and Thomas is versatile enough to play either tackle or guard. He’s smooth in pass pro with good technique, but could be more aggressive as a run blocker.

80.) Jets: T Seantrel Henderson, Miami (6’7, 331) – The Jets lost RT Austin Howard in free agency and Henderson has all the tools to be a beast. Of course he couldn’t do it consistently in college which is why a guy with his size and agility is still around at this point in the draft. Henderson has a ton of potential, but off-field issues and on field focus problems have kept him from reaching it so far. If he ever matures and focuses on football the sky is the limit and he’s worth a gamble in the 3rd round.

81.) Dolphins: CB Louchiez Purifoy, Florida (6’0, 190) – After losing starting corner Nolan Carroll in free agency, the Dolphins could use an upgrade across from Brent Grimes. They signed Cortland Finnegan but at this stage of his career, he is better suited as a backup. Purifoy has the athleticism to be great, but didn’t make as many plays as he should have with his skill set.  He plays very physical and with so much swagger it’s like he’s already thinks he’s great even though he’s not there yet. He only had 2 interceptions in 3 years, so clearly ball skills aren’t a strength. Despite some flaws the potential is there for Purifoy to be a starting CB in the league. He needs some refinement, but Purifoy has more upside than most corners in the draft.

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