NFL Mock Draft – Round 3

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82.) Bears: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (6’3, 218) - He’s 6’3, ran a 4.46 40 at his pro day and has a 41.5″ vertical leap. Measurements like those don’t come along very often at the corner position. It’s not like he is just a workout warrior either, Jean-Baptiste had 6 interceptions and 21 pass breakups in just 17 starts and was 2nd team all Big-Ten last season. Jean-Baptiste’s technique is raw, he has only played corner for two years after switching from wide receiver before his sophomore season at Nebraska. I was impressed with SJB’s instincts breaking on the ball at the Senior Bowl and he has excellent ball skills from his days as a wide out. He’s inconsistent against the run but has shown sings of being a big hitter (0:28, 0:51 & 1:52 on highlights below). After a year of coaching and learning from Charles Tillman, Jean-Baptiste could be ready to move into the starting lineup in 2015. SJB is a great fit for the Bears zone scheme and could end up being a lock-down corner who can match-up with the NFC North’s tall receivers.  I could see the Bears going with a more polished corner like Jaylen Watkins or Rashaad Reynolds over SJB if they are looking for an immediate impact over long-term ceiling.

83.) Browns: CB Jaylen Watkins, Florida (5’11, 194) - The Browns could use an upgrade over Buster Skrine across from Joe Haden. 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 had the best speed (4.41) / power (22 reps) combo of all the corners at the combine. Watkins has the potential to be a solid outside cover guy and didn’t miss many tackles in college.

84.) Cardinals: QB Tom Savage, Pittsburgh (6’4, 228) - With Carson Palmer in the final year of his contract and 34-years-old, it makes sense for the Cardinals to start looking for someone to take over in 2015. Cards HC Bruce Arians likes big, strong armed QBs and Savage fits that mold. He has good size and a cannon arm, but showed inconsistent accuracy at the college level, he’s not mobile and will already be 24 his rookie year. With a year or two of grooming, he has the potential to be a good NFL QB or at worst a serviceable back-up.

85.) Packers: TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame (6’6, 270) - With Finley all but gone and the athletically limited Andrew Quarles as their starting TE, the Packers should be looking for an upgrade in the draft. Niklas has only played the position for two years at the college level, but has shown flashes of massive potential. He’s already a great blocker, has shown soft hands, and can move pretty well for a big man. Niklas might need a year to two to learn the nuances of the position at the pro level but he could help right away in the run game and eventually be a weapon in the middle of the field for Rodgers.

86.) Eagles: WR Jarvis Landry LSU (5’11, 205) - The Eagles have two solid starters in Maclin and Cooper, but have very little depth after releasing DeSean Jackson. Landry’s 4.7 40-time was the biggest disappointment at the combine. On tape he looks like a 4.5 guy, maybe 4.6 at worst. He’s clearly not a burner, but he’s very strong, knows how to get open, and has great hands. He’s also a willing blocker in the run game and should be able to contribute as a 3rd WR right away. Landry reminds me of a mini Anquan Boldin and I think he is a steal this late in the draft.

87.) Chiefs: G Cyril Richardson, Baylor (6’5, 329) - Was exposed a bit at the Senior Bowl as a phone booth blocker only. He really struggled when asked to move laterally, but has the strength, size, and athleticism to eventually become a force inside. The Chiefs are hurting at guard after losing both Schwartz and Asamoah in free agency.

88.) Bengals: OLB 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.

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