NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – Round 1

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Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

27.) Saints – LB Ryan Shazier, Ohio St (6’2, 230): Possibly the best athlete in the draft (4.3 40-time, 42″ vert) and DC Rob Ryan will find a way to utilize him on a suddenly dangerous Saints defense.

28.) Panthers – WR Brandon Cooks, Oregon St (5’10, 186): Cooks has great hands and is very explosive after the catch. Cooks’ size is less than ideal, but he was unstoppable as a junior (128 catches, 1,730 yards, 16 TDs). He’s a poor man’s Steve Smith.

29.) Patriots – TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech  (6’5, 265): He’s a perfect fit for the Aaron Hernandez role in the Pats offense. Amaro had a disappointing combine so they may wait till round 2, though he did look better at his pro day. Amaro has great size, good hands, and has shown a knack for getting open against zone coverage and should create mismatches against linebackers and most safeties. Amaro should be a big upgrade over the TEs the Pats put out there last season.

30.) 49ers – DT Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota (6’6, 318): He wasn’t as productive as he should have been in college considering his elite strength and athleticism, but he is a converted TE and is still learning the nuances of the DT position. D-line isn’t the 49ers most glaring need, but Justin Smith is getting older and D-lineman with Hageman’s measurables don’t come around very often.

31.) Broncos – CB Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech (6’0, 194): Fuller is a technician at corner and excels against short to intermediate routes. He lacks deep speed, so he can be taken advantage of with the long ball, but the rest of Fuller’s game is solid including his run support. Fuller should be ready to step in and contribute right away.

32.) Seahawks – WR Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt (6’3, 205): Matthews is a big, sure-handed receiver who runs crisp routes and displayed better than expected speed and athleticism at the combine. Matthews was very productive in college and finished his career at Vandy as the SEC’s all-time leading receiver. He will give Russell Wilson a big target with reliable hands and is the perfect complement across from Percy Harvin.

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_