81. Oakland Raiders- DeMarcus Van Dyke, CB, Miami
So I’m being a bit of a smart ass here by having the Raiders make somewhat of a reach for the guy who ran the fastest 40 time at the combine. The thing is, this is typical of how Al Davis does things. With a need at CB, this makes the pick make that much more sense as well. Van Dyke is very raw, but some will point to Sam Shields of the Packers who went undrafted last year and ended up being a major contributor in the playoff run. You can’t coach speed, and Van Dyke has this in spades, so the risk/reward actually makes a bit of sense here even if I intended this to be a bit of a joke.
82. San Diego Chargers- Akeem Dent, ILB, Georgia
This is a tough call as a speed WR like Edmond Gates would be a solid addition at a secondary need, as would a TE like Tennessee’s Luke Stocker. But both these guys aren’t going to have the potential to make an immediate impact like Dent can. This is a team with some holes and weakness at the ILB spot, and Dent is your two down plugger who can really impact the run game. He’s not the best in pass coverage, but he won’t be needed for this. He has the bulk to take on blockers well, shed them, and make the play, and this is what this team does not have on its roster right now. If not Dent, I could very well see this be another ILB prospect like Quan Sturdivant of UNC or Nate Irving of NC State.
83. New York Giants- Nate Irving, MLB, North Carolina State
I like Irving a bit more than most draft experts because I think he has better upside than the remaining prospects at this position. Irving is very athletic with good speed and very good strength at the point of attack. The Giants absolutely need to come away from the first three rounds with some help on the OL and help at LB, and in this scenario they have been able to do this. I would be willing to bet Irving is a day on starter when it’s all said and done, and he will fit very well in the Perry Fewell Cover-2 defense.
84. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Marcus Gilbert, OL, Florida
Gilbert is a very good value pick at this point as he has versatility to play both OG spots and RT. While grabbing another skill position player like a TE or a RB to help spell over achieving rookie LeGarrett Blount, The Bucs know they must continue to build this team in the trenches. Gilbert could definitely go higher than this as some feel he can definitely play RT in the NFL. I’m a bit more on the fence as I think he may struggle on the exterior but will be very good on the interior. Gilbert is still a very good value pick this late in the third round.
85. Philadelphia Eagles- Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
Burton is one of those corners who could go a lot higher depending on how a defensive coordinator looks at him. Burton can have a tendency to gamble and try to get his hands on the ball, which can leave him vulnerable to double moves and fakes. So the team that takes him is more than likely going to be an aggressive defense that wants their corners to press their man, be physical, and do what they can to get to the ball in the air. This fits the Eagles MO to a tee, so Burton to me is a very logical choice. I fully expect the Eagles to address the cornerback position at some point in the first two days, and depending on who falls in the first, this may be their top overall choice (not this player, but this position).
86. Kansas City Chiefs- Stefen Wisniewski, OC/OG, Penn State
After mentioning his name many times in the past two rounds, I finally have Wisniewski coming off the board. I think too many people are focusing on his 2010 season where he moved back to guard and wasn’t as effective in my opinion. I think he’s best suited as a center, and he looked very good there in 2009. The Chiefs absolutely need to improve at the hub position, and Wisniewski can come in and start immediately. Being that I mentioned his name so many times, I do think he could go much higher than this, but this is a solid value and about where he should slot.
87. Indianapolis Colts- Taiwan Jones, RB, Eastern Washington
I will readily admit, I have not seen any Eastern Washington film. I have read Jones’ stats though, and saw his eye popping results from his Pro Day, and I think it’s enough to throw him in here to the Colts. Jones has not played against top competition, except he did light up Nevada for 145 yards rushing this season, which makes me believe he can do this at the next level. 4.3 speed in the 40 is just tough to come by, especially when paired with production at the college level (even though it’s not the major college level). There are more recognized players like Kansas St’s Daniel Thomas, but I worry about his ability to hold on to the ball consistently. The Colts don’t need a feature back, they need a situational guy who can come in and make for yet another weapon a defense has to account for. That’s what Jones brings to the table.
88. New Orleans Saints- Clint Boling, OG, Georgia
The Saints could very well address the RB position, but I just don’t think they have to do this at this point. They have three serviceable guys already on their team, so adding another body to the rotation just isn’t a priority. The Saints could definitely lose Pro Bowl OG Carl Nicks (and an all time personal favorite of mine) to free agency as it’s not fiscally responsible to pay two top OGs when you already have the highest paid guard in football on the other side of the center in Jhari Evans. Boling played OT at Georgia, but he’s not athletic enough to play in space on the outside. He’s a good run blocker though and can transition easily to playing on the inside. He has enough experience and talent to start right away as well.
89. San Diego Chargers- Luke Stocker, TE, Tennessee
I considered Stocker with the 82nd pick, but went with the better value of an ILB instead, but he’s still here at the 89th pick. Stocker is not a vertical threat in the passing game, he’s more of a throw back traditional inline TE. He’s a solid blocker with good size, and he’s a very good short to intermediate passing option. Nevada’s Virgil Green is more similar to current All Pro Charger Antonio Gates in that he’s a raw athlete who is effective as a deep seam stretcher. So I think getting a complimentary TE is a smarter thing to do at this point.
90. Baltimore Ravens- Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada
Yes, Moch is very much a straight line speed rusher, but he’s the versatile weapon this defense could use to help Terrell Suggs get after the QB. Fresno State’s Chris Carter is a bit more polished as a rush OLB, but his ceiling is not nearly as high as Moch’s. Those that have him going higher than this are buying a bit too much into his stellar combine performance. He’s a very good athlete, but he has a lot more to prove as a football player. A complimentary RB like Kendall Hunter of Oklahoma State is a smart selection for value, but there are complimentary running backs to be had in rounds four or five. Pass rushers are always a commodity, and even though I think Moch needs a year or two of coaching to maximize his potential, he has the athletic skill set you can’t teach.
91. Atlanta Falcons- Virgil Green, TE, Nevada
With future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzales contemplating retirement this off-season, the Falcons have to come away from this draft with at least one pass catching TE eveni f it’s simply for depth. Green is very fast, but is not ideal size as an inline blocker. He’s the typical pass catching threat that the new wave of TEs coming out of the college game these days. If Green had more consistent hands, he could go as high as the second round. If TE is not the pick here, then a CB like Colorado’s Jalil Brown would be solid; as would a back up RB like Kendall Hunter or Daniel Thomas.
92. New England Patriots- Edmond Gates, WR, Abilene Christian
A RB might be a higher rated value at this point, but this is the kind of luxury the Patriots can take with the quantity of picks they have. Johnny Knox has proven Abilene Christian WRs can transition to the pro game quick enough, and Gates is even faster than Knox is. New England hasn’t had that true deep ball threat at the WR position since Randy Moss left, so they can transition Gates in easily to the offense by running a limited amount of plays with him where he can just run down the field and pull the top off of the defense.
93. Chicago Bears- Tyler Sash, SS, Iowa
This may not be the kind of pick Bears fans want to see, but I really like Sash. He’s instinctive, tackles well, and he has experience dropping back into coverage over the deep middle. He won’t have to start right away, but he can be the heir apparent for Chris Harris, as well as provide yet another key special teams player. I was tempted to take an OL like Lehigh’s Will Rackley, but I’m not as sold on him as others seem to be. He just did not perform well enough in the Shrine Game for me to think he’s as good as other media outlets are claiming (I like other OGs like Andrew Jackson of Fresno St better in the 5th round or so). Sash is simply a very good value here, and it’s not worth reaching for another position of need.
94. New York Jets- Chris Carter, OLB, Fresno State
Carter played DE for the majority of his college career, but moved to the OLB spot part time last season to prove he can play with his hand off the ground. Carter is a solid pass rusher, but he impressed me this season by showing he has the ability to drop into coverage if needed. He’s the bigger style of OLB the Jets tend to like, and he’s experienced and proven, which makes him worth this spot even if he’s not a double digit sack potential player.
95. Pittsburgh Steelers- Will Rackley, OL, Lehigh
Typical Steelers pick to take a value player at this spot, and he happens to fit a need. Even though I’m not sold on Rackley, I think this is a good spot for him to go where he can be surrounded by veteran players to help teach him the things he missed by not playing at a top level college program.
96. Green Bay Packers- Jah Reid, OT, Central Florida
The Packers have no real desperate needs, and although an OLB prospect would be good, I don’t see the value at this point. Reid is a bit of an unknown, but he looked very good at the Shrine game. He’s very big, and strictly a RT prospect as I think he’s too tall to play inside at OG, but with some time he might be a very solid starting RT. He’s bigger than what the Packers typically have right now in their OTs, but that’s a good thing.
97. Carolina Panthers- Jordan Cameron, TE, USC
Cameron is similar to Miami’s Jimmy Graham last year. He was a former basketball player who still has his best football years ahead of him. He’s a good athlete, he understands body position, and he’s a very good pass catcher. He needs time to fully develop, but he can learn under Shockey for a couple years. He’ll never be anything more than a serviceable blocker, but so be it.