Round 3
PICK(OVR)PLAYER/SCHOOLPOSDRAFTED BYNOTES
  • What he brings 

    McClain is an upfield penetrator with good quickness and hands as a pass-rusher. He needs to work on lowering his pad level and getting off blocks as a run defender, but should bring good depth as a situational one-gap player as a rookie.

    How he fits 

    Carolina used mostly backup-type players at this position last season and could lose some to free agency. For years the Panthers have lacked a powerful run stuffer inside with the ability to get penetration in pass-rushing situations. McClain won't be elite versus the run but he can be an inside penetrator and is a more gifted athlete than they have on the roster.
  • What he brings 

    Moch is a phenomenal athlete who runs in the 4.4 range in the 40, giving him great range, and he has a good motor. He'll transition to linebacker in the NFL,where he will need to develop instincts when forced to play in reverse in coverage. He has upside and showed progress at the East-West Shrine game, but he still has work to do in that area.

    How he fits 

    Moch likely will line up at the SLB, and although the Bengals like their outside guys, he adds depth and versatility, especially if they play Rey Maualuga inside. The Bengals need Moch to give them good run support versus good right-handed running offenses.
  • What he brings 

    Irving is instinctive and makes a quick diagnosis, showing a nose for the ball and above-average range. However, he is not a great athlete in terms of change-of-direction skills and could be a liability in coverage on occasion. Irving showed courage and mental toughness bouncing back from a near-fatal car accident two years ago and is not the same player he was before the accident.

    How he fits 

    The Broncos have struggled in the 3-4 scheme and under John Fox they will likely go back to a 4-3 look, which fits their personnel. They have a lot of bodies at MLB but their best guy, Mario Haggan, was forced to play outside when Elvis Dumervil went down. So the question is, will Haggan play inside or outside? If Irving can step in and assume the role inside, it gives them a lot of versatility.
  • What he brings 

    Sheppard is very instinctive and has a knack for finding the ball. He uses his above average diagnostic skills to get a jump on plays and is a reliable tackler with range just a notch below elite. He needs to play with better leverage taking on blocks but has the potential to become a solid starter in Buffalo's 3-4 scheme.

    How he fits 

    This was the worst run defense in the NFL a year ago, and the Bills are really trying to upgrade their size and power inside with DT Marcell Dareus in the first round and Sheppard in the third. The Bills have decent ILBs in their 3-4 defense, but Paul Posluszny is a free agent, though he says he wants to come back. However, this pick is great insurance if he doesn't.
  • What he brings 

    Housler is a better athlete than football player at this point. He is a raw route-runner who needs polish in that area, especially making sharp breaks. However, he has excellent top-end speed and can stretch the deep seam to bring a big-play threat to the passing game.

    How he fits 

    This organization has ignored this position for years and they have virtually no playmakers with guys like Stephen Spach, Ben Patrick and young Jim Dray. Coach Ken Whisenhunt was a tight end, so why isn't this position better? Housler will bring them an H-back type pass-catcher who should really upgrade them on third down and in the red zone.
  • What he brings 

    Houston has great size and physical tools and is a natural pass-rusher. He has above-average first-step quickness and ability to bend the edge. He needs to be a stronger competitor against the run and play with more authority, though. His motor runs hot and cold on film.

    How he fits 

    Houston is a perfect hybrid guy and has more size than usual (270 pounds) for an outside pass-rusher. Tamba Hali is terrific on the outside with 14.5 sacks a year ago but free agency is a factor for him, and veteran Mike Vrabel is nearing the end of his career. Young Andy Studebaker has promise but is not elite. Houston has a chance to be the starter at LOLB if he plays with better consistency.
  • What he brings 

    Murray's greatest strength is his versatility. He is an efficient runner, can work out of the slot and is effective in blitz pickup. He doesn't have any elite characteristics as a runner and could have better pad level, but he utilizes his blocks well and get what he can.

    How he fits 

    This is an interesting pick because it appears RB is not a need for the Cowboys with Marion Barber III, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice on the roster. However, Barber could leave in the offseason, Jones has fought injury problems and Choice has been inconsistent. In the past, we have though of this position as a strong unit, but obviously the Cowboys don't feel the same and they added a versatile guy who can help on third down and in the passing game.
  • What he brings 

    Wilson played inside for the most part in college but rushed off the edge in nickel situations and can get after the quarterback. His instincts are good but his discipline is suspect at times, and he comes with some medical and off-field concerns, but his football character is good.

    How he fits 

    Jonathan Vilma has been a fixture at MLB but he didn't play up to his normal standards in 2010, although the Saints probably need more help on the outside and really lack great edge depth. Wilson is interesting because his natural position is MLB but he has experience rushing the quarterback. It will be interesting to see if the Saints move him around, especially with their need for an outside rusher.
  • What he brings 

    Ridley is a big, strong, between-the-tackles runner who won't make a lot of people miss in space. He is downhill guy who reads blocks well and gets what he can, and while he isn't elusive and won't run away from defenses, he does a good job protecting the ball. He also contributed in several ways on special teams in college.

    How he fits 

    In the second round we questioned the selection of Shane Vereen as a third-down type when they needed a between-the-tackles power back, and now they have one in Ridley. He can be good in short-yardage situations, can give them 20 carries a game and he is exactly the type of back they have been missing.
  • What he brings 

    Mallett has the best arm in this class. He makes throws on film that no other QB in this class, and some in the NFL, can make. He has to improve his footwork in the pocket, especially sidestepping pressure up the middle, and there are some concerns about his ability to handle pressure-cooker situations. Character is an issue, but he enters a good situation in New England where the locker room leadership can keep him focused and help him realize his awesome potential.

    How he fits 

    This is a perfect example of a team waiting to take a player with some risk when the investment isn't too costly. Mallett has tremendous physical skills, and while he might be disappointed with how far he dropped in the draft, this is a wonderful spot for him as he learns under Tom Brady with the realization this team knows how to develop young QBs. What is interesting is that a lot of people really like backup Brian Hoyer, and he or Mallett could become tremendous trade bait in the next couple of years.
  • What he brings 

    Moffitt almost always finds a way to get the job done. His footwork is sound, he gets into position and he walls off defenders well enough to create seams. He doesn't have great athleticism and his technique is suspect at times in pass pro; more often than not, he stays in front long enough for the quarterback to get the ball out. He made strides in terms of competitiveness as a senior.

    How he fits 

    Obviously the Seahawks are obsessed with upgrading their offensive line. They already drafted James Carpenter and now Moffitt fills their second need, which is OG or C. If Max Unger is healthy, it helps inside, but the reserves are not good enough and free agency could be a real issue, especially with C Chris Spencer. If Seattle re-signs him, it still needs to add a starting guard, so this pick can really fill a nice need.
  • What he brings 

    Rackley lined up at left tackle in college but his lack of length will force him inside in the NFL. He does, however, have the tools to be a day one starter at guard in the NFL. He has the tenacity and strong punch to be an effective run blocker and the lateral quickness to hold up one-on-one inside. He also eased concerns about the competition he faced with a strong week at the East-West Shrine game.

    How he fits 

    This looks like a value pick because on a suspect team; this offensive line seems to be pretty well set. Rackley was a LT in college but he projects nicely inside to back up the guard positions. He could eventually become a starter because the guys in front of him are solid but not elite.
  • What he brings 

    Casey is a squatty, tough, interior run-stuffer with enough quickness to disrupt the occasional play in the backfield. He's not overly explosive or fluid but can get to the quarterback with effort, and he has excellent work ethic and should continue to improve in the NFL.

    How he fits: 

    The Titans have never truly replaced Albert Haynesworth although they do have a bunch of try-hard players who have better production than you might think. But they don't have enough size and power to dominate inside. DT is an important position in this defense, and Casey gives them good run support but only adequate pass rush.
  • What he brings 

    Pettis gets the most from his natural ability. He doesn't have elite explosiveness but is a crafty route-runner who can set up his breaks and temp his routes, and he is a zone buster who knows how to find voids in coverage. He is a consistent, reliable option on third down and in the red zone.

    How he fits 

    The Rams got a pass-catching TE in Round 2 in Lance Kendricks and now they continue to help Sam Bradford with Pettis. Last year they had four players catch 30-plus passes but none of them are elite and they don't have great size at receiver. Pettis will give them a tall presence in the red zone and on third down and he can be the go-to guy in key situations. Bradford will really like this pick.
  • What he brings 

    Hankerson stood out at the Senior Bowl and has good size and hands. He has excellent top-end speed to stretch the field, and although he's not the most explosive short-to-intermediate route-runner, he is fluid for his size and can use his frame to shield the ball.

    How he fits 

    It is amazing that the Redskins could get through the 2010 season with what they had at the WR position. Their only go-to guy is Santana Moss out of the slot, but he is small and might leave in free agency, and after that the cupboard is really thin. This unit might need two receivers and much-needed size. Hankerson will give them a great work ethic and a big target, and while he might not have elite speed, he certainly is an upgrade.
  • What he brings 

    Culliver has a good blend of size and athleticism, and his movement skills are above-average. Instincts and discipline are concerns, though, and he has to work on breaking down and tackling better in space.

    How he fits 

    This secondary gives up an alarming amount of big passing plays and lacks turn-and-run cover corners. Nate Clements is aging and has a big contract, while Shawntae Spencer is inconsistent. They need a starter who cam play man coverage and blitz off the edge and Culliver is a guy that has good cover skills and some experience at safety.
  • What he brings 

    Van Dyke is a track star with excellent straight-line speed and good ball skills. He is tight in the hips, though, and has trouble limiting separation in man coverage. He also lacks great instincts.

    How he fits 

    He is a typical Raiders speed corner, but is he just a straight-line guy? Starters Nnamdi Asomugha and Stanford Routt are free agents and backups Chris Johnson, Walter McFadden and Jeremy Ware are not good enough. This is a defense that plays mainly man coverage schemes and that requires special corner skills and Van Dyke gives them some insurance if this unit falls apart.
  • What he brings 

    Brown lacks good speed but he tempos his routes well and knows how to separate from defensive backs. He runs hard and can pick up some yards after the catch, but he won't make as many big plays in the NFL as he did in college. His height and speed are not good enough to get over the top of NFL secondaries, and he will do most of his damage underneath in the NFL.

    How he fits 

    The Chargers obviously have had a lot of chances to evaluate this guy because he's local. Injuries really devastated the Chargers' WR position in 2010, and it's amazing they posted the numbers they had with the limited players they had available. They could lose as many as three WRs in free agency and could use two new WRs, and while Brown might not be elite, Philip Rivers will like him because he'll run good routes and be a nice target. But he's not explosive.
  • What he brings 

    Jernigan is undersized and raw as a route-runner but is a tough competitor who shows the burst to create separation out of breaks, and he can create after the catch. He also brings great value as a returner on special teams.

    How he fits 

    This position was hit by a lot of injury issues and wound up not being the strong unit the Giants thought they had. Jernigan is not necessarily a big-play guy but he can work out of the slot, create yards after the catch and give them some return ability.
  • What he brings 

    He is an instinctive player with a nose for the ball and elite tackling skills. He brings the versatility to put his hand in the dirt and rush off the edge, and he also contributes in several facets on special teams. He plays faster than his timed speed indicates.

    How he fits 

    Power teams run right at the Bucs inside and they need to get more physical. MLB Barrett Ruud is a free agent and probably too expensive to bring back and the guys behind him are nondescript. Foster is a very productive player with great stats and a high motor, but does he have the range and athletic ability to play in the Tampa 2?
  • What he brings 

    Reid made himself an NFL prospect with his work ethic, and he must continue to make strides. He has the frame teams covet at right tackle, though, and engulfs most defensive ends. He also has the size and is long enough to protect the edge on the right side.

    How he fits 

    Michael Oher has made the switch to RT from LT but struggles at times and they could consider moving him back. RT Jared Gaither missed the entire 2010 season with a back injury and is a free agent who might not return. With this pick, look for the Ravens to try to develop him as their RT and leave Oher on the left side.
  • What he brings 

    Bailey could line up at left end in a four-man front or 5-technique in a three-man front. He rarely gives ground one-on-one and has the strength to be an effective two-gap player. He will never be an elite edge rusher but can get to the quarterback more often than most 5-techniques. He is a power rusher with an effective swim move and can get to the quarterback with second effort.

    How he fits 

    He is a perfect fit as a DE in the Chiefs' 3-4 defense and they already have a couple of players in Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey who are decent players. While this doesn't look like a position of great need, he gives them depth and a nice rotation.
  • What he brings 

    Nevis is a one-gap penetrator with quick feet and active hands. He is at his best getting upfield and creating havoc, but his lack of elite size and anchor will give him problems when caught in phone-booth situations with bigger linemen.

    How he fits 

    He looks like a perfect fit for the Colts as an inside one-gap penetrator who wins with quickness and is a good pass-rusher, but he will not be necessarily great versus the run. The Colts really like Fili Moala, but after that, their backups don't make enough plays and they could have significant free agency losses. Nevis could form a nice tandem with Moala.
  • What he brings 

    Patrick is instinctive and does a good job reading and anticipating routes, and he locates the ball and has good ball skills. However, he lacks elite fluidity and needs to be more aggressive and consistent in run support.

    How he fits 

    This is an interesting pick because CB doesn't look like a big need and in fact they have terrific depth on paper on the edge and their bigger needs are inside at safety. As a result, we could see some juggling with Patrick or someone else but this defense likes to have a lot of versatile DBs to carry out their varied schemes.
  • What he brings 

    Wright comes with durability concerns (fractured neck in 2008) and was immature early in his career, but he developed into a leader. You'd like to see better instincts but he can turn and run to get himself out of trouble. He is also physical in run support and not afraid to smack ball carriers in the mouth. An excellent value pick at this point.

    How he fits 

    The Chargers drafted Marcus Gilchrist a round earlier and now they take Wright, who may have better cover skills if he can stay healthy. He is an excellent turn-and-run outside guy who can play on an island, which the Chargers love, and is another guy who can improve their special teams.
  • What he brings 

    Marsh has great length and is a good press corner, but he is a former running back who is raw at this point. He does play the ball well, though, and shows good range.

    How he fits 

    The No. 1 need for this team was CB and Marsh is a perfect fit in the style of defense they play. They love to rely on man coverage behind their blitzes and the only guy they can count on in that role is Asante Samuel. The other guys give up too many plays and the Eagles probably need a starter and nickel back to fill out the secondary and Marsh should really flourish in those press schemes.
  • What he brings 

    Dent is a limited athlete and won't match up well in man coverage, and he has just adequate size. He plays much bigger than his measurables on film, though, and does not hesitate to take on lead blockers in the hole, and he delivers the blow. He is also a reliable tackler who almost never lets ball carriers get free, and while he might be a two-down linebacker he will contribute on special teams.

    How he fits 

    Starting MLB Curtis Lofton is very productive but his backup Coy Wire could be lost in free agency and Dent could be a guy that fills the backup role and contributes on special team. He will bring great toughness to this linebacker corps.
  • What he brings 

    Barksdale is a three-year starter with the arm length and first step to protect the edge when his technique is sound. Problem is, he sometimes takes too long to get set and doesn't have the foot sped to recover. He has the size and tenacity to become an effective run blocker but he is a reach here in our opinion.

    How he fits 

    RT Langston Walker is at the end of his career and also a free agent and that is where the Raiders' OL needs help. Young LT Jared Veldheer looks like the real deal and he can play either side, depending on where Barksdale fits. He could potentially become a starter in time at RT.
  • What he brings 

    Conte is an overachiever who had his best year as a senior, and has the range and instincts to cover the deep half. He is also an excellent tackler who can help in run support and on special teams.

    How he fits 

    Starting safety Danieal Manning likely could be gone in free agency, and there is not much depth in this unit. Conte was probably a reach because of his production, and in the Cover 2, he might get by with his lack of athletic ability and range because of his instincts. But he doesn't look like a special guy this early.
  • What he brings 

    Ellis has tremendous size, quick feet and the range to make plays outside the tackle box. He is also the rare NT prospect who can get to the quarterback. If he is to unlock his full potential, though, he will have to play lower and keep his weight down. He could prove to be a steal or eat himself out of the league.

    How he fits 

    With his size and underrated feet and quickness, he can probably play at DE in the 3-4 but he may be more suited to play NT, which is a significant need with Kris Jenkins gone. Sione Pouha played well replacing Jenkins, but there is no depth behind him and this pick gives the Jets the size, depth and versatility that coach Rex Ryan loves. This is a vintage Ryan pick.
  • What he brings 

    He is fluid enough to hold up in underneath coverage and fast enough to run with most receivers when his technique is sound. He struggles to recover when out of position, though, and has only average instincts. He is a good value, though, because he can return punts and is an excellent gunner on punt coverage.

    How he fits 

    CB is certainly a need for the Steelers. Bryant McFadden played well in 2010 but Ike Taylor is an aging veteran and free agent who is going to want a lot of money. The cover skills in this secondary probably look better than they really are because of the pass rush, and they are not great in sub packages. Brown could be an inside slot guy with pretty good ball skills, but like most of the Steelers' guys, he is not an elite turn-and-run corner.
  • What he brings 

    He has an excellent blend of bulk, foot quickness and top-end speed. He moves well laterally and there is a lot to like about his receiving skills on third down. The biggest knock is that he runs with a bit of a narrow base and is not as productive after contact as most backs his size. He also has to adjust to a pro-style offense after taking advantage of the seams created by Hawaii's spread offense.

    How he fits 

    The big question in Green Bay is whether James Starks can be the bell cow back. Brandon Jackson is a free agent and it remains to be seen if Ryan Grant can stay healthy. This is a great offense without a consistent run game and Green is a versatile back who can catch well and be another target for Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are obsessed with finding a consistent run game and at least two of these guys are going to emerge.
  • What he brings 

    Fua is a one-dimensional run-stopper with the size and low center of gravity to plug the middle and keep blockers off his linebackers. However, he lacks the endurance and closing burst to develop into a good pass-rusher and become a three-down player in the NFL.

    How he fits 

    Carolina used mostly backup-type players at DT last year, and not only were they not overly productive, but they could have some losses in free agency. They already addressed this position earlier in the round with Terrell McClain, and they seem to be committed to bolstering the inside of this defense. Fua fits well if they change up their DL techniques and shade him over the center.