After three rounds of the NFL draft, there have been a number of surprises. As usual for the draft, some players were taken a lot higher than expected, while others have slid farther than anyone could have predicted. That means there are still some great players available.
To me, the big two "what?" picks in the second round were consecutive selections: Kiko Alonso drafted by Buffalo and Gavin Escobar drafted by Dallas. I was also surprised that Jon Bostic and Dwayne Gratz were taken as highly as they were.
Then there are the obvious, media-grabbing slides of Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley. The two quarterbacks were thrown around as possible first-rounders yet are still available after the conclusion of the second day.
Where do they rank on my list of the 25 best players available heading into the fourth round?
1. Brandon Jenkins, DE/OLB, Florida State
Jenkins would have likely been a first-round pick had he not suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury in the first game of the 2012 season. He's got tremendous talent as an athletic pass-rusher.
2. Matt Barkley, QB, Southern California
Barkley lost a lot by not coming out last year. He still has plenty of talent, and there are a few teams (Oakland and Arizona) who are not set at quarterback in the long-term. Barkley is a great character kid and leader who will eventually get a shot.
3. Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers
I couldn't be any more surprised that Duron Harmon, Greene's teammate at Rutgers, went off the board first of these two. What a cocky, awful pick by the Patriots. Harmon would have been available in the sixth round if not later. Greene is a great all-around linebacker and presents tremendous value at this point.
4. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
I thought Franklin was one of the best backs in this class, and his production is better than almost every back taken so far. He could find a nice home in Miami, Oakland, Chicago, or San Diego.
5. Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech
Patton doesn't have any real gamebreaking ability, which is why he's still on the board here. But he's a great route runner and has sticky hands, so despite his lack of physical traits, could still be a nice slot receiver in the NFL.
6. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Williams is a beast in the middle, and although he doesn't have a ton of football experience, his ceiling is high.
7. Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech
Rogers is one of the most talented wideouts in this draft but off-the-field issues have kept him from being taken. He'd be a perfect fit anywhere as a high-reward fourth rounder.
8. Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Poyer is a fantastic athlete, and I'm pretty surprised he's still on the board, especially with a few guys like Dwayne Gratz, Kayvon Webster, and Leon McFadden taken ahead of him. Teams must think Poyer has maxed out on his potential.
9. Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Okafor is a skilled pass-rusher who has gotten thrown to the wayside as other players have more upside. I'm sure Okafor was near the top of many teams' boards in the third round, but he just wasn't the pick anywhere.
10. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Ellington is another playmaker who would make a good fourth-round selection for any team. He brings a lot of explosiveness to a backfield and can catch the ball really well too.
11. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
I like Nassib, but he just doesn't have a very high ceiling, and teams don't need quarterbacks that badly after last year's draft and some free agency activity this winter. He'll be a backup somewhere for awhile but could still get a shot as a starter.
12. Phillip Thomas, S, Fresno State
Thomas was one of the best safeties in the country in 2012, although there are some questions about his strength and aggressiveness after he sustained a bad leg injury in 2011.
13. Brian Schwenke, C, California
Schwenke would not be the most exciting pick ever, but he has the potential to be a very good starting center in the NFL. He has a lot of experience and is quick off the line and with his hands.
14. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
I really think Wilson has gotten overlooked as a prospect. He was in a horrible situation last season with Arkansas but showed some positive qualities through all of the hard stuff. He will never be a dominant NFL quarterback, but he could be a starter if he develops.
15. David Bakhtiari, OT, Colorado
Bakhtiari isn't very physically impressive, but he is extremely quick on his feet and uses his hands really well. He's shorter but has long arms and could fit as a guard or a tackle.
16. Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia
17. Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama
18. B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary
19. Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse
20. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford
21. Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
22. Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
23. Bacarri Rambo, S, Georgia
24. David Quessenberry, OL, San Jose State
25. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
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