While some may believe that the most important part of the 2013 NFL draft is over now that the first three rounds are in the rear-view mirror, there is plenty of talent left on the board as Day 3 approaches. The fourth through seventh rounds are ultimately where championships are won and lost.
Many of the players selected on Day 3 won't last in the NFL or will be marginal players at best, but some will come from out of nowhere to be stars at the next level. Teams that are able to find high-quality players late in the draft tend to be near the top of the league, and that is certainly no coincidence.
Here is the full Day 3 television schedule so you don't have to miss a second of the action, as well as a list of tumbling prospects to watch for in the final four rounds of the 2013 NFL draft.
Day 3 TV Schedule
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 27 at noon ET on ESPN and NFL Network
Tumbling Prospects to Watch for
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
While there are several intriguing players remaining on the board, the most surprising among them is unquestionably USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Had he entered the draft last season, there is little doubt that he would have been a first-round selection and perhaps even a top-10 pick. Barkley decided to go back to school, though, and it clearly hurt his stock. He wasn't as good during his senior campaign, he suffered an injury, and the Trojans had a rough year.
Even so, few believed that Barkley would slip outside of the second round of this year's draft. The Buffalo Bills passed on him in favor of Florida State's E.J. Manuel in the first round, but there were plenty of teams in need of a signal-caller in the second round. The New York Jets went for West Virginia's Geno Smith in the second, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected NC State's Mike Glennon in the third while Barkley remained untouched.
Perhaps Barkley isn't as good of a prospect as originally thought, but he has a great track record and seems to be a quality person. Someone will probably take him in the fourth round and may be pleasantly surprised. Quarterbacks are at such a premium in this league that it's truly incredible that so many teams have decided against taking Barkley.
Jesse Williams, NT, Alabama
Considered by many to be the best pure nose tackle in the draft, Alabama's Jesse Williams somehow managed to sneak outside of the first three rounds in this year's draft. It's difficult to say why he has fallen so precipitously, but it is likely because of the fact that only a finite number of teams actually need a nose guard. Even so, he's a nice asset to have and could be a valuable space-eater in the NFL.
Not only is Williams incredibly strong at 6'3" and 325 pounds, but he showed his athleticism at Alabama's pro day, as he finished the 40-yard dash in 4.90 seconds. That proves that Williams isn't a guy who can only play for one down at a time at the NFL level. He is an athlete above all else, and there is no doubt that he should have been off the board by now. With that said, Day 3 is the territory in which teams start to go for luxury picks rather than need.
Even if a team doesn't necessarily need a nose tackle right now, he is an intriguing prospect based on his measurables and pro day numbers alone. There are several 3-4 teams in the NFL, and at least one of them is bound to be in the market for a developmental prospect at nose guard. Williams wasn't taken in the second round as many expected, but he could provide great value on Day 3.
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib is undoubtedly one of the most interesting prospects in this class. While most graded him out as a second- or third-round prospect, there was some thought that the Buffalo Bills would select him as high as No. 8 due to his ties to new Bills head coach Doug Marrone. The Bills opted to trade down and take Manuel instead, and Nassib proceeded to drop past the top three rounds. Most believe that either he or Barkley is the best quarterback remaining on the board, so somebody has to bite sooner or later.
Nassib showed a lot of development at Syracuse and helped turn the moribund program around, so he deserves high marks for that. At the same time, Nassib didn't put up the monster numbers that teams tend to look for. His game has a lot of growing to do before he can be an effective player at the NFL level, but luckily, he should have some time to develop.
The investment isn't too great once the third day of the draft rolls around, so Nassib won't have to deal with high expectations when he is taken. Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders could definitely use some depth at the quarterback position, and Nassib is a guy who would make a lot of sense in the fourth or fifth round.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!