NFL teams will have one more shot to improve on Day 3 of the 2014 NFL draft as the league's marquee offseason event concludes in whirlwind fashion with the final four rounds.
A plethora of former college football stars are still on the board through the first three rounds, but where they'll wind up remains a mystery with so many jaw-dropping selections having already taken place over the first two days.
With Round 4 set to get underway, let's take a closer look at some of the notable rumors surrounding some top names on Day 3.
Will Michael Sam Come off the Board?
One of the burning questions heading into Day 3 of the 2014 NFL draft is whether Missouri defensive end Michael Sam will be selected. And if so, where?
Sam made headlines back in February when he came out publicly, becoming the first openly gay NFL draft prospect, per ESPN's Chris Connelly:
"I am an openly, proud gay man. I understand how big this is. It's a big deal. No one has done this before. And it's kind of a nervous process, but I know what I want to be...I want to be a football player in the NFL."
Naturally, many pundits have speculated in the months since his announcement whether Sam's full disclosure would impact his draft stock.
On Thursday, FoxSports.com senior national writer Peter Schrager reported some key inside information, via Fox Sports Live on Twitter:
NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport highlights a handful of teams that could possibly select Sam on Saturday:
ESPN Insider (paid subscription required) ranked Sam as the 20th-best defensive end available coming into Round 1.
While doubts about Sam's versatility and ability to hold up against the run are likely his biggest selection issues, there's no question that the impending media circus will provide teams with another incentive to pass on him.
With the draft wrapping up on Saturday night, Sam won't have to wait much longer to find out where he'll be competing for a job next season or if he's set to enter the pool of undrafted free agents.
New York Jets Eyeing a QB on Day 3?
The New York Jets used a second-round pick on Geno Smith last year and signed veteran Michael Vick in free agency this past March, but that doesn't change the fact that New York still faces tremendous uncertainty at the quarterback position.
Might they add another signal-caller to the mix on Saturday?
According to ESPN reporter Rich Cimini, there are a few names on the Jets' radar:
With a league-high nine picks on Day 3, it certainly wouldn't be all that surprising if New York used one on a quarterback. After all, Smith struggled immensely in year No. 1, and Vick isn't a long-term option nearing age 34.
Pittsburgh's Tom Savage possesses a quick release and a strong arm, while similarly, Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas' biggest assets are his size and powerful arm. Either player would provide value on Day 3, but neither has the tools to step in and make an impact right away.
Therefore, if the Jets draft one of those guys or another quarterback, they'll be stashing him on the sideline and looking toward the future.
Will De'Anthony Thomas Continue to Slide?
Oregon playmaker De'Anthony Thomas can be a lethal playmaker with the ball in his hands. However, at 5'9", 174 pounds, there are legitimate concerns regarding Thomas' durability.
Last month, The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre reported that several NFL teams had completely dismissed the former Ducks star:
With four more rounds to go, there's good chance that a team will take a shot on Thomas in order to add an explosive return man and a versatile offensive weapon. But if McIntyre's report is true, he's likely going to have his name called in the later stages on Day 3.
And with running backs offering diminished value in today's NFL, there's also a real possibility that Thomas could wind up as an undrafted free agent after the weekend.
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