Seventh Round: 221st Pick
Seventh Round: 221st Pick
Seventh Round: 238th Pick
Last year, a small-school wide receiver with a big frame surprised some as the first pick of the second day of the draft. This year's top small-school pass-catcher, Elon's Aaron Mellette, won't be taken as high as St. Louis Ram Brian Quick, but he has shown enough to get a draftable grade.
Fifth Round: 144th Pick
Since he showed up on campus in Norman in 2010, Kenny Stills was a starter and an impact player in Oklahoma's high-powered passing offense. When Ryan Broyles left for the pros last year, Stills had a chance to be the No. 1 receiver, and coming off of an 11-touchdown season, he decided to leap to the pros as a junior.
Seventh Round: 230th Pick
Utah State isn't known as a running back factory or even a football factory, but after having two running backs drafted in 2012, they are set to have a third taken this year.
Sixth Round: 171st Pick
There are lots of reasons that players can be late bloomers, and for Corey Fuller, a track career and transfer from Kansas accounted for his lack of production until his senior season. He was able to make a big downfield impact in a so-so passing game, and he doesn't look like a track star who wandered onto the football field. See why Fuller could be taken earlier than anyone expects.
Ohio State is not an easy place for a receiving tight end to make a name for himself, so even an iconic name like Jake Stoneburner was not well-known in college circles. Stoneburner didn't have a lot of opportunities, but when he did get targeted, he showed signs of skills that could lead a decent career in NFL. See the story on Stoneburner that the stats don't tell.
Stoneburner has underrated speed, and he plays with a rugged edge. He can move around the formation and play multiple spots, which is becoming more common in today's NFL. His quality hands and ball skills reflect his wide receiver background, and he can threaten a defense downfield and effectively work between the hashes.
Stoneburner also has a knack for finding the end zone, with a score every 4.1 times he touched the ball.
Stoneburner isn't particularly quick, agile or explosive. He probably lacks the bulk and strength to play in-line tight end in the NFL, and he wasn't a featured part of the pass offense at Ohio State. His speed is build-up speed without great acceleration, and he is an average blocker at best.
Third Round, 96th Pick
In 2010, Knile Davis looked like he belonged with stud SEC running backs like future No. 3 overall pick Trent Richardson. A serious ankle injury and disappointing junior season later, Davis lit up the combine with a rare combination of size, speed and strength, but teams still have to be wondering whether or not he is the classic workout warrior. What else makes Davis one of the most puzzling players in this class?
Davis is a freak athletic specimen, with long speed in a thick, sturdy body. He has a good initial burst and the light feet to make cuts in the hole. Davis also spots cutback lanes and has the agility to reroute and burst out of his cuts without losing much momentum. He showed great stamina in 2010 to wear down a defense over the course of a game.
It was hard for any Notre Dame players to step out of the shadow during last season, and it was even harder for its draft prospects to do that in the postseason. Cierre Wood is used to having to share the spotlight. Did his committee work in South Bend show that he has what it takes to play on Sundays?
Wood is a high-effort back with elusive qualities both behind the line of scrimmage and at the second level of the defense. He is a resourceful back who will fire his legs and push to get yards after contact, and Wood also runs with good foot frequency and balance. Wood's vision spots the cutback lanes, and he has the juice in his legs to quickly change direction and attack the opening. He is also a tough back who will sacrifice his body for yardage, which isn't a quality that is usually present in elusive backs.
Wood is more of a speed/burst back than a power back, but he lacks long speed. He's not big enough to substantially push the pile. Wood sometimes gathers to cut and his footwork costs him yardage and momentum. He isn't an accomplished blocker or receiver and projects as a committee back in the pros at best.
Wood's 5'11", 213-pound frame amounts to him being more of a slasher than a compact, efficient runner. His 4.56-40 time illustrates that lack of long speed, but his 37.5" vertical was one of the best among backs at the combine and confirms the physical talent that is the foundation of his elusiveness. He has small 8 5/8" hands, and his fumble at the goal line in overtime vs. Pitt almost cost the Fighting Irish a chance at the national title.
Seventh Round: 222nd Pick
Chris Gragg came to Arkansas as a wide receiver, and you can see it in his game. He has added blocking skills in the rough-and-tumble SEC, but Gragg has also struggled with injuries and failed to hit his peak during his time with the Razorbacks. After a great combine, Gragg is on the rise again. When healthy, he's not that far off the top wide receivers in this class.
The headlines in this year's draft tight end class have been dominated by the E's—Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame), Zach Ertz (Stanford), and Gavin Escobar (San Diego State)—but on the third day of the draft, NFL teams shouldn't forget about an "O", Ryan Otten.
Otten missed a chance to impress at the combine when a hand injury and infection sidelined him, but his film should assure pro teams that what was good enough to be best in WAC is good enough to play on Sundays.
Otten is more like an oversized wide receiver with his length and ball skills. He has a long frame and good speed for a tight end. He is not a quick-twitch athlete, but Otten still moves well for a player of his size. He is fearless over the middle and very stubborn after the catch. Otten was very productive and averaged almost 15 yards per reception over the last two seasons Otten can go up for the ball like a wideout, but he is a willing and mostly effective blocker.
Otten is not especially quick or sudden in his breaks or out of his stance at the line of scrimmage. He is limited as a blocker because of his body type. He's not a creative runner after the catch, and he's not fast or crafty enough to create separation against athletic defensive backs in man coverage from the slot. He is a solid player, but not special in any area. He looked overmatched against better athletes at the Senior Bowl.