September 22, 2012; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla (15) runs the ball against the Arizona Wildcats at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft Update: 3rd Round Rumble


Experts believe things will really start to get interesting around the third round this coming May.  Does the 2014 NFL mock draft bear that out?

To review the previous rounds, click below.  Enjoy!

Round 1

Round 2

#65 – Houston Texans – Marcus Smith – DE – Louisville

Getting some pass rush going at the outside linebacker spot to help J.J. Watt is something the Texans need to explore.  Defensive end Marcus Smith has the burst and fluidity to shift to outside linebacker.

#66 – Washington Redskins – Gabe Jackson – OG – Mississippi State

Guard was a real sore spot for the Redskins last season and RGIII paid the price for it.  Gabe Jackson can help turn things around.  Not only a road grader when run blocking, he has the footwork and long arms to shut down pass rushers with ease.

#67 – Oakland Raiders – Tre Mason – RB – Auburn

Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew hold center stage but neither offers much long-term security for Oakland.  Investing some youth at the position would really help out Matt Schaub.  Tre Mason may be short but he finds the holes, breaks tackles and can catch passes.

#68 – Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Fiedorowicz – TE – Iowa

Tony Gonzalez is done and Atlanta must now try to supplement the tight end position without him.  C.J. Fiedorowicz is an accomplished blocker for Iowa but has the speed and good hands to develop into an equally good receiver.

#69 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Joel Bitonio – OT – Nevada

Both the guard and tackle spots are in need of some depth for TampaBay.  Joel Bitonio flashed at the Senior Bowl with his ability to anchor on the edge in pass protection or move inside and drive open running lanes.

#70 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Jaylen Watkins – CB – Florida

Corner and safety improved for the Jaguars in 2013 but both are far from solidified.  Jaylen Watkin is a hybrid defensive back capable of playing both positions with good length, athleticism and toughness.

#71 – Cleveland Browns – Chris Borland – ILB – Wisconsin

Karlos Dansby was a nice addition at inside linebacker, but also a temporary one at age 32.  Cleveland could use some quality depth behind him.  Chris Borland is an athletic, keen and instinctive leader from Wisconsin with a knack for making the big plays.

#72 – Minnesota Vikings – DaQuan Jones – DT – Penn State

Sharrif Floyd is set at the pass rushing defensive tackle spot but the Vikings still could use an upgrade next to him.  PennState standout DaQuan Jones has the size and the impressive strength to fit that spot perfectly for Mike Zimmer.

#73 – Buffalo Bills – Antonio Richardson – OT – Tennessee

E.J. Manuel and the rest of the Bills quarterbacks were sacked a lot last season.  That can’t keep happening if they want to win.  Antonio Richardson is a massive blocker with the long arms to wall off pass rusher and the great strength to play right tackle.

#74 – Minnesota Vikings (f/NYG) – Lamarcus Joyner – CB/S – Florida State

Corner and safety are both positions in need of help for Minnesota.  Arguably one of the most overlooked talents in this 2014 NFL mock draft is Lamarcus Joyner.  A smart, athletic, ballhawk player with leadership intangibles may be 5’8″ but he can play corner and safety in any defense.

#75 – St. Louis Rams – Cyril Richardson – OG – Baylor

Imagine putting Greg Robinson and Cyril Richardson next to each other.  That’s a lot of beef.  More than that it creates a great chance to really open up the running game for St. Louis and also fortify their pass protection.

#76 – Detroit Lions – Kareem Martin – DE – North Carolina

The loss of Willie Young hurt Detroit and Martin Mayhew loves to stockpile pass rushers.  Kareem Martin is a physically gifted defensive end out of North Carolina with loads of pass rush potential but in need of some technique refinement.

#77 – Chicago Bears (f/SF) – Bashaud Breeland – CB – Clemson

Adding depth at cornerback is a must for the Bears with their top three starters all over 30.  Bashaud Breeland is exactly who they need.  His length, toughness and skill in coverage and against the run are exactly what their scheme calls for.  He merely needs development.

#78 – Dallas Cowboys – Brock Vereen – FS – Minnesota

Safety was an unheralded area of need for Dallas last season, especially in coverage.  Brock Vereen is a major sleeper with the athleticism, range and intelligence to man the back end for the Cowboys as a true centerfielder.

#79 – Baltimore Ravens – Marcus Martin – C – USC

Center has been a problem for Baltimore ever since Matt Birk retired two years ago.  Marcus Martin has the talent to make everything okay again.  The USC standout has loads of untapped potential and is well-versed in his job already.

#80 – Chicago Bears (f/NYJ) – Travis Carrie – CB – Ohio

The Bears strike at the same position again.  This time they add a late riser in Ohio corner Travis Carrie.  While not ideal for press coverage, his size, toughness, and ballhawk instincts make him a perfect fit in a primary zone scheme.  Special teams ability as well.

#81 – Miami Dolphins – Ego Ferguson – DT – LSU

Paul Soliai was a tough loss for Miami and Randy Starks is getting into his 30s.  Defensive tackle needs a youth infusion.  Ego Ferguson is a raw but extremely gifted interior man out of LSU who can double as a run stuffer or pass rusher.

#82 – Chicago Bears – Bishop Sankey – RB – Washington

Matt Forte was magnificent in 2013, but he’s also reaching that dangerous age range for running backs at 28.  Chicago needs to think about a succession plan.  Getting Bishop Sankey, who is a perfect fit for the Trestman offense with his ability to run, catch and pass protect is an outright steal.

#83 – Cleveland Browns (f/PIT) – Keith McGill – CB – Utah

Putting somebody across from Joe Haden remains an ongoing process for Cleveland.  They may have found one here.  Utah cornerback Keith McGill is every bit of 6’3″ with the athleticism required for press coverage.  Very high upside if he stays healthy.

#84 – Arizona Cardinals – Stanley Jean-Baptiste – CB – Nebraska

Another 6’3″ corner comes off the board as the Arizona Cardinals hope to add somebody next to Patrick Peterson.  Stanley Jean-Baptiste has decent athletic traits and a real nose for the football but he might also be safety material, another area of need for the Cards.

#85 – Green Bay Packers – Shayne Skov – ILB – Stanford

Inside linebacker is in need of some attention for the Green Bay Packers.  Shayne Skov had injury problem the season before last but his explosion seems to be returning.  If so, his ability to read, react and track down ball carriers would be a tremendous help.

#86 – Philadelphia Eagles – Marcus Roberson – CB – Florida

Bulking up is something that needs to happen for Marcus Roberson because his coverage ability is among the best in this 2014 NFL mock draft.  If he can learn to play more physical the Eagles could make him a fixture in their 3-4 scheme.

#87 – Kansas City Chiefs – Dakota Dozier – OG – Furman

The losses at guard in free agency really hurt the Chiefs and need to be addressed.  Dakota Dozier is a great small school prospect who can do everything well be it run block or pass protect.

#88 – Cincinnati Bengals – Tom Savage – QB – Pitt

Andy Dalton gets his first taste of competition.  Many draft experts were down on Tom Savage initially because of his poor stats in 2013.  Closer examination shows how bad his offensive line was.  When protected, he has the size, arm strength and intelligence to shred defenses.

#89 – San Diego Chargers – Daniel McCullers – DT – Tennessee

The run defense gets a major boost for San Diego when the massive Daniel McCullers comes off the board.  He is almost impossible to move, has great strength and is quick enough to shut running lanes virtually by himself.

#90 – Indianapolis Colts – Jeremy Hill – RB – LSU

Trent Richardson is not the guy.  Sorry.  He just isn’t.  That means the Colts need a true young talent at running back.  Despite some character concerns, JeremyHills has the size, strength, speed and vision of a three-down player who can be the workhorse.

#91 – Kansas City Chiefs (f/NO) – Antone Exum – CB – Virginia Tech

Another hybrid type who can help a team at either safety or corner.  Injury concerns have caused Antone Exum to be overlooked, which is a mistake.  He’s fast and athletic enough to play press coverage but has the toughness and tackling ability to play safety too.

#92 – Carolina Panthers – E.J. Gaines – CB – Missouri

Captain Munnerlyn was a hard loss for Carolina who needs to replace him.  Victor Hampton is actually two inches taller at 5’10″ and plays like he’s 6’2″.  Very athletic, very tough and aware of everything that’s going on.  A perfect fit for the 4-3 scheme.

#93 – New England Patriots – Colt Lyerla – TE – Oregon

The character concerns have been well-documented and bear constant monitoring.  Still, if any coach can handle the red flags associated with Colt Lyerla, it’s Bill Belichick.  As for the physical ability, it’s first round caliber all the way.

#94 – Oakland Raiders (f/CHI) – Aaron Murray – QB – Georgia

Matt Schaub is the man of the moment but the Raiders can’t afford to stop adding to the most important position on the roster.  Aaron Murray has his question marks but he broke every SEC passing record there is and has the chops to become a starter in the future.

#95 – Denver Broncos – Bruce Ellington – WR – South Carolina

Starters aren’t needed at wide receiver but depth certainly is for Denver.  Bruce Ellington is an outstanding athlete who is dangerous with the ball in his hands.  Return ability early on and the upside to become a fixture in the slot down the road.

#96 – Minnesota Vikings (from SEA) – Yawin Smallwood – ILB – Connecticut

Their third pick of the round is used to bolster a fledgling linebacker group.  Minnesota adds Connecticut standout Yawin Smallwood.  Athletic with good range and instinct in coverage he can develop into a real leader in the middle.

#97 – Pittsburgh Steelers (comp) – Ed Stinson – DE – Alabama

Nose tackle and defensive end both could use some help for the Steelers.  Ed Stinson is better suited for the latter but his outstanding length and power showed at Alabama that he can play either.

#98 – Green Bay Packers (comp) – Will Sutton – DT – Arizona State

Will Sutton drew the interest of Green Bay during the pre-draft process.  Compact as he is, the defensive tackle has great agility and disruptive potential.  He’d fit in quite well as a defensive end in the Packers 3-4 alignment.

#99 – Baltimore Ravens (comp) – Brandon Coleman – WR – Rutgers

They wanted a bigger receiver with good possession qualities.  The Ravens get one here.   Brandon Coleman is every bit of 6’6″, plays strong with his big body, has good speed for his size and plays through injuries.  He’ll be great across from Torrey Smith.

#100 – San Francisco 49ers (comp) – Travis Swanson – C – Arkansas

Jonathan Goodwin is gone, leaving the center position in an awkward phase for the 49ers.  Adding some depth and competition is paramount and they may get even more than that with the heady and durable Travis Swanson.

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  • David Mallow

    Linval Joseph is the starter next to Floyd now, having said that. I would not at all mind getting this guy,especially after getting VanNoy in round 2.. and Joyner? not a bad draft for the Vikings so far.. all positions of need as well

    • Erik Lambert

      To me Joseph is a hybrid. He has the size for nose but enough push to play three-technique. So if Floyd went down he could shift over and Jones can take over at nose.

  • Jacob

    Loving the idea of Chiefs trading down with the Saints, and still picking up Cooks. That’s probably one of the best scenarios I can think of.

    • Erik Lambert

      It’s a move I feel the Chiefs would love to pull off.

  • David

    Just what Dallas needs another mid round sleeper at Safety. Because the other 6 or so over the last decade have worked out so well..

    • Erik Lambert

      Hey. Keep doing it you’re bound to hit on one eventually. Besides, Vereen is way better in coverage than Church.

  • Chad

    I don’t know……..I think I might go with Skov or Smallwood instead of Vereen here. Possibly even a trade up to get Borland.

    • Erik Lambert

      You guys need more athleticism and speed on the back end. Vereen will supply that and more.

  • Bob

    Why would Raiders take a RB in the third with so many holes to fill and taking Latavius Moore last year? That is a wasted pick.

    • Erik Lambert

      DMC and MJD are one-year solutions at best. Sheets hasn’t carried a ball since 2009. Murray didn’t carry it at all because of an ankle injury (McFadden 2.0). Stewart ran it twice last year in 13 games and just 25 times the year before that. What about this depth chart has you so convinced the Raiders are set at running back? Tre Mason is a great value pick in the 3rd round. He’s fast, elusive, tough, and versatile with proven production in the best conference in college football.

      • Bob

        The Raiders are OLD at DE, S and OL and need to get younger. Seattle did not do too bad in rebuilding in picking up an old RB. RB can be addressed next year with the Raiders having six picks to start this year. There is no way you are going to convince me a RB in the third round is a smart move.

        • Erik Lambert

          Marshawn Lynch was 24-years old when the Bills traded him to Seattle. McFadden turns 27 in August and MJD just turned 29. Very different situations.

          • Bob

            What Safety would be available here?

    • Al_Uno

      I believe it’s Latavius Murray.. but I agree we have bigger holes to feel.

  • Diegoblue

    I like McCullers a Massive body.. If he evers reaches potential it’s a wrap.

    • Erik Lambert

      He’ll have a good coaching staff around him so the chances would as good as anywhere else.

  • Jarod Cook

    You got the Browns killing the draft so far threw the first 3 rounds. Maybe you should apply to be the next GM if Farmer doesn’t work out. Boreland fills the void at the other ILB spot and can learn form Dansby. I like McGill but he spent as much time off the field with injury as he did on the field playing, I agree he’s got great upside if he can stay healthy. Would rather see them instead pick Jean-Baptiste who you have going with the next pick to the Cardinals. The Browns also can look to move him to FS, if he doesn’t workout at CB.

    • Erik Lambert

      Thanks, Jarod. The issue I take with SJB is he’s really stiff in certain parts of his dropback. If a receiver gets off his initial jam they can gain a step on him. This might be correctable but at his size it would be tough. McGill is more fluid and better suited as a cover corner. You’re just gambling on the health issue, which is fine since it’s the third round. Borland will make a great understudy for Dansby and future team leader.

      • Jarod Cook

        I think SJB issues can be corrected with coaching. He was converted from WR and only has a little under 2 years of experience at the position. Has tremendous upside and looked better with each game he played in last year, I do like McGill and think if it wasn’t for his history with injuries, he would be a border line 1st or 2nd round pick. And is a player who can step in to a starting role and provide immediate impact for a team. But if he couldn’t stay healthy in collage, what’s to make people think he’ll stay healthy as a pro? Which ever one they choose it’s a Boom/Bust pick, that can pay dividends for years to come or be JAG.

        • Erik Lambert

          Such gambles are worth a third round pick.

  • Beer O’Clock

    Just reading your updated 3rd round reminds me how deep this draft is. I see at least 10-15 NFL starters on your list.

    • Erik Lambert

      I know, right? So much talent to mine in this. The right team could forge a Super Bowl run from this class.

  • anon76returns

    I don’t see what Ellington gives to the Broncos that the don’t already have in Welker and Sanders. I’d much rather have another big target receiver in the mold of DT. That’d be Moncrief if they feel the need to get a player in the early rounds, or Janis/L’Damian Washington if they’re OK waiting for a player that needs more development time.

    More than WR (or DE, as you have them taking in round 2) is the need for a quality OLineman (you still have Mewhort here available at #93) or some depth at DB. But you did give ‘em Shazier- if that happens in the real draft I’ll be happy pretty much no matter what happens in later rounds.

    • Erik Lambert

      I view Ellington as a potential Darren Sproles type weapon. You can’t put him at just one position. He’s the kind of athlete you can move around to create mismatches. I’m aware of the O-line need but most of it is centered around the guard position, which can be served pretty well in the middle rounds. Clady is coming back, which is a big boost already.

  • aj

    Hold up. The bears double dip in the cb market for scheme players then after u have other teams picking up the athletic versatile cb? Phil has said that he wants to trandsend scheme. Why do you think those corners you chose can trandsend scheme? Do you really think emery will pick like that?

    • Erik Lambert

      Breeland and Carrie are not scheme players. They are athletic enough to fit in several defense but their skill sets are ideally suited for the Bears. They are both physical in coverage and tough against the run with great eyes for the turnover. Emery actually said the first thing he wants out of his corners is toughness, followed by athleticism. They fit the billing. They don’t have to “transcend” scheme. They have to learn from the veterans and eventually become starters. Also, don’t forget they both bring good size too.

  • David Jones

    What a joke if you think the Raiders will take a RB in the 3rd round when they have six runners all capable of playing RB.

  • Guy Smith

    I hope we move down enough to add at least another second or third rounder, and take FS Buchannon.

  • 3kolu

    At #72 don’t forget that the Vikes signed Linval Joseph to be the NT and Daquan would be his backup. And, at #74, I like Lamarcus Joyner, however, with Captain Munnerlyn on board, I’d prefer a big CB like Keith McGill or SJB who both could also play safety.

  • Marcus Villarreal

    Why is pick 77 chi when 49ers own it as well as 94 pick

  • KevVc1

    Erik the Vikings picked up Linval Joseph so your logic behind why they would select a DT seems flawed to me.