2014 NFL Mock Draft Update: 3rd Round Rumble


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

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.