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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

2015 NFL Draft: Day 3 Winners and Losers

While most of the viewing public changes the channel or falls asleep on the final day of the NFL Draft, every team in the league is working hard to bolster the bottoms of its' rosters. Hundreds of starters, pro bowlers and even Hall-of-Famers are found in the later rounds of the draft. In this article, I'll break down three winning teams and three losing teams from the 2015 NFL Draft. Each team will have detailed analysis, including every pick made on day 3.




Day 3 Picks:

4/104James SampleSLouisville
5/139Rashad GreeneWRFlorida St
6/180Michael BennettDTOhio State
7/220Neal SterlingWRMonmouth
7/229Ben KoyackTENotre Dame

Analysis: The Jaguars had quite possibly the best draft overall, let alone day 3. In the final four rounds, Jacksonville added two massive sleepers: Florida State WR Rashad Greene and Ohio State DE Michael Bennett. If players were being drafted solely on production, both of these guys would have been sure-fire first round picks. Greene will add immediate depth to the young receiving corps, while Bennett has a chance to start if all goes well. James Sample was another steal, as he brings prototypical size and speed to the safety position, making him a candidate to see snaps on early downs.

Day 3 Grade: A



Day 3 Picks:

4/101Trey FlowersDEArkansas
4/111Tre' JacksonGFlorida St
4/131Shaq MasonCGeorgia Tech
5/166Joe CardonaLSNavy
6/178Matt WellsOLBMississippi St
6/202AJ DerbyTEArkansas
7/247Darryl RobertsCBMarshall
7/253Xzavier DicksonDEAlabama

Analysis: Luckily for Belichick and the Patriots, this list is only discussing the third day of the draft. New England reached in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, but made sound choices the rest of the way. Florida State G Tre' Jackson and Georgia Tech C/G Shaq Mason are two dominant run blockers that have a chance to start for the Patriots as rookies. Savvy depth picks like Matt Wells and Xzavier Dickson give two quality athletes a chance to earn roster spots on special teams and potentially see snaps down the road. A long snapper in the fifth round doesn't diminish the quality work the Patriots put in on the final day.

Day 3 Grade: B+



Day 3 Picks:

4/110T.J. ClemmingsOTPittsburgh
5/143MyCole PruittTESouthern Illinois
5/146Stefon DiggsWRMaryland
6/185Tyrus ThompsonOTOklahoma
6/193B.J. DuboseDELouisville
7/228Austin ShepherdOTAlabama
7/232Edmond RobinsonOLBNewberry


The Vikings did well for themselves on the final day of the 2015 NFL Draft, adding several players that could become relevant this season. Offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings is a dominant run blocker that could start right away. Teams shied away from him because of a foot injury that could cause him to have a short career. Nonetheless, Minnesota got an early-round talent pretty late. Tyrus Thompson was another smart choice at offensive tackle, considering he has the prototypical build for the position and his only major knock was his passion and work ethic. The NFL experience should change that. Lastly, Stephon Diggs could be a great fit in OC Norv Turner's system due to his big-play ability.

Day 3 Grade: B+




Day 3 Picks:

4/102Daryl WilliamsOTOklahoma
5/169David MayoILBTexas State
5/174Cameron Artis-PayneRBAuburn

Analysis: It was a forgone conclusion that Carolina would end up on the losers list. The Panthers had only three picks over the final four rounds, and only one seems to be of any value whatsoever. Middle linebacker David Mayo makes absolutely no sense for Carolina, especially considering that the position isn't a need (See: Luke Kuechly). Cameron Artis-Payne may be a sleeper here, but it hasn't mattered who's running the ball for the Panthers in recent years. Carolina still has a weak offensive line, and it wasn't addressed during any day of the draft. Daryl Williams is a decent pick, but he isn't good enough to keep the Panthers off of the losing list.

Day 3 Grade: C



Day 3 Picks:

4/116Rodney GunterDEDelaware St
5/158Shaq RiddickDEWest Virginia
5/159J.J. NelsonWRUAB
7/256Gerald ChristianTELouisville

Analysis: Are you noticiing a theme yet? Teams that were active or had extra picks seem to be considered my winners, while teams in the opposite situation seem to be the losers. That's no different here with the Cardinals. Rodney Gunter and Shaq Riddick are fair picks, but weren't really good value for their draft position. J.J. Nelson is an absolute burner (4.28 40-yard dash), but weighs just 156 pounds and won't see the field. Patrick Peterson is a much better return man. The Cardinals could've done a lot better in the fifth round, and possibly still snagged Nelson later.

Day 3 Grade: C-



Day 3 Picks:

5/148Davis TullOLBChattanooga
5/154Tyeler DavisonDTFresno St
5/167Damian SwannCBGeorgia
7/230Marcus MurphyRBMissouri

Analysis: It's pretty hard to fail an NFL Draft, considering the prospects involved are all generally talented enough to see the field in some fashion. However, the Saints came about as close as a team can to failing on the third day of the draft. I'm not saying every team should find star players at the end of the draft, because that's extremely rare. But the Saints wasted their final two picks on players who, one could argue, shouldn't have been drafted at all. Both Davis Tull and Tyeler Davison were average selections, but don't expect either to contribute in 2015.

Day 3 Grade: C-


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