The third day of the NFL Draft isn’t quite as sexy as the Thursday and Friday rounds but the smart football people will point out this is where teams really build their core. Here’s a look at eight players still available who have the potential to look like brilliant value picks a few years down the road.
All have obvious flaws. All also have intriguing upsides.
CB Desmond King, Iowa: Extremely accomplished in college. Heady player ready to hit the ground running even in complex schemes. Ballhawk skills more than make up for speed issues.
DL Caleb Brantley, Florida: Obvious issues persist but could be a steal in the later rounds for team willing to take that risk.
WR Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma: Heisman finalist just waiting to be snatched up. Lacks the size and frame right now but could grow into a valued deep threat as a second or third option.
DE/OLB Carl Lawson, Auburn: Injuries kept him from massive production. Has the raw skills to be honed by a defensive guru.
TE Jake Butt, Michigan: No lie, there’s a lot to like about big Butt (6-5, 245). One of them: he was smart enough to get a fantastic insurance policy before tearing his ACL.
OT Roderick Johnson, Florida State: One scout insists he shouldn’t have even come out. Doesn’t always look pretty but has arms for days. Run-heavy team would be wise to call his name.
WR Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M: Waiting to be a red zone monster, perhaps a fade specialist. Increasingly valuable skill in the game.
CB Damontae Kazee, San Diego State: At 174 pounds, the man-to-man limitations obvious against bigger receivers. Great fit for a zone.