Winners and losers of Day 3 of NFL draft
|04.28.12 at 10:31 pm ET|
Now that the 2012 NFL draft has come and gone, it’s time to take a look back at the draft’s last – and longest – day. Here are the winners and losers of Day 3 of the draft.
Nate Ebner, DB, Patriots: Tavon Wilson may have been the biggest surprise of the Patriots’ draft, but Ebner is certainly as a close second. It’s a great story for the kid, who had just earned a scholarship as a senior after playing rugby – and not a snap of football in high school — and walking on at Ohio State as a sophomore. There are players that come out of nowhere are having little football experience under their belts, but it’s especially rare for one of them to be drafted.
Steelers: After the Steelers selected Washington nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu with the 14th pick of the fourth round, draft experts across the nation all made a similar aside: “Man, that’s a good pick.” Like a center in the NBA, a true 3-4 nose tackle isn’t a common prospect, especially when it’s one with Ta’amu’s upside. There are weight issues and questions about effort, but if a solid franchise like the Steelers can steer him in the right direction, he’ll he holding up the middle of that defense for a long time. The Steelers also grabbed a solid complimentary running back/kick returner in Florida’s Chris Rainey as well as a nice seventh round pick up in Oregon tight end David Paulson.
Jets: The Jets got some solid players during the first two days of the draft, but still had some glaring needs will only sixth- and seventh-round picks remain. However, the Jets managed to land huge value at positions of need late Saturday. The Jets got some help in their backfield by grabbing Baylor running back Terrance Ganaway with the 32nd pick of the sixth round. The Jets also addressed their safety concerns by grabbing Wake Forest safety Josh Bush in round six and South Carolina safety Antonio Allen in round seven. Allen in particular is a huge addition, as he was projected as fourth or fifth round pick in most experts’ recent mock drafts. The selection of Baylor guard Robert T. Griffin also adds some depth for a weak Jets interior offensive line.
Arkansas wide receivers: Former Razorbacks Joe Adams, Jarius Wright and Greg Childs tied a record by having three receivers from the same school all drafted in the same year, doing so by all getting drafted in round four. Adams, the electric punt returner, came off first, becoming the ninth pick of the fourth round, followed by Wright at No. 23 to the Vikings. Childs, who was the premiere receiver for Arkansas before sustaining a major knee injury as a junior, will join Wright in Minnesota, coming off the board with the second-to-last pick of the round.
Chandler Harnish, QB, Colts: Per tradition, being the final pick of the NFL draft has many strange perks. This year, Harnish will be the guest of honor in Orange County’s “Irrelevant Week,” will also be marshal of a parade in his honor and will go to Disneyland. (Plus, there’s this.) Harnish also lands in a nice spot in Indianapolis, where he will have a shot to battle with Curtis Painter for the backup spot behind franchise savior Andrew Luck. That’s a better chance than most seventh rounders have of making the team.
Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Patriots: Earlier in the week, we looked at Dennard as a player that could fall in the draft from a projected second- or third-round pick. We didn’t see him falling this far. Dennard was released from jail Monday after being arrested for assaulting a police officer early Saturday morning. The charges, in addition to an on-field fight with South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery in the Capitol One Bowl, did a number on Dennard’s stock, sending him all the way down to the 17th pick of the final round of the draft.
Markelle Martin, S, Tennessee: At one point, Martin had gotten many nods as the third best safety in the draft behind Mark Barron and Harrison Smith. ESPN’s Todd McShay had him coming off the board at the end of round two in his final mock draft. In the end, though, Martin was the 16th safety taken in the draft at No. 190 overall, with 10 safeties getting drafted above him on Day 3 alone. It appears that questions over a knee injury Martin sustained just before the combine really scared off some teams, despite him working out for teams right before the draft.
John Beck: When the Redskins drafted quarterback Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick, it was clear that Beck’s stake in the starting job was long gone. But when the team also drafted Michigan St. quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round, it was apparent that he’d lost his job as a presumed backup in Washington as well. The Redskins sealed the deal with Beck by cutting him shortly after they made the Cousins pick.
New England college prospects: Earlier in the week, we also look at the lower profile prospects from New England schools who could also hear their names called on draft. Of those 10 players, only one player, Maine safety Jerron McMillian, was drafted. Notable draft snubs include Massachusetts tight end/fullback Emil Igwenagu, BC cornerback Donnie Fletcher, Connecticut receiver Kashif Moore and Merrimack linebacker Shawn Loiseau, all of whom were invited to the combine. (Early indications that many of them have been signed as undrafted free agents.)
Confused Jets fans: The New York Jets made a big splash when they took Baylor’s Robert Griffin in the 2012 NFL draft. That would be the previously mentioned guard out of Baylor. While no one actually paying attention to the draft will likely confuse the two. It’s those fans a couple degrees of separation away from the draft itself hearing down the grapevine in a New Jersey bar that they took Robert Griffin from Baylor. This will happen to a couple poor saps somewhere, and they will be losers in the 2012 NFL draft.
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