Plenty of great players get taken in the later rounds of the NFL Draft; Russel Wilson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Colin Kaepernick are just to name a few.
Here’s some names you should look out for after day one….
MATT BARKLEY, USC (6’2”, 227 lbs., 4.89) – Experienced signal caller with good touch and accuracy, but lacks mobility and arm strength. Could go anywhere from the first day to round 3.
RYAN NASSIB, SYRACUSE (6’2”, 223 lbs., 5.06) – Tough field-general type with good pocket presence and field vision. Arm is a real question mark and is not a threat on the ground. Could be a day 2 pick given the weak quarterback class.
E.J. MANUEL, FLORIDA ST. (6’5”, 237 lbs., 4.65) – Prototype size and strength with good mobility and the ability to keep plays alive. Poor passer that has very down on his prospects, although he is a likely round 2 pick.
Sleeper Alert: MIKE GLENNON, NC STATE (6’7”, 225 lbs., 4.94) – Big presence with an absolutely cannon for an arm who can throw the deep ball. Has the biggest upside of any QB in the draft, but isn’t ready for the NFL, and needs to improve his accuracy and decision-making before you can throw him in there.
EDDIE LACY, ALABAMA (5’11”, 221 lbs., 4.53) – Prototype power back who breaks tackles and gains yards after contact. Currently useless in the passing game, as he is a poor receiver and pass protector. Second round pick.
GIOVANNI BERNARD, NORTH CAROLINA (5’10”, 205 lbs., 4.53) – Potential game breaker who relies on quickness, agility and elusiveness to gain yards. Versatile player who can produce in all facets. Lacks ideal size and has concerns about his durability. Likely day 2 pick.
JONATHAN FRANKLIN, UCLA (5’10”, 201 lbs., 4.49) – Elusive runner with good, but not great speed, who runs good routes and has good hands. Could be a good third down or change of pace back as a rookie. Is a bit undersized, and does not change direction at an elite level. Could be a steal early on day 3.
Sleeper Alert: CHRISTINE MICHAEL, TEXAS A&M (5’11”, 210 lbs., 4.54) – First round talent whose college career was marred by injuries. Could be a feature back if he stays healthy. Day 3 pick who might take the league by surprise.
Wide Receivers & Tight Ends:
TYLER EIFERT, TE, NOTRE DAME (6’6”, 250 lbs., 4.68) – Big target with great hands who just kills defenses in the middle of the field. Better than average blocker. Compares very favorably to Coby Fleener last year. Lacks elite speed and strength. Could go Day 1.
JUSTIN HUNTER, WR, TENNESSEE (6’4”, 196 lbs., 4.44) – Potential #1 receiver with more athleticism than any other WR in the draft. Runs good routes and has good hands. Has a surgically repaired knee and has yet to regain elite speed, which will keep him as a Day 2 selection.
ROBERT WOODS, WR, USC (6’0”, 201 lbs., 4.51) – Very skilled, smart player who runs good routes and has good hands. Lacks strength and physicality. Lack of ideal size and speed will keep him out of round 1.
Sleeper Alert: NICK KASA, TE, COLORADO (6’6”, 271 lbs., 4.71) – Big, big, BIG converted defensive end with tremendous upside. Has good pass catching skills but must learn route running and the other finer points of the position. Has drawn tons of interest which could move him to an early day 3 or late day 2 pick.
MENELIK WATSON, OT, FLORIDA ST. (6’5”, 310 lbs., 5.29) – Big, athletic player with tremendous upside. Smart player with a great work ethic. Still raw, however, and needs time to develop in the NFL. Heavy demand for tackles may elevate him to round 1.
LARRY WARFORD, OG, KENTUCKY (6’3”, 332 lbs., 5.38) – Very strong player with good blocking skills. Opens holes in the run game and stays with his man in pass protection. Lacks the agility to move outside and needs to work on his conditioning. A solid day 2 prospect.
KYLE LONG, G/T, OREGON (6’6”, 313 lbs., 4.94) – Large human with outstanding athleticism. Terrific pass protector. Uses his size and strength well in the run game. Only has one season of experience and is extremely raw. Has real character issues (flunked out of FSU and has a DUI) which will keep him out of the first round.
Sleeper Alert: BARRETT JONES, C/G/T, ALABAMA (6’4”, 306 lbs., 5.20) – Rare versatility to play every position on the line. Ideal depth pick. Smart player with good technique, but lacks elite size, strength and agility. Day 2 or 3 player who will help solidify someone’s line.
JONATHAN JENKINS, NT, GEORGIA (6’4”, 359 lbs., 5.45) – Very big, very strong player who is a natural nose tackle in a 3-4. Immovable space eater at the line who stuffs the run. Not a significant pass rusher. Borderline first/second round selection.
MARGUS HUNT, DE, SMU (6’8”, 277 lbs., 4.60) – Big, strong physical player who fits as a DE in a 3-4 or 4-3. Has tons of upside. Draft stock will suffer because of lack of experience and because he’s already 26 years old. Given heavy demand at the position, a 2nd or 3rd round pick.
JONATHAN HANKINS, NT, OHIO STATE (6’4”, 322 lbs., 5.31) – Disruptive, strong run defender who can play 3-4 or 4-3 DT. Can get penetration into the backfield. Lack of pass rushing skills may render him a 2-down player in the NFL. Depth of talent at this position will drop him to late day 2 or 3.
Sleeper Alert: DAMONTRE MOORE, DE, TEXAS A&M (6’5”, 250 lbs., 4.95) – Natural pass rusher with the ability to shed blocks and get to the quarterback. Plenty of talent with a huge upside. Serious character concerns about this player give him a high bust factor. WIll need to add weight and strength to defend the run at the next level. A good risk to take on Day 3.
KEVIN MINTER, ILB, LSU (6’0”, 246 lbs., 4.81) – Terrific run defender who can take on blockers and make the tackle. Lack of pass coverage skills will drop him to Day 2.
KHASEEM GREENE, OLB, RUTGERS (6’1”, 241 lbs., 4.71) – Instinctive player who gets to the ball quickly to make the tackle. Can player pass coverage or blitz effectively. Needs to improve shedding blocks. A solid pick on Day 2.
ARTHUR BROWN, OLB, KANSAS STATE (6’0”, 241 lbs., 4.73) – Smart, quick player who is good at reading and reacting and making tackles. Lacks elite speed, and needs to improve coverage and block shedding skills. A late day 2, early day 3 pick.
Sleeper Alert: JELANI JENKINS, OLB, FLORIDA (6’1”, 243 lbs., 4.55) – Athletic physical specimen who looked like a first round pick heading into this season, but severe lack of production has dropped his stock. If someone can harness his physical tools, they’ll have a real steal on day 3.
JONATHAN BANKS, CB, MISSISSIPPI ST. (6’2”, 185 lbs., 4.61) – Good sized corner with complete skill set. Only lack of top end speed will keep him from being a day one selection.
TONY JEFFERSON, S, OKLAHOMA (5’11”, 213 lbs., 4.75) – Solid coverage and tackling skills. Has good range on the field. Needs to add strength. Project player who needs to be coached up to play in the NFL. Solid pick early in Day 3.
ROBERT ALFORD, CB, SE LOUISIANA (5’10”, 188 lbs., 4.39) – Smallish corner who translates well as a nickel back in the NFL. Good cover and interception skills. Good speed. A great depth pick on day 3.
Sleeper Alert: TYRANN MATHIEU, CB, LSU (5’9”, 186 lbs., 4.50) – Big game, big play, playmaker who was one of the best defensive players in the country at one point in college. Huge risk and bust-factor will keep him off the board until the third round at the earliest.
For a look at first round prospects, read the Guys Girl Mock Draft