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Finding the Fits: 10 Day 3 picks ready to click in the NFL

For robbery rang
FOX Sports NFL Draft Analyst

As the salary cap gets more and more out of control in the NFLthe ability to find Day 3 deals in the draft has become even more critical to maintaining a competitive roster.

There are Day 3 deals every year, but the 2022 NFL Draft was especially talent-laden due to the NCAA giving players an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic. As such, this year’s talent pool was literally larger than in the past. Therefore, every team in the league must have at least one or two players selected in rounds 4-7 on Saturday that must make the roster. Some clubs will have a handful with some future stars.

I’ll break down the full draft run for each club in the coming days, taking a division-by-division approach to fully developing talent, but first, let’s provide immediate feedback and highlight my top 10 picks from Day 3.

Fourth round, No. 106 overall: Tampa Bay BuccaneersCade OttoTEA, Washington

As Rob Gronkowski weighs returning for another NFL season, the Buccaneers nabbed an equally confident replacement with the first overall pick on Day 3 in Otton, arguably the best tight end in this year’s class. While Otton isn’t the physically dominant player that “Gronk” has displayed during his stellar career, he is a quality road runner with soft hands and enough size (6-foot-5, 245 pounds) and strength to stay in line. blocker, making the transition from him to the professional game much smoother.

Otton’s production dropped in 2021 due to his own injury (ankle surgery) and Washington’s poor offensive play, but that worked in Tampa Bay’s favor as he otherwise would not have been available at this point in the draft. . Tom Brady knows a thing or two about being a Day 3 steal and his accuracy will help Otton unlock potential that was only hinted at in college.

Fourth round, No. 107 overall: houston texansdameon pierceRB, Florida

Perhaps the toughest running back in this year’s draft, Pierce was a favorite of draft analysts across the country, with many likely listing him as a Day 3 steal. That’s because his potential as a primary rusher it couldn’t have been more obvious in Florida and yet he leaves “The Swamp” with just 329 career carries. By comparison, Day 3 steal Tyler Allgeier (listed further down in this article) had 276 attempts in 2021 alone.

Lovie Smith may be Houston’s new head coach, but he’s old school. He would love to lean on a real cow bell racer. And let’s face it, the Texans’ current depth chart at running back (Marlon Mack, Rex Burkhead, Royce Freeman and Dare Ogunbowale) isn’t a who’s who among the NFL rushing champions. Pierce, a fierce downhill rusher, pass protector and quality receiver whose game projects even better at the NFL level than at the college level, has a chance to be one of the true steals in this year’s draft.

Fourth round, No. 121 overall: new england patriotsJack-Jonescb, arizona state

It’s not often that a cornerback with Jones’ flabby hips and greasy knees breaks out of the top 100 picks, but let Bill Belichick and the Patriots nab one when it does. Jones turned heads wherever he played, dating back to his time at USC as a five-star recruit, at Arizona State and in the East-West Shrine Bowl. In addition to his quickness, Jones is tenacious and plays like a rat terrier on the hunt. New England has proven to be masterful at uncovering mid- and late-round steals in the secondary, and Jones will be a perfect fit.

Fourth round, 132 total: Green Bay Packersromeo doubsWR, Nevada

To be clear, no rookie wide receiver will make Packers fans (or Aaron Rodgers) forget Davante Adams, but I love Green Bay’s picks of Christian Watson (North Dakota State) and Doubs, the latter of the which would have obtained a significantly higher score. choice if he had been able to fully work for scouts before the draft. Like Adams at Fresno State, Doubs dominated the Mountain West, posting 20 touchdowns the past two seasons, winning with a combination of speed, body control and sticky hands.

There are numerous catches on the tape in which Doubs catches the back half of the ball, displaying excellent hand-eye coordination to get it out of his frame. And, like Watson, Doubs excelled outdoors, so there won’t be the transition to Lambeau Field that some receivers might face. Doubs, one of the best at tracking balls over the shoulder, will be a steal.

Fourth round, No. 136 overall: Cincinnati BengalsCordell VolsonOG, State of North Dakota

Speaking of NDSU’s dominant prospects, why not turn our attention to the offensive line? The Bengals found a future starting shooting guard late in the fourth round in Volson, the best blocker in this year’s East-West Shrine Bowl. Protecting Joe Burrow, of course, should be the No. 1 priority in Cincinnati and one would think that wasn’t the case based on this year’s draft class, as Volson was the only offensive lineman selected by Cincinnati, though after that the club signed a trio of veterans in free agency in La’el Collins, Alex Cappa and Ted Karras. Volson was one of my favorite sleepers in this draft class, and while I expect those veterans to play well, he offers the positional versatility and grit to step up if needed.

Fourth round, No. 143 overall: tennessee titansChigoziem OkonknwoTEA, Maryland

Titans fans who miss “small” but highly athletic former tight ends like Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith should rejoice in the club’s selection of the athletic and similarly built Okonkwo, who led all athletes at his position with a amazing 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds. at the NFL Scouting Combine after measuring 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds. While he lacks the volume most teams want at tight end, when a dynamic downhill running back like Derrick Henry is introduced, a classic “on the move” tight end creates all sorts of matchup problems for defenses and Okonkwo offers that, exploding last season with 52 catches for 447 yards and five touchdowns before turning heads in the East-West Shrine Bowl.

Okonkwo isn’t likely to surpass free-agent addition Austin Hooper as Tennessee’s top target at tight end in 2022, but don’t be surprised when he eventually surpasses his draft spot, as does Walker (175th overall). in 2006) and Smith (100 overall, 2017) did so previously.

Fifth round, No. 151 overall: atlanta falconsTyler AllgeierRB, BYU

Veteran Cordarrelle Patterson rushed for 618 yards and a career-high six touchdowns as the Falcons’ surprise running back a year ago, but head coach Arthur Smith acknowledged the uniquely talented running back and receiver will be on the move more in 2022, opening the possibility. on the other back to take advantage of game time. Enter Allgeier, a player who would have gotten a much higher pick if he just possessed higher top speed. The 5-foot-11, 224-pound Allgeier clocked 4.60 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he plays faster than that and has everything a team could want in a backup role, including prototypical size. . , balance through contact and a nose for the end zone, tying for the national lead in 2021 with 23 rushing touchdowns in just 13 games.

Smith, of course, signed with Atlanta after serving as offensive coordinator at Tennessee, where he bragged about the game’s preeminent poorhouse in Henry, and he knows a cowbell running back when he sees one. He won’t be surprised when Allgeier challenges that role early in his NFL career, maybe even as a rookie.

Fifth round, No. 153 overall: Seattle SeahawksLana Tarikcb, Texas-San Antonio

Whether Woolen can develop the same grit as a tackler that was such an underrated element of Richard Sherman’s game remains to be seen, but it’s easy to see some parallels between the two athletic, angular cornerbacks, whose college careers began as a wide receiver and were crowned for weeks. impressive at the Senior Bowl. Since his days at USC, Pete Carroll has always prioritized dazzling athletes and there are simply no more tools than Woolen, whose electric sprint time of 4.26 seconds for 40 yards and 42″ vertical jump at 6-foot-4, 205-pound … was arguably the most impressive performance at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. And don’t think of Woolen as “just” a workout warrior. He turned heads with his body control and upward instincts in coverage in the Senior Bowl, just as Sherman did it in 2011.

Round six, No. 201 overall: arizona cardinalsKeaontay IngramRB, USC

The Cardinals laughed all the way to the bench a year ago with James Conner, who served as the perfect battering ram to complement Kliff Kingsbury’s fast-paced passing attack. The former Pittsburgh Steeler made his way to the end zone 15 times in just 15 games, finishing tied for second in the entire NFL (with New England’s Damien Harris) in rushing touchdowns and notching three more as a receiver. However, the depth behind him took a hit when Chase Edmonds brought his talent to Miami. Ingram is neither the pinwheel among tackles like Conner, nor is he a classic air back like Edmonds. What it may very well be, however, is a quality combination of the two. He displayed next-level playmaking ability at Texas, USC and the East-West Shrine Bowl, posting an astonishing 3,393 combined rushing and receiving yards with 22 touchdowns scored against elite competition. Not only will he make the Cardinals’ roster, but he could turn out to be a major theft-type heist if the Cardinals ever called him up to take on the duties full-time.

Round 7, No. 237 overall: Detroit Lionschase lukeBC, State of Arizona

Seventh-round players making NFL clubs are a rarity, but I’m pretty sure Lucas won’t just do that, he’ll land a second NFL contract. A former four-star draft pick who started 49 games in the Pac-12 happy for the pass, Lucas only made it to the seventh round because he’s older than most prospects and turned 25 in March. Say what you will about his age, Lucas offers the agility and acceleration of a youngster, clocking 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash and posting a vertical jump of 38″ at the NFL Scouting Combine, and made the difference on Day 1 for the Sun Devils For a club looking for guts and defensive playmakers, Lucas will prove the Lions are smart by ignoring the birth certificate and instead focusing on the game tape.

Rob Rang, one of the most recognizable names in the industry, has been covering the NFL Draft for more than 20 years, with work at FOX Sports, Sports Illustrated, CBS Sports, USA Today, Yahoo, NFL.com and NFLDraftScout. com, among others. others.


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