01 May 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Best Picks of Day 3

The third day of the 2011 NFL Draft is over and that means that the draft is closed. Rounds 4-7 were drafted today at Radio City and here are my thoughts on the best picks of the final 157 selections.
Round 4

102. Cleveland Browns - Jordan Cameron, TE, USC
Cameron is a very athletic tight end who came to USC as a JUCO transer wide receiver. He did not exactly light the world on fire at USC but at the Shrine Game showed a lot of promise and turned some heads at the combine. In Cleveland he can sit behind Evan Moore to further learn the position and down the road he can be a very good weapon for Colt McCoy.

103. Arizona Cardinals - Sam Acho, DE/OLB, Texas
Acho was thought by many to be a second round prospect and it's great value for Arizona to take home at this spot. The Cardinals desperately need help rushing the passer and have gotten little production from their outside linebackers in their 34 defense. Therefore, Acho is a perfect fit.

106. Minnesota Vikings - Christian Ballard, DT/DE, Iowa
Another case study of how failing a marijuana test can hurt your draft stock. Ballard should have gone in the second round but the Vikings get him at pick 103. He has the size and explosiveness to be effective as a defensive tackle and defensive end. He may be the replacement for free agent defensive end Ray Edwards.

111. Miami Dolphins - Edmund Gates, WR, Abilene Christian 
The Dolphins have needed a consistent deep threat at the wide receiver position for a while and Gates has the athleticism and the speed to do just that. His hands are solid as well. He can contribute right away as a slot receiver as well as a kick returner.

112. St. Louis Rams - Greg Salas, WR, Hawaii
Sam Bradford is clearly the future under the arch but he needs more targets at wide receiver. Salas is a very talented possession receiver with some of the best hands in the draft. He also can make guys miss. I would say Wes Welker is a stretch comparison-wise but I do believe he is a more talented version of Danny Amendola.

115. San Francisco 49ers - Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State
Why so many teams do not like to take running backs early is because you can find quality ones in the middle to late rounds, like San Fran did here. At the very least Hunter will complement Frank Gore by contributing on third down and as a change of pace but he does have the potential to be an every down back. If I were a personnel exec, I would much rather draft a Kendall Hunter in round 4 than Mark Ingram in round 1.

124. Cleveland Browns - Owen Marecic, FB, Stanford
The Browns were looking to address the fullback position and in Marecic they got a football player. Marecic is a guy everyone wants on their team, a hard nosed, blue collar, 100% effort guy. He will be a force right off the bat on special teams at the very least.

131. Green Bay Packers - Davon House, CB, New Mexico State
House is a guy that was thought by some to be a top third round pick but to get him at the conclusion of round 4 is a very good pick. House has a lot of talent and will contribute right away in the dime packages. He can sit and learn from two of the best in the business in Tramon Williams and Charles Woodson.

Round 5

135. Kansas City Chiefs - Ricky Stanzi, QB, Iowa
With the run on quarterbacks early in the first round and then in the second, I am really surprised that Stanzi was available for the Chiefs in round 5. Matt Cassel is really not that good and bringing in someone that can push him down the road is a very good idea. Stanzi has the leadership skills that quarterbacks need to have, is excellent at reading defenses from the pocket and played in a pro-style offense.

139. Minnesota Vikings - Brandon Burton, CB, Utah
I always wonder how solid third round prospects like Burton fall to the fifth and sixth rounds but it always happens. Burton is a very talented corner that can contribute right away. He could be groomed to be the replacement for Antoine Winfield down the road.

141. Green Bay Packers - D.J. Williams, TE, Arkansas
Williams would have been more sought after if he was taller. His height questions aside, Williams has the hands and the athleticism that you like out of a tight end and he's similar to the tight ends on the Packers' roster. For a team that loves to utilize the tight end, Williams is a great addition. In fact I'm drooling over a formation with Jermichael Finley, Andrew Quarless, and Williams all on the field.

145. Atlanta Falcons - Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
Rodgers is not the biggest back nor is he the fastest but this kid can simply make plays. He is an ideal third down back and will seamlessly replace Jerious Norwood for the Falcons.

149. Philadelphia Eagles - Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh
If you can get a guy like a Dion Lewis in the fifth round, why spend an early pick on a running back? Lewis is pretty small but he was terrific at Pitt. He is extremely elusive, has a very good burst, and has quick feet. The Eagles won't need him right away so he can develop into a solid and productive back.

Round 6

166. Carolina Panthers - Lawrence Wilson, OLB, UConn
The Panthers needed linebacker depth and they got a solid player in Wilson. He is great in pursuit and has the athleticism and the instinctiveness you want in an outside linebacker. He also is underrated in coverage.

171. Arizona Cardinals - Quan Surdivant, ILB, North Carolina
Sturdivant was widely thought to be a second day prospect, but how in the world does he slip all the way to the sixth round? He is extremely good at stuffing the run and projected to be ideal for the 3-4 defense on the inside. Wait, don't the Cardinals run a 3-4? Winning.

185. New York Giants - Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State
At one point during the past year this guy was thought to be a first round prospect. He is very competitive and intense that was a tackling machine for the Spartans. He also has very good explosive on the ball. It's not a stretch to see Jones starting at outside linebacker for New York.

199. Kansas City Chiefs - Jerrell Powe, DT, Mississippi
Before his senior season at Ole Miss, he was widely thought of to be the top nose tackle in the draft but a mediocre season really hurt his stock. However he is extremely talented and is a great roll of the dice at the end of round 6. He may be the nose tackle the Chiefs have sorely needed.

Round 7

213. Washington Redskins - Brandyn Thompson, CB, Boise State
The Redskins really needed depth at cornerback so Thompson is a very good selection. He is a skilled defensive back who has quick feet, solid hands, and is very disciplined. He will contribute immediately.

221. New York Giants - Da'Rel Scott, RB, Maryland
Scott is a tough runner who runs in a very physical manner despite his small frame. He has ideal vision who finds the hole quickly and has the burst to explode through it. With Ahmad Bradshaw seeing free agency, if there is free agency, Scott could see his fair share of playing time.

226. New Orleans Saints - Greg Romeus, DE, Pittsburgh
This is the George Selvie pick of 2011. Just like Selvie, Romeus was a hot prospect after an awesome junior season in which he looked like a lock for the first round. But after a tough senior season, both fell to the last round. But while Selvie saw little field in 2010, Romeus has a chance to be a pretty solid defensive end if given the chance to fine-tune his skills, which he will since he won't have to start right away.

236. Minnesota Vikings - Stephen Burton, WR, West Texas A&M
Burton is a talented receiver with solid hands, plus quickness and can get separation from defenders. He is an ideal underneath receiver that can develop into a nice weapon for Joe Webb Christian Ponder down the road.

244. Carolina Panthers - Lee Ziemba, OT/G, Auburn
If you can get a potential starter in the seventh round, that's is know you've hit a home run. Ziemba is an experienced and intelligent that works his ass off and gets the most out of his ability. He is also versatile. With the shape of the guards for Carolina, it's not that crazy to see him starting at some point.

253. Washington Redskins - Chris Neild, DT, West Virginia
Nield is an experienced space filler who is an extremely hard worker. He gets off out of his stance quickly at the snap and is very tough to move from the point. He is a solid nose tackle that could force his way into the lineup for the Redskins late in the season thanks to a lack of a nose tackle on roster.

254. Houston Texans - Cheta Ozougwu, DE/OLB, Rice
Mr. Irrelevant actually is a solid player. As mentioned to death before, the Texans needed personnel for the 3-4 and Wade Phillips can work with Ozougwu who projects to be best suited for the 3-4 coming off the edge. He is fast off the edge and has a quick burst. He was a consistent player at Rice and has the potential to be a quality contributor in the Space City.

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