Valuing Third Round Draft Picks


nfldraft[1]In a recent episode of JetNation Radio (October 15th) I heard my colleague Dennis Agapito talking about the success of the third round draft picks across the league.  It got me thinking that I should look into the past five years draft classes and point out some of the players who are making an impact on their teams.  Keep in mind that the Jets will likely have two third round picks, one is still conditional with the Buccaneers for the Darrelle Revis trade, in the upcoming 2014 NFL draft.

Third round draft picks usually aren’t the best at combine testing, didn’t have a good pro day or possible come from a non-elite football program, but can end up as impact players.  They know how to play the game and many of these mid-round picks overachieve their draft position.  Due to the fact that they may not have the fastest 40-time or didn’t bench enough reps at the combine, these athletes slipped into the third round, a round that nothing is guaranteed as far as a roster spot.  They are not all Pro-Bowl caliber players but many have had a positive impact on their team’s success.

With a lot of talk about trading a draft pick for a guy like Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (who is one off-field issue away from being suspended for an entire year), Jets general manager John Idzik needs to be mindful of potentially trading any of his two third round picks.  The following players are from the past five drafts and are making an impact on either side of the ball for their respective teams:

2009 Draft

Position/Player

Team Drafted/Current Team

Overall

OG – Luis Vasquez

San Diego Chargers(now Denver Broncos)

78

WR – Mike Wallace

Pittsburgh Steelers (now Miami Dolphins)

84

DB – Lardarius Webb

Baltimore Ravens

88

TE – Jared Cook

Tennessee Titans (now St. Louis Rams)

89

 

2010 Draft

Position/Player

Team Drafted/Current Team

Overall

S – Major Wright

Chicago Bears

75

WR – Brandon Lafell

Carolina Panthers

78

WR – Emmanuel Sanders

Pittsburgh Steelers

82

WR – Eric Decker

Denver Broncos

87

LB – Navorro Bowman

San Francisco 49ers

97

TE – Tony Moeaki

Kansas City Chiefs

93

TE – Jimmy Graham

New Orleans Saints

95

 

2011 Draft

Position/Player

Team Drafted/Current Team

Overall

RB – Demarco Murray

Dallas Cowboys

71

RD – Steven Ridley

New England Patriots

73

WR – Vincent Brown

San Diego Chargers

82

 

2012 Draft

Position/Player

Team Drafted/Current Team

Overall

WR – T.J. Graham

Buffalo Bills

69

QB – Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks

75

LB – Demario Davis

New York Jets

77

WR – Mohamed Sanu

Cincinnati Bengals

83

QB – Nick Foles

Philadelphia Eagles

88

WR – T.Y. Hilton

Indianapolis Colts

92

 

2013 Draft

Position/Player

Team Drafted/Current Team

Overall

S – Tyrann Mathieu

Arizona Cardinals

69

S – T.J. McDonald

St. Louis Rams

71

WR – Terrance Williams

Dallas Cowboys

74

WR – Keenan Allen

San Diego Chargers

76

TE – Jordan Reed

Washington Redskins

85

 

The Jets have to be smart about trades as the deadline approaches (Oct. 29).  They should keep as many draft picks as possible, unless the deal is for a low risk, high reward player, which most teams will not give up.  Third round picks are particularly important because of the recent string of success teams have had with players in this round and the low cost contracts they receive.  The Jets probably have two of them and will most definitely use the picks on players that could have an immediate impact with some phase of the team.


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