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2016 NFL Draft: Round 3, Picks 69-73 grades & analysis

Pick 69 (Round 3, Pick 6) - Jacksonville Jaguars


Pick 69 (Round 3, Pick 6) – Jacksonville Jaguars

Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland

Pick analysis: Ngakoue is a pass rush specialist, pure and simple. He is quick off the make and explosive when going after the Quarterback. He gets dominated too frequently in the run game, but with Jackson and Fowler as the starting defensive ends, Ngakoue can be brought on in obvious passing downs and destroy the edge. He is the perfect rotational pass rusher. Jacksonville is building something scary. Player analysis: The small but dynamic edge rusher decided to cash in on his big season and declare for the draft a year early. After piling up 13 sacks this year, tied-second behind only Carl Nassib, it’s hard to blame him. He wins with speed early off the snap, but lacks strength and length for the NFL, so it might be difficult to replicate his production numbers as a pro. He did cause former Iowa tackle and last year’s high first round pick of Washington Brandon Scherff heaps of problems when the two matched up back in 2014. Grade: A-

Pick 70 (Round 3, Pick 7) – Baltimore Ravens

Bronson Kaufusi, EDGE, BYU

Pick analysis: Suggs and Dumervil are both getting older and will both have to move on sometime sonner rather than later. Correa is one replacement and now Kaufusi is the other. Both are violent pass rushers with great effort and both a raw so both of them are projects. But, they represent good value for the Ravens. Player analysis: Length is the obvious plus with Kaufusi as well at over 6ft 6. He looked a little out of place as a stand-up linebacker in 2014, but rightfully moved to defensive end this year. His size is tricky to handle, but lacks explosion. He’s more about power though, and has a few rush moves that frequently catch linemen off guard. He’s prone to mistakes in the run game, an area where he needs work. The ceiling for the tall end isn’t that high but has an NFL frame, and contributed excellent numbers as a senior, with 19.5 TFLs, 10.5 sacks and 63 tackles, as well as 3 forced fumbles and an interception. There’s potential on special teams too, where he stood out with 5 kick blocks in 2015. Grade: B

Pick 71 (Round 3, Pick 8) – New York Giants

Darian Thompson, FS, Boise State

Pick analysis: Thompson is joint for the lead in career interception with 19. He is a center-fielder type safety and that is something the whole NFL craves. The Giants need a safety like that to allow Landon Collins work closer to the line of scrimmage and take him out of some coverage situations. Thompson and Collins could form a pretty dangerous safety combination. Player analysis: Few defensive backs this year, at either corner or safety, will enter the NFL with as much production as the three-and-a-half-year starter for the Broncos. With 19 interceptions, including five this past year and seven in 2014, he has proven his ability to impact the passing game and create turnovers. His all-round game extends to moving downhill to take down ball carriers who hit the second level with 136 combined tackles over the last two seasons, with 13.5 tackles for loss (TFLs) over that period. All within a stout frame built to hold up at the next level. However, his athletic traits have been brought into question following the combine, that saw him run one of the slowest recorded times among safeties present, which could hurt his chances of going in the top two rounds, depending on how teams let that impact their grade on him. He certainly gets in good positions to make plays on film. Having said that, another criticism of his game is how often he takes chances, making guesses that don’t always pay off and catches him either out of position or being late to the action due to having to recover from taking a few false steps in the wrong direction. The sheer amount of time he spends around the ball though suggests that such a question shouldn’t be over-stated, and the quality of some of his interceptions and the ball skills he shows speaks to his talented playmaking skills. He will miss some tackles, but is generally reliable when in position to wrap up. While the combine wasn’t the most positive weekend for his stock, his performance at the Senior Bowl prior to that certainly was, in particularly during the game itself. In the first half of that all-star contest, Thompson was seemingly around the ball on every play. On top of that, Thompson really impresses with his character and attitude, something that reports suggest came through very well during interviews at the Senior Bowl, adding to his good week there in Mobile. He has his limitations, and likely isn’t going to ever reach Pro Bowl status or the like, but has the size, production and playmaking ability desired. GradeA-

Pick 72 (Round 3, Pick 9) – Chicago Bears

Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida

Pick analysis: Great pick by the Bears. Chicago have converted to a 3-4, yet lack the pieces that fit. Bullard fits. Some think he’s a tweener, but what he is, is versatile. He can contribute inside and outside. He excels versus the run, but provides a backfield threat two. This is a superb marriage of value and fit. Good job. Player analysis: When Bullard’s card is turned in to the podium, it’ll certainly be done so with confidence; there won’t be any second guessing putting his name down.  Taking on a very versatile role for the Gators that saw him line up all across the defensive line both inside and out, Bullard’s work ethic, toughness, and NFL body will fit right in on any roster.  He can continue to be a versatile piece in multiple fronts at the next level too, at his best he was devastatingly effective shooting the gap from the 3-technique inside.  Bullard is an absolutely outstanding run defender, who anchors and disengages with technique and timing to go with his physical imposing style.  While their offense sputtered, the Florida defence was one of the most difficult in the country to move the ball against, and that started up front on the D-line led by Bullard.  While extremely physical and a beast versus the run, his rush attempts can be fairly basic, without much in the way of moves outside of his bull rush.  His lack of ideal length will be looked at as a negative as well by some.  He might end up getting his “tweener” size between end and tackle thrown at him in a negative manner by some also, but his versatility and effectiveness at multiple positions should be considered a positive that outweighs that instead.  Bullard considered entering the 2015 draft, when he might have been a day two pick, but his decision to stay and to put in his best season yet as a senior which included 66 tackles and 17.5 TFLs will give him a chance to be a late first round pick. Grade: A

Pick 73 (Round 3, Pick 10) – Miami Dolphins

Kenyan Drake, RB, Alabama

Pick analysis: Drake is a triple threat of a player. He is a third down change of pace back, he is a kick returner and he is a gunner on punt coverage. What he brings to the table is competitiveness, speed and desire. While he may lack some skills, what he is asked to do he does very very well. As a compliment to Jay Ajayi, he can light up the league. Player analysis: He doesn’t see a great deal of touches over the course of a game or season, but Drake is a fantastic athlete (in particularly for his size), a versatile threat, and a dangerous weapon to add to any roster. He won’t be an every-down back in the NFL, but can be used in so many creative ways. Drake is an electric, dynamic player with the ability to take the ball the distance on any touch. Once he is free in space, he can make defenders miss, and outrun practically anyone. With Derrick Henry the obvious workhorse, Drake was used sparingly by Lane Kiffin this season, but made the most of his opportunities. His athletic abilities extend to frequently lining up as a receiver outside, where he shows natural traits to run routes and make the most of his speed. Out of the backfield, there’s few linebackers who have a chance of sticking with him, and he’ll continue to exploit that effectiveness in the NFL too. While he has good size, he’s not the most physical runner with it, lacks strength and could probably be a better all-round runner if he could improve in that area. His pass protection is pretty awful right now. Drake does come with some questions. He suffered an awful broken leg injury during the 2014 season that required surgery. Though he returned to great effect this year, it was a bad one, and will be checked closely in his medical. He also ran in to some trouble with Nick Saban over the course of his Alabama career, with suspensions and being held out of practices on occasions too. That’ll surely be looked in to as well. Grade: B+


2016 NFL Draft: Round 3, Picks 69-73 grades & analysis

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