Day three of the NFL draft is where many teams thrive and many teams falter when looking for that hidden gem in the draft. Some teams are known for this part of the draft and have rosters littered with picks in the 4th through 7th round. While some teams find success, others fails to capitalise and some teams just panic. Here are some of these instances from the 2016 NFL draft.
Player – Moritz Boehringer
This is one of the best stories of the whole draft, and proves that dreams, however unlikely, do come true. Boehringer is the first player to ever be drafted straight from the European leagues. While this is fantastic for him, it also is much bigger than that. It opens up the idea that if you are good enough, then the NFL is not too big a dream. This finally follows suit of the NBA, the NHL and the MLB. If you can dream it, you can do it.
College – Navy
The NFL and America in general is very patriotic, and with weekly demonstrations of their love for the military it is shown to a world-wide audience. Then in the 6th round of the NFL draft, Navy’s own Keenan Reynolds was drafted. A feel good story as it is when an athlete realises his dream, it will feel even better for both the player and the school each and every time he plays, as he is not only representing himself, but the military as a whole. This will give extra coverage to the Navy as both an institution and a career path for people who want to play in the NFL.
NFL – Titans
The Titans didn’t only have a good final day, they had a good draft full stop. After adding starters in first 3 rounds, the Titans focused on quality depth in the final four rounds. They picked players who can contribute from day one in a limited role, and all 5 players have bags of potential. A few years down the line, all of the players the Titans selected in this draft could and should be starters. That is something that most teams don’t do in drafts, and it is very interesting how the Titans drafted players who can genuinely start given time.
Player – Charone Peake
Ranked as the 8th best Receiver in the draft by Realsport and 7th overall by the NFL, and receivers are going earlier in the draft as their importance increases. With all that said, and coming from an undefeated regular season programme last year, Peake would have expected to hear his name on the second day at the latest. The case, however was that he had to wait until the third day to go. While a lot of receivers went on Saturday, Peake was the 30th receiver taken and had to wait until the 7th round. With speed and size at a premium in the NFL, and Peake being above 6 feet, the 2016 draft was a bad day at the office.
College – Utah
It is quite hard to find a bad college in terms of the NFL draft. If players from your school get drafted that is a bonus, but once in the draft process, it not about the teams, rather the ability of the players. That being said, the players still represent the school and the schools ability to develop top players. If this is the barometer for a good draft, then Utah had a bad one. After a 10-3 season, and with 7 players declaring for the draft, the Utes were in a good position for success. That however wasn’t to be the case, when only one player was drafted, a Running Back, in the 4th round. This draft haul can only be seen as a disappointment as after a great season, the rewards were one drafted player.
NFL – Miami Dolphins
When judging a draft it is all about selections versus need, and what production can be brought forward from those picks. The Dolphins saved themselves from an ugly day 3 draft with 2 decent picks, to bookend questionable ones. Jakeem Grant, is tiny, however as a returner and with the ball in his hands, he is incredibly dynamic. Thomas Duarte, the final Dolphins pick is an excellent pass catching Tight End, and although he has issues in his game, can help in the Redzone early. These picks were promising, however the two in between, were questionable, and with all the gaps in the Dolphins roster, made their draft turn from average, to outright bad. Jordan Lucas, a Safety will struggle for a roster spot at all, and feels like panic due to the Reshad Jones contract situation. The next pick was a Quarterback by the name of Brandon Doughty, which is not a need at all, and with pressing needs on the Defensive Line, this pick could have been used to take a flyer there.
Player – Rico Gethers
To call this pick ugly seems a little harsh, but when broken down, it is the true meaning of boom or bust. His measurables are off the charts, and with the past success of college Basketball players in the NFL, the markers point to giving him every chance. The reason this is an ugly pick is due to this pick being the quintessential flyer pick. Gethers hasn’t played football in either college or at high school, and only started training for football last month. If Gethers makes it past training camp cuts, it will entirely due to his size. If he doesn’t make it past training camp, the Cowboys have wasted a pick and could put Basketball players off entering the league.
College – Florida State
This college has the ugly grade purely based on outside perception. Similar to bad grades for College’s, it is difficult to grade them ugly because they aren’t the ones being drafted, and teams will either want their players or won’t. The draft started well for them with Jalen Ramsey going in the first and then Tampa Bay traded up into the second round for their Kicker, Robert Aguayo. Then day 3 came and the draft ended for Florida State. Only two players were taken from a team who expect to challenge for a National Championship in the years to come. This by no means condemns them, however it isn’t great when the former and hopeful future champions don’t have many suitors.
NFL – Carolina Panthers
Calling the Carolina Panthers ugly could be deemed a little harsh will only 2 picks in the final four rounds. The reasons for this being ugly is the same reason it seems a little harsh. Carolina only had 5 picks in the whole draft, and with no obvious holes they have worked those picks into multiple picks in the lower rounds. They selected a Corner and a Tight End in day 3, Cornerback is the biggest need they have but Tight End isn’t anywhere near it with such a dynamic offence. When depth is the key to the success of the third day, Carolina could have been selecting multiple picks. Instead they just decided that an underwhelming draft was the key to another 15-1 season.