Good Morning
Good Morning

NFL Draft 2015: Day 3 names to watch

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley throws a pass during

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley throws a pass during the first quarter of a game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on Oct. 25, 2014 in Boulder, Colo. Credit: Getty Images / Justin Edmonds

The first round of the NFL Draft gets the publicity, and Rounds 2 and 3 have their impact players, but Rounds 4-7 are where real gems can be uncovered.

Here are 22 remaining prospects who could hear their name called early in Day 3 of the NFL Draft. (Numbers in parentheses denote where the player ranks on Newsday’s top 100 draft prospects Big Board.)

La’El Collins, OT, LSU (11): Collins is falling due to his involvement in a police investigation regarding the murder of an alleged ex-girlfriend. Cops have said that Collins is not a suspect and that they just wish to speak with him, but that was enough for him to slide this far. On the field, he’s a versatile, athletic lineman who powers through defenders in the run game.

T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh (24): There are two possible reasons why Clemmings is still on the board: his rawness (he played right tackle for two seasons in college after playing defensive end at Pittsburgh, so his rawness) and/or the stress fracture in his foot. But whoever takes Clemmings will get a long-armed, athletic blocker with good physical traits who can play right tackle as soon as he's healthy.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State (41): One of the more versatile backs in this class, Ajayi can grind out yards, bounce long runs outside and catch passes. However, reported concerns about his knee may have pushed him down draft boards.

Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson (46): Jarrett was a disruptive presence in the middle of Clemson's defensive line and should be able to fit into both a 4-3 or a 3-4 front.

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA (49): Hundley is a very toolsy quarterback prospect. He has great size, athleticism and arm strength. However, he still needs quite a bit of polish, especially when facing a rush, which may be the reason he has slipped to Day 3.

David Cobb, RB, Minnesota (54): Cobb is a workhorse back who runs downhill with great power. He lacks a top gear, but he's a great fit for any team that needs a physical, between-the-tackles runner.

Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio State (56): Bennett is a good three-technique defensive tackle who uses his hands well to disengage his blocker and disrupt a play. Fatigue seemed to be an issue at times, but he could draw the attention of a team needing a balanced interior lineman.

Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State (57): Greene was a sure-handed playmaker with the Seminoles and often came up with big catches when it counted. However, his smallish stature (5-11, 182 pounds) may drive some teams away, or at least view him as a slot-only option.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon (67): The ball-hawking Ekpre-Olomu flashed first-round talent in both his junior and senior years at Oregon. However, he tore his ACL while preparing for the College Football Playoff, which may be the reason why he's still on the board right now.

Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas (68): Flowers has vines for arms, and he uses them well in both the the running and passing games. But he's only an average athlete compared to some of the other edge prospects in this class.

Justin Hardy, WR, ECU (71): Hardy has excellent hands and runs crisp routes. However, like Rashad Greene, Hardy's small size (5-10, 192 pounds) may limit him to the slot at the pro level.

Daryl Williams, OT, Oklahoma (84): Williams is a big, imposing lineman who drives defenders backward off the snap. He's not very athletic, but he could be a prime candidate for a conversion if a team is looking for a guard.

Quandre Diggs, CB, Texas (85): Diggs is a smart, tough cornerback with good instincts and ball skills. His size (5-9, 196) may limit him to a slot cornerback role, though, which limits his value somewhat.

Zack Hodges, Edge rusher, Harvard (88): Hodges is an intriguing prospect who can bend the edge well when getting upfield. However, he's still very raw technique-wise, and at 250 pounds he must get stronger to handle bigger linemen.

Josh Harper, WR, Fresno State (89): Harper is a solid possession receiver with good hands and body control on tougher catches. He doesn't have great speed, though, and isn't as much of a vertical threat as most of the other receivers in this class.

Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina (90):  Davis -- like David Cobb -- is a compact, powerful runner with a low center of gravity and a downhill style. He's not the fastest back in this class by any means, but he could be a good addition for a team the needs a power back.

Tony Lippett, WR, Michigan State (91): Lippett quietly performed well against some of bigger-name cornerbacks in the Big Ten thanks to his fluidity. He does need to expand his route tree a bit, but he could be a nice project for a team looking for receiving help.

Doran Grant, CB, Ohio State (92): Grant is s smart, ball-hawking corner who plays the ball well and recognizes his opponent's route quickly. He does tend to get a little grabby down the field, however, and doesn't have great size (5-10, 200) to stick as a boundary corner in the pros.

Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary (93): McBride is a small-school product with a great mix of size, speed, hands, awareness and route-running ability. The question is, will his production against lesser opponents carry over into the NFL?

Za'Darius Smith, DE, Kentucky (94): Smith is a powerful, versatile end with good size and length. He's not too great against the pass, though, which may limit him to a role as a 4-3 run stopper as a result.

Josh Shaw, CB, USC (97): Shaw stood out during the postseason all-star circuit, and his versatility should only help him. However, he's not very physical or overly athletic at this stage. There's also the 'drowning nephew' lie he told in October, which may have turned some teams off.

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor (99): There were reports that some teams considered Petty a late first-round prospect. After all, he does have good size and arm strength. But he battled back problems throughout college and came from a spread system that didn't call on him to make more than one read.

New York Sports