Third Day Defensive Bargains

We are through the first two days of the draft and although many of the impact players are likely gone, we have compiled a list of a few "diamonds in the rough." Here are some defensive players that your favorite team can grab that you'll feel good about.


Christian Ballard, Iowa

Some had the big Iowa lineman going as early as Round Two, but he's still available for some lucky franchise. Ballard can play in both a 4-3 and a 3-4, but may be best as a 4-3 pass rushing tackle.

Pernell McPhee, Mississippi State

McPhee isn't a big pass rusher, but he will hold the point of attack and be solid in a 4-3 as a left end. At 278 pounds, he's probably big enough to play the 5-technique as well.


Ian Williams, Notre Dame

Since having a fantastic Senior Bowl week, Williams has been somewhat of a forgotten man and some team will pick up a very solid tackle. Williams can rush the passer from the inside and has the tools to become a three-down lineman.

Cedric Thornton, Southern Arkansas

Another small school guy who flashed in Mobile, Thornton is tough to handle on the inside, and could even kick outside in a 3-4.


Chris Carter, Fresno State

The former WAC Defensive Player of the Year can affect the quarterback and make plays in any scheme. He will likely go early on Saturday afternoon.

Ross Homan, Ohio State

Ross Homan doesn't impress anyone with his physical stature, but the guy continuously makes plays all over the football field.


Colin McCarthy, Miami

McCarthy doesn't have the flash of former Canes Ray Lewis and Jonathan Vilma, but he's a more than solid option in the middle of a defense who will become a long-term NFL starter.

Casey Matthews, Oregon

He's not his brother, but Matthews is a gamer that has a nose for the football. He's undersized, but so was Zach Thomas.


Davon House, New Mexico State

With the importance of the cornerback position, it's amazing House is still on the board. Great size at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, House has good ball skills and will make some team look very smart today.

Kendric Burney, North Carolina

Burney's poor combine time and measureables have him still available, but the guy is a ball-hawk who doesn't drop interceptions. He could be a starting nickel corner in the NFL.


Tyler Sash

He doesn't look like an elite safety, but he makes plays and intercepts footballs. Sash can start on some teams in the NFL.

Robert Sands

Boom or bust safety pick, Sands is nearly 6-foot-5 and displays bad intentions for receivers coming over the middle. At this point in the draft, he's worth a gamble.

Charlie Bernstein is the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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