NFL Draft: Analyzing Round Three

The 2012 NFL Draft is in the books. Here's a look at every pick from Round Three. Links to other Draft news.

The Third Round of the Draft held a few more surprises.
Round One -- Round Two

64. Indianapolis Colts: TE Dwayne Allen, Clemson -- And the Colts continue to shape the offense of the future to look a little bit like Tom Brady's twin-tight end attack in New England. Allen was the No. 2 tight end on the board behind Stanford Coby Fleener, the Colts' second-round pick.

65. St. Louis Rams: CB Trumaine Johnson, Montana -- A huge, feisty corner might be a candidate down the line for a shift to safety. The Rams have added three cornerbacks, including free agent Cortland Finnegan from the Titans and second-round pick Janoris Jenkins. They should be well-equipped to handle the overstocked WR corps in San Francisco and Arizona.

66. Minnesota Vikings: CB Josh Robinson, UCF -- More help for the secondary. The Vikings landed Notre Dame FS Harrison Smith in the first round; Robinson is unproven against elite receivers but has the speed to star.

67. Denver Broncos: RB Ronnie Hillman, San Diego State -- Hillman left SDSU with a few records once owned by Marshall Faulk. He is surprisingly effective inside but doesn't have ideal bulk. He does add a needed breakaway threat to an offense that shouldn't rely on Willis McGahee (age) or Knowshon Moreno (injuries, ineffectiveness) much longer.

68. Houston Texans:
WR DeVier Posey, Ohio State -- Posey should effectively end the musical chairs with Kevin Walter and JaCoby Jones, and he combines the strengths of those two players -- Walter's size and Jones' big-play ability as a downfield receiver -- in one package.

69. Buffalo Bills:
WR T.J. Graham, N.C. State -- A high school track star, Graham gives the Bills the "speed guy" GM Buddy Nix promised to pair with Stevie Johnson, a former seventh-round pick performing at a Pro Bowl level in Buffalo's spread offense.

70. Jacksonville Jaguars: P Bryan Anger, California -- The Jaguars invest to right a major misfire in 2011 free agency. Anger is the highest-graded specialist in the draft with a booming leg and could also handle kickoffs.

NFL Draft News
Analyzing The Picks
 --- Round One
 --- Round Two
-Top Undrafted
-Patriots Movers & Shakers
-Draft: All About Defense
-Packers: GM On Pats Trade

71. Washington Redskins: OG Josh LeRibeus, SMU -- Scrappy interior lineman who shouldn't have any problem filling in at center or left guard depending on the health of Kory Lichtensteiger (ACL) and development of Maurice Hurt.

72. Miami Dolphins:
DE Olivier Vernon, Miami (Fla.) -- A true junior who surprised scouts when he left Miami early, Vernon has little game experience but the quick burst off the line and athletic build to take off in the right system.

73. San Diego Chargers: SS Brandon Taylor, LSU -- A 4.58 40-yard dash at his pro day solidified Taylor as a top 75 pick but he hasn't always played with the same urgency and is considered straight-linish in coverage.

74. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Donald Stephenson, Oklahoma -- Few prospects have more raw upside than Stephenson, a better athlete than football player who needs a full season in the weight room and film room before he's a major factor. Has real steal potential.

75. Seattle Seahawks: QB Russell Wilson, Wisconsin -- At 5-11, the odds are quite literally stacked against Wilson but his efficiency and touch downfield is a match for the Darrell Bevell offense, and he'll get at least a few years to work behind new starter Matt Flynn.

76. Houston Texans: OG Brandon Brooks, Miami (Ohio) -- A mauling road-grader in the mold of a heavy-footed Larry Allen, Brooks isn't ideal for the Texans' downhill blocking scheme but might be projected by the Texans to right tackle, where he'd replace Eric Winston (who left via free agency).

77. New York Jets:
OLB DeMario Davis, Arkansas State -- More of a 4-3 linebacker with excellent athletic ability and straight-line speed, Davis could be a rush 'backer from an inside LB spot in the Jets' 3-4. He'll help in covering Patriots tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

78. Miami Dolphins: TE Michael Egnew, Missouri -- A tall, wiry target who was the most productive tight end in the class but played more of a wide receiver role in the Missouri spread offense. He's in the mold of Jermichael Finley, a key cog in the offense from which head coach Joe Philbin is establishing the new scheme in Miami.

79. Chicago Bears: DB Brandon Hardin, Oregon State -- A physical cornerback with the skill set of a safety. Hardin is too slow to be have a major impact in the deep middle but if he can overcome a long injury history, might become a valuable cornerback.

80. Arizona Cardinals: CB Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma -- More of a battler than a technically sound corner, Fleming tested as the strongest cornerback at the Combine with 23 reps of 225 pounds to go with a very good size-speed combination.


81. Dallas Cowboys:
DE Tyrone Crawford, Boise State -- A gamble based on his limited experience, Crawford is too small to be a base end and not disruptive enough as a rush linebacker in the Cowboys 3-4 defense.

82. Tennessee Titans:
DT Mike Martin, Michigan -- A bowling ball of butcher knives to block, Martin is all energy and effort. Alongside Karl Klug, a top rookie from Iowa last season, the Titans will get very good push up the middle.

83. Cincinnati Bengals: WR Mohamed Sanu, Rutgers -- A precise route-runner, Sanu can benefit from coverage shaded toward A.J. Green on the other side and should be able to reasonably replace Jerome Simpson's production -- 50 catches, 725 yards, four touchdowns in 2011.

84. Baltimore Ravens: RB Bernard Pierce, Temple -- Pierce can be effective as a straight-ahead change-of-pace to Ray Rice but he's not special athletically and won't run away from NFL defenders.

85. Detroit Lions: CB Dwight Bentley, Louisiana-Lafayette -- A speedy and fluid man cornerback who more than held his own against high-level competition at the Senior Bowl and fits a big need for the Lions.

86. Pittsburgh Steelers: LB Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.) -- Only 5-11, 230, Spence is faster on the field than his 4.6 40 times at the Combine. He gets downgraded for average strength but his amazing recognition skills through diligent film study might still help him be a three-down linebacker for the Steelers.

87. Cleveland Browns:
DT John Hughes, Cincinnati -- Can play defensive end and defensive tackle but played mostly at nose tackle for the Bearcats.

88. Philadelphia Eagles: QB Nick Foles, Arizona -- A big, strong-armed passer (6-5, 243) with poise, Foles should be a better fit in the efficient West Coast offense and has a year or two before he'll be asked to contribute.

89. New Orleans Saints: DE Akiem Hicks, Regina -- The Saints first pick invested on a developmental prospect with great size -- 6-5 with 86-inch wingspan -- and better-than-average speed for his frame.

90. New England Patriots: DE Jake Bequette, Arkansas -- A versatile Mike Vrabel-type with a defensive end's frame but enough agility and tenacity to get time at outside linebacker if the Patriots dabble in the 3-4 front as expected.

91. Atlanta Falcons: OT Lamar Holmes, Southern Miss -- A smooth natural athlete in a 323-pound frame, Holmes isn't explosive but has long arms and can slide to mirror in protection.

92. Indianapolis Colts:
WR T.Y. Hilton, Florida International -- An explosive return specialist recruited to bigger programs who opted to stay closer to home, Hilton could be the ideal replacement for Pierre Garcon.

93. Cincinnati Bengals:
DT Brandon Thompson, Clemson -- Once discussed as a borderline first-round pick, Thompson can play nose tackle or under tackle in Mike Zimmer's defense, and pairs with second-rounder Devon Still to add plenty of stability to the Bengals' line.

94. New York Giants:
CB Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech -- A small but active cornerback, Hosley isn't afraid to mix it up and consistently tracks and makes plays on the ball.

95. Oakland Raiders:
OT Tony Bergstrom, Utah -- A reliable but average athlete, Bergstrom should be a solid tackle but is unlikely to be a special lineman.


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