Keenan Allen – WR – San Diego (#3.14 – 76th Overall)
Out of the University of California, Allen at one time was considered at least a 2nd round pick, and possibly in the conversation to be a late 1st rounder. He has a big frame, reminiscent of Demaryius Thomas; however, Allen has had lingering issues with his knee and didn’t show particularly well on his pro day, which dropped his stock. While he doesn’t have the burst Thomas has, he does know how to position his body to box out defenders and will fight for jump balls.
The Chargers have a good starting pair in Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd, along with slot receiver Vincent Brown; however, Alexander has been injury prone in college as a pro, Floyd isn’t getting any younger, and Brown is still somewhat of an unknown commodity. There’s a lot of opportunity here for Allen to make some noise for the Chargers sooner rather than later.
Tyrann Mathieu – CB – Arizona (#3.7 – 69th Overall)
Another player with 1st round talent, Mathieu dropped into the 3rd round due to being considered a bit of a head case; he even gave himself the nickname of “Honey Badger” because of his penchant for hard-nosed coverage and trash talk. The guy has been labeled a bad teammate and bad to coach, which is a killer combination. In fact, the volatile mixture of undeniable talent with incredible bone-headedness is reminiscent of another player that gave himself a nickname, Adam “Pacman” Jones. Former college teammate Patrick Peterson vouches for him, however; and if Mathieu can keep his head on straight, the Cardinals will have quite the one-two punch with Peterson and Mathieu on the field together. The key will be to keep Mathieu from imploding off and on the field.
John Jenkins – DT – New Orleans (#3.20 – 82nd Overall)
With the Saints switching to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and with New Orleans desperately needing to stop the middle run, Jenkins appears to be exactly what the Saints need. Jenkins is massive at 6’3” and 346lbs, and will serve as the nose tackle in the Saints’ new defensive scheme. He had great durability, displays great strength and space-eating capability; if the Saints found their ideal starter in the middle of the defense for years to come, they got themselves quite the steal.
Jordan Reed – TE – Washington (#3.23 – 85th Overall)
Ever since the modern tight end renaissance, teams have been looking for their own emulation of the Patriots’ tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. It looks like the Redskins have their version of the Gronk in Fred Davis, who has shown to be a complete tight end threat both blocking and receiving, as long as he stays healthy. Now they appear to have their Hernandez copy in Reed. Reed isn’t going to win any blocking awards and he looks more like a big receiver at 6’2” and 236lbs, but he has good speed and will be able to move in motion to get the best matchups. Look for the Redskins to use him all over the formation and try to get the ball to him in space, down the seam, as well as along the sidelines. RGIII is going to love the athleticism this guy brings.
Knile Davis – RB – Kansas City (#3.34 – 96th Overall)
There was a time when prognosticators talked about Knile Davis as possibly being the first running back off the board; that was before an ankle injury derailed his sophomore campaign and ended up adversely affecting his junior campaign as well. Davis has the talent and the size to be an elite running back, and he showed it by running a 40 yard dash in the 4.4 range and measuring a bell cow ideal 5’11” and 227lbs. Davis had major problems last year getting off to a slow start due to being rusty from being off for a full year recovering from a broken ankle, and then he started putting the ball on the ground so often it got into his head.
With his mindset in the right place and with his talent, Davis could be the ideal “Thunder” to Jamaal Charles’ “Lightning”. After all, with new head coach Andy Reid, he seemed to prefer his running game when he had both Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter to call on. Think of Charles and Davis as the new Westbrook and Buckhalter, except with arguably more talent.