Day 3 Recap: Pair of QBs dropping to Day 3 among biggest surprises
That’s a wrap. Here is a look at some of the biggest news to come out of Day 3 of the 2020 NFL draft.
Small school prospect Bartch goes in Round 4
The Jacksonville Jaguars ended the slide of St. John’s offensive lineman Ben Bartch, as the Division III prospect was selected with pick No. 116 overall (fourth round). The plan is to move the former tackle to guard, according to the Star Tribune. And in case you haven’t heard about Bartch’s weight-gain journey, you can read about it here.
Denver takes Missouri tight end
A year after taking former Iowa tight end Noah Fant with the 20th pick of the first round, Denver on Saturday drafted another athletic TE in Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam, who many analysts pegged as a Day 2 prospect early in the draft process. Fant (6-foot-4, 249) and “Big O” (6-5, 258) sport similar measurements, and both are exceptionally fast for the position. Fant ran a 4.5 40 at last year’s Combine, while Okwuegbunam ran a tick faster at 4.49, giving Denver and second-year QB Drew Lock one of the fastest, most athletic TE combinations in the league.
Jacob Eason goes in the fourth …
Remember all the talk about Washington QB Jacob Eason possibly slipping into the bottom half of Round 1? Turns out, the redshirt junior wound up falling all the way to the fourth round, where he was the 122nd overall pick by Indianapolis. Don’t forget, former Huskies QB Brock Huard said back in November that he felt Eason should stay in school. Off-field issues may have been the reason behind Eason’s fall, Dawg Nation reports.
… and Jake Fromm goes in the fifth
Georgia QB Jake Fromm fell all the way to the fifth round due in part to a perceived lack of arm strength, going to Buffalo with pick No. 167 overall. Fromm was the eighth QB selected. The lack of one-on-one time with teams due to the virus-imposed restrictions may have hurt Fromm’s draft stock.
“We’ve talked about the absence of Pro Days to help guys post good 40 times or be impressive,” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said, via Dawg Nation. “Jake Fromm’s best asset is his ability to display that personality and leadership.
“When you don’t get face to face with those teams in the spring, I think that hurt him.”
Jaylinn Hawkins surprised by his selection
California safety Jaylinn Hawkins said he had talked to enough teams that he was confident that he’d be drafted. But in the fourth round? Even Hawkins was surprised, saying he accidentally hung up the phone with the Atlanta Falcons when the call came in to draft him with pick No. 134. He was rated as a much later prospect or a priority free agent by most analysts.
“I expected to go later, but I’m just thankful, man, and extremely blessed,” Hawkins said, via Sports Illustrated’s Cal Sports Report. “To get that call, it’s once in a lifetime, it’s priceless. I can’t even explain it. Right now I’m still in shock.”
Edge rushers slip to Day 3
Several pass rushers fell all the way to the fifth round or later, including Notre Dame’s Khalid Kareem, Syracuse’s Alton Robinson, Boise State’s Curtis Weaver and Utah’s Bradlee Anae. Kareem went to Cincinnati with the first pick of the fifth round, No. 147 overall, while Robinson went to Seattle one pick later. Miami drafted Weaver with pick No. 164, while Anae went to Dallas with pick No. 179. The Anae pick was largely applauded by draft analysts, with many calling him the “steal of the draft.”
Bryce Hall, Tyler Johnson slide to 5th
Most analysts thought Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall and Minnesota receiver Tyler Johnson would be drafted somewhere in the third- to fourth-round. Instead, both fell to the fifth round, with Hall going to the New York Jets with pick No. 158 and Johnson going to Tampa Bay with pick No. 161. Hall missed a chunk of last season after breaking his fibula and tearing his deltoid ligament while on special teams in a Week 6 game against Miami. Johnson, who owns most of Minnesota’s school receiving records, may have been hurt by the depth at receiver. Johnson was the 20th receiver drafted.
Pair of surprise picks at top of sixth
The fact that Kansas OT Hakeem Adeniji and Fresno State OG Netane Muti went back-to-back isn’t a surprise. That they went back-to-back to start the sixth round, though, is. Adeniji went to Cincinnati with the 180th pick, while Muti went to Denver the following pick. For Muti, his injury history is the likely culprit for his slide, as he only played in 19 games over four years due to several significant injuries. Otherwise, several analysts said Muti would have been ranked as the top interior lineman in the draft.
Twin brothers separated
After playing their entire lives together, twin brothers Khalil and Carlos Davis, defensive tackles for Nebraska, will be separated for the first time. Khalil was selected by Tampa Bay with the 194th pick of the sixth round, while Carlos went one round later to Pittsburgh, who drafted him with the 232nd pick.
“It’s going to be new for us, but I think we’re ready for it. I think we’re ready to start our own careers and just build a brand outside of each other, and just be successful,” Carlos Davis said, via the Journal Star.
Leading tackler goes to Arizona
Arizona drafted the NCAA leader in tackles with the selection of California LB Evan Weaver in the sixth round with pick No. 202. Weaver led the NCAA in tackles last season with 182, including 103 solo stops.
Prince falls to sixth
One of the biggest surprises of the draft was Auburn left tackle Prince Tega Wanogho, fell all the way to the sixth round, where he was drafted by Philadelphia. Wanogho was held out of the Senior Bowl after he was one of a few players who received a medical red flag. Wanogho had been dealing with a knee injury all season and said he was told at the Senior Bowl that he had fluid in his knee and some swelling.
“If he is in fact healthy, Wanogho very well could be the steal of the draft for the Eagles,” writes NBC Sports’ Andrew Kulp.
K.J. Hill drops to seventh
Prior to the draft, analysts said Ohio State WR K.J. Hill could be a steal in Rounds 3 or 4. Turns out, he might be a seventh-round steal, as Hill wasn’t drafted until the Los Angeles Chargers took him with the No. 220th pick (seventh round).
I asked @ryandaytime whether there was an @OhioStateFB player who was overlooked in the draft, and he said WR @KayJayHill KJ Hill. All-time leading OSU pass catcher, "somebody got a steal" with him sliding to 7th rd, taken by Chargers.
— Tim May (@TIM_MAYsports) April 26, 2020
Jake Rigdon (email@example.com) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.