Tag Archives: Josh Evans

The All-3rd Round and Later Rookie Team

The All 3rd Round and Later Rookie Team

The NFL is all about depth. And the good teams use the draft every year to build that depth. There’s a few sayings about where you draft players. The first round is for instant impact starters. The second round is for possible starters who are dependable. Everyone in the third round and later is built for depth and special teams.

Yet every year there are players drafted late in the draft who pop off the page and surprise coaches and the media. Undrafted rookies can easily become stars. Last year Vontaze Burfict went from undrafted character flag to outstanding starting linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Here we look at this year’s rookie class as if we were a GM who had to build a team comprised of only players selected in the third round or went undrafted. Some are current stars, some have the talent to be eventual stars. While there may be better players who were drafted in the third or later, this is the underdog picks if this year.

–          Quarterback:

  •  Tyler Wilson
    • From Ign.com

      From Ign.com

      Was a 4th round pick of the Raiders who was actually beaten out by undrafted rookie, Matt McGloin. He obviously didn’t show something this camp, but his upside for his career is promising. Wilson possesses an above average arm and isn’t afraid to unleash it. He shows good accuracy on velocity and displays good placement on his deep throws. He is a leader to his team and is a Peyton Manning-esque coach. If he can be coached to calm down his gunslinger mentality, he can be a star on your team.

  • Tyler Bray
    • Sure he was a bonehead in college, and has a lot to work on in his technical game, but coaches are in love with his arm. He is a towering 6’6 with a canon of an arm to put the ball anywhere on the field. With proper NFL coaching, he can fix his accuracy and mental problems and develop into a solid backup quarterback.

–          Running Back

  • Marcus Lattimore
    • While he is still rehabbing from injury, if Lattimore can return to the form that made him a star at South Carolina. His burst and power in the hole and ability to make defenders miss is what you look for.  He was drafted by the 49ers in the 4th round as the heir apparent to Frank Gore. With proper coaching and some luck from the injury fairy, he can become a great workhorse back in all phases of the game.
  • Johnathan Franklin
    • Despite having a workhorse back, you need his speed complement to keep defenses scared. Franklin is almost a Ray Rice clone. While he has some issues so far with ball security, it’s a coachable problem. As a passing down back is when he will wreck damages on swing passes and checkdowns. He can also help out on kick returns too.
  • Ray Graham
    • Despite some size limitations, Was an elusive runner at Pitt before tearing his ACL. He
      From Draftbreakdown.com

      From Draftbreakdown.com

      worked hard to come back for a final season and played well to end his college career. He has great acceleration and elusiveness, and isn’t afraid to run between the tackles. Most of all, he is an experienced pass catcher and blocker, as well as experienced in running pro style systems. Destined to be a number two back, he would be a good depth building piece.

–          Fullback/H-Back

  • Kyle Juszczyk
    • Despite playing at Harvard as a tight end, the Ravens drafted him as a fullback to replace All Pro Vonta Leach. However, Juszczyk is not a strong lead blocker, yet. He has the ability to line up at tight end or fullback and has good speed and soft hands.
  • Lonnie Pryor
    • Somewhere caught between the middle of running back and fullback is Lonnie Pryor. He is labeled by most as a fullback, but is still an effective ball carrier. While is not built like a tank as most fullbacks are, he is a master of technical aspects of blocking. The type of guy you sign as a special teams captain.

      from PalmBeachPost.com

      from PalmBeachPost.com

–          Wide Receivers

  • Stedman Bailey
    • If you want speed, Bailey has it. If you want route running chops, he definitely has it. Numerous draft gurus compared Bailey to Steve Smith of the Panthers. Despite size, has a bit of nasty to his game and would be a dependable flanker/slot in any offense.
  • from NEpatriotsdraft.com

    Da’Rick Rogers from NEpatriotsdraft.com

    Da’Rick Rogers

    • Yes he was kicked out of Tennessee, but the amount of athletic ability he possesses is sick. Size and speed don’t mesh together better in any rookie. If coaches can keep Janoris Jenkins and Tyrann Mathieu in check, Rogers is a cakewalk. The big play ability in him is well worth the flier
  • Ryan Swope
    • Every offense needs a dependable slot receiver. I would have said Zach Rogers here, but in a perfect world where Swope’s head hasn’t been pummeled into mush, he is the superior on field talent. His footwork and route running knowledge are impeccable. With his compact frame and ability to get open on broken plays make him a dangerous weapon.
  • Tavarres King
    • When looking for a fourth receiver, most teams are looking for someone who can play either of the top three positions. King was the primary outside guy at Georgia, but with his size, fluid route running ability, and YAC ability, he would be a versatile weapon.
  • Zach Rogers
    • Played behind four star pass catchers at Tennessee (Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, Da’Rick Rogers, Mychal Rivera), but he made his mark. Once the other Rogers was kicked out of school, he settled into the slot and made an impact. Good speed and body movements to get around defenders and get vertical. Fantastic footwork with fearless ability to go over the middle and pluck any ball near him. Lacks elite size or build and can be bullied by bigger defenders. Only experience is in slot, but makes him reliable safety valve.

–          Tight Ends

  • Joseph Fauria
    • How someone did not draft him is beyond me. Fans now know him as the 6’7 monster who has five touchdowns on eight catches and has some of the best TD dances.. While he can’t block a bunny rabbit, his ability to use his body in the passing game is amazing.  Solid receiving TE that no one wanted.


      Joe Fauria’s dances are enough reason to sign him

  • Levine Toilolo
    • Another massive body. And this one can block. In his senior season, Toilolo was out-flashed by his teammate Zach Ertz, but he is still the better all around TE. Like Fauria, he uses his massive frame in the passing game to box out defenders and extending
      From StanfordDaily.com

      From StanfordDaily.com

      to make the catch. He has more functional strength and just needs proper coaching on run blocking. Once he learns to properly block, you’re looking at a possible better all around TE than Jason Witten or Rob Gronkowski

–          Left Tackle

  • David Bahktiari
    • Bahktiari has great athleticism. His ability to mirror pass rushers is what all teams crave in a left tackle. While a bit undersized, he displays a ferocity in pass and run blocking that every team wants. His footwork is almost at the level of a ten year veteran. Despite being a 4th round pick, has a tools to develop into a franchise blindside blocker.

–          Left Guard

  • Alvin Bailey
    From Sbnation.com

    From Sbnation.com

    • Bailey went undrafted despite helping put up gaudy offensive numbers at Arkansas and showing tremendous power. Can anchor and stop any rusher that comes at him, although Bailey can be overtaken by speed rushers. Can actually play both guard spots, and Seattle started using him at tackle to increase his versatility. With some professional coaching to make better use of his hands and get to the second level, you’re looking at a Pro Bowl guard.

–          Center

  • Barrett Jones
    • This draft featured some late round gems at the center position. Although the Cowboys reached and took Travis Fredrick a few rounds early, teams still had good options in the late round. But Jones is one of the best. He helped Alabama win 3
      From thefan1075.com

      From thefan1075.com

      national championships and helped paved the way for one of the greatest rushing attacks in recent memory. Can mirror rushers very well and anchors down. One of the smartest centers ever who can diagnose blitzes. However one his biggest knocks is a lack of a mean streak and some minor technical issues. If he can show a bit more nastiness and stop lunging at defenders, Jones could be a quarterback’s best friend for a decade. Can also play guard

–          Right Guard

  • Larry Warford
    • For a big man, Warford has some quickness to him. Keeps his feet moving in pass protection and mirrors any rusher near him. Power drive blocker who brings a lot of pop when engaging a player. Excellent hand placement and extension to keep rushers away. Needs to work on explosiveness out of his stance, but has the power to win any battle in the trenches.

–          Right Tackle

  • Jordan Mills
    • Possesses great size and power all though his body and displays tremendous hustle during a play. Incredibly smart player, although needs to work on his punch and latching points. Despite good intangibles, has never played left tackle, but could make transition with proper coaching. Showed well enough to run away with Bears starting right tackle job and has played extremely well.

–          Other OL

  • Brian Schwenke (C/G)
    • Part of the great group of centers this year. Consistently keeps his pad level low and wins leverage battle, but lacks the power to beat power rushers and drive off in the run game. Also needs to work on his shotgun snaps, but his quickness off the ball and hand placement make him an excellent backup. Best used as backup center and could back up all interior positions if he gains some strength.
  • Reid Fragel (T)
    • Big, athletic lineman who possesses strength to move defensive tackles around. Great lateral movements to pick up twists and stunts, along with excellent quickness off the snap to reach block the second level. Will lunge at times as well as stop moving his feet. Still learning tackle after switching from tight end. Long term potential is intriguing as a swing lineman or permanent right tackle.
  • J.C Tretter (T/G/C)
    • Quick, athletic player out of small school Cornell. Likely interior lineman in the pros, but could play tackle if he bulked up. Needs to improve strength overall to deal with pro style defensive tackles. Superior pass blocker, especially when assigned to speed rushers. Solid, versatile interior swing man.
  • Ricky Wagner (T)
    • Another machine put out by Offensive Lineman U. Now Wisconsin hasn’t exactly put out some great pass protectors, (see: Gabe Carimi) but the big boys from the Dairy State can run block for days. Wagner is no different. Can drive off the ball and use his strength and hand placement to move defenders down the field. Has some quickness off the snap in pass pro, but relies too much on hustle rather than technical aspects. A bit slow and can be beat by quicker defenders. Would play mostly as right tackle unless you’re desperate for help on the blindside

–          Edge Rushers (3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE)

  • Quanterus Smith
    • The most gifted pass rusher you never knew about, unless you’re Cyrus Kouandjio. Smith beat up Kouandijo and the Alabama offensive line for three sacks in a 2012 game. He possesses pro style technique with his hands and ability to bend around tackles. Needs to work on some power to his game and most likely cannot hold up against the run.
  • John Simon
    • Doesn’t possess the elite size you want in a edge man, but his technique and leadership are what teams covet. High motor player who uses his strength to power through a blocker. Is patient and able to read the play as it happens to make a play on the ball. Not as quick or reactive as you’d like. Great leader and work ethic that can rub off on his more talented teammates.
  • Cornelius Washington
    • With Washington, it’s all about potential. He possesses great size and quickness to take on tackles. Strong hands, which are routinely used to rip off blocks and cause turnovers. Needs to develop more pass rush moves and put more effort into his pass rushing. Not as reactive in the run game, but still can shed blocks and chase down ball carriers from behind. Only has 10 career sacks in college, but the potential is there for pro coaches to harvest. Can play standing up or with hand in the dirt
  • Chase Thomas
    • One of the true 3-4 OLBs, Thomas went undrafted because of his lack of pass rush.
      From Zimbio.com

      From Zimbio.com

      Great effort player who has violent hand movement to disengage from blockers. Good in short area coverage and creating turnovers. Doesn’t have great power to get through tackles, and lacks speed to bend around blockers. Best served as backup/utility linebacker

  • Brandon Jenkins
    • Quick, flexible end who has no problem playing the run. Uses strength to rip off blocks and switches to quickness to close gap to the ball carrier. Lacks elite change of direction skills and needs to work on an inside rush or else tackles will wash him out of the play too often.
  • Lerentee McCray
    • Versatile defender who rushes the passer from either side of the line, with his hand down or standing up. Good explosion from his stance, with good length to keep leverage and get off blocks. Good use of hands to work through blocks, and quick enough to break off and pursue. Also agile enough to drop into short zones in coverage.  Bad injury history as well as too lean. Can be knocked off his path by power blockers and needs to develp counter moves to the inside and not rely on outside rushes every down.

–          Defensive Tackles. (3-4 DE/NT, 4-3 DT)

  • Jesse Williams
    • Williams is a brute that played in every position in a 3 man line. He could start anywhere on the interior. Powerful player that can anchor the run defense. The


      Australian rugby player can take on double teams and either split through them, or hold up and let linebackers make the play. Not the quickest or most athletic, but his hustle makes up somewhat. Better used as a run-down defender when he can hold up blockers and corral ball carriers coming through the hold.

  • Jordan Hill
    • Uses his short height to gain leverage against larger interior linemen. Has an explosive first step out of his stance and active hands to throw off guards. Unfortunately his small stature is used against him by bigger and longer blockers who can push him out of the way. Will wear down over a game and doesn’t possess the speed to be an elite pass rusher. Better used as a rotational defender.
  • Everett Dawkins
    • Quick 3-technique tackle who is very explosive out of his stance. Good hustle and has multiple countermoves. Quickness to blow past slower guards and take on mobile quarterbacks in the pocket. Needs to be more disciplined and be more consistent with technique. Needs to work on pad level to be a better run defender and needs to work on his power.
  • John Jenkins
    • A massive run stuffing nose tackle, Jenkins can simply overwhelm single blocks and hold off the blocker with one hand and make a tackle with the other. Offers surpising foot quickness and hustle in pass rushing.  Needs to build up lower body strength and develop better use of hands. Should not be used as a pass rusher, and only limited to 0- or 1-technique tackle as a two down player
  • Josh Boyd
    • Boyd has a nonstop motor in his legs and keeps moving forward when pressing the pocket or chasing ball carriers. Has good pad level and leverage. Occasional quickness to blow up gaps or single blocks. Bigger offensive linemen can throw him off and lacks the agility to move side to side. Good deep reserve role who can develop into either DT spot.

–          Inside Linebackers (3-4 ILB, 4-3 MLB/OLB)

  • Jelani Jenkins
    • A bit undersized, but Jenkins is speedy. Can cover sideline to sideline and cover backs and tight ends. Can sift through trash and find the ball carrier in pursuit. Good blitzer when he’s unblocked or against a back, but lacks the skill to get off blocks. His primary weakness is when teams run right at him. Better suited as a nickel cover linebacker and special teams ace.
  • Gerald Hodges
    • The Penn State former safety has good quickness and coverage knowledge to stay with any back or tight end. Has the downhill speed to take down ball carriers at the line. Needs to bulk up if he wants to take on NFL linemen, and will need to work on breaking down to get more elusive ball carriers in the open field. If he can improve at getting off blocks, he is a great strongside linebacker
  • Michael Mauti
    Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti from Pennlive.com

    Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti from Pennlive.com

    • Prototypical middle linebacker with a disappointing injury history. Possesses great fundamentals in that he can rip off blocks, stay square to the line of scrimmage and sift through traffic to get the ball carrier. Tremendous tackler with good instincts. Quick in coverage enough to switch responsibilities in zone and stick with the receiver in man. Strong leader in the defensive huddle and a on the field coach. Doesn’t have great speed to get sideline to sideline, but compensates for it with instincts and intelligence. Only major scare is injury history, but this is the perfect world where all these players are healthy.
  • Sean Porter
    • Versatile defender who has started as a 3-4 edge rushing linebacker and at both outside linebacker spots in a 4-3. Great football IQ and can change his responsibilities on the fly if need be. Effective pass rusher with explosive get off and first step along with flexibility to get under a block, crash into the inside, as well as a mean spin move. Good counter moves once tackles over commit. Good blitzer with form tackling, along with some serious force behind his tackles. Fluid in coverage with good hands and speed to break on the ball. Doesn’t hold up as a true edge defender due to size. Lacks discipline and consistency in his angles and is better served as a blitzer than an edge rusher. Better used as a SAM backer who moves down in passing downs, like Von Miller, his former Texas A&M teammate.
  • Devonte Holloman
    • A former safety who excels in the short field. A strong tackler who rarely whiffs. Got
      Devonte Holloman from BleacherReport.com

      Devonte Holloman from BleacherReport.com

      better at ripping off blocks and knifes through the line. Adept at covering tight ends and backs in short zones, but not fast enough to cover man to man. Needs to improve against NFL offensive lines and the run. Prime candidate for a weakside linebacker.

  • Kevin Reddick
    • Solid, smart player who went undrafted due to size. Always consistent in his assignments and doesn’t try to make plays that are outside his ability. Has good vision in run defense, and uses quickness to get around offensive linemen. Not great as a sideline to sideline runner, but good short burst to take down ball carriers in the open field. Makes up for lack of physicality at the line with intelligence to get around blockers. Not great change of direction ability, and will be left behind if he overshoots a gap. Great backup middle linebacker with potential for starter down the road.

–          Cornerbacks

  • Marcus Cooper
    • Has great size and speed for the position. Great instincts and ball skills have already
      Marcus Cooper from NJ.com

      Marcus Cooper from NJ.com

      developed. Not afraid to bring contact and shut down runs to his side of the field. If his coverage ability gets even better, your team is looking at Darrelle Revis in 3 years at most.

  • Tyrann Mathieu
    • Character issues and kicked out of school be damned. Tyrann did the smart thing after being kicked out of LSU by recommitting himself to football. While this team won’t have
      Tyrann Mathieu from thesportsfanjournal.com

      Tyrann Mathieu from thesportsfanjournal.com

      Patrick Peterson to play nanny on him, a good solid coach can fix that. When playing, he is the opposite of Denard Robinson, a Defensive Weapon. Mathieu can line up as an outside corner, in the slot, safety, or even as a linebacker. Blitz, cover, and tackle are all his strengths. A movable chess piece who will scare offensive players for years

  • Micah Hyde
    • Dependable tackler with good ball instincts. Great mental makeup of how to play defensive back. Lacks the elite athleticism and top end speed. Was a safety, but best served as corner. Great special teamer and returner.
  • Nickell Robey
    • Undersized, but instinctual. Was a 3 year starter at USC. Plays bigger than his size. Good speed and ability to survive on an island. Great leader and blitzer. Obviously will struggle against bigger receivers and can get too many penalties. Leader of the team and can help in special teams.
  • Jordan Poyer
    • Fantastic athlete, but no elite speed, or quick change of ability skills. Excellent run defender who isn’t afraid to do the dirty work near the line of scrimmage in run defense. Not good in lining up man to man and tracking a man downfield. Good ball skills. Very smart player.

–          Free Safety

  • Josh Evans
    • Decent size, but excellent speed and cover skills. True center field type. Good reaction skills. Not the strongest, and can take bad angles to a ball carrier. But strong tackler. Will gain better skills with more starting experience and improve on his ball skills.
  • TJ McDonald
    • Big athlete with good length to get his arms into passing lengths. Gret closing ability
      TJ Mcdonald from ESPN.com

      TJ Mcdonald from ESPN.com

      and can attack from all over the field. Violent hitter and good blitzer. Vocal leader and 3 years starting experience. Goes for big hit instead of form tackle. Bad angles and should only play back deep. Needs to learn to be aware of field.

  • Tony Jefferson
    • Fast and heady safety who can cut quickly to adjust to quick changes. Disciplined in space and not afraid to head downhill against the run. Needs to bulk up to add strength and learn to keep off blockers. Despite small frame, plays very tough. Can drop down into slot on passing downs as well. Prime special teams player while he bulks up to starting size.

–          Strong Safety

  • Robert Lester
    • Athleticism allows him to line up man to man in the slot, and aggressive in coverage. Drives on the ball with good ball skills. Very physical. Smart leader. Not so fast, with poor change of direction skills. Takes multiple bad angles and needs to be coached with better tackling. Not built to start, but heady zone safety,
  • Zeke Motta
    • Zeke Motta from Zimbio.com

      Zeke Motta from Zimbio.com

      Tall, physically imposing safety with linebacker size. Physical tackler seeks contact to separate ball and fights through blocks. Smart run defender. Not a great cover man, chases down too many plays. Lacks good athleticism and speed to get around quickly. Better leader and defensive play caller, but should make a living on special teams and as base down safety.

–          Kicker

  • Dustin Hopkins
    • Great leg with good trajectory. Any misses he has are always just outside with more than enough distance. Great distance on kickoffs with more than enough power to force a touchback

–          Punter

  • Brad Wing
    • Honestly, Wing is a tricky case. Another import from Austrailia, he partied a bit too
      Brad Wing from theAdvocate.com

      Brad Wing from theAdvocate.com

      much in school. Tested positive for drugs, got arrested for battery, I mean most scouts wouldn’t touch him. That’s why hes undrafted. He had a great average in college, with the ability to drive it 60 yards or more. Also great touch to down punts inside the 20. Not afraid to tackle either. A team needs his type of crazy. Let him be the superstar. Have a good player support system in place to keep him from being too nuts, and coach him the finer points of directional punting, and you have a superstar punter who’s known for his nights on the town, and for pinning your opponent inside the 5.

–          Long Snapper

  • Carson Tinker
    • YES YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LONG SNAPPER! Smooth delivery and good effort on coverage. Not as tall as the pros would like and needs to get stronger and lose the gut. Also needs to improve velocity. Is accurate and clean with the snaps enough that it won’t end up awful.

Im sure this is somewhere around 54 guys, but thats all dependent on how many defensive backs or linebackers you want. Take from it what you will, but many of these men were not thought to be backups and not much else. And all of this is hoping you have a good coaching staff to refine their talents and keep down character issues. This could be one of the most talented and fun teams if ever assembled, assuming your owner wont mind reading the paper every morning to find out what crazy things Da’Rick Rogers and Brad Wing did the night before.