Saturday, April 27, 2013

2013 NFL Draft - Day 3 Targets

With one day remaining in this year’s draft there are quite a few talented players still available.  Here are the ones that stand out to me as desired options for the Bucs in today’s opening round –

1) Quinton Patton (WR, Louisiana Tech)
I’ll admit my bias.  Patton is my favorite receiver in this year’s draft class and my preferred option for the Bucs in round four.  I’m shocked he’s still available after three rounds of drafting.

Patton may be the most well-rounded receiver in this draft class.  He’s an excellent route runner who is very quick out of his breaks.  This is evident in his ability to get open whether it’s on short or deep routes.  His primary knock is that he doesn’t have blazing deep speed, but what does stand out on the deep stuff is how he does a really nice job of using body positioning and huge wingspan to beat defenders to the ball.  Patton doesn’t have any issues with drops and was a team captain.  He’s easily my #1 day three target.

2) Johnathan Franklin (RB, UCLA)
I didn’t mention Franklin in any draft previews due to the fact that I thought he’d go a lot earlier than the Bucs would be ready to draft a back.  Well he’s still there as we enter the fourth round, and with my preferred back, Christine Michael, having been taken by Seattle, Franklin is an attractive option should he make it to #112.

Franklin has impressive speed and vision and is patient yet decisive as a runner.  He’s not as strong of a runner as Doug Martin, but he’s more powerful than his size would have you believe.  He’s an accomplished receiver as well.  Franklin would be a sound upgrade over the talent currently backing up Martin and gives them a quality lead back should something happen to the starter.

3) Cornelius Washington (DE, Georgia)
There are a couple of available pass rushers that interest me, and Washington heads the list.  He was an under-the-radar player on a Georgia defense that featured several ’13 draft prospects.  He’s doesn’t look like much of a run defender at this point but shows plenty of potential as an edge rusher.  Washington shined at the Combine demonstrating impressive speed and athleticism.  Was he an under-performer, did he get lost in a sea of talent, or did the scheme not call for him to make a ton of plays?  Washington’s upside is worth the gamble this late as the Bucs have yet to address the need at defensive end. 

Others –

Alex Okafor (DE, Texas) – somewhat similar to Washington, may be limited as a pro; lack of elite athleticism and slow read-react may be reasons for his slide; not very high on him but did expect him to go earlier

Ryan Swope (WR, Texas A&M) – tremendous concentration as a receiver; can line up in multiple spots; love him in the slot; better long speed than given credit for

Ty Powell (LB, Harding) – productive pass rusher with impressive change of direction in coverage; safety experience; looks like an ideal SLB in Tampa

Quanterus Smith (DE, W Kentucky) – more accomplished pass rusher than some who have been taken before him; small school background certainly impacting his stock

Montori Hughes (DT, Tennessee-Martin) – athletic space occupier who excels against the run; notable off-field issues

Dion Sims (TE, Michigan St) – see a lot of value in him, underrated; raw as both receiver and blocker but has ideal pro body; not an elite athlete but could be matchup nightmare for defenses

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