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2012 NFL Draft: 3rd Round Options


So throughout the rest of this week, I'll be going round by round and dropping some names that could be in play for the Rams in each round after the second. You know, the part of the draft where you build a team.

Of course, it's entirely subjective. A prospect may look like a 4th round prospect to you, like a 6th round prospect to me and like an undrafted free agent to Rams GM Les Snead. Tis what tis.

Let's start with an obvious selection...since Sports Illustrated added some credibility to this suggestion earlier:

A.J. Jenkins, WR - Illinois (MTD Quick Report)

Jenkins is a solid all-around prospect who isn't spectacular in any area, but is good enough in several. He doesn't have a strong third gear, so he likely won't work very deep in the NFL. CBS' scouting report compares him to Brandon Lloyd; if it pans out that way, it wouldn't be the worst result to replace Lloyd with a doppelganger 8 years his junior.

A few more names after the jump.

Lamar Miller, RB - Miami (MTD Scouting Report)

I wouldn't be terribly surprised if one of the more popular running back prospects falls to the second pick of the third round. Miller could well be that back. Coming out as a redshirt sophomore, Miller's tape reflects the shoulder injury he picked up late in the Kansas State game - he didn't run as hard, his blocks were soft and uncommitted, and he relied on his burst and lateral agility to create space. He's had surgery, so he should be 100% to start his NFL career. He'll need to be. At the NFL level, he'll need to supply more pop then he did for most of the 2011 season.

Kelechi Osemele, G/OT - Iowa St. (MTD Prospect Notes)

If Jeff Fisher is serious about using the physicality of the running game more, Osemele could be atop the Rams' board midway through day 2. A monster at 6'5" and 330+ lbs., his power jumps off the tape (I just rewatched the Iowa St.-Oklahoma St. game last night - awesome). And for his size, he's very athletic. But tenacity and ferocity? Not there. If anyone can pull that out of him, you'd have to think it would be Jeff Fisher. But we've seen what offensive linemen with potential but no drive become, and I don't want the ghost of Alex Barron haunting the Rams' locker room.

Nigel Bradham, OLB - Florida St. (MTD Prospect Notes)

Should the Rams get through their first three selections without taking an outside linebacker to go with new signee Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Bradham would make sense. He's a quick burst linebacker who identifies his lane in the run appropriately and is athletic enough to play the pass well. Physically, he's a specimen who has added lower body power to help his tackling; you won't find a better health resume either. Ironically, despite playing in all 53 games and starting 39 consecutive games to finish his career with the Seminoles, ESPN rated him a 2 out of 5 in durability (insider subscription required).

Terrell Manning, OLB - North Carolina St.

My favorite mid-round OLB, Manning is athletically elite for the position. However, he's very unrefined and relies on that athleticism instead of proper technique. Like any other position, that level of athleticism will get players by in college...the NFL's another beast. He'll need plenty of instruction to be a force at the next level. The potential's there though.

Alfonzo Dennard, CB - Nebraska (MTD Prospect Notes)

To many, Dennard looked more the part of an NFL CB than Prince Amukamara two years ago. After Prince graduated to the NFL ranks after the 2011, Dennard was unable to elevate his game. His physicality is unusually evident, and may be a good fit with the Rams.

Brandon Taylor, SS - LSU

You thought I could get through this list without someone from LSU? You crazy. Taylor's not a plus in the passing game, so he'll need to be left deep enough to play the throw and not the man. That was often his role last year on the Tigers, and he looked comfortable and competent in doing so. On the other hand, he plays angry, but under control. I wouldn't be surprised if he's gone in the second round and the Rams don't have a chance to nab him. If he slips to the 3rd though, he'd be a wonderful fit.

So that's it for the 3rd. What other prospects do you think fit? Who do you like that's likely to be in play in the third round? Will the Rams double up at a position they've bolstered with one of their first three picks?