Day Three Dream Team: Offense
By Simon Carroll
You build a team through the draft, or so the old adage tells us. And those that buy into this mantra will be the first to tell you that unearthing value in the mid to late rounds is the way to win championships. From Tom Brady to Richard Sherman, Jahri Evans to Adalius Thomas – day three of the draft is littered throughout history with star players who have helped their teams to Super Bowls.
With that in mind, I’ve attempted to build a ‘dream team’ for the upcoming NFL Draft of prospects who are likely to come off the board in rounds 4-7. This exercise will be split into two sections, with this first article focusing on offense:
QB: James Morgan, Florida International
Hailing from Packers country, Morgan has a bit of Brett Favre about him. He’s built in the gunslinger mould with a cannon for an arm. His accuracy is wayward and he’s had somewhat of a nomadic college career, hence his day three draft status. But he’s tough as nails, shows good footwork in the pocket and can even throw on the move. Expect to see him come off the board somewhere in the 5th – 7th round range.
Read Oliver Hodgkinson’s interview with James Morgan here:
RB: Zack Moss, Utah
If it was based on talent alone, Zack Moss would never make a day three dream team. But thanks to the running back position being devalued we’ll see a lot of starting calibre ball carriers fall to the later rounds. The former Ute was a production machine throughout his college career. An incredible blend of subtle nuance and physical intimidation, he’s just as likely to run through linebackers as he is juke them out of their cleats. Some team is going to get an absolute steal with this three-down running back.
WR1: Gabriel Davis, UCF
The late Al Davis once said “you can’t teach speed”. So if you find some in the later rounds of the draft you’re onto a winner. At 6’3” and 212lbs you wouldn’t expect Davis to be a burner, but he showcased elite athleticism throughout an exceptional career at Central Florida. He’s a one-dimensional receiver whose sole job is to take the top off a defense. Don’t worry about that – this dream team will find other pieces to take care of the rest…
WR2: Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin
On the other side of the field we find the classic all-round WR2 that every team likes to pair with their star receiver. Quintez Cephus was suspended for more than a year whilst he waited to be cleared of some pretty serious allegations at Wisconsin, and that has undoubtedly affected his draft stock. But watch the tape and you’ll find a prospect with prototypical size and speed who plays with an edge. He’ll fight all day for the football and raised his game against better competition. Quite simply, he’s a baller.
WR3: Tyler Johnson, Minnesota
With the two outside positions sorted, it’s time to find our chain-mover in the slot. I was desperate to put James Proche from SMU in here, but on balance I’d have to say that Tyler Johnson is the better prospect. This guy reels in balls he has absolutely no right catching, and the separation he garners early on short to intermediate routes is effortless. A big reason why Minnesota was so successful last year, Johnson will be in the NFL a long time.
Read Oliver Hodgkinson’s interview with Tyler Johnson here:
TE: Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati
It’s a dream team, so ideally we’re looking for a tight end who can block AND catch the football. In an underwhelming draft class at the position you might think that’s a tough ask, but there is one guy who ticks all the boxes. Josiah Deguara won’t wow you with his strength or athleticism, but he’s a savvy route runner who knows when to sink his routes & find soft spots in coverage. He catches everything thrown his way and fights on every rep. He’s the next Ben Watson – THIS is what day three value looks like.
Read Oliver Hodgkinson’s interview with Josiah Deguara here:
LT: Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas
The Kansas Jayhawks have been the whipping boys of the Big 12 for a long time, and I can only imagine the adversity this offensive line must have faced week in, week out. Despite that, Hakeem Adeniji was able to shine – good technique, keeps his pads low and showcases good understanding with positioning, angles and blocking responsibilities. As with most late round prospects he lacks the measurables but his football smarts will definitely aide a quick transition to the NFL.
LG: Michael Onwenu, Michigan
One of my favourite sleepers in this draft class. Onwenu is a man mountain on the interior, with all the power and strength that his frame suggests. He works with good leverage and finishes on every play – he gets his hands inside the pads of his opponent and takes them for a walk. If he can improve his balance and show a little patience in space he’ll be a coaches favourite at the next level.
C: Jake Hanson, Oregon
Playing center in the NFL is no cakewalk. You are the brains of the offensive line, directing your colleagues to changes in plays and protection. You need to be a good communicator and aware of what the defense is throwing your way. Jake Hanson epitomises the on-field smarts that this position demands. A true team first guy he will deliver the playbook to the field. Despite physical limitations he’s a brawler and defensive linemen struggle to disengage from him. I’m nominating him my dream team captain on offense.
RG: Netane Muti, Fresno State
If it wasn’t for injury, Netane Muti would never reach day three of the draft. A behemoth guard that oozes physicality, he’s got some surprising juice off the snap and has the feel of a natural at the position. I love his composure out there – he’s confident in his ability to handle anything thrown his way. If his achilles is able to hold up I expect big things from him in the NFL.
RT: Alex Taylor, South Carolina State
The polar opposite of our left tackle Adeniji, Taylor has all the measurables you could possibly ask for. Elite length, good size and superb athleticism will entice NFL scouts into taking a shot on the small school pass protector. He’s raw, and has plenty of work to do with fundamentals such as hand placement, but as a long-term project coaches will feel they can hone him into an eventual starter at the next level.
previously the founder of nfl draft uk, simon has been covering college football and the nfl draft since 2009. based in manchester, simon is also co-creator & weekly guest of the collapsing pocket podcast.