After three days and 253 picks, the 2017 NFL Draft is finally in the books. This year was one of the deepest defensive draft classes in recent memory. Even on the third day, there were a lot of potential starters waiting to be chosen.
Here are the some of the more noteworthy selections from rounds 4-7.
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars, Round 4, Pick 110
After catching 74 receptions for 1,465 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, Dede Westbrook was a finalist for the 2016 Heisman Trophy Award. So, after winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver, why did Westbrook slip to the fourth round?
Westbrook was arrested twice on misdemeanor family violence in 2012 and again in 2013. Also, according to Albert Breer, Westbrook was kicked out of his combine interview.
So @McShay13 just said new Jags WR Dede Westbrook is the only player he's ever heard of being kicked out of a 15-minute combine interview.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 29, 2017
If Westbrook can stay out of trouble off the field, he will give the Jaguars another weapon to go with their trio of receivers in Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee.
Eddie Jackson, safety, Chicago Bears, round 4, pick 112
The Chicago Bears needed to draft a safety this weekend, so they decided to take a risk and select Eddie Jackson from Alabama. On the field, Jackson was a four-year starter for the Crimson Tide as he recorded nine interceptions, forced two fumbles and recovered three of them.
Like many players selected on the third day of the draft, Jackson has some medical concerns. Against Texas A&M last season, Jackson fractured his leg and missed the rest of the regular season. In 2014, Jackson also tore his ACL, but he did play 11 games the next season. Jackson could become a steal if he can stay healthy.
Mack Hollins, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles, Round 4, Pick 118
While the stats don’t back it up, Mack Hollins is a receiver that can take the top off a defense. He is big at 6-4, 209 pounds and Carson Wentz needs all the red zone weapons he can get. So selecting a player like Hollins that averaged 19.3 yards per receptions is certainly a positive.
Hollins also bring value on special teams, so the Eagles can insert him there on day one and he should produce.
Jake Butt, tight end, Denver Broncos, Round 5, pick 145
Jake Butt was probably a lock as a day two selection before the Orange Bowl. Then the tight end tore his ACL and he fell all the way to round five. The Denver Broncos got a potential starter in Butt down the line.
Butt can not only catch the football, but he is also a solid blocker for his position. Virgil Green led the Broncos tight ends in receptions a season ago as he caught 22 balls for 237 yards. If Butt is healthy in time for training camp, expect him to push Green for touches in the Broncos offense.
Corn Elder, cornerback, Carolina Panthers, Round 5, Pick 152
The Carolina Panthers clearly missed the presence of Josh Norman a season ago as the team finished 29th in pass defense. The team hopes Corn Elder can help replacement some of Norman’s production.
For the Miami Hurricanes in 2016, Elder racked up 76 tackles, one interception and 12 breakups. He was named to the All-ACC team by the coaches and the second-team All-ACC from the media writers. At 5-10, 183 pounds, Elder will likely play in the slot for the Panthers and should no doubt make their team.
Jeremy McNichols, running back, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Round 5, Pick 162
With Doug Martin suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers needed to draft a running back at some point. They might have found a late-round gem in Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols.
For the Broncos in 2016, McNichols rushed for 1709 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also caught 37 passes for 474 yards and four touchdowns. McNichols might not be an every-down back in the league at 5-9, 214 pounds, but he should at least get some carries in the Buccaneers offense.
Celeb Brantley, defensive tackle, Cleveland Browns, Round 6, Pick 185
At one time, Brantley had a chance to be possibly sneak into the first round of the draft, but a recent simple battery charge was enough to scare teams off and push him to the sixth round.
At 6-3, 307 pounds, Brantley is a strong, dominant defensive tackle that also has enough quickness to play as a defensive end as well. Cleveland got an outstanding run stopper in the sixth round.
Brad Kaaya, quarterback, Detroit Lions, Round 6, Pick 215
After starting three seasons at Miami, Brad Kaaya decided in January it was time to take his game to the NFL. Although Kaaya had to wait awhile to hear his name call, he will be reunited with his former college head coach, Al Golden, who is the Detroit Lions tight end coach.
Statistically, Kaaya was the best quarterback in Miami history as he left Coral Gables as the team’s leading passer in yards, completions and finished third in career touchdowns with 69. Kaaya will have a chance to backup starting quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Chad Kelly, quarterback, Denver Broncos, Round 7, Pick 253
This year’s Mr. Irrelevant is very relevant as Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly was the final player selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Kelly started at Ole Miss for two seasons as he threw for 6,800 yards, 50 touchdowns against 21 interceptions.
One of the reasons Kelly fell to the seventh round was he tore his ACL in Week 10 of last season. Kelly also had some off-the-field concerns as well. Kelly has a ton of talent, so he has the potential to make the Broncos roster.
You can follow Antwan on Twitter @antwanstaley
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