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Day 3 surprises: T.J. Clemmings' fall to 4th round hard to explain

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CHICAGO -- On the first day of the NFL draft, surprises come in the form of shockers. On the third day, they come in the form of head-scratchers. Here are seven surprises from the final day of the 2015 NFL Draft that defy explanation:


» Quick-snap grades: Evaluating the drafts of all 32 teams


1. Clemmings tumbles: Raise your hand if you had Pittsburgh offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings falling to Day 3 when the draft started on Thursday. Thanks to medical concerns about a stress fracture in his foot, and perhaps more long-standing concerns about his need for development from a technique standpoint, he fell so far that the Vikings' choice of Clemmings at No. 110 overall in the fourth round must have felt more like a sidewalk than a safety net.

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2. No call for Collins: Despite the unknowns about why and how LSU offensive lineman La'el Collins can assist Baton Rouge, La., police with a murder investigation, it was surprising to see the former All-SEC star and once-projected first-round pick fall entirely out of the draft. Before the day began, there was buzz that Collins might get the call. A lot of questions remain unanswered here, and obviously, no NFL club was investing a pick without more information. Now a free agent like scores of other undrafted prospects who will get a pittance of a contract, Collins and his agent now enter some very uncertain waters.

3. Uh-oh, Ifo: Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was thought to be a potential first-round pick last fall, but a torn ACL didn't help his cause. The Cleveland Browns took him in the seventh round (No. 241 overall) to end what was no doubt one of the most excruciating waits of the day. The real loser, however, was International Specialty Insurance.

4. No back for the 'Boys: After losing DeMarco Murray in free agency and signing the oft-injured Darren McFadden as a shaky response, the Dallas Cowboys were thought to tap a running back early in the draft. They didn't. And they didn't take one late, either. Perhaps trusting in one of the NFL's top offensive lines to generate a rushing attack regardless of who totes the mail, the Cowboys' backfield is now as anonymous as it's been since Troy Hambrick took over for Emmitt Smith. Before the draft, owner Jerry Jones indicated the club wasn't desperate for a running back -- it was no smokescreen.

5. Go figure, tight ends edition: A year ago -- heck, six months ago -- nobody would have thought Oklahoma converted tight end Blake Bell would get drafted ahead of Florida State tight end Nick O'Leary. Bell played quarterback until his last year at OU and caught all of 14 passes as a senior. O'Leary caught 48 from Jameis Winston. Bell went to the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round, No. 117 overall. O'Leary fell all the way to the Buffalo Bills (sixth round, No. 194), where he will link back up with former teammate EJ Manuel.


» SEC leads all conferences with most players drafted in 2015


6. Dropping the Mike: The Atlanta Falcons' need for some help at middle linebacker was fairly obvious, but the position went unadressed among the club's seven picks. If Paul Worrilow is the answer, only Dan Quinn knows the question.

7. Stacy shipped: Rarely does an NFL team oblige when a player requests a trade. Running back Zac Stacy asked out of St. Louis after the Rams drafted Todd Gurley No. 10 overall Thursday. And on Saturday, the Rams gave Stacy his wish, shipping him to the New York Jets for a bag of footballs, err, a seventh-round pick that became linebacker Bryce Hager of Baylor.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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