10 third-day picks who can make an immediate impact


After every household name disappears off the draft board -- an occurrence that usually happens somewhere after round three for the casual football fan -- we tend to think the rest of the picks don't matter. Of course, we're reminded how untrue that is every regular season when a late-drafted gem emerges from nowhere to take over a starting role in training camp.

Here are a few players picked on Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft that might be able to do the same:

1. Marlon Mack, running back, Indianapolis Colts (South Florida)

As NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks previously noted, USF record-holder Marlon Mack has the best chance to potentially pull a Jordan Howard this year and come out of nowhere. Heading to the Colts, he could easily nestle into a role where he's sharing snaps with the now-33 (and soon to be 34-year-old) Frank Gore. The Colts played it fast and loose with Gore's backups last year, especially when it came to a dependable, pass-catching option on third down. As one scout told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Mack is more of a spread-type of running back anyway, but has the frame and power to thrive at the next level.

2. Samaje Perine, running back, Washington Redskins (Oklahoma)

With Matt Jones on the trading block, Perine can come in and be the second of two formidable big boys in Washington's backfield. While he is shorter than 2016 leading-rusher Robert Kelley, scouting reports, like the one acquired by the great Bob McGinn at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, suggest Perine seems to carry himself heavy on the field. After nearly scoring 50 touchdowns during his time with the Sooners (with Joe Mixon on the roster) it might just be time for Perine to shine on his own again.

3. Jake Butt, tight end, Denver Broncos* (Michigan)

An ESPN report suggested that Butt could hit the field by September, which could mean a Week 6 return after a stint on the PUP list. I don't see much getting in Butt's way, especially if he stays true to form and picks up the offense quickly. This is a system that could suit his style quite well -- and a team who could use dependable, intermediate options for their young quarterbacks. Of course, injury projections are still difficult this time of year, especially when the injury occurred so recently (Butt tore his ACL in the Orange Bowl). Hence, the asterisk.

4. Adam Bisnowaty, offensive tackle, New York Giants (Pittsburgh)

A very late-round pick, but still the first offensive linemen taken by the protection-starved New York Giants in this draft. General manager Jerry Reese told reporters on Saturday that Bisnowaty will get a chance at the tackle position along with Bobby Hart and D.J. Fluker. A long shot? Perhaps, but stranger things have happened in training camp.

5. Jake Elliott, kicker, Cincinnati Bengals (Memphis)

A given, seen that the Bengals would likely not waste a fifth-round pick on a camp leg. Cincinnati finished with just an 82.9 percent efficiency rate on extra points last year, thanks mostly to five straight games with a missed extra point by Mike Nugent, who is now a free agent. Elliott was a perfect 202/202 on (shorter) extra points in college with a 77.9 percent field goal rate (80.8 percent his senior year).

6. Jordan Leggett, tight end, New York Jets (Clemson)

Leggett is on here quite simply because the Jets have no other tight ends who can carry the load effectively. The team was mocked frequently with Alabama tight end O.J. Howard at No. 6 because of their dire situation there, but Leggett might be able to grow into the position. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein likens him to a young Kellen Davis, which the Jets are hoping is modest. New offensive coordinator and Sean Payton disciple John Morton hopefully had his hands on this selection given that he'll need some stability at the position to make his offense run.

7. Sean Harlow, guard, Atlanta Falcons (Oregon State)

Harlow, according to the assembled draft analysts on the NFL Network set Saturday, brings a hard-nosed mentality to Atlanta where he could easily compete for the contested guard spot opposite Andy Levitre. As NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock noted during the draft, this is still going to be a Falcons team that prefers running the football first. Harlow can make sure whoever wins the starting job has at least arm wrestled for it.

8. Jamaal Williams (BYU) and Aaron Jones (Texas El-Paso), running backs, Green Bay Packers:

Obvious if only because the Packers let their workhorse (Eddie Lacy) depart in free agency and are still planning on starting a converted wide receiver at tailback. Yes, Ty Montgomery was always more of a running back, but Williams and Jones are hand selected for the system and could step in and lend him a hand.

9. Matt Milano, linebacker, Buffalo Bills (Boston College)

Taking a swing at this one given that Sean McDermott is installing a new system and may want a hand-selected linebacker at the center of it. Milano is the first linebacker taken in the McDermott era after the former Panthers defensive coordinator had a lot of success with another linebacker out of Boston College. One Northeast scout told NFL.com's Lance Zierlein that Milano reminds him of a smaller Brian Cushing -- or at least plays in that mold. Can he put on some more weight and mix it up?

10. Isaac Asiata, guard, Miami Dolphins (Utah):

At first glance, Asiata is a huge man with serious power (35 bench press reps at the combine). Dolphins head coach Adam Gase showed up a year ago and proved he wasn't afraid to mix up the offensive line if anyone was playing soft. Would he hesitate to do it again if a 6-3, 323-pound behemoth showed up and started throwing down with Ndamukong Suh?