Top 50 available prospects for Day 3 of 2016 NFL draft

Baylor DT Andrew Billings, Notre Dame DT Sheldon Day and Southern Miss WR Michael Thomas lead the list.

| 6 months ago
(AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

(AP Photo/Jeff Haynes)

Top 50 available prospects for Day 3 of 2016 NFL draft

The first three rounds of the NFL draft are in books.

After months of grading every player on every snap in college football, re-watching the film and taking in all of the offseason workouts, the grinding is done but the draft is not.

As a reminder:  Our rankings rely heavily on our grading system that accounts for down-to-down production, but we’ve used all available information to shape the board whether that be workouts, projections, or off-field issues if they are clear.

Here are top 50 prospects available for day three of the 2016 NFL draft:

For more in-depth breakdowns on every top prospect, check out our PFF scouting reports, our 2016 NFL draft guide, our pick-by-pick analysis of the first round, and our pick-by-pick analysis of the second and third rounds. The write-ups are pulled from the final draft board of the year.

  1. Andrew Billings, Defensive Interior, Baylor

Big Board Rank: 22

Position Rank: 5

One of the strongest players in the draft, Billings is stout at the point of attack and perhaps the best nose tackle option in the draft. He was also got after the quarterback among the best in the country the past two seasons.

  1. Sheldon Day, Defensive Interior, Notre Dame

Big Board Rank: 34

Position Rank: 8

Disruption is the name of the game for Day who excels at shooting gaps, though he could stand to finish better. His overall grade ranked second behind only Buckner among interior defensive linemen in 2015.

  1. Michael Thomas, WR, Southern Mississippi

Big Board Rank: 38

Position Rank: 7

Playing bigger than his 6-foot-1 frame, Thomas caught a higher percentage of contested catches than the other top receivers in the class while ranking ninth in the nation with 2.98 yards/route.

  1. Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State

Big Board Rank: 40

Position Rank: 8

Higgins posted a huge grade (+32.0) in 2014, and while that dropped to +22.7 this year, there’s still a lot to like about the Colorado State playmaker. He dropped just three of the 78 catchable passes thrown his way in 2015 and he may be the best route runner in the draft class.

  1. Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech

Big Board Rank: 47

Position Rank: 2

One of the most exciting running backs in the draft, Dixon is a clever runner, capable of cutting on a dime and making overaggressive defenses pay with big plays. He’s also very good in the passing game, particularly when split out wide.

  1. Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA

Big Board Rank: 49

Position Rank: 3

The only running back in the draft class to force more missed tackles was Alabama’s Derrick Henry (76 to 73), but it took Henry and extra 160 carries to do so. Perkins posted the top run grade and elusive rating (114.7) in the class.

  1. Jeremy Cash, S, Duke

Big Board Rank: 53

Position Rank: 2

Similar to Cravens, Cash attacks blockers with a vengeance, whether playing the run where he led all safeties with a +20.4 grade or as a pass rusher where he also led at +13.9. He’s yet another safety/linebacker hybrid who will start as a box player while learning a true safety role on the side.

  1. Kalan Reed, CB, Southern Miss

Big Board Rank: 54

Position Rank: 6

Incredibly smooth mover at cornerback, fits the size profile most teams are looking for. Can play in any scheme and make plays on the ball. Had excellent tape this year and our third-highest coverage grade in the draft class.

  1. Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana

Big Board Rank: 56

Position Rank: 4

Two years of strong play at UAB and Indiana, Howard has shown scheme diversity while posting the fifth-best run grade in the draft class last season.

  1. Hassan Ridgeway, Defensive Interior, Texas

Big Board Rank: 57

Position Rank: 13

Often lost in the deep class of interior defensive linemen, Ridgeway has put together two strong years of grading with a +48.6 overall mark on only 1044 snaps. He’s scheme-versatile and he can get after the quarterback better than most interior rushers in the class.

  1. Jerell Adams, TE, South Carolina

Big Board Rank: 59

Position Rank: 2

Adams is a strong run blocker on the edge, while showing some wiggle at the top of routes, both on tape and during Senior Bowl practice. He’s the best all-around tight end in the draft.

  1. Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan

Big Board Rank: 62

Position Rank: 10

He might be a slot only receiver at the next level, but he’s very good in that role regardless. No player in this draft class averaged more yards per route run from the slot than Braverman’s 3.27.

  1. Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa

Big Board Rank: 64

Position Rank: 11

He racked up 725 yards on passes travelling 20 yards or more downfield, including seven touchdowns, and dropped just three of the 99 catchable passes thrown his way in 2015. A big target at 6-feet-4, Garrett can make plays downfield.

  1. Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia

Big Board Rank: 67

Position Rank: 12

A solid receiver across the board, Mitchell will get overshadowed by flashier receivers, but he creates separation on the post and dig routes as well as a receiver in the class and he’s dropped only four passes on 93 catchable targets the last two years.

  1. De’Vante Harris, CB, Texas A&M

Big Board Rank: 69

Position Rank: 7

Allowed just one touchdown all season and showed a great ability to break on the ball and make plays. Realized his potential in his final year of college, and could be a better pro at the end of it all

  1. Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona

Big Board Rank: 71

Position Rank: 5

Few linebackers possess Wright’s instincts and block-shedding ability, and he looks like a plus run defender in the NFL if he’s healthy. The question for Wright is his athleticism in space, but we’ve seen other linebackers stay productive with similar concerns.

  1. Kyle Murphy, OT, Stanford

Big Board Rank: 72

Position Rank: 7

One of the most technically sound pass protectors, Murphy will have to improve his play strength greatly to be a starter in the league

  1. Joe Schobert, LB, Wisconsin

Big Board Rank: 74

Position Rank: 11

One of the nation’s most productive players the last two seasons, Schobert may be viewed as a traditional linebacker at the next level, but he should be given a chance to rush the passer where he led the nation in pass-rush productivity each of the last two seasons.

  1. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Big Board Rank: 75

Position Rank: 4

There’s a lot of boom-or-bust to Cook’s game as he makes big-time throws and questionable decisions that can win or lose games for his future team.

  1. Nick Kwiatkowski, LB, West Virginia

Big Board Rank: 76

Position Rank: 6

Kwiatkowski ranked fourth in the draft class as a run defender at +21.7 and fifth in coverage a +9.0 as his all-around strong play should make him a dependable starter at the next level.

  1. Darius Latham, Defensive Interior, Indiana

Big Board Rank: 84

Position Rank: 17

A poor man’s Chris Jones. Latham has two strong years of production at Indiana under his belt.

  1. Christian Westerman, G, Arizona State

Big Board Rank: 85

Position Rank: 4

One of the best pass-protecting guards in the class, Westerman combines good movement skills with surprising power, and while some of his peers are locked into a power blocking scheme, he is more diverse if not a zone blocking

  1. Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State

Big Board Rank: 86

Position Rank: 8

There’s little flash to Perry’s game, but he does everything well whether fitting against the run, dropping into coverage or tackling. He’s missed only nine tackles on over 200 attempts the last two years.

  1. Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas

Big Board Rank: 87

Position Rank: 5

Running in Arkansas’ pro-style offense, Collins posted the eighth-highest grade in the class as he showed the quickness and vision to maximize his offensive line’s blocking, but lacked the open-field ability to create a high percentage of big plays.

  1. Nick VanHoose, CB, Northwestern

Big Board Rank: 88

Position Rank: 10

Has a strange, wooden way of moving that looks very awkward at times, but it doesn’t prevent him from making plays, and a lot of them. Allowed fewer than 44 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught this past season and had the highest coverage grade in the nation.

  1. Thomas Duarte, TE, UCLA

Big Board Rank: 89

Position Rank: 3

Duarte was purely a big slot in college with the frame to be an NFL tight end. He’s already the cleanest route running tight end in the draft class

  1. Devin Lucien, WR, Arizona State

Big Board Rank: 92

Position Rank: 14

A player that doesn’t seem to be getting the credit he deserves at this stage, he had the fifth highest receiving grade in games against Power-5 opponents in this draft class. He wasn’t quite dominant in college, but did everything well and showcased a safe pair of hands, dropping just three of the 69 catchable passes thrown his way.

  1. Cre’Von LeBlanc, CB, Florida Atlantic

Big Board Rank: 93

Position Rank: 11

Plays bigger than he is, which he will need to, because he’s a lot smaller than what NFL teams would prefer.

  1. Kevin Peterson, CB, Oklahoma State

Big Board Rank: 94

Position Rank: 12

Allowed just 5 catches over the first seven games of this past season before struggling down the stretch. Has good man coverage skills.

  1. Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina

Big Board Rank: 96

Position Rank: 15

A threat to score with the ball in his hands, Cooper can be used in a variety ways that get the ball to him in space and he can use his excellent acceleration as a vertical slot receiver in the Doug Baldwin mold.

  1. Dean Lowry, Defensive Interior, Northwestern

Big Board Rank: 97

Position Rank: 18

While Lowry moved around in Northwestern’s scheme, he’s likely best fit to play on the interior due to his size and athleticism. His +37.0 overall grade ranked 10th in the nation when compared to other edge defenders (his primary position in 2015).

  1. Willie Henry, Defensive Interior, Michigan

Big Board Rank: 99

Position Rank: 19

While his technique is inconsistent, Henry was still disruptive with the No. 19 pass rush grade in the nation at +19.0 while posting a reasonable grade against the run.

  1. Will Parks, Safety, Arizona

Big Board Rank: 100

Position Rank: 6

With two years of excellent grading in a safety/slot hybrid role at Arizona, Parks may not have the quicks to keep up with NFL slot receivers but he diagnoses plays well and takes great angles, so trying him in a free safety role looks like the way to go.

  1. Steven Daniels, LB, Boston College

Big Board Rank: 101

Position Rank: 9

No linebacker in college had a higher grade against the run than Daniels in 2015. He might be a two-down linebacker in the NFL, but he’s projects very well in that role.

  1. Ronald Blair, Edge Defender, Appalachian State

Big Board Rank: 102

Position Rank: 13

With two years of strong grading, Blair got after the quarterback with the sixth-best pass rushing grade in the nation to go with eight sacks, six hits, and 23 hurries.

  1. Devontae Booker, RB, Utah

Big Board Rank: 103

Position Rank: 7

An excellent zone runner, Booker posted the third-best run grade in the draft class at +25.6.

  1. Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas

Big Board Rank: 104

Position Rank: 5

An intelligent quarterback that came on strong at the end of the season, Allen’s games against Mississippi State and Ole Miss were as good as it got from any quarterback last season.

  1. Spencer Drango, G, Baylor

Big Board Rank: 107

Position Rank: 5

A conversion from offensive tackle, Drango has experience on the move in Baylor’s scheme and he posted the second-highest run blocking grade in the class.

  1. Kentrell Brothers, LB, Missouri

Big Board Rank: 108

Position Rank: 10

The No. 2 stopper among linebackers last season, Brothers finds the ball carrier and makes plays in the running game, as evidenced by his nation-leading 15.8 run stop percentage.

  1. Brandon Doughty, QB, Western Kentucky

Big Board Rank: 109

Position Rank: 7

Didn’t play against top competition often, but led the nation in accuracy percent at 81.8, and was fifth in the nation in deep accuracy at 53.1 percent.

  1. Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green

Big Board Rank: 110

Position Rank: 8

Questions about his size and the system at Bowling Green, but throws a go route better than any other QB in this draft. Threw for 1,698 yards and 20 touchdowns on passes 20 yards or further downfield, leading the nation in both categories.

  1. Vernon Adams, Jr; QB, Oregon

Big Board Rank: 111

Position Rank: 9

Struggled early after arriving at Oregon, and dealt with a thumb injury, but graded at +14.7 from Week 10 onwards, showcasing some serious upside.

  1. Joe Dahl, OT, Washington State

Big Board Rank: 112

Position Rank: 9

Dahl struggles somewhat with power but moves very well, allowing pressure to the outside just once every 140.3 snaps. A better fit for a zone scheme.

  1. Anthony Zettel, Defensive Interior, Penn State

Big Board Rank: 114

Position Rank: 20

While he struggles with power at the point of attack, Zettel can get after the quarterback, as evidenced by his +24.5 pass rush grade than ranked fourth in the nation in 2014.

  1. Tavon Young, CB, Temple

Big Board Rank: 115

Position Rank: 13

Undersized corner who has the ability to be a feisty coverage option in the slot at the next level.

  1. Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State

Big Board Rank: 117

Position Rank: 10

In seven games of grading, Haeg posted the fourth-best pass blocking efficiency among offensive tackles at 98.6 and he had the second-best grade during team drills at the Senior Bowl.

  1. Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA

Big Board Rank: 118

Position Rank: 17

More of a possession receiver than a big-play threat, but did have the second highest overall PFF grade amongst receivers in this draft class.

  1. Jayron Kearse, S, Clemson

Big Board Rank: 120

Position Rank: 7

A big, box safety, Kearse had the 13th-best overall grade among the safeties in the class including the No. 6 mark against the run.

  1. Byron Marshall, WR, Oregon

Big Board Rank: 121

Position Rank: 18

Missed most of 2015 through injury, but averaged yards per route run from the slot in 2014, the second-highest mark in this draft class that year.

  1. Jack Allen, C, Michigan State

Big Board Rank: 122

Position Rank: 4

One of the highest-graded centers over the past two seasons, Allen plays with leverage as well as any center in the class.

  • Mike DeLeo

    Nothing on a FB, Gronk JR we need a FB in this offense

  • Mike DeLeo

    Give me Sheldon Day, Michael Thomas, Joe Haeg , Paul Perkins and Gronk JR for the Eagles today and I’m happy lmao

  • Dan Onti


  • Runner1967

    Dixon had 15 fumbles in 3 seasons. 15….and he is the 2nd ranked RB because racked up nice stats v 2nd rate competition? This website is a joke. If he can’t hold onto the ball facing that crappy conference he will royally struggle in the NFL.

  • ItsJustWerner

    So far my Bears have only landed Kevin Peterson on this list, although i saw the tweet that Roy Robertson-Harris was a good one to get UDFA.

  • Dale Holmgren

    Chicago nabbed 3 on this list: Braverman, Howard, and Kwiatkowski, (9,12 & 20). Well done, Bears!