After a big run on running backs and receivers in the second and third round, there are still a number of highly touted skill position prospects available as the 2014 NFL Draft enters its final four rounds Saturday.
Alabama’s AJ McCarron, LSU’s Zach Mettenberger and Georgia’s Aaron Murray are quarterbacks who have yet to be drafted, and passer-needy teams like Houston and Arizona could be calling.
All three watched the Oakland Raiders take Fresno State’s Derek Carr at No. 36 overall, and the New England Patriots make a surprising selection of Eastern Illinois’s Jimmy Garoppolo at No. 62 in the second round. Garoppolo could now battle Ryan Mallett as the Patriots back-up next season, or it could be a precursor for a highly-speculated Mallett trade later Saturday.
Seven of the 32 picks in the second round were all receivers, but none of them were made by the Cleveland Browns. Already making a splash with quarterback Johnny Manziel at No. 22 overall and defensive back Justin Gilbert at No. 9, the Browns have reportedly known for two weeks that their top receiver Josh Gordon allegedly failed a drug test and could miss the entire 2014 season. Cleveland has the four total picks left with two in the fourth round.
Two options for the Browns are 6-foot-6 Rutgers stud receiver Brandon Coleman and Alabama’s Kevin Norwood, either of whom represent good value in the fourth round.
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The New York Jets started the run on receivers by taking USC’s Marqise Lee at No. 39 overall. Lee could have been a first-round selection last year and addresses a serious need for the Jets at a very low cost. The Philadelphia Eagles and head coach Chip Kelley picked up 6-foot-3 Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews and Oregon’s Josh Huff later in the third round.
The first running back wasn’t taken until Tennessee selected Bishop Shankey with the No. 54 overall pick in the second round, a new record for the draft. After Shankey, LSU’s Jeremy Hill went right after to Cincinnati at No. 55 and Ohio State’s Carlos Hyde was two picks later at No. 57 to San Francisco.
Later in the third round, five more running backs went off the board, with St. Louis snagging its second Auburn Tiger in Tre Mason to pair with No. 2 pick and offensive tackle Greg Robinson.
The second day came and went and Missouri defensive end and first openly gay NFL prospect Michael Sam was not selected. The 2013 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and conference sack-leader has been plagued by his poor showing at the NFL combine, but the fourth round could be a possibility.
The Atlanta Falcons were 29 th in the NFL with 32 total sacks last year, and have yet to pick pass rusher. They hold two picks in the fourth round and three in seventh.
The Seattle Seahawks are also an excellent spot for Sam to land. Head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have made a habit of trading down for picks in the later rounds with great success. Super Bowl MVP and linebacker Malcolm Smith was a seventh round selection in 2011, and cornerback Richard Sherman was a fifth round pick in the same year. Seattle has two picks in the fourth and the fifth rounds on the final day.
Start Time: The final day begins at 12 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. EST
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Online Stream Info: A live stream is available at Watch ESPN here.