2013 NFL Draft: Looking ahead to the Cardinals third round pick

Kevin C. Cox

Jonathan Cooper will help at guard, and Kevin Minter fills a big hole in the middle of the defense. Who's a good fit for the team in the third round?

Quarterback/Runningback
Is the third round a good time for the team to start thinking about going for one of these two positions, or is it still too early?

Tight End
Travis Kelce, Cincinnatti
A physical run blocker, Kelce is a good athlete for his size and showed development as a receiver during his senior season. One of the more well-rounded tight end prospects, teams will have to weigh his season-long suspension for breaking team rules with his starter upside.

Vance McDonald, Rice
McDonald has some hype as a receiving tight end but, despite his above-average size, offers very little as a blocker. We already have a more athletic version of him in Rob Housler.

Center
Barrett Jones, Alabama
An alert, intelligent player, Jones is described as average across-the-board. He's not a mauler, but he gets the job done in the run game. He lacks an elite punch and struggles to finish his blocks, but he generally holds up in pass protection. Scouts can't seem to decide whether he'd be a better guard or center and he has an injury history, but he shows toughness and is willing to fight through pain.

Brian Schwenke, Cal
Schwenke is an athletic, nimble center prospect who displayed better-than-expected power and anchor at the Senior Bowl. A four-year starter in Cal's zone blocking system, teams will value his quickness and movement ability but he does struggle to drive block and gets pushed around at times. Doesn't sound like much of an upgrade over Lyle Sendlein.

Guard
David Bakhtiari, Colorado
A stand-out college tackle, Bakhtiari's lack of foot speed will force him inside in the NFL, a natural fit given his strength and nastiness.

Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
Thomas has good size and quickness but his general lack of polish makes him a better guard prospect though he lacks the strength required of the position. He moves well, but the Cardinals need linemen who can deal with power.

Brian Winters, Kent State
Lacks the length and athleticism to remain at tackle in the NFL but his strength and tenacity make him an excellent guard prospect. No questions about durability or toughness, starting 49 games for Kent State and playing through a dislocated shoulder.

David Quessenberry, San Jose State
Depending on how much stock you put in the Senior Bowl, Quessenberry is either a second day pick (excellent Senior Bowl) or third day prospect (level of competition). Quessenberry is athletic but will need to add strength at the next level. He could fit anywhere on the offensive line, meaning he brings versatility but his strengths don't stand out more than his weaknesses.

Tackle
Brennan Williams, North Carolina
Long with good quickness and power, Williams is a raw prospect with only one and a half seasons starting under his belt. Upside prospect who is recovering from a torn labrum which kept him out of the last four games of the 2012 season.

OLB
Sio Moore, Connecticut
A tackling machine for Connecticut, Moore projects as a classic 4-3 weakside linebacker due to his speed and coverage ability. However, Moore possesses the length and explosiveness of prototypical edge rushers and his 14 sacks over the last two years indicate he has something to offer in that area. Plenty to love here for teams running either scheme.

Corey Lemonier, Auburn
Lemonier is an ideal blend of size, speed and power. He moves well enough in space and has some experience in coverage, but his physical attributes make him an ideal edge rusher. There are concerns that he played down to the level of his competition and he needs to develop better awareness against the run, but his motor is not in question and he has a lot of upside if he can improve his technique and consistency.

Trevardo Williams, Connecticut
What Williams lacks in size he makes up for in speed and explosiveness. A highly effective edge rusher for Connecticut in the mold of Bruce Irvin, Williams' best fit in the NFL is likely as a 3-4 OLB. He will have a serious impact as a pass-rushing specialist early in his career.

Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
Jenkins brings speed off the edge but he'll have to improve his strength against the run. He has some experience standing up and dropping back into coverage but he hasn't played in a year, missing the 2012 season with a Lisfranc foot injury. There will be growing pains. His stock is all over the place, from the third round to the tail end.

Safety
Baccari Rambo, Georgia
Athletic ball-hawk with some off-the-field (drug) concerns. Plug and play deep cover safety who can handle himself in man coverage.

JJ Wilcox, Georgia Southern
Wilcox gets high marks for tackling and ball skills. He would help in a rotation in the secondary while he develops his technique.

Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse
It's easy to compare Shamarko Thomas to Bob Sanders. He's 5'9, has unbelievable range and explosiveness, and he isn't afraid to blow people up. He can be too aggressive, running himself out of plays and going for the big hit instead of wrapping up, and you have to worry how he'll hold up in the NFL, but he's an exciting prospect.

Duke Williams, Nebraska
Williams plays the run extremely well and has excellent range and recovery speed, but needs to improve in coverage. He worked hard to clean up a history of off-field concerns for his senior season.

With Minter in the fold, I really doubt the team drafts another inside linebacker. I'm a big fan of the safeties and rush linebackers in this group, but it may be one of the team's last chances to get a starter on the offensive line. Baccari Rambo would be nice, but I'd be surprised if he doesn't go before our pick. Pass rush or offense for me, and I'm a big fan of Lemonier.

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