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NFC West draft analysis: Round 3
By Nic St. Marie
Special to gzl-football.com

In the third round, things heated up for the NFC West. Well, for Seattle. The Seahawks took three players, in the super-sub area of the draft, while the Rams took a project that could turn into a first round type WR if he can get his hands in gear.

3.14 -
TE Zach Ertz 6'5" 249 lbs, 83 SPD, 74 STR, 70 AWR, 75 AGI, 81 ACC, 80 CTH, 74 CAR, 66 JMP, 60 BTK, 50 PBK, 58 RBK, 97 INJ

Ertz was probably the best pure TE in the draft. The Packers got the best receiving TE in the draft, but he is a pretty one-dimensional player. Ertz is the Taylor of the TEs. 70 AWR, 80 CTH, 58 RBK is a pretty outstanding place for a rookie TE to begin his career. For that TE to also be 6'5", and have good linebacker athleticism is tough to find. Courtney Smith is still the man in Seattle, a receiving type like the new Packers TE but Ertz would make an injury to Smith feel almost like a lateral move. And unlike Smith, Ertz can look very good at the #2 TE with more strength, size, and about 24 more points in pass blocking.

When your backup plays sometimes, you want him to be the best you can find, and Ertz sews up the #2 TE like few would. Spending your first 3rd on a #2 TE seems like a bad move, but if you had an early 2nd round grade on that TE it's a BPA move. For draft value, it's an A or A+ getting the best TE in the draft. For positional value (#2 TE adjustment), it comes down. Tough to nail an exact grade on this one.

Grade: A-
Best comparison(s):
Jordan Cameron, Luke Stocker

3.21 -
QB Landry Jones 6'4" 225 lbs, 60 SPD, 53 STR, 65 AWR, 55 CAR, 89 THP, 89 THA, 85 INJ

Jones was the 7th QB taken in the draft, as the QBs were very populer during the first three rounds. Not really a big-armed franchise-QB type, Jones was the most accurate QB coming out of college in this draft. Unlike last year's noodle-arms Klein and Powell, Jones has enough arm strength to play at the GZL level.

For Seattle, who badly needed a backup QB upgrade, Jones was almost perfect. A QB who would still be available outside the first couple rounds that can get the ball to his WRs and complete passes at a good rate. Seattle had few goals in the draft, and by this pick had hit nearly every one.

Jones can make it as a starter in this league, and as Cam Newton's foil he looks like the long term answer to play 100 snaps a year in the Northwest.

Grade: A-
Best comparison(s):
Christian Ponder, Russell Wilson

3.23 -
OLB Jerry Ellis 6'4" 258 lbs, 84 SPD, 72 STR, 60 AWR, 78 AGI, 80 ACC, 56 CTH, 82 JMP, 78 TAK, 85 INJ

The linebacker talent in this draft was crazy. Ellis was the 13th linebacker taken, and he may push Thomas Howard out. The top tier talent was MLB, not edge players, but the second and third tiers blurred together with so many talented players that could go either way. Ellis could start at MLB and do very well, and he could move to DE and do alright. As Seattle's LOLB, he should be able to continue their dominance against the run, although he's a little weak for his size. He's a good tackler for a rookie, has good enough athleticism and has ok awareness.

Covering the pass is why a lot of GMs covet length at OLB, and Ellis reselmbles a TE that was picked at 3.14. With 56 CTH and 82 JMP to go with his 6'4" frame, he can help in zone and has the athleticism to cover in a trailing man position. Ellis isn't a perfect linebacker, his athleticism is good but not great. But with his size and skills, he'll look like one most of the time.

Grade: B+
Best comparison(s):
Shea McClellin

3.29 -
WR Levon Taylor 6'4" 225 lbs, 91 SPD, 67 STR, 54 AWR, 86 AGI, 86 ACC, 73 CTH, 54 CAR, 91 JMP, 64 BTK, 36 RBK, 76 INJ, 68 KR

Taylor, a unique talent at WR with very suspect hands. He quite closely resembles Chris Matthews coming out, with Matthews being an inch taller, +3 STR, +5 CTH, and +7 AWR on him. Taylor has him in jump by 5...and can kick return.

For almost an early 4th round pick, that makes Taylor quite the pick. Except I still worry about those hands. Not a lot of CBs can play with Taylor, but it's a real investment that's needed in Taylor to make sure he can be a starter and not just a very good 3rd/4th WR with bad hands. I have to give this pick my stamp of approval for getting a potential first round athlete (Terrance Williams is another good comp, 1.15 last year), but I can't get too crazy about 73 CTH.

Grade: B+
Best comparison(s):
Chris Matthews, Terrance Williams
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