The value of third-round picks

In his weekly Sunday Blitz column for the National Football Post, Dan Pompei writes on the value of third-round picks and how the round is conducive to taking players who come with some form of risk, be it behavioral, maturity, injury, etc.

As Pompei notes, there have been many players who slipped out of the first and second rounds and into the third, but their talent suggests they should have been taken higher. "If the first round of the draft is the time to try to get a can’t-miss player, and the second round is the chance to get a solid starter, the third round is the time to blow on those dice," he says.

He goes on to list the top players from 2012 that were originally taken in the third round, highlighting current Patriots safety Adrian Wilson, a third-round pick in 2001. The Cardinals, whom Wilson played for from 2001-2012, certainly made out well in their investment, as Wilson racked up 894 tackles with 14 forced fumbles and 27 interceptions during his tenure with the team.

Thinking on a broader scope as it relates to the Patriots' pair of third-round picks this year, there are some who believe the Patriots took a gamble on safety Duron Harmon, the 91st overall pick. Harmon is by all accounts a high-character player with limited injury concerns, but some believe his talent was closer to that of a late round draft choice. In that sense, he's a different kind of gamble than most of the players Pompei highlights.

Logan Ryan, meanwhile, is a player that many felt was suited to be picked in the second or third round. As colleague Mike Reiss pointed out, Ryan has strong ball skills; he also showed very good quickness in the pre-draft process. If anything, a lack of elite long range speed pushed Ryan into the third round.

To read Pompei's piece, CLICK HERE.