2017 NFL Draft Day 3

2017 NFL Draft Day 3: Future Stars

The first two days and three rounds of the NFL draft have finished. The third day of the draft is rounds four through seven. These players drafted on day three sometimes do not even make the roster. So what players remaining, after day two, have a chance to become stars in the NFL? Here are some who may answer that question.

Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: Chuck Cook, USA TODAY Sports)

Chad Kelly is flying high under the radar. Kelly is the nephew of Buffalo Bills legend Jim Kelly. Chad Kelly had a pretty solid career while at Ole Miss. Going 14-8 as a starter and even notched a win against Alabama. Kelly threw for 6,858 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 21 interceptions. He also added 958 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground in his career.

Kelly had a lot of problems off the field that have derailed his career. He was kicked off the team at Clemson for actions against the coaching staff. Once he left Clemson he landed at East Mississippi Community College, more commonly known as Last Chance U. There Kelly led EMCC to a 12-0 season and an NJCAA National Football Championship.

If Kelly has learned from his past mistakes and can be a model citizen off the field then there is a chance he can become a star in the NFL. He has great arm strength and can make NFL throws. Kelly has played primarily in the shotgun and will need to work on his under center mechanics. Also he has great touch passing skills and is much better when moving outside the pocket and throwing. If a team takes a risk in the sixth or seventh round there is a good chance Kelly becomes an NFL starter one day.

Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma

Dede Westbrook was one of the top five receivers in all of college football last season. Some would argue he was the best. Last season he had 80 receptions, 1,524 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Westbrook is an excellent route runner with big play capability. In the open field, Westbrook is explosive and turns a lot of good plays into big plays. Some say his size is an issue but make no mistake, Westbrook could be a scary playmaker in the NFL.


Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego St.

Donnel Pumphrey is only still available because of his size, 5-foot-8 and 176 pounds.. The Las Vegas product is the all-time leading rusher in NCAA history. NFL tacklers will be able to arm tackling him but that is only if they can catch him. He is so quick and fast that when he sees a hole he hits it without a second thought.  Pumphrey may not become an every-down back in the NFL but he can create momentum-changing plays. One NFL team will be very happy one day because of the risk they took on him.


Malachi Dupre, WR, LSU

Malachi Dupre has fallen mostly because LSU has not had a quarterback capable of helping any receiver. LSU has had some of the worst quarterback play in the country which is why Dupre only put up 98 receptions, 1,609 yards, and 14 touchdowns in his three years at LSU. If you throw the ball in Dupre’s direction there is a good chance he will catch it. He has one of the best catch radii of all the prospects. He will have to work on his route running but with a solid quarterback Dupre could break out as the next great LSU wideout to turn pro.

Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

2017 NFL Draft Day 3

(Photo Credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OC3Yp4T7KI)

Ryan Switzer may be the most underrated, underappreciated player in this draft. Similar to Dede Westbrook and Donnel Pumphrey, size is the only reason for that. In his senior season at North Carolina, Switzer snagged 96 receptions for 1,112 yards, and six touchdowns. He has also proven to be a great return man who returned seven punts for touchdowns in his collegiate career. Switzer can be a Wes Welker or Julian Edelman type playmaker in the NFL and that is a reason teams should draft him as soon as possible.

Connor Harris, LB, Lindenwood

Connor Harris could have been a first round pick. He has it all, the size, the speed, and the intangibles. Teams seem to be holding it against him that he played in division II but Harris is a tackling machine. Harris holds the record at 633 career tackles. He has the ability to drop in coverage and has shown impressive ball-hawking skills as well. Any team that drafts him is getting a player who doesn’t have to come off the field and is a prototypical, old-school linebacker.

Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

Jake Butt is the victim of a bad injury at the worst time. Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffery got a lot of heat for skipping their bowl games but had Jake Butt done the same then he wouldn’t have torn his ACL for the second time in his career. Butt would have been a second round pick without the injury but now teams are scared. He averaged 11.9 yards per reception for his career and is a guaranteed first down waiting to happen. Every team in the NFL needs a tight end that can get them out of a jam like that. If Butt can become healthy and get a shot, he has a great chance of being a top 10 tight end in the league.


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“From Our Haus to Yours”

A Review Of Last Chance U

Players hang onto their football dreams and their sanity in Last Chance U, something that makes it unlike any other sports documentary.

Buddy Stephens has dominated the JUCO level in recent years. (Photo courtesy afcaweekly.com)

Last Chance U is a Netflix documentary series that follows around the East Mississippi Community College football team as they play their 2015 Junior College Schedule. The main characters are the star players of the team who are vying for a division one football scholarship. These players include Quarterback Jonathan Franklin III, quarterback Wyatt Roberts, running back D.J. Law and defensive lineman Ronald Ollie among others. Other key people in the documentary include Head Coach Buddy Stephens and Academic Advisor Brittany Wagner as well as a few of the assistant coaches.

Stephens tries to get guys who are supremely talented, but have off-field issues (such as academics or trouble with law), to buy into performing for the East Mississippi Community College Lions. His main jobs are making sure these players perform on the field and get looked at by scouts. He has to encourage players who aren’t getting as many looks from division one colleges and to get the best out of the ones who have great scholarship offers from schools. Stephens has to balance team success and helping the players stay motivated during their quest to get scholarship offers.

Wagner has the tall order of making sure all of the student athletes stay academically eligible. All players need to have a 2.5 GPA if they wish to get a scholarship from a division one school. She follows kids to class and makes sure they do their school work. Her role may be academic advisor, but she has a mother-like effect on some of the athletes.

The show is super-compelling to watch for a wide variety of factors that create suspense. The players are at the forefront of this, because of their desperate need to find scholarships. This also hits them on multiple fronts as they need to stay healthy, academically eligible, out of legal trouble and perform on the field in order to receive the ultimate reward of a scholarship. The stakes these players have are great, as a lot of them don’t have any plan “Bs” to playing college football, which keeps the viewer coming back to see if they can accomplish their goals and avoid despair.

The setting of Scooba, Mississippi is rather boring. This causes most of the scenes to be shot at Ms. Wagner’s office, the football field or the locker room, which speaks to how frustrated the players get that there isn’t anything to do in the town. It can be pretty tiring to see so many scenes, that don’t have the best video quality, set in the same exact places.

John Franklin was a highly recruited player, but ended up playing for EMCC after Florida State (Photo courtesy Bustle.com)

John Franklin was a highly recruited player, but ended up playing for EMCC after Florida State (Photo courtesy Bustle.com)

The most intriguing character in Last Chance U is John Franklin III. Franklin was a highly touted recruit, who wasn’t seeing the field for Florida State, so he needed to play games for EMCC to be seen by other schools looking to recruit him. He battled Roberts for playing time at quarterback, which is where he showed some frustration. His ultimate goal was to get a scholarship at Auburn, a dream he chases all season. Franklin is a smart, confident kid who knows what he wants. He is brutally honest and even has the pleasure of telling Ms. Wagner how college kids think, which is one of the better exchanges in the whole show.

Ronald Ollie may be the most dynamic character in the documentary. He goes through injuries, academic issues and personal trials during his time at EMCC. Ollie is the only player that viewers truly get to know as he highlights a lot of key scenes. His development will keep viewers hooked.

Buddy Stephens is a dictator at coach, which is needed at EMCC, a place where these athletes need discipline. With the good also comes the bad as Stephens questions whether players are actually injured, doesn’t listen to assistants and other players all the time and even berates players even when they don’t deserve it. He has a nasty temper, which gets himself and his team in trouble with his actions and words. The team always tries to run up the score, which may not make him a great sportsman, but it is the nature of JUCO football. At the end of the day, the players know he has a passion for football and team success, but they don’t know if he has enough interest in their lives.

Ultimately, the tension that is created between Wagner, Stephens and the players due to the stress of achieving team and individual success make this a must-see documentary for people who are interested in football and for those who like watching the trials and tribulations of leaders getting the most out of young men.


Rating: 9/10 footballs.