Lonnie Ballentine Is The Last Player Chosen In The Draft
The third day of the NFL draft saw multiple SEC quarterbacks go off the board, teams build on defensive strength, and others add depth to their teams.
Former SEC quarterbacks Georgia's Aaron Murray, Alabama's A.J. McCarron and LSU's Zach Mettenberger were all viewed as possible second- or third-round picks through the draft process according to some analysts.
McCarron led Alabama to two national titles, but had to wait until the 164th overall spot to be selected by Cincinnati. He mentioned that he won't mind sitting behind Andy Dalton for a few years while he studies game film and learns about how to be an NFL quarterback.
''I'm confident in myself, but at the same time, I know Andy's the QB out there and I respect that,'' McCarron said. ''All I want to do is go in and help us in whatever way I can. If that means me holding the clipboard for a couple of years and giving Andy reports during the week and watching film with him and helping him in any way I can, I'm just ready to do it.''
Each of them fell off the top of the boards for various reasons over the last few days, according to CBS sports. Murray's lack of NFL size and ideal arm strength made some teams cautious about the pickup -- but the intangibles still made him a pick in the fifth round going to Kansas City. McCarron, who for reasons unknown decided to skip the Senior Bowl, has mechanics issues throwing the ball and looked average inside the pocket at passing, not to mention reports that his interview process was below average. Mettenberger does actually possess NFL size and arm talent according to scouting reports, but off-field worries caused him to slip further than his talent would have otherwise put him in the draft.
Lonnie Ballentine was the last player selected by the Houston Texans — who also kicked off the draft by selecting Jadeveon Clowney as the number one overall pick on Thursday. Ballentine played for the Memphis Tigers during his college career and played in 12 games during the 2013 season.
The San Francisco 49ers continued to add depth to their team by taking a total of 12 draft picks during the selection process -- including seven on day three: South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington (106 overall), NC State cornerback Dontae Johnson (129), South Florida defensive end Aaron Lynch (150), Florida Atlantic cornerback Keith Reaser (170), SMU cornerback Kenneth Acker (180), Boston College defensive end Kaleb Ramsey (243) an Oklahoma fullback Trey Millard (245).