For every player that gets drafted earlier than expected, there is a player that gets taken a lot lower than anticipated.
Here, we look at five players selected in the 7th round of the 2017 NFL Draft that should probably have been taken higher, and can develop into productive NFL players.
Jalen Myrick – CB – Minnesota – Jacksonville Jaguars – 222nd overall pick
Myrick is very small for a corner, at just 5’10, 210lbs, but he allowed a completion rate of just 39% when the ball was thrown his way over his college career.
He has a compact frame with quick hands, and can carry his long speed down the field. He is also a good kick returner.
He struggles with pattern recognition and anticipation, has below average hands, and his ball skills down the field are average.
Overall though, Myrick should probably have been drafted higher than the 7th round, and he certainly would have expected to. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein had him ranked as a 5th round talent.
If the Jaguars have the patience to truly develop Myrick, he could become a contributor at the nickel slot.
Zane Gonzalez – K – Arizona State – Cleveland Browns – 224th overall
When special teams players get drafted, they’re usually going to be guaranteed to start for the team that picked them.
Unless he flops in training camp, Gonzalez will be the Browns’ kicker this year, and he can immediately produce in the NFL.
Gonzalez was one of the most reliable kickers in NCAA history, finishing his college career as the FBS record holder for most field goals made with 96 out of 116 attempts, an 83% conversion rate.
He has a powerful lower body, gets good trajectory on long-distance kicks, and has continued to add size and leg strength.
Zierlein had Gonzalez as a 3rd/4th round talent, and he could be a steal for the Browns in the 7th round if he produces regularly at this level.
Joey Ivie – DT – Florida – Dallas Cowboys – 228th overall
Some had the defensive lineman going in the later rounds, whereas Zierlein had him listed as a priority undrafted free agent.
He’s a 6’3, 301lbs defensive tackle who lacks the power or mass to handle run-stopping duties, and he lacks ideal length for a 3-4 defenders. He also has a narrow base, and struggles to maintain balance through contact.
On the plus side, he plays with a high motor, which teams covet, and he has the athleticism and work ethic to be a willing tackler.
Ivie has lots of work to do to prove his NFL worth, but the Cowboys could have a decent rotational depth piece if they can develop him.
Isaiah Ford – WR – Virginia Tech – Miami Dolphins – 237th overall
Ford was thought to have been a 4th/5th round talent, but slid to the 7th round as he has a much lower floor than some day two picks.
He is a superb athlete with good height, and is able to shake press coverage with a sudden burst. His game features big acceleration breaks, and his speed gives him the ability to sustain vertical danger throughout the routes.
But he also has a thin frame, and can be late adjusting to off-target throws. His speed bails him out a lot, and his route running needs work.
Overall, Ford can be productive in a limited role early, and his deep speed will give him the opportunity for a prolonged career at this level.
Malachi Dupre – WR – LSU – Green Bay Packers – 247th overall
Dupre is a 6’2, 196lbs receiver, who has the desired size and athletic ability that teams like in their late-round receivers.
Inconsistencies in the quarterback play at LSU certainly didn’t help him, and his college stats don’t exactly jump off the page (43-698-6 in 2015, 41-593-3 in 2016).
But he is more talented than his numbers would suggest, he tracks the deep ball well, adjusts to low throws and has solid hands.
He is a developmental receiver with some upside, but it will take time for him to develop into an NFL-ready pass-catcher. He probably should have stayed in school for another year, but the Packers could still have a contributor in the future regardless.
What do you think? Would you add anyone else to this list? Would you take anyone off it? Comment below with your thoughts.