Everyone tunes into the first round of the NFL Draft. The second and third rounds still garner plenty of intrigue, too. Day 3 is when interest starts to wane among casual fans, but I'm here to tell you that shouldn't be the case!
The final four rounds are where all 32 clubs fill out their rosters, looking for not only diamonds in the rough but also players whose specific contributions could mean the difference between wins and losses.
Miss anything from Rounds 4 through 7? Probably, but don't worry! I've got you covered with picks that made me smile and others that left me with questions. Now let's get to it!
Picks I liked
IOL Chandler Zavala (Round 4, No. 114 to Panthers)
When you draft a QB with the No. 1 overall pick, you better make sure you're investing in protection for him. And with both of the Panthers guards (Austin Corbett and Brady Christensen) coming off serious injuries, adding an interior offensive lineman was a must. So, why not select a player who played on the same offensive line as star left tackle Ikem Ekwonu at N.C. State? Chandler Zavala is an older prospect and only had five career starts prior to last season, but what he showed in 2022 makes it seem like he could compete for a starting job blocking for Bryce Young.
RB Roschon Johnson (Round 4, No. 115 to Bears)
Everyone loves talking about Bijan Robinson (and obviously for good reason), but Roschon Johnson is also one of the best players at the position at this class. He's a low-mileage running back because he was always the No. 2 to Robinson, which should actually bode well for him in the NFL. He's patient as a runner, displays good contact balance and solid vision, and has the ability to shed defenders at the second level if they don't commit to making the tackle. And he does everything else well, too; he blocks with vengeance, is a smooth pass-catcher and will shine on special teams. Johnson was a Day 2 talent in my opinion, so the Bears getting him in Round 4 is solid value. With D'Onta Foreman and Khalil Herbert as the other running backs on the roster, Johnson should be able to carve out a role for himself right away.
EDGE Viliami Fehoko (Round 4, No. 129 to Cowboys)
I've got to give Pete Prisco credit: He made sure to give Viliami Fehoko his shine when he chose him as the captain of his NFL Draft. He can play a multitude of positions and has a nonstop motor, and while his run defending is further along than his pass-rushing, he improved in that area every season at San Jose State. The Cowboys invested in their defensive line early by taking Mazi Smith No. 26 overall, but be on the lookout for Fehoko to make some contributions early on, too.for the 2023
EDGE Nick Herbig (Round 4, No. 132 to Steelers)
The Steelers NFL edge rusher, he has all of the tools to make plays consistently for the Steelers defense. Nick's brother, offensive lineman Nate Herbig, is surely thrilled at this selection, but Pittsburgh fans should, too. Another Wisconsin pass-rusher lands in the Steel City., but that doesn't mean they're reaching for these players. Nick Herbig was a highly productive defender whose athleticism popped on tape, and while he may be a little small for an
QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (Round 5, No. 140 to Browns)
There's a lot to like about DTR. He improved each and every year -- which led to him completing nearly 70% of his passes this past season at UCLA -- has a really strong arm, and then ran in the 4.5s in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He's also an extremely hard worker who will do anything to help his team win, and that includes throwing his body around to help block for his teammates on trick plays. He ends up in a good situation in Cleveland, where he should challenge backups Joshua Dobbs and Kellen Mond during training camp.
Picks I didn't like
EDGE Dylan Horton (Round 4, No. 109 to Texans)
Early fourth round seems a little rich for Dylan Horton. He's a tough defender to evaluate since he almost exclusively played with his hand in the dirt in a three-man front, so traditional edge-rushing opportunities were limited. He's not particularly bendy or twitchy, either, and will struggle to disengage from blocks as an edge rusher. He has a good frame and is a relentless defender, which are pluses; it's just difficult to project him at the NFL level.
OT Dawand Jones (Round 4, No. 111 to Browns)
If the mammoth Dawand Jones plays to his potential, then we'll look back and say that the Browns got great value by taking him in the fourth round. How good can he be? Just go back and watch what he did on Day 1 of practices at the Senior Bowl, when he dominated every defensive lineman he went up against.
But will he be motivated? He skipped out of participating at Ohio State's Pro Day, which included not weighing in after coming in at 374 pounds at the NFL Combine. In addition to needing to keep his weight under control, he doesn't look comfortable blocking at the second level and sometimes struggles against smaller speed pass-rushers who can duck underneath him around the edge.
WR Derius Davis (Round 4, No. 125 to Chargers)
Derius Davis' size is a concern -- he came in at 5-foot-8 and just 165 pounds at the NFL Combine -- and he'll be more of a gadget guy who the Chargers will have to scheme open. That said, Davis can be a big-play threat at the next level thanks to his electric speed and shiftiness in space.
QB Stetson Bennett (Round 4, No. 128)
Stetson Bennett has what it takes to be an NFL backup. But a fourth-round pick? And the second quarterback taken on Day 3? It seems like the Rams could have attacked other needs with their next few picks -- they had four in the fifth round -- and then taken Bennett (or a similar prospect) at the beginning of Round 6.
WR Charlie Jones (Round 4, No. 131 to Bengals)
This felt a little early for Charlie Jones despite him being one of the most productive receivers in all of college football last season. He's a consistent, precise route-runner, but he doesn't get a lot of separation from defensive backs at the top of his route. He also won't win with straightaway speed and doesn't provide much after the catch. He'll be at his best when going against off-coverage in man or against zone when he can find holes in the defense.