NFL draft: Shaquem Griffin, Maurice Hurst lead list of names to watch for on Day 3

The NFL draft has delivered an abundance of drama, trades and storylines through the first two days, and we’re not even halfway done yet.

The majority of the picks will be made on Saturday and, along with Chewbacca and parrots announcing selections, there are plenty of intriguing prospects left on the board for rounds 4-7.

Shaquem Griffin aims to complete his path to the NFL Saturday after a standout college career playing without a left hand. (AP)

UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin
Griffin is the coolest story of the draft. The one-handed linebacker who helped lead the Knights to a 13-0 season and a mythical national championship didn’t get his storybook introduction to the NFL with a high selection. But somebody will take a chance on Saturday after he crushed the combine and backed up talk that the only reason he’s not a first-round pick is because he doesn’t have his left hand.

Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

Everything about Hurst’s measurables and performance screams first round. He lived in the backfield at Ann Arbor, getting to running backs and quarterbacks at a high rate. Unfortunately, Hurst was flagged for a heart condition at the combine, which sent his stock plummeting. Doctors cleared him to play, but teams are obviously wary of investing heavily in Hurst.

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Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta

The book on Lauletta is that he has all the makings of an NFL quarterback other than arm strength. So yeah. Thanks kind of important. He’s the highest-rated quarterback on the board after Mason Rudolph went to the Steelers on Friday and has a reputation for being smart, a good leader and reasonably accurate in close quarters. Also, if confidence is your thing, he compares himself to Aaron Rodgers.

Oregon OL Tyrell Crosby

Crosby is widely considered the best lineman left in the draft with the potential to become a regular starter. A 6-5, 310 tackle with brute strength, he may project better as a guard in the NFL because of technical deficiencies. A broken left foot during his junior season caused him to miss nine games, but he returned healthy to play in 13 games as a senior.

Da’Shawn Hand didn’t live up to the hype at Alabama, but is still eyeing an NFL career starting Saturday. (AP)

Alabama DE Da’Shawn Hand
Hand arrived at Alabama as a heralded recruit, one of the best prospects in the nation. Once there, he struggled to consistently crack a constantly loaded starting lineup that churns out NFL talent. A 6-4, 300-pounder, he has the size and athleticism to compete in the NFL and showed that ability in flashes in college. A DUI arrest in 2017 isn’t helping his cause.

Iowa LB Josey Jewell
Jewell is a good story, a player who outplayed his measurables to transition from unheralded prospect to Division III recruit to AP All-American at Iowa. He played in the backfield and the secondary, logging 134 tackles (13.5 for loss), 4.5 sacks, 11 pass breakups and two interceptions his senior year. He’s not relatively fast or strong, but has proven enough on the field for a team to give him a look early Saturday.

Florida State DE Josh Sweat
Sweat was an elite high school recruit looking to join a lineage of NFL pass rushers coming out of Tallahassee. Then knee injuries his senior year of high school and in 2016 at FSU slowed him down and planted the seed of risk among NFL evaluators. At 6-5, 250 pounds with a 4.53 40-yard dash time, Sweat has the size and speed of an NFL edge rusher.

Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown

At first glance St. Brown looks like a stud prospect. At 6-5, 214 pounds with 4.48 speed, he has a rare combination of size and speed. His production didn’t quite match up up with his measurables, and he has a reputation as a so-so competitor. He chose to leave Notre Dame after a subpar junior year playing with Brandon Wimbush on the heels of a standout sophomore season catching passes from Deshone Kizer. 

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