2023 NFL Draft: Favorite Day 3 pick from each team

DeWayne McBride (Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
DeWayne McBride (Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /
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While the first two days of the NFL Draft grab most of the headlines, Day 3 is where the great teams can separate themselves from the pack. If you need an example, just look at the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. They got huge contributions from their 2022 Day 3 class that was headlined by Isaih Pacheco and two cornerbacks, Joshua Williams and Jaylen Watson that both played big time snaps and combined for three interceptions and a touchdown in the playoffs . Let’s take a look at my favorite Day 3 pick from each team!

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: A.T. Perry #9 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 31: A.T. Perry #9 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Carolina Panthers make the most of their limited draft capital

Day 3 Draft Class:
R4 (114): Chandler Zavala, G, NC State
R5 (145): Jammie Robinson, S, Florida St.

Favorite Pick: Chandler Zavala

Despite only having two picks on Day 3, I thought the Panthers found two potential immediate impact players in Zavala and Robinson. Zavala was a guy that I really liked throughout the process in a relatively weak IOL class. The medicals were crucial for him, but the Panthers obviously felt comfortable with them.

Zavala should be able to come in right away and compete for a starting spot right away or serve as a depth piece on the interior. Carolina fans should be excited about watching Zavala alongside his former teammate Ikem Ekwonu.

Atlanta Falcons beef up their secondary on Day 3

Day 3 Draft Class:
R4 (113): Clark Phillips III, CB, Utah
R7 (224): DeMarcco Hellams, S, Alabama
R7 (225): Jovaughn Gwyn, G, South Carolina

Favorite Pick: Clark Phillips III

Throughout the process Phillips III was a player that I knew I’d be writing up as a favorite pick of mine. At 5’9 and 184 lbs, it was a given that Phillips III was going to be pushed down draft boards. Don’t let his size mislead you though, Phillips III can play. Just check out this clip of him breaking up a pass against his new teammate, Drake London.

Despite his small stature, he had 30 pass deflections and 9 interceptions in 31 games over three years at Utah.  When we look back on this draft, I have a feeling Phillips III will be one of those players that everyone says should’ve gone much higher.

New Orleans Saints grab their next short quarterback

Day 3 Draft Class:
R4 (103): Nick Saldiveri, OL, Old Dominion
R4 (127): Jake Haener, QB, Fresno St.
R5 (146): Jordan Howden, S, Minnesota
R6 (195): A.T. Perry, WR, Wake Forest

Favorite Pick: A.T. Perry

After the first five quarterbacks, Haener was my next quarterback on the board, but I can’t look past the value the Saints got on A.T. Perry. When I was studying Perry, I saw a lighter version of Courtland Sutton. He’s not nearly as strong as Sutton, but he has the length and better build up speed.

I haven’t heard what caused Perry to slide, but I had a 3rd-4th round grade on Perry, so the fact the Saints were able to snag him in the 6th is a huge steal in my book.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers select a couple of former Panthers

Day 3 Draft Class:
R5 (153): SirVocea Dennis, LB, Pittsburgh
R5 (171): Payne Durham, TE, Purdue
R6 (181): Josh Hayes, CB, Kansas St.
R6 (191): Trey Palmer, WR, Nebraka
R6 (196): Jose Ramirez, EDGE, Eastern Michigan

Favorite Pick: SirVocea Dennis

Tampa didn’t have my favorite draft by any means, but I think SirVocea Dennis has a chance to play a long time in the league. He’s a bit undersized at 6′ and 226 lbs, but he’s able to overcome that with elite athleticism.

What really sets Dennis apart is his football IQ. Everyone raves about the mental make-up of this guy. When you combine athleticism with high IQ, you have a recipe a long successful career. With Lavonte David nearing the end of his career, his future replacement might be in place now.