5 Third-Round Picks That Will Put the NFL on Notice in 2020

Notre Dame DE Julian Okwara, one of the top third-round picks in 2020.
Notre Dame DE Julian Okwara, one of the top third-round picks in 2020. | Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft had plenty of stars selected in the first and second rounds. But don't count out the third round -- there was plenty of talent there, too.

Among the potential standouts, these five players could break ceilings in 2020.

5. Julian Blackmon, S, Indianapolis Colts

In three season at Utah, Blackmon tallied 158 tackles, nine interceptions, 1.5 sacks, and two defensive touchdowns.
In three season at Utah, Blackmon tallied 158 tackles, nine interceptions, 1.5 sacks, and two defensive touchdowns. | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The 85th pick out of Utah, Julian Blackmon will bring veteran instincts to the Colts as a rookie. He is another versatile and contact-first safety who can flip to the corner position on a dime and pursue the ball. In three seasons at Utah, Blackmon tallied 158 tackles, nine interceptions, 1.5 sacks, and two defensive touchdowns. Expect him to see reps in exchange with Malik Hooker, who may be on his way out of town, regardless.

4. Neville Gallimore, DT, Dallas Cowboys

Neville Gallimore lining up as a member of the Oklahoma defensive line.
Neville Gallimore lining up as a member of the Oklahoma defensive line. | Don Juan Moore/Getty Images


The Dallas Cowboys collected pick after exceptional pick in this year's draft, and fourth-rounder Neville Gallimore out of Oklahoma should become a pass-rushing bull sooner rather than later. The best description of him in college was "disruptive" -- he made 147 tackles and racked up 8.5 sacks.

3. Matt Peart, OT, New York Giants

New York Giants OT Matt Peart
New York Giants OT Matt Peart | Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Anyone could have told the Giants that their biggest need entering the 2020 draft was upgrading the offensive line, a weakness that has plagued them in recent seasons. At pick No. 99, they took OT Matt Peart, who some analysts think will start on the right side in 2020. Peart has exceptional footwork and pass blocking skills, which the Giants have lacked. He also boasts great lateral speed and run blocking ability. Perhaps Daniel Jones will finally have more time to make big plays without fear of a quick sack.

2. Ashtyn Davis, S, New York Jets

Cal S Ashtyn Davis
Cal S Ashtyn Davis | Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Despite his injuries at the tail end of the 2019 season, the Jets hit a home run selecting Ashtyn Davis at 68th. Like the crosstown Giants, the Jets have long needed impact secondary players, and Davis can be just that. Davis plays with instincts, speed, and range, and his tackling prowess is like that of a linebacker. He even excels at kick returning, where at Cal, he returned 70 kicks for 1,604 yards and a touchdown. Jamal Adams Jr.?

1. Julian Okwara, DE, Detroit Lions

DE Julian Okwara
DE Julian Okwara | Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The 67th overall pick by the Lions, Julian Okwara is a first-round quality pass rusher who will partner with Trey Flowers, and his brother Romeo, to punish the quarterback in the Motor City. Okwara excels at the bull rush and pass-rush moves, and has enough fluidity and length to catch the sneakiest of running backs at the line of scrimmage. At Notre Dame, as a junior in 2018, he totaled 38 tackles and eight sacks.