The best draft picks from rounds 2-3 not named Russell Wilson

Yesterday I profiled the five best first round draft picks not named Andrew Luck or RG3, so today I’m continuing that trend and featuring the best players from the next two rounds not named Russell Wilson. Since Wilson is the most recognized name after the top two picks and was drafted in the third round, I wanted to give some love to the many great players making an impact that were drafted in rounds two and three who are living in the enormous shadow cast by Luck, RG3, and Wilson.

Here are eight rookies from the second and third round that you may have forgotten about. Let’s get to it.

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Jarnoris Jenkins – 39th overall, St. Louis Rams

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Janoris Jenkins was pegged by many as a prospect with first round talent, but his stock plummeted on draft day because of character issues. Nevertheless, the St. Louis Rams took a chance on Jenkins, and they have to be pleased with the result. Jenkins has shown big-play ability, and a nose for the endzone as he’s collected three touchdowns in his rookie campaign. If he can keep his head on straight, the Rams may have found a playmaking corner for years to come.

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Cordy Glenn – 41st overall, Buffalo Bills

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An injury in week 4 took three games away from Cordy Glenn, but since returning to the starting lineup Glenn has picked up right where he left off. Glenn has excelled at using his big frame and power to move defenders out of the way and help the Bills feature a potent one-two rushing attack when Fred Jackson is healthy. Glenn was key paving the way for C.J. Spiller‘s breakout season, and should be creating holes for the dynamic back for years to come, much like he does in the clip above when he moves fellow rookie Bruce Irvin right out of the play.

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Bobby Wagner – 47th overall, Seattle Seahawks

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Starting as a rookie in the NFL is no easy task. Starting as a rookie on one of the best defenses in the league, and making an impact, is even tougher. Yet that’s exactly what Bobby Wagner has done for the Seattle Seahawks as he has collected 130 tackles, two sacks, and three interceptions so far.  It appears as if Wagner is just getting started in making life miserable for NFC West offenses.

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Lavonte David – 58th overall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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The emerging leader of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers young defense is rookie second round pick Lavonte David. David has flourished in the middle of Tampa Bay’s defense, getting better as the season has gone along. Case in point, he intercepted future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning when the teams met earlier in December. David has also accumulated 133 tackles, and one sack, meaning things are looking up for the Buccaneers defense.

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Casey Hayward – 62nd overall, Green Bay Packers

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In 2011, the Green Bay Packer‘s porous secondary was one of the key reasons they lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs. With that in mind, they drafted six straight defensive players in the 2012 draft, and none has had a bigger impact than Casey Hayward. The rookie stepped up in a big way when the Packers lost Charles Woodson and Sam Shields to injury, snagging six interceptions on the season. Hayward has also shown sure tackling ability, and savvy beyond his years in helping patch the Packers’ secondary.

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Dwayne Allen – 64th overall, Indianapolis Colts

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Dwayne Allen may have been the second tight end selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2012 NFL Draft, but he has out-shined second round pick Coby Fleener in terms of production. Allen has proven a sure-handed security blanket for Andrew Luck when he needs him, reeling in 43 catches for 500 yards and three touchdowns. The combination of Allen and Fleener has the potential to spell disaster for opposing defenses thanks to Allen’s quick assimilation to the pros.

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Nick Foles – 88th overall, Philadelphia Eagles

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While certainly not one of the blockbuster quarterback picks of the 2012 draft, Nick Foles, also known as “the other third round quarterback,” has given the Philadelphia Eagles a glimmer of hope in their disappointing season. He looks much more like a rookie than the rest of his 2012 draft mates at the quarterback position, but Foles has shown impressive poise after being thrust into the starting role, most notably in his comeback win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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T.Y. Hilton – 92nd overall, Indianapolis Colts

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The Indianapolis Colts were in desperate need of playmakers on offense after their abysmal 2-14 campaign in 2011. They found their first in Andrew Luck, and gave him a viable target when they drafted T.Y. Hilton at the end of the third round. Hilton gives them big play potential in both the passing game (four of his six touchdowns went for at least 36 yards) and in the return game, as you can see in the clip above. This young Colts squad has already secured a playoff berth in 2012, and if they can keep this core together they may have many more on the horizon.

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