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2015 MAC Crootin' Football Draft: Round 3

Still more defensive players selected in this round, but only by the slimmest of margins.

WR James Gardner
WR James Gardner

After the first two rounds, it's been fairly split between offensive and defensive players, but the advantage leans toward more defensive players taken. There were also three transfers that can all play this season that were selected, so maybe we'll see more of the same today? I guess you'll just have to read and find out.

27. Eastern Michigan Eagles

DT- Nick Dillon (EMU signee). Linconshire, IL (Adlai Stevenson). 247Sports: 82 (0.8215)

Seriously, this defense needs help everywhere. I know the offensive linemen have a fairly good host of players and the defensive players this year are fairly impressive. Something tells me that there's a huge importance for getting a defensive lineman that could get earn some playing time as a freshman, and I think Nick Dillon is that dude.

Good news is that he's signed with the Eagles on NSD; the three-star prospect even committed to the program before Chris Creighton even coached a single game. I wish he were a few inches taller, but I guess I'm being greedy. There's honestly nothing to complain about his 6-foot-2, 283 pound frame. As far as hypotheticals go, having players like Tranquill at corner and Dillon on the line as true freshmen would make for a fun time, especially once you get into their upperclassman seasons. -Alex Alvarado

28. Kent State Golden Flashes

OG- John Keenoy (WMU signee). Grand Rapids, MI (East Kentwood). 247Sports: 79 (0.8307)

After drafting a safety and wide receiver, I knew that I would need to draft an offensive lineman for the Golden Flashes. John Keenoy is the best lineman available and has the ability to play multiple positions on the line, making this a pretty easy decision. We fully expect Keenoy to compete for a starting spot somewhere on the offensive line during his first year with the Golden Flashes. -Mike Karpinski

29. Miami RedHawks

WR- Kezio Snelling (EMU signee). Lutz, FL (Steinbrenner). 247Sports: 83 (0.8248)

Miami's receivers were serviceable last year, but the offense were forced to largely rely upon senior quarterback Andrew Hendrix to make plays last season. When Kezio Snelling fell to the third round, I just had to pick him up. The Eastern Michigan commit is similar in size and measurables to Titus Davis and has no fear at the receiver position. 247Sports rates him as a 3 star prospect, who garnered plenty of interest from a bevy of G5 schools and over a P5 school in Purdue. Snelling is a speedster that primarily played the sideline in high school, but has the skillset to play the tricky slot receiver, since his first step sends DB's reeling, and his hands are reliable. He could also be a returner on punts and kickoffs, where he showed a knack for incredible field vision and slipperiness. -James Jimenez

Here are Snelling's highlights courtesy of Hudl:

30. UMass Minutemen

DT- Nathon Trawick (Miami signee). Richmond, IN (Richmond HS). 247Sports: 82 (0.8141)

The Minutemen's defensive line had serious issues last season. One issue was a lack of depth. Daniel Maynes anchored the DT position last year and his departure leaves a big gap in an already shaky postition. Nathon Trawick has good size at 6-1 and already 295 pounds. He might not be able to play right away but a year of seasoning or two and he could be a dominant force in the middle. -Max Moore

31. Akron Zips

CB- Aaron Covington (Toledo signee). Seffner, FL (Armwood HS). 247Sports: 86 (0.8560)

With the third pick in the 2015 Draft class, I have added the versatile Aaron Covington from Seffner, Florida. Covington is another elite athlete feel like he'll thrive in Toledo. Adding depth is key in this draft, as is trying to turn your current weakness into a future strength. Covington has the size and speed that would make for early playing time on Akron's roster. Being recruited by many other schools, and for Akron to finish on top we couldn't be more thrilled. Covington is yet another of the athletes we have added in this class to increase our overall speed. By the end of this class, there will be no more SEC speed, it will be all about the MAC SPEED. -Russ Johnson

He's not kidding about his SPEED; check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl:

32. Buffalo Bulls

DE- Torey Hendrick (Buffalo signee). Dawsonville, GA (ASA College). 247Sports: 88 (0.8618)

Buffalo's got a coaching change going this year, and as I did with the first pick, I'm looking for front-seven defensive bodies who can contribute right away. I'm very excited to grab real-life Buffalo DE recruit Torey Hendrick in the third round here.

Hendrick most recently played two JUCO years at ASA College in Brooklyn, but his appeal shows when you dig deeper. Torey was destined for JUCO due to academic issues out of high school, but originally planned to spend a single season at ASA. His offer list during that recruiting period is impressive; as a consensus three-star he attracted offers from Florida State, Arizona State, NC State, Kansas, and Kansas State along with other Power 5 schools. He picked Iowa, but a miscalculation left him one credit short of transfer eligibility and he had to return to ASA for a year. This recruiting day, he picked Buffalo.

Hendrick may not be the best DE in this player pool when all is said and done, but he will step right in and produce in 2015. For a team amidst turnover that needs to take advantage of one final season with one of the best quarterbacks in program history, that's a huge value play. -Matt Gritzmacher

33. Ball State Cardinals

DE- Shemar Moss (BGSU signee). Columbus, OH (Marion-Franklin). 247Sports: 80 (0.8150)

If never hurts to scoop up prospects who receive significant B1G interest. Moss has impressive size and speed, and is able to play multiple positions on the defensive side of the ball. That versatility is a very attractive quality, particularly in a conference where weeknights can turn into a "first to 50" contest. -Keith Scheessele

Check out Moss' highlights courtesy of Hudl:

34. Ohio Bobcats

CB- Maxwell Howell (Ohio signee). West Palm Beach, FL (Palm Beach Lakes). 247Sports: 72 (0.8020)

Sticking with secondary, Maxwell Howell is a monster for an 18-year-old DB. At 6-foot-1, 188 pounds, Howell is listed as a corner, and has the athleticism and skill set to play there. If he works out at corner, he's a matchup nightmare in the MAC. If he has to move to safety, holy crap can he hit. -Sam Smucker

Check out Howell's highlights courtesy of Hudl:

35. Central Michigan Chippewas

DT- Shadid Bellamy (CMU signee). Oak Park, MI (Oak Park HS). 247Sports: 77 (0.8145)

Bellamy has a very strong interior presence and a lot of explosion for a defensive tackle. He has a ton of potential for success at the college level and beyond, and can fill the hole left by Leterrious Walton almost immediately. So, in essence, Bellamy is both a player who will have an immediate impact and a long-term project; he'll see playing time right away, but he's going to be a scary good player when he's an upperclassmen. -Max Lowe

36. Western Michigan Broncos

OT- Chase VanHoef (Kent St. signee). Grand Haven, MI (Grand Haven HS). 247Sports: 85 (0.8019)

I've seen five quarterbacks go so far, and I haven't gotten any of them. I'd love to go and grab Riley Neal right now, but there's an old chess quote that goes "when you see a good move, look for a better one." I know that you don't need a 3-star QB to succeed in the MAC, but it would be nice. But no matter how good your quarterback is, your offensive line needs to be better.

So I got the best tackle available. A Michigan native that signed with the Golden Flashes, VanHoef is freaking huge. 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, and he's freaking huge. It'll be fun to watch the defensive ends taken in this draft go up against him for the next few years. -Alex Alvarado

37. Toledo Rockets

RB- DJ Brown (NIU signee). Little Rock, AR (North Little Rock). 247Sports: 84 (0.8430)

With the third pick, I was able to land one of the best running backs in the country, DJ Brown from North Little Rock, Arkansas. The past several years, Toledo has been able to make ends meet and get the ball down the field. Having DJ Brown the field in a Rockets uniform, he could take it to the house on any given play. In real life, Brown signed with the Huskies over teams like Illinois, Southern Miss and Memphis. -Russ Johnson

38. Bowling Green Falcons

RB- Matt Domer (BGSU signee). Chicago, IL (Mount Carmel). 247Sports: 84 (0.8478)

Absolutely thrilled to grab running back Matt Domer in the third round. This kid is flying under the radar right now but will turn some heads come this fall. He hasn't played in a game since his high school career ended in 2013. He has some rust to shake off this spring and during fall camp, but when he does, look out.

Domer originally signed a letter-of-intent to play at Illinois as part of the Illini's 2014 freshman class. However, he failed to qualify academically and sat out last season before signing as an early-enrollee with the Falcons in January of this year. At 6-foot and 200 pounds, Domer was the nation's 24th best running back coming out of high school in 2013 according to Scout. -Randy Carpenter

39. Northern Illinois Huskies

WR- James Gardner (Miami signee). Fort Lauderdale, FL (Fort Lauderdale). 247Sports: 83 (0.8295)

With NIU signee WR Spencer Tears already off the board, I knew I had to find another possession receiver at some point. Luckily, former Cincinnati verbal James Gardner fell right into our laps in the third round. Gardner will need to bulk up a bit before seeing the field at NIU, however he possesses all the talent to excel with the Huskies. -Mike Karpinski

Be sure to check out Gardner's highlights courtesy of Hudl:


No transfers this time. All eyes looking deep into the future for this one.

Both BGSU and Miami had a pair of signees be selected this round, bumping their overall totals to six and five respectively. WMU holds the lead with having their seventh signee be selected by Karp for Kent State's offense. The advantage, again, went to the defensive players. Just barely though; it was a 7-6. Had the MAC already kicked UMass out, then we'd be looking at a 6-6 split here.

Click on the players' names to bring up their respective highlight tapes courtesy of Hudl and other video providers.

Round x Team 1 2 3
Eastern Michigan Helmet
Justin Tranquill Darrion Landry Nick Dillon
kent state helmet
Kendrell McFadden Antwan Dixon John Keenoy
miami helmet
Brandon Childress BoBo Jones Kezio Snelling
umass helmet
Eilar Hardy Chris Green Nathon Trawick
Akron helmets
Deontai Williams Delano Madison Aaron Covington
Buffalo Helmet
Kwanii Figueroa Mitch Guadagni Torey Hendrick
ball state helmet
Juantez McRae Wesley French Shemar Moss
ohio helmet
James Morgan Armani McNulty Maxwell Howell
CMU helmet
Billy Bahl Carter Masek Shadid Bellamy
WMU helmets
Kadeem Goulbourne Antonyo Sotolongo Chase Van Hoef
Toledo Helmet
Tyree Jackson Davontae Ginwright DJ Brown
Bowling Green helmet 2011
Spencer Tears Junior McMullen Matt Domer
Northern Illinois Helmet
Kevin Thurman Rolan Milligan James Gardner