The third day of the NFL Draft could be viewed as a casting audition for HBO’s “Hard Knocks.”
Players who are selected in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds are more likely to spend training camp on the roster bubble. That makes them automatic candidates for a featured role on the reality TV show that is at its best when it makes viewers care about players whose pro football career seemingly hangs in the balance of some practices and preseason games.
While it has not yet been announced which team will be the focus of “Hard Knocks” in 2019, according Newsweek, the five candidates are the Oakland Raiders, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions and Washington Redskins.
“Because of NFL regulations,” Dan Cancian wrote in March, “teams are exempt from consideration if they have played in the postseason in the past two years or have been the focus of the series in the previous decade. Teams who have a first-year coach are also not considered.”
If the Giants get the spot, one rookie who could become a reality star is Julian Love, the first cornerback picked on Day 3 of the draft.
Love is a Notre Dame product, so his name may already be familiar to casual college football fans who couldn’t escape the presence of the Irish and their national TV contract.
Love was an All-America First Team pick as a junior last season, but he wound up being the 12th cornerback drafted in a year when the first corner didn’t get picked until the end of the first round. Love landed on the same team as the first corner chosen — that being Georgia’s Deandre Baker, who won the 2018 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back. Love was one of three finalists for that award.
Although Love has good size for the position — he measured 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds at the scouting combine — his 40-yard dash time of 4.54 seconds wasn’t great. He plays the ball well, evidenced by the fact that he holds the Notre Dame career record for pass breakups. Love made 63 tackles, one interception and three fumble recoveries last season.
In total, 32 defensive backs were drafted on Saturday. Sixteen went on Friday (second and third rounds), and three DBs were picked in the first round. The makes a final count of 51 defensive backs selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The complete list from Day 3:
105. New Orleans Saints — Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
108. New York Giants — Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
109. Indianapolis Colts — Khari Willis, S, Michigan State
111. Atlanta Falcons — Kendall Sheffield, CB, Ohio State
116. Tennessee Titans — Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
119. Cleveland Browns — Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami (Fla.)
127. Baltimore Ravens — Iman Marshall, CB, USC
129. Oakland Raiders — Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston
132. Seattle Seahawks — Ugo Amadi, S, Oregon
139. Arizona Cardinals — Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
144. Indianapolis Colts — Marvell Tell III, S, USC
146. Detroit Lions — Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
158. Dallas Cowboys — Michael Jackson Sr., CB, Miami (Fla.)
172. Atlanta Falcons — Jordan Miller, CB, Washington
177. New Orleans Saints — Saquan Hampton, S, Rutgers
180. New York Giants — Corey Ballentine, CB, Washburn
181. Buffalo Bills — Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami (Fla.)
185. Green Bay Packers — Ka’dar Hollman, CB, Toledo
191. Minnesota Vikings — Marcus Epps, S, Wyoming
195. Houston Texans — Xavier Crawford, CB, Central Michigan
196. New York Jets — Blessuan Austin, CB, Rutgers
198. San Francisco 49ers — Tim Harris, CB, Virginia
201. Kansas City Chiefs — Rashad Fenton, CB, South Carolina
205. Chicago Bears — Duke Shelley, CB, Kansas State
213. Dallas Cowboys — Donovan Wilson, S, Texas A&M
217. Minnesota Vikings — Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
221. Cleveland Browns — Donnie Lewis Jr., CB, Tulane
223. Cincinnati Bengals — Jordan Brown, CB, South Dakota State
227. Washington Redskins — Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison
238. Chicago Bears — Stephen Denmark, CB, Valdosta State
243. Los Angeles Rams — Nick Scott, S, Penn State
252. New England Patriots — Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss