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Eighteen starters in the last Super Bowl were selected in the fourth round or lower Authentic Dante Pettis Jersey , including six players who didn't get a call until the NFL draft was over.

While first-round picks receive most of the attention and players chosen the first two days of the draft get more money and better job security, success on Day 3 of the draft often separates the elite teams from the good ones.

That was evident when the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots met in February. Corey Clement had 100 yards receiving and one touchdown and LeGarrette Blount ran for 90 yards and one touchdown in Philadelphia's 41-33 victory. Danny Amendola led the Patriots with 152 yards receiving and Chris Hogan had 128.

All four players were undrafted free agents.

The Eagles enter this week with only six picks in the draft and none on Day 2 so there's a bigger emphasis for them to hit on some of their picks in the later rounds and find quality rookies in free agency.

It won't be easy, however.

"You would think because we're coming off a Super Bowl and we don't have a second- or third-round pick that it would be a lot easier after the draft," said Joe Douglas, the team's executive vice president of player personnel. "But my experience coming off a Super Bowl, it's sometimes harder to get guys to commit to your roster because agents and players have a perceived notion that it's going to be that much tougher to make your team. It's going to be a challenge for us, and we know it, and we're going to attack it, and I think our guys are going to do a great job recruiting some of these guys who slip through the cracks like we did last year. But it is going to be a challenge because there's going to be some guys who think there's a tougher shot of making the team."

One way to combat that is to offer more guaranteed money to undrafted rookies. It helped the Eagles snag Clement last year after he ran for 1,375 yards his senior season at Wisconsin.

Tom Brady's story is known, going from sixth-round pick to five-time Super Bowl champion. Three of the offensive linemen blocking for him last year were under-the-radar guys, too. Center David Andrews was undrafted, and right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle Cameron Fleming were fourth-round picks. Overall, the Patriots had 18 undrafted players on the Super Bowl roster.

The Jaguars, who lost the AFC championship game, got Pro Bowl linebacker Telvin Smith (fifth round, 2014) on Day 3 of the draft. They also relied on two rookie receivers late in the season: fourth-round pick Dede Westbrook and undrafted Keelan Cole.

"You're looking for those types of nuggets Authentic Malik Jefferson Jersey ," said Tom Coughlin, Jacksonville's top executive. "You're talking about value. That's what this is all about, so when you get a player in that circumstance and you've done the research on the guy, you know the guy solid and it happens to be that he's there for you, then obviously you feel very good about that."

Titans general manager Jon Robinson said his scouting department has focused the past couple of weeks on finding value in the late rounds and after the draft.

"Anytime you can get return on those guys in those later rounds with play on the field whether it be offensively, defensively, in the kicking game, I think that's good," Robinson said. "I think we've done a pretty good job the last couple years of finding some guys to carve out a niche, carve out a role on this football team and contribute. So we're hoping we can kind of sift through those guys over the weekend and come away with a couple that can help us."

Accumulating more picks, especially in the later rounds, certainly helps a team's chances of adding a solid contributor. Minnesota, which lost the NFC title game, has eight draft picks, including five on Day 3.

"Sure, you're going to have your misses. But, the more swings that you get at the plate Enrique Hernandez Jersey , the better odds you have of hitting the ball," said Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. "If you only get to bat twice, you've got maybe a 50-50 chance. If you get to bat 10 times, hopefully your 50-50 chance, your odds have increased pretty good. I think it's taking as many swings as you can down in those later rounds."

San Francisco GM John Lynch had success with third-day picks and rookie free agents last year, adding Trent Taylor, George Kittle, D.J. Jones, Adrian Colbert, Matt Breida and Kendrick Bourne.

"When you can hit at that part of the draft, and/or free agency, it's a really good thing," Lynch said. "Shoot, we picked guys off of tryout camp last year. ... Everyone focuses on the work up top with No. 9 but we really try to take a holistic look at this thing and pride ourselves on being real strong on the back end of the draft."
AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow, Teresa M. Walker and Dave Campbell, and AP Sports Writer Mark Long contributed to this report.
AP NFL website: pro32.ap.org and AP_NFL
Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: s://AP_RobMaaddi

The New Orleans Saints added to star quarterback Drew Brees' already formidable array of receiving targets, taking Central Florida receiver Tre'Quan Smith in the third round of the NFL draft on Friday night.

The 6-foot-2 Martinas Rankin Color Rush Jersey , 203-pound Smith, who entered the draft with one year of college eligibility left, had 54 catches for 1,082 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He was also part of a Golden Knights team that that finished 2017 unbeaten and capped that campaign with a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl.

"When you get a player like me you get a person who's a good ball hawk, who goes after the ball when it's in the air 鈥?50-50 balls, they're mine," Smith said on a conference call after his selection. "And a hustler. I love to make plays for my other teammates. The game is just bigger than me. If you want to win, it's a team sport. You've got to be selfless.

"I love watching teammates make plays when something I did" contributed, Smith said. "It makes me happy inside and it builds trust."

General manager Mickey Loomis described Smith as a receiver who has the speed, ability, intelligence and toughness to find a role in New Orleans' dynamic offense, even if it's blocking downfield for running backs Mark Ingram or Alvin Kamara.

"He's a good blocker. That's important for our receivers to be good blockers and he's definitely that," Loomis said. "That's part of that toughness."

Smith said the Saints had told him they liked his "physicality" on plays in which he made key blocks downfield to spring teammates for extra yardage, as well as his ability to "go get the ball when it was in the air."

Smith was the first player drafted by New Orleans on the second day of the draft. New Orleans did not have a pick in the second round this year, having dealt that away during last year's third round as part of a trade that allowed the Saints to snag Kamara, the 2017 NFL offensive rookie of the year.

In Thursday night's first round, the Saints picked UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport 14th overall after trading up from 27th in a deal with Green Bay that also sent a fifth-round pick this year and a first-rounder next year to the Packers.

Loomis said there were brief discussions about the possibility of trading up again Jarvis Landry Jersey Elite , but it would not have been easy after the trade made a day earlier.

"We've pretty much shot our gun," Loomis said.

New Orleans didn't have a pressing need for a receiver.

During free agency, the Saints brought in Cameron Meredith, who led Chicago in receiving in 2016 before missing last season with a knee injury. New Orleans' receiving corps also includes Pro Bowler Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman. But the club did lose restricted free agent Willie Snead to Baltimore.

"This is a case of 鈥?at that point in the draft, where we were at 鈥?this is a player we had graded the highest," Loomis said. "This is a player that we liked a lot."

Smith said he considers himself a deep threat and a possession receiver. Loomis added that the Saints were impressed with Smith's knack for gaining yards after the catch, suggesting that likely contributed to Smith's considerable average of about 20 yards per reception.

"I want to build a great relationship with Drew Brees," Smith said. "If I could, I'd be up there tomorrow."

Smith also noted that he hopes UCF's no-huddle offense 鈥?which called for him to play multiple positions, memorize the play book and routinely respond to a quarterback audible at the line of scrimmage 鈥?has prepared him to adapt to New Orleans' multiple offense.

Smith never played youth football, playing more basketball until high school in south Florida. He calls himself a "late bloomer."

But Loomis noted that the Saints' scouting department had high regard for Smith "early on" in the evaluation process.

"We're going to find out where we play him," Loomis said. "He's a smart player who can fill a lot of roles for us. ... He's got a pretty large skill set."
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