2. Brandon Marshall, linebacker
You can’t really fault a team for throwing in the towel on day three draft picks, at least not typically. Day 3 picks are often a crapshoot as it is. They bounce up and down the active roster and the practice squad and if you can find starters in rounds 4-7, you consider that a massive victory for your scouting department.
The Jacksonville Jaguars landed Nevada linebacker Brandon Marshall in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and many people felt like that pick was a steal at the time. Marshall had been a consistently productive player for four years at Nevada where he racked up 102 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss in his senior season.
Unfortunately, even though he cracked the Jaguars’ roster in his rookie year with the team, his presence in Jacksonville was short-lived. He was active for just five games in his rookie season and the Jaguars waived him at the time of final cuts in 2013. The Denver Broncos added him to the practice squad in 2013 and Peyton Manning took notice of Marshall on the practice squad, lobbying the coaching staff to get the guy a gameday roster spot.
By the time the 2014 season rolled around, Marshall was starting alongside Danny Trevathan for one of the best linebacker groups in the NFL. He had 112 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss in his first year as a starter with the Denver Broncos.
Marshall ended up being one of the key players on the legendary Super Bowl 50 defense for the Denver Broncos, earning a big-money contract with the team and starting for five seasons.