Who are the NFL Draft sleepers?
As we inch closer to this year’s draft, speculation on the first round will hit a torrent pace. But what about the rest of the weekend? Who are the sleepers beyond the first couple rounds?
Here at SIOC, we have a few potential steals up our sleeve. Sleepers come at all levels, so we'll give you three. In the first-day sleeper category, our guy is Washington State receiver Jason Hill. Besides making 148 catches and scoring 32 touchdowns in college, Hill posted a 4.32 40 time at the Combine. Our middle-rounds gem is Cal defensive tackle Brandon Mebane. A three-time all-Pac-10 selection, Mebane boasts an impressive combination of speed and power. And our diamond in the rough (aka "this year's Marques Colston") is Iowa State CB DeAndre Jackson. If he can bounce back from tearing his ACL, he could end up being quite the steal.
But, more importantly, who are your sleepers?
How about Jared Zabransky? I hear he comes with a free copy of NCAA 2008.
Rutgers offensive lineman Cam Stephenson--stud
For my Day One sleeper, I'll go with Eric Weddle, SS out of Utah. He'll slip a bit because he doesn't have all the measurables that teams look for, but he is simply a great football player. He's a turnover machine (7 INTs in '06), an extremely smart player, and one of the draft's most versatile players (He's seen time at all the defensive backfield positions, and he's even put in some time at QB). Not to mention he held the draft's best prospect, Calvin Johnson, to 2 catches for 19 yards in the Emerald Bowl last season while playing the CB position.
My mid-round sleeper is Daniel Bazuin, DE out of Central Michigan. He's amassed 26.5 total sacks in the past two seasons, but will slip due to a supposed "lack of upside". He dominated the East-West Shrine College All-Star Game, however, and he is the kind of player that gets the most out of his talent.
My diamond in the rough is David Ball, WR for the University of New Hampshire. Like Colston, he played in Division 1-AA, so he didn't get alot of exposure. Ball broke almost all of Jerry Rice's collegiate receiving records, but he will fall to the late rounds mainly due to a poor 40 time (somewhere between 4.64 and 4.70). Despite his lack of great speed, he is an excellent route runner, has glue hands, and has a knack for scoring TDs. He also performed well in his limited opportunities against Division 1-A competition.
I also like Ryne Robinson out of Miami (Ohio) as a return specialist prospect, Laurent Robinson (WR) from Illinois St. (another Div 1-AA prospect) and John Beck of BYU as the top QB sleeper.
I think Dan Mozes would be a great second day pick... look at the success of the WVU running game. I realize he hasn't had the exposure in a pro-style passing game, and that he is deemed 'small' by nfl standards, but he has shown the work ethic and has the on-the-field honors/videos to prove it.
I don't consider him a sleeper, but I'd love for my team to draft Michael Bush. Great athlete with unbelievable size at a big time program who has hampered by an injury his last year. But once again, i wouldn't consider him a huge sleeper.
Although he will probably get taken in the second or third round, I think that Zach Miller from Arizona State will have a very positive impact for whichever NFL team decides to nab him.
Danny Ware baby! LOLOLOL
Some says its the system, but Joel Filani out of Texas Tech will suprise some
As someone bleeds burnt orange and thinks Vince Young is the greatest thing since sliced meat, it pains me to say Troy Smith is being underestimated after one bad game. I was at the game in 2005 at the Horeshoe and was very thankful Troy did not start or play even more in that game or else my Longhorns might have never made it to the promised land that year. Also, I think David Ball's productivity and character make him a class act that will definitely succeed in the NFL, Green Bay would be a great fit for him since he's used to playing in the cold Northeast of New Hampshire.
You can't leave out Ben Patrick, TE from 1-AA University of Delaware.
Brad Lau; great fullback with soft hands out of Boise State
Matt Guiterrez out of Idaho
WR Jemalle Cornelius out of national champs Florida. He would have been a true stud on any other team.
Zak Deossie LB out of Brown. He'll be a beast on special teams right away and by next season he'll be a starter on a team like the Jets. It pains me that the Jets will take him instead of the Pats, but what can you do?
Curtis Brown out of BYU. he not only destroyed every rushing record at the historic university, but also was a major contributor every year that he played.
How about Sam Olajabutu out of Arkansas. He's only 5-9 but he plays much bigger. He was the consistent leader of the Hogs defense both his junior and senior year. He has some of the best insticts in the draft and you can never underestimate instincts, they did it with Zach Thomas and look what he's done. Look for 'Butu to make a big impact in a couple of years.
Ronnie McGill, RB, North Carolina
C'mon...The biggest and best sleeper is LB Buster Davis out of Florida State! He is THE best LB from the Seminoles coming out this season (of course that includes 1st round prospect Lawrence Timmons). He is low on many people's radar because of his size, but as many "undersized" LBs have proven (Mike Singletary, Sam Mills and Dat Nguyen come to mind), you can play LB in the NFL if you have the motor and heart. Buster Davis will prove he does and he'll be a mid- to late-round steal. He has surefire first-round talent.
John Beck (QB, BYU) will make the biggest impact of any of the quarterbacks after Russell and Quinn. He has the ability and maturity.
Daymeion Hughes, CB from Cal, would've been a late 1st/early 2nd rounder if he hadn't injured his hamstring during Senior Bowl practice. He stood out in the practices prior to his injury and will be a great find for a team in the middle rounds. His stock has fallen because of the slower 40 times he ran, still not at 100% after the injury. He's a solid cover corner with great instincts. I hope the 49ers pick him up!
Buster Davis out of Florida State. The guy is a playmaking machine, and if not for his height, he is a first round pick.
Joe Newton, TE, Oregon State
lorenzo booker is a stud. don't penalize him for jeff bowden
I would go with John Beck QB BYU. A starter in the league for sure and a winner.
Garret Wolfe; this guy is so explosive, he is a quicker and faster version of Maurice Jones-Drew
Jacoby Jones, WR, Lane will be a big sleeper.
Mike Mason out of Tennessee State University is the definition of a sleeper. no better kick returner out there gryphons 4 life
i like agree w/ most of the sleeper picks, especially mebane, weddle, hill and bush. it would be fantastic if my team, eagles, got bush in the later rounds, considering he dropped froma top 15 pick to ive heard 6th round. also, free safety john wendling from wyoming. the guy is a physical freak, but being a white safety from wyoming, not many people have noticed. he has the chance to be a real gamebreaker soemday
re: david ball
you say great character from new hampshire fits in GREEN BAY? why leave new england? he could picked by...NEW ENGLAND. i could see him working his way up the depth charts- outside of Stallworth and Welker not a dynamic athlete among them.
My personal sleeper? If Michael Bush is really only a 5th rounder, bam. However, I feel like Jason Hill could emerge as THE top receiver in this class. He played pretty well against Auburn back early in the season when their defense was regarded as shut-down.
what about Brandon Myles...WR from WVU?
David Ball is the second coming of Steve Largent.
Paul Williams, WR, Fresno State. Mark my words, he'll make an impact -- regardless of where he goes.
Garrett Wolfe, Northern Illinois University. He led the nation in rushing during his college career. Everyone keeps saying he's too small, too this, too that. Just look at the yards he racked up against Ohio State. The boy can run.
Dan Bazuin, DE Central Michigan
Daymeion Hughes from Cal, Kevin Kolb from Houston, and Dallas Sartz from USC. Either one of them or H.B. Blades. badass name.
RUTGERS offensive lineman Cam Stephenson is a great sleeper pick...he completly shut down projected top 10 pick DE Amobi Okoye in the win over Louisville.
Also, RUTGERS FB Brian Leonard...may not be such a sleeper but whoever takes him is gonna get a great player.
It's amazing to me all the hype Brady Quinn is getting. Troy Smith's stock went down for some reason for MAKING it to the championship game but losing. Everyone is talking about Jackson being the number one player taken in the draft, but I have not heard him give one interview. Everday I turn on the television it's Brady Quinn selling himself. I want to know what big game did Brady Quinn win at Notre Dame? That whole program is overrated if you ask me. How in the world were they in the top ten at one point. OVERRATED!!!!!
Jared Zabransky without a doubt. The Guy is not only quick, but intelligent too with speed, agility, a cannon for an arm and most importantly, the competative zeal and drive that will make him a solid NFL player. The man is so competative, he had an argument with Chris Peterson during the Fiesta Bowl, he wanted to have to ball in his hands to beat the Sooners, not Vinny Peretta with the 18 Crack Halfback Pass
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