NFL Draft Sleeper Prospects

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Photo courtesy of James Madison

With the Draft a day away, here are some sleepers in the upcoming draft that could be value picks that sneak in the later portion of day two or picked anywhere on day three. Yes, there are some sleeper prospects like Tytus Howard, Andy Isabella, Jace Oliver, Elgton Jenkins, Oshane Ximines, Devin Singletary, and etc who should be listed here, but they have been discovered throughout the off-season by draft analysts and have opened eyes, which is why I have left them off this post. Finding nice gems on day three with players that can contribute right away or over a few years turn into one of your future starters is key nowadays.

I just wanted to make a list of some names to look for during day three of the draft.

Also, just remember that the term “sleeper” is someone whose perceived value is lower than what it should be, meaning he could become a steal in the NFL draft.

detroit news
Photo courtesy of Detroit News

David Long – CB – Michigan

Collegiate Stats: 12 pass deflections, 3 ints, 37 total tackles

 A press corner that loves to suffocate the receiver throughout his route. Long has elite short-area quickness and solid press-man technique. Will be interesting to see where he lands on day two.

Jimmy Moreland – CB – James Madison

Collegiate Stats: 208 total tackles, 18 ints, 63 pass deflections

Moreland is a ball hawk and has a knack for being around the football. A small corner that plays bigger than listed. Will be a solid nickel in the NFL and will be picked up potentially early day three.

 Malik Gant – S – Marshall

Collegiate Stats: 190 total tackles, 2 ints, 13 pass deflections

 He is a tenacious point-of-attack player, best when working near the line of scrimmage defending the run. Gant is a violent tackler. No one talks about his coverage game, but it is solid. According to Pro Football Focus, Gant allowed only 0.5 yards per coverage snap.

 Cortez Broughton – DL – Cincinnati

Collegiate Stats: 156 total tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 11 sacks

Played out of position for the most part in college, but displayed a nice bend around the edge for his size. His first step is as dynamic as any defensive tackle in this class not named Ed Oliver. His hips are extremely fluid, which allows him to get to the ball even when he has to change directions. 

university of Oregon Athletics
Photo courtesy of University of Oregon Athletics

Justin Hollins – EDGE – Oregon

Collegiate Stats: 184 total tackles, 36 tackles for loss, 14 sacks

Hollins was considered by Pro Football Focus as the best edge-defender in the Pac-12 last year. Super athletic and has freakish wingspan ( 79⅝-inch). A big dude that can get to the quarterback. Bends the corner well and shows relentless hustle. If he does not get to the quarterback, he is adept at knocking down passes.

Ben Banogu – EDGE – TCU

Collegiate Stats: 156 total tackles, 45 tackles for loss, 20 sacks

If taught properly, Banogu can be a solid pass rush specialist. Needs to develop some more moves in his arsenal. He is an explosive and fluid pass rusher. Has tons of potential to become a stud. The Ravens could look into Banogu in the later rounds.

 Ulysees Gilbert III – LB – Akron

Collegiate Stats: 357 total tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 3 ints

Gilbert is a deadly defender. He is one of the fastest players at his position coming out of this draft and a productive one. With his athleticism, he could project as a player in sub packages with his speed and athleticism in space. Great pick to bolster the linebacker corps.

Ryan Pope – OT – San Diego State

A versatile tackle that can play both tackle spots. Pope’s measurables (6’7″ and 315 pounds with 35¼-inch arms) reach the ideal tackle fit. Pope is a massive blocker that could become a solid player over time in the NFL. He brings a nasty edge to the offensive line.

 Chuma Edoga – OT – USC

 Chuma is a super talented pass blocker thanks to feather-light feet and long arms he deploys accurately. His arms are nearly 35 inches long longer than potential day one and day two prospects. His quick feet help him by allowing him to mirror back to the inside against a counter. Power defensive ends or pass rushers will put him to the test, but speed rushers might have a tough day.

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Photo courtesy of USA Today

Ryan Bates – OL – Penn State

 Bates might not be the strongest offensive linemen on the board, but he is throwing his name in the later rounds due to his versatile play. Bates can play both tackle spots and at left guard. Being a versatile trench fighter in today’s NFL will get your name called upon when a swing tackle is needed or being dressed on the sidelines instead of wearing a dry fit t-shirt cheering the team on. Lastly, his 5.09-second 40-yard dash was the best in his group. For offensive linemen, showcasing that level of agility and short-area quickness is the most important aspect of the combine because they will have to keep up with faster, lighter players than them in the NFL.

 Phil Haynes – OG – Wake Forest

Very good in picking up stunts and stopping them. Combo-blocker in shorter areas. Shockingly, Haynes is very explosive for his size. Not a big people-mover, but will show off his strength to hold his block.

 Terronne Prescod – OG – North Carolina Stats:

 A gigantic road-grader at the guard position. Reminds me of Brandon Brooks and Mike Iupati. Wolfpack’s zone-heavy blocking scheme worked well for Prescod. He has vice grips for hands, plus he is an anchor against bull rushes or any type of power move.

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Credit: (Harry Scull Jr./News file photo)

Tyree Jackson – QB – Buffalo

Collegiate Stats: 55.8 completion percentage, 6999 passing yards, 49 passing touchdowns, 24 ints

His size reminds me of Bills quarterback Josh Allen. A big quarterback that is an intriguing prospect cause of his size (6-7, 245 pounds). Another big, athletic but raw passer with a cannon for an arm, Jackson has flashed incredible potential in limited work so far. If the right team lands and develops him, he could be a franchise quarterback one day.

 Brett Rypien – QB – Boise State

Collegiate Stats: 64 completion percentage, 13,578 passing yards, 90 passing touchdowns, 29 ints

Might not be a future starter, but could be developed into a solid backup. His arm strength is a question, but that will not stop him from being aggressive downfield. Has good accuracy, full-field reading skills, pocket maneuverability, and anticipation throwing capabilities, which could interest a team like the Patriots.

Justice Hill – RB – Oklahoma State

Collegiate Stats: 3539 rushing yards, 30 rushing touchdowns, 49 receptions, 304 receiving yards

Just an emergency check-down option in the passing game, but a nice runner for his size. Hill is an explosive player with home run speed. When he does a stop and go, he can instantly pick up his speed 0 to 60 just like that. He also possesses quietly impressive strength and balance for a smaller back. A good zone runner, but I think he can fit in any scheme. Falcons could look into a guy like Hill for depth purposes.

 James Williams – RB – Washington State

Collegiate Stats: 1540 rushing yards, 19 rushing touchdowns, 202 receptions, 1437 receiving yards

A third-down back that will interest many teams due to the way the NFL has evolved. The number one receiving back in this year’s draft. Will be a player to watch during the early portions of day three.

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Photo courtesy of 24/7 Sports

Tony Pollard – OW (RB/WR/KR) – Memphis

Collegiate Stats: 941 rushing yards, 104 receptions, 1292 receiving yards, 2616 kick return yards, 7 kickoff return touchdowns

 Pollard is an offensive weapon that can run the ball, catch the ball, or return the ball. He can be that wildcat option for an offense (if we ever see it again). Pollard will be a nice decoy or “formation-setter” option for team’s when lining the running back out wide. He is a nice piece for creative offensives. This kid is fun to watch.

 Emanuel Hall – WR – Missouri

Collegiate Stats: 97 receptions, 2016 receiving yards, 16 touchdowns

 Well-rounded prospects with impressive athletic ability don’t tend to fall. Well, Hall will and he will be a steal for a team looking for a future star. He has tons of tools that you look for in a top two receiver on the depth chart. A nice size and speed combination. I think he can help a team right away when a nine route is called upon. Still needs grooming and the Buccaneers or Chiefs might be his best bet to join due to the spread and vertical offensive play calling.

 Keelan Doss – WR – UC Davis

Collegiate Stats: 321 receptions, 4069 receiving yards, 28 touchdowns

A technical route runner with nice sizing. Being able to play on the outside or slot will increase his value. Will give defenses trouble after the catch. Reminds me of Davante Adams when he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. Could become the next big small school receiver to make a splash. 

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Photo courtesy of 24/7 Sports

 Jalen Hurd – WR – Raylor

Collegiate Stats (Baylor): 69 receptions, 946 receiving yards, 4 touchdowns

Collegiate Stats (Tennessee): 2635 rushing yards, 20 rushing touchdowns, 67 receptions, 492 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns

Still shocked that Hurd transferred from Tennessee when he did and changing positions after establishing himself at Tennessee as a solid running back. He did well for his one year at Baylor catching footballs. However, Hurd’s frame and size are perfect for the slot at the next level. Team player that will do anything to help the team out. Hurd might be a slot receiving stud in the NFL if developed right.

Donald Parham – TE – Stetson

Collegiate Stats: 180 receptions, 2591 receiving yards, 20 receiving touchdowns

 A big project here as he is not a strong blocker, but possibly worth developing with a significant ceiling. His 2018 campaign was very impressive by displaying the ability to be a vital weapon for his quarterback. His length and ball skills instantly make him a red-zone or downfield option. He is 6’8″ and 240 pounds.

 Kahale Warring – TE – San Diego State

Collegiate Stats: 51 receptions, 637 receiving yards, 8 receiving touchdowns

  He possesses a long frame and countless reps being able to win in the air with excellent body control and lower body explosion. Could become the second coming of Tyler Eifert, but hopefully a healthy career in his future. Will be a tight end lining up in the slot, taking advantage of speed/size mismatches against slower linebackers and undersized defensive backs. Needs to work on blocking.

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Photo courtesy of NFL.com

Foster Moreau – TE – LSU

Collegiate Stats: 52 receptions, 629 receiving yards, 6 receiving touchdowns

Foster is a talented kid that did not produce well at LSU due to the offensive scheme. LSU is a run-heavy team. He measured in at 6’4⅛” and 253 pounds at the NFL combine and subsequently excelled in most of the drills. Moreau can become a mismatch nightmare for defensives. At least a team knows he is an excellent blocker that could become a multidimensional pony instead of a one trick pony. In the few chances he got to be a receiving threat, he flashed the open-field mobility and catch radius to be a good tight end in the pros. The Texans or Patriots feel like a solid fit for this fellow Tiger.

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