The NFL Draft is almost here and with that comes the draft’s top sleepers. According to vocabulary.com, a sleeper is something that succeeds when no one thought it would. A sleeper in this case, means a player/prospect that is not projected to get drafted with a high pick, and a team does end up drafting him at a high pick. So, in this article, I will be telling you who I believe is the biggest draft sleeper at each position. 22 players on the field at one time. 11 for the offense and 11 for the defense. There are many positions and whether offense or defense, there is a sleeper at each one and there is a story behind them.
Most players that play in the NFL get drafted. Some go undrafted, however. Justin tucker, for example, was an undrafted kicker out of Texas. He signed with the Ravens and now is the most accurate kicker in NFL history! Sleepers can also be players that are drafted in late rounds and turn out to be much better than the players picked before them. Take Tom Brady for example. Brady was a slow, non-athletic QB out of Michigan, who was taken in the sixth round by the Patriots. That sixth-round pick turned out to be the greatest quarterback in NFL history! That just shows you that a low pick can make a big impact.
We will start with the Quarterback position, and then will go through the offensive positions first. After the offense, I will do the defensive positions and then I will close it off. For some of the prospects that I will talk about here, I will give NFL pro comparisons. That is which player in the NFL reminds me the most of a prospect. Or vice versa, this draft prospect reminds me the most of what NFL player.
QB: James Morgan, Florida International
James Morgan is an unathletic and inaccurate quarterback. But his arm strength is off the charts. Morgan makes good reads, good decisions, and has a great Football IQ. Great leader is passionate played great at two schools, FIU and BYU. He is a very complete player that could be a great day three pickup. Morgan is like a less athletic version of Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen. Both Allen and Morgan have great arm strength and struggle with accuracy. They are also both around the same size. Morgan will not be a day one starter but will progress into one. There has been rumors that many teams have Morgan high on their draft boards. One team that supposedly was looking into Morgan was the Patriots. They just lost Tom Brady and have no starting quarterback. It would be interesting to see how Morgan will do in a system like Bill Bilacheck’s in New England.
RB: JJ Taylor, Arizona
Taylor is a small back. He’s just 5'5", 185lbs, but he is strong. People say he’s a linebacker’s worst nightmare, and they are not wrong. I was watching film on Taylor and it was so fun to watch, I could’ve watched it for hours! Super-fast, and very athletic. Can run the ball, catch the ball, and can even return kicks! A great asset for any team that drafts him. The reason that he is probably not that high on team’s draft boards is that he likes to bump into big hitters which is different at the college level than at the pro level. What I mean is when Taylor breaks tackles, he runs into the defender and brings him to the ground. There is one play I want to bring up for Taylor. I was watching Taylor’s film against Washington. Arizona lost that game, but Taylor had some big plays. My favorite one was one that he doesn’t get any credit for. Taylor is a blocking running back which is interesting for someone that doesn’t have great size. Let me describe the play for you: 5:42 left in the second quarter, Arizona was down 13-3. It was 3rd and two at Washington’s 40-yard line. The quarterback was Khalil Tate. It was a play-action pass, so he snapped the ball and went towards Taylor just to yank the ball away from him. After Tate settled to throw, Taylor went to block the edge. Taylor dove at the knees of the Washington defender that was coming after the quarterback to block him. The Washington player stumbled and then went back to rush the quarterback. This had bought Tate, the quarterback, a whole extra second to survey the field and find a receiver. By the time the defender got to him, Tate threw the ball and completed the pass to his receiver, Jamarye Joiner, who caught the ball and ran it in for a touchdown. If it wasn’t for Taylor getting his quarterback that extra second to throw the ball, then they would’ve never scored a touchdown. Taylor is a great runner and is great at breaking tackles, which is why he is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. I compare him to Jaguars great, Maurice Jones Drew, who had similar size and similar abilities. I’m not sure how well Taylor will fit in, in the NFL. Its difficult to predict how Taylor’s physical playing style and diminutive stature will hold up in the NFL, but don’t be surprised if he will have a productive career similar to Maurice-Jones-Drew. Taylor is definitely a name to look out for and keep in mind.
WR: Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State
My biggest sleeper in this year’s WR class is Collin Johnson out of Texas. You can find my scouting report for Johnson in my latest article (the article is attached right after I reveal my Wide Reciever Sleeper). So in addition to Johnson, I’m going with Isaiah Hodgins out of Oregon State. Hodgins has an amazing catch radius which goes with his amazing catching ability. Hodgins is 6'4", 209lbs. His great size and strength make him stand out on the field. Can get separation well and has a good RAC (Run After Catch). Hodgins is another fun player to watch on Film. I watched his game against Oklahoma State, and he impressed me a lot. I decided randomly what game I was going to observe for Hodgins, and I ended up picking a great one. Hodgins had 9 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns. That game may have been his best of the season. Hodgins has great balls skills and makes acrobatic catches look easy. Hodgins is an interesting prospect who will go early, day-3.https://www.tecmohole.com/ravens-mockdraft/
TE: Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
Most athletic Tight End in the draft, the best combine numbers out of any tight end. Those are some great points that make you wonder why he is projected as a late, day two-early day three pick. Okwuegbunam put up great numbers at Missouri which included an outstanding average of over 10 yards per reception for his career. He has also caught 23 touchdowns. Next Gen stats gave him the highest grade in this year’s draft out every single prospect. This grade was determined by production, athleticism, and size. Okwuegbunam had an outstanding grade of 99! A size grade of 89, production was 94, and athleticism was 99. Next Gen Stats made this list based off which prospect they believe is most likely to become a starter and make the pro bowl. Okwuegbunam is an amazing end zone target as in college, he scored a touchdown once every 4.2 catches. My pro comp for Okwuegbunam is Ravens Tight End Mark Andrews. Both are fast, have great hands, not great blockers but are both great endzone targets. Wherever Okwuegbunam goes, he should be an excellent addition.
OL: Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Wilson is Massive. He is 6'7", 340lbs. Wilson is very explosive. He has great power too. Wilson was a 5-star coming out of high school. Isaiah Wilson can be a great starter at right tackle if he develops. Wilson’s teammate, Andrew Thomas is another tackle that will be a first-round pick. Together, Wilson and Thomas blocked for quarterback Jake Fromm and running back Deandre Swift. Wilson can block pass rushers very well. He is very talented. I’m not sure where Wilson will go in the draft but in my 7-round mock draft, he went in the third round.
DT: Raequan Williams, Michigan State
I’m a big fan of Williams. Williams was a two-time first team All-Big Ten selection. Now let’s get into some numbers: Williams is 6'4", 303lbs. His combine included a 5.04 second 40-yard dash, and a vertical jump of 25.5 inches as well as jumping 101.0 in the Broad Jump. Williams started 42 consecutive games at Michigan State. In his 4-year career, Williams had 159 career tackles which included 29 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks. Williams also had three forced fumbles in his career. Williams is one of the most versatile Defensive Lineman in the Draft. Williams is a good tackler. Williams has a unique ability to get between blockers using hand technique. NFL.com has a series that they do called Back2Campus. This series is a series of articles that talks about draft prospects’ past life. It usually talks about tragedies that happen in the players life that affected them in a big way. They wrote an article on Williams. I had the chance to read it which is why I wanted to summarize it here. When Williams was in his early Michigan State days, his cousin Antonio Pollards passed away. 18 months later, his brother Corey passed away from a shooting. Williams’ family lived in Chicago. Chicago is a violent town and Williams wanted to drop out of college and stop playing football so that he can go to Chicago to protect his family. It was Williams’ mom, LaTasha, that convinced him not to come to Chicago and continue playing football at Michigan State. Three years later, Williams is going into the NFL. Williams is my 150th prospect on my NFL Draft Rankings. He would be a valuable asset on any team that picks him.
EDGE: Casey Toohill, Stanford
I had to dig Deep to find this one. Toohill might not even get drafted but is talented. I’m not going to expect him to get a starting role during his career, but I expect people to know who he is by the end of his career. Toohill can drop back in coverage and can rush the passer. Based on the film I watched for Toohil, he is also a great finisher when he tackles.
LB: Logan Wilson, Wyoming
I watched film on Wilson and here is what I saw: Logan Wilson is a great cover guy, probably one of the best in the draft at his position. Wilson is also a great leader, as well as a great tackler. As of week, 6 of last season, Wilson had 361 career tackles which at the time was 2nd among active FBS players. He finished his career with 418 tackles. Wilson is 6' 2", 250 lbs. That is right around the average size of a linebacker in the NFL. Wilson was the MIKE linebacker at Wyoming. The job of the MIKE is that they are typically responsible for communication and getting players aligned, recognizing all the plays and formations, typically they are responsible for the audible and adjustments. The MIKE is the leader of the defense. The MIKE linebacker is always the middle linebacker. My pro comp for Wilson is Fred Warner of the 49ers. Warner and Wilson are both athletic, great tacklers, good in coverage, as well as good leaders and they both have potential. Wilson and Warner are also Very Similar in size with Warner being the same height and just 9 pounds lighter than Wilson. I believe Wilson will do a great job in the NFL.
CB: Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech
Robertson is a very athletic Cornerback with good attributes. I will start will my pro comp right away for Robertson which is Ravens corner Tavon Young. Young a couple of years ago became the highest paid nickel corner in the NFL. Robertson is a great nickel guy as well. Young and Robertson are similar in size, speed, and athleticism. Robertson can intercept the ball well. Very productive. Mel Kiper Jr of ESPN says “An interception waiting to happen” when describing Robertson. Robertson can catch up with the receiver well too.
S: Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois
Chinn is another one of my favorite players in this draft. Chinn is my number two safety and I have him ahead of LSU’s Grant Delpit. Chinn comes from a small school but impressed me a lot. I was watching a lot of film on him and I was very impressed. Chinn is a great tackler. Especially in the open field. He can get sacks, force fumbles, and can jump up to intercept the ball. Chinn is very athletic and has all the ball skills you want in any position player. If there is any safety in this draft that can be moved to linebacker, its Chinn. My pro comp for Chinn is former Steelers safety, Troy Polamalu. Both are great tacklers and are super athletic. They bring size, ball skills, and great athleticism to the Safety position. I believe Chinn will do great in the league
The NFL Draft is a couple of days away! You can watch live coverage of all seven rounds on The Next Network which is on SportsCastr. Can’t wait to see how all of these guys will turn out!