Leading up to the annual draft, football prospects everywhere are dealing with a unique pre-draft process that we’ve never seen before. Athletes are taking to social media to promote their skill sets and teams around the league will rely on these Instagram workouts to see who is staying in shape and who’s not. This makes life a bit tougher for lesser-known draft hopefuls, so today we’re highlighting five possible sleeper picks that could be undervalued in this year’s draft, but have the potential to make an immediate impact for their future teams on the field.
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
In just about any other draft, Mims wouldn’t be considered a sleeper because of his experience (three-year starter at Baylor), size (6’3”, 207 lbs), and athleticism (4.38 40-yard dash, 6.66 3-cone drill). However, this year’s wide receiver class is loaded with talent such as CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, and many others, meaning Mims could easily fall to the early second round and become a steal for one lucky team. Overall, Mims boasts insane straight-line speed and demonstrates the ability to go up and get the ball when needed. He’s in the perfect scenario to be first-round talent who gets overlooked during the draft process and break out immediately once he enters the league.
Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
Playing for an undervalued program at Wyoming, Logan Wilson will probably fly under the radar for most teams picking in the first couple rounds. But what the average eye didn’t see during his four years in college is that Wilson is an elite-level tackler with unteachable intangibles that could be a huge help for any team looking for consistent, solid production from down to down. The three-year captain might not have the level of output in the pros because of his lack of athleticism to cover pro-caliber receivers and tight ends, but, if he’s still available in the later rounds, he shouldn’t be overlooked.
K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Another late-round wide receiver steal to look at is K.J. Hill out of Ohio State. He predominantly played slot receiver in his last two years in college but made his presence known in almost every single game. Even after having three different starting quarterbacks in his last three years, Hill ended up setting the school record in catches (21), breaking David Boston’s 21-year-old mark. Hill won’t overpower at the pro level, however, he does posses all the traits to continue his slot dominance with a professional team. As stated before, this is an extremely deep wideout class, so if a team can scoop up Hill in the fourth or fifth round, they could be landing themselves a longtime slot starter.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Hurts isn’t your traditional sleeper pick, since everyone and anyone who’s watched college football knows his name. After playing in the National Championship at Alabama, Hurts transferred to Oklahoma and set the college world ablaze by compiling 3,851 passing yards and 1,298 rushing yards in his lone year as the starter there. Questions continue to pop up about his passing skill set and questionable decision-making, especially at the next level where he’ll face more athletic defenders. Still, Hurts has the potential to be a dangerous, dual-threat option with a low-risk, high-reward pick after the top-tier quarterbacks are off the board.
Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
As a four-year starter for Oregon, Dye will undoubtedly bring his experience and his knowledge of the game to the next level. He was originally a safety recruit out of high school and uses his speed and excellent athleticism to predict and plug up holes in the run game. Scouts have noted his lack of size at the linebacker position and injury history as potential concerns, but if Dye plays with as much ferocity as he did in his four years at Oregon, he’ll definitely be a nice hybrid plugin to any scheme at the professional level.
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