Here are some of the top "sleepers" in this year's draft. I define a "sleeper" as a player that is very underrated, and go unnoticed by many fans and draft gurus.
1. Nello Faulk, OT/Fla Atlantic (6-7 270)-Has the feet, frame, and smarts to be a top LT. Didn’t miss a game in 4 years at FAU, held Gaines Adams to 3 tackles and 0 sacks against Clemson this year. If he can add weight/strength and keep his athleticism, he will play in the NFL.
2. Steve Baylark, RB/UMass (5-11 220) Extremely productive. He's mainly a North-South, between the tackles runner but has enough speed to break loose. Has prototypical size and strength. Very powerful, tough to bring down. His main weakness is his reportedly average timed speed, but that could change after his pro day.
3. Mickey Pimentel, OLB/Cal (6-2 230)-A playmaker, shows excellent range and instincts getting from sideline to sideline. He has the size and speed to be a top special teamer. Why he didn’t start full time at Cal is a mystery to me.
4. T.J. Downing, OG/Ohio St (6-3 310)-Versatile technician, can play pretty much anywhere on the line and play well. Gets good hand placement, rarely loses one on one battles. Very experienced, and it shows. Not the biggest, strongest, or fastest guy around, but gets the job done consistently.
5. Biren Ealy, WR/Houston (6-2 205)-He was a top recruit coming out of high school, but never lived up to his potential at Arizona, and eventually transferred to Houston. Didn’t disappoint, but didn’t put up great numbers (had 6 TD’s this past season). Has deceptive speed for a guy his size, catches the ball away from his body. The tools are definitely all there.
6. Ab Kuuan, RB/Grambling St (5-10 230)-Didn’t put up the numbers many expected during his senior season. Has excellent size/strength, runs low to the ground and with a lot of power. Lacks top-notch speed, but has the look of a possible goal line specialist. Excellent lower body strength and breaks through arm tackles.
Here’s a highlight video of his career at Grambling:
7. Frank Wiwo, CB/Miami (OH) (6-3 180) Looked like he had a very bright future early in his career, but playing time decreased as a junior. Returned to the starting lineup as a senior, and didn't disappoint. Excellent size for a CB, but can also play safety. Needs to put on some weight, strength, but has a lot of potential.
For more of my "sleeper picks", go to the archived articles and check out my All-Sleeper Team.