2017 NFL Draft: Biggest Sleepers

Story posted April 6, 2017 in

Check out CommRadio's picks for biggest sleepers in this year's NFL Draft. Tune in April 27-29 for our draft weekend coverage live from the Philladelphia Art Museum. 

QB Alex Torgersen, Penn

If you’re a team looking for the potential Dak Prescott of this year’s draft class, look no further than the Quakers’ all-time leader in total offense. It is unlikely that anybody will replicate the success Prescott had last year for the Dallas Cowboys, but he’s a great sleeper pick for the teams that can’t land a more heralded QB prospect. He departs Penn as the all-time Ivy League record holder in completion percentage during conference games at 67.4 percent. The NFL is a drastic jump in competition level from the Ivy League, but he has the size, arm, athleticism, and intelligence to succeed.

RB Brian Hill, Wyoming

Hill will have a disadvantage in that this year’s group of running backs is loaded, but the NFL has seen several running backs taken in later rounds make valuable contributions. He has a solid frame at 6-1, 219 pounds, and he is an excellent receiver out of the backfield as well. Plus, his production over the last two seasons was impeccable, compiling almost 3,500 yards on the ground in that time span. 

WR Kenny Galladay, Northern Illinois

A lot of scouts liked Galladay coming into this season and still do. He has great size at 6-4, 213 pounds and is a well-rounded pass catcher. He put up consistent production in his two seasons with the Huskies (160 receptions, 2,285 yards, 18 TD). He’s also a polished route runner and a good all-around athlete. He is an especially dangerous weapon in the red zone.

OT Taylor Moton, Western Michigan

Outside of Alabama’s Cam Robinson and Ryan Ramczyk out of Wisconsin, the offensive tackles class seems much weaker than usual. However, there are a lot of scouts that believe Moton will end up being one of the best value picks of any offensive lineman in this class. He won’t be the first name off the board, but his combination of size, power, athleticism and versatility could make him a Day 2 lock and an immediate starter at the next level. 

C Kyle Fuller, Baylor

Fuller was one of the best performers among this year’s offensive linemen at the Senior Bowl, and he could be a great value pick in this draft. A 6-5, 315-pounder with long arms and mobility, Fuller is a smart player who could be a stud if for teams looking for a potential starter in the middle of the offensive line.

EDGE Tarell Basham, Ohio

Every team can use players who excel at getting after the quarterback, which is one of the things Basham does very well. He is physical and explosive off the edge as both a pass-rusher and a run defender. His versatility could allow him to be an every-down player in the NFL.

DL Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte

Ogunjobi was another pleasant surprise at this year’s Senior Bowl. He was a four-year starter for Charlotte, where he posted 49 career tackles for loss, leading the team every year. He continued to flash that disruptive ability against some of the nation’s best prospects in Mobile. In a pass-first league, nowadays it is difficult for run-stoppers to make a name for themselves, but his ability to wreak havoc in the middle will earn him a place in the league.

LB Elijah Lee, Kansas State

Lee was labeled by many as the biggest combine snub in this year’s class, but he is the kind of 4-3 linebacker teams are always looking for in the outside. A first-team All Big 12 selection, Lee transitioned from DE to LB prior to the 2015 season, so he is still learning the position. At his pro day, he posted some great numbers including a 4.71 40-yard dash, a 38” vertical and 10’2” broad jump. He is a work in progress still, but his talent and production are big time.

LB Jimmie Gilbert, Colorado

Gilbert is a prospect with a lot of potential, but scouts are worried about his lack of experience, as he was a full-time starter for only one season at Colorado. However, he finished with 10.5 sacks, 16 more QB pressures, and six forced fumbles. He has great size at 6-5, 230 pounds and also performed well at his pro day, recording a 37.5” vertical and 4.62 40-yard dash. If he lands in a system that can maximize his athleticism he’ll be a steal in this year’s draft. 

CB Jeremy Cutrer, Middle Tennessee State

In last year’s draft class, Middle Tennessee State’s Kevin Byard was snubbed from the NFL Combine, and then tore up his pro day, resulting in a Day 2 selection. Cutrer could follow a similar path this year. His combination of height, athleticism and length is what NFL teams are looking for, and his passion and competitiveness add to an intriguing skillset.

CB Najee Murray, Kent State

A good nickel corner is becoming increasingly more valuable in the NFL. Murray’s ability to cover slot receivers is among the best in this class. In fact, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the top cover corner in the slot this past season. He also does a nice job in run support, and while he may not have ideal size, he fits a specific role at the next level. 

S David Jones, Richmond

Jones is a raw prospect who has struggled with injuries, but if he stays healthy he could be a huge steal. At 6-3, 210 pounds, he has excellent size and physicality for the position. He also ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, with a 34” vertical and 10’9” broad jump, all of which would have been top 10 among NFL Combine safeties. With his size, speed, and versatility, he has all the tools NFL teams want in a modern-day safety.

 

Will Desautelle is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email willdesautelle@gmail.com

About the Contributors

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Will Desautelle

Junior / Broadcast Journalism and Political Science

Will Desautelle is a junior from Washington Crossing, PA. majoring in broadcast journalism and political science with a minor in Spanish. He is very involved in writing, broadcasting, and producing for numerous Penn State sports teams. For the last two years, he has worked for Penn State Athletics as a feature writer for the Penn State women’s and men’s volleyball teams. Last summer, Will interned at State College Magazine and was a reporter and play-by-play broadcaster for the State College Spikes. He has also worked as a feature writer for NBADraft.net and has studied abroad in Guatemala. He has written for Armchair All-Americans, covering Penn State football. Outside of CommRadio, he is a member of the Penn State Men’s Club Volleyball team and is a member of the THON Communications Committee. One day Will hopes to become a sports writer or reporter for a national sports network. You can contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter @wdesautelle.