Every single year there are a certain amount of players who get overlooked in the draft. Sometimes it’s due to the fact that whichever position that particular player is playing, is loaded with talent at his position. Sometimes players get overlooked because of the size of school in which they attended and sometimes it’s simply due to the fact that these scout’s overthink or nit-pick these players way too much. This year’s draft happens to be loaded with offensive line and wide receiver talent so it will be likely that more players get over looked on that particular side of the ball this season. This season I will be choosing a few more sleepers than I normally do. What I classify as a sleeper isn’t necessarily a late round pick. It could simply be someone who isn’t getting any hype even though his talent justifies more attention or draft stock. For example if a player is a projected a 4th rounder but I believe he should be a mid to high second rounder I still classify that as a sleeper. I usually wait until after the combine but i feel bold this year.
Anthony Gordon QB Washington State:
Anthony Gordon doesn’t get enough credit for his accolades because of the fact he played in an air raid offense. Gordon quietly led the nation with most passing yards and passing touchdowns during the regular season. No that is not an error and may come as a surprise to most people. Joe Burrow was the only player to surpass him and that is because of the extra games he played in due to the push for the national championship. Gordon had a grand total of 5,579 passing yards 48 touchdowns with 16 interceptions. Most people will say that 16 interceptions is too many and while I usually would agree with them when you consider he threw the ball just under 700 times it’s really not that many. Throwing the ball 700 times is about 150-200 more throws than the average quarterback does per year plus you factor in the fact Gordon finished with a 71% completion percentage and I’m very intrigued. At the senior bowl he looked just as impressive as Justin Herbert. The knock against him his lack of arm strength and while he is below average in that category I must say he has one of the best releases and deep balls in the country. Now Gordon also has experience in baseball and more particularly as a short stop. I bring this up because he is able to throw the ball at various and sometimes strange angles like we see with Patrick Mahomes. Consider this, Gardner Minshew just came from the same school the year before and he was thrown to the NFL wolves far before he was ready and still was able to obtain some mild success in Jacksonville with almost no wide receiver help. In my opinion given the circumstances that is impressive. Gordon and Minshew are comparable except that Gordon possesses much better touch and accuracy. All these things considered and I would definitely be willing to invest the development time this kid would need to build him up. Seems like a mid-round flyer is worth taking on this kid to me.
Damien Lewis G LSU:
It is my firm belief that any other year Lewis would be a high second round pick. However if you follow my page then you know how I’ve been gushing over the depth of the offensive line positions, and because of this Lewis is more than likely bound to be an individual whose stock will suffer. In all likelihood he will probably end up becoming a giant steal for someone. Lewis faced the best of the best college football had to offer and did so with shinning colors. That is until he faced likely top 5 pick Derick Brown from Auburn. Lewis only got beat less than a handful of times and scouts will probably nit-pick him for this but Brown is likely to be a monster at the next level. So if you have the foresight to take this into consideration one would still be enamored to have a power house of a run blocker at right guard. I’ll be curious to see how many bench reps he puts up at the combine as it is to be said that he is a beast in the weight room. He very rarely gets knocked off his spot at the line of scrimmage which is a testament to his strength. He is also known for finishing off blocks by bulldozing over defenders. The Chargers could use some tenacity like that up front. It is also of note that he was second team all SEC.
James Proche WR SMU:
James Proche is a small statured receiver standing at 5’11” 196 pounds. Despite this Proche is very good at attacking the ball at its high point and even possess a wide catch radius. He also excels at back shoulder grabs, which Rivers loves to throw, and has a wide array of one handed catches for his highlight reel. Now Proche doesn’t have the stereotypical burner speed that most slot receivers possess but he seems to overcome that with his deceptive head fakes and physicality. He is also a very good run blocker for a receiver his size. SMU has a good history with undersized wide outs such as Emmanuel Sanders and Cole Beasley. I originally wanted to compare him to Sanders but Sanders has much more speed than Proche so I would say a more accurate comparison for him would be that of a smaller JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Dane Jackson CB Pitt:
Standing at 6’0” 190 pounds Jackson was a guy I knew nothing about before the senior bowl if I’m being honest. Since I’m a bit obsessed I watch every senior bowl practice and my god I’ll be damned if he didn’t stand out almost every drill including one on one drills. I kept asking myself “who is this kid?”. During the last season playing college ball he tallied 43 tackle, 12 pass deflections, half a sack, and 1 interception. He excels in zone schemes which would be very beneficial for him in a system like the one the Chargers and Gus Bradley run. A lot will depend on his measurables at the combine in order to truly determine his draft stock as I think scouts aren’t really sure what to make of him just yet.