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Everyone's Favorite Sleepers


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Now that most of the draft research is in the books I wanted to start a thread on who their favorite sleepers would be for this draft.  My sleepers:

1.  WR Tanner Conner, Idaho St--He is 6'3, 230lbs, blitzed a 4.37 50, 10'7" broad jump and had a 39.5" vertical.  Average length but that may not be a hinderance.  He is an older prospect but those physical tools should get him drafted.  He had decent college production also and had a good Shrine Bowl.

https://nflmocks.com/2022/03/30/2022-nfl-draft-idaho-state-wr-tanner-conner-sleeper/#:~:text=Conner is a big receiver,735 yards and four touchdowns.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/player/_/id/4047422/tanner-conner

 

2.  LB Kyron Johnson, Kansas--He is 6'0, 235 and reportedly ran a legit 4.4 forty.  Described as having being known for having a high motor and giving everything he has on every play.  He has also played a number of LB positions.  Seems like he would be a terror on special teams and would fight for a spot in our LB rotation immediately.

https://throughthephog.com/2022/04/22/kansas-football-kyron-johnson-late-round-steal-nfl-draft/

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/kyron-johnson-3.html

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/kyron-johnson/32004a4f-4839-9463-5a91-e9248bbfbea0

 

Who are some sleepers or prospects who you think will significantly out-perform their draft position?  Thoughts?

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13 minutes ago, Superduperman said:

By sleepers, you mean way out of left field, round 6, 7 or UDFA guys? Or do you mean 3rd-4th round guys

Either one works.  Really its about out-performing their draft position.  A more well-known player who I think will be pretty good:  Channing Tindall. I see him as an OLB.  He could be plugged into our rotation right away.

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3 minutes ago, Just Want A Title said:

Either one works.  Really its about out-performing their draft position.  A more well-known player who I think will be pretty good:  Channing Tindall. I see him as an OLB.  He could be plugged into our rotation right away.

I like Tindall as well.  In fact I think this LB class is really good.  The only issue I see is most of the LBs are projected to OLB, How many guys do you think can be true difference makers on the inside or at MLB?

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1 minute ago, Millenhater said:

I like Tindall as well.  In fact I think this LB class is really good.  The only issue I see is most of the LBs are projected to OLB, How many guys do you think can be true difference makers on the inside or at MLB?

Our only legit LBs are Chris Board and Derrick Barnes.  Barnes only played ILB for a year in college so I think he will settle in at MLB this year.  For me, Round 3 is the the perfect alignment of value and players for the Lions.  Brandon Smith, Channing Tindall, Troy Anderson, Chad Muma should all be there at 66.  Personal favorite:  Brandon Smith because of his upside.

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13 minutes ago, Just Want A Title said:

Our only legit LBs are Chris Board and Derrick Barnes.  Barnes only played ILB for a year in college so I think he will settle in at MLB this year.  For me, Round 3 is the the perfect alignment of value and players for the Lions.  Brandon Smith, Channing Tindall, Troy Anderson, Chad Muma should all be there at 66.  Personal favorite:  Brandon Smith because of his upside.

I don't think either of those guys will be there at 66. When a guy is as athletic as Smith is, it does make you wonder why they weren't as productive. Is it coaching? Scheme? Processing? Lack of preparation?

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16 minutes ago, Karnage84 said:

I don't think either of those guys will be there at 66. When a guy is as athletic as Smith is, it does make you wonder why they weren't as productive. Is it coaching? Scheme? Processing? Lack of preparation?

Either of those guys?  There are four listed above?  Who are you referring to?  Off-the-ball LBs seem to be dropping a bit this year and most of the ratings I have seen have most or all of these guys in Round 3.  One or two of them might be taken in late Round 2 but the guys that are more developmental like Brandon Smith or Troy Anderson should definitely be there in Round 3.

With respect to college production, Odafe Oweh didn't have great stats but had a pretty good rookie year.  Micah Parsons had good but not great status at Penn St.  If you want a different comparison, Terry McLaurin wasn't overwhelming in college but has been a really good WR from day 1.  Sometimes prospects just need to be in the right situation.

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A couple of late risers in the homestretch here are Devin Harper, LB OK State, and Curtis Brooks, DT Cincinnati. Both should be there at our pick in the 5th due to age and late development.

At RB, I really like Dameon Pierce, not a very deep cut but you might remember our staff had him at the Senior Bowl and hollered when he busted some *** in pass protection. In his highlights, he seems to run angry and reminds me of Chris Carson. A deeper sleeper at RB is Jaylen Warren of OK State, also an older player who bounced around JUCO. He could be a UDFA.

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1 hour ago, Karnage84 said:

I don't think either of those guys will be there at 66. When a guy is as athletic as Smith is, it does make you wonder why they weren't as productive. Is it coaching? Scheme? Processing? Lack of preparation?

I agree and I like Smith but I have those same questions.  I still think he's worth the gamble but I think you might have to put him in a spot where he can just see it and go.  I think his traits make him worth the risk at 66 but I think 97 would be more ideal.

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7 minutes ago, Millenhater said:

I agree and I like Smith but I have those same questions.  I still think he's worth the gamble but I think you might have to put him in a spot where he can just see it and go.  I think his traits make him worth the risk at 66 but I think 97 would be more ideal.

Projections on Brandon Smith vary a bit.  I have seen some that have in in mid-late Round 2 but most have him in Round 3 somewhere.  

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An interesting guy that I've found going through pro day results to input into my worksheet

 Lenoir-Rhyne WR Dareke Young

  • Age: 23 (1999 birth year)
  • 6'2, 224
  • 32 5/8 Arms; 10 1/8 hands
  • 40: 4.44
  • VJ: 37
  • BJ: 11' 3"
  • 3C: 6.88
  • SS: 4.19

He was at the East-West Shrine Bowl and apparently had a good practice week. He had one punt return for 19 yards in that game. He's a willing blocker, played ST. He's a grad student in engineering, so he's a smart guy. They seemed to use him in a Deebo-esque role with jet sweeps, bubble screens and then also would take shots down the field. 

They lost the 2020 season thanks to COVID. 

1176 yards, 16 TD's, 16.1 YPR

https://lrbears.com/sports/football/roster/dareke-young/5082

 

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I have a few mid to late round guys I think will outperform where they will be drafted. This draft is very deep, IMO.

Darrian Beavers, LB 

Kerby Joseph, S

Tyquan Thornton, WR

Joshua Williams, DB

Jack Sanborn, LB

JoJo Domann, LB

Smoke Monday, S

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1 hour ago, Karnage84 said:

An interesting guy that I've found going through pro day results to input into my worksheet

 Lenoir-Rhyne WR Dareke Young

  • Age: 23 (1999 birth year)
  • 6'2, 224
  • 32 5/8 Arms; 10 1/8 hands
  • 40: 4.44
  • VJ: 37
  • BJ: 11' 3"
  • 3C: 6.88
  • SS: 4.19

He was at the East-West Shrine Bowl and apparently had a good practice week. He had one punt return for 19 yards in that game. He's a willing blocker, played ST. He's a grad student in engineering, so he's a smart guy. They seemed to use him in a Deebo-esque role with jet sweeps, bubble screens and then also would take shots down the field. 

They lost the 2020 season thanks to COVID. 

1176 yards, 16 TD's, 16.1 YPR

https://lrbears.com/sports/football/roster/dareke-young/5082

 

https://www.si.com/nfl/broncos/draft/shrine-bowl-day-2-jack-sanborn-chigoziem-okonkwo

Dareke Young | WR | Lenoir-Rhyne

Background: Young comes from Division II football at Lenoir-Rhyne but is absolutely an NFL prospect at the receiver position. A native of North Carolina, Young earned Academic All-Conference honors in high school before opting to play for the Bears in his home state. 

As a freshman, Young played in eight games and caught two balls for 18 yards while playing special teams. But in his sophomore season, he was much more utilized for his athleticism playing in 14 games with seven receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns. 

Young also rushed the ball 38 times for 318 yards and four scores. During his junior season for the Bears, he was the team leader with 25 receptions for 515 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 20.6 yards per catch, in addition to rushing 49 times for 335 yards and four scores. 

The dynamic playmaker recorded 12 touchdowns in 74 touches before returning for his senior season where he only played in two games due to a knee injury but drew scouts to the Bears’ games because of his freakish athletic talent.

Traits: At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Young utilizes his powerful frame while also having light feet. He’s a willing blocker and consistently set the edge in team periods and did whatever coaches told him to do. 

I really like his physicality at the point of attack with DBs and he proved to be fearless in big crowds of defenders. Young has an extremely high motor, was always hustling, and was eager to get as many reps as possible — whether in positional drills or seven-on-sevens.

Young’s game reminds me a lot of Broncos wideout Tim Patrick in the fact that he’s a blue-collar player that is unselfish and quiet. From rushing the ball in college to being a consistent playmaker, Young remained loyal to his Division II school after receiving Division I offers as an upperclassman. This type of player screams Paton in terms of quality and talent as a developmental receiver.

 

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I'm doing some work on David Bell. He's a guy that has been available in the PFF simulator later for us and fits what we need - big(ish) body (6'1, 212 lbs) guy that can line up outside and/or play as a big slot. Good route runner and gains separation more so from his route running than his ankle breaking 4.68 speed. 

PFF and TDN have him rated as #65 prospect with an ADP (PFF) of 99th. He very well could be this year's Sage Surratt, big name WR that is a UDFA due to poor testing and does nothing at the next level. He also has blown up in some games (vs Iowa- 11 receptions, 240 yards, 1 TD when they were #2 in the country) and showed up in all but 2 regular season games (must have opted out of the bowl game) for the Boilermakers. 

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