2018 Draft Prospects: Sleeper Edition
Draft Season is around the corner. For geeks like me that nerd out on college football, it’s almost like Christmas. In this yearly event, there will be names that you will hear over and over again. The great Wide Receiver from that powerhouse school, the stud Running Back that put up insane numbers, that defensive stud you saw in the Championship game. Yes, there will be names that you will quickly learn as this process gets underway………This article ain’t about them. Today I’ll be looking at some lesser known players from lesser known schools. Not on everyone’s radar, but talented enough to open some eyes. Here we go:
Kurt Benkert QB Virginia 6’4 215
Kurt isn’t mentioned in the top QB rankings, but he has a solid foundation for any coach to start with. He has an excellent arm, showing velocity on his throws and the ability to make every throw at the NFL level. Also has functional mobility inside the pocket to escape danger. My guess is he gets drafted in the mid to late rounds and works his way into a starting lineup with a few seasons of grooming.
Martez Carter RB 5’7 193 Grambling State
I know, I know……..5’7??? From where???? The kid may be small, but he can play. What Carter lacks in size he more than makes up for with speed and quickness. Carter has the speed to go the distance, along with elite quickness and change of direction ability. My guess is Carter goes late in the draft and finds a way to make his mark as a kick returner early on, eventually carving out a niche as a 3rd down RB.
Brandon Parker OT 6’7 314 North Carolina A & T
Dancing Bear is a term coaches sometimes use when referring to a big guy that is light on his feet. I can imagine someone looked at Parker and said to himself…..that’s a dancing bear right there! Brandon Parker is very athletic for a man his size. Handles speed rushers and powerful defensive linemen very well. The knock on Parker is that he is raw. He needs coaching on the proper technique of the position [hand placement, footwork etc.] My guess, the kid gets drafted middle rounds and is a starter within 2 years.
Siran Neal S 6’0 199 Jacksonville St
The thing that sets apart Siran Neal from others is his aggressiveness. Most defensive backs are not overly physical in their style of play, not this guy. He puts hands on Wideouts at the line of scrimmage and tackles with bad intentions. Played CB and S in college showing the desired size and speed to handle both positions. He needs time to focus on one position. He goes in the middle rounds and finds his way on to the field very soon.
J’mon Moore WR Missouri 6’3 205
Excellent size/speed combo. Very fluid movements. Good hands. Has run after the catch ability. Very productive in college. The only knock on this kid is route running. He didn’t run a variety of routes in school, so he’ll have to learn the nuances of the position. My guess…mid rounder Rookie impact player.
Christian Sam LB Arizona State 6’2 237
Sam is one of those players that look the part. He is a muscular thickly built twitchy athlete with good speed and solid tackle ability. When he diagnoses a play he blows it up. Also is athletic enough to cover in space. Play recognition is what he’ll have to work on. He needs time in the film room. My guess is that this mid-round guy contributes early in his career.
That’s it for now. But as Draft season revs up, I’ll have a ton of more names. But for now, keep an eye out for these guys.