By Michael Stewart/ @golferbad
Introduction: Since the very first NFL draft in 1936; which took place in Philadelphia on February 8th at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the NFL has had its share of college players going under the radar and referred to as sleepers. This year’s draft should be no different as many NFL experts and scouts viewed the following players as offensive sleepers this year.
- Tyree Jackson (Quarterback) Buffalo-6’7/245: Jackson is big and strong with lots of athleticism and has a cannon attached to his shoulder. Jackson is extremely raw and would need a few years to develop in the NFL.
- Kyle Shurmur (Quarterback) Vanderbilt-6’3/225: Shurmur is well schooled (Dad is Giants Head Coach Pat Shurmur) and has above average arm strength and speed to escape the pocket. Great decision making and rarely throws into double coverage. Could Shurmur be on the Giants draft board on day 3 and play for his dad?
- Jalin Moore (Running Back) Appalachian State-5’10/210: Moore is very explosive and packs a punch for his size. Very productive at Appalachian State and could seek onto an NFL roster and contribute.
- Devin Singletary (Running Back) Florida Atlantic-5’9/200: An undersized back with lots of explosiveness and very productive. Equally effective between the tackles or on the edge and also in the passing game.
- Keelan Doss (Wide Receiver) UC-Davis-6’2/210: Very gifted receiver with good size and hands to match. Doss would be more of a household name if he played at a top division one school.
- Andy Isabella (Wide Receiver) UMASS-5’10/190: Isabella has 1,698 receiving which leads the nation when this article was written. Isabella is more than a possession receiver with 4.3+ speed and the ability to go deep. He has played well against top competition (15 catches/219 yards against Georgia) and could be a steal in this draft.
- Mitchell Wilcox (Tight End) USF-6’3/250: Wilcox is a mismatch nightmare at the tight end position and always seems to find open areas. Excellent hands, especially in traffic.
- Nick Linder (Center) Indiana-6’3/306: Linder played two years at Miami and transferred to Indiana to add more talent to the offensive line. Linder is a solid run and pass blocker, but add a more pounds and strength at the NFL level.
- Sam Schmai (Guard) Boston College-6’6/315: Schami is a solid blocker in the trenches and in the open field. Uses his hands well and has excellent footwork to keep opposing rushers in front of him. Schmai has the body frame to add an extra 20 pounds without limiting his ability.
- Alaric Jackson (Left Tackle) Iowa-6’7/295: Jackson has excellent footwork for his size and blocks equally well in the trenches and in the open field. Jackson uses his long arms to keep on coming rushers from getting inside and maintains good balance.
Final Thoughts: Whether or not any of the above prospects hear their name called or are signed through UDFA process is still unclear. Also, unclear is if any of them will become diamonds in the rough and have a successful NFL career. I believe there are sleepers on the offensive side of the ball in this draft and one of them could be listed above. GM Dave Gettleman has a knack of discovering such players as Andrew Norwell is the first to come to mind who was an undrafted guard out of Ohio State that became an All Pro seemingly overnight.