By Michael Stewart/@golferbad
Introduction: Every NFL draft we come across a handful of college prospects who are either drafted late on Day 3 of the draft or not drafted at all and sign with an NFL team as a UDFA (undrafted free agent). In the past, some of these players have gone on and contributed more than the NFL team that drafted them would have imagined.
This year’s group of sleepers are no different and it appears we could see our fair share of talented prospects being late Day 3 selections and/or becoming UDFA. In this article, I’ll focus on the offensive side of the ball and then the next article will have defensive sleepers for 2020. Here are my top 10 offensive sleepers for the 2020 NFL draft.
- OG Netane Muti (Fresno State) 6’4/307: Muti is a strong and technically sound offensive linemen who is flying under the radar all season. Muti style of play reminds scout of Quenton Nelson in regards to his physical play and his agility in space. Muti would be a solid Day 3 pick for any team looking to add depth and talent to their offensive line.
- OT Calvin Throckmorton (Oregon) 6’5/309: Throckmorton is durable, versatile, and consistent during his play in Oregon. Throckmorton has amassed 3,650 snaps in his career and took at least one at every single position along the offensive line. Throckmorton is slated to play right tackle in the NFL as he allowed only nine pressures as a senior.
- RB Zach Moss (Utah): 5’10/210: Moss has a high percentage of gaining yards after first contact as his 204 broken tackles over that span are the second most in college football. Moss not only can run, but he is an adequate receiver and blocker as well. Solid Day 3 pick for any team in need of a running back.
- RB-James Robinson (Illinois State) 5’10/220: James had a solid season last season with 1,917 yards and 25 total touchdowns. Robinson has good balance, vision and runs hard with the ball. Robinson doesn’t have break- away speed, but he is a productive runner between the tackles
- OT-Ben Bartch (Saint John’s-MN) 6’6/310: Bartch has come out of nowhere and if he can put on a good performance either at the combine (if invited) or his pro day, then his stock could rise even higher. For now, Bartch is projected to somewhere on Day 3. Bartch is a former tight end and his athleticism is often displayed; especially in the open field.
- OT-Alex Taylor (South Carolina State) 6’9/305: Taylor is extremely raw at the offensive tackle position, but he did improve with each game and if he can open some scouts eyes at the combine/pro day, then he could slip into Day 2 in the draft. Taylor is a former Basketball player and that athleticism will help carry him onto the gridiron.
- TE-Charlie Taumoepeau (Portland State) 6’3/245: Taumoepeau has been a big-play machine for the Vikings, averaging 16.6 yards per catch during his career. Taumoepeau can be effective on short routes, seam routes and also on deep routes; which puts extreme pressure on opposing secondaries. Taumoepeau also played defensive end due to injuries and lack of depth, which has helped him as a blocker to give him more of a well-rounded game.
- WR-Aaron Parker (Rhode Island) 6’3/200: Parker dominated his opponents and shattered every record during his four-year career. Despite that, Parker has flown severely under the radar and could be a steal on Day 3. Parker has a great catch radius and can create separation after the catch.
- WR/RB-Antonio Gibson (Memphis) 6’2/195: When you watch Gibson on tape, you see a player is constantly making defenders miss in the open field. Gibson has enough break-away speed for the next level and will play WR in the NFL. His value at the next level is going to be versatility and a creative offensive-minded team would have a field day with Gibson.
- QB-J’mar Smith (Louisiana Tech) 6’1/220: Smith is a Dual Threat at the quarterback position with a strong arm and fantastic running ability. Smith threw for 3,160 years and rushed for 159 yards. Smith would need to develop without any urgency for 2020 and allow him slowly mature along with way.
Final Thoughts: Many GM’s will tell you that championship teams are built on Day 3 and not always on Days 1 and/or 2. The Giant GM Dave Gettleman will have at least 6 picks on Day 3 and that total could be more if he can swing a couple of trades before the draft.