New York Giants: Top 10 Offensive Sleepers in the 2017 Draft
By Michael Stewart
OT-Sean Harlow-6’4/303 (Oregon State): Harlow played OT at Oregon State, but is more likely to transition to OG in the NFL. Harlow good technique as a run and pass defender, but does need to get more strength in his lower body. Harlow does possess a nasty streak on the field and if he goes to the right team, he could be a steal on day 3.
QB-Philip Nelson- 6’1/216 (East Carolina): Nelson had characters questions when he was at UConn, but Nelson shined at the PA collegiate Bowl. Nelson could go in the 7th round or possibly undrafted; but if a team selects him, they could be getting a high value QB for the future.
RB-Matt Dayes-5’9/205 (North Carolina State): Under the radar RB who is the complete package. Dayes can run, catch and block well and should be a day 2 selection.
WR-DeAngelo Yancey-6’2/220 (Purdue): Yancey has the body of an NFL WR, with size and respectable speed (4.54). Yancey has good hands and likes to catch the ball with his hands and not his body. Yancey’s deceptive quickness off the line creates separation from opposing CB’s.
QB-Alec Torgersen-6’2/218 (Pennsylvania): Displayed his talents during the East-West Shrine with better competition. Torgersen Doesn’t possess a strong-arm, but is fairly accurate and his good timing in his release. Possible 7th or UDFA candidate and could open up eyes in training camp.
OT-Julien Davenport-6’7/315 (Bucknell): Davenport is a solid run blocker utilizing his quickness to get to the point of attack before opposing DL can adjust. That same agility coupled with his 36½” arms and 87” wingspan makes him a very difficult match-up in pass protection. Even where technique is lacking, the size and quickness alone makes it difficult for rushers to get around him
RB-I’Tavius Mathers-5’10/203 (Middle Tennessee State): Mathers displays NFL-ready patience and vision, trusting his burst to get him through the tightest of openings. The flexibility in his ankles allows for quick cut-backs at the second level, leaving dumbfounded linebackers lost in over-pursuit.
OT-Nate Theaker-6’5/315 (Wayne State): Theaker played tackle for Wayne State, but will project better as a guard in the NFL, especially in a zone blocking scheme. His lateral agility is impressive, and Theaker is exceptional in his secondary blocks down field. He plays mean, looking to bury defenders rather than just move them out-of-the-way.
WR-Zay Jones-6’2/202(East Carolina): Jones is a legit 6’2″ and 202 pounds and makes some cuts in his route running that’ll leave you breathless. He’s also sticky-handed and has great focus and concentration when the ball is in the air. All those man-coverage comebacks Malcolm Mitchell caught in the Super Bowl? Jones catches those and shakes tacklers for gains. Zay Jones holds two records you need to know about—the single-season receptions record (158 catches) and the career receptions record (399).
OC-Jon Toth-(Kentucky): One of my favorite things about Toth is his toughness and experience as a four-year starter. He has the football IQ to handle blocking concepts and could easily slide into any blocking scheme without struggling to learn the assignments. With late-round picks, you’re looking for one or two positive traits you can build on, and for Toth, those are experience and football IQ.
Final Thoughts: The best part of the NFL draft for me is finding the so-called diamonds in the rough prospects that usually are drafted on days 2 and 3 and the discovering a potential star through the UDFA. Not much press is given to these players, but for the teams that select wisely; the rewards can be enormous. The most publicized sleeper is QB Tom Brady of the New England Patriots selected in round 6 out of Michigan. Will there be any in this draft? Maybe, but the top 10 I’ve assembled all have the tools to be considered a sleeper in the 2017 draft.