The draft is only one day away and before you know it the St. Louis Rams will be on the clock for the 1st overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Yesterday I listed my draft sleeper’s on offense, today I’ll focus on those players that should be available in rounds 3-7 that play defense. The picks in those later rounds is what separates the men from the boys, the winners from the losers, and those that are playing golf from those still playing football in late January.
Here’s my 2010 NFL Draft sleeper’s on the defensive side of the ball…
- Jeff Owens, DT, Georgia- Owens missed the entire 2008 season with a torn ACL, so he’s a little more raw than some, but that’s kind of what makes him so attractive in the mid rounds. Owens made a name for himself at the Combine where ran a sub 5.0 forty yard dash with a vertical leap of 30″ all at 6’1″, 304 lbs. Owens should be a solid player to rotate on the line and could one day become a starter, not bad for a guy that you could get in the 3rd or 4th round.
- Corey Peters, DT, Kentucky- He’s huge at 6’3″, 301 lbs., and extremely raw and athletic. He’s not going to do much for you in the beginning, but grabbing Peters in the 5th would be worth it.
- Doug Worthington, DE, Ohio State- Worthington would be the ideal 3-4 DE and his high motor and football IQ makes me a believer. I’d be happy to grab a player like this that has been well coached in the 6th round.
- Alex Carrignton, DE, Arkansas State- Carrington is massive at 6’5″ and looks to be a perfect 3-4 DE in the NFL. He’s fast, strong, and has a chip on his shoulder coming from a small school. Take Carrington in the 3rd and you’ll love what you stole away.
- Willie Young, DE, NCST- Strong and agile for a guy that’s nearly 6’5″. He might be a little light to play in the NFL right now at 251 lbs., but his athleticism and pass rushing technique makes me think he’d be worth a look in the 5th round.
- Antonio Coleman, OLB, Auburn- Coming out of the SEC you know that Coleman is athletic. He’s best asset is getting after the QB and that’s all you’re going to get from him for a little while. Even though he lacks in stopping the run and coverage initially, teams in the NFL can wait on his develop after taking him in the 6th round
- O’Brien Schofield, OLB, Wisconsin- Once a 3rd round pick, he torn up his ACL in the Senior Bowl sinking his value. He’s to way to light (221 lbs.) to be labeled as a LB or DE in the NFL, but his play on the field shows he can make it happen in the backfield regardless of his physical stature. He’s going to need to bulk up, which he should be able to do, especially since he’ll be recovering from his injury for quite a while. Grab him in the 4th or 5th and be patient.
- Roddrick Muckleroy, OLB, Texas- Interesting last name, but a very solid player on the field. He’s very athletic and is always around the play on defense. Take him in the 3rd round and he’ll play instantly on special teams and should eventually be able to crack the starting line-up.
- Pat Angerer, ILB, Iowa- He’ll make your special teams coach happy from day 1, because Angerer is flat out a hustle player. Odds are he’ll never be your starting ILB, but everybody needs a guy like Pat on their team. Take him in the 4th round and you’ll love the kid and the player.
- Donovan Warren, CB, Michigan- I think his value takes a hit because he didn’t follow up his stellar sophomore season in his junior year, but regardless Warren looks like a great #2 CB in the NFL. If he drops into the 3rd round, the race should be on to land this kid.
- Akwansi Owusu-Ansah, CB, IUPUI- AOA could be my brightest sleeper of the entire draft. Something just tells me this kid is going to be special. He’s an amazing special teams returner immediately, but at 6’1″, 207 lbs., he is big enough and fast enough to compete in the NFL. If he’s available in the 3rd round, make it happen!
- A.J. Jefferson, CB, Fresno State- His game is rough, but the raw potential is there with Jefferson. He’s got solid size and incredible hops for a corner and has a chance to make a play on the ball on any “jump ball”. With the ball in his hands after an interception or kick return the opposition better watchout, this kid’s got big home run play potential and could be a steal in the 5th round.
- Larry Asante, SS, Nebraska- He’s a three year starter in the Big 12 which means he’s been well tested in college. A poor Combine makes him slip into the 4th or 5th rounds, but he’d be worth taking there.
- Kurt Coleman, FS, Ohio State- Only for special teams, but that’s what your looking for in the later rounds. He’ll work hard and be a practice monster with his constant effort. Grab Coleman in the 5th and he’ll make you smile everyday in practice.
- Cody Grimm, FS, Va Tech- Similar to Coleman, Grimm will give it 100% every time he’s wearing cleats. He’ll help you on special teams and would be worth the 6th round pick.
- Terrell Skinner, SS, Maryland- Skinner kept sticking out to me in the Senior Bowl and could be a better pro than he was as a collegiate player. Take Skinner in the 4th and I think in two years you’ll be pretty happy.