8 huge sleeper prospects that will have an impact in their first year
Our newest writer Trevon Godwin put together a list of 8 sleeper prospects that he loves for this upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Trevon had a nice mixture of small school and major FBS schools in the loop. Who are your favorite sleepers for 2014?
A.C. Leonard, TE, Tennessee State
A.C. Leonard is a former Florida Gator who is an explosive player at the TE position. He has good burst and speed after the catch. Leonard is an adequate blocker and squares up with his defenders, in which he maintains good leverage throughout the process. He still flashes the ability he once did at Florid. He’s a guy you wouldn’t expect to be very shifty at his size, but can make defenders miss in the open field.
Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina
Taliaferro is a very agile and adept pass catcher out of the backfield. At 6’2, 230 pounds, he is load to tackle in the open field and between the tackles. When he lines up at receiver he looks fluid in route running and has really good hands. He’s a bigger Darren Sproles just not as nimble. Taliaferro is not the fastest guy but has good vision and plants his foot to quickly gain yards and turn up field.
Jonathan Dowling, Safety, Western Kentucky
Dowling is another UF transfer, who is a rangy, big hitting safety, with great ball skills. At 6’3, 190 pounds he has room to put on weight but he still delivers the boom in open space. His ball hawking ability and range make him a defensive terror. He can play in the box, one high and two high. I wouldn’t doubt his ability to play at corner. He is a flashy player with a lot of potential.
Dri Archer, Offensive Weapon, Kent State
Archer was injured a lot this season, but prior to that he was the Golden Flashes offense. Archers was an offensive weapon, but is very undersized. His speed makes him a threat on every play. He runs good routes and has good vision out of the backfield. As a returner he sets up his blocks then finds seems up the field which he explodes through.
Nikita Whitlock, DT, Wake Forest
A true technician at DT for Wake Forest but he is severely undersized for his position. Do not be fooled by his size because his ability and technique are second to only Aaron Donald. Nikita already has the leverage and is an inept hand fighter so he gets into the backfield easily. His quickness, leverage, and hand fighting make up for his lack of size. He is versatile enough to play all over the line.
Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska
Jean-Baptiste has great size and speed, but he needs work on his technique. He was matched up with Allen Robinson most of the game against Penn State, but showed inconsistency when it came to tracking the ball. He wasn’t able to shut down Robinson but he had a few good plays where he was able to break on routes before Robinson. He has the ability to mirror receivers well but he needs to be more consistent in his tackling and physicality. Although he is large at 6’3, and 220 pounds he doesn’t use his size to his advantage. He has the range and length to jam receivers just needs to do it more consistently.
Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State
LISTEN UP; ISAIAH CROWELL HAS NOT LOST A STEP SINCE HIS DAYS AT GEORGIA. Crowell is an absolute beast and a powerful back with deceptive speed. He makes people miss in space and does not shy away from contact. He is not the best pass catcher but can move the chains because of elusiveness in the open field.
Trey Burton, Offensive Weapon, University of Florida
Trey Burton can bring versatility to any football team, because he has experience at many spots on the offensive side of the ball. Trey is a great player you would want on your team. He settled in at WR but his size and speed create a mismatch at many offensive positions including quarterback.