Unsung Heroes: 2024 NFL Draft Sleepers and Under-the-Radar Prospects to Watch

Unsung Heroes: 2024 NFL Draft Sleepers and Under-the-Radar Prospects to Watch

The 2024 NFL Draft is just days away and we’re just about done evaluating the prospects who make up this year’s class. Our team has done an amazing job and by the time Round One kicks off, we’ll have written well over 300 scouting reports, easily the most we’ve ever done in one draft season.

While plenty of discussion has been rightfully dedicated towards the Pittsburgh Steelers first round picks and the best prospects at large, I wanted to discuss players I/we have talked about less throughout the pre-draft process. This will be a list of either “my guys,” talented and known players I like more than most or sleepers, later round selections who will make whichever team drafts them very happy. Feel free to share those who fall into your categories below.

Ladd McConkey/WR Georgia

One of the top route runners in the draft, McConkey will be a top-50 selection so he certainly isn’t a sleeper. While there’s a ceiling to his game, I don’t quite view him as a No. 1 a passing game will revolve around, his tape is still excellent. He’s a smooth and nuanced route runner and those are my favorite ones. The best receiver is an open one. And no one does it like McConkey.

Before the Combine, some questioned his long speed and overall athletic ability. He proved any doubters wrong with a 4.39 40 and his RAS came in at 9.33, only held back by his lack of ideal size (5115, 188 pounds). But he’s strong and a YAC threat who can play inside and outside while also a selfless teammate and high-character individual. McConkey has earned everything he’s gotten. He’ll be an excellent No. 2 receiver at the NFL level.

McConkey Scouting Report

Brandon Coleman/OG TCU

This is one of my favorite sleepers and I’m happy to hear o-line expert Brandon Thorn is high on him, too, most often citing his strong 2022 tape. But even his 2023 film is impressive. Coleman was late to football, spending most of his childhood days playing basketball in Germany, but he became an excellent offensive lineman at TCU.

He can play left tackle or left guard. I like him best along the interior but playing tackle isn’t out of the question. He’s long, physical, with a great base that makes him hard to go through. And he’ll get after it in the run game. Currently viewed as Day Three selection, I put a second round grade on him. Someone is going to get a steal with him and it makes me almost with the Steelers had a need at guard.

Coleman Scouting Report

Brandon Dorlus/DE Oregon

Dorlus is a likely Top-100 pick and no one talks about him. Except the players he went up against. Throughout the pre-draft process, you’d hear players from the PAC-12 mention Dorlus as among the most difficult players they faced throughout the season. His production was steady and consistent and he batted down nine passes in 2023 despite only standing in at 6-3. In a year that lacks a ton of top-end interior defensive lineman, Dorlus is a name who should’ve generated more buzz.

Dorlus Scouting Report

Matt Lee/C Miami (FL)

A sleeper I’ve hyped up for much of the pre-draft process, if the Steelers miss out on the top names in the class, Lee is a quality fallback option (though I think the team would target Penn State’s Hunter Nourzad). Spending most of his college career at UCF, he transferred to Miami for the 2023 season. He has some size, snaps out of his stance, and is a well-rounded pass and run blocker.

His size isn’t overwhelming but he’s a good technician with good anchor and hand placement. He’ll be an excellent backup who has a chance to start at the next level.

Lee Scouting Report

Willie Drew/CB Virginia State

Drew was someone I watched during our Steelers Depot “small school” week focusing on players below the FBS-level. Drew was the favorite I watched. His tremendous ball skills and production, 39 career pass deflections and six interceptions in 2023, can play at the next level.

He’s a little thin and not incredibly strong but gets the job done as a tackler. Drew can cover and take away vertical throws with his tracking and size and length (nearly 6-0, 32-inch arms). A Day Three pick, he could become a useful sub-package player.

Drew Scouting Report

Steven Jones/OG Oregon

Pittsburgh brought Jones in for a visit likely because OL Coach Pat Meyer, who attended the Ducks Pro Day for center Jackson Powers-Johnson, saw something he liked. Jones wasn’t on my radar prior to that and I’ve hardly seen his name mentioned afterwards. He’s the No. 402-ranked prospect by Drafttek and the No. 41-ranked guard by Dane Brugler. I put him higher than that.

Jones plays a little tall but he’s a solid athlete for his frame who can pull and hit a moving target. He’s a wide-body at 6052, 342 pounds with good play strength and finish and he works his hands well to stay inside the opponent’s frame. He’s versatile with a guard/tackle background and has played a ton of football. I compared him to Nate Herbig while a Depot reader made a solid Ramon Foster pull, a comp I ultimately like more. If Pittsburgh can get him as an undrafted free agent, they’ll have done well.

Jones Scouting Report

Malik Mustapha/S Wake Forest

I didn’t publish the report on Mustapha but reading our scouting report and watching clips of him throughout the pre-draft process, he’s a good safety prospect. Versatile, he’s a downhill hitter who brings plenty of power. Mustapha plays with great effort and energy and pursues sideline-to-sideline. Coverage limitations may prevent him from being an every down player but he has the size for a strong safety (5-10, 209 pounds) and at the least, can be a quality dime package player with plenty of versatility.

Mustapha Scouting Report

Bucky Irving/RB Oregon

Apparently, I’m all-aboard the Ducks’ train with three of their prospects on here. I didn’t write our scouting report on Irving but in watching Jackson Powers-Johnson and Jones, Irving consistently stuck out. His elusiveness and contact balance are impressive traits and he consistently fought hard for yards. Though unlikely to become a high-end starter, he should find a committee role in his career.

Irving Scouting Report

2024-04-21 12:31:20
#Kozora #NFL #Draft #Guys #Sleepers

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