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The Chief’s Draft Sleepers

I am kind of a draft nerd.  Not in the traditional sense where I read everything Mel Kiper and Todd McShay write for hours leading up to the draft.  I don’t really study combine results, or numbers, or draft sheets.  What I do is watch an insane amount of college football during the season.  At least 12 hours worth of games every Saturday.  It’s a sickness.  I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on certain players, and then I look at where they end up being projected and it leaves me scratching my head.  These are my sleepers for the 2012 NFL Draft.  Guys that various “experts” have projected to go in the 4th round or later.

Michael Egnew, TE Missouri. 6’5″ 252 lbs

I honestly have no idea why Egnew is projected to go so late in the draft.  His production fell off big time in 2011, but that can largely be blamed on the QB issues Missouri had.  When Blaine Gabbert was throwing passes to Egnew he caught 90 balls.  Egnew plays in the spread offense so he hasn’t really established himself as a blocker, but everything else checks out.  No major injuries, no off-field issues, great size, great speed, great hands.  Michael Egnew will be the next Jimmy Graham.

 

Jonas Gray, RB Notre Dame 5’11” 223 lbs

Jonas Gray was more or less an after thought heading into the 2011 season, but he quickly established himself as Notre Dame’s best running back.  Gray was once a highly sought after recruit, but it didn’t come together for him until his senior season.  Gray lead the Irish in rushing, but his season was cut short when he tore his ACL.  While he was unable to workout at the combine due to rehab, it should be noted that Gray ran a sub 4.5 forty-yard-dash prior to his injury.  If Gray is able to make a full recovery, someone in the 7th round will get a starting quality running back.  I see Jonas Gray being similar to a Fred Jackson.

Marvin McNutt, WR Iowa 6’2″ 215 lbs

McNutt is another guy who’s draft stock is slipping due to both injuries and some QB issues his senior year at Iowa.  Even with Iowa’s struggles at Quarterback, McNutt still managed to catch 82 balls for 1,315 yard and 12 TDs his senior season.  Voted a team captain at Iowa too.  He has decent speed, but isn’t going to blow past safeties.  Nonetheless, McNutt is a going to be a reliable target for years in the NFL.  Not a number one WR, but a guy who can get 40-50 catches in a season.  Marvin McNutt is the next Greg Little.

Jared Crick, DT Nebraska 6’4″ 280 lbs

Just a hard-working bro that won’t quit.  Motor off the charts.  Best position would probably be a 3-4 defensive end, but can slide inside on 4 man fronts.  Crick is a little injury prone, so that’s why he is slipping, but a team will never regret taking Jared Crick.  Not a super star, but definitely a guy who will make a team and earn snaps as a rookie.  You want Jared Crick on your depth chart and in your locker room.  Quality human.

 

Emmanuel Acho, ILB Texas 6’1″ 238 lbs

If Texas had 11 Emmanuel Achos they’d never lose a game.  Similar to Crick in terms of work ethic and leadership.  Acho is just always around the ball on defense.  Very instinctual and very tough.  Acho not a great guy in coverage, but right now he can be a solid early down player and a great special teams guy.

 

Honorable Mention:

Tank Carder OLB TCU

Darius Flemming DE Notre Dame

Phillip Blake C Baylor

Bernard Pierce RB Temple

Keyshawn Martin WR Michigan State

 
Follow me @WindyCitiSports

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