When Dak Prescott took over for Tony Romo after the now-broadcaster suffered a back injury in the Dallas Cowboys’ preseason slate, many would’ve never guessed he’d turn into a Pro Bowl quarterback in his first NFL season. Well, the former Mississippi State signal caller went onto become just that, collecting 3,667 passing yards and 29 total touchdowns in the process.
Albeit a talent prospect entering the NFL draft, Prescott went onto be selected in the fourth-round by owner Jerry Owners and Co. Hence, this year’s draft is stocked with numerous players, who could garner similar respect in the near future or down the road. Let’s take a look at the list.
Best available sleepers in 2017 NFL Draft
Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee:
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Dobbs compiled his most well-rounded campaign in Knoxville, Tenn. with 2,946 passing yards, 831 yards on the ground and 39 total touchdowns. Despite tossing some costly turnovers in a pair of SEC loses during the Volunteers’ conference schedule, he finished off his collegiate career with a clean performance in a win over Nebraska in the Music City Bowl, along with producing four touchdowns. He could turn into quality, duel-threat option in the NFL.
Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami:
Once considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the NFL draft, the 6-4, 210-pound Kaaya has slipped down a handful of draft boards into the fourth-round because of his poor mechanics once the pocket breaks down. Nevertheless, he put together 3,532 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions in the 2016-’17 campaign. If his sound accuracy can blanket his weak arm under pressure, Kaaya could have some success as a backup for now.
I’Tavius Mathers, RB, Middle Tennessee State:
After transferring from Ole Miss, the 5-11, 205-pound Mathers excelled at the mid-major program, becoming the first player in FBS history to accumulate at least 1,500 rushing yards (1,561), 500 receiving yards (633) and haul in at least 60 passes (66) in a single-season. On top of that, he notched 20 total scores. The tailback would be best suited as the speedster in a supplementary role.
Josh Reynolds, WR, Texas A&M:
While the 6-3, 191-pound Reynolds isn’t as bulky as some of the other wideouts in the draft, he makes up for it with his size and speed. Overall, he racked up 1,039 yards and 12 touchdowns in his senior campaign, excelling in the red zone. He should be steal for some team in the third or fourth-round.
Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson:
Alabama’s O.J. Howard has been receiving most of the love at this position, but Leggett deserves some praise, too. The 6-5, 257-pound receiver totaled 736 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, including seven snags for 96 yards in the national championship game against the Crimson Tide. If he’s able to improve his blocking, Leggett turn into a three-down threat.
Dorian Johnson, OL, Pittsburgh:
The 6-5, 300-pound offensive guard started 39 consecutive games for the Panthers, reigning in first-team all-ACC in his senior season. Oddly enough, he could’ve attended some of the most prestigious college football programs in the nation, like Alabama, yet the Pennsylvania native chose to stay close to home. Despite turning into a formidable blocker in the running game, Johnson struggled a bit when asked to block in space near the second-level. Still, he’ll come in with enough of a skillset to be a starter in the league.
Hunter Dimick, DE, Utah:
In pass-rushing situations, the 6-3, 272-pound Dimick found his way to the opposing quarterback often, delivering 14.5 sacks last season. Moreover, he amassed 20 tackles for a loss (TFLs), which showcased his ability to wreak havoc on any down. His length has caused his name to drop towards the fifth or sixth-round, but Utah’s all-time sack leader (29.5) won’t need much motivation to hunt down signal callers in the pros.