The 2019 NFL Draft looms closer. Teams are always hoping to cash in on late round picks to untap potential others have overlooked. Here are three of my sleeper picks.
Justice Hill – RB – Oklahoma State
Justice Hill has a prime opportunity to see the backfield on most NFL teams, especially in closing duties. Give Hill a defense and a comfortable lead, and he can carry the load or be a nice change-up to bog down defenses. While topping over 2,500 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns in his first two seasons, he’s dropped off a bit during his junior year. He’s not been known as a pass-catching threat.
Hill would be a God-send to any rookie QB looking to build confidence in establishing himself and his potential. His size and lack of receiving ability will likely have him drop to mid to late rounds.
Jalen Hurd – WR – Baylor
Baylor wide receiver Jalen Hurd has the makings of a great all-around player, whether it’s from the backfield or lining up in the slot. Prior to his senior year he played RB, amassing 1,288 yards for Tennessee. Even more shocking is how much more the coaching leaned on him than Alvin Kamara.
Hurd’s size and speed creates mismatches reminiscent of a Joe Jurevicius. His versatility will have coaches salivating on what they can do with him.
Ryan Bates – OL – Penn State
Make no mistake. Finding quality offensive lineman is rare in the NFL, but few possess the raw athleticism Ryan Bates has. His value drops mainly because of how bad the offensive line was, given how much Sarquon Barkley had to overcome prior to his 2018 draft.
Bates may not have the dominating strength to open strong gaps. But his fundamentals and versatility in multiple positions could make him a mainstay on most rosters. At best, he’s a spot starter who can fill in in a pinch and you won’t lose much. He would definitely be an asset to a team light on depth.