Every year you hear about football players that for some reason get bumped out of first and second round range, but no one can understand why. There are many players that are very talented in the draft, and who every draftnik was talking about before the draft, and now all the sudden they have become M.I.A. Let me tell you who I think will be the biggest steals in this year’s draft and why I believe they will be a great pick for some team.
-Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State University – Datko was one of the most dominant lineman in 2011 before getting injured. Datko was a stud left tackle for the Seminoles offense who was being talked about as a 1st round pick, top 15, and now you can’t find his name on mock drafts up until the third round. How is it that a player, like Datko who is 6’6 and weighs 320 pounds is not being talked about as a top offensive tackle? Before his injury he was rated 2nd or 3rd on most everyone’s draft board. He is a four year starting left tackle in the ACC, who was instrumental in the play of former FSU standout Rodney Hudson. How could the best blindside protector of one of the best division in college football not being talked about until the third round?
- Dwight Jones, WR, University of North Carolina – Dwight Jones was a stud over his career at UNC for the Tarheels. He is a big receiver who checked in at the combine at 6’3, and 225 pounds. He was a very physical receiver who put up amazing stats at UNC. He is a wide receiver that can go across the middle and go deep on routes, but his stock has plummeted. Why, has Dwight Jones gone from being rated as a top 5 wide receiver in this deep draft class and now, to not even being talked about? We are talking about an All ACC candidate and a Biletnikoff Award Candidate who finished his senior year with 85 receptions for 1296 yards and 12 touchdowns. He will be a steal for someone who is steady sleeping on him.
- Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple – This kid was a straight beast in college football. He ran for 1481 yards on only 273 carries, and finished with 27 touchdowns, killing the competition. Pierce was once being talked about as an early second round pick, and potentially being selected in the first round, and now all the sudden he is another one that has fell. I don’t think he is falling due to his performance but rather than the need for a running back. There are only a few teams that really have a need for running back this year, but whoever gets the explosive senior will get a steal in this year’s draft.
- Vinny Curry, DE, Marshall – This is one that really blows my mind. He might be a second round pick, but that is still way too late for this kid. He is the best defensive end in this draft, you heard it here first. This kid is special; I would have thought he would have been a first round pick for sure. If you go off the Mel Kiper’s and Todd McShay’s of the world, you won’t be hearing this guy’s name until the second round. I am telling you all, this kid is way better of a prospect than Quinton Coples, he has better moves and is way better off the edge. If you want a steal in the second round, this is your guy.
-Ryan Steed, CB, Furman – Everyone says they like big, physical corners, well how can you not like this kid? He is one of the most aggressive corners, I have ever watched, and he is a very athletic player. He is coming off an excellent year, where he was a menace for the University of Florida’s wide outs. He lays wood, and I don’t know how a corner like this could fall so far. The so called experts are saying 5th round, well I say this. If your team selects Steed, get excited, because he is a stud. I love this kid’s play; he is a former basketball player and has great hands. He will be a good athlete at the next level.
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