Keep An Eye On These Potential Draft Sleepers

Keep An Eye On These Potential Draft Sleepers

Sleepers. They are the players that can elevate a team from pretender to contender. The Bears hit on one in last season’s NFL Draft with running back Jordan Howard.

Can they do it again? We asked Bears Barroom analysts Jose Cotto and Shayne Marsaw to share their sleepers for the 2017 NFL Draft.

Jose Cotto:

Offense

Jordan Morgan OT, Kutztown

Morgan is very athletic and is a finisher. Gets to the second level easily. Overlooked because he’s a small school prospect but I believe he sticks at tackle and becomes a contributor.

Bears sleepers

Morgan was a four-year starter at left tackle.

Marlon Mack, RB, USF

This running back class is VERY rich. That makes it easy for a consistent, but not very flashy player to be overlooked. Mack is a tough runner with good vision and hands. I believe he becomes a starter eventually.

Bears sleepers

Mack ran a 4.50 40 at the Combine

Pharaoh Brown, TE, Oregon

Injuries and off the field issues will likely cause him to go undrafted but I’d gamble on Brown. He’s a big body, athletic receiving tight end. Needs to improve as a blocker but could make a team.

Bears Sleeper

Brown celebrates his touchdown against the UCLA Bruins (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Defense

Joe Mathis, EDGE, Washington

Mathis suffered a foot injury in 2016 otherwise would be in the discussion day 2 in my opinion. His upper body strength is evident on tape. He sets the edge with ferocity and stacks/sheds with ease. He plays with a non-stop motor. He’ll be a steal day 3.

Bears Sleepers

According to Pro Football Focus, Mathis led the nation in pass-rush productivity by an edge defender until he fell to injury in November.

Steven Taylor, LB, Houston

Undersized, and overlooked. While players like Zach Cunningham get all the hype Taylor’s tape impressed me much more. He’s a sideline to sideline backer who excelled as a blitzer (25.5 career sacks) and can also cover. Has a knack for eluding blockers and finding the football.

Bears Sleepers

Taylor was a first-team All-ACC pick last season

Delano Hill, Safety, Michigan

Peppers got all the love on this defense but Hill was the best safety on the field in my opinion. Hill is a solid tackler, and is solid in coverage. He is the steady type of safety who sticks in the NFL for 10 years.

Hill received a second-team All-Big Ten notice as a senior

Shayne Marsaw

Offense

Malachi Dupre. WR, LSU

Really hard to get a good read on LSU wide receivers because of the abysmal quarterback play that gives them limited reps. Love what Dupree can bring to the table while working with a legitimate QB. Long WR that can go up and get it. Small hands but doesn’t let that affect him.

Bears Sleepers

Duper led LSU in receptions and receiving yards each of the past two seasons

Kermit Whitfield, WR/KR, FSU

Speed speed speed. The Bears are one of the slowest teams in the NFL and Whitfield has an abundance of it. Still learning the nuances of the WR position but could come in with his good field vision and ability to break tackles and make an instant impact in the return game.

Bears Sleepers

The former track star, Whitfield, ran a 4.44 at the Combine

Defense

Darius English, OLB, South Carolina

When talking sleepers you want to see some traits that that can be developed. English is long athlete, who will definitely need to add functional strength for the next level. Very raw but shows potential to get to the QB.

Bears Sleepers

English had two tackles, half a sack and a hurry in the East-West Shrine game.

Chuck Clark DB Va Tech.

A three-year starter, two as a team captain, Clark was a highly productive safety. Has football instincts and loves to make his presence felt. Should be a special teams demon.

Bears Sleepers

In his second collegiate start, as a true freshman, Clark recorded 22 tackles.

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