Every year in the NFL Draft, there is a player or players that fall well past the first round that eventually turn out be stars.
We call them “sleepers.”
The biggest one that comes to mind is Tom Brady. The New England Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round out of Michigan in 2000. The year is now 2018, and Brady is still playing at an elite level at the age of 40. He has been to eight Super Bowls, which he’s won five of. He was named MVP of the game in four of those five victories. Brady also has three regular-season MVP’s and is a 13-time Pro Bowler. He is arguably the greatest NFL player of all time, and according to him, he isn’t done just yet.
Some other notable famous NFL Draft sleepers are Terrell Davis, a sixth round pick just like Brady and Joe Montana, the guy everyone argues is maybe the only quarterback better than Brady.
Davis helped the Denver Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 90’s. In 1998, Davis ran for over 2,000 yards. He was recently inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Montana was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1979 NFL Draft and, well, the rest is history. Montana won four Super Bowls in four trips in which he was the game’s MVP three times. The Hall-of-Famer also won two regular season MVP’s.
The only knock on Jimmy Graham, a tight end for the Green Bay Packers, his career is that he has not been an elite blocker at the tight end position. But I think it’s safe to say he has had a nice career in the NFL.
So, who will be this year’s big sleeper?
I am going to go with Mike Gesicki, the tight end out of Penn State. Some might argue that he isn’t necessarily a sleeper, since most draft experts expect him to be, at worst, a late second round pick. However, a lot of these same experts also expect other tight ends such as Dallas Goedert out of South Dakota State and Hayden Hurst from South Carolina to hear their names get called before Gesicki.
People are saying Gesicki could slide down the board due to his “lack of blocking skills.” One thing I think is for sure, is that Gesicki is a good enough athlete and pass-catcher to succeed at the next level.
With how much the NFL has changed and become a pass-first league, I just think Gesicki is too dangerous of a weapon in the air game to pass up on. At 6’6″ and weighting roughly 250 pounds, he is more than capable of becoming a better blocker if drafted by a team with a solid staff.
He is my biggest sleeper of the draft simply because I don’t think there is a tight end in this draft that should be taken before him and it’s looking like there will be.
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