The NFL combine has come and gone, the new league year has officially started and free agents are signing with new teams. The NFL Draft is closer than you may think, which means you need to start to research dynasty sleepers that can help you win your league. The following are 9 guys that will more than likely be drafted on day 3 of the NFL draft but have a lot of potential and I think you should have them on your watchlist.
Running back – Fordham
Throughout his four years at Fordham, all he did was run and score touchdowns. 5,862 yards and 67 touchdowns to be exact. Injuries limited him to seven games his senior year, ruining what could have been something special, to the tune of breaking multiple FCS records. Had a great combine, 4.55 in the 40-yard dash (12th best for RB), 19 reps on the bench press (8th best for RB), fastest 3 cone drill at 6.79s, fastest 20-yard shuttle at 4.07s, and a 34 inch vertical (12th best RB). If you are into metrics, all of those add up to one hell of a SPARQ-x score of 117.1. Put this guy on your big board and don’t hesitate to draft him regardless of where he ends up.
Running Back – NC State
Ran the fastest 40 time at the combine for running backs (4.38s), 35 inch vertical (10th overall RB), and 12th fastest 3 cone drill at 7.18s. During his time at NC State, he ran for 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns and also caught 89 balls for 933 yards. Hines is not your typical between the tackles running back, he is only 5’8 and 198 pounds but this kid is a burner (also ran track at NC State), get him the ball in space and watch him go. Hines will succeed as a third down/pass catching back (think Danny Woodhead), if you are in a PPR or Half PPR league, you should have him on your big board. Check out some of his highlights from last year.
Wide Receiver – Florida
Callaway was suspended for the 2017 season by Florida and declared for the NFL draft in December of 2017. In his two years at Florida, he caught 89 balls for 1,399 yards and 7 touchdowns while returning kicks and punts. Limited participant at the combine, ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41s (4th fastest WR), 34-inch vertical jump, and 121-inch broad jump (t-14th), nothing eye-popping here other than the 4.41 speed, look for him to do a lot more on his pro day, March 28th. Due to his offseason issues, expect him to drop to a day three pick in the NFL draft but keep an eye on landing spot because he will be a late round dynasty stash.
Wide Receiver – Missouri
Three-year starter at Missouri who got better every year, caught more balls, had more yards, and touchdowns. Finished his career with 158 catches for 2,477 yards and 21 touchdowns. Slow(ish) 40 time for a wide receiver (4.6s) but he checks in at 6’3 and 207 pounds, 21 reps on the bench press (3rd best WR), 38 inch vertical (t-4th best WR), 6.56s in the three-cone drill (t-1st), and 2nd fastest 20 yard shuttle time(4.04s), a very impressive combine. Another potential day three prospect that is worth a stash due to his deep ball potential.
Tight End – Central Michigan
Injuries cost him some games to start the 2017 season but his numbers were good enough to earn an invite to the Senior Bowl this past year. Finished his career at Central Michigan University with 83 catches for 1,159 yards and 11 touchdowns. Full participant during the NFL combine, 4.8 forty yard dash (9th best TE), 18 reps on the bench press (6th overall TE), 38 inch vertical (2nd overall TE), 120 inch broad jump (t-4th), 7.13s in the 3 cone drill (5th overall TE), 4.23 in 20 yard shuttle (4th overall), and 11.43 in the 60 yard shuttle (2nd overall TE). If it wasn’t for Mike Gesicki dominating the combine, Tyler Conklin would be the tight end everyone is talking about.
Running Back – Northwestern
A four-year contributor at Northwestern, racking up 5,440 yards on 1,142 carries, scoring 41 touchdowns on the ground. Added 858 yards on 122 catches and scored 1 more touchdown through the air. Another full participant at the combine, running the 40 in 4.52s (t-6th RB), 38.5 inch vertical (5th best RB), 122 inch broad jump (t-5th best RB), 6.81s in the 3 cone drill (2nd best RB), 4.07s in the 20 yard shuttle (T-1 RB), and 11.06s in 60 yard shuttle (best RB). Another college RB that isn’t your typical between the tackles NFL RB. Justin Jackson will catch a lot of passes and make people miss, keep an eye on where he ends up because he could be a breakout star on the right team.
Wide Receiver – Texas Tech
4 year player at Texas Tech, red-shirted in 2015 (his junior year), finished his college career with 158 catches for 1,873 yards and 18 touchdowns. Full participant at the combine this year, ran the 40 in 4.59s, 18 reps on the bench press (7th best WR), 38.5 inch vertical (3rd best WR), 130 inch broad jump (3rd best WR), 6.56s 3 cone drill (best WR), 4.03s in the 20 yard shuttle (best WR), and 10.85s in the 60 yard shuttle (best WR). Cantrell has great agility but not great speed which will cost him come draft day. Landing spot will be crucial because he has the talent to become a very good receiver in the NFL.
Wide Receiver – Penn State
A four-year starter at Penn State, only missing one game in 4 years, finished his career with 214 catches for 2,842 yards and 18 touchdowns. Limited participant at the NFL combine, 34-inch vertical jump, 118-inch broad jump, 6.84s in the 3 cone drill (9th best WR), and 4.15s in the 20-yard shuttle (T-7th for WR) so monitor Penn States Pro Day on March 20th for more on Hamilton. Hamilton has been pegged as a guy that runs great routes and he will need to continue to hone that craft at the next level to be successful as a slot receiver in the NFL. Look for him to be a day 3 pick with a lot of upside wherever he ends up.
Running Back – Colorado
Keeping with the trend of day three players to watch, here is another example of a running back that did it all in college, ran for 3,775 yards, 36 touchdowns and caught 117 balls for 1,084 yards and three more touchdowns in 4 years at Colorado. Did not participate in the NFL Combine but performed well at his Pro Day on March 7th. Ran the 40 in a blistering 4.39s which would have been the second fastest for a RB at the combine, 35.5 inch vertical would have tied him for 6th best at the combine, and a 124-inch broad jump which would have been 5th best at the combine. This kid has a lot of talent and can flat out fly in the open field and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. His size (5’7, 184) will impact his draft status but he can impact the game at three levels, running, receiving, and special teams.
Thanks for Reading
Husband, father, Detroit Lions fan. Moved to Michigan when I was 3, only known one NFL team to follow and at this point, I will see this through to the end. Central Michigan University Alum (Fire Up Chips!) Probably spend too much time playing fantasy football if you ask my wife and not enough time if you ask members of the leagues I am in. If I’m not watching football on Sunday you can find me in the woods frantically checking my phone while hunting.