By now you’ve heard all about the top offensive prospects in this year's NFL draft, but there are 256 picks to be made and far more than just the Day 1 and 2 players to discuss.
Let’s talk about my favorite sleeper picks at each offensive position and give some attention to a few under-appreciated prospects that also deserve it.
Quarterback: Tyler Huntley, Utah
With no Senior Bowl or NFL Scouting Combine invitation, Tyler Huntley was severely overlooked during the pre-draft process. He was a 33-game starter at Utah and set a single-season record for completion percentage (73.1) as a senior which is extremely impressive considering how frequently he likes to push the football down the field. Huntley blends that deep accuracy with the ability to hit rhythm throws, navigate the pocket while keeping his eyes down the field, keeping the football out of harm's way and showcasing an exciting dual-threat component to win as a runner while extending plays.
Huntley’s modest throwing power, accuracy and frame push him down the board but in many ways, his skill set mirrors the trends of the NFL. Huntley deserves more attention, buzz and to get a real shot to be a developmental quarterback that can make some noise in the league — if he gets that chance.
Running Back: Michael Warren II, Cincinnati
Michael Warren II was the focal point of Cincinnati’s rushing attack in 2018 and 2019, racking up almost 2,600 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns while showcasing skills that will translate to the NFL. He measures at 5-foot-9 and 226 pounds and is a wrecking ball between the tackles. Warren has a naturally low center of gravity and dense frame that packs quite the punch when he explodes into contact. While his power components are exciting, it’s how he blends his bruising style with good vision and footwork that makes him really appealing.
Warren’s base is always balanced, and he has a surprising amount of spring in his step with the ability to make dynamic cuts. The timing of his cuts and how he strings together moves are done with good fluidity and more quickness than expected. For a team with a more slippery and elusive starter, Warren is an ideal complement that could be available in the middle of Day 3.
Wide Receiver: Darnell Mooney, Tulane
Mooney measures in at 5-foot-10 and 176 pounds and clocked a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at the combine. His explosiveness shows up on tape, averaging 16.7 yards per reception on 154 catches in college. Mooney offers tremendous separation quickness and a good variety of techniques at his disposal to beat press coverage. He does well to sell his vertical routes which enables him to snap off breaks and get loose underneath. He’s dynamic after the catch and is a big play waiting to happen.
While Tulane’s offense is unique, Mooney led the team in receiving yards each of the last two seasons. He attacks the football with an alpha mentality and has some impressive moments elevating and adjusting to the football. Obviously, he doesn’t have the most play strength and his catch radius is limited, but Mooney has a chance to be an X-factor in the NFL as he develops more route-running techniques. Like Hamler, Mooney has some frustrating drops in addition to having similar size and explosiveness. Mooney can likely be had two rounds later.
Tight End: Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
This 2020 group of tight ends doesn’t offer much in the way of high-level prospects but there are some versatile options to be had on Day 3 that can make an impact. Dalton Keene is one of them:
"Dalton Keene was criminally underutilized at Virginia Tech, especially for a fluttering offense that hasn’t met expectations under fourth-year coach Justin Fuente. In fact, it’s quite possible Keene could become a legitimate starting tight end in the NFL given his size, athleticism and untapped potential. But his forecast from studying his tape is an easy projection to an H-back role at a minimum.
"Keene is a tenacious competitor that executes with a motor that is always fully cranked. He gets after it as a blocker and battles for yardage after the catch with his share of broken tackles on film. While he hasn’t been tasked with a full route tree, Keene has good separation quickness and the athleticism to run away from linebackers.
"Keene has already proven his abilities as an H-back given the way he was used in college. The appeal with Keene is his makeup, balanced skill set and appealing physical traits that could lead to an even bigger role at the next level."
Offensive Line: Cameron Clark, Charlotte
Watching Cameron Clark bully defensive lineman from Clemson was one of my favorite studies of this draft season.
Clark, a 35-game starter for Charlotte, was the team’s offensive MVP in 2017 before becoming a team captain in 2018 and 2019. He’s a nasty blocker with a powerful frame that projects as a dynamic run blocker in the NFL. His hands are heavy, legs are powerful and he has the ability to find leverage points while accelerating his feet to lead to frequent pancake blocks.
He has some technical work to improve on in pass protection but I’m optimistic that a move inside to guard will help. Clark is an underrated prospect that I can see starting by Year 2.