5 2021 NFL Draft Sleepers
Just because a player gets drafted into the first round, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be successful in the NFL. Likewise, just because a player gets taken in the later round, doesn’t mean they cannot find NFL success. We’re going to take a look at 5 prospects in this year’s class that might not be getting a ton of hype, but could turn into successful players at the next level. Who know's, maybe one of these guys will turn into a headliner in a UA Football Mystery Box!
Austin Watkins WR, UAB
This lesser-known wide receiver prospect is actually cousins with current Baltimore Ravens wideout Sammy Watkins. Austin was a JUCO transfer to UAB and despite not being a household name, performed well enough to earn a spot at the Senior Bowl. It was there that his name started picking up speed. Watkins has ideal X receiver size at 6’1 ½ and weighing in at 207. He has shown great physical ability at the catch point and creates very good separation in his routes with his fluid hips. Although he is more than likely going to be a day 3 pick, there have been some rumblings that his name is moving up people’s boards.
Jaret Patterson RB, Buffalo
Jaret Patterson will not blow you away with his size, however, there wasn’t anything you could say about his production in 2020. Patterson put up over 1,000 yards and 19 touchdowns despite Buffalo only playing in 6 games! He is a very instinctual runner and has more strength than one might assume for a 5’7 195 lb running back. Patterson has great feet for the position as they are always going and ready to make a cut. He is another player that will likely be a day 3 pick, but could provide some upside if he develops as a pass catcher.
Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech
This kid is soaring up draft boards due to his freakish pro day numbers. Defensive Tackles typically post some of the slowest times in every single event but Williams ran a 4.62 40 yard dash, 4.87 3 cone drill and a 38.5 inch vertical. Those are wide receiver numbers… at 284 pounds. It’s difficult for some of these smaller school players to get noticed but this put the entire league on notice. Pair that with a class that is fairly weak at the defensive tackle position and we could see this small school stud getting taken as early as round 2.
Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
This quarterback class is loaded. The top 5 of Lawrence, Fields, Wilson, Lance and Jones is probably the best top 5 we have seen in the past decade. That said, Kellen Mond is a player that contributed early on in his career and has enough tools to be a starter at the next level. Some of his inconsistencies and “what was that?” kind of plays have pushed him down but don’t get it twisted, Mond is a good athlete that can slight it with good power and decent accuracy. I think 3rd round would be the earliest we would see a guy like this go, but who knows what could happen on draft day!
Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
Hill almost declared after the 2019 season but he decided to run it back in 2020. However, with Mike Leach coming to town, his role was extremely different this past season. Previously he did most of his damage between the tackles, but in 2020 he was featured as a pass catcher and even had a game with 15 receptions! After Harris, Williams and Etienne, Kylin Hill could easily be the next running back off of the board. Either way, id love to have a Kylin Hill signed jersey for my man cave.
Here’s our calls for the top sleepers in the 2021 NFL Draft. What’s under the radar guys do you have your eyes on?