Stetson Bennett, QB Georgia
It’s tough to call a two-time national champion a sleeper. However, Bennett has consistently been written off throughout his college career and then over-delivered. This is the case again with recent rumors he could be undrafted this year. Bennett lacks prototypical size and arm strength but processes at an above-average level and has that intangible that everyone is looking for as a winner. Furthermore, he offers some intriguing upside as a rusher, having scored ten touchdowns on the ground this last year. Bennett will likely take some time to earn the trust of an NFL staff; however, if there were to be a 2023 Brock Purdy, he would be my bet.
Zack Kuntz, TE Old Dominion
An elite recruit out of high school, Kuntz did nothing in his first three years with Penn State. However, after transferring to Old Dominion, he broke out in a big way as the centerpiece of the offense, commanding a 34.9% target per route run rate that would be the envy of many elite wide receivers. As the combine approached, he was expected to show out. However, Kuntz put in one of the most impressive performances ever with a relative athletic score of 10 out of 10. Kuntz has the potential to be the steal of this year’s draft, and if he can land in a forward-thinking offense where he can be utilized all over the field, he could be a weapon. A team like the Browns would be a great landing spot allowing him to get on the field early in two tight end sets.
Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, WR Houston
Undersized receivers who produce in college do not have a solid recent track record of production in the NFL. Players like Tutu Atwell, KJ Hamler, and Rondale Moore have been uber-productive in college but have yet to hit it big in the NFL. Because of this, Tank Dell is falling down draft boards and is, at the time of this writing, the WR18 in April Rookie ADP. He is undersized, but that value is too much to pass up. Dell is the best natural route runner and separator in this entire draft class. Combine that with an impressive analytical profile where he is 81st percentile in yards per team pass attempt and scored 32 touchdowns in 35 college games. He is also currently being mocked to be an early third-round pick. If he could land in an offense like the Chargers, where he can be a situational deep threat and gadget player on jet sweeps, he could be a steal.
AT Perry, WR Wake Forest
Perry stands out as one of the few prototypical X receivers in a class of smaller slot-only types. He has impressive top-end speed, running a 4.47 40. But because of his size, he takes a while to build up, as you can see by his 1.59 10-second split. He is precisely what you would expect of a big-bodied downfield weapon who will operate best on a reduced route tree of nine routes, slants, and comebacks. If he can find a home as an X alongside a target-heavy slot type (Rams, Detroit, or Jacksonville), he could be afforded the time to develop into a usable fantasy asset.
Andrei Iosivas, WR Princeton
Iosivas is likely to be on few people’s radars as a modest producer from the Ivy League. However, the former decathlete is an athletic freak. 6’3″, 205lbs, and running a 4.43 40 will get people to take notice. Once you combine that with the rest of his workout, you get a 9.96 RAS. Iosivas is not just a workout warrior. He can play; he ran a more complex route tree than you would expect in college and was utilized both out wide and in the slot. He is also a willing blocker, which will help him gain playing time at the next level. Iosivas also flashed at the senior bowl winning offensive player of the week.
Chase Brown, RB Illinois
Size is very important at the running back position in the NFL. However, sometimes smaller backs hit when they have the speed to burn. Brown is lightning-fast with top-end speed to boot, and he is an impressive athlete who is not just college-fast but should be NFL-fast. He can identify the correct rush lane and would suit a one-cut style scheme at the next level. If he can land in a Shanahan-style offense that utilizes plenty of outside zone, he could easily be this year’s version of Elijah Mitchell. If he lands in Miami, it would be incredible.
Keaton Mitchell, RB East Carolina
Whenever you watch a smaller school prospect, you want them to dominate the lesser competition. Mitchell did that throughout his college career. He posted 92nd Percentile yards-per-team rush attempt numbers. Although smaller in stature, Mitchell didn’t struggle physically and consistently fell forwards on contact. He also didn’t struggle with durability, having played 33 games in his three-year career. Mitchell is a talented receiver but will need to work on his route running to be a true weapon on third downs and not just be a check-down option. Mitchell can be a fantasy relevant 1B back if he lands in the right offense. Pairing him with Nick Chubb or Isiah Pacheco could be an ideal landing spot.
Evan Hull, RB Northwestern
Hull fits the mold of a player who could outproduce his draft spot for fantasy. A back with solid size at 5’10” and 209 lbs, he is an elite receiving back, posting a 98th percentile best-receiving market share number. The floor with Hull is a complementary back who mixes in on obvious passing situations and contributes on special teams. If he can carve out a role at the next level, he will always be fantasy relevant because he will command target volume. He could make noise early in his fantasy career if he can be paired with a more traditional pocket passer like Joe Burrow, Kirk Cousins, or Jimmy Garoppolo.
Lew Nichols, RB Central Michigan
We are getting very deep here as Nichols is projected to be an undrafted free agent. However, he pops analytically due to his combination of size and production. At 220lbs with 94th percentile yards per team rush attempt number Nichols showed he could be a first and second-down bruiser. The biggest knock is that he is almost non-existent in the passing game. However, if he could partner with a satellite back at the next level, he could immediately carve out a role while he rounds out his game. Landing with the chargers as the long sort-out complement to Austin Ekeler could be ideal.
Jadakis Bonds, WR Hampton
Bonds may have the most unique physical makeup of anyone in this year’s draft class. He has impressive height standing at 6’4″ but is alarmingly thin, weighing only 179lbs. Despite his unique build Bonds flashes due to his production where he scored 34 touchdowns in his 40 career games including 15 as a sophomore and averaged over 68 yards per game. He will need time to add muscle to his frame to hold up physically in the NFL, but as a vertical contested catch receiver, Bonds is the type of player who could flash in training camp and latch onto an NFL roster while he rounds out his game.