FanPost

Sleeper Report -- Five Day 3 Prospects to Keep an Eye On

joking back and forth with Mark in my other recent thread, there are a handful of sleepers i hope the team will draft. i was going to do this early next week, but my work server is down (likely due to the storms passing through here in Iowa), so i decided to knock this out now. here are my top 5 sleepers i'm hoping we target on Saturday of the draft:

CB Michael Carter (Minnesota) -- i'll just get this out of the way now, as he is what prompted this thread to begin with. i've been high on Carter since the beginning of his senior year, and he's honestly one of my favorite prospects in the draft (though to many, he'll go undrafted). i had an opportunity to watch him in person during the Hawkeyes blowout of the Gophers (thanks to Iowa's running game), and he did a damn fine job in that game and many others throughout the year -- including two 4th quarter INTs in the Meineke Bowl game. i didn't realize this, but someone also pointed out that Carter ranked in the top 10 in passes defended in the FBS. to my eye, he plays faster than his 40 time indicates (ran in the 4.6's at MN's pro day), and while he likely needs time to develop at the NFL level, i suspect he has more talent than the guys currently at the bottom of our CB depth chart. Vikes scouts were at plenty of Gopher games, so they definitely got a good look at him. fellow DN'er Jessie Silbaugh posted this link in another thread while we were discussing Carter -- if you didn't see this game, i implore you to watch this impressive defensive series highlighting what Carter brings to the table:

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OG Earl Watford (James Madison) -- i wasn't turned on to Watford until post-Combine, but from what little i've seen/read he could be a decent Guard prospect. i'll let NFL.com's scouting report do the talking on this one:

Athletically built interior player. Solid anchor in pass protection, plays with a wide base and has the feet to mirror his opponent. Packs a strong punch to knock back his man, but also takes a strong punch and holds his ground. Comes out of his stance quickly in the run game, uses strong hands and powerful extension to move opponents out of the hole and churns his feet to pancake defensive linemen when crashing down the line. Effective zone blocker because of his mobility and strength. Agile enough to move his feet to get the backside angle while engaged. Mobile behind the line of scrimmage, and displays the straight-line speed to reach targets and fits onto blocks near the line and at the second level. Will hit multiple targets in the open field. Solid in his cut blocks, makes it hard for tackles to recover. Solid anchor on special teams units. Plays with a nasty streak; brings any fight back to his opponent, and then some. Also hustles downfield to help running backs get an extra yard and is willing to clean up piles.

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LB Jake Knott (Iowa State) -- a lot of people favor AJ Klein, his teammate LB, but i believe Knott is the better long-term prospect. fantastic instincts and projected as a Will backer, he can contribute on Special Teams right away (and we usually rely on our depth guys to be big ST contributors). his injured shoulder is presumably fine now, as he put up 20 reps at ISU's pro day. certainly good value to be had here in the mid-to-late rds.

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WR Chris Harper (Kansas State) -- certainly we need help at WR, but Harper could be a real steal if we sit back and concentrate on defense in the early rds of the draft. Harper has reliable hands (check), competitive in 50/50 situations (check), and is an effective blocker (big check!!). he isn't a burner (4.5 guy), but he weighs in at close to 230lbs -- all things considered, that's a good combination of size/speed, and his strength shows. yet another WR drawing Boldin comparisons. could turn into a solid possession guy for us.

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DE Mike Catapano (Princeton) -- i'll admit, this is another guy i don't know much about -- but i'm intrigued, as my smarty-pants sister and brother-in law are Princeton alumni, so i have a soft spot for the university. Catapano was awarded Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year (12 sacks, 15.5 TFL). more importantly, Vikes were at his pro day and we reportedly flew him in to meet with Frazier and Alan Williams. ran in the 4.6's and benched 33 reps. with depth needed at DE with so many impending FAs, Catapano could be an interesting choice.

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that's who i got -- any Day 3 hopefuls you guys want to see in Purple??

This FanPost was created by a registered user of The Daily Norseman, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the staff of the site. However, since this is a community, that view is no less important.

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