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NFL: Top Sleepers of the 2014 Draft

ANALYST
Modified 20 Mar 2019, 14:54 IST
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NFL Draft logo12 picks. In the 2014 NFL Draft, the New York Jets hold 12 picks. That includes three in the  fourth round and four in the sixth.  While mocking an 18th pick selection (round one) is fascinating, these are the names to watch on Day 2 and beyond.  

Sleeping soundly

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Stanley Jean-Baptiste — CB — Nebraska

Baptiste (6’3?) is a receiver-turned-corner, so the hands intrigue me. In 2013, Baptiste recorded four interceptions for 134 yards and a touchdown. The NFL has a new era of cornerbacks on the way, seeing more teams drafting and picking up taller CBs for coverage advantages. I like Baptiste’s size, and with his catching ability, he could be a force in a Rex Ryan’s defense.

NFL Comparison: Richard Sherman

De’Anthony Thomas — RB — Oregon

Thomas is a speedy running back who posted a 4.39, 40 yard dash at his pro day. With a season plagued by injuries, 2013 was the most intriguing season for Thomas, but look up the numbers of his 2012 season and you’ll have some heads turn.

De’Anthony Thomas put up stealthy stats in ’12, with a combined 1,146 rushing/receiving yards and 16 touchdowns. I like the fact that Thomas isn’t a one-side back. He’s elusive between the tackles, but at the same time can do some damage running a route and producing good YAC numbers.

NFL Comparison: Darren Sproles

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An explosive back, who’s small, and can be deadly in different aspects of the offensive game.

John Brown — WR — Pitt State

We all know the Jets need some offensive weapons, which leads me to my next big time sleeper, John Brown. A shorter receiver (5’10?), with explosive speed—posting a 4.34, 40 yard dash.

In two seasons with Pitt State, Brown posted 124 receptions, 2,189 yards and 20 touchdowns. Brown also has value as a return specialist, combining for four return touchdowns in 2011 and 2012. Working on the inside, opposite Jeremy Kerley, the speedster could be a huge target for Geno Smith. I love his ability to go after a ball and make big plays after the catch. Brown could potentially be a Week 1 starter.

NFL Comparison: DeSean Jackson

A poor-man’s Jackson should interest the Jets, especially since he hasn’t had off-the-field issues.

James Morris — LB — Iowa

One of my favorite sleepers I’d like to see the Jets get their hands on is James Morris, linebacker from Iowa. Morris has put up incredible numbers during his college career. His most impressive season was 2013, posting 107 tackles, 8 sacks, 18 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 3 pass deflections and 4 interceptions.

I like his ability to torture quarterbacks, whether its taking them down in the backfield or getting his hands on the ball, over the middle. With good acceleration and a 4.8, 40 yard, Morris has good explosiveness to clog up a hole and chase down opposing running backs.

NFL Comparison: Ray Lewis

More for his style of play, rather than impact as a leader, but who knows? We can’t predict the future.

Published 02 Apr 2014, 00:59 IST
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