Throughout NFL history there have been steals in the mid- to late rounds of the draft. Some of these players are backups for a few seasons before earning starting roles and excelling. This article picks out some potential sleepers for Day 3 of the 2014 NFL Draft who could be steals.
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Boyd had a tremendous college career and has been knocked down over a rough offseason. The 6-foot, 222-pounder has a powerful arm and throws a great deep ball. Boyd also is a good runner and served as Clemson's power back as a senior. The knocks on Boyd are accuracy and ball placement. While he definitely has room to improve, I think those criticisms have been exaggerated. He had some prolific games against Georgia and LSU during the past two seasons with some huge plays in crunch time. Boyd is a gamer who could become a special player if he can develop his accuracy.
Seantrel Henderson, OT, Miami
Henderson was the No. 1 recruit in the nation coming out of high school, but his college career was a huge disappointment. Still, as a senior, he flashed the ability to be a difference-maker and continued to show that at the Senior Bowl. Henderson (6-7, 331) has great size and is also very athletic. With his quickness and agility, he has the skill set to be a dominant offensive tackle. Getting a fresh start with a coaching staff that is patient to put in the work with him could pay off with a third-day steal. Athletically, Henderson can do anything he wants. Perhaps getting out of college and into the NFL will help him to focus on football so he can reach his potential.
Josh Huff, WR, Oregon
The 5-foot-11, 206-pounder made a lot of big plays for Oregon during the past few seasons. In 2013, Huff collected 62 receptions for 1,140 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was the best receiver for Marcus Mariota, but with the Ducks favoring their running offense, Huff didn't see as many targets as he would have at most schools. Huff is quick, sudden and gets separation. In the NFL, he could be a nice slot receiver who could make plays in the middle of the field.
Morgan Breslin, OLB, USC
Breslin was one of the top pass-rushers in the Pac-12 in 2012. He produced a big stat line of 62 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, four passes batted and a forced fumble. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder played well as a senior considering he had 4.5 sacks in a handful of games, but a number of injuries derailed his final season. Breslin has quickness off the edge with a nose to get to the quarterback. He may be late pick or even fall undrafted depending on the medical reports, but he could be a steal. Breslin would be a nice situational pass-rusher for a 3-4 defense.
Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida
Watkins has the versatility to play cornerback and safety. He played a variety of spots for the Gators including nickel corner in the slot, safety and on the outside. Watkins has some room for improvement in his coverage, but the position changes didn't help him to get settled in one spot. The 5-foot-11, 194-pounder is strong for his size but also showed some explosive speed with a 4.41-second time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine. For the NFL, Watkins could be considered a free safety or cornerback who should also be a good player on special teams. Some teams might consider him late in the third round.