2022 NFL Draft Third-Day Sleepers

2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
2022 NFL Draft Day-Three Sleepers

Published April 18, 2022.
By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell

Throughout NFL history there have been steals in 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 who could be draft-day steals. Three years ago, Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin – Commanders – was listed here. Two years ago some picks included Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson – Rams – and Georgia guard Solomon Kindley – Dolphins – who are off to good starts to their career. One pick from last year, nose tackle Tedarrell Slaton had a solid debut for the Packers. Perhaps some of these players will be similar values this year.

Dameon Pierce, RB, Florida
Pierce might slip to the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft, where he could be a massive steal. With his skill set, Pierce is a sleeper back who could have three-down starting potential. Pierce is a hard-nosed back who runs angry and will force pain on defenders who try to tackle him. In the passing game, Pierce is a nice outlet receiver. He is smooth in space and has soft, reliable hands. As a pro, he could be a solid contributor as a receiver and should be a treasure as a blocker. At the Senior Bowl, Pierce put on display his superb blocking ability. The 5-foot-9, 220-pounder also had a small work load at Florida, splitting carries in a rotation, so he enters the NFL healthy with fresh legs and very low mileage. On top of all of that, Pierce is a great kid who loves football and is good teammate. He could end up as one of the biggest steals of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Chasen Hines, G, LSU
Hines might slip to Day 3, and he could be a steal thanks to his starter potential. Hines was a steady and reliable pass protector at LSU. He has strong hands that rock defenders and can knock them off balance to slow them down. In the ground game, Hines was a productive run blocker for the Tigers, who had a lot of success running behind him. The 6-foot-3, 332-pounder could be a forceful guard who turns into a valuable NFL starter.

Velus Jones, WR, Tennessee
Jones was an effective contributor for Tennessee in 2021, totaling 62 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. It was a big jump over his 2020 production (22-280-3). Jones’ solid play in 2021 landed him a Senior Bowl invitation, and he showed off his dangerous deep speed in Mobile. He dropped a lot of passes, however, and he really struggled in the wet conditions. The 6-foot, 204-pounder, however, possesses game-breaking speed, which was particularly illustrated by his electric 40 of 4.31 seconds at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine. Jones could be a fourth-round pick who proves to be an excellent value as a rotational contributor.

Sam Williams, DE, Ole Miss
The only reason Williams will be available on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft is because of massive off-the-field issues. If Williams had been a good teammate and stayed out of trouble, he would be a first- or second-round pick. Williams was phenomenal in 2021 and one of the best defensive lineman in the nation. He collected 57 tackles, 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one pass defended on the year. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder is fast off the edge with real athleticism. He could end up being the next Greg Hardy or Randy Gregory, but that could be a steal on the field for the team that is willing to put with Williams’ character issues.

Honorable Mentions
  • Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely
  • Clemson linebacker James Skalski
  • Virginia safety Nick Grant
  • Virginia safety Joey Blount

2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Day 2 Values: Defense
2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Offense | 2022 NFL Draft Potential Busts: Defense
2022 NFL Draft Day-Three Sleepers

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