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2012 NFL Draft Preview: Top 5 First-Round Sleepers

2012 NFL Draft Preview: Top 5 First-Round Sleepers: When trying to predict which players will go off the board first in the upcoming NFL draft, it is always important to be aware of the first-round sleepers. These are generally the players blessed with a ton of athletic talent that still need some polishing in the technique department or the players that seem to look better on paper than their numbers did on the field. Either way, there are always a handful of enticing options available in the first round of the draft that some general managers find too good to pass up, and when they go off the board sooner than expected, the rest of the round can go in a direction few expected.

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2012 NFL Draft Preview: Top 5 First-Round Sleepers

1.      Ryan Tannehill, Quarterback, Texas A&M

With his height and arm strength, he certainly fits the mold of a prototypical NFL quarterback. That being said, Tannehill was also playing wide receiver at the collegiate level as recently as 2010 and made just 19 career starts under center for Texas A&M. It is hard to imagine that he is anywhere close to ready for the complexity that comes with running an NFL offense and reading an NFL defense. Still, his physical tools and potential to grow have made him the third-best prospect at the position behind Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. With teams like Cleveland and Miami sitting in the top 10 in need of a QB, Tannehill could go off the board a little sooner than he probably should.

2.      Michael Floyd, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame

Justin Blackmon is the top prospect at the position, but Floyd is arguably the most athletically-gifted receiver in the draft given his impressive combination of size and speed. His tendency to pick up as many DUIs off the field as touchdowns on it has raised questions about his character, but there is no question Floyd is a top-10 talent. Fortunately for him, Cleveland needs a playmaker, St. Louis needs a weapon for Sam Bradford, Jacksonville is a train wreck on offense, Miami traded away Brandon Marshall, and Carolina wants to surround Cam Newton with talent. With wide receiver being a need for at least half the teams picking in the top 10, there is a definite possibility one of them will pull the trigger on Floyd.

3.      Fletcher Cox, Defensive Tackle, Mississippi State

Defensive linemen are some of the toughest players to evaluate in the draft. For some reason, success in college doesn’t always translate to the next level. As a result, defensive tackles and defensive ends aren’t regulars in the top 10 of the first round. However, there are always exceptions to the rule, and Cox could be one of them. He was productive at Mississippi State and impressed during the combine. More importantly, Cox has been universally praised for his non-stop effort, which can be a rarity for defensive tackles. Jacksonville, Carolina and Buffalo are all potential landing spots for Cox, and the Panthers’ weak run defense in particular could make Cox a top-10 pick.

4.      Quinton Coples, Defensive End, North Carolina

The same rules apply to Coples as they do to Cox, but the former Tarheel is the antithesis of the former Bulldog. Coples is a freakish athlete, and he has the size and speed to be a dominate pass rusher. However, he was frequently criticized for failing to give maximum effort, and he often appeared unfocused during games. Having the ability to dominate the line of scrimmage is nice, but it means nothing if Coples lacks the desire to do it. It would be a big reach, but Coples has the most potential of any pass rusher in the draft. If there is a coaching staff out there convinced they can harness Coples’ raw talent, they could snatch him up early in the first round.

5.      Stephen Hill, Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech

It’s tough to imagine a receiver that had just 28 catches last season in college going in the first round at all, let alone early on. However, playing a run-first, triple-option system can make it tough to fill up the stat sheet. Fortunately for Hill, he flashed blazing speed and incredible athleticism during the combine, shooting him draft boards. Oakland receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey had a similar road to the NFL, and he ended up going seventh overall. While Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd seem to have distanced themselves from the other receivers in the draft, Hill is one player with enough upside and big play ability to be this year’s first round stunner.

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2018 Auto Club 400 Picks and Predictions: Top Sleeper Bets for the Auto Club 400

Sun, March 18, 2018

2018 Auto Club 400 Picks and Predictions – Top Sleeper Bets for the Auto Club 400: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finishes off its West Coast swing this weekend with a visit to Auto Club Speedway. The 2.0-mile oval will play host to the Auto Club 400 this Sunday, and like its sister track, […]

2018 Auto Club 400 Picks and Predictions: Auto Club 400 Favorites – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Sun, March 18, 2018

2018 Auto Club 400 Picks and Predictions: Auto Club 400 Favorites – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series makes a trip to Auto Club Speedway this weekend as the three-race West Coast swing comes to a close. The two-mile, D-shaped oval will host Sunday’s Auto Club 400, and the 200-lap […]

2018 XFINTIY Series Picks and Predictions: Favorites, Value Bets and Sleepers for the California 300

Sat, March 17, 2018

2018 XFINTIY Series Picks and Predictions – Favorites, Value Bets and Sleepers for the California 300: The NASCAR XFINITY Series is finishing up its West Coast swing this weekend at Auto Club Speedway, and while we are dealing with the fifth straight companion event to open the season, the field isn’t as stacked as it […]

2018 March Madness Predictions: Round of 32 Upset Specials for Saturday

Sat, March 17, 2018

2018 March Madness Predictions – Round of 32 Upset Specials for Saturday: The first day of the NCAA Tournament is in the books, and it wouldn’t have been March Madness without an upset or two. Of course, the Cinderella stories don’t stop after the opening wave of games, and looking ahead to the Round of […]

2018 March Madness Predictions: Round of 32 Upset Specials for Sunday

Sat, March 17, 2018

2018 March Madness Predictions: Round of 32 Upset Specials for Sunday: If the first day of March Madness was wild, then Day 2 was absolutely historic. The No. 1 overall seed, the Virginia Cavaliers, not only became the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed, but they were completely run off […]

Top 6 Teams to Win the College Basketball Championship

Thu, March 15, 2018

The NCAA Men’s College Basketball Championship starts this weekend. Annually, the 3-week March Madness Tournament is one of the most discussed sports events of the year. It’s also one of the best times for sports bettors and pay per head agents. Check out a list of the 6 teams that have emerged as the favorites […]

2018 March Madness Predictions: Top NBA Prospects Who Could Carry Their Teams

Wed, March 14, 2018

2018 March Madness Predictions – Top NBA Prospects Who Could Carry Their Teams: The NCAA Tournament is about to begin, and while it takes a great tea to survive the one-and-done format and emerge as champions, it doesn’t hurt to have an NBA-caliber player or two on your team. Over the years, great players have […]

2018 NCAA Bracket Picks & Predictions: No. 1 Seed in the Most Danger

Wed, March 14, 2018

2018 NCAA Bracket Picks & Predictions – No. 1 Seed in the Most Danger: For all the upsets and surprises that March Madness has produced over the years, we are still waiting for a No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the Round of 64. Needless to say, the smart money […]

2018 March Madness Predictions: Top National Title Sleeper Bets

Mon, March 12, 2018

2018 March Madness Predictions – Top National Title Sleeper Bets: It’s March Madness, and everyone loves the Cinderella story. David slaying Goliath is part of what makes the NCAA Tournament so exciting and so popular, and more than ever, you can bank on upsets happening. But just like Cinderella, there is usually an expiration date […]

2018 NCAA Bracketology: Midwest Region Odds, Predictions and Bracketology Projections

Mon, March 12, 2018

2018 NCAA Bracketology – Midwest Region Odds, Predictions and Bracketology Projections: The Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament Bracket is ridiculously loaded at the top. If you were going to list the top contenders for this year’s national championship, there is a good chance three of the teams in this region would end up in […]

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