In the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft, there are many candidates who are thought to be overlooked, or sleepers. Some because they are over-or-under rated, while others are considered a "big fish in a small pond" or could it be a big fish in a overlooked, untapped pond?
I had the opportunity to interview an incoming NFL Draft prospect that is just that, coming from an overlooked pond.
What is an overlooked pond? Any Division II or III school. Let me remind you of the talent that has come from these ranks: Jerry Rice, Larry Allen, Jacoby Jones, Brian Urlacher, Daniel Manning, Jahri Evans.
OK, you get the point that there are plenty of big names, Hall of Famers and Pro Bowlers that have come from the lower division schools. To the same effect, there also some great players who get overlooked completely that play in Division I like undrafted player Arian Foster or Victor Cruz.
Now that I have clarified that there are great players who are easily overlooked, it's time to get down to the 2012 NFL Draft prospect Donterrious Porter, defensive back and return specialist from Luther College.
The Houston Texans may have an option in the first round that will be both unexpected and not exactly provocative.
The NFL Draft is almost a week away, and before we get into mock drafts, there is a decent chance that Houston will land a defensive tackle in the first round.
Jerel Worthy may be the "best player available" at the 26th pick should the Bears select Kendall Wright. Stephen Hill and Alshon Jeffery are wide receivers who will be in the mix, as well. Reuben Randle's stock may dropped him to a possible Second Round selection.
Based on value, which is how general manager Rick Smith is expected to approach the draft, Worthy would appear to be the best player on the board at No. 26.
Worthy, a bruiser out of Michigan St., stands at 6'2 and 308 pounds, and has the size to suit Wade Phillips. Worthy is capable of easily beating linemen and has a strong understanding of how to use his size. He is very quick and knows how to use his hands to get into the backfield.
While the NFL Draft has numerous players that have flown under the radar, one player who featured prominently in college football last season was Rueben Randle, a highly regarded wide receiver from LSU.
Randle entered the 2012 NFL Draft as a junior and has seen his draft stock rise over the past few weeks. He is projected to be a late first-round pick or an early second-pick. Randle has great size at 6'3, and 210 pounds, and showed great speed at the combines when he ran the 40 in 4.5 seconds.
With an interest in drafting a wide receiver, the Texans may be interested in selecting Randle.
While playing in the SEC, Randle faced some of the best defensive backs in the nation. He seems to posses the speed and ability to stretch the field and beat elite coverage.
Randle posted impressive numbers at LSU. He caught 53 passes for 917 yards, to go along with eight touchdowns.
However, some experts believe the 6'4 wide out is too raw, and drafting him would be more about potential than immediate results.
As the 2012 NFL Draft nears, the consensus opinion is that wide receiver will be the position the Texans will focus on with their first round selection.
However, there are some who believe that the Texans will exercise the "best player available" draft philosophy. Rick Smith may deserve credit for using that mentality heading into the Draft. Results from the last draft seem to have proven that the strategy works.
The Texans may likley remain in the market for a top wide out to ease pressure off Andre Johnson.
A benefit of the 2012 Draft is that the wide-receiver class is so deep that quality talent can be found in the second round. Stephen Hill and Alshon Jeffery are both quality receivers and are expected to be available in the second round.
Houston may have an eye on draft depth, and perhaps at wide receiver, as the club is rumored to be interested in dealing their first round picks for an additional second rounder, and more.
The 2012 NFL Draft is just 23 days away.
Of the 27 NFL mock drafts, 22 have the Texans taking a wide receiver in the first round. Kendall Wright, Alshon Jeffery and Stephen Hill are names that have been mentioned. Of the other five mock drafts, two have the Texans taking an offensive tackle, while the others have the club taking an outside linebacker, a guard, and a nose tackle.
Out of those possibilities, the prospect that perhaps makes the most sense is a legit run-stuffing space-eating nose tackle above 300 pounds. While the choice of a nose tackle would not be needed to immediately replace Shaun Cody, but rather to be groomed for an eventual starter role.
Earl Mitchell doesn't appear to be the long-term answer at the position and neither is Cody. There are some talented nose tackles in this draft who are expected to be selected in the first two rounds.
The ideal choice would be Dontari Poe, who is coming off an excellent combine, and is likely to crack the Top 15 picks in the draft. Another possibility is Fletcher Cox, who appears certain to make the first round.