As human beings, all of us like to be first to love something that becomes popular, from recent bands and songs to gadgets. NFL scouts are not any different in terms of discovering prospects.
I’ll always remember an area scout for an NFL team calling in 2016 to inform me a few quarterback at Wyoming “nobody knows about yet.” That quarterback was Josh Allen, and the scout was right. People weren’t talking about Allen as a possible top-10 pick early within the 2016 season, but they’d be soon enough, because the Bills picked him No. 7 overall within the 2018 draft and he has developed right into a superstar.
There’s a race in NFL circles to be first on a prospect as much as there’s a determination to be right about each of them. And as we prepare for the school football and 2023 NFL draft seasons, it is time to plant flags and claim players as early under-the-radar prospects.
In our lead-up to the season, we polled multiple NFL scouts, scouting directors and general managers to offer us their sleeper picks for next 12 months’s draft. These are a couple of players who aren’t as well-known — yet — but could vault into first-round consideration, together with a couple of who already are popping up in mock drafts — including mine — and will turn into the highest prospects at their positions.
Let’s start with the fellows outside the primary round, and we’ll finish with 4 potential top-10 picks: