Around this time of year, there is a general consensus on who the top players are at their position and which players earned draftable grades. Opinions start to reflect similar valuations, and good players fall through the cracks due to this type of groupthink. We’ve established this sleeper team to point out players The 33rd Team feels are being undervalued by public perception.
Our team of scouts identified these 19 players as our 2022 NFL Draft All-Sleeper Team.
To read each prospect’s full scouting report, click the links to their names below!
QB – Dustin Crum – Kent State
Crum was first-team All-MAC in 2020 for Kent State. His best traits are his decision-making and instincts for the position. He shows average physical tools with the arm strength to make most throws. Our quarterback scout projects his ceiling to be a low-end starter or consistent back-up with the mental intangibles he brings with his play, making him an obvious candidate for the All-Sleeper Team.
RB – Tyler Allgeier – BYU
Allgeier is a former linebacker turned running back who brings a defensive physicality to his play demeanor. He is missing some long-end speed, but makes the All-Sleeper Team because he shows good enough feet and vision to be a role player at the next level. He would provide excellent value for a team on the 3rd day of the draft.
WR – Alec Pierce – Cincinnati
Pierce started to show up on the media’s radar after he ran a blazing 4.41 at the combine, jumped a 40.5 in the vertical and measured in at 6-foot-3. His play speed on the field is great for a receiver his size, and he shows enough route running to be a threat at the next level. When all is said and done, people will look back at this draft process and wonder why they didn’t hear his name more often in the pre-draft process.
WR – David Bell – Purdue
Bell was named first-team All-Big 10 in 2021. He is a receiver who brings a physical mentality to win on routes and with the ball in his hands. He has a big catch radius and shows solid hand production. He is missing the long speed and burst to be a true big playmaker, but makes the All-Sleeper Team because he can be a reliable target at the next level who can separate enough and fight for gritty yards after the catch.
TE – Jelani Woods – Virginia
Woods did not start his college career at the tight end position. He was recruited to be a dual-threat QB at Oklahoma State before changing positions and then grad-transferring in 2021. He is a strong route runner with enough speed to be a threat. Standing at 6-foot-7, Woods has promising size and athletic ability to be a great mid-round pick in this year’s draft.
OT – Max Mitchell – Louisiana
Mitchell is an experienced tackle who has played on both sides of the line during his career. He has quick enough feet for the next level and shows refined technique in pass protection. Once he adds some strength to his core and legs he will be able to use his athletic tools that make him an intriguing prospect.
OT – Matt Waletzko – University of North Dakota
Waletzko is a lengthy tackle standing at a legitimate 6-foot-7 with over 36 inch arms. He has the physical tools to play at this level and shows some promising athleticism to develop in the league. He will need to work on his footwork and balance but has the ideal body type to play in the NFL.
IOL – Cam Jurgens – Nebraska
Jurgens transitioned from tight end during his redshirt freshman year and started 31 games on the line after his switch. He is a promising pass protector with an effective combination of core strength and knee bend to quick-set well. He can withhold the depth of a pocket and be disruptive in the run game with his strength. With most of the talk going to the top prospects in this year’s class, Jurgens is being undervalued so far.
READ MORE: Cam Jurgens Can Develop into An Elite Center
IOL – Cole Strange – Chattanooga
Strange started 44 games for Chattanooga while seeing time at both left tackle and center. He plays with a low center of gravity and positions very well on his blocks. He is a better run blocker but shows enough in pass protection to be productive. Strange’s combination of flexibility and strength will make him a solid selection in the mid-to-late rounds for a team looking to add depth to their offensive line.
EDGE – DeAngelo Malone – Western Kentucky
Malone was named Conference USA defensive player of the year in 2021. He is a tall, athletic, edge rusher who is lacking some weight to play against the run at the next level. He wins with good speed and bend around the edge, combined with refined pass rush moves. He will most likely need to gain weight and functional strength to become an every down starter but has enough traits to be effective as a situational pass rusher in a 3-4 scheme this year. His lower level of competition is a major reason as to why people are sleeping on his abilities.
EDGE – Tyreke Smith – Ohio State
Smith was a multi-year starter for the Buckeyes and was a top pass rusher for their defense last year. He projects as a 4-3 defensive end at the next level who flashes really good hand fighting and pursuit on the edge. He is missing a little bit of twitch and finish in his play but will be a good sleeper pick for a team in need of a player who has 3-down potential.
DT – Neil Farrell Jr. – LSU
Farrell Jr. was named an All-American by Pro Football Focus and started 21 games for LSU in his career. He is a well-built defensive tackle who is limited from an athleticism standpoint. He is strong at the point of attack and has the strength to possibly be a two gap player at the next level. He fits both a 4-3 and 3-4 scheme, but his pass rush ability limits him to a 2-down player. Farrell Jr. makes our All-Sleeper Team because he is an underrated defender who will make plays against the run for a team next year.
DT – John Ridgeway – Arkansas
Ridgeway transferred to Arkansas from Illinois State after Spring 2021 where he started 12 games for the Razorbacks at defensive tackle. His best trait is his hand strike and upper body strength when engaging blocks. He is relatively slower in pursuit and is missing some foot twitch to win with quickness. Ridgeway is a fully-built player who shows the strength to be effective at the next level. With proper technical adjustments he could become a rotational player.
LB – Troy Andersen – Montana State
Andersen was named the 2021 FCS defensive player of the year and first-team All-Conference in the Big Sky. He started out as a quarterback in 2018 and then made the transition to linebacker in 2019. He is insanely athletic while playing with a fast and physical mentality for the position. Andersen has the physical traits to be molded into a very good off-ball linebacker at the next level.
LB – Darrian Beavers – Cincinnati
Beavers was a first-team All-AAC selection in 2021 and helped lead the Bearcats to their first CFP appearance. He is a tall linebacker who is 6-foot-4 and possesses the ideal frame for an inside linebacker in today’s NFL, but also brings pass rush upside due to his strength, hand accuracy, and high motor. He plays with a hard-nosed demeanor and will be an impactful 2-down backer next year with the ability to grow into a third down pass rusher.
CB – Marcus Jones – Houston
Throughout Jones’ career at Houston he earned multiple All-Conference honors as a cornerback and as a punt return specialist. He shows great twitch and sudden movement that will make him a sought after slot corner at the next level. His impact on special teams is extremely underrated, and he will bring twitchy athleticism to the slot for a team. His biggest knock is his height (5’8”), which is a big reason why he will have to play in the slot.
CB – Cam Taylor-Britt – Nebraska
Taylor-Britt was named 2nd team All-Big 10 at cornerback this past season. He is an instinctual and physical corner who is a good enough athlete to find success at the NFL level. His All-Sleeper Team candidacy is bolstered by sticky press-man coverage ability with good hand usage and hips that allow him to mimic receivers. He attacks the ball well in the air and shows the coordination to make plays at the catch point. He is missing some high-end suddenness and burst which the top defensive backs possess. Taylor-Britt should be a good grab for a cornerback-needy team in the mid-rounds of the draft.
S – Nick Cross – Maryland
Cross, who started 21 games for Maryland in his career, was an honorable mention in the All-Big Ten team in 2021. He is a fast and twitchy safety who needs to play with a little more recklessness in the run game. He shows really good pursuit speed and range in the secondary. His tackling form needs to improve if he wants to make more of an impact near the line of scrimmage. Cross is the type of sleeper who can make a big impact at the professional level if his athleticism can be paired with proper technique.
S – JT Woods – Baylor
Woods played safety for Baylor’s defense and was a Big-12 honorable mention on the All-Conference team. His candidacy for our All-Sleeper Team is bolstered by his length, speed and burst to drive out of his back pedal. He covers the ground in front of him quickly but doesn’t show enough range to play the centerfielder-type role in an NFL defense. His length and athleticism will help him contribute to a primarily cover-3 team. Woods makes most of his plays bursting off his plant foot and attacking throws underneath him.