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March 23, 2013 @ 10:13 am
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2013 NFL Draft Buried Treasures

Written by Eric
Eric Dellaratta


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Every NFL team hopes to find a diamond in the rough come draft weekend in April. In this feature Pewter Report's Eric Dellaratta lists a few players that while not highly ranked, could become productive NFL players, possibly in Tampa Bay.
Every year there are players that are selected on day three, rounds four through seven, of the NFL draft that surprise and contribute early on in their careers. Some players that fit in this category from 2012’s draft are Washington running back Alfred Morris, New England cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, Indianapolis running back Vick Ballard, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, and Philadelphia running back Bryce Brown. This article will cover three players that I believe could be late-round picks that contribute early on in their NFL careers.

We’ve already discussed the following buried treasures in previous “Draft Discussion” articles.

Arkansas RB Dennis Johnson
Georgia WR Tavarres King
Vanderbilt RB Zac Stacy
Tennessee WR Zach Rogers
Florida International S Johnathan Cyprien
Western Kentucky TE Jack Doyle

Finding pass-rushers late in the draft is a tough task for NFL franchises. It’s even tougher to find them once the draft concludes in undrafted free agency. One player who could fall that has a chance to stick in the NFL is Northern Illinois defensive end Sean Progar.

Progar was tested against highly touted Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Waston in the Orange Bowl. While Watson performed relatively well against the pass-rusher, Progar did beat him with speed rushes and was strong at the point of attack on running plays.

It is evident that Progar is working hard in the weight room. On tape, he displays excellent strength and good leg drive. If the pass-rusher was able to get his hands inside, offensive tackles had a hard time keeping Progar in check.

Progar doesn’t have great short area quickness or change of direction skills, which leads me to believe that he is best fit as a 4-3 defensive end. His lack of size (6-2, 254) is another reason his draft stock will be limited. Progar has a change to be draft in the later rounds but he will likely be an undrafted free agent. If the senior lands in the right situation and can get some good coaching, he could make a 53-man roster somewhere in the NFL.

NFL teams are always looking to add talented defensive backs, and a team looking for one in the later rounds could take a shot on Georgia Tech cornerback Rod Sweeting.

Sweeting suffered through a somewhat disappointing senior season, but he did have an outstanding game against quarterback Logan Thomas and the Virginia Tech Hokies. Sweeting laid some big hits and broke up two passes. The senior defensive back got the opportunity to play in the East-West Shrine game, where he went on to perform well during practices.

The Georgia Tech product’s best attribute is his physicality. He’s a gamer that likes to get in people’s faces. Sweeting has strong hands which allow him to redirect receivers at the line of scrimmage in press coverage.

While many are down on Sweeting, he’s definitely worth a late round selection. If he can be coached up, the former Yellow Jacket should have a good chance to make a roster because his physical play will be valuable on special teams.

John Boyett, a senior safety from Oregon, could be an interesting option for a team later in the draft. Whatever team brings him will have to do some extensive research into his injury history. Boyett had surgery to repair partially torn patellar tendons in both knees after the team’s first game against Arkansas State.

Boyett (5-10, 205) was extremely productive prior to injuring his knees. In 2011, the Oregon senior racked an astounding 108 tackles from his safety position. Boyett finished his career with 278 tackles, 10 interceptions, 20 pass breakups, and two blocked kicks in 40 games.

On tape, Boyett flies around the football field. He’s unbelievably instinctive and has good enough athleticism to make plays against opposing passing attacks. Boyett is a hard-hitter that seems to play the game faster than everyone else. He’s a true football player that an NFL team should fall in love with.

If Boyett checks out medically, he should at worst be a very good special teams player and a backup safety. Right now, he’s projected to go undrafted by most draft analysts. PewterReport.com believes that if he were one-hundred percent healthy he would be a mid-round pick in the 2013 draft. If a team snatches him up in the sixth or seventh-round, they could be getting a potential steal.

Follow @EricDellaratta on Twitter for more draft analysis and discussion.

Last modified on Saturday, 23 March 2013 14:40

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  • avatar

    Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson will be a star in this league!! The Bobby Petrino debacle last year ruined what would have been a Heisman like year. Remember you heard it here 1st.
  • avatar

    I know schiano is going to take a QB this year and im still hoping its going to be Nassib. The kid can play and has more experience, comeback wins and size than any QB out there. Reminds me of the some guy with the last name Brady. I know hes not a "buried treasure" but hes real good and deserves a decent pick. IMO I think the bucs should look at Ertz from Stanford, mans got size and I think we could develop him. I few of these guys you said on here are worth later on in the draft but lets wait for all their pro-days and then re-write this article :)
  • avatar

    I think that if Sean Progar,Rod Sweeting and John Boyett were all available when selects in Rd-6 mult selects it would bring some bonus players-GO BUCS
  • avatar

    I would add Dalton Freeman, Center out of Clemson. Projected as a 7th rounder he has the versatility to play guard and long snapper. Third fastest 40 time amongst O-linemen at the combine ... and never missed a snap during his 4 years at Clemson! Could prove reliable and provide some much needed depth to our O-line.
  • avatar

    4 years starter at O-line is great but the guys in the NFL are much larger and faster. He would be lucky not to miss a game his first couple years in the league. O-line is the most physical spot on the field
  • avatar

    Good Article Eric. I would hope that the coach and GM also has inside information on some of own State Schools that not many other teams know about. We have a lot of local talent playing about our State too. The heck with Rutgers and the Kansas State area, how about our own State?
  • avatar

    Good one Horse, what is the over under on getting 3 or more new K State and Rutgers players signed through the draft and undrafted FA's?
  • avatar

    On a slow day , when there is no Revis news, Google a couple of these late round or UDFAs. I listed only positions of need. SS Cooper Taylor/Rich, FS Dexter McCoil/Tulsa, CBs Marcus Cromartie/Wisc, Michael Carter/Minn, DT Nicholas Williams/small school.
  • avatar

    Great information on Progar Eric. He is under the radar right now. He would be worth a try to sign after the draft. However I would not even waste a pick or look at Sweeting. He had only one interception the whole year, is too slow to keep up with deep threats, has very limited athleticism, and does not have the power necessary to stop the run. He is confident and has good instincts, but that does not overbalance the negatives. Johnson, unsigned last year in the draft, is far better. Boyette is also under the radar right now too, and am pleased you have spotted him. I agree if our doctors say he is good to go, he could make an interesting backup safety and special teams player.
  • avatar

    Thanks, owlykat. I agree that Sweeting had a down year, but I feel that he has the tools to become an effective NFL cornerback. It's all about developing him.
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