Published On: Mon, Apr 23rd, 2018

4 under-the-radar prospects who could make an immediate impact

Share This

First-round picks hog the hype, but plenty of prospects selected over the following six rounds will wind up having stellar careers in the NFL as well.

In fact, a quartet of soon-to-be draftees flying under the radar appear primed to make a splash as rookies:

Kalen Ballage – RB, Arizona State

Ballage isn’t polished enough as a between-the-tackles rusher to go in the first round, but he has plenty of immediate value on third down. The Arizona State product tallied 64 receptions over his last two college seasons, including 44 in 2016, which should translate well over to the next level. He also returned kickoffs for the Sun Devils, and his numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine confirmed that Ballage should be a major weapon if he’s given the ball in space.

Rashaan Gaulden – CB, Tennessee

Immaturity concerns will keep Gaulden out of the first round, but his skills at cornerback are unquestioned. The former Tennessee standout has experience lining up outside and in the slot, so it won’t be hard for his NFL club to find him a role from Day 1. In addition to his proficiency against the pass, Gaulden is also an asset against the run, making him valuable in a variety of situations.

Dante Pettis – WR, Washington

Pettis isn’t the most physically imposing receiver, but the precision with which he runs his routes and his soft hands should make him a favorite of any NFL quarterback right away. Pettis doesn’t project as a No. 1 receiver at the next level, but his reliability in short-to-intermediate passing plays could prove significant in third-and-short situations. The former Washington star is also known for his electrifying ability on special teams, as he owns the NCAA record with nine career punt-return touchdowns.

Eddy Pineiro – K, Florida

Just as the NFL never has enough good quarterbacks, the league never has enough good kickers. Pineiro converted 38-of-43 field-goal attempts during his two seasons at Florida, and went 17-of-18 last year. For his career, he’s 5-for-5 from 50 yards or more, and he owns a career long of 54 yards. If those numbers aren’t enough to entice kicker-starved teams, the fact that he once drilled a 77-yarder in practice should. He may not be the next Justin Tucker, but Pineiro will likely decide a couple contests or so next season.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

Source link

About the Author

Like us on Facebook