Draft sleepers to watch for 2012 

April, 27, 2011

The NFL draft is almost here, which means that many of the most productive college players of the past few years are about to get bypassed in favor of guys with "more upside" or "higher ceilings." It doesn't mean that all of those college standouts won't find a spot in the NFL, however, as Wes Welker, Maurice Jones-Drew and Colt McCoy are all among the numerous examples of big-time college players who weren't first-rounders but have found NFL success.

So for this week's top 10 list, we're looking at the best college players who are flying under the radar for the 2012 draft. For our purposes in this blog post, that means that they aren't on Mel Kiper's top 5 lists (by position) of 2012 NFL prospects. Here are the guys to keep an eye on this season to see whether they can move their way to the top of the draft boards:

1. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State Broncos

Moore lacks prototypical size at 6 feet, 185 pounds, and he certainly doesn't have Ryan Mallett's arm strength, but you have to be wowed by his accuracy and decision-making skills. Last season, he had a 35-6 touchdown-to-interception mark, and completed better than 71 percent of his passes while leading the country in passing efficiency.

2. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona Wildcats

I was surprised that the Wildcats star wasn't on Kiper's list of top five receivers. Criner, who caught 82 passes for 11 touchdowns and had more than 1,200 receiving yards, is bigger than any of the other guys at 6-4, 215 pounds, and the former prep basketball standout has good ball skills. As his coaches say, Criner is a matchup nightmare.