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2018 NFL Draft: Here are three sleeper prospects who could be drafted in first round

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We are nearing the pinnacle of mock draft madness.NFL teams are busy meeting with prospects and dissecting this draft, position by position, and setting their boards.We are still two weeks away from anyone’s name being called by commissioner Roger Goodell and are nestled in the calm before the storm.Not much is really happening but the draft frenzy never ends and while the true information about which teams are sold on which players hasn’t even crystallized yet, the demand for daily mocks rages on.The football people are still being largely quiet and not wanting to tip their hands too much one way or the other.And there are always — every year — a small handful of players who received almost no love or attention through the mock draft cycle who end up hearing their name called well before anyone projected.There are always a few players who were rated in the media as third or fourth round guys who end up going on Day 1, while other players fall.It’s inevitable and part of the process.Could be “late-rising” defensive backs like Deone Bucannon and Byron Jones in recent years, or a pass rusher like Bruce Irvin end up coveted by multiple teams in the back end of the first round after hearing for months he was going a round or two later.Sometimes the players have character risks or flaws that led to them being overlooked by the mock mafia, and sometimes these are players who frankly didn’t get rated nearly highly enough by young and inexperienced area scouts, but whose tape jumps out to more grizzled position coaches and coordinators once they become more deeply involved in the evaluation process.Whatever the reasons, it’s an almost annual phenomenon and there are a few names that several of the evaluators I know the best and trust the most — and who have steered me straight in years past in this regard — have mentioned more than once as possibly fitting this description this time around.As these scouts begin to digest the consensus out there in the mock world, they find themselves asking why these players are not mentioned more frequently and they figure that by the time the draft actually starts these guys are gone higher than most are projecting.Here are three such players who have popped up in my draft research thus far: I spoke to multiple evaluators who said they believe he is one of the 3-4 best offensive linemen in this entire draft and who believe he is a plug-and-play impact starter from Day One at center.He doesn’t get mentioned nearly as much as Iowa’s James Daniels — a heck of a football player who I believe will go in round one — or Ohio State’s injured center Billy Price, but multiple people I trust believed emphatically that this is the best center in a nice crop of interior offensive linemen.”Best center in the draft for me,” one scout told me.”Maybe it’s the ankle injury or something [explaining the lack of hype], but this kid reminds me of Travis Frederick [Cowboys’ stud center who was a ‘surprise’ first-round pick himself in

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