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NFL Draft: Top Sleeper Picks That Could Sneak Into the Top 5

  1.  Johnny Manziel – QB – Texas A&M

photo via
photo via

Manziel has been rumored to be all over the place on draft night, with projections varying from #1 to #4 to second round for where he ends up.

I would love to see Houston take him as a hometown favorite at number one. He fits perfectly with the Texans run and gun offense and could easily start week one with no real competition in front of him.

He could also go at #4 to the Cleveland Browns, who are just desperate to get their feet wet in the pool of success. It has been so long for the sad Cleveland franchise(s) since the Browns were able to churn up any sort of respectable season. He would mesh well with former Texan Ben Tate and also love to throw to the NFL’s second best wideout, Josh Gordon.

If the Raiders took him at five, I would be mildly shocked. They brought in Matt Schaub and a bundle of other free agents to win now and Manziel would represent more of a building role for the Raiders. Still, do not be surprised if Johnny Football dons the black and white next year in southern California.


2.  Khalil Mack – LB – Buffalo

photo from
photo from


Mack has been known for quite a while as a top talent in this years draft. In his 2013 season, he had 10.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown.

Mack would be a blessing for any team slotted to draft spots 6-10 (ISH’s NFL writer Mark Shutley has him going at number nine to Buffalo), so of course they probably won’t get their shot at him. Jacksonville could pick him as high as number three. He would fit nicely with a solid core of defenders that they are putting together in Florida.

According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Dispatch, the Rams are seriously considering Mack at #2 (via Bleacher Report). The Rams are unlikely to go with a major offensive position like quarterback here, so it is definitely a possibility.

AND, believe it or not, USA TODAY’s Jim Corbett thinks that the Texans may give Mack a call at number one overall.

I don’t see the Texans passing on Clowney or Manziel for a linebacker, but hey, who knows?



3. Blake Bortles – QB – UCF

Photo via Fox Sports
Photo via Fox Sports

Bortles’ draft stock has been like a see-saw this offseason, rumored from being a number one overall lock to falling down way past #1o.

Bortles even told USA TODAY “I’d take me”.

While that kind of confidence can be looked down at or up to, Bortles may be reconsidering his options if it was actually up to him to decide. Bortles is probably not number one overall material, but I could see a team desperate for offense like Jacksonville taking him at number three overall.

Don’t get me wrong, he is no Blaine Gabbert.

In a good way, of course.

Bortles’ talents could really make him special in this league and, if drafted to the right squad, could make a nice career for himself. If  he goes in the top 5 may affect that career substantially.



4. Mike Evans – WR – Texas A&M

photo via
photo via

The other Aggie on this list has been talked about much less than his former gunslinger Johnny Manziel. Evans fits on a lot of teams picking in the top 5 and him ending up in Rams, Browns, or Raiders jersey next season is incredibly likely.

Paired with rocket arm Sam Bradford and receivers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt, Evans would shine. So would the Rams offense.

The Browns may look to not take a quarterback with their first of 2 first rounders in the draft and instead take wideout Mike Evans. Starting alongside Josh Gordon and Brian Hoyer/24th overall pick at quarterback, the Browns would be a special offensive team with a vast supply of weapons. While it would lack star power, it would get great production. Evans could easily turn into a healthier Danny Amendola or Eric Decker.

The Raiders have done well this offseason, bringing in names like James Jones and Maurice Jones-Drew to help out the offense. Despite their tinkering, the Raiders still remain thin on the wings. Adding a receiver with Evans’ talents as a number two option in the passing game could do wonders for newcomer Matt Schaub.


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