2012 NFL Draft: 5 Under-the-Radar Players You Must Know

Bradlee Ross@rossbeCorrespondent IIJanuary 11, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: 5 Under-the-Radar Players You Must Know

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    College football is over for the year, so the next big event to look forward to is the 2012 NFL draft. Many underrated, lesser known players will be drafted such as Ryan Broyles and Dontari Poe.

    Everyone has heard about guys like Andrew Luck, Justin Blackmon and Trent Richardson, who will be drafted in the top five picks. But what about the guys who are talented but not touted?

    Here are five such guys.

Markelle Martin, FS, Oklahoma State

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    Markelle Martin is generally considered to be the best free safety in the draft, but no one has heard of him.

    Martin was the leader of an Oklahoma State defense that forced 44 turnovers this season. Individually, he forced two fumbles and accounted for 74 total tackles.

    Martin closes on the ball quickly and is extremely athletic. If he can put some weight on, he’ll be ready to step into an NFL defense.

Dontari Poe, DT, Memphis

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    First of all, Dontari Poe is huge at 6’5” and 350 pounds. He played on a bad team at Memphis, but he’s slowly started rising on people’s radar. However, the average sports fan probably still hasn’t heard of him.

    Poe had a down year this past season compared to past production (22 tackles), but he’s still shown his potential to disrupt the interior of offenses. It will be interesting to see where he goes.

Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma

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    Ryan Broyles knows how to play the game of football at the wide receiver position. The NCAA career record holder in receiving yards, Broyles had his senior season cut short by a knee injury.

    Broyles is a very talented guy and will make a great slot receiver for the team that chooses to take a chance on him. He has great hands, run nearly perfect routes and is a high character guy.

Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M

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    Cyrus Gray was sidelined with a shoulder injury for part of this season. That, combined with a disappointing 6-6 record for his Texas A&M Aggies, has hurt his draft status.

    However, this guy is a guy to watch for sure. He’s rushed for 24 touchdowns and  2,178 yards in the past two seasons. He also averaged over five yards per carry.

    Gray will definitely be drafted and will show his worth at the next level. He may go unnoticed, but that will change.

Austin Davis, QB, Southern Mississippi

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    Just one quarterback outdueled Houston’s Case Keenum this season. That man was Austin Davis.

    Davis had a fantastic season for the Southern Miss Golden Eagles this season, throwing for 3,496 yards and 30 touchdowns. Davis is a guy who will be drafted in a later round and could make a splash at the next level.

    The 6’2” senior has plenty of experience, having played for four years for the Golden Eagles. That experience will help him in the NFL.