2012 NFL Draft Prospects: Players Who Will Be Steals on Draft Day

Eric VincentCorrespondent IApril 24, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 03:  Jerel Worthy #99 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Wisconsin Badgers during the Big 10 Conference Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the NFL draft right around the corner, the anticipation continues to grow by the minute for fans as well as prospects.

Players like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Trent Richardson seem to show much promise at the next level. After impressive collegiate careers and a high ceiling of potential, not many people are writing these men off as busts or overrated.

Every year, however, comes a crop of prospects that take the league by surprise. Some people call them sleepers, some people call them gems. Whatever you choose to call them, every team hopes one or two of them lands in their lap.

Here are four sleepers in the NFL draft you'll hear much more about in the future.

 

Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State

Jerel Worthy was a monster in the middle for Michigan State in the Big Ten. Worthy is a run-stuffer with a quick burst off the line, and a high-motor pursuit to get to the quarterback.

At the beginning of the 2011 season, Worthy was mocked in many drafts as a top-10 pick. Worthy will be selected between the late first round and middle of the second round, but he's still a top defensive prospect despite the reduced expectations.

He's capable of playing any scheme and will create problems for offenses no matter where he goes.

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24:  Nick Perry #8 of the USC Trojans rushes against the Oregon State Beavers on October 24, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 42-36.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

 

Nick Perry, DE, USC

Nick Perry is a hybrid edge rusher with a lot of potential. At 6'3", 270 pounds, Perry is a physical and aggressive defensive end. Perry has great technique off the line, and he plays with maximum energy on every play.

Based on his size, it might be a tough transition for Perry in a 3-4 system. His agility and speed might hinder his immediate impact. With his high character and work ethic, however, Perry will take massive strides forward in his development as a pro.

 

David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech

Don't let the 5'10", 206-pound frame fool you, David Wilson is a great combination of speed and strength. Wilson has the skill set to make defenders miss in open space, but also enough power to break arm tackles.

Wilson might have the reputation of a flashy speed running back, but he'll turn heads and surprise many with his versatile run style and ability to catch passes out of the backfield. With an improvement in pass protection, Wilson could be one of the more complete backs in the NFL.

 

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 03:  Jayron Hosley #20 of the Virginia Tech Hokies intercepts a pass in the third quarter against of the Michigan Wolverines during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 3, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech

There is plenty of depth in the draft this year at cornerback, especially in the first round, which makes Jayron Hosley a quality sleeper option in the second or third round.

Hosley has great instinctive cornerback skills, and he has a natural feel for making plays on the ball. Hosley is a great athlete as well, making him a complete player in the secondary. His 5'10", 175-pound frame will cause him to slip in the draft, but it won't harm his play on the field.