NFL Draft 2013: Wide Receiver Sleepers Who Will Be Steals in April

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2013

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 15: Justin Hunter #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers during pregame warm-ups before their game against the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Knoxville, Tennessee.    (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
John Sommers II/Getty Images

Although wide receiver is not the strength of 2013 NFL draft class, there is plenty of depth to help teams after the first round.

The strength of this draft is offensive and defensive linemen that can get it done in the trenches. While receivers Keenan Allen and Cordarrelle Patterson will likely be taken in the first round, there are a number of other prospects who will excel at the next level.

These men will be passed over in the early goings of the draft, but they will end up being steals.

DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

After finishing second in the nation with 18 touchdown receptions, DeAndre Hopkins is not exactly sneaking up on anyone this offseason. However, he is still not getting nearly as much credit as he deserves.

The receiver is a big-play threat who was a catalyst for a high-powered Clemson's offense this season. 

He scored in all but one game in 2012, and there was not a single contest where he was unable to get at least a 25-yard reception. 

Hopkins has great hands and will be able to spread the field for any team at the next level with his ability to catch deep passes.

Justin Hunter, Tennessee

Most NFL scouts are focused on the athletic Cordarrelle Patterson as the receiver to get out of Tennessee, but it was Justin Hunter that produced all season long for the Volunteers.

Hunter is as solid as they come with good size and impressive hands, and this combination will make him a very good possession receiver at the next level.

While he does not have elite speed to beat cornerbacks deep, his route-running is good enough to be the type of player you look for on third down when you need a big play.

Patterson has a chance to be a No. 1 receiver, but Hunter is someone that will almost certainly be in the league for a decade. This is easily worth a Day 2 pick.

Stedman Bailey, West Virginia

Like Hunter, Stedman Bailey is being overshadowed by a teammate. In this case, it is the speedy Tavon Austin.

The duo each had 114 catches this season, but Bailey totaled over 300 more receiving yards and twice as many touchdowns.

Bailey is the type of player that will be hurt by the combine. He does not have prototypical size (5'10", 188 lbs) for a receiver and is not all that fast.

On the other hand, he is a natural football player that knows how to get open and catch the ball when it is thrown to him. This alone will make him an above-average receiver in the NFL.

Ace Sanders, South Carolina

Ace Sanders is the type of player that simply needs the ball in his hands.

The receiver/punt returner was one of the most electric players in college football last season. He is on the small side, but his agility allows him to score from anywhere on the field.

This skill allowed him to excel on special teams, where he was second in the nation with 429 punt return yards. He also broke two returns for a touchdown.

Sanders' overall versatility should be very appealing to NFL teams. If a creative coach is able to get him the ball, the receiver will be very successful.