NFL teams have sleepers every year, usually in the form of a late round draft pick. For the Oakland Raiders last season, one of their biggest sleepers came to them in the fourth round.
While all eyes were on top 10 pick Darrius Heyward-Bey, fourth rounder Louis Murphy became the team's proverbial sleeper, leading all Oakland Raider wide-outs in receptions.
In 2008, a sixth round draft pick, Trevor Scott, led all NFL rookies in sacks.
Who will be the Raiders' sleepers this year?
Sure, you can argue that Darrius Heyward-Bey can't be a sleeper. As a first round draft pick, he already has all eyes on him.
But nearly every NFL fan, even some Raiders fans, has already proclaimed this kid a bust. In just his second year, they are expecting him to fail. If he breaks out next year, many will be surprised.
Heyward-Bey has been working hard all offseason. Although somewhat of a brash individual, his confidence in practice has been reassuring.
Brandon Myers was known throughout college for his ability to catch the ball. In 2009, the Raiders utilized him as a blocker in an attempt to free up Zach Miller.
Although Myers performed well in this role, he may get more chances to catch the ball in 2010 and to displace Tony Stewart as the number two tight end.
With defenses likely focusing on the oft targeted Zach Miller, the Raiders number two tight-end could have a big year.
Jeremy Ware is a physical, athletic, and aggressive defensive back chosen in the seventh round. He's been overlooked by many Raiders fans in favor of the more hyped corner back prospect, fifth round pick Walter McFadden.
Ware is most famously known for the hit that knocked out Iowa receiver Colin Sandeman.
Ware is bigger than McFadden, which is evident in how well he plays the run and his ability to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage. Ware also out-performed McFadden in every event at their pro-days.
Don't be surprised if Ware jumps McFadden on the depth chart.
Kellen Heard is an absolute monster at 6'5'' and 355 lbs. He played at both OT and DT at Texas A & M.
This year, the Raiders did very little to address a weak DT position, making the chances of Kellen Heard seeing action as an undrafted free agent a real possibility.
Heard is most famous for a cheap shot in which he knocked out Colt McCoy, a move that some speculated potentially hurt Heard's draft status.
Heard could be an important piece to the Raiders new and improved run defense.
Many a Raiders fan have overlooked Marcel Reece in favor of concentrating on the two rookie FBs, Chane Moline and Manase Tonga.
Reece was activated last year for the final two games after Luke Lawton was suspended for PEDs. He saw action at FB, HB, TE, and KR, displaying a combination of versatility, speed, and dexterity that should separate him from the rest of the pack.
The Raiders will likely keep two FBs, one who specializes in lead blocking and another specializing in receiving or short yardage situations. My vote for receiver duties goes to Reece.