By now, most die-hard NFL fans already have their opinion cemented on the biggest names in the 2015 NFL Draft -- especially with the countless stories involving guys like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota floating around the Internet on every and any given day.
This article is here to cut through that noise, putting the "marquee" names on the back-burner in hopes of highlighting lesser-know talents that could make a HUGE impact at the NFL level. Here's our list of 4 Prospects That Could Be The Steals Of The 2015 NFL Draft.
CB Ifo Ekpre-Olamu - Oregon Ducks
A true cover cornerback who has the talent to grow into one of the elite shutdown defensive backs in the league, Ekpre-Olamu's draft stock took a dive after suffering a season-ending knee injury in December during practice for the College Football Playoff. However, while some teams might be scared away by his current injury rehab and his 'slight' 5-foot-9 frame, Ekpre-Olamu's combination of top-tier tackling fundamentals and unteachable intangibles makes him as worthwhile a gamble as there is in this draft.
WR Dezmin Lewis - Central Arkansas Bears
One of the best skill-position prospect you probably haven't heard of, Lewis has all the physical gifts and innate pass-catching instincts to join Cecil Shorts and Pierre Garcon on the list of small-school wideouts who find significant success at the next level. Lewis possesses an ideal NFL receiver's frame (6-foot-4, 214 pounds), and he's adept at using his size downfield to shake off would-be tacklers for monster gains.
RB TJ Yeldon - Alabama Crimson Tide
One of the best value picks of the non-defensive players projected to land in the middle rounds of the draft, Yeldon possesses a balanced tool kit in his work as both a straight-ahead rusher and a receiver out of the backfield. The Crimson Tide standout has deceptive explosiveness off of his first step, and his soft hands on screen passes allow him to quickly right himself after first contact before putting his athleticism to good use in order to leave would-be tacklers in his dust.
LB Jordan Hicks - Texas Longhorns
The true wild card of this year's draft class, Hicks was the consensus #1 prep linebacker in the nation when he made the jump to the Longhorns back in 2010. While the 6-foot-1, 234-pounder suffered through a litany of injuries during his collegiate career, he showed exactly what he's capable of when healthy during his senior season in Austin -- leading Texas with a career-high 147 tackles in 2014 while securing first-team All-Big 12 (Austin American Statesman) and second-team All-American honors.
Add in one of the most impressive NFL Scouting Combine showings of all the prospects who made the trip to Indianapolis (including the 13th-best 3 Cone Drill of any linebacker in the past 10 years), and there's plenty here to suggest that Hicks is a defensive superstar in waiting.
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