NFL Draft Preview: Most Underrated Players
Desmond King CB/S, University of Iowa
Desmond King was a four-year starter who won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2015.
He had eight interceptions that year and in addition to his ballhawking ways, the Iowa product is one of the most sure tacklers in the draft. He is currently being underrated right now because of his lack of elite quickness, which could signal a shift to the safety position in the NFL.
King has first round talent, but in a draft loaded with good cornerbacks, he is expected to be drafted in the second or third round.
Whoever gets King gets a sure tackler with ball-skills, high football IQ and positional versatility.
Demarcus Walker DE, Florida State University
DeMarcus Walker is by no means the fastest or strongest edge rusher in the draft, but his resume suggests he will make noise in the NFL.
Walker was the anchor of a strong Florida State defense last season and finished the year with 16 sacks – good for second in the FBS.
Though his production speaks for itself, Walker is still currently pegged as a third round prospect by CBS Sports. Whoever snatches him up will be getting a reliable end who can shed blockers in the run game and has an innate knack for getting to the quarterback.
Budda Baker S, University of Washington
When a young safety gets praise from someone like Earl Thomas, people had better take notice.
Budda Baker is one of the most exciting players in this draft and will not allow his small stature to get in his way.
Baker is a passionate player who flies all over the field and can make plays against the run as well as the pass. The safety is a former high school track star and has sideline-to-sideline range that has elicited comparisons to former Pro-Bowler Bob Sanders.
Baker’s ball skills, instincts and overall competitive desire scream future NFL star. He may be the best safety in this draft when all is said and done.
Jeremy McNichols RB, Boise State University
In a deep-running back class, Jeremy McNichols has been vastly undervalued.
The Boise State product has had an incredibly productive tenure, amassing a remarkable 53 touchdowns over the last two seasons.
As the Broncos' workhorse, McNichols showed great vision and anticipation as well as a knack for seeing holes in the defense before they've opened. He is a three-down back who could eventually develop into a bell-cow akin to his college predecessor Jay Ajayi.
If your team does not take one of the top running backs early in the draft, do not fret. They may be eyeing McNichols as a value selection on day three.
Taywan Taylor WR, Western Kentucky University
Taywan Taylor is a dynamic receiver who teams will regret passing on. Mark my words.
Fitting the mold of Stefon Diggs or Tavon Austin, Taylor is a dynamic slot-receiver who can get involved in the offense in a multitude of ways.
Taylor scored 17 touchdowns in each of the last two seasons, feasting on competition with a dynamic ability to break a big play after the catch. He is the classic competitor coaches love to have in the locker room and had fantastic production despite being frequently double-teamed.
An innovative coach could turn Taylor into one of the premier slot receivers in the league.