The players projected to be selected in the first couple rounds of next week's NFL Draft are pretty much household names by this point.
Even though it's virtually certain that some of the players picked in the early rounds won't live up to their potential, there are always a handful of players who are selected in the later rounds - or go undrafted - that make us scratch our heads and wonder how they fell that far in the draft.
Well, Peter Schrager of FOX Sports attempts to unearth some of these diamonds in the rough as he lists his sleepers for each round of the draft. I won't list the early-round sleepers - is one truly a sleeper if he is drafted in the first round? - but here's his list of late-round paragons.
DT D'Anthony "Boo" Smith, Louisiana Tech- "How do you not love a 305-pound guy named Boo Smith? In a draft loaded with DTs -from Suh and McCoy to North Carolina's Cam Thomas -Smith is the Day 3 guy I'm highest on," Schrager wrote. "Having started 44 straight games at Louisiana Tech, Smith compiled 197 career tackles and 12 sacks. He's not the 3-4 run stuffer Terrence Cody is, but he's a solid Day 3 selection for a team with a 4-3 scheme."
OL Zane Beadles, Utah - "His size and athleticism likely make him a better option at guard, but the fact he can play either spot makes him all the more valuable," Schrager wrote. "In a top-heavy tackle draft, Beadles could be the Day 3 steal teams are licking their chops for."
QB/WR Joe Webb, Alabama-Birmingham - "I see Webb as a Josh Cribbs/Antwan Randle-El type," Schrager wrote. "In the fourth or fifth rounds, he's an absolute steal. Perhaps Pittsburgh uses the fifth-round pick it acquired for Santonio Holmes to pick him."
* OL Marshall Newhouse, TCU -*
"An All-conference left tackle all three years in the starting lineup for the Horned Frogs, he projects as an NFL guard," Schrager wrote. "The versatility and ability to play either -like Beadles - makes him an attractive third-day prospect."
FB John Conner, Kentucky - "Appropriately nicknamed "The Terminator," Conner is a former walk-on who eventually emerged as a team captain and workhorse," Schrager wrote. "Conner averaged 5.1 yards per carry his senior year and played in a school-record 54 games in his career. He'll be an immediate contributor on special teams, a reliable short-yardage runner and a locker-room leader for a decade."
In the article, Schrager also lists his top 10 "real no-names" which includes the player with his favorite name in the entire draft.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:00 p.m., April 15