NFL Draft

Hidden Gems: Sleeper Prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft

Mason Fine of North Texas is a sleeper in the 2020 NFL Draft

Hidden Gems

Sleeper Prospects 2020 NFL Draft BY Matt Anzio

Offensive Weaponry Part 3 !!

  • QB J’mar Smith
  • Louisiana Tech 
  • Height: 6’ 1      
  • Weight: 220 lbs 
  •  Redshirt Senior  # 8 

Dual Threat Durable Signal Caller  With A Shotgun For A Right Arm. 

Still Raw, Smith started too garner some looks after his junior season where he was an All Conference Honorable mention. Starting All 13 games for  the Bulldogs  was 264 of  461  attempts for  3,160 pass yards. While rushing for 159 yds & 3 more scores on the ground. 

Even as a Sophomore Smith was flashing his talents  with almost 3,000 yds with 16 TD’s also rushing for 371 yds & 6 more TD’s with his legs.  As a Junior he earned All Louisiana Honorable Mention & was the DXL Frisco Bowl Offensive Player of the Game in 2017.  Played is 7 games as a true Freshman. All building up to a triumphant Senior season this year. This year Smith is 177 out of 266 attempts for  2,220 , 13 TD’s with only 3 INT’s.  These stats are through 8 games started thus far a 66.5 Completion percentage  150. 5 yards per are both his best since becoming the starter. 

It’s safe to say he is consistently a threat in the pass & run game especially in the End zone. Scoring seems to be in his wheelHouse whether flinging a dart or darting with his feet. Smith will find the goal line, Strong physical athlete. Drops back gets set urgently reads his receivers. Gets the ball out rapidly or takes off first sign of pressure or an opening in the D. Takes advantage of weakness, if the defense is going to leave a wide open hole in the middle of their team. Then you can bet Smith will be the first to run through it for a first down or TD. 

  • QB Mason Fine 
  • North Texas  # 6 
  • Height: 5’ 11    
  • Weight: 190 lbs 

Had 332 yards with 7 TD’s against UTEP Alone. 

On the year has 2,609 yds with 27 TD’s only 6 INT’s the season  is not quite over yet either. 

Production 61. 5 passer rating averaging 192.3 ypg. It’s fair to say he is having a Fine year.  18 of the pass scores came against conference opponents. Miniamiles his mistakes with only 6 INT in comparison to 27 TD’s. That’s a ratio that a Pro team can develop because that is a big part of player development. Limiting mistakes despite being under 6 foot is a hallmark of  the so called “undersized” QB’s in the Pro’s right now.  That along with the ability to make plays on the go has given us an abundance of smaller signal callers killing it in the NFL, right now. 

Gets set with his feet planted very natural looking going through his progressions. Rapid flick of the wrist,  the ball is out of his hand with high velocity  & accuracy. Reads through his progressions instantly scans the field makes good decisions hits the mark with precision power. Can take off run looks real sufficient passing on the move.  Gets the ball out quick no hesitation limiting mistakes.  Fine can air it out beating the defense leading his receivers into chunk plays or big touchdown passes.  Be a shame to waste his QB talent  but we have seen it before all the time in the NFL. Undersized Star small school QB gets turnt to a wide out & it certainly works at times. 

  • RB Sergio Hoffman 
  • Portland State  # 25 
  • Height : 6’0        
  • Weight : 215 lbs 

Coming Off  Back To Back Monster Performances.

Had 23 carries for 140 yds & a TD averaging an outstanding 6.1 yardsper in a close loss to  Northern Arizona. After coming off a career week  vs Northern Colorado Victory,  last week with 28 carries for 221 yds & 2 TD’s averaging 7.9 yards a carry like a boss.  All  season long he has been putting up good numbers  several scores. The last couple weeks he has really exploded onto the scene much like his team. Surprising people with their competitive play & Hoffman plays the role of big back on the Vikings . After busting on the scene last year playing in 8 games  Hoffman rushed 80 times for  299 yds, 2 scores adding another 52 yds in the pass game. 

For a big back has shifty feet with a fluid change of direction  with a solid jump cut. Obvious bully up the middle  that also displays the quickness to bounce to the outside. The elusiveness to shake defenders while still being a prototypical bruiser of a back. 

  • RB Joe Alessi 
  • Youngstown State # 30 
  • Height: 5’ 10  
  • Weight: 200 lbs 

Alessi Is an Explosive Weapon Running & Catching The Rock. 

Coming  off  the best game of the year as well as his career. Alessi had 156 yds & 2 TD’s in the win over Western Illinois last Sat.  Had  some big runs from 40 & 50 plus for his 2 scores. Helping lead his team to dominate the Leathernecks. After 3 straight Conference losses, where the run game wasn’t as prevalent. The Penguins live & die by their ability to run the ball.   Has his toughest test to date this Sat against the FCS Champion dynasty North Dakota State. 

When he gets moving he is like a Snowball turning into an Avalanche. The more you feed him the more he eats up chunks of yds. 

Gets small with good short & long speed  power for his size.  Excellent maneuverability thru the hole or on routes. Breaks & avoids tackles in the open field can break one off for a score.  A true weapon in the pass game  with soft hands precise concentration. There’s a ton of talent in the backfields of the Missouri Valley.  Alessi  is  a name too watch as another potential NFL product to emerge from this presigess top of the pecking order FCS Conference. 

Hard to know what to make of this Youngstown team. The team has had its share of up’s & downs. Doesn’t get any easier as they face off against Conference rival Champion North Dakota State. If Alessi can shine here, of course he needs help from his O line. Along with his whole team who might be rallying behind their 3rd QB of the Year after Mayes & now appears Craycraft looks to have an injury. Tough timing against a tougher team  in the now is the time could really lean onAlessi to shine. 

  • WR Jaquan Blair 
  • Maine # 11 
  • Height: 6’2          
  • Weight: 205 lbs 

Proving to be Productive & A Goal line Threat.

Played in 14 games for the Bears as a Junior where he had 43 catches for 572 yds with 5 TD’s on the season. All career highs last year in catches, yds & TD’s.  A player that rises to the occasion in the big games having TD catches, two weeks in a row in the FCS playoffs last year. Including a 71 yd performance in the semi finals against Eastern Washington. 

Thus far this season he already has 5 TD’s has taken a huge step forward. Had 12 catches for 120 yards against Villanova. 99 yds with 2 scores against Liberty while having an outstanding outing last Sat vs William & Mary with 115 yards & 2 TD’s. 

Next level burner that once he gets past a corner, he is out like 3 strikes in baseball. An athletic star that has, elusiveness, flexibility , Vertical ability, insane speed, concentration & ball skills. Can just bounce off defenders landing on his feet.  Contort his body or find the ball in congested or contested areas of the field.  Any team in need of a true deep threat would greatly benefit from Blair’s pass catching talents. 

  • WR Mannaseh Bailey 
  • Morgan State # 13 
  • Height:  6’ 1                    
  • Weight:  195 lbs 

A Phil Steele Preseason All MEAC 2nd Team Preseason Wide Out. 

Started 7 games as a Junior had 24 catches for 425 yds & 4 TD’s. Averaging 17.7 yards per catch  making him an option the coaches can use to make the big plays needed.  His best game  last year had 2 catches for 109 yds & 2 TD’s vs Albany.  This year has not been the best for Morgan State’s Offense as a whole.  The team has only 1 win on the season, scoring has been at a minimum. Still he has made big plays with limited opportunities. Both on O & special teams where he had a beautiful blocked punt for a score. Through 9 games Bailey has 36 catches, 629 yds, 5 TD’s maintaining a 17.5 ypc avg.  His career so far 99 catches 1,712 yds, 15 TD’s  with a few games remaining. 

Bailey is a weapon that they try to get involved as much as possible. Has the athletic skill set  speed, & maneuverability to take a short pass turn it into a homerun.  A player that must be accounted for at all times.  Safe to say that he is a game changer, that we have not seen the best of Bailey just yet. Get him in an optimal situation with a quality pass game. 

  • TE Josiah Deguara 
  • Cincinnati  Bearcats  # 83
  • Height: 6’ 3  
  • Weight: 240 lbs 

 Has 23  catches for 369 yds & 5 TD’s  with a 17 ypc avg. 

In this day & age that is not exactly easy to find legit help at the TE position. Seems to be a dying breed. Some scouts, coaches or GM’s will obsess over the fact that he is an inch short of the 6 foot 4 minimum size they require.  Happy to argue that 1 inch shouldn’t matter that much. Especially  when you  show the ability to make tough catches & has the vertical ability needed.  He is also an outstanding blocker in the run or pass game. Can help to hold the line  against a pass rush or get out look for work against the run. Clear a path for any RB or WR on offense or special teams play. 

Thick muscular frame that can barrell over defenders like an industrial snow plow. Not easy to take down strong  with ball security like he is in the secret service. 

Deguara  not gonna beat you with abundant speed  but yet he has good short are bursts. Where he excels is at running his route precisely  using his strength to win the battle at the point of attack. Does have a nice reach  despite being a tad under what is considered an inline option.  If he wound up at H back or in any blocking type of prospect that would be perfect. The only travisty is if they let the 1 dang inch keep him from playing at another level. Ultimately Cincy is a big enough school & he has enough tape to hopefully not suffer that fate. Tight End blocking back are all needed in the Pro’s wish they would take a chance on a few more of these “ Undersized” Big pass catching prospects. 

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at

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