NFL Draft: Who Will be the Sleepers?

NFL Draft: Who Will be the Sleepers?
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The 2023 NFL Draft won’t be any different from any other draft — chaos is bound to happen. We think back to Cole Strange, Clelin Ferrell, Jordan Love, or even further back with Sebastian Janikowski — the first round always has some surprises. 

To get you ready for your NFL betting, we’ll try to identify five sleepers that we could see sneak into the first round that you may not necessarily be expecting. 

2023 Draft Sleepers

Jonathan Mingo, WR, Ole Miss

Coming out of Ole Miss, Mingo is listed at 6-foot-2 and around 220 pounds. This is a receiver class lacking height, as NFL Network’s Peter Schrager pointed out in his latest mock draft, which had Mingo going to the Saints late in the first round.

It wasn’t something I had considered, but it makes sense.

The issue with Mingo is that he developed a bit later. He had less than 400 receiving yards in 2020 and 2021 before catching 51 passes for 861 yards in 2022. While that’s certainly an improvement, you have to consider that more than 40% of his receiving yards came against Central Arkansas (103) and Vanderbilt (247). 

Again, Mingo has a unique body type and can play inside and outside. It’s easy to imagine a coaching staff liking the profile and potential for the Rebels wideout. 


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John Michael Schmitz, OL, Minnesota

There are plenty of teams toward the back half of Round 1 that could use a center, and there aren’t many better in the class than John Michael Schmitz. 

Teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, New Orleans Saints, and Seattle Seahawks are all candidates to target one. 

At 6-4, 320 pounds, Schmitz has only allowed two sacks since 2020.

He’s not an elite athlete by any means, but Schmitz can kick inside if needed, and he will be a reliable center for over a decade. 

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DJ Turner, CB, Michigan

After a solid 2021 campaign, Turner came into his own in 2022 as the Michigan Wolverines' defense leader. On 467 coverage snaps, he allowed 33 receptions on 77 targets and two touchdowns. 

At 6-0, 180 pounds, Turner participated at the NFL Scouting Combine and finished with the following numbers:

  • 40-yard dash: 4.26 (99th percentile)
  • 10-yard split: 1.47 (96th percentile)
  • Vertical jump: 38.5 inches (79th percentile)
  • Broad jump: 10;11” (91st percentile)

The athletic numbers are off the charts. He can line up inside and outside, but he has length concerns, with an arm length of just under 31 inches. 

He could be a target for the Baltimore Ravens at No. 22 overall, especially with Mike Macdonald on the staff. He was Michigan’s defensive coordinator in 2021. 

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Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee

A speedster out of Tennessee, Hyatt is likely better suited as a Day 2 pick. Still, there could be a team that becomes captivated by his speed. 

Running a 4.4 40-yard dash at the combine, many thought Hyatt would be even faster. He finished in the 86th percentile, 87th percentile in the 10-yard split, 92nd percentile in the vertical jump, and 97th percentile in the broad jump.

He’s a stellar athlete. If you look at his athletic comparables on MockDraftable, there are some interesting names there like Bernard Berrian, but also John Ross (uh oh).

In drafting Hyatt, teams will get a speedy athlete, but he also needs time to refine his route tree. That said, if he can turn into an elite vertical threat similar to DeSean Jackson, that may not be necessary.

A team Hyatt is often linked to is the Los Angeles Chargers, who don’t have a player like Hyatt to complement Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. 

Before you make your NFL wagers, check out's NFL picks page

Matthew Bergeron, OL, Syracuse

While he’ll likely play guard primarily in the NFL, Bergeron could flex to tackle if needed. This versatility is desirable, especially in a class where the offensive tackle talent could dry up relatively quickly. 

Bergeron wasn’t sought after coming out of high school, ranking just inside the Top 900 recruits. He became a starter in his sophomore season in 2020. Since then, he’s played 2,136 snaps. He’s allowed 10 sacks in his career. Still, it’s unclear how many of those are mainly quarterback errors as opposed to Bergeron’s fault.

He’s not as violent as you’d like, and you’d like to see him get more consistent in pass protection. This could be worked on more as a guard. He could be a target for the Buffalo Bills at No. 27 overall.