As we move forward into the NFL Draft for 2024, what players jump out as possible sleepers?
People often think of the Big 10 or the SEC when the draft comes around, but there are some really good players in the ACC this season that will emerge as possible first-rounders or high draft picks. Players like quarterback Drake Maye, edge rusher Jared Verse, linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., etc. are the guys who get the most attention.
I have chosen chose players I think will have great seasons and move up the draft boards.
Trey Benson chose to return to Florida State after a very productive season where he had 990 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns and helped the Noles reach 10 wins for the first time since 2016. Benson shared carries with TreShaun Ward, Lawrance Toafili, and Jordan Travis last season but if you watch the tape Benson was the most solid runner of the running backs. Most rankings have him around 5-8, but he has put on more muscle this offseason and I expect him to have a monster season and shoot up the draft boards.
A returning senior starter at Duke with 31 career games (30 starts), Graham Barton has played 2,160 snaps for the Blue Devils and has prototypical NFL size at 6-5, 314lbs. Barton had a Pro Football Focus grade of 88.2 in the 2022 season, which ranked fifth nationally among offensive tackles. He was the only Power Five tackle to earn 85.0 grades as both a pass blocker and a run blocker. He was also named Pre-Season 2nd team all-American by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s College Football Preview.
Oronde Gadsden was a 3-star recruit out of high school as a wide receiver and prior to 2022, he moved to tight end. Oronde Caught 61 passes for 969 yards receiving and six touchdowns and he led all tight ends nationally in receiving yardage and is the seventh-most in a season in Syracuse history. His 61 receptions are also the most by a tight end in one season in Syracuse history. His size at 6-5, 215 lbs, and strong hands make him a force over the middle. He has good route-running skills and excels at the catch and run.