The 2013 NFL Draft is still months away, but teams will be digging deep into the college football film to analyze the top prospects in the game and see if any lesser known players emerge. In draft terms, a “sleeper” is an under the radar player who could turn out to be an incredible value for the team who selects him in the later rounds.
This year, a small school wide receiver is creating a lot of discussion early in draft season.
Per draft insider Tony Pauline, Sierra College wide receiver Courtney Gardner’s name is “making the rounds in the scouting community as one of the biggest sleepers at the receiver position.”
Gardner stands an impressive 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 220-pounds.
His frame and physical prowess are what is generating the hype. He is certainly a big-bodied wide receiver that can use his size well to keep defenders away and elevate for the ball.
On top of his size, Gardner has some impressive speed. As a track athlete, Gardner was able to run the 100 meters race in 10.7 seconds.
Gardner undoubtedly has the physical skills to cut it as a NFL wide receiver, but he comes with some baggage and off-field concerns. This past March, the wideout was arrested on misdemeanor obstruction charges. He was in a car that had a strong odor of alcohol and marijuana.
He was also arrested in November of 2009 for for possessing alcohol as a minor.
On top of the minor legal issues, Gardner had struggles in the classroom. He had academic problems that kept him from enrolling at the University of Oklahoma. Gardner was expected to play for the Sooners in 2013, but he opted for the NFL instead.
Gardner has the skill and physical talent to succeed at the next level, he will just need to convince teams that he is focused and ready to develop mentally as a pro prospect.