A late-round pick could mean all the difference in the world.
Sure, we can bank on success from our early-round picks, but itâ€™s those late-round gems that make us all proud and boastful. Those late-round sleepers may also be the difference in hoisting that championship trophy or taking up space in the basement.
While the following players are not the sexiest names to salivate over, they may play a key role in the makeup of your teams, and they seemed poised to breakout in some fashion in 2013.
Ryan Tannehill: Miami Dolphins
Although he didnâ€™t look crisp on Sunday night in the Hall of Fame game (and you can excuse him since he was missing both Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline), Tannehill is still poised to break through in his sophomore campaign.
Tannehill didnâ€™t post gaudy numbers in his rookie season (3,294 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions), but he was efficient, completing 58.3 percent of his passes. And that was with an underwhelming pass offense.
With the additions of Wallace and Dustin Keller in the offseason and expected maturity, Tannehill could be a high-end No. 2 quarterback with growth for much more.
Ben Tate: Houston Texans
Anyone who plans to draft Arian Foster, handcuffing him to Ben Tate is an absolute must.
The load Foster has carried over the years is alarming and you donâ€™t want to account for him staying healthy all season. Even if Foster does stay relatively healthy, Tate will be given more carries, as head coach Gary Kubiak has stated he wants to get him more involved.
Tate, who has a career 5.1 YPC average, should get enough playing time to matter in fantasy circles in 2013.
Zac Stacy: St. Louis Rams
Stacy may have to shine in the preseason to vault himself to the top of the Ramsâ€™ running back depth chart, as the Rams may go with a running back-by-committee.
With Steven Jackson leaving in in the offseason, it left a big void in the Ramsâ€™ offense and between Stacy and incumbents Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead, all three will be scrambling for playing time.
Even though Richardson and Pead showed promise last year (specifically Richardson), the Rams did use a fifth-round pick on Stacy. Stacy, at 5â€™8â€, 216, is more equipped to line up on rushing downs and may be the workhorse Jeff Fisher pencils in for the bulk of carries in St. Louis this year.
Tyler Eifert: Cincinnati Bengals
When the Bengals used their first-round pick on Eifert, you knew they just had to love his potential since they already have a well-established tight end on the roster in Jermaine Gresham.
Eifert has the chance to be a poor-manâ€™s Rob Gronkowski, as he does boast similar size and athletic ability. With Cincinnati likely to go with more two tight-end sets, expect the Bengals to try to feature the exploits of Eifert early and often.
With the tight-end position more volatile than ever, Eifert could make for an outstanding late-round, back-up selection with upside for a lot more.
Ryan Broyles: Detroit Lions
Granted he is healthy, Broyles could prove to be a stealth pick late in drafts.
The only thing holding Broyles back is his knee concerns (he has had two ACL tears in the last two years), but so far so good, as Broyles has looked great in camp thus far.
Any receiver opposite Calvin Johnson is going to have his opportunity for targets and with Broyles the most explosive receiver on the Lionsâ€™ roster outside of Johnson, expect him to pounce on his opportunities.
Simply said, Broyles should be everything Titus Young was supposed to be last yearâ€”and then some.
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