Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
More and more teams in the NFL are getting wise to Raiders free agent defensive tackle Desmond Bryant. ESPN just added him to their best under the radar free agents.
Much like "draft sleepers", if enough people are discussing a player as a sleeper, they are technically no longer a sleeper. Desmond Bryant is one such free agent this season.
Here is what they had to say about the Raiders late season starter:
Sometimes players can get lost in the shuffle because of their own versatility. Bryant bounced back from looking out of his depth as a rookie to flash talent in 2010 and 2011 despite being shifted between tackle and end. It wasn't until 2012 we really got to see what he could do.
This season, he picked up four sacks, 11 quarterback hits and 20 quarterback hurries on 350 pass rushes. That gave him the sixth-highest pass rushing productivity score of all defensive tackles who rushed the passer at least 200 times. It was a big part of why he ended the season with our sixth-highest grade of all defensive tackles. He may not repeat that feat going forward, but getting anywhere near that sort of level would represent an upgrade for a lot of teams.
What ESPN didn't mention is he wasn't even the starter until the last half of the season after Richard Seymour went out with a hamstring injury and Bryant had a full sack in each of his final four games.
It is great to see Bryant get his due but the notoriety he is receiving could also make it more difficult to re-sign him. Or at very least a great deal more expensive. He is a Harvard man though so I expect he will make a smart decision.