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Every year ahead of the college football season, there are those NFL Draft prospects that stand out from the crowd. These are players that have made a tangible impact at their respective programs and caught the attention of professional scouts and front offices. 

But for every superstar, surefire first-round draft pick, there are multiple under-the-radar gems that are waiting for their time to shine. A lot can change over a 12-plus game season, especially when playing on the type of stage afforded to a top-25 program. Players often emerge from seemingly out of nowhere to generate significant buzz and rocket up draft boards. 

With an expanded College Football Playoff comes the expectation that most ranked programs will be vying for one of the 12 spots. That means an increase in competition, and pressure, on a weekly basis leading up to the postseason. It's in that environment and with all those eyes on the sport that these underrated players can flourish. 

It felt appropriate to look beyond the common names among 2025 NFL Mock Drafts and take a look at some of those players that have the best shot at improving their professional stock. Here's a look at one under-the-radar star with an enticing NFL future for each top-25 team ahead of the 2024 season. 

Underrated NFL Draft prospect for each top 25 team
Dominic Lovett, WR: The Bulldogs have the option to use the Missouri transfer in the backfield, slot and outside. He's mostly a possession receiver who can adjust to the ball in the air and catches it away from his body.
Josh Simmons, OT: Extremely athletic tackle whose best days are ahead. Simmons is explosive and his hand strength provides an excellent vice grip on defenders. Once he's locked onto a defender it's a wrap, but he can also recover if beaten with great feet in protection.
Jeffrey Bassa, LB: Bassa enoyed his best season in Eugene under Dan Lanning last year. He is one of the top coverage linebackers in the country. That combined with his excellent tackling skills and ability to rush the passer as a blitzer make him a defender who can stay on the field for every snap. 
Jake Majors, C: Majors is a tough, physical blocker and an excellent technician, but it's his leadership and intelligence that set him apart. He has the ability to anchor against power and is a finisher. Majors has seen it all going into his fourth year as a starter.
Germie Bernard, WR: Big-bodied receiver who can attack the ball in the air, body defenders and high point in contested catches. He is expected to be Jalen Milroe's security blanket after an impressive spring.
Ulysses Bentley IV, RB: Bentley is best used as a change-of-pace back with excellent receiving skills out of the backfield. His elite speed and explosiveness will make him a weapon on a loaded Rebels offense that wants to use the run game and short passes to open up receivers down the field.  
Brady Cook, QB: Cook shows elite command of Eli Drinkwitz's offense, always checking into the right play. From there, he makes the right reads, gets it out on time, layers into tight spots and has the arm talent to make every throw on the field.
R.J. Oben, EDGE: Oben is an active rusher with a nice motor, an effective outside swat/spin move and some really nice counters as a rusher. He does not play with much power but pursues the ball on every snap.
Dani Dennis-Sutton, EDGE: Powerful edge rusher with a variety of moves and the versatility to play inside. Dennis-Sutton works the opposing linemen's edges well and can convert with power. His exceptional length and get-off are even more dangerous when paired with teammate Adbul Carter.
Kyren Lacy, WR: Lacy is poised for a breakout season thanks to his excellent size, speed, and ball skills. He knows how to use his body to shield defenders and also has some wiggle. When he has the ball in his hands, he's tough to tackle one-on-one and has the ability to take it the distance. Big-time talent.
Brant Kuithe, TE: Though he's missed the majority of the last two seasons, Kuithe has shown the ability to stretch the middle of the field and move the chains in critical situations when healthy. He has good hands and a knack for getting open in clutch situations. Here's hoping he's recovered fully and we see his full potential in 2024.
Jaishawn Barham, LB: Plugged behind the best defensive tackle tandem in the country, the Mayland transfer will be a household name very soon. Barham is a physical presence in the box and shows the ability to run sideline to sideline as well as rush off the edge if needed.
Ethan Downs, EDGE: Downs has been a disruptive force off the edge, starting 25 games the last two seasons. He's a high-effort player who can turn the edge and harass quarterbacks as well as hold up in the run game.
Phil Mafah, RB: Mafah punished ACC defenders with his physical and explosive running style and should get more touches this season as the featured back. His well-rounded skill set includes blocking and pass-catching. That should all translate to a bright future at the next level.
Jonah Savaiinaea, OT: A powerful and athletic tackle who can also kick inside if needed. He has heavy hands and explosive and powerful lower body. Savaiinaea can move defenders off the ball but also shows athleticism to get to the second level with ease.
Omarr Norman-Lott, DT:. Norman-Lott has serious power and twitch. He can cave the pocket as well as slip off blocks to affect the quarterback. He excels in movement and does a nice job reading slides in pass protection to defeat the double team.
Jalen Rivers, OT: Rivers is better suited as a guard but has the strength and power to be a solid tackle. A better run blocker than pass blocker, could be a nice sleeper if he can clean up some techniques this season.
Carson Bruener, LB: Excellent three-down backer that is not only reliable in the run game but solid in coverage as well. Bruener's elite special teams skills should help him contribute at the pro level for years to come.
Austin Moore, LB: Moore is an active and physical downhill backer who loves to disrupt and make contact at the line of scrimmage. He plays with good instincts and is a sure tackler in space as well.
DJ Lundy, LB: Lundy is a twitchy backer with great instincts in the box. He finds open space and can close in a hurry to make plays. His pass-rushing ability makes him a bad matchup for most backs in blitz pickup. 
Luke Grimm, WR: Grimm is a reliable possession receiver and an excellent route runner who attacks the football. He's a menace in third down- and red-zone situations and a quarterback's best friend when you need a play.
Jonathan McGill, S: McGill is a high-intelligence player with a ton of experience and is solid in both phases. He projects as a nickel at the next level as a physical tackler who is not scared of contact.
Reuben Fatheree II, OT: Fatheree missed the majority of last year due to injuries but is expected to be at full strength this season. He's a giant with incredible length who showed good feet in his first two seasons at right tackle. Those in the know are in College Station, Texas, are expecting a big bounce-back year.
Anthony Belton, OT: A physical prospect with a huge frame who will likely benefit from kicking down to guard after this season. He struggles on the edge in protection but imposes his will in the run game with a finishing demeanor and excellent strength.
Joe Michalski, C: Michalaski is a team captain and leader and was their best lineman in 2023. He plays with good hand placement and leverage and is a finisher if given the opportunity.