Early last week a fellow scout, and my friend, Eric Galko (of Optimum Scouting) and I decided to do our own little twitter 1st round mock draft using only small school players. For the purposes of this mock that meant any player who played this year in the FCS, Division II, Division III, or the NAIA. We did not include international prospects like Akiem Hicks from Canada. Below are the results of our little mock draft and some thoughts on each pick.
1. Indianapolis-QB BJ Coleman-Chattanooga
Coleman is not the #1 prospect in this draft but the Colts badly need a QB and he’s the top prospect. He has a strong arm, a good pedigree, and is a smart football player. He needs to rid himself of the injury bug that has followed his career at Chattanooga but should he be able to do that he could develop into a starter one day.
2. Washington-CB Janoris Jenkins-North Alabama
Jenkins is arguably the most talented player in this mock draft from the small school ranks and he goes #2 to Washington. The Redskins don’t have a huge need at CB but this was more of a value pick. Jenkins offers them lock down ability at one CB spot along with a return man who can score on almost any retun.
3. Minnesota-WR Brian Quick-Appalachian State
One of my favorite prospects in this draft goes third to the Vikings where he could flourish. Working in a system with Percy Harvin, Quick should be able work the deep area of the field very well with Ponder. Defenses will have to account for the speed of Harvin but not let Quick get behind them as he is a deep ball specialist.
4. Cleveland-OG Amini Silatolu-Midwestern State
The Browns need offensive playmakers but there wasn’t one at this position that I really liked. The next best thing is to build a wall around QB Colt McCoy and give him every opportunity to succeed. That’s what we did in taking Silatolu
5. Tampa Bay-CB Ryan Steed-Furman
Tampa Bay went BPA here and took the top ranked CB remaining. Steed has been a lockdown CB all year long including a dominant performance against Brian Quick during the regular season. He was by far the most dynamic playmaker on his team and saw limited chances to make plays because of it. However when teams did make the mistake of trying to throw on him they paid dearly.
6. St. Louis-CB Trumaine Johnson-Montana
It was a run on CB’s early on in this draft as they are the dominant class when it comes to Small School rankings. Johnson at one time was seen as the clear cut top DB but concerns over his hips flexibility and overall athleticism have seen his stock slip some. Considered by some to be a better SAF prospect, it shouldn’t make much of a difference to the Rams who are just looking to add talent.
7. Jacksonville-WR Thomas Mayo-Cal (Pa.)
Jacksonville is a team that loves to take Small School players and combining Thomas Mayo with Cecil Shorts could prove to be a deadly combo. Both are athletic players who run good routes and can gain separation but Mayo adds some deep play ability that could help open up the underneath for Shorts.
8. Miami-OT Tom Compton-South Dakota
Miami must address the void that sits at RT and the easiest way for them to do that will be to take Tom Compton here and solidify that spot for the next 7-10 years. Compton an athletic LT in college could eventually replace Jake Long should he choose to move on after his contract is up at the end of this season.
9. Carolina-WR Rico Wallace-Shenandoah
I’m not sure that any WR has flown more under the radar this season than Rico Wallace. Rico has the size, the speed, and the athletic ability to play on the outside in the NFL, now all he needs is the shot to do it. I know Eric and I both are enamored with Rico’s ability and have given him a draftable grade.
10. Buffalo-QB Alex Tanney-Monmouth (Ill)
The Bills still need to address the QB position and find a long term solution. I rank no QB left as high as Alex Tanney. The Division III QB makes it back to back picks from the D3 level but for good reason as both players have the talent needed to make it in the league.
11. Kansas City-CB Micah Pellerin-Hampton
Micah Pellerin has been overshadowed a bit with the coverage on guys like Jenkins, Steed, and Johnson but don’t let that deter you. Pellerin very well could end up being the best CB of the bunch. The former Southern Miss transfer has size, speed, and loose hips that should make him a menace to try and get away from.
12. Seattle-DE Adrian Hamilton-Prairie View A&M
Chris Clemons is on the wrong side of 30 and outside of him the Seahawks don’t have much else in the way of pass rush. Adding Hamilton who led the entire country (regardless of division) in sacks will help change that and also give the Seahawks a good player to slide into Clemons role should he leave over the next few years.
13. Arizona-OT Jeff Adams-Columbia
Long armed, and athletic the Ivy League OT was ranked highly in the preseason but saw some stock slippage during an uneven senior campaign. That being said he’s still one of the top, if not the top, OT’s to come out of the small school ranks and could help the Cardinals line immediately.
14. Dallas-QB David Legree-Hampton
Yea I said it on Twitter and I said it again, I don’t care about Romo, McGree, or any of them. It’s time for some change in the Big D and that means finding a QB who can win when the season is on the line. Legree very well may end up being the best prospect you have never heard about as he has a huge arm, a big build, and can run very well. I won’t mention the comp that leaps to my mind but his name rhymes with Ram Fewton.
15. Philadelphia-LB Shawn Loiseau-Merrimack
A tackling machine in the middle may be just what DC Juan Castillo needs to make his wide nine defense work. Louiseau gives them a LB who knows how to fill the gaps and attack the holes before the RB gets through them.
16. New York Jets-LB Ryan Davis-Bethune Cookman
I never thought I’d see the day when a Rex Ryan team needed to add more pass rush but I saw it plenty last year. When Aaron Maybin is arguably your best pass rusher in some games, you have big problems. Davis comes in as a 34 stand up LB prospect who has a good first step and solid strengths, he ate up every OL he faced at the HBCU Bowl.
17. Cincinnati-SAF Janzen Jackson-McNeese State
Troubled players continue to find their way to Cincinnati and that’s where we end up seeing Jackson go. When his head is on straight Jackson would challenge Jenkins for the top small school player overall but with his struggles to even see the field as McNeese his stock is very fluid.
18. San Diego-CB Josh Norman-Coastal Carolina
The star of the East West Shrine Game finds himself heading out west to team that needs to find a way to create more turnovers. Well if there was one thing that Norman did a lot of in Tampa it was create turnovers. The Chargers hope he can mimic that week about 16 times next season and become a lock down CB.
19. Chicago-WR Dale Moss-South Dakota State
So we actually did this mock well before Moss blew up his pro day last week. Moss is a former basketball player turned football player. He has explosive athleticism and can jump out of the stadium. He needs some polish on his routes and hands, but with time he could become a great player.
20. Tennessee-DT Ronnie Cameron-Old Dominion
Tennessee adds a penetrating DT who when he stays low is among the best in the country at getting into the backfield. Cameron fires off the ball well and does a good job to maintain his balance and gain leverage at the point of attack. Has a tendency to get too high but with more work he should be able to correct that.
21. Cincinnati-RB Daryl Richardson-Abilene Christian
An absolute blazer at RB, Daryl Richardson joins former ACU teammate Bernard Scott in Cincy. Richardson’s speed combined with Scott’s power could develop into a very good weapon for a team that seems to be right on the verge of turning the corner.
22. Cleveland-QB John van den Raadt-Asuza Pacific
The mythical John van den Raadt has a fantastic story (coming soon) behind him and was labeled as the Tim Tebow of the NAIA. Eric and I saw him live in Akron and he wowed us with his development and athletic ability. He needs more reps and work on his drop and pocket presence but he has more skills than we thought. He’s the perfect backup to McCoy.
23. Detroit-CB Asa Jackson-Cal Poly
Detroit has seemed to have a need at CB for a few years now and they get a gift in Asa Jackson falling to them. Jackson is a speedy CB who can also return kicks. He’s a little small in his stature but he plays bigger and is not afraid to get dirty when it comes to tackling.
24. Pittsburgh-OG Rishaw Johnson-Cal (Pa.)
Johnson has some major red flags flying around him right now but he also has some major talent. He’s arguably a top 5 guy in terms of talent but falls here to a good situation with a strong veteran led team.
25. Denver-SAF Justin Bethel-Presbyterian
I was shocked when Eric made this pick and mad at myself for not making it earlier. Bethel is yet another DB from this class who will be drafted. He has a nice set of hands for making plays on the ball and should transition nicely to SAF from CB.
26. Houston-OT Tyler Hendrickson-Concordia St. Paul
The big offensive tackle from the NSIC goes to Houston here as a solution to their now vacant RT spot. Hendrickson is a bit stiff but moving him to the right side should help hide that. He has great size and strength and if he gets his hands on you, you may as well say good night.
27. New England-DT Robert De La Rosa-Bucknell
Nothing seems to make the Patriots staff happier than taking versatile lineman who can get off blocks. We saw De La Rosa absolutely destroy the BSN Showcase in Akron and his tape shows the same ability. He could be a good fit in the Pats scheme no matter what alignment they use.
28. Green Bay-DE Josue Ortiz-Harvard
Speaking of teams who like versatility, the Packers take Ortiz here who has ideal length for the 34 DE position. Ortiz has a lot of athletic ability for a 34 DE and could cause problems for offenses who try and block him if he can get bigger and maintain that same athleticism.
29. Baltimore-LB Brandon Harvey-Delaware State
The Ravens take the heir apparent to Ray Lewis here with Brandon Harvey. Harvey is flying way under the radar for some reason despite putting up good numbers at Delaware State, having good size, and running extremely well. Baltimore got a steal here.
30. San Francisco-WR Alex Tounkara-Brown
The surprise of the BSN Showcase weekend for many on lookers was WR Alex Tounkara. He looked very smooth and fluid as he went through drills all while being the tallest WR at the event. He showed natural hands as he caught the ball out away from his body and ran a 4.5 flat hand timed. He could be a valuable weapon in the bay for Alex Smith.
31. New England-DL Aston Whiteside-Abilene Christian
So another Patriots pick and another similar versatile defender selected. This time however it’s a DE/OLB prospect as opposed to the DT/DE prospect that De La Rosa was. Whiteside is a pass rusher off the edge who impressed at the Player’s All-Star Classic in Little Rock, AR.
32. New York Giants-CB Jeremy Lane-Northwestern State
The final player in this mock is a guy who has been absolutely killing every opportunity he’s gotten. Lane was first noticed by most at the Casino Del Sol All-Star even in Tuscon. He was a lock down CB all week in Tuscon and has looked very good in other performances.
Guys who just missed:
QB Aaron Corp-Richmond
QB Patrick Witt-Yale
RB Jewell Hampton-Southern Illinois
RB Jonathan Grimes-William & Mary
RB Nic Cooper-Winston Salem State
WR Julian Talley-UMass
WR Chris Summers-Liberty
TE Kyle Fiederowicz-North Central
OT Matt Theis-St. Cloud State
OG Gino Gradkowski-Delaware
DT Randy Colling-Gannon
LB Tyler Holmes-UMass
LB Ryan Lewis-Bethune Cookman
CB Jeremy Jones-Wayne State
SAF Jerron McMillian-Maine
By Division Breakdown-
By Conference Breakdown-