Posts Tagged ‘Sleepers’

Small-School Sleeper Prospects to Watch in 2014 NFL Draft

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Sam Houston State running back Tim Flanders may not be the next Barry Sanders, but he has drawn a comparison to the NFL legend. (Photo: Thomas Campbell — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

While Division I Football Bowl Subdivision schools account for most selections and nearly all the top picks in each year’s NFL draft, small schools should not be overlooked.

Non-FBS schools have averaged 24.6 selections during the past five drafts, with nearly 70 percent of those selections coming from from the Football Championship Subdivision (previously known as Division I-AA).

While non-FBS schools have not had a first-round pick since the Arizona Cardinals selected Tennessee State cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with the No. 16 overall pick in 2008, there has been at least one small-school prospect has been selected in the second round of the draft each year since 2005.

Almost all small-school prospects face the scrutiny of the level of competition that they played against, but every year small school athletes emerge and contribute in the NFL.

In this article, we’ll explore some small school prospects to watch leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft.

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BBD Week in Review: 8/12 – 8/18

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Kevin Kolb was in the news often this past week, as he made his first preseason appearance and start for the Buffalo Bills while rookie quarterback EJ Manuel suffered a knee injury. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The Buffalo Bills are coming off of a busy week at Bills Drive in Orchard Park, N.Y., as training camp continued to roll along while the Bills also played their first home game of the preseason versus the Minnesota Vikings on Friday. The Bills are now halfway through this year’s preseason, and less than three full weeks away from their regular-season opener versus the New England Patriots.

Over the course of the past week here at Buffalo Bills Draft, we’ve had reports from people on the scene at both training camp and the Bills’ clash with the Vikings, along with full coverage of all the latest Bills news, including a major shift in the quarterback competition. Here’s a look at back at what Buffalo Bills Draft’s best have had to say in the past week.

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2014 NFL Draft: Conference USA, Sun Belt Conference Sleepers to Watch

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews is a player to watch in the Sun Belt Conference this season. (Photo: Mark Zerof — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

Despite not being power conferences, both Conference USA and the Sun Belt Conference have produced their share of NFL talent in recent years. An average of eight players have been selected from C-USA during the last five drafts, including one first-round pick in each of the past two drafts (Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe in 2012, Houston cornerback D.J Hayden in 2013). During the same period, the Sun Belt has averaged 4.8 selections with no first-round picks.

While neither conference possesses any surefire first-round caliber prospects for the 2014 NFL draft, Western Kentucky linebacker Andrew Jackson is gaining notoriety heading into the season.

Due to conference realignments, C-USA boasts six new football schools this season while the Sun Belt adds two schools. In this article, we’ll explore some names other than Jackson to watch this season amongst the C-USA and Sun Belt teams.

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BBD Week in Review: 7/29 – 8/4

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Kevin Kolb’s unfortunate knee injury was the biggest Buffalo Bills headline of the week. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)

BBD Editor: Dan Hope

The NFL preseason is underway and training camps are rolling along quickly. The Buffalo Bills’ own training camp is more than one week underway at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford, N.Y., and Buffalo Bills Draft staff writer Glenn Gifford has been at two of those practices to observe and report back to us on the latest developments as the Bills prepare for the upcoming NFL season.

You can check out both of Glenn’s training camp reports, plus the rest of our original content from the past week, by following along the links in our Week in Review.

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2014 NFL Draft: Sleepers to Watch in Mountain West Conference, Independent FBS Programs

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Davante Adams has only played one season of college football, but the redshirt sophomore wide receiver is already making a name for himself at Fresno State. (Photo: Cary Edmonson — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joseph Curtis

The Mountain West Conference has been a consistent producer of NFL talent the past few drafts. An average of 11.2 players have been selected from the conference during the last five drafts, including three first-round picks (Boise State defensive end Shea McClellin and running back Doug Martin in 2012, TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes in 2010).

Independent teams haven’t produced the amount of picks that the MWC has, but thanks to Notre Dame, they have had more top talent. There have been an average of 3.6 players selected from independent FBS programs during the last five drafts, including four first-round picks (BYU defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert in 2013, Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd and safety Harrison Smith in 2012).

Notre Dame defensive linemen Louis Nix III and Stephen Tuitt and Brigham Young’s linebacker Kyle Van Noy give the independent teams a number of potential first-round picks again in the 2014 NFL draft. The MWC boasts quarterback prospects David Fales (San Jose State) and Derek Carr (Fresno State) and an intriguing, athletic defensive lineman in Boise State’s Demarcus Lawrence.

In this article, we’ll explore some other players to keep an eye out for amongst the Independent and Mountain West teams.

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