Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Top 10 Non-BCS Division-1 NFL Prospects
by Armin Mohajeri

Every NFL draft we see names like Thomas Howard, Daryn Colledge and Richard Marshall. Most NFL fans will say "Who?" when these players are drafted, however some NFL GMs and scouts will be dancing an Irish jig when they land these players. These are the D-1 Non-BCS prospects that move their way up the charts. In some cases, a player makes a name for himself with his performance in college. In other cases, a player comes out of nowhere and makes a name for himself at the combines with a blazing 40 time or excellent numbers in other measurables. Below are the Top 10 prospects from these schools.

Picture Courtesy of

1. Joe Staley, Offensive Tackle - Central Michigan (pictured above)
Staley is the most athletically gifted offensive lineman that I've ever seen. He runs a 4.70 and has scouts raving over his footwork. With D'Brickashaw Ferguson widening the door for athletic left tackles, we will see more linemen like Staley taken earlier. This is especially important in the days of speedy DEs that try to beat the bigger offensive linemen with their moves.

2. Marcus McCauley, Cornerback - Fresno State
I can't hide my love for Fresno State CBs and WRs. I'm hyping McCauley more than I hyped Richard Marshall last year. McCauley has it all. Size, speed, coverage ability and he can play a physical game. The only true knock on him is that he gambles too much, and that has cost him at times. Wherever he goes, he will be in the mix to start.

3. Eric Wright, Cornerback - UNLV
Suspicion of rape and possession of ecstasy have marred his character off the field. On the field, he's a first-round talent. Running a 4.36 makes him hard to pass on. Some team will take a gamble, and if Wright learns a lesson from Pacman Jones, he could be a steal. He needs some work, as he doesn't have much experience; however, he has the cocky attitude that makes a corner thrive in the NFL.

4. Eric Weddle, Defensive Back - Utah
The kind of player you want in the locker room, and he can even contribute on the field. Weddle can play corner or safety. While he's not spectacular at either, he'll find a place on the field (probably on special teams at first). Regardless of his measurables (which aren't bad), he will overachieve.

Picture courtesy of

5. Ikaika Alama-Francis, Defensive End - Hawaii
(pictured above)
A poor man's Julius Peppers. He's a former basketball player who put on nearly about 75 pounds in college. An athlete on the D-Line. I can't say enough about this kid. He is everything you look for in a person and a player. However he's lacking experience. Needs work on his technique. At 280, he can still add bulk and move inside to DT. He's a project who all teams are intrigued with. He's the son of Joe Francis who backed up Bart Starr in Green Bay.

6. Kevin Kolb, Quarterback - Houston
Some would say I have him on this list because he has incredible career numbers. I am well aware that Houston's offense inflates numbers. Kolb is a great prospect, and could easily be the 4th or 5th QB off the board. Unlike his predecessors, he has an NFL arm.

7. Aundrae Allison, Wide Reciever - East Carolina
A deep threat who is on the small side, but clocks in the 4.3s. The claim is that he has excellent hands, but has shown lapses in concentration in the past. He can play in the slot, as he's tough for his size. He will also add value as a kick returner with his speed and elusiveness.

8. Doug Free, Offensive Line - Northern Illinois
An athlete considering his size. Has great footwork, and excels at pulling. He will probably start out as a guard, but can play tackle. Very tough, and will play through nagging injuries. Free isn't a very powerful blocker and can get knocked off the ball by a bull-rusher. A player who will be a steal for a zone-blocking team.

9. Quincy Black, Linebacker - New Mexico
One of my personal picks. I could end up eating crow on this one. He's an excellent athlete who moves more like a safety. The team that puts him at OLB and cuts him loose as a rusher will reap the benefits. Great 40 time to go with good size. Needs strength and is a bit of an under-achiever. With the right coaching, he could add nearly as much value as almost any linebacker in this draft.

10. Antwan Barnes, Defensive End - Florida International
Played DE in college, but could play LB in the NFL. Blew away scouts with his 4.44 timing at the combines. Reminds me of Robert Mathis (another player I loved coming into the draft). He's a situational rusher, who's stock could be helped by Mark Anderson's success as an edge rusher last year. The knock on him is that he is one-dimensional and can only really rush the passer.


Chris Clement said...

What are your thoughts on Lane senior wideout (yes, Lane) Jacoby Jones?

While I was pissed to hear Prisco drop his name on the radio today; I was impressed in the limited time I saw him play in the East/West shring game.

NFLDraftCountdown says that makes him an early target to be "this year's" Marques Colston (as if that will happen).

Is it possible, even at D2, that he could sneak late into the 1st day or potentially early 2nd day?

Paymon said...

ESPN has mentioned Jones for the better part of the last 2 weeks. I've heard "as high as the late 2nd round" but probably a 1st day bubble guy.

Paymon said...

There will be a "this year's Marques Colston" in the draft like there was a "this year's George Mason" in the NCAA Tournament.


(Yes, I just went Nextel on everyone)