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Small College Prospects for the NFL Draft 2013
NFL Draft 2013 – Dirty Dozen – Top 12 Small College Prospects
Terron Armstead is one of 350 Scouting Reports in Draft Insiders’ Yearbook – available now – Order on Publication page
Photo - OT Terron Armstead - Arkansas Pine-Bluff
The Dirty Dozen - Top 12 Small College Players For the NFL Draft
Every NFL club scouts the nation in hopes of landing the next great sleeper prospect in the NFL Draft. The small college ranks has supplied many NFL Hall of Fame prospects over the past fifty years with a litany of stars like receiver Jerry Rice, runner Walter Payton and QBs Joe Flacco, Tony Romo and Doug Williams from programs like Delaware, Grambling and Jackson St. from across the nation. This year's class will produce several players in the top 100 picks. There should be as many as 25 draft selections over 7 rounds. It is an interesting group with several talented prospects mainly on the offensive line and in the secondary.
This year’s group of small college pro prospects ranks among the better classes of the past decade and is especially deep in the secondary. This is one of the better groups of small college defensive backs I have scouted and could rival last year’s group of talented pro prospects from the lower levels. I made my bones on scouting small college prospects like QB Joe Flacco, OG Jahri Evans, WR Miles Austin, QB and Tony Romo and defensive back Lardarius Webb. I was very high on all of those Pro Bowl caliber prospects when they struggled even getting invitations to any postseason events leading up to their NFL Draft class.
The highest rated small college prospects are OT Terron Armstead, wideout Da’Rick Rogers and CBs B.W. Webb and Robert Alford who should come off the board in the top 100 selections. Armstead heads a solid group of small college offensive linemen that could see as many as 5 to 8 prospects selected over the seven rounds. Armstead joins a terrific offensive tackle group and tested out the best in a talented group at the NFL Combine. He displays rare athleticism for a 320 lb. blocker. Wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers is an intriguing prospect who ranks with any pass catcher in this class. He combines fine size, athleticism and agility to contribute immediately in three wideout sets with the upside potential to be as good as any receiver in this entire class. The secondary and offensive line should provide many draft selections overall in the NFL Draft 2013 once again and the small college ranks should be well represented over the three days. Running back Miguel Maysonet is our offensive sleeper this year with the talent to shock people as a pro runner. He is an excellent goal line runner with the talent to be a huge surprise and become a 1A type back in a pro offense.
Note: In recent years, our highest rated small college players were QB Joe Flacco, corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Johnny Knox and Kendall Langford who were all early NFL starters. Some have performed brilliantly over their careers and become key performers in their clubs’ playoff runs.
The Dirty Dozen - Top 12 Small College Players For the NFL Draft
Players ranked below
1. OT Terron Armstead - 6’5” 320 lbs. - Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Powerful mobile lineman completed an excellent small college career starting at left tackle over most of his career. He projects to both tackle and guard with an early NFL starting grade on the inside. He has shown all the necessary physical tools to develop into an NFL starting left tackle. He is a blue chip athlete with fine footwork, flexibility and athletic ability. He can be one of the real gems in this class and is a rising prospect off excellent Senior Bowl and NFL Combine performances. He is our #1 small college prospect with the talent to start immediately inside. He could be the biggest bargain in this class in the 2nd round and rival the top prospects in this outstanding tackle class.
2. CB B.W. Webb - 5’10” 185 lbs. - William&Mary
Fast athletically gifted small college defensive back had a good postseason that showcased his fine skill set. He is one of the best pure cover man in this draft class. He had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine that moved him into the early rounds. He carries an early NFL starting grade off his fine measurables, skill set and fine postseason efforts. He probably plays in the nickel package very early in his career with definite upside as a starting corner within time.
3. WR Da’Rick Rogers - 6’2” 210 lbs. - Tennessee Tech
Big athletic small college receiver had a good postseason that has him moving up the rankings. At the NFL Combine, he checked in at just less than 6’2” and ran a 4.50 time on watches. He had a fine workout that validated his fine performance both at Tech and his early SEC efforts with Tennessee. He shows the separation speed to get behind the secondary and make the big play. He displays very good hands and the fine body control to track and adjust to the ball well in flight. He has been able to get deep and hit the home run. He is the best red zone receivers in this class and arguably the top receiver, though his off the field issues will keep him out of the top two rounds. Athlete with a nice combination of size, speed and receiving skills to be a true #1 receiver in the right offense. Potential Pro Bowler with maturity.
4. CB Robert Alford - 5’11” 190 lbs. - Southeastern Louisiana
Fast athletically gifted small college defensive back had a good postseason that has elevated his stock into the early rounds. He had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine that moved him into the top 100 prospects. He carries an NFL starting grade eventually at cornerback off his fine measurables, skill set and postseason efforts. He probably plays in the nickel package fairly early in his career with definite upside as a starting corner. He has the speed and physical talent to match up in the vertical game in man situations that elevates his stock. He faces a clear learning curve in zone coverage, but shows the raw talent and savvy to become a starting NFL corner.
5. DT Brandon Williams - 6’3” 320 lbs. - Missouri Southern St.
Powerful mobile lineman completed an excellent small college career that culminated with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. He projects to both pro schemes inside at tackle with the ability to play the three technique or nose tackle spots. He has shown all the necessary physical tools to develop into an NFL starter and is a good athlete with excellent strength that translates to power in the middle. He has fine footwork, flexibility and athletic ability. He can be one of the real gems in this class and is a rising prospect off a good Senior Bowl performances. He is our #1 small college defensive line prospect with the talent to start immediately inside. He could be the biggest bargain in this class in the middle rounds.
6. DT Dontori Hughes - 6’4” 325 lbs. - Tennessee-Martin
Massive athletic tackle completed a good small college career after transferring from Tennessee. He shows the skill set to develop into an NFL starting lineman. He can play in either scheme at tackle with some thought of him playing end in five technique spot. He has the size, bulk, reach and footwork to earn a starting grade inside. He has shown all the necessary physical tools to develop and is a good athlete with strong base, footwork, technique and athletic ability. He can be one of the real hidden gems in this class and has NFL starting talent. We have scouted him extensively over recent seasons and rank him in a marginal Top 150 prospect. He could be a major sleeper and bargain with the talent to start early.
7. Safety Cooper Taylor - 6’3” 225 lbs. - Richmond
Big athletic small college defensive back had a good postseason that has elevated his stock into the early middle rounds. He had an impressive performance at the East-West Shrine week that earned him high grades for many scouts. He also had a strong Pro Day workout after incredibly not going to the NFL Combine. He carries an NFL starting grade eventually at safety off his fine measurables, skill set and good postseason efforts. He probably plays in the nickel package early at either safety or linebacker in his career with definite upside as a starting safety.
8. Safety J.J. Wilcox - 6’ 215 lbs. - Georgia Southern
Tough athletic small college defensive back had a good postseason that has elevated his stock into the middle rounds. He had an impressive performance at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine that moved him into the top 125 prospects. He carries an NFL starting grade eventually at strong safety off his fine measurables, skill set and fine All-star performance. He moved to safety late in his career and needs some time to settle into a system and learn the finer points of defensive play. He is one of the premier special teams defenders in this class and capable of blocking kicks and winning the gunner role on coverage units. He is a versatile defender who is capable of playing early in all the package defenses.
9. RB Miguel Maysonet - 5’9” 210 lbs. - Stony Brook
Talented small college running back had a good postseason that has elevated his stock into the middle rounds. He did not workout at the NFL Combine due to a hamstring injury, but had an impressive Pro Day that probably keeps him as a 3rd day selection. He carries a possible NFL starting grade in time with the compact frame and natural cutting skills to create space. He probably plays on special teams and looks to win a kickoff return role. He has the package to become a 1A type fairly early in his career with definite upside as a starting feature back. Great late steal with starting talent.
10. FB/H-back Kyle Juszczyk - 6’1” 235 lbs. - Harvard
Mobile small college fullback/tight end has improved over his career, showing the versatility to fill a few roles for a pro offense. He completed his career with a strong performance including the Senior Bowl week and NFL Combine. He has a quick burst to the line with fine hands and run after the catch ability to be a strong factor in a pro passing game. He has the talent to fill a few roles including H-back with the speed to make a play. He has proven to be a very reliable receiver with top hands and the ability to make yardage after the reception. He did not attend the NFL Combine, though at his Pro Day, he run in the 4.7 range with a strong performance as a receiver. At the Senior Bowl, he showed good technique as a blocker to be up to NFL standards. Excellent 3rd day value with the upside potential to become a starter in time and good early role performer.
11. DE Mike Catapano - 6’4” 270 lbs. - Princeton
Tough mobile defender had an excellent final season that earned him postseason invitations. He has intriguing measurables with the size and speed to fill the end position in the 4-3 set. He has the talent to help immediately in a line rotation. He needs to settle into a defense and learn the scheme and improve his initial reads to face NFL caliber blockers. He had a very good performance at the East-West week that moved him into the top 200 prospects. He carries an NFL starting grade eventually off his fine measurables, skill set, intangibles and postseason efforts. He probably plays in the nickel package fairly early in his career where his pass rushing talent earns him playing time. He is capable of being an early serviceable defender with starting potential in time.
12. LB Keith Pough - 6’2” 235 lbs. - Howard U (Md)
Rangy tough defender had a strong performance at the small college level. He has the size, quickness, instincts and toughness to play either side in the standard 4-3 set. He has keen instincts and his strength translates well to the field, though he has only adequate speed and quickness to run with receivers and match up with tailbacks. He has the nice athleticism to make the adjustment to the pro game, though he must show he has the skill set to be a surprise and could start fairly soon in his career. During his Pro Day workout, he improved his forty times in the mid 4.7 time range after a disappointing 4.90 time at the NFL Combine. He ranks in our Top 250 prospects in this report.
Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.