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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 12 Small School Standouts to Watch for in the NFL Draft

12 Small School Standouts to Watch for in the NFL Draft

NFL Draft Small School Sleepers!
Publish Date: 03/30/2018
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

1. Dallas Goedert – Tight End – South Dakota State

Dallas Goedert was made for the modern NFL.  At 6’5” 255 and super athletic he is a mismatch nightmare.  He can be moved all around in the formation and will be a huge red zone weapon in the NFL.  Goedert has a good chance of being a first round pick and has the ability to make his presence instantly known in the NFL.

2. Nathan Shepherd – Defensive Tackle – Fort Hays State

Nathan Shepherd is the prototypical NFL defensive tackle.  He is 6’5” 315 but looks lean and moves extremely well for a man of his size.  He should be able to use his combination of size and athleticism to become a force in the NFL.  Shepherd likely won’t make it out of the second round.

3. Siran Neal – Defensive Back – Jacksonville State

Siran Neal is fast, physical, and versatile.  He can play corner or safety, but may be best as a nickel corner or an in-the-box safety in the NFL.  Neal is comfortable close to the line having played linebacker in 2016. His tackling ability and speed will make him a great addition to a team’s sub packages.

4. Chase Edmonds – Running Back – Fordham

At 5’9” 205 Chase Edmonds is not the biggest back in the class, but his film is extremely impressive.  He has excellent speed and great vision as a runner. He makes quick cuts and gets up the field quickly.  He is also an effective receiver and can return kicks. Edmonds could make a huge impact in the right offense.

5. Desmond Harrison – Offensive Tackle – West Georgia

Desmond Harrison is a raw talent with a mean streak.  He came into the combine light at 6’6” 292, but has the frame to add bulk.  He also showed his athleticism running an impressive 4.9 40. Many offensive linemen in this draft class will need to develop, but few play with the fire of Harrison.  At West Georgia, Harrison absolutely destroyed people in the run game, and shows promise as a pass blocker. He will not be a day one starter, but he could develop into a quality starter in the league.

6. Alex Cappa – Offensive Tackle – Humboldt State

Alex Cappa made a big splash at the Senior Bowl where he proved that he can compete amongst the nation’s best.  At 6’7” 305 he is an impressive physical specimen. He has been well coached and uses excellent technique winning not only on strength but skill.

7. Jake Wieneke – Wide Receiver –  South Dakota State

At 6’4” 205 Jake Wieneke is an impressive red zone target, who runs great routes and is at his best against the highest competition. He played against power five conference teams three times in his college career, combining for 22 receptions 463 yards and four touchdowns.  If you multiply that out over a twelve game season, he would have had 88 receptions for 1,852 yards and 16 touchdowns.

8. Timon Parris – Offensive Tackle – Stony Brook

Timon Parris is a big body who has shown impressive skill as a pass protector.  His 6’5” 320 frame will catch a teams interest. If he can work on his knee bend and flexibility, he could develop into a quality NFL player.

9. Daurice Fountain – Wide Receiver – Northern Iowa

Daurice Fountain is an excellent athlete who fits best as a slot receiver.  He is only 6’1” but still does an excellent job of out jumping opponents and making contested catches.

10. Cole Reyes – Safety – North Dakota

Cole Reyes is 6’2” 215 and surprisingly twichy for a player of his size.  He is an excellent tackler and breaks on the ball well. His combination of size and speed will find him a home in the NFL.

11. Brandon Parker – Offensive Tackle – North Carolina A&T

When team’s were scouting Tarik Cohen last season, Brandon Parker surely caught their eye a time or two.  Parker is a raw talent, but at 6’7” 314 he is worth the investment. He needs to improve his technique and play with lower pad level in order to stick at the NFL level.

12. Elijah Marks – Wide Receiver – Northern Arizona Lumberjacks

Elijah Marks is a shifty receiver who may be able to develop into an effective slot in the NFL.  He is very fast in and out of his cuts and can quickly transition to get up field.

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