2009, 2010, 2011
Small School Studs for the 2009 NFL Draft
Small School Studs for the 2009 NFL Draft
CB Domonique Johnson, 6’ 1” 190 lbs. Jackson State
Johnson has a good chance to be the 1st small school prospect drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft. He isn’t quite the talent that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was last year, but he is close. Johnson has excellent ball skills and his speed will give him an excellent chance to rise up the draft boards at the NFL Scouting Combine. He is a former Missouri Tiger and can run the 40 in the 4.39 range. Johnson had a fantastic senior year recording 17 passes defended and 4 interceptions.
WR Dobson Collins, 6’ 1” 190 lbs. Gardner-Webb
Collins will battle it out with Cal-Poly’s Ramses Barden to see who is the best small school wide receiver prospect for the 2009 NFL Draft. Collins’ speed and leaping ability sets him apart, he has consistently ran in the 4.49 range. Collins jumped onto the national stage this year on October 11th when he played outstanding against a talented Georgia Tech team. Collins caught 7 passes for 97 yards that day and for the season he finished ranked 7th in the FCS with 6.91 catches per game (average). He has recorded 76 catches for 937 yards and 10 TDs.
RB Rashad Jennings, 6’ 1” 232 lbs. Liberty
Jennings enrolled at Pitt in January 2005 and became only the fourth true freshman in Pitt history to start a season opener at tailback. He transferred to Liberty College the next year to help care for his diabetic father and has never looked back. Jennings finished his senior season ranked 5th in the FCS with a 136 yards per game average. He scored 17 TDs and ran for 1500 yards. Jennings is a big, strong, upright, long strider; he doesn’t dance around a lot, but is deceptively fast and can break tackles.
RB Herb Donaldson, 5’ 10” 225 lbs. Western Illinois
Donaldson is the #1 rusher in the FCS (formerly 1AA) averaging 162 yards per game. For the season he has ran for 1,784 yards and scored 21 touchdowns. Over the last two games of his senior season he ran for 491 yards and scored 4 TDs. Strong, fairly fast and shifty, he could end up as a quality free agent type that makes an NFL team.
LB Lee Robinson, 6’ 3” 245 lbs. Alcorn State
Robinson is a very intriguing prospect with nice size and athletic ability. Robinson has had an excellent season recording 71 solo tackles, 3 sacks, 3 interceptions and 9 tackles for loss. He is also very experienced playing in 43 games he has recorded 193 solo tackles, 16 sacks, 35 tackles for loss and 7 forced fumbles. With a good post season workout he has a chance to get drafted late.
DT Chris Baker, 6’ 2” 300 lbs. Hampton (JR)
I have him in the 1st round of my 2010 NFL Mock Draft, which I admit is quite a reach, but make no mistake, this defensive tackle is a supreme talent and should be the top small school prospect for the 2010 NFL Draft. Baker is extremely strong and quick and plays with a low center of gravity. His production in 2008 was off the charts for an in interior lineman. He earned First Team honors after leading the MEAC with 9 sacks, 13 quarterback hurries and 69 tackles. Baker also finished ranked 5th in the FCS with 20.5 tackles for loss.
DE Pierre Walters, 6’ 4” 255 lbs. Eastern Illinois
Named to the Buck Buchanan watch list and 2008 Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Players of the Year, Walters is a very talented pass rusher that also has the size and strength to play the run. Walters has recorded 16.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks for the season. He has all the skills and the size that the NFL is looking for. He reminds me of a poor man’s Jason Hatcher from Grambling State, who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. While I don’t expect Walters to get drafted near that high if at all, he might get signed after the draft as a free agent, but has a great chance to make an NFL squad.
LB Fred Poole, 6’ 2” 240 lbs. Mississippi Valley State
Poole is another prospect that is unlikely to get drafted, but his size, athletic ability and best of all production will get him a long look by NFL scouts. I could see Poole making an NFL squad as a special teams guru. Poole finished the season ranked 5th in the FCS with an amazing 20.5 tackles for loss, he also recorded 10 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and 5 QB hurries. His 74 tackles were best on his team.
CB William Middleton, 5’ 10” 181 lbs. Furman
Middleton is quite an unknown talent, even for a small school prospect he isn’t well known, but the talent is there none the less and after Domonique Johnson, Poole might be the second small school cornerback prospect to get drafted. Poole will likely be a late round/free agent type, but with a solid post season workout he will be given a chance on some NFL squad next year. Middleton had excellent production in 2008 recording 40 solo tackles, 4 interceptions and 13 passes defended.
ILB Andy Schantz, 6’ 1” 230, Portland State
The top small school linebacker in the country is Andy Schantz. He might even be a 6th or 7th round draft pick if he has good post season workouts. Schantz is not real fast, but his production has been off the charts, he has recorded 115 tackles and 15 tackles for loss this season. Schantz has also been invited to play in the 2009 Texas vs. Nation All-Star game.
CB Reggie Jones, 6’ 0” 198 lbs. Portland State
Schantz isn’t the only NFL Draft Prospect from Portland State this year. Reggie Jones is quite a talent in his own right. I doubt he gets drafted as high as Schantz, but he might be brought into an NFL camp for a look. NFL scouts have already taken a hard look at him after he had a superb senior season where he recorded 4 interceptions and 11 passes defended.
CB K.J. Gerard, 6’ 1” 186, Northern Arizona
Not a speed burner, but he is incredibly athletic and displays excellent ball skills. Gerard holds the NAU school record for interceptions with 19, tied for the fifth-best total in Big Sky history. He finished his career ranked tied for first in interceptions among active career leaders in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) and Division I overall with 19. Gerard is one of 16 finalists for the Buchanan Award.