Sporting News:Draft Top 40: Small program guys trying to move up the board

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by cowboyjoe, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

    28,203 Messages
    247 Likes Received
    Draft Top 40: Small program guys trying to move up the board
    Russ Lande SN Icon Sporting News
    With the exception of Army-Navy, major college football was off over the weekend. So our focus turned to some small-school prospects who competed in playoff games, along with prospects who played in the FCS Senior Scout Bowl Saturday in Middletown, N.Y.

    Here are a few small-college prospects, including a couple who helped their teams win playoff games during the weekend:
    Delaware quarterback Pat Devlin launches a pass. (AP photo) South Alabama WR Courtney Smith has very good athleticism for his size (6-5, 230). He didn’t catch a lot of balls in college because South Alabama isn’t a pass-heavy team, but he has caught the attention of scouts with his combination of size, athleticism, speed and receiving skills. He is very good at fighting through physical coverage and has the height, long arms and jumping ability to go up and make tough catches on high passes. We expect him to shine at the Senior Bowl and Combine and will move up draft boards in the spring because NFL teams are always looking for big, physical receivers who can go up and make big plays. Right now, we view Smith as a second- or third-round pick, but don’t be shocked to see him get late first-round consideration if he shines, as we expect, this spring.

    Delaware QB Pat Devlin didn’t start out well in the Blue Hens’ playoff game against New Hampshire, as he too often missed open receivers and didn’t make consistently good throws on third down. For a quarterback with good athleticism, Devlin didn’t do a good job in the first half of moving out of the pocket to avoid sacks and pressure. In the second half, however, Devlin looked like a different quarterback and led Delaware to a 16-3 win. He appeared to be much more confident, as he was quick and decisive getting rid of the ball and consistently showed the ability to make good, accurate throws. He has always been a QB with very good mechanics, but it doesn’t always lead to consistent accuracy, which is a big concern for scouts. Devlin has the talent to be a second- or third-down pick, but he hasn’t shown he’s worthy of that with his play. He is not in the class of Joe Flacco, also a Delaware product. Still, Devlin is a solid prospect who will likely be drafted between the fifth and seventh rounds.

    After a big 2009, Villanova RB/WR Matt Szczur has been limited by injuries this season. But in the biggest game of the season, he appeared to be close to 100 percent and showed the explosive burst, elusiveness and speed to make big plays in his team’s 42-24 victory over Appalachian State. Szczur was a one-man wrecking crew, scoring four touchdowns and throwing for another. He did an excellent job of finding open creases, exploded through them and showed the ability to finish with touchdowns. He also displayed very good hands and dangerous running ability after the catch. Szczur recently accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl, where he will get the chance to practice and play against some of the best prospects in the country.

    That weren’t any superstar prospects at the FCS Senior Scout Bowl, but a number of players warrant closer evaluation and will most likely be signed as free agents. Below are the best players we saw:

    Liberty OT Soeren Wendland (6-7, 315) is still learning to play the offensive line after starting out as a defensive lineman at Liberty. A native of Germany, he is a thickly built lineman with the size and strength NFL teams covet. He also showed the flexibility to bend his knees and block with decent base and leverage. He is still very raw, but tackles are hard to find and Wendland is an interesting prospect who would be a good free-agent signing after the draft.
    Note is this player similar to the offensive linemen that the Patriots drafted last year?


    The most physically impressive player on offense was Union (Ky.) RB Armond Smith. He doesn’t blow anyone away with his size (5-10, 182), but he is well-built for his weight and has a background as a track star. In practice, he showed the quickness, agility and ability to change directions in a flash and the burst to get through the hole fast. Smith proved he deserves late-round consideration as a ballcarrier, receiver out of the backfield and kickoff returner.

    Charleston Southern WR Gerald Stevenson showed impressive quickness, athleticism and polish. His lack of height (5-10) isn’t as big a concern as his weight (166 pounds), which raises questions about whether he can hold up in the NFL. In practice, he showed good quickness off the line and the agility and route-running ability to get separation. He also caught the ball well and seemed natural plucking the ball away from his body. He was also the only player who timed in the 4.4’s. At his weight, he isn’t likely to get drafted, but he has the athleticism, versatility and big-play ability to be a good free-agent signing.

    Elon WR Sean Jeffcoat (6-2, 200) looked smooth and fluid in his routes and displayed the hands to reach out and pluck the ball away from his body with ease. However, he didn’t show the quickness off the ball or burst in his routes to get separation consistently. That probably will prevent him from being drafted, but he would be a good free-agent signing because of his size, strength and hands.

    Another player who impressed scouts wasn’t even part of the game. Former South Carolina WR Moe Brown, who finished up his college career a year ago, showed up to work out for scouts. A year ago, he looked like a potential fifth- or sixth-round pick. But he had off-field issues and after running in the high 4.6’s, he didn’t get drafted or even get a chance as a free agent. At 6-0, 179, he is not a thick-bodied receiver, but in college he caught the ball well. At the FCS workout, Brown showed he has stayed in shape by running two good 40s (4.5, 4.44) and performing well in other drills. Brown isn’t eligible for the draft, but based on his workout this weekend, he would be an excellent free-agent pickup.

    Read more:
  2. BAT

    BAT Mr. Fixit

    11,276 Messages
    3,024 Likes Received
    Vollmer? Both are about the same size and both are from Germany, but Vollmer was more polished since Wendland is a converted DL.

    Vollmer is also the better athlete. Wendland may not have the feet to play anything but RT, or maybe have to move inside. Guy is a project.
  3. cowboyjoe

    cowboyjoe Well-Known Member

    28,203 Messages
    247 Likes Received
    yep, thats him bat,

    you might be able to get this kid in real low rounds or undrafted free agent,

    remember we got mark tuneii as undrafted player, and converted from defensive line, and mark played pretty good later in his career under jimmy johnson
  4. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

    43,820 Messages
    3,379 Likes Received
    one of my pet cats last draft was Veldheer. Doing pretty well at LT for the Raiders.

Share This Page