NFL

Small School Big Board – NFL Draft Prospects

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With Thanksgiving right around the corner that means the ending another of college football comes to a close for the regular season.

It is also the time of year when collegiate all-stars games like the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl begin the process of sending out invitations to the top senior prospects.

The all-star games are filled with future first-round selections from the top football powerhouses in college football. Mixed in with players from Ohio State and Alabama are some small-school prospects that get their first big opportunity to showcasing their skills on a national level.

Below some of the top small-school prospects available for the up-coming 2016 NFL Draft.

 

Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State 

Wentz broke a bone in his throwing wrist in October and is unlikely to return before the Bison season ends this year. Wentz has protypical size along with a NFL quality arm. He captained North Dakota State to a 15-1 record and its fourth straight Missouri Valley Football Conference and NCAA Division I FCS titles in 2014. Wentz (6-foot-5, 222 pounds) also does a great job with his mobility in the pocket. He will be one of the quarterbacks in Mobile, Alabama for the Senior Bowl as long as he is recovered from wrist injury.

 

Josh Woodrum, QB, Liberty

The Big South Conference quarterback is one player on the small-school radar to keep tabs on moving forward. Woodrum has modest statistics so the average fan will not be overly impressed by looking at the stat sheet. NFL scouts see he possesses good intangibles and the technique to be viewed as a realistic quarterback prospect. Woodrum is an accurate passer with good touch.

 

Marshaun Coprich, RB, Illinois State

The All-American was reinstated earlier this year after pleading guilty to drug charges. The first-team All-American selection by The Associated Press was the Missouri Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year in 2014 after rushing for 2,274 yards and 27 rushing touchdowns. Currently, Coprich has 1,215 rushing yards after nine games along with 13 rushing touchdowns. He is an edge runner with speed built into a thick compact frame. Coprich is a little more powerful between the tackles than given credit for, although he usually bouncing all his runs to the outside.

 

Dy’Shawn Mobley, RB, Eastern Kentucky

Originally set to play his college football at Kentucky, Mobley transferred to Eastern Kentucky. Mobley was the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference Offensive Player of the Year and voted team MVP after finishing the season with 258 carries for 1,491 and 20 touchdowns. The big power back also caught 33 passes for 309 yards and one touchdown. Mobley has battled injuries and illness this season causing his production to drastically drop. After seven games, Mobley has rushed for 302 yards for one touchdown on 93 attempts.

 

Paul McRoberts, WR, Southeast Missouri 

Last weekend, McRoberts set a school record with his 27th touchdown reception. The Redhawks receiver (6-foot-3, 197 pounds) brings attention to detail to the position and is known as a coach on the field.  McRoberts also played basketball at Southeast Missouri broadening his overall athleticism on both the hardwood and gridiron. He is quick off the top of his routes and possesses a quick burst to gain separation.

 

Eric Rawls, CB, Kentucky State

Rawls is a NFL sized and skilled defensive back at the Division II level. The Florida native (Pompano Beach) faced academic issues leaving high school which limited his opportunities to receive a scholarship and play college football. Rawls (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) is one of the true small school prospects preparing for the 2016 NFL Draft.

 

James Cowser, DE, Southern Utah

The Southern Utah defensive end is a hybrid outside linebacker at the NFL level. His size (6-foot-4, 254 pounds) allows him to be both quick and powerful off the edge. Cowser leads the Thunderbirds with 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He ranks fifth on the team with 54 tackles. Last season, he broke the Big Sky Conference record for tackles for loss with 28.5, previously held by the Carolina Panthers Jared Allen.

 

Cameron McDondle, RB, Colorado State

The Thunderwolves rushing attack is in good hands with McDondle, who is currently the leading rusher in DII football. McDondle has 1,943 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. He is a small, compact power back that might remind you of a mix between Ray Rice/Darren Sproles. The Harlon Hill Trophy is the DII version of the Heisman Trophy, and if McDondle wins the award he’ll be in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl. The all-star game honors the winner with an invitation.

 

Jon Schnaars, WR, East Stroudsburg

Schnaars has a couple things going for him to get noticed by NFL scouts. First is his size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), then his production. The Warriors star receiver leads all DII receivers with 98 catches for 1,388 yards and 18 touchdowns. Schnaars was All-PSAC East 2nd team receiver last year with 58 catches for 807 yards and 14 touchdowns. He has shattered those previous marks and possesses the ability to get looked at by NFL teams.

 

Victor Ochi, OLB, Stony Brook

One thing you can count on is a good NFL prospect coming out of Stony Brook each year. The top guy to watch right now is Ochi, who could be drafted as early as the fifth round. The Seawolves defensive end has a terrific first step and power off the snap. Ochi leads the team with 11.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 quarterback sacks. Most impressive is his 38 tackles which rank fourth-overall, only five tackles (45) off the team lead. His size (6-foot-2, 255 pounds) and lack of height will cause concern and his projection at the next level will be at outside linebacker.

 

Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Miller currently has 10 interceptions for 191 return yards and one touchdown for his career at Southeastern Louisiana. He also can return punts and kickoffs when needed. His real value is at defensive back with his quick hips and ability to mirror opposing receivers. Miller (6-foot-1, 184 pounds) has long arms and has been one of the top defensive players in the Southland Conference over the last two years. A hotbed for NFL prospects, the regional scouts combing the area definitely have plenty of notes on Miller.


About Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte

Bo Marchionte is an NFL writer for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade. His background includes being staff for the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star game as a talent evaluator for player personnel along with an internship scouting with the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Canadian Football League. Bo’s draft background includes working for the NFL Draft Bible and currently owns and operates College2Pro.com. He has done radio spots on NBC, Fox Sports and ESPN and their affiliates in different markets around the country. Bo covers the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Panthers along with other colleges in the northeast.