NCAA

The Most Underrated Prospects In The 2016 NFL Draft

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At this point in the process, there are a number of prospects who don’t get their just due by the NFL draft evaluators. Usually, the reason behind this is that the analysts haven’t had the chance to really dig into their film yet, which causes them to be way lower on various rankings than they should be.

However, as we get closer to the draft, the group of underrated prospects will get smaller and smaller as more people get exposed to each player’s film. With that being said, let’s take a gander at who some of the most underrated prospects are at this point in the process.

Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas

This running back class is stacked with great talent from rounds two to four; therefore, it is easy to understand why some players are lost in the shuffle. One of those players who is criminally underrated is Arkansas’ Alex Collins.

Arkansas is primarily a power-running offense, but Collins is one of the few running backs who shows the attributes to thrive in power or zone concepts. Collins has extremely quick feet, which allow him to layer cuts together and dip and dive in and out of running holes. The Arkansas running back doesn’t dance too much; instead, he uses his elusiveness to get north-south as fast as possibly. Furthermore, Collins has a great burst to get into and through the second level. At the end of runs, Collins loves to uses his size to finish runs and punish defensive backs, which sets a physical tone to the game.

Now, Collins isn’t a very well-rounded running back, he struggles in pass protection and you don’t seem him utilized in the passing game very much. Nevertheless, he is one of the most talented runners in this class.

Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida

Versatility is one of the most important things that a player can bring to a team on gameday. With only 46 active roster spots, a player who can play multiple positions is an extremely important chess piece for a team on gameday. Florida’s Jonathan Bullard has the ability to be that kind of player with his ability to play anywhere on the defensive line.

Bullard’s best position would be as a 3-technique defensive tackle where he can use his quickness to give interior offensive linemen fits. On top of his quick first step, Bullard flashes heavy hands and a relentless motor to get to the ball carrier. Despite playing through a multitude of injuries, Bullard was constantly in the backfield for the Gators. He exhibited toughness and leadership for the Florida defense throughout the 2015 season.

The defensive end is currently trending as a day two pick, but don’t be surprised if he works his way into the top 20 picks come draft day.

Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri

The inside linebacker class is extremely talented at the top. Myles Jack, Jaylon Smith and Reggie Ragland have the potential to be top-15 picks in this draft; therefore, the other inside linebacker hasn’t been talked about much.

Missouri’s Kentrell Brothers doesn’t have the size or athleticism of those three, but he was way more productive than any of them as well. Brothers has fantastic instincts, which allow him to always be around the ball carrier. He plays downhill and he understands how to get underneath and out leverage blockers. In coverage, Brothers isn’t the type of player you want to turn and run with tight ends, but he is more than capable to spot drop and read the quarterback’s eyes.

Overall, Brothers won’t be mentioned among the top-tier off-ball linebackers, but don’t be surprised if he sneaks his way into the back end of round one for a playoff team in need of a physical tone-setter on their defense.


About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and DraftBreakdown.com