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2019 NFL Draft: 10 prospects to watch from Non-Power 5 conferences

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  • 2019 NFL Draft: 10 prospects to watch from Non-Power 5 conferences

    2019 NFL Draft: 10 prospects to watch from Non-Power 5 conferences
    While not often in the TV spotlight, these are the prospects to monitor closely outside the Power schools
    By Chris Trapasso
    @ChrisTrapasso
    CBSSports.com May 31, 2018 • 4 min read

    The early portions of the 2018 draft featured a decent sized non-Power 5 presence, as five of the 32 first-rounders and 12 of the first 64 selections came from outside the Big 10, Pac 12, SEC, ACC, and Big 12.

    In the 2019 draft, there's a lock first-round pick -- who's likely to be grabbed in the top half of Round 1 -- from a non-Power 5 school and a load of other intriguing prospects to keep an eye on during the upcoming college football season.

    Desperately wish you had a 30-minutes-or-so, daily NFL podcast in your podcast app every morning by 6 a.m.? Put some Pick Six Podcast in your life and join Will Brinson as he breaks down the latest news and notes from around the league, as well as the win totals on a team-by-team schedule. It's a daily dose of football to get you right for that commute or gym trip. Subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play

    Here's an early introduction to those players.

    Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
    Debuted in the No. 2 overall spot in my pre-season Top 100 Big Board. The guy's a freak of an athlete. He looks like an oversized linebacker playing defensive tackle. He wins with burst, speed to the football, and a nice repertoire of pass-rushing moves. How good has Oliver been in his first two seasons at Houston? Oh, IDK ... how about 38.5 tackles for loss good. And he already declared for the 2019 draft. Love it.

    Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo
    Native of Rock Hill, South Carolina, a hotbed of NFL talent, Johnson landed in the MAC with the Buffalo Bulls and exploded onto the scene in 2017 after stops at two community colleges. The 6-foot-2, 200-plus pounder had 76 grabs for 1,356 yards and 14 touchdowns in last season. He's a premier deep threat and smooth in the open field. To top it off, his cousin is Jadeveon Clowney.

    Sutton Smith, EDGE, Northern Illinois
    Smith will inevitably be hit with the "undersized" label by some NFL teams, but he can really get after it on the edge with an intense blend of speed and shooting guard-like quickness. He racked up 30 tackles for loss and 14 sacks in 2017 alone for the Huskies and many of those splash plays came at the end of awesome displays of his twitchiness.

    Carl Granderson, EDGE, Wyoming
    On the Pick Six Podcast with Will Brinson earlier this week, I dropped a comparison between Granderson and Saints' first-round pick Marcus Davenport. Granderson is tall and could add some weight to his frame at the next level, but the way he dominates lesser competition with tenacity and power on the outside reminds me a lot of what I saw from Davenport at UTSA. He had 16 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2017.

    Khalil Hodge, LB, Buffalo
    Third MAC player and second from Buffalo ... #MACtion will be taken to another level this season. Hodge combines lightning-quick play recognition awareness with above-average athleticism to get to the football often. He followed a 123-tackle 2016 with a 153-takedown 2017 and added three sacks, two interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles.

    Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech
    Another tall, long, Davenport type, Ferguson has been a steady producer during his career at Louisiana Tech. He wins with speed, impressive bend, and moments of power around the corner to get to the quarterback. If he returns to his 2016 form when he tallied 14 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks, he'll be in the conversation to be picked in one of the first two rounds next April.

    Max Scharping, OL, Northern Illinois
    Four, yes, four MAC players on this list. Scharping probably could've been picked in one of the middle rounds in 2018 after a impeccably clean junior season in DeKalb. At 6-6 and 320 pounds, Scharping -- who's played both tackle and guard -- has NFL-caliber size and plays with controlled power thanks to quick feet. There's a good chance the former Freshman All-American will get first-round consideration.

    Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
    Singletary is a bouncy back with some home-run hitting ability and was the unquestioned heartbeat of the Owls offense last season under Lane Kiffin, as he carried the ball 301 times for 1,918 yards with ... 32 rushing touchdowns. Goodness. Singletary is your classic waterbug runner who possesses some surprising power on inside carries.

    Larry Allen III, OL, Harvard
    Son of one of the most physically capable and overwhelmingly powerful offensive linemen in NFL history, Allen was a member of the All-Ivy team in 2015 and 2016 before stepping away from football in 2017 for undisclosed reasons. He's expected to return to the field in the fall and despite not yet tipping the scales at 300 pounds, Allen plays with a similar style to that of his father. He routinely dominates at the point of attack and is a fine athlete for his size.

    Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
    Having already appeared in 27 games for the Broncos, Rypien -- nephew of former Redskins Super Bowl winning quarterback Mark Rypien -- is an experienced signal-caller who's not yet looked like an NFL franchise quarterback on a consistent basis but has flashed outstanding anticipation and accuracy. He'll carry a career 62.7 completion percentage, 8.4 yards per attempt and 60 touchdowns to 22 interceptions into his senior year in Boise.

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  • Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    May 11, 2017
    Mel Kiper Jr.
    Football analyst

    Say so long to the Class of 2017. It's time for my annual way-too-early look at next year's (potential) NFL draft class.

    So how'd I do last year? Well, three from my top five went in the top six in the 2017 draft -- Myles Garrett (1), Leonard Fournette (4) and Jamal Adams (6) -- and another went 12th (Deshaun Watson). Tim Williams, on the other hand, dropped all the way to No. 78 after an inconsistent season. A few others dropped big time or returned to school for another season, but overall it was pretty solid.

    A few notes on my first 2018 Big Board:

    I'm not going to be too scouting-heavy here. My own reports on these guys are still half-formed, and so much will change between now and the 2018 draft.

    Keep in mind that several prospects here have only started one season, and so I'm projecting based on size, athletic ability, statistics and what I hear from people around the league.

    Speaking of sizes, what's listed here is what schools give out. These could vary greatly when players show up for the 2018 combine. True height and weight really matters for almost every position.

    Check out Todd McShay's first 2018 mock draft, and come back next week for my way-too-early rankings across every position group.

    Note: One asterisk denotes a junior, and two asterisks denote a redshirt sophomore for the 2017 season.


    1. **Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California

    Darnold has everything NFL teams want in a starter. He has a big frame (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), makes quick decisions and is an accurate and natural passer. He completed 67.2 percent of his passes last season and ranked second in the nation in Total QBR (86.8). He does have an unorthodox, long delivery, however, that will have to be retooled. And the third-year sophomore has only started 10 games.



    2. *Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

    There is some projection here because Fitzpatrick (6-1, 195) has played both corner and safety and appears likely to stick at safety in 2017. But the versatility is a plus, and he could be really good at either spot. He has eight interceptions in two seasons, and four of those were returned for touchdowns. I also like that Fitzpatrick will get after it on special teams. He had 11 special-teams tackles in 2016.


    3. *Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

    The buzz has been growing around the 6-5, 216-pound Allen, who can really throw. His numbers weren't great last season -- 28 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions while completing 56 percent of his passes -- but NFL teams will take into account the talent around him. And Wyoming is losing a few offensive players to the NFL, including center Chase Roullier, running back Brian Hill, wide receiver Tanner Gentry and tight end...
    -05-12-2017, 06:42 AM
  • Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    May 11, 2017
    Mel Kiper Jr.
    Football analyst

    Say so long to the Class of 2017. It's time for my annual way-too-early look at next year's (potential) NFL draft class.

    So how'd I do last year? Well, three from my top five went in the top six in the 2017 draft -- Myles Garrett (1), Leonard Fournette (4) and Jamal Adams (6) -- and another went 12th (Deshaun Watson). Tim Williams, on the other hand, dropped all the way to No. 78 after an inconsistent season. A few others dropped big time or returned to school for another season, but overall it was pretty solid.

    A few notes on my first 2018 Big Board:

    I'm not going to be too scouting-heavy here. My own reports on these guys are still half-formed, and so much will change between now and the 2018 draft.

    Keep in mind that several prospects here have only started one season, and so I'm projecting based on size, athletic ability, statistics and what I hear from people around the league.

    Speaking of sizes, what's listed here is what schools give out. These could vary greatly when players show up for the 2018 combine. True height and weight really matters for almost every position.

    Check out Todd McShay's first 2018 mock draft, and come back next week for my way-too-early rankings across every position group.

    Note: One asterisk denotes a junior, and two asterisks denote a redshirt sophomore for the 2017 season.


    1. **Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California

    Darnold has everything NFL teams want in a starter. He has a big frame (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), makes quick decisions and is an accurate and natural passer. He completed 67.2 percent of his passes last season and ranked second in the nation in Total QBR (86.8). He does have an unorthodox, long delivery, however, that will have to be retooled. And the third-year sophomore has only started 10 games.


    2. *Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

    There is some projection here because Fitzpatrick (6-1, 195) has played both corner and safety and appears likely to stick at safety in 2017. But the versatility is a plus, and he could be really good at either spot. He has eight interceptions in two seasons, and four of those were returned for touchdowns. I also like that Fitzpatrick will get after it on special teams. He had 11 special-teams tackles in 2016.


    3. *Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

    The buzz has been growing around the 6-5, 216-pound Allen, who can really throw. His numbers weren't great last season -- 28 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions while completing 56 percent of his passes -- but NFL teams will take into account the talent around him. And Wyoming is losing a few offensive players to the NFL, including center Chase Roullier, running back Brian Hill, wide receiver Tanner Gentry and tight end Jacob Hollister....
    -07-15-2017, 08:11 AM
  • Nick
    CBS Sports Very Early 2018 Top 100 Prospects
    Nick
    An incredibly early look at the top 100 prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft
    It's never too early to start looking ahead at next year's NFL Draft
    by Chris Trapasso CBSSports.com

    While the 2017 NFL Draft is still fresh on our minds, it's never too early to start looking forward at next year's crop of standout prospects. Here are the guys you need to know to get you ready for the 2017 NCAA season and ultimately, the 2018 NFL Draft.

    1. Arden Key | DE | LSU | Junior
    At 6-foot-6 and just over 230 pounds, Key has plenty of room to grow into his gigantic frame. Even at sub-240 pounds in 2016, the Tigers sophomore had 55 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and 11 sacks after a freshman All-American season in 2015. If he adds some weight to his and builds on his first two seasons at LSU, Key is a prime candidate to go No. 1 overall.

    2. Sam Darnold | QB | USC | RS Sophomore
    Darnold shined in 13 starts as a redshirt freshman last season. He completed more than 67 percent of his passes with 31 touchdowns to just nine interceptions. And he ended the season on a high note. Darnold went bonkers in a crazy comeback victory in the Rose Bowl against Penn State. He threw for 453 yards with five touchdown passes and one pick. If he tightens up his delivery, and shows more consistency drifting in the pocket, he should be a top-three lock.

    3. Harold Landry | DE | Boston College | Senior
    Landry has everything NFL evaluators want in an edge-rushing specialist. At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, he possesses quality outside linebacker size. The production is undoubtedly there too. Even as a sophomore in 2015, Landry had 16 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. In 2016, he led the ACC with 16.5 quarterback takedowns to go with 22 tackles for loss. With another big season, Landry will compete with Key to earn the No. 1 edge-rusher spot in the 2018 class.

    4. Mason Rudolph | QB | Oklahoma State | Senior
    Like Landry, Rudolph will check many boxes for NFL scouts and GMs. Firstly, he'll enter the 2018 draft with loads of experience. He's already started 29 games and thrown 958 passes. As far as efficiency, Rudolph's figures are stunning. He has 55 touchdowns to just 17 interceptions in his college career, including a 28/4 TD/INT ratio in 2016. Also, he's 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds and plays in the wide-open Big 12. A pure pocket passer with a strong arm, there's not much to dislike about Rudolph's game.

    5. Derwin James | S | Florida State | Junior
    A former five-star recruit with freakish athleticism, linebacker-esque hitting ability, and cornerback-like ball skills. That's a description of either former Florida State safety Jalen Ramsey or current Seminoles star Derwin James. At 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds, James is enormous for the position. He's super-fluid on the field with quick play-recognition gifts, as evidenced by his 91 tackles as a true freshman in 2015. He missed most of 2016...
    -06-27-2017, 07:51 AM
  • Nick
    2019 NFL draft: Small-school sleeper prospects to watch
    Nick
    2019 NFL draft: Small-school sleeper prospects to watch
    By: Luke Easterling
    June 3, 2018 1:57 pm ET

    Every year, the NFL draft is loaded with big names from college football’s most historic programs, but many of the biggest contributors of any rookie class can come from more unexpected places.

    Here are a handful of talented prospects who don’t hail from traditional powerhouses, but will still warrant plenty of attention throughout this season and heading into the 2019 NFL draft.

    Disclaimer: When we say “small school,” we’re not talking about enrollment here. This just refers to college football programs that aren’t typically considered to be pro prospect factories.

    Keelan Doss | WR | UC-Davis
    My early favorite among this group, Doss has been a dominant pass-catcher against his level of competition, looking like a ready-made No. 1 receiver. Regardless of who he’s lined up against, Doss’ combination of size, physicality and athleticism give him the kind of complete skill set NFL teams are willing to pay a high price for on draft weekend.

    The 6-3, 206-pounder broke out as a junior after a solid sophomore campaign that included double-digit touchdown catches, racking up 1,499 yards on 115 receptions. Overlooked as a high-school recruit, Doss have overcome multiple injuries to become a a legit NFL prospect who won’t be under the radar much longer. If he can stay healthy, he could come off the board early next April.

    Jaylon Ferguson | EDGE | Louisiana Tech
    If injuries hadn’t slowed him down, Ferguson could have considered making the way-early jump to the pros after just two seasons. Instead, he’s headed back to school for a prove-it year, where he’ll get the chance to refine his impressive physical tools and prove to scouts he can be a difference-maker on the edge.

    As a redshirt sophomore, Ferguson set a new school record with 14.5 sacks, and racked up 31 tackles for loss over his first two seasons on the field. Back at full strength for 2018, the 6-5, 269-pounder should be primed for another big season, which could plant him firmly in the conversation among the top edge defenders in the 2019 draft class.

    Tyree Jackson | QB | Buffalo
    If you enjoyed Josh Allen, you should love Jackson just as much. Another big, athletic but raw passer with a cannon for an arm, Jackson has flashed incredible potential in limited work so far. Having one of the best receiver prospects in the country (Anthony Johnson) should continue to help his on-field success and his draft stock.

    Listed at 6-7, 245 pounds, Jackson is an impressive athlete for his size, and has the arm talent to challenge opposing defenses at every level of the field. He’s still got plenty of rough edges to smooth out in his game, but if he shows a continued upward arc in his development this season, he could be a hot name in a quarterback class begging for a true...
    -06-11-2018, 12:56 PM
  • Nick
    PFF: Ranking the edge defender prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft
    Nick
    Something to keep in mind as the Rams are now faced with replacing Robert Quinn......
    -03-03-2018, 05:43 AM
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