The NFL Draft went by much quicker than it took to finally arrive, and now we are on to the part of the process where we review all of the draft picks and try to give quick judgment to every pick.
While all the focus has been on quarterbacks and some major players with even more major character flaws, we are here to focus on some of the guys taken on Friday and Saturday that could be potential building blocks and depth for a team’s journey to a Super Bowl title.
Overall, six players were taken from the ranks of Division 2, twice as many as were taken in the 2016 Draft. With such a large pool of talent, there were even some key players who were left undrafted — which we will touch on later this week. For now, take a look at the six-pack of draftees from D2, and look for them to be big names coming up on Sundays.
Adam Shaheen, TE — Ashland
Round 2, Pick 45 — Chicago
Shaheen was the best D2 player in the draft this year, and became the fifth TE off of the draft board when the Bears took him in the early stages of the second round. Originally I slotted the former Ashland star to go to Tampa at 50, but when they took Alabama stud O.J. Howard in the first round, the projected landing for Shaheen became a dart board.
Shaheen has tremendous size (6-foot-6, 275 pounds) and pairs that with quickness (4.78 40-yd dash), and soft hands to be a premier receiving option at the position. While his blocking could use some refinement, and we don’t know who will be throwing to him, this is a great spot for the former basketball player to land as he can become a focal point of the passes thrown in the Windy City.
When talking to Shaheen following his selection, the future Bear kept it simple when saying “I’m speechless. I can’t wait to start the grind.”
Grover Stewart, DT — Albany State
Round 4, Pick 144 — Indianapolis
A hulking d-lineman that I pegged as a player that should be drafted but may slide out, Stewart went through a big rise in the days leading up the draft and adds another piece to a completely retooled Indy front seven that GM Chris Ballard has focused hard on improving this offseason.
Stewart is a tall, heavy lineman (6-foot-5, 332 pounds) that can either be a one-technique in the middle of a 3-4 defense or a possible five-tech. Both options would allow him to be a big factor in plugging the run game, but a preferred option may be to play where the former Ram’s 23.5 sacks in college could come to use in the pro game.
Jordan Morgan, OL — Kutztown
Round 5, Pick 147 — Chicago
The only offensive lineman taken from D2 in the draft this year, Morgan was also the second D2 player taken by the Bears as they focused on finding talent in the lower levels of play across the NCAA when building their draft. Picked towards the latter part of the draft, Morgan should come in and supply depth for Chicago if he is to make the final 53.
When taking a look at the linemen already in Chicago, it is ironic that the main competition for Morgan to make the roster is another former D2 draftee, Eric Kush from Cal (PA). Other competitors include Cyril Richardson and Cornelius Edison, so Morgan will need a very good camp to make it past a practice squad spot.
Dylan Donahue, DE — West Georgia
Round 5, Pick 181 — New York Jets
One of the premier pass-rushers in the history of the Gulf South, Donahue was a flyer worth taking a chance on in the latter stages of the draft, and the Jets seem like a reasonable landing spot given that most of their pass rush comes from their defensive line.
However, Donahue lacks the size needed to put his hand down and rush, so he might turn into a situational rusher that plays standing up and uses some moves to get around tackles. With reports that the Jets are shopping Sheldon Richardson, New York was in major need of some pass rushing if he is to leave town, and you can do little better than one of the premier sack artists in D2.
Alex Armah, FB — West Georgia
Round 6, Pick 192 – Carolina
A player not mentioned on by D2 Big Board of the top 15 players available, Armah actually falls into a perfect situation because of his position and the team drafting him in the Panthers.
Armah will come in and try to replace the departed Mike Tolbert who was a Pro Bowl fullback over the years with Carolina. Actually playing as a defensive end with West Georgia, Armah’s move to the offensive side of the ball is a testament to his athleticism, and it is expected for him to also contribute some receiving ability from the FB spot as well.
Carolina added a bunch of depth to the running back slot this draft, so the need for a blocker in front was apparent, and Armah should be a fan favorite with the Charlotte faithful.
David Moore, WR — East Central
Round 7, Pick 226 — Seattle
Raise your hand if you saw this coming, because Moore was not a player I had ever put on my radar to be drafted or signed as a free agent. But knowing that the Seahawks like to pick some random players and turn them into stars, this is not a bad spot for the former ECU product to land.
A size and speed combination player, Moore runs about 4.43 in his 40-yard dash and is just about 6-foot-1 as well, giving the Seahawks a weapon on the outside or in the slot. The way Moore will make the roster is through special teams play, and not much more can be said at the moment cause we don’t know much about him.
When the NFL Network draft analysts can’t even spit much knowledge on a player, you know this is a true deep find, and a possible diamond in the rough.