The FCS has some lead-pipe locks to be drafted. Players like Delaware free safety Nasir Adderley and Western Illinois defensive tackle Khalen Saunders are heading to the NFL Combine this week and the real question for them is where exactly will they fit into the NFL Draft in late April — not whether they'll be in it.
Then, there are FCS prospects who could lock themselves into the draft with an outstanding performance this week at the NFL Draft Combine.
MORE: FCS to the NFL Coverage
With their arrival in Indianapolis for Day One of the Combine, the offensive linemen quintet representing the FCS level could blow up in a big way beginning today and wrapping on Friday on live television with the on-field drills. A year ago nobody was talking about them — yet look where they are now.
"This is something every football player dreams of," Morgan State OL Joshua Miles told HERO Sports on Tuesday, chiming in from Indy. "And I’m no different. The implications of this week could mean the start to an amazing career and I’m going to take full advantage of this blessing."
To be invited to the NFL Combine is code for franchises being seriously curious about you. So which five FCS invitees could ascend quickly after this week? Well … all of them, in theory, but these five really jump out:[divider]
WR- EMMANUEL BUTLER, NORTHERN ARIZONA: Nobody has had a road with more winding and curves than Butler. He's fought through injury issues. His quarterback in college (Case Cookus) fought through injury issues. It's like NAU could never catch a break with these two guys. Well, maybe this time around Butler catches a break in a positive way. Don't be surprised if his stock ascends. He's 6-foot-3, 220 pounds and made plays at the NFLPA game — including the game's longest play from scrimmage (a 32-yard catch). Keep an eye on him.[divider]
OG/OT- ETHAN GREENIDGE, VILLANOVA: All Greenidge has done in his college career is be a consistent force on a CAA team that is known for its black and blue nature of play. He's played against Temple twice (one was a win), started against Pittsburgh and has also dealt with games against FCS powerhouse James Madison. He started six games as a true freshman, something most CAA linemen don't do. He has good size (6-4/335) and some teams like him in the interior, others at tackle. This week could propel him to being a draft pick, but no matter what … he's going to be a priority pickup and be in an NFL camp in May.[divider]
DE/EDGE- DARRYL JOHNSON, NORTH CAROLINA A&T: Johnson declared early for the NFL Draft as a junior, one of only two FCS products to do so. This week he gets his first big chance to show he's the sack-minded monster he's been at the FCS level. Against FBS East Carolina and FCS powerhouse Jacksonville State, he was extremely active and made a lot of big plays. Keep in mind too, he used to work against 2018 NFL Draft pick Brandon Parker, an Aggies teammate. Johnson's 6-foot-5, 220-pound frame should turn heads.[divider]
OT- JOSHUA MILES, MORGAN STATE: Miles may be the No. 1 guy in terms of how much he could blow up this week with a good showing. He has an outstanding frame (6-foot-6, 300 pounds) to build upon, and he has a reputation as being an extremely coachable player. If he can turn some heads in the measurable categories to go along with his personality during interviews, it may open some doors. He'll also have a Pro Day opportunity to impress scouts. Keep an eye on Miles.[divider]
QB- EASTON STICK, NORTH DAKOTA STATE: Can this guy play? Check his championship rings, or check with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz — who watched Stick knock off his Hawkeyes in front of the home crowd as a sophomore in 2016. Stick can take things further in Indy, and will have a lot of eyeballs on him nationally on Saturday when ABC will actually broadcast the Combine live for two hours, focusing on quarterbacks and wide receiver work. [divider]
TOP FCS DRAFT PICKS: Listed By Year
SCHEDULE: All FCS Pro Days
TOP PERFORMERS: FCS All-Time At NFL Combine[divider]
THE COMBINE SCHEDULE
Friday (March 1): RB, OL, Specialists
Saturday (March 2): QB, WR, TE
Sunday (March 3): DL, LB
Monday (March 4): DB
TELEVISION: ABC (Saturday only for QB/WR/TE, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET); NFL Network (begins 7 a.m. ET each morning)
LIVE STREAM: NFL App and NFL.com/Watch.
DAILY RECAPS: NFL.com will air a one-hour re-cap show, Combine Today, each day of the Combine, streaming at 2 p.m. ET on Friday and Sunday, 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, and 12 p.m. ET on Monday.