Whether they suited up for Group of Five or FCS programs, there are plenty of promising prospects in this year’s NFL Draft who didn’t play in the Power Five conferences.
Here’s a look at some of the best linebackers from Group of Five schools who could end up providing key contributions for a pro team sometime in the near future.
1. Dorian Williams of Tulane
Williams was ninth in the country last season with 132 tackles. He has a knack for finishing plays off.
Williams also had impressive numbers at the NFL Combine. At 6-foot-1, 228 pounds, his athleticism score was fifth among linebackers.
While he could play in a few different spots in the NFL, Williams could be a professional player for years to come.
Read more: Tulane LB Dorian Williams Looking To Strengthen His Stock
2. Ivan Pace Jr. of Cincinnati
Pace thrived at Miami (Ohio) before going to another Group of Five school and succeeding there as well.
In 2022, Pace was the AAC Defensive Player of the Year and the first Cincinnati player to garner unanimous All-American honors. He racked up 137 tackles, which was sixth in the country, as well as 21.5 tackles for loss, which was third, and 10 sacks, which was 10th.
Pace is projected to be selected in the middle rounds of the NFL Draft. But considering how much he can affect games, teams might end up regretting passing up opportunities to pick him.
Read more: Will Ivan Pace Jr. Rise Up Draft Boards?
3. Carlton Martial of Troy
Martial set the NCAA career record for tackles, and yet he’s not being projected as one of the top prospects at his position.
Martial has earned All-American awards since he was a freshman. He’s also been an All-Sun Belt first-teamer every year since 2019.
Considering how productive Martial was at Troy, he deserves some consideration by NFL teams.
Read more: Carlton Martial Remains Overlooked As Draft Nears