The end of April is approaching and to some that may mean the NBA Playoffs, NHL Playoffs, or the MLB season being broken in. For others, though, it means the NFL Draft. And for us here at HERO Sports, it means breaking down the best prospects from the Group of Five and FCS ahead of the Draft.
Of all the G5 leagues, it’s no surprise that the AAC is the one that has the most and arguably the best prospects. We’ve done a deep dive on each of these players, but here’s a look at the 10 best prospects on draft boards from The American.
LB Ivan Pace Jr., Cincinnati
There have been and still are some concerns about Pace Jr.’s size, but he’s continued to prove doubters wrong. He had a great performance at the Senior Bowl and has also been impressive off the field. It’s possible that Pace Jr. won’t be playing at the Mike position he was in college, but he should find some success however a team wants to utilize him:
WR Tyler Scott, Cincinnati
I don’t know if there are many others whose stock has risen this offseason as much as Scott’s has. In a league where speed kills, Scott has plenty of it. There are a number of NFL teams that could use his services on the outside. Once projected to go late in the draft, Scott is now on many boards as a Day 2 pick.
WR Tre Tucker, Cincinnati
Not often would you get two guys from the same team playing the same position on a list like this. Lining up next to Scott in the slot, however, the duo worked well off each other. With the help of his performance at the Combine, Tucker boosted his draft stock and could be selected by the end of the fourth round.
RB Keaton Mitchell, ECU
One of two RBs to be voted First Team All-AAC, Mitchell was a force to be reckoned with but more so because of his speed and not his power. The 5-foot-9, 179-pounder could be a terrific change-of-pace No. 2 option in the backfield. It’ll be fun to see which team he lands on, and even more fun to see how he’s used in the open field.
WR Nathaniel “Tank” Dell, Houston
Teams are worried about this guy’s size. Why worry when he’s not going to get tackled? Dell is arguably the best route runner out of all the prospects in the Draft and his ability to get open is second to none. There’s a reason the 5-foot-8, 165-pound wideout led the country with 102 receptions last season.
S Gervarrius Owens, Houston
It has been a successful offseason for Owens, who has taken advantage of both his invite to the Combine and his Pro Day. He put up strong numbers in both and should have increased his chances of being drafted early on Day 3 instead of late. This hard-hitting safety could be a solid piece in the right situation.
QB Clayton Tune, Houston
Tune will more than likely fall down to the late rounds, but he’s still one of the best G5 QBs in the Draft. Coming off a season where he tossed 40 touchdowns, Tune proved he has the potential to make a roster. All he needs now is some help developing.
WR Rashee Rice, SMU
Almost exactly three months ago, Rice was tabbed as the best WR from the G5 and was even touted as a first-round selection in mock drafts. Since then, the former Mustang has fallen down boards, but should still be an attractive player after leading the country with 112.9 receiving YPG last season.
RB Tyjae Spears, Tulane
Someone who has gradually gained more interest as the spring has rolled on, Spears could very well be off the board by the time next Friday is over. Spears rushed for 1,581 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. The AAC Offensive Player of the Year will hopefully be doing a lot of this on Sundays:
LB Dorian Williams, Tulane
Williams was impressive at the Combine, ranking in the top 10 in most of the drills, including a 4.49-second 40-time that ranked fourth in his position group. That, matched with his 132-tackle season that also featured 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks, should be enough for Williams to be drafted early on Day 3.