Saturday marked the beginning of the on-field work for the NFL Combine, with quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight end prospects all running, jumping and lifting to prove their athleticism. The FCS had 3 prospects in the mix.
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FCS PROSPECTS: What round are they projected to be taken?
Needless to say, things went rather well for Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta on Saturday. While an NFL Draft prospect at QB will need to prove his worth "upstairs" to scouts, coaches and G.M.s, it never hurts to prove you're also athletic and can get out of a bind. Lauletta certainly proved that, and he's hard considered a dual-threat quarterback.
MCLAUGHLIN: This week's diary with Kyle Lauletta
Lauletta was in the top six among 19 quarterbacks in the five categories he competed in — the 40-yard dash, the vertical, the broad jump, the 3-cone and the 20-yard shuttle run. He actually came away with the top time among QBs in the 20-yard shuttle, and that time (4.07 seconds) also is the 4th best mark to ever be hit by an FCS quarterback prospect at the NFL Combine. The FCS names ahead of him in the 20-yard shuttle? Josh McCown (2002), Rhett Bomar (2009), Jason Garrett (1989) and Travis Lulay (2006).
Along with the meat market stuff, Lauletta also threw well in the route drills with the receivers, and probably his biggest strength — one-on-one interviews — will undoubtedly come away as his top attribute. His overall performance from the Senior Bowl to the NFL Combine has led many draft experts to label him a strong day two draft pick, meaning a 2nd/3rd round type guy. With an exceptionally strong QB class, that remains to be seen, but it seems locked in that he'll be a draft pick of some sort.
COMBINE: Greatest FCS Performances Of All Time
The other two FCS participants were the South Dakota State pass-catching tandem of TE Dallas Goedert and WR Jake Wieneke — you know, the duo that all Missouri Valley Football Conference head football coaches are glad have now graduated after tormenting defenses for what seems like a decade? Both had their bright spots, probably more so with Goedert. The rangy tight end with soft hands proved he was strong, posting the No. 1 mark in the bench press with 23 reps of 225 pounds. This also happens to be the No. 5 mark with FCS tight ends in the NFL Combine, so comparably it was an impressive lift total.
MCLAUGHLIN: SDSU's Dallas Goedert and Jake Wieneke – The Tandem
Goedert is still considered by most analysts to be the No. 2 tight end in this year's draft class behind Oklahoma's Mark Andrews, but he may be pushing even that at this point. Many draft analysts have Goedert going in the second round and possibly flirting with the first, making him the top FCS prospect in this year's class. Wieneke didn't have the day that Lauletta did, and Goedert opted out of several tests. Wieneke ran a 4.67 in the 40-yard dash and had a top 10 effort in the 60-shuttle, which measures quickness. He did have some nice catches in the route-running drills.
NEXT: 2018 FCS Combine Participant Workout Results and Measurements