So how'd the FCS guys fare in the NFL Combine. In general, nobody really hurt themselves and the guys considered at the top of the FCS class all had solid efforts. But what about those guys who could find themselves taken on the third day of the draft, the guys that really needed to show out. Which ones improved their draft stock the most. We have our take below.
Fordham's Chase Edmonds might be that top guy, as he owned the other running backs when it came to the 3-cone drill, the 20-yard shuttle and the 60-yard shuttle. He ran a 4.55-second time in the 40-yard dash, good for 12th among RBs at the combine, and also showed he has the strength with 19 reps of 225 pounds — good for 8th among RBs. He also had the 5th best broad jump among RBs, so overall it was an impressive performance. After an injury plagued 2017 season that saw him go from potential all-time D-I record breaker to a guy who missed a lot of time, the NFL Combine was truly a rebound affair for Edmonds.
EDMONDS TOLD HERO SPORTS: "I'm feeling good, I'm not going to complain too much about the results," Edmonds told HERO Sports after his combine performance. "I was trying to run a 4.52, that was my goal, and for a while a lot of the scouts said I had run a 4.5 but that got changed later. I also wanted 20 reps but they took one away from me which gave me 19. But I was really happy with the 3-cone and shuttle. My main focus when my pro day happens (at Fordham, March 8) is I want to excel with the slot routes. I want to be more like a Christian McCaffery type player and show I can be a really bad mismatch … I don't think anybody ever dropped me, but maybe some forgot about me. When I look back on my season and being so hurt and banged up, when you try to draw wisdom from something, that's what I did. At the time I thought I was one of the most cursed people in the world. But it taught me a lot of lessons. It made my approach to this entire draft process more urgent."
JOHN FRANKLIN, DL, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN
It was Stephen F. Austin defensive lineman John Franklin who left with the best FCS specs on DL/LB day — Sunday. Franklin ran the fifth fastest 40-yard dash for a defensive lineman at 4.75, hit the 26-reps mark in the bench press, and went on to post Top 10 marks in the vertical jump (7th) and the 20-yard shuttle run (8th). Coming into the NFL Combine, Franklin had been seen as a possible day three guy in April's NFL Draft, but it remains to be seen how much he may bump up his draft stock based on Sunday's showing. He'll have chance to show out on March 27 at Stephen F. Austin's on-campus pro day.
FRANKLIN TOLD HERO SPORTS: "(Sunday) went good, I have been training hard and I’m glad to see it has paid off," Franklin told HERO Sports via phone right after he wrapped a solid NFL Combine. "I have a lot to work on as far as speed and explosiveness to elevate my game so that’s what I will be doing the next couple of months. It is exciting getting that opportunity to represent SFA and my family. I am forever grateful for that, and can’t wait to see what the future holds."
DAVONTAE HARRIS, CB, ILLINOIS STATE
Illinois State's Davontae Harris led all cornerbacks at the NFL Combine with 22 reps of the 225-pound bench press, so that got him off to a great start in the measureables department. He also ran the top 40-yard dash time of any FCS prospect who was at the NFL Combine. Harris went on to post a nice mark in the vertical jump and didn't shy away from many drills. He may have helped solidify himself as a Day Three pickup, and his pro day on March 21 at Illinois State will also help a ton if he has a good showing. One service has him going in the sixth round, a couple have him in the seventh. We'll see if that stock shoots up a bid after a solid showing.
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.
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).
LAULETTA TOLD HERO SPORTS: "I could have done better on it, too (on the top 20-yard shuttle time). I didn't do my best out of the turn."
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