OK, nobody from the FCS was picked in the first round. Their loss.
But Friday is Day Two (I.E. — The FCS Version of "Day One"), and this is where it all begins for players from the "small schools". GMs don't get fired when they draft a guy from Southern Cal or Alabama and the kid doesn't pan out. They will get fired if they take a first-round gamble on an FCS product from the Dakotas and the guy doesn't pan out. Now do you understand? But Day One gambling just wrapped up. Now we see which teams are willing to take FCS players.
We at HERO Sports think there are seven guys who have a legitimate chance of being picked in the second round (again, code for "Day Two") and are absolutely locks for "Day Three".
7. DAVONTAE HARRIS, CB – ILLINOIS STATE
Illinois State cornerback Davontae Harris had as many as 5 scouts a day out at practice (ISU Athletics)[/credit]
DRAFT PROJECTION: He is in 5 of 9 Draft Boards we reviewed. Right on the cusp on Day Two. Day Three absolute lock.
2017 STATS: 12 passes defensed, 2 INTs, 57 tackles, 4.5 TFLs
Harris — who played in the postseason Shrine Bowl — is a cover corner highly regarded by scouts and likely will continue to ascend upwards over the next several months. He faced some top flight wide receivers this year, which only helped give him an opportunity to shine. He's physical, he's aggressive and he's intelligent. It's a nice combination of attributes.
MCLAUGHLIN: Podcast with ISU's Davontae Harris
6. P.J. HALL, DL – SAM HOUSTON STATE
Sam Houston State DL P.J. Hall has made plays for years at SHSU (SHSU Athletics)[/credit]
DRAFT PROJECTION: In 5 of 9 Draft Boards we reviewed, could be a 3rd round guy thanks to his incredible Pro Day.
2017 STATS: Let's just go with career numbers, shall we? P.J. had 14 career blocked kicks, and 42 sacks, and 80-plus negative yardage plays. We'll stop there. You get it.
P.J. Hall is a bowling ball defensive lineman who will make some general manager massively happy. After he crushed his Pro Day? NFL teams began to realize that what they saw on film matched what they saw in the meat market. Hall might go Day Two and definitely will get drafted. Not bad for a guy who wasn't invited to the NFL Combine or the Senior Bowl (he played in the Shrine Game, which is considered Game No. 2).
MCLAUGHLIN: FCS, Meet P.J. Hall – The Bulldozer
5. DAURICE FOUNTAIN, WR – NORTHERN IOWA
UNI wide receiver Daurice Fountain (right) was the Shrine Game Offensive MVP (Shrine Game)[/credit]
DRAFT PROJECTION: 8 of 9 Mock Drafts have him drafted, with Mel Kiper placing him in the third round and 4 others having him go in the fourth round.
2017 STATS: 66 receptions, 943 yards, 12 TDs – in an offense that doesn't throw 1,000 times. See?
Fountain is one of the best stories of the offseason, in terms of FCS prospects improving their draft stock. He had a great career at UNI, and then followed it up with a Shrine Game Offensive MVP effort in January. Snubbed by the NFL Combine, Fountain ended up crushing his Pro Day and has shown up clearly and strongly on draft boards ever since.
MCLAUGHLIN: UNI's Fountain Shooting Up The Draft Board
4. BRANDON PARKER, OT – NORTH CAROLINA A&T
North Carolina A&T O-lineman Brandon Parker will be watched closely this spring (NC A&T Athletics)[/credit]
DRAFT PROJECTION: 8 of 9 Mock Drafts have him drafted, with 4 placing in the third round.
Parker — who was at the Senior Bowl — was one of the big reasons North Carolina A&T went undefeated and captured the Celebration Bowl in December. He is flying up the charts in recent weeks if not months. In just a few short months he has gone from being considered a late day three possibility to a solid day two pick and trending. He has shown his athleticism all spring, and his frame is perfect for playing blindside tackle.
MCLAUGHLIN: We Caught Up With Brandon Parker's Parents
3. DARIUS LEONARD, OLB, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE
South Carolina State's Darius Leonard is flying up the charts (SCSU Athletics)[/credit]
DRAFT PROJECTION: 9 of 9 Mock Drafts have him drafted, with 2 placing in the second round
2017 STATS: 114 tackles, 12 TFLs, 8.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 10 hurries
2. KYLE LAULETTA, QB, RICHMOND
[credit] South Squad Kyle Lauletta, of Richmond, during the South's team practice Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, in Mobile, Ala., for Saturday's Senior Bowl NCAA college football game. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)[/credit]
DRAFT PROJECTION: 9 of 9 Mock Drafts have him drafted, with 2 placing in the second round, including Mel Kiper.
2017 STATS: 3,737 yards passing, 28 TDs, 12 INTs
Lauletta — a 10,000-yard career passer for Richmond — finished his career completing 63.5 percent of his passes. He threw 73 touchdowns and only 35 INTs, while also rushing for 12 scores in his career. He was named the Senior Bowl MVP in January, and then followed that up with an impressive NFL Combine performance and has met with several teams since. Keep an eye on Lauletta because scouts are beginning to buzz that he may be just as good a prospect as the "big five" quarterbacks the TV analysts are drooling over.
MCLAUGHLIN: Lauletta's Recent Podcast With Brian McLaughlin
1. DALLAS GOEDERT, TE – SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
South Dakota State Athletics[/credit]
DRAFT PROJECTION: 9 of 9 Mock Drafts have him drafted, with 5 placing in the first round
2017 STATS: Try 72 receptions for 1,111 yards and 7 TDs.
Goedert — who was at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine — may be 6-foot-5, 250 pounds, but he moves and catches the ball like a guy who is much, much smaller. That's what makes him an absolute lock for the NFL Draft this spring. While he was certainly productive as a sophomore in 2015, it was 2016 when he became a human highlight reel — catching one-handed passes and lighting up defenses with his pass catching partner in crime, Jake Wieneke.
FCS Projected 2018 NFL Draft Prospects
EDITOR'S NOTE: The next 20 FCS guys who better have their cellphones handy on Saturday, according to Mock Drafts.
|Skyler Phillips||Idaho State||OG||4TH TO 5TH|
|Tremon Smith||Central Arkansas||CB||6TH|
|Roc Thomas||Jacksonville State||RB||6TH|
|Siran Neal||Jacksonville State||SS||6TH TO 7TH|
|Martez Carter||Grambling||RB||6TH TO 7TH|
|Chase Edmonds||Fordham||RB||7TH TO FA|
|Jamil Demby||Maine||OG||7TH TO FA|
|Taron Johnson||Weber State||CB||7TH TO FA|
|Joseph Zema||Incarnate Word||P||7TH TO FA|
|Timon Parris||Stony Brook||OT||7TH TO FA|
|John Franklin-Myers||Stephen F. Austin||DE||7TH TO FA|
|Greg Senat||Wagner||OT||7TH TO FA|
|Andrew Vollert||Weber State||TE||7TH TO FA|
|Jake Wieneke||South Dakota State||WR||7TH TO FA|
|Darius Jackson||Jacksonville State||OLB||7TH TO FA|
|Ryan Neal||Southern Illinois||FS||7TH TO FA|
|Keion Crossen||Western Carolina||CB||7TH TO FA|