If you think NFL players only come out of the FBS, take two aspirin and check the draft lists. The highly respected site NFLDraftScout.com already says the FCS features several top targets for the NFL Draft — in 2018. Why not peek ahead? It's never too early when the topic is college football, right?
In the 2017 NFL Draft, 15 FCS players were selected in the NFL Draft, and nearly 100 more were brought into training camps as free agents. There will be many opportunities for some of the elite 2018 FCS prospects — and there is still time to 'trend upwards' on this list for players like Sam Houston State QB Jeremiah Briscoe, who will surely see his stock rise over the several months year.
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NOTE: Please note that big-time DB prospect Deion Harris of North Dakota suffered a season-ending injury this summer and will very likely be with the 2019 draft class, while Harvard's Larry Allen Jr. will also sit out this fall and is expected to be back next fall and will be a draft prospect for 2019. Also note that North Dakota State senior LB Nick DeLuca was injured early in 2016 and obtained a medical redshirt to come back to play for the Bison in 2017. He will be in the mix for the 2018 NFL Draft now, and had been projected as such for 2017 before.
EARLY 2018 PROJECTION: No. 8 running back, 182 overall, projected 5th round 2016 STATS: 1,799 rushing yards, 17 touchdowns – led FCS in rushing yards per game (163.5 ypg)
Edmonds has been slicing and dicing the Patriot League for three years now, and it'll undoubtedly continue this fall as he leads the Rams. This consensus All American has proven he can catch the ball (75 receptions in his career, 7 TDs) and he's slippery coming out the of the backfield. He also served as Fordham's kick returner as a freshman so that could also be a selling point to NFL teams. He is the Patriot League's all-time leader in touchdowns scored (69).
This deft cover corner is highly regarded by scouts and likely will continue to ascend upwards over the next several months. He will face some top flight wide receivers this year, which will only help give him an opportunity to shine. He's physical, he's aggressive and he's intelligent. It's a nice combination of attributes.
EARLY 2018 PROJECTION: No. 10 wide receiver, No. 158 overall, 4th to 5th round projected 2016 STATS: 78 receptions for 1,316 yards and 16 TDs
An absolute machine when it comes to delivering in the passing game, Jake Wieneke has been shredding defenses for two seasons and he started off 2016 like he left off in 2015 — just ask TCU. Wieneke went wild when the Jackrabbits faced the Horned Frogs in opening weekend, catching eight passes for 192 yards and a pair of scores. He has a knack for the ball and has good size, and we keep hearing comparisons to Eric Decker.
Idaho State offensive guard Skyler Phillips (71) was injured last year and received a medical redshirt for 2017
EARLY 2018 PROJECTION: No. 5 offensive guard, No. 140 overall, 4th round projected 2016 STATS: Missed final seven games of the year with concussion.
Phillips is a fifth year senior with loads of NFL potential, and he has proven to be quite versatile on the line also. Scouts will love the fact that he could scoot over to the center position or play guard — and if you need him at left tackle, he's done that too. This is exactly what a pro staff is looking for when it is putting together a 53-man roster, and Phillips is a brawler on the line and a smart player.
Still don't see your favorite player? Nearly 100 FCS products were in NFL camps this year and most of them made it to August. Think NFLDraftScout.com has overlooked a talented player from your team? Check the next list to see where the site ranks your favorite player, position wise. All of the following players fall within the range of at least being asked to try out for a team, according to the position range. For instance, on average 60 rookie defensive tackles are in camps each year — so Bucknell's Abdullah Anderson being ranked 50th puts him on the list below.
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