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.
Use the arrow buttons above and below, or your arrow keys to navigate the list.
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.
5. CHASE EDMONDS, RB – FORDHAM
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).
4. DAVONTAE HARRIS, CB – ILLINOIS STATE
Illinois State cornerback Davontae Harris has had as many as 5 scouts a day out at practice (ISU Athletics)
EARLY 2018 PROJECTION: No. 11 cornerback, No. 180 overall, projected 5th round
2016 STATS: 13 passes broken up, 2 INTs, 5.5 tackles for loss, 59 tackles
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.
3. JAKE WIENEKE, WR – SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
[credit]South Dakota State Athletics[/credit]
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.
2. SKYLER PHILLIPS, OG – IDAHO STATE
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.
1. DALLAS GOEDERT, TE – SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
[credit]South Dakota State Athletics[/credit]
EARLY 2018 PROJECTION: No. 3 TE, No. 92 overall, Projected 3rd round
2016 STATS: An eye-popping 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and 11 TDs, while adding another rushing touchdown.
Goedert 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 next spring. While he was certainly productive as a sophomore in 2015, this past year he became a human highlight reel — catching one-handed passes and lighting up defenses with his pass catching partner in crime, Jake Wieneke.
Other FCS Projected 2018 NFL Draft Prospects
EDITOR'S NOTE: This chart includes only seniors from FCS schools. However, NFLDraftScout does rank underclassmen they expect to declare for early entry into the draft. FA = Projected NFL Free Agent.
|NAME||COLLEGE||POS||POS RK||OVER. RK||PROJ. RD|
|*Deion Harris (inj)||North Dakota||CB||15||211||6th|
|Emmanuel Butler||Northern Arizona||WR||17||226||6th to 7th|
|Cole Reyes||North Dakota||SS||7||222||6th to 7th|
|Darius Leonard||South Carolina State||OLB||16||239||7th|
|Jeremiah Briscoe||Sam Houston State||QB||10||292||7th-FA|
|Tre Dempsey||North Dakota State||CB||30||347||7th-FA|
|P. J. Hall||Sam Houston State||DT||19||294||7th-FA|
|Ebenezer Ogundeko||Tennessee State||DE||12||291||7th-FA|
|Andrew Vollert||Weber State||TE||15||334||7th-FA|
FCS Projected 2018 NFL Priority Free Agents
Below are players who are just outside the overall top 350 on NFLDraftScout.com, but are expected to improve their draft stock this year and be picked up next spring.
|Andrew Ankrah||James Madison||OLB||40|
|Corey Avery||Sam Houston State||RB||23|
|Mike Basile||Monmouth (NJ)||FS||17|
|Andrew Caskin||William & Mary||TE||26|
|Nick DeLuca||North Dakota State||ILB||14|
|Anthony Ellis||Charleston Southern||OLB||37|
|Jordon Gandy||Murray State||WR||53|
|Darius Jackson||Jacksonville State||OLB||24|
|Dalton Keene||Illinois State||DT||35|
|Justin Lea||Jacksonville State||OG||27|
|Greg Menard (inj)||North Dakota State||OLB||45|
|Mike Needham||Southern Utah||OLB||43|
|Detrez Newsome||Western Carolina||RB||31|
|Brandon Parker||North Carolina A&T||OT||23|
|Joe Protheroe||Cal Poly||FB||11|
|Bryan Schor||James Madison||QB||22|
|Kellen Soulek||South Dakota State||DT||34|
|Aaron Stinnie||James Madison||OT||26|
|Sione Teuhema||SE Louisiana||DE||27|
|Roc Thomas||Jacksonville State||RB||26|
|Jay-Tee Tiull||Eastern Washington||DT||28|
|Malcolm Washington||Northern Iowa||CB||50|
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.
|Jermaine Antoine||McNeese State||FS||31|
|Marcus Bailey||St. Francis (PA)||RB||57|
|Chance Bearnson||Southern Utah||DE||46|
|Stacey Bedell||Stony Brook||RB||49|