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 says the FCS features several day two picks for the NFL Draft — in 2018. And there's always the potential for a player to drift into day one. Today, we take a look at how these FCS prospects are view after the NFL Combine has been completed.
RELATED: When are the Pro Days in the FCS?
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 Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta, who has seen his stock rise considerably the past few months.
So below, we give you the FCS' Top Five prospects, as of March 10, with the rest of the projected draft picks and high end free agent predictions according to NFLDraftScout.com.
NOTE: Please note that several injured senior prospects in 2017 may end up in the 2019 draft class.
5. SKYLER PHILLIPS, OG – IDAHO STATE
Idaho State offensive guard Skyler Phillips (71) was injured last year and received a medical redshirt (ISU Athletics)[/credit]
2018 PROJECTION: No. 147 overall, 4th to 5th round projected
Phillips — who was invited to the Senior Bowl — was a fifth-year senior with loads of NFL potential, and he has proven to be quite versatile on the line also. Scouts 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.
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]
2018 PROJECTION: No. 138 overall, 4th to 5th round projected
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. This weekend could be another massive move forward for Parker.
MCLAUGHLIN: We Caught Up With Brandon Parker's Parents
3. DAVONTAE HARRIS, CB – ILLINOIS STATE
Illinois State cornerback Davontae Harris has had as many as 5 scouts a day out at practice (ISU Athletics)[/credit]
2018 PROJECTION: No. 126 overall, projected 4th round
2017 STATS: 12 passes defensed, 2 INTs, 57 tackles, 4.5 TFLs
Harris — who is committed to play 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.
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]
2018 PROJECTION: No. 95 overall, projected 3rd round
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 last weekend. 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: Kyle Lauletta Diary With HERO Sports
1. DALLAS GOEDERT, TE – SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
South Dakota State Athletics[/credit]
2018 PROJECTION: No. 43 overall, Projected 2nd round
2017 STATS: Try 72 receptions for 1,111 yards and 7 TDs.
Goedert — who was at the Senior Bowl — 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: This chart includes seniors and one early entree underclassman from FCS schools (Maea Teuhema). NFLDraftScout does rank underclassmen as part of their projections, now that we are in the new year. 7th-FA = Projected 7th rounder to Priority NFL Free Agent.
Also: If you see "UP" next to a player's rank, it means he is trending upwards in the eyes of NFLDraftScout.
As mentioned on page one, the "PROJ. ROUND" is based where NFLDraftScout.com has placed them as of March 10, 2018.
|NAME||COLLEGE||POS||POS RK||OVERALL RK||PROJ. RD|
|Dallas Goedert||South Dakota State||TE||3||43||2nd|
|Davontae Harris||Illinois State||CB||16||126||4th|
|Brandon Parker||North Carolina A&T||OT||12||138||4th to 5th|
|Skyler Phillips||Idaho State||OG||8||147||4th to 5th|
|Darius Leonard||South Carolina State||OLB||14||169||5th|
|Timon Parris||Stony Brook||OT||15||185||5th to 6th|
|Daurice Fountain||Northern Iowa||WR||25||196||6th|
|Roc Thomas||Jacksonville State||RB||19||211||6th|
|Siran Neal||Jacksonville State||SS||9||218||6th to 7th|
|Jamil Demby||Maine||OG||13||224||6th to 7th|
|P. J. Hall||Sam Houston State||DT||22||226||6th to 7th|
|John Franklin||Stephen F. Austin||DE||18||227||6th to 7th|
|Taron Johnson||Weber State||CB||28||235||6th to 7th|
|Nick DeLuca||North Dakota State||ILB||11||241||7th|
|Jake Wieneke||South Dakota State||WR||31||256||7th|
|Chase Edmonds||Fordham||RB||23||266||7th to FA|
|Joseph Zema||Incarnate Word||P||5||272||7th to FA|
|Greg Senat||Wagner||OT||21||280||7th to FA|
|Martez Carter||Grambling||RB||24||286||7th to FA|
|Darius Jackson||Jacksonville State||OLB||25||289||7th to FA|
|Andrew Ankrah||James Madison||DE||22||290||7th to FA|
|Maea Teuhema||SE Louisiana||OG||18||291||7th to FA|
|Cole Reyes||North Dakota||SS||13||296||7th to FA|
|Ebenezer Ogundeko||Tennessee State||DE||23||305||7th to FA|
|Aaron Stinnie||James Madison||OT||23||323||7th to FA|
|Donovan Olumba||Portland State||CB||39||339||7th to FA|
|Danny Johnson||Southern||CB||40||345||7th to FA|
On The Cusp
NOTE: These FCS prospects are shown right outside of the "7th round to FA" description above (for Top 350 prospects), but right on the cusp of bumping up — especially with a good pro day (coming up). They are considered absolute locks to secure free agent contracts if they do not get drafted.
|NAME||COLLEGE||POS||POS. RK||OVERALL RK|
|Jeremiah Briscoe||Sam Houston State||QB||22||375|
|Mike Basile||Monmouth (NJ)||FS||18||400|
|Austin Kuhnert||North Dakota State||OG||25||403|
|Sione Teuhema||SE Louisiana||DE||34||429|
|Brett Taylor||Western Illinois||ILB||19||432|
|Tre Dempsey||North Dakota State||CB||49||443|
|Lane Clark||Tennessee State||K||7||444|
|Tremon Smith||Central Arkansas||CB||52||502|
|Dmontre Wade||Murray State||CB||54||505|