Wednesday, April 23, 2008

NFL Draft '08 - Top Small College Players

Courtesy of

1.CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - 6’1” 185 lbs. - Tennessee St. - Sp. 4.35
Fast athletically gifted small college corner had a tremendous postseason that has elevated his stock into the mid first round area. Dominique had huge performances at both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine that moved him into the top 15 prospects and possibly the top ten of this draft class. Top 15 prospect off his fine measurables, skills set and terrific postseason. He carries an early starting grade, probably as a rookie with incredible upside as a corner to become among the best in the game and Pro Bowl performer. Mid 1st round prospect and best blue chip small college corner from that level since Rashean Mathis

2. QB Joe Flacco #5 - 6'6" 235 lbs. - Delaware - Sp. 4.8
Big strong armed senior QB has started the past two seasons after transferring from Pittsburgh. Joe displays all the physical talent to become a pro starting QB. He had a tremendous senior performance that led Delaware into the D 1AA finals. He has the big arm with excellent strength and fine throwing technique. For such a tall passer, his delivery is surprisingly compact and sound that allows him to make a quick release to deliver the ball in excellent timing. He has a strong live arm and get the ball into tight windows with very good accuracy. This guy could be the gem of this fine QB class and should be a top 40 selection. He has all the talent and intangibles to become a fine pro starter once he develops in a system. With time to develop as a passer and learn an offense, he is quality athlete who is capable of being a huge surprise over time. Best small college passer since Tony Romo who I loved in the NFL Draft ’03, though he was not drafted. Flacco probably goes in the early 2nd round with the Ravens, Jaguars, Lions and Bears all interested.

3. Antwaun Molden #17 - 6’1” 200 lbs. - Eastern Kentucky - Sp. 4.40
Big athletic cornerback completed an impressive finish to his career after starting his college stay at Toledo. Antwaun transferred to Eastern Kentucky after only one season of play, starting since midway during his sophomore ’05 season. He is one of the real hidden gems in this class after a strong late career in the Ohio Valley Conference that drew attention from scouts after seeing his triangle numbers. At the NFL Combine, he checked in at just under 6’1” and 198 lbs. He ran 4.39 and 4.41 times and did 23 reps in the lifting. He did a 37.5” VL and a 10’9” BJ with 4.14 short shuttle and a 6.85 three cone times that were excellent agility drills. It was an outstanding workout that a small college prospect needs to get attention. He is similar to NFL cover man Charles Tillman in size, AA, level of development, versatility and upside potential. He started only two seasons+ with only 25 starts at the Division 1AA level to his credit. Last spring, he finished 2nd to Dominique Cromartie in OVC track sprint.

4. Brandon Keith #54 - 6’5” 340 lbs. - Northern Iowa - Sp. 5.25
Huge tackle prospect had a strong finish to his career that earned him honors in the Gateway conference after starting his career at Oklahoma. Brandon is a long armed gifted tackle or guard prospect who began to open some eyes over the latter part of his senior season. He finished with a fine performance at the Texas vs the Nation All-Star game that elevated his grade further. He is a legit right tackle prospect with tremendous bulk, footwork and mobility. At this point, he is likely to be drafted ahead of his more heralded teammate, Chad Rinehart. He has surprisingly sound technique in many aspect of play and is one of the biggest sleepers in this class. He could become a real gem in the right situation with further development and a big commitment from him to refine his excellent physical package and skill set. At the combine, he ran a fine 5.27 time at 343 lbs. with a 26” VJ and did 31 reps in the lifting. He has drawn comparisons to NFL lineman Orlando “Zeus” Brown, a former starting NFL right side tackle. Major sleeper with the talent to become a starting right tackle with further work and though a late gamble, he is one that could pay huge dividends if a coach can push the right buttons and this prospect focuses on football to realize his amazing potential.

5. Arman Shields #14 - 6’1” 195 lbs. - Richmond - Sp. 4.45
Fast agile small college receiver played in only the early games as a senior due to a knee injury. Arman rehabbed his knee quickly to participate in the NFL Combine where he had a huge workout that has him moving up pro teams draft boards. In the ’07 opener vs Vanderbilt, he totaled 107 receiving yards before going down with a season ending knee injury in the following game. At the NFL Combine, he checked in at just under 6’!” and 194 lbs and ran a fast 4.44 time with 19 reps, a 37.5 VL and a 10'8" BJ in a terrific workout that a small college prospect and an injured player needs to produce to impress scouts. He has shown the deceptive speed to get behind the secondary and make the big play. He displays very good hands, fine body control to track and adjust to the ball in flight and has been able to get deep and hit the home. At the combine, he ran 4.44 and 4.49 times with 37.5” VL and a 10’8” BJ. Athlete with an excellent combination of size, speed and receiving skills to be a huge surprise in the right offense and fine late pick with intriguing upside.

6. Kendall Langford #98 - 6'5" 285 lbs. - Hampton - Sp. 4.8
Big rangy senior defender had another strong performance for the tough Hampton program that earned him first team MEAC honors for the third consecutive year. He has the size, speed, instincts and toughness to play several positions on pro front lines both inside and outside. He has established himself as a complete pro prospect using his fine functional strength and quick hands to perform well in both pass and run defense with the ability to hold the point of attack and chase in pursuit. He is one of the better physical specimens among ends in this class with very long arms to go with his good height and muscular well-built frame. He looks the part, both from an athletic standpoint and mental aptitude, with the production in big games that earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine where he had very good workouts.

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