It’s usually pretty rare that a Division II or Division III prospect gets a legitimate shot at an NFL roster and only a handful get a shot.
However, this season, we could have at least five prospects drafted from below the Division I (both FBS and FCS) level. The feature position this year, as is customary, is wide receiver, where three have a chance to be taken in the first five rounds. Also, the offensive line is a key position to watch, as a few athletic left tackles moving to guard have a chance to get drafted and stick in the NFL.
|Division II Prospects|
|1||.||Brandon Fusco||–||C||–||Slippery Rock||–||3rd-5th|
|2||.||Cedric Thornton||–||DT||Southern Arkansas||–||3rd-5th|
|3||.||Edmund Gates||–||WR||–||Abilene Christian||–||4th-6th|
|4||.||David Mims||–||OT||–||Virginia Union||–||6th-Undrafted|
|5||.||Ricardo Lockette||–||WR||–||Fort Valley State||–||6th-Undrafted|
|6||.||Ryan Jones||–||CB||–||NW Missouri State||–||6th-Undrafted|
|7||.||Cameron Bradfield||–||OT||–||Grand Valley State||–||6th-Undrafted|
|8||.||Josh Portis||–||QB||–||California (PA)||–||7th-Undrafted|
|9||.||OJ Murdock||–||WR||–||Fort Hays State||–||7th-Undrafted|
|10||.||Stephen Burton||–||WR||–||West Texas A&M||–||6th-Undrafted|
|Division III Prospects|
|1||.||Cecil Shorts||–||WR||–||Mount Union||–||5th-7th|
|4||.||Harry Melendez||–||CB||–||Trinity (CT)||–||7th-Undrafted|
Division II, Division III Notes:
-Edmund Gates and Cecil Shorts are as high as a Top 10 receiver on some boards, showing how much some scouts like him. While I don’t seem them as that type of prospect, I plan on reviewing those guys to see how impressive they are. But, both are mid to late round picks in the draft as of now.
-Cedric Thornton is a beast at times, but struggles this season could worry some teams from drafting him. Either way, he could end up being a productive rotational guy in the NFL, maybe even a starter in some systems.
-ZaVious Robins is one of the most productive receivers in the country this year, and probably could have played Division 1 out of high school. A high character, hard-working, very intelligent receiver, he could get a shot in the NFL.
-Two sleepers I like a lot are Cameron Bradfield from Grand Valley State and Eric Hedin from Linfield. Hedin was a productive defensive end but the level he played at may have had a lot to do with that. Bradfield is still raw, but could develop into a RT in the NFL.