Join Date: May 2004
Small School prospects and Intriguing stories for the 2006 draft
Last year, players like Adrian McPherson, Larry Brackins, and others were pretty intriguing stories I wish I had heard about earlier than right before the draft. So, I thought I'd compile a small list of obscure prospects or potential draft picks with intriguing stories for the 2006 NFL Draft.
Tyler Ebell, RB UTEP: Former UCLA Star who ran for 994 yards and 10 TDs as a freshman in 2002, put up decent numbers as a sophomore in 2003, had to sit out in 2004 due to NCAA transfer rules, and has put 4.5ypc and 5 TDs at UTEP this season. He had the talent, but off-field problems and questionable character along with small size will probably leave him undrafted unless he has a great showing in the GMAC Bowl. He used his redshirt eligibility in 2001, and this will be his final season.
Damien Rhodes, RB Syracuse: Respectable size at 6'/211, played 3 full seasons including Freshman year at Syracuse.
870 yards/10 TD as Junior splitting time with Walter Reyes. 900 yards/7 TD and third on team in receptions as a senior. Has decent pass catching skills, can handle kick return duties, and did well in the rushing game despite facing 8 man fronts the majority of the time because of a lack of a passing game. Walter Reyes went undrafted last year, but I think Rhodes will go in day two.
Moe Thompson, DE Grambling: A fast-rising prospect as a junior DE at South Carolina last season, his stock plummeted after the school found out that he would be facing five counts of burglary. Steve Spurrier dismissed Thompson and he was allowed to transfer and play at I-AA Grambling. In 2004 at South Carolina he had 64 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, and also led the team in forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. What was once a day-one pick looks like he'll most certainly go undrafted.
Bruce Eugene, QB Grambling: A 175.2 efficiency rating, 4408 yds, 56 TDs, and just six INTs makes for a great season. Unfortunately, his unconventional (6'/250lb) stature has scouts questioning his ability to play at the next level. His stocky frame can be beneficial breaking off pass rushers or being able to run the ball on short yardage situations with a direct snap. His size is somewhat comparable to Jared Lorenzen, who went undrafted, but Eugene's numbers are superior to almost all quarterbacks and I think he could slip into the 6th or 7th round.
Troy Bergeron, WR Georgia Force: He originally committed to Auburn but was released from his scholarship, and went to Middle Tennessee State only to be redshirted. Like former FSU QB Adrian MacPherson, Bergeron went to the AFL and has impressed scouts since. His numbers are inflated from arena football, but he is 6-2, 190lbs with speed and good pass-catching skills. I fully expect him to be drafted at some point, most likely in the 6th round or later.
Anthony Schable, DE South Dakota: He has already received some NFL scouts' attention as he leads all of Division II in sacks with 18.5 for 92 yards lost. Schable (6-4, 285lbs) plays well against the run, and has started 37 straight games. He is third in Division II with 29 tackles for loss and blocked a punt on special teams this season. Schable has the size and the speed to project well for the NFL. He hasn't received much attention from the media, but I think he could go as early as the 4th round.
Chris Kuper, OG North Dakota: Nearly declared as a junior last year after a great season, but went back to school and raised his draft status with a solid senior season. His biggest asset is his pure strength, but he is very athletic for his 6-3, 300lb. frame. His footwork needs help, but he is a great pass blocker and will be invited to the likes of the Hula Bowl and Senior Bowl to boost his draft status. He projects as an early day-two pick, but could move into the 3rd round with a good combine.
Ryan Neill, DE Rutgers: Son of former New York Giant Bob Neill, Ryan has played a key role in Rutgers' turnaround. Neill is only 6-3, 265lbs. and may project better as a 3-4 OLB, but he has put up great stats as a defensive end. He's recorded 17 sacks over the last two seasons and 33.5 tackles for loss since recovering from a knee injury that caused him to miss all of 2003. Neill has adequate speed and can wreak havoc in the backfield, but he might be undersized to play DE. He hasn't received much attention and his knee injury will likely come up again, so I'd expect him to be a 6th or 7th-round pick.
Miles Austin, WR Monmouth: Austin is a big target at 6-3, 219lbs., and his numbers this year have been very impressive (49 receptions, 1,004 yards, and 13 TDs). He has a nose for the end zone, recording 34 touchdowns in his last three seasons. He's received some attention as a small-school prospect and has a good combination of size and speed to warrant a day-two pick. I think he'll likely go in the 7th round or as an undrafted free agent, but someone will give him a shot in the NFL
feel free to add some sleepers