Not every player who gets drafted comes from a big school. Some players are over looked or develop later. Academics can play a role also. We’ve seen players from smaller schools play big roles in the pros. Let’s take a look at a few from this years crop of prospects.
Jimmy Garoppolo – QB – Eastern Illinois
Jimmy Garoppolo was an unknown until recently. He didn’t start playing Quarterback until his junior year of high school. Which is why I’m sure he ended up where he did. Jimmy finished a strong career by throwing for 5050 yards, 53 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a senior. Garoppolo broke all of former Eastern Illinois alum and current Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s records. After capping off a great career, he moved on to the East-West shrine game. He was very impressive. Jimmy looked like he was on another level than everyone else on the field. The following week, Garoppolo was invited to the Senior Bowl, where he had another strong week of practice in Mobile.
Garoppolo has good size at 6’2” 226lbs and solid athleticism. He’s got a quick release, finding the open receiver and throwing it. His short and intermediate passing game are great. The deep ball is solid. He has a rocket for an arm and is able to diagnose the defense and get the ball to the open receiver fast. It would serve him best to have a veteran in front of him for a season. One thing critics are pointing to is sometimes he folds a bit under pressure. Could be he’s doesn’t like getting hit. Or he dropped back so many times last season (568 times) that he was saving his body to fight another day. Not to mention make a living at the next level. It’s something to look at when he’s a pro. But not something he’ll drop for.
Jimmy Garoppolo is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. He’s impressed wherever he’s played. As recently as Northwestern’s pro day where 31 pro scouts were on hand to watch him throw. He wasn’t perfect, but in a few years if some of the kinks are worked out. He could be the best QB in this class. Should come off the boards late first to mid second round.
Terrance West – RB – Towson
Terrance West is another name you’ll be hearing on Sundays in the future. The runningback out of Towson has excellent size at 5’9” 225lbs. His speed is solid, he ran a 4.54 at the combine. West is a north-south runner with good hands. He carried Towson on his back to a national championship appearance against North Dakota State. Rushing for 2,509 yard and 41 TD’s. Not to mention his 26 receptions for 258 yards and a score in 16 games!
West got offers from big programs but had to attend a prep school. He left there and worked out on his own during a year off from school and football. Ending up at Towson seemed to be a good fit for him to grow as an adult. He’s a self motivator and seems to love succeeding and proving people wrong.
Terrence West has been gaining momentum and could find himself getting selected between rounds 2 and 3. Whoever gets him will get a work horse back who works hard and can help the offense in many facets of the game.
Check in soon for more small school prospects