Every year before the draft I go over some small school prospects to keep in mind on draft day. Just because a player doesn’t play in the SEC, doesn’t mean they can’t be a good pro. Over the years we’ve focused on players like T.Y. Hilton, Josh Norman, Terrance West and more. Many of the players we’ve featured on have made an impact. Some not at all. Let’s take a look at some of this years players.
David Johnson – Runningback – Northern Iowa
David Johnson is a powerful back at 6’1” 224lbs. He ran well at the combine (4.50 40) proving he has the speed for the next level. Johnson showed he can play against better competition. He had a big game at Iowa this season. He was invited and played in the senior bowl. Johnson had 10 carries for 42 yards and a TD. He also caught a 16 yard pass. David finished his career as the most productive rusher in school history with 3 consecutive 1,000 yard seasons.
Johnson can get up to speed quickly. He’s a straight line, between the tackles type runner. He can change direction quick. Johnson has nice open field run ability and is tough to bring down when he gets free. Johnson handled kick return duties at Northern Iowa which gives him added value. He can be a 3 down back at the next level. His pass catching is excellent and he caught 134 balls over his college career. . I think he comes off the boards in the late second or third round. He is a name to know come fantasy football season.
Tre McBride – Wide Receiver – William and Mary
Tre McBride has solid size at 6’1” 210lbs. He ran a 4.41 40 at the combine which is solid speed for his position. He leaves school with 196 receptions, 2,653 receiving yards 19 touchdowns and 4,281 all-purpose yards. He had a nice game against West Virginia in 2013.
McBride does a nice job getting in and out of his cuts. He can go up and get the ball in tight coverage. I think McBride goes off the boards in the 3rd or 4th round and should be a solid “Z” receiver. He may not have an impact year 1. Coming from such a small program it could take time. But remember his name on draft day and see where he lands. If he ends up on a team that has a good quarterback an a good core of receivers, McBride could find himself in a lot of one on one battles he could win.
Jerry Lovelocke – Quarterback – Prairie View A&M
Jerry Lovelocke has the prototypical size for an NFL Quarterback at 6’4” 248lbs. He can also run. This alone may get him drafted in the 7th round. If not someone will sign him as a free agent and give him a look in training camps. His passing resume is unimpressive. he threw 54 touchdowns, but 26 interceptions against a low-level of competition.
Check back in for part 2…