It seems every year that small school players are finding more and more success in the league. This year is no different and features some players that could be key parts to winning rosters. Many of them at skill positions. Names you need to know come draft day or for your fantasy draft.
Cooper Kupp – Wide Receiver – Eastern Washington
Cooper Kupp has made quite a name for himself in the last year. He came out of high school and was not targeted by any major programs and wound up at Eastern Washington. His father and grandfather both played professional football.
Cooper Kupp set numerous records at Eastern Washington. He totaled 73 receiving touchdowns, 428 receptions and 6,464 yards. Kupp isn’t just a guy who dominated small school opponents. He also succeeded against the big schools like Washington and Oregon. Not to mentioned everyone he faced in practice at the senior bowl. He has great hands, size (6’2” 195lbs) and the ability to line up in the slot or outside. He returned kicks which only adds to his value.
Kupp looks like he will come off the boards on day two of the draft. His combine didn’t wow anyone, but his on field play speaks for itself. Keep an eye on where Kupp lands. If he finds himself with a quality quarterback he’s going to put up numbers from day one
Chad Williams – Wide Receiver – Grambling St.
Chad Williams ended a great career at Grambling State with two good showings at post season all-star games. After the NFLPA Collegiate bowl he was invited to the Senior Bowl and looked good during practices. He was not invited to the Combine. So his pro day (March 21) will be a big day for Williams.
At 6’2” 204lbs, Williams has the size that the league likes. He has good leaping ability and can go up and over smaller defensive backs to make plays. He caped off a great career at Grambling with 210 receptions, 3,062 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Williams will be drafted on day three and could be a gem for someone. A team with a solid quarterback and a need at wide receiver could thrust Williams into a role early. I expect him to have a solid career.
Lorenzo Jerome – Safety – Saint Francis University (PA)
Coming out of Saint Francis I’ve only seen him play at the Senior Bowl. I had no idea who he was coming into the week. But after the Game i was well aware of Jerome. Jerome was constantly making plays against the pass and run. He will come right up and make a tackle and his instincts looked off the carts. He’s not afraid to come right up on a big runningback and stick him.
Jerome’s biggest issue is his size. He’s only 5’10” 204lbs. If he can catch on with a roster he will certainly add bulk to his frame. He didn’t show well at the combine and was nothing more than average in most of the drills. But all of those things can be improved with good coaching and time. Lorenzo Jerome looks like a late day three draft prospect. He’s the type of player who could find himself as a starter by year three in the league with hard work and some luck.