The college football world is filled with tons of talent on all levels. There are the big-time recruits who go on to make a name for themselves, then the small school prospects who could turn into valuable players at the next level. All these small school prospects need is the recognition that is forgone because of bigger schools’ players.
It is the job of NFL scouts to find and identify the small school prospects that could be great targets for their respective teams in the NFL draft. As the draft process continues to unfold and these prospects participate in the All-star games and combine, they will start to receive the recognition they deserve. Below are prospects to identify with, as your favorite NFL team may be drafting them come April.
2019 NFL Draft: Small School Standouts
Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion, EDGE
Oshane Ximines name started to generate some buzz as he continued to rack up the sack numbers. He finished with 12 sacks on the season, good for fifth in the nation. In fact, looking at his stat sheet there’s constant improvement each year as a starter. He first came on many scouts’ radars after an impressive game versus Virginia Tech, where he recorded two sacks and two and a half tackles for a loss.
While stats can get you on the radar for many it’s the traits he demonstrates that could make him a great selection come April. As expected, coming from a smaller school Ximines is a bit raw overall as a prospect. Still, he shows good pass rush ability with some key counter moves that will allow him to get into the backfield.
His biggest weakness as a pass rusher is his bend/flexibility. Proper bend off the edge allows pass rushers to turn the corner of their arc with ease. A pass rusher without great bend, like Ximines, will be limited in how fast they can get into the backfield. Good NFL offensive linemen will be able to prohibit the arc they take to the quarterback and make them rely on their pass rush moves and counters to win.
Nasir Adderley, Delaware, Safety
Coming from the FCS level Nasir Adderley has more of a translatable skill set than many would expect. He will be in Mobile, Alabama in a few weeks for the senior bowl which should boost his draft stock even more than it already is.
On tape Adderley looks to have great athleticism, paired with good fluidity in his hips and great range on the backend. Playing primarily deep safety for Delaware he has shown the sideline to sideline ability that’s rare for many safeties. With exceptional short area quickness and the ability to turn his hips and run with anyone, Adderley shows great promise to be a starter at the NFL level.
Coming from a small school there will be a bit of a learning curve but nothing Adderley shouldn’t be able to overcome. Perhaps his biggest weakness, or more of an uncertainty, is his man coverage skills. he wasn’t often asked to play man coverage, which leaves a big question mark on his ability to do so for now. Hopefully, his senior bowl will help provide some clarity on his ability to do so.
Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State, Linebacker
A four-year starter for the Aggies, Terrill Hanks has been a 100-plus tackle guy for three consecutive seasons. If you are a team in the market for a versatile defender who has the speed and instincts to run and cover, then Hanks could be your guy. He has the tools wanted to be a potential day three pick that could develop into a rotational guy or even a starter in the NFL with good development.
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