My favorite part of the draft are the stories of the guys who don’t get any attention from the scouts, but who go on to have fantastic careers. Here are five nfl picks who could fill that role this year:
1. Armanti Edwards, QB, Appalachian State – It’s very doubtful that this guy will be a QB n the pros, but he’s been so productive in college, and he’s so ridiculously athletic, that he should find a role somewhere, and he’ll be very productive in the right spot. He led his team to two straight national championships and a stunning upset of Michigan, so he’s obviously a big game guy. The comparisons to Joshua Cribbs are both obvious and compelling.
2. Dan LeFevour, QB, Central Michigan – He’s a poor man’s Tim Tebow with his incredible ability to pass and run with equal degrees of danger to opponent’s. He hurt himself with the ridiculous decision not to throw at the Combine, and that will drop him down the board and make him a bargain. There’s a chance he’ll go on day two of the draft (I’m writing this before the Draft begins), but the further he falls the better the bargain the team that picks him will get. Worst case scenario is that he’s a very capable long term backup for a team.
3. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Oregon – The issues with this guy are many and obvious, but I’d certainly take a late round risk on him. He showed in his one year of FBS play that he has real game, and his time off last year just means that there is more rubber left on the tires. He’s probably not a star caliber player by his own, but taking a couple of downs as part of a running back committee could be a great role for him. He’s a much better player than you are often going to get as a fifth round depth guy.
4. Freddie Barnes, WR, Bowling Green – The guy isn’t fast enough (4.6 in the 40) or big enough to get serious attention as a wide receiver. All you have to do, though, is look at his numbers – this guy is a catching savant. He caught 155 passes last year – a record at all levels of college ball – and his 1,770 receiving yards broke a MAC record held by some guy named Randy Moss. As a third receiver he could be the best bargain ever in the seventh round or so.
5. Zac Robinson, QB, Oklahoma State – It’s hard to know how to value QB performance at the Combine because so many top players don’t throw, but of those that did Robinson was clearly the best. He’ll have to make the transition from spread to a pro-style offense, but he has the delivery and fundamentals for success, and the size and instincts that teams look for when beating the NFL betting odds.