It’s always fun to look for the guys who are getting noticed in the draft process that certainly weren’t getting noticed before now – the guys who toil at obscure schools in obscure conferences. Here are five guys that are getting good buzz out of small schools this year. Telling that four of the five players on this list are corners – teams are absolutely starved for cornerbacks and the major conferences just haven’t come through with good prospects this year, so teams are looking further and further for opportunities.cause of small school corners that Dominique Rodger-Cromartie came out of Tennessee State and looks like a very legitimate pro. You may notice if you follow such things that I have left two of the bigger small school names off this list. Johnny Knox of Abilene Christian was the fastest wide receiver at the Combine, so he’s getting more than enough attention without me, and Rhett Bomar of Sam Houston State is a well known story. The former Oklahoma QB is also an idiot, and I try not to write about idiots more than I have to.
Lardarius Webb, CB, Nicholls State – When I first heard about this guy I didn’t believe what I read, but I checked it out and it is actually true. He is the only player in NCAA history to be named the offensive player of the week, the defensive player of the week, and the special teams player of the week by his conference in the same season. Talk about versatility. He’s a speedy corner who can catch passes in a pinch, and he has a knack for returning kicks. He’d make sense as a project pick for any team with some holes to fill, because he could potentially fill more than one of them.
Greg Toller, CB, St. Paul’s College – This is probably the faster riser among the obscure corners. He plays in Division II so competition is obviously an issue. His pro day numbers were impressive, though, capped by a 4.45 in the 40. That was enough to get him some attention from teams – enough that he has had private workouts with six NFL teams so far. That’s a lot of attention for a guy from a school that no one has ever heard of.
William Middleton, CB, Furman – What sticks out about this guy is that he was named the MVP of his team in a vote by the players. It’s not that often that a guy from outside of the big offensive production positions get that distinction, so Middleton obviously brings some skills and some leadership to the table. He reportedly needs to work on his second-burst speed, and he’s a bit shorter than the ideal corner, but he clearly seems to be worth a look.
Vince Anderson, CB, Webber International University – I couldn’t find it right now, but on Youtube somewhere there is a video of this guy jumping to catch some balls. Apparently the guy was a pretty competitive high jumper in high school, and it clearly shows. The guy looks like he has springs for legs. Needless to say, that’s handy for a corner.
Ramses Barden, WR, Cal Poly – Given what this guy accomplished in his college career, more people need to know his name. He broke no fewer than two career records held by some guy named Jerry Rice. His 32 career games with at least one TD was better than Rice’s 26, and his TD catches in 20 straight games beat Rice who had 17. On top of that, the guy is just a physical monster – he’s huge.