Each year the NFL finds and drafts plenty of small school talent and this year was no different.  Below is a full list of those drafted.

RdPickTeamPosFirst NameLast NameSchool
12PhiladelphiaQBCarsonWentzNorth Dakota State
239Tampa BayDENoahSpenceEastern Kentucky
262CarolinaCBJamesBradberrySamford
389PittsburghDTJavonHargraveSouth Carolina State
4108Tampa BayCBRyanSmithNorth Carolina Central
4111DetroitSSMilesKillebrewSouthern Utah
4127ChicagoCBDeiondre'HallNorthern Iowa
4138ClevelandTESethDeValvePrinceton
5146BaltimoreDEMattJudonGrand Valley State
5155IndianapolisOTJoeHaegNorth Dakota State
5157TennesseeCBLeShaunSimsSouthern Utah
5165Kansas CityRBTyreekHillWest Alabama
5167ArizonaSSMarquiChristianMidwestern State
5170ArizonaOTColeTonerHarvard
6177Los AngelesTETemarrickHemingwaySouth Carolina State
6181JacksonvilleOLBTyroneHolmesMontana
6185ChicagoFSDeAndreHouston-CarsonWilliam & Mary
6205ArizonaCBHarlanMillerSoutheastern Louisiana
6208New EnglandOLBKamuGrugier-HillEastern Illinois
7226JacksonvilleDEJonathanWoodardCentral Arkansas
7235NY JetsPLachlanEdwardsSam Houston State
7239IndianapolisILBTrevorBatesMaine
7252CarolinaTEBeauSandlandMontana State

TOP REACH

CB James Bradberry, Samford

The Carolina Panthers selected Bradberry with the 62nd pick in the second round.  Bradberry was expected to be a 4th-6th round pick but Carolina perhaps was looking to replace their long, productive small school corner Josh Norman with another one.  The difference between the two is that Norman was a better college player and was a steal in the 5th round while they reached a little bit for Bradberry.  I love the physical tools and ability of him but he did not stand out in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and was not really tested by any draftable receivers in the Southern Conference like previous small school defensive backs from Samford and even Josh Norman were.  I like the potential of Bradberry but I don’t see him as a good day one starter but with the pick they used on him he will have to be one.  If they can be patient I think he could be fine but when you take someone in the second round there isn’t much room for patience.  They also took two other corners so there will be plenty of competition and that made me wonder if they just wanted to stockpile corners and figured one of the three would pan out.

TOP STEAL

CB Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana

Miller was taken in the late 6th round by the Cardinals.  They do a great job with small school picks and I believe they had a much higher grade on Miller than where they picked him.  I viewed Miller as a 4th round talent so getting him this late is a big bonus.  While he is not extremely fast he reminds me of Josh Norman on the field and I believe he will be a very solid player for Arizona.  He could develop into a solid starter.

SURPRISE PICK

TE Seth DeValve, Princeton

This pick was such a surprise to the media that NFL Network and ESPN both skipped talking about him at all.  I was really hoping they would because this was the most intriguing pick of this class.  The Browns took him with the 138th pick in the 4th round and the belief is around the league that they had to take him there because one or two others teams were aiming for him in the 5th round.  My personal belief is that those teams were aiming for him in the 7th round but the fact that Cleveland took an unknown player to the media this high shows you what NFL people thought of his ability when he was healthy.  In 2015, he played six games with 33 catches, 337 yards, and one touchdown until his season was ended because of having surgery in his second foot for the same condition of bones rubbing together in his metatarsil from the previous year.  Before the injury sidelined him the first time in 2014 he had 19 catches for 243 yards in just two games.  Prior to that, he was a 2nd team All-Ivy League selection with 49 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns in 2013.  DeValve is a tweener but he is strong, athletic, can run, and is a solid route runner.  Keep an eye on this pick because if he is fine medically he will develop into a quality NFL player.  I’m told Cleveland did not bring him in for a visit so I’m not sure if they were just taking a gamble here or had medical information on him that they believe he is fine.  Either way, keep an eye on this pick because he is a boom or bust player who I had a 6th round grade on entering the season before the injury and sitting out the postseason, which was the only reason why the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl did not invite him.

DRAFT STATS

23 small school players drafted

7 of the 23 did not attend the NFL Scouting Combine.

3 of the 23 were not invited to an all-star game and 2 of them were due to issues.  DeValve because of medical and Hill due to his off field incident at Oklahoma State.  Kamu Grugier-Hill was the only one overlooked during the fall.

 

ARIZONA CARDINALS PROVE AGAIN THEY LOVE SMALL SCHOOLERS

They led all NFL teams by drafting three of them with two taken in round 5 (Marqui Christian, Cole Toner) and one in the 6th round (Harlan Miller).

FIVE OTHER NFL TEAMS DRAFT TWO SMALL SCHOOLERS

The Panthers, Bears, Colts, Jaguars, and Bucs all took two small school prospects ranging from picks in round 2 through the 7th round.

SMALL SCHOOL PHYSICAL TOOL NOTES

The tallest player drafted was North Dakota State tackle Joe Haeg in round 5 by the Colts while the shortest was running back Ty Hill by the Chiefs in round 5, pick 165.

The fastest player was also Hill with 4.2 speed.

POSITION BREAKDOWN

  • QB- 1
  • RB- 1
  • WR- 0
  • TE- 3
  • OT- 2
  • OG- 0
  • C- 0
  • DE- 3
  • DT- 1
  • LB- 3
  • CB- 5
  • S- 3
  • K- 0
  • P- 1
  • LS- 0
RankStatusTeamPosFirst NameLast NameSchool
1SignedOaklandDEJamesCowserSouthern Utah
2SignedBuffaloDTJustinZimmerFerris State
3SignedChicagoTEBenBrauneckerHarvard
4SignedTampa BayOTDominiqueRobertsonWest Georgia
5SignedNY GiantsQBJoshWoodrumLiberty
6SignedBaltimoreOGAnthonyFabianoHarvard
7SignedBaltimoreDE/OLBVictorOchiStony Brook
8SignedPittsburghDTDevaunteSiglerJacksonville State
9SignedNY GiantsRBMarshaunCoprichIllinois State
10SignedNY GiantsDTGregMilhouseCampbell
11SignedGreen BayCBMakintonDorleantNorthern Iowa
12SignedArizonaOTClayDeBordEastern Washington
13SignedOaklandTERyanO'MalleyPenn
14SignedGreen BayDTTylerKuderIdaho State
15SignedSan FranciscoKJohnLunsfordLiberty
16SignedTampa BayWRDezStewartOhio Dominican
17SignedBaltimoreSSPatrickOnwuasorPortland State
18SignedArizonaWRChrisKingDuquesne
19SignedOaklandDEDrewIddingsSouth Dakota
20SignedAtlantaFB/LBWillRatelleNorth Dakota
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