By College Football Analyst Josh Buchanan for TonySoftli.com
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois, 6’2, 219, 4.80
Despite where he ends up and how the postseason went Garoppolo was the biggest buzz guy during the fall. He was a second-team All-OVC pick in 2012 but named the OVC Offensive Player of the Year, Walter Payton Award winner, and AFCA All-American in 2013 with 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns. His quick release, accuracy, and mobility had people saying he could go as high as the second round before December.
OT Billy Turner, North Dakota State, 6’5, 316, 5.25
Coming into the season he was pegged as a priority free agent but his play during the fall really caught the attention of NFL scouts and myself. His footwork, agility, consistency, and especially his play in their upset of Kansas State had people buzzing. Turner might have put himself in the top 100 picks just based off the fall tape alone.
TE Joe Don Duncan, Dixie State, 6’3, 264, 4.72
After missing 2012 with an injury Duncan rebounded with first-team All-America honors and perhaps was the best offensive player in Division II. He had 71 catches for 1,045 yards and 13 touchdowns creating buzz because of his athleticism, hands, and blocking ability. If he had no medical concerns and were 6’5 he would have had second round grades. As of the end of the fall he probably would have been a third round pick after I had him with a priority free agent grade entering August.
CB Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern, 5’11, 195, 4.50
Westbrooks wasn’t even in my rankings coming into the season but he was the best defensive player for the Eagles. He developed into a better person off the field and showed good athleticism and speed. He’s smooth and can flip and turn well. His ability to plant and explode as well as his ball skills and tackling really attracted attention and had some saying he could go in the 4th round by December.
OT Matt Feiler, Bloomsburg, 6’6, 330, 5.25
The big Bloomsburg left tackle projects as a guard and had a lot of buzz during the fall. I did not grade him as a prospect in the spring but he not only got a grade in the fall but I put a sixth round grade on him. His strength, knee bend, and ability to finish made him a nice developmental late round prospect.
WR Seantavious Jones, Valdosta State, 6’3, 209, 4.55
Jones repeated as a first-team All-Gulf South pick but didn’t make as many big plays in 2013 and didn’t improve at all. He went from a player I projected to have an All-American season and really rise to a guy who was arguably the 2nd most talented receiver on the roster in 2013. I had him as a 7th-PFA projection and now he’s a low priority free agent grade.
RB Terrance Cobb, University of Cumberlands (KY), 5’10, 213, 4.50
After playing hurt and then missing time he went from an AFCA All-American to a second-team All-Mid South selection. He reminds me of Georgia Southern’s Adrian Peterson in that he was great early on and consistently productive but beat up late in his career. Running backs with tread taken off the tire usually don’t do more than be a #2 or #3 on a roster down the line and thus he fell down the board from a borderline draft pick to a low rated priority free agent.
OLB Dorian Bell, Duquesne, 6’0, 227, 4.60
Bell was a former five-star recruit to Ohio State who appeared to be in line for a big senior year after a strong finish last season. He earned All-America honors but then in 2013 was inconsistent, didn’t improve, and continued to show he is a roller coaster type prospect. He dropped from a priority free agent to a mid level free agent grade with his play during the fall.
RB Jaamal Berry, Murray State, 5’10, 200, 4.55
After flashing last season I really expected him to have a big year and even bump up to a draftable grade. His down year and the off field issues mean he must have a good pro day based on his fall season to guarantee a contract.
OLB Carl Fleming, Indiana (PA), 6’1, 225, 4.75
While Fleming had more tackles he was less active in the pass, missed more tackles, and was not as active in the backfield this year. I had him as a priority free agent grade who was in line to possibly be a late round pick with a big year but he had a down season and dropped to a camp body grade because of his play on the field.