Breaking down FCS prospects heading to NFL Combine
by Stats.com | STATSon
(STATS) - At the meat market known as the NFL Scouting Combine, where 338 players will be on display in Indianapolis beginning next week, it's not easy for a player to stand out.
It's especially the case for an FCS-level player, who presumably has to do more to catch up with the FBS prospects.
This year, only 14 FCS players were invited to the Combine, down 30 percent from 20 a year ago.
From Feb. 26-March 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium, all 32 NFL teams will take an up-close-and-personal look at the prospects as they go through measurements and medical examinations, psychological testing, interviews and on-field workouts.
Here's a breakdown of some of the interesting FCS story lines:
Nasir Adderley, FS, Delaware - The explosive, physical Adderley appears set to solidify being the top FCS draft choice, if not a first-rounder.
Keelan Doss, WR, UC Davis - After a standout week at the Reese's Senior Bowl, the 6-foot-3 Doss seeks to flash better-than-expected speed in the 40-yard dash to complement his outstanding ball skills.
Jazz Ferguson, WR, Northwestern State - There's no shortage of confidence with the younger brother of coveted Louisiana Tech edge rusher Jaylon Ferguson. Jazz's 6-5, 223-pound size is sweet sounding.
Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State - The former high school quarterback who entered college as a tight end has risen quickly on draft charts, although he has to add bulk to his frame.
Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State - All he's done on the FCS level is win. Does that project to the next level?
MOST TO PROVE
Emmanuel Butler, WR, Northern Arizona - In the Big Sky, Butler has lived in the shadow of Doss and Cooper Kupp. He has to flash explosiveness during drills.
Darryl Johnson Jr., DE, North Carolina A&T - An early entry prospect, the good-sized Johnson (6-5) seeks to give the MEAC power a draft selection for the third straight year.
Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois - His conditioning and motor have been questioned, but his Senior Bowl week built a lot of momentum heading toward the draft.
Alex Wesley, WR, Northern Colorado - It's a deep year for wide receivers, so Wesley's championship track speed stands out. But is he undersized (6-0, 190) for the rigors ahead?
Drew Forbes, OT, Southeast Missouri - This is the most surprising omission from the FCS level. His size, skill set and durability command mid-round attention.
Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison - The 5-11, 175-pound size - not the productivity - has been the concern.
Donald Parham, TE, Stetson - A Senior Bowl injury prevented a potential coming-out party. It's not occurring in Indianapolis.
Derick Roberson, DE, Sam Houston State - Combine invite requests can be made too early by NFL teams. Perhaps the huge senior season was too little, too late for creating buzz.
THE FULL LIST
Quarterback: Easton Stick, North Dakota State. Wide receiver: Emmanuel Butler, Northern Arizona; Keelan Doss, UC Davis; Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern State; Alex Wesley, Northern Colorado. Offensive guard: Joshua Miles, Morgan State; Iosua Opeta, Weber State. Offensive tackle: Ethan Greenidge, Villanova; Tytus Howard, Alabama State; Oli Udoh, Elon. Defensive end: Darryl Johnson Jr., North Carolina A&T. Defensive tackle: Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois. Cornerback: Jordan Brown, South Dakota State. Free safety: Nasir Adderley, Delaware