The NFL Draft has been whittled down over time to only 8 Rounds of Picks; 7 officially & 1 more of randomly scattered Compensatory Picks per the CBA. So in a year where no team has lost a pick, yet, it means the league will draft 256 players. Then a feeding frenzy takes place to sign the leftover guys as Undrafted Rookie Free Agents (URFA). In most years more URFA are signed than there are Draftees. Currently the GBN Big Board has 257 names on it. So I would like to add a list of 12 guys who sit just on the cusp of being draftees. They just missed making the GBN’s current Big Board. I show them in alphabetical order to reduce the debate possibilities even within this list.
DONALD CELISCAR/FS/Western Michigan, 5’107/194# 4.62/40 @ Combine. Right now it feels as though quite a few NFL teams have this guy on their Draft Boards. He played CB @ WMU, but his speed numbers say a move to S is in order. He had a very nice senior campaign, as WMU returned to winning ways, with 63 tackles, 17 PBU and 4 INT. Look for him to make a roster next Fall as a Special Teamer and part of a dime package, at the least.
ERCIK DARGAN/SS/OREGON, 5’11/212# I have no idea why a guy with his production, in a top college team, gets next to no love. He spent most of his Ducks career as a Special Teams ace, but when called upon to start in his senior year he posted excellent numbers on the field. In 15 games, he posted 95 tackles, 6 PBU & corralled 7 INT. He had 13 Picks in his career at Oregon. He’s best in-the-box, but those INT clearly indicate he can cover a bit and find the ball in the air. He just can’t keep up in deep coverage. He will captain Special Teams units as a pro.
ANDRE DAVIS/WR/South Florida, 6’2/207# 9 1/4″ hands, 33 1/4″ arms DAVIS had the misfortune to be injured a lot as a senior, playing in only 8 games, and played on a QB challenged team for most of his career. But he has decent speed and reliable hands, as reflected in his career total of 153 catches at 14 yards per catch and 17 TD. He looks good enough to me to serve as a No. 4 receiver in the NFL, as long as he plays well on Special Teams. He stepped up nicely at the Shrine venue, especially in game action.
GEREMY DAVIS/WR/UCONN, 6’023/216 ?/40 Played in 10 games as a senior but was hurt and could not do much in the post-season. Played on a team with poor QB play his entire career. He caught 165 balls in his career as a Huskie, averaging 13.9 ypc. Determining his real speed is the key question between now and the Draft. If not drafted his phone will be ringing off the hook on Draft Sunday.
MARVIN KLOSS/K/South Florida, 5’11/196 For some reason KLOSS only attempted 40 FG in his two seasons as the team’s PK. He made 31 of those, but it is his leg strength that really gets NFL Scouts’ attention. He clearly has the leg strength to handle Kick-off duties at the pro level. He’ll get a chance to show that he can kick with accuracy in an NFL Training Camp.
B.J. LARSEN/DE/Utah State, 6’5/275# the former walk-on has improved every season during his college career. He flashed in his senior season with 9 sacks. He has excellent hand usage to grab and shed blockers. But he needs to find a way to pack on another 15 lbs. of muscle mass. If he can do so he could end up as a solid 5-technique in an NFL 3-4 scheme, rotation. Rises to the occasion in the 4th quarter in close games I watched.
ERIC LEFELD/OT/Cincinnati, 6’6/310# The good news is that he played in a high-powered, balanced offense for the Bearcats. He needs to add some strength to his long athletic frame. Has decent feet in pass-pro, but he gets upright to quickly and too often. Not as long armed as you might expect for his height. Has enough athleticism and savvy on the field to make some noise in a Camp this summer.
GREG MANCZ/C/G/Toledo 6’047/307# MANCZ excelled on and off the field during his career @ Toledo. He was named the MAC’s outstanding player for 2014 being the first OL to ever receive that award in its 33 year history. Showed up at the Shrine venue and tore his labrum in practice. He will not be able to fully work out before the Draft. But for the injury I’m pretty sure he’d have been in our Top 257, and drafted. If he becomes an URFA he’ll get many calls once he can clear a medical exam. His versatility should make him a popular guy when NFL teams have to name their 46 active players for a game.
CASEY PIERCE/TE/HB/Kent State 6’034/244# PIERCE got a last minute invite to the Senior Bowl and made good use of his invitation. He is a good all-around player who blocks, but lacks the NFL bulk to play inline much. He showed very good hands and looked natural turning upfield after the catch in Mobile. During the 2014 college season he had 60 catches for 641 yds & 6 TD. For an NFL precision passing Offense Pierce could be a nice addition.
JERMAURIA RASCO/DE/LSU 6’034/259# 4.85/40 Rasco doesn’t quite have the speed to stand up as an OLB, and he’s not stout against the run. But NFL teams are all dying to add more pass-rushers to their roster. And as this guy demonstrated during the Shrine Game he can flat-out get after the QB from the edge. He was also praised by his coaches for accepting instruction during the Shrine practices. He may be a one trick pony, but his one trick is highly coveted in today’s passing NFL.
LOUIS TRINCA-PASAT/DT/Iowa 6’1/290# 4.96/40 If you just look at his physical numbers you’d doubt he could even make a CFL roster, but he is a natural football player. He even managed 6.5 sacks as a senior. LOUIS is fairly short but stout in the trenches. He’ll probably never be much more than a rotational DT in a 4-3 scheme, but will give every ounce of effort he has in his body and will make some pure effort plays when his team needs them most. Coaches will love him from day one of Training Camp.
DEMIEN WILSON/ILB/Minnesota 6’0/245# 33 3/4″ arms 4.77/40 The Juco Transfer moved into the starting MLB job for the Gophers in 2013 and just kept getting better. Stats don’t tell it all, but his from 2014 give you a good idea what a solid all around player he is. In 13 games he tallied 119 tackles, 10.5 TFL, including 4 sacks, had 3 PBU and 1 INT. He needs a bit of coaching- up on tackling form, but he sees the ball and gets to the ball. He should be a star on Special Teams and a 2-down ILB, best suited for a 3-4 scheme.
I have no doubt that some of these guys will indeed be drafted next month. And there are others who I could have added here without using much imagination. Every year there are more good football players trying to earn a living in the NFL and many of these guys should be around next September playing at the highest level.