Small school draft prospects are poised to make a big impact on the NFL


NFL prospects from big college programs get most of the hype, but every NFL draft brings in big contributors from smaller schools. These 25 prospects are just a few of the small school players who could help in 2022 and beyond.

1 in 25

Matt Araiza, P, State of San Diego

Darren Yamashita/USA Today Sports Images

Araiza is likely to be a rare punter after averaging more than 51 yards per punt last season. He was also the San Diego State placekicker.

2 out of 25

Dai’Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls State

Dai'Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls State

Scott Sewell/USA Today Sports Images

Dixon was able to make a name for himself at Nicholls State as a big, productive player. He has a chance of being drafted on Day 3.

3 out of 25

Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports Images

The Doubs have been very productive over the past two seasons, with over 1,000 yards and 20 total touchdowns. He also had 80 catches in 11 games last season.

4 out of 25

Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M

Aqeel Glass, QB, Alabama A&M

Jake Crandall/USA Today Sports Images

Glass produced huge numbers at Alabama A&M over four seasons, including more than 3,500 passing yards and 36 touchdowns last year. He has the strength and arm size to be considered on Day 3.

5 out of 25

Luke Goedeke, Occupational Therapist, Central Michigan

Luke Goedeke, Occupational Therapist, Central Michigan

Gregory Fisher / Sportswire Icon

Goedeke went from tight end to tackle, showing consistency to get the NFL’s attention. At 6-foot-4, he could move inside once again to guard.

6 out of 25

Jeffrey Gunter, DE, Coastal Carolina

Jeffrey Gunter, DE, Coastal Carolina

Nicholas LoVerde/USA Today Sports Images

Gunter has been a consistent pass thrower for Coastal Carolina the past three seasons, sacking 17 over that span. He has enough size to serve as a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 outside linebacker.

7 out of 25

D’Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State

D'Marco Jackson, LB, Appalachian State

Jim Dedmon/USA Today Sports Images

Jackson has progressed during his career at App State, peaking with 119 tackles and six sacks last season. Older than most competitors, Jackson could be a Day 3 selection.

8 out of 25

Eric Johnson, DT, State of Missouri

Eric Johnson, DT, State of Missouri

Brett Rojo/USA Today Sports Images

Johnson is showing potential as an inside pass thrower after impressing in playoff All-Star games. He could be selected at the start of Day 3 if his practices continue to go well.

9 out of 25

Travis Jones, DT, UConn

Travis Jones, DT, UConn

Vasha Hunt/USA Today Sports Images

Jones is an indoor mammoth, listed at over 330 pounds. He had a strong final season for the Huskies with 4.5 sacks and 48 tackles, making him an interesting midterm prospect.

10 out of 25

Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

Isaiah Likely, TE, Coastal Carolina

Matt Pendleton / USA Today Sports Images

He probably put himself on the map with a great senior season, recording 59 catches for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns. The productive receiver could be an early Day 3 pick.

11 out of 25

DeAngelo Malone, OLB, Western Kentucky

DeAngelo Malone, OLB, Western Kentucky

Vasha Hunt/USA Today Sports Images

Malone recorded an impressive 32.5 sacks over five seasons in Western Kentucky. He’s slightly undersized to serve as a 4-3 defensive end, but could serve as a passing specialist in a 3-4 scheme.

12 out of 25

Trey McBride, TE, State of Colorado

Trey McBride, TE, State of Colorado

Isaiah J. Downing/USA Today Sports Images

McBride has a good chance of being the first tight end selected in the draft, and even late first-round consideration isn’t out of the question. He had a spectacular 2021 season with 90 catches for 1,121 yards.

13 out of 25

Max Mitchell, Occupational Therapist, Louisiana

Max Mitchell, Occupational Therapist, Louisiana

Michael Wade / Sportswire Icon

Mitchell has the size to stick at tackle and is considered a prospect for both sides. He could be chosen as early as day 2.

14 out of 25

Skyy Moore, WR, West Michigan

Skyy Moore, WR, West Michigan

Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports Images

Moore is a fit in the slot due to his lack of height, but he was certainly productive in college. He finished last season with 95 catches for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns and was also a key part of West Michigan’s offense the previous two years.

15 out of 25

Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

Stephen R. Sylvania/USA Today Sports Images

Muma was one of the most productive linebackers in the nation last season, finishing with 142 tackles and three interceptions. He lacks the athleticism of some of the early round tackles, but could be a useful find on Day 3.

16 out of 25

Trevor Penning, Occupational Therapist, Northern Iowa

Trevor Penning, Occupational Therapist, Northern Iowa

Michael Wade / Sportswire Icon

Penning is considered one of the best forwards available with a strong possibility of being drafted in the first round. He has plenty of experience after three years starting at left tackle and the size to dominate there.

17 out of 25

Bernhard Raimann, Occupational Therapist, Central Michigan

Bernhard Raimann, Occupational Therapist, Central Michigan

Vasha Hunt/USA Today Sports Images

Raimann has gone from tight end to tackle, and the throwing ability could push him up many a scoreboard. The Austrian native looks like a Day 2 pick who could even sneak past the end of the first round.

18 out of 25

Cole Strange, OG, Chattanooga

Cole Strange, OG, Chattanooga

Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports Images

Strange is a solid mid-range guard prospect who stands 6-foot-4. He performed well against top competition, and a move to the center could also be a possibility.

19 out of 25

Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

Scott Sewell/USA Today Sports Images

The highly accurate Strong would likely be an early round pick if it weren’t for his injury issues. He completed more than 70% of his passes in consecutive seasons and also threw for 36 touchdowns in 2021.

20 out of 25

Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama

Bryan Lynn/USA Today Sports Images

Tolbert is a significant deep threat, capping his college career with 82 catches for 1,474 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He manages to stand out despite a class of wide and deep receivers as a potential Day 2 pick.

21 out of 25

Cameron Thomas, DE, State of San Diego

Cameron Thomas, DE, State of San Diego

Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports Images

Thomas comes into the draft with a lot of momentum after recording 10.5 sacks and 71 tackles last season. He presents well as a 4-3 defensive end that could be drafted on Day 2.

22 out of 25

Cole Turner, TE, Nevada

Cole Turner, TE, Nevada

Jason Bean/USA Today Sports Images

Turner was a strong red-zone target for Carson Strong, recording 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He put enough on tape to be a Day 3 pick.

23 out of 25

Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State

Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA Today Sports Images

Watson’s tall stature at 6-foot-4 and college production put him on the radar despite a deep draft class. His lack of top speed will likely push Watson to Day 3.

24 out of 25

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Malik Willis, QB, Liberty

Robert McDuffie/USA Today Sports Images

Willis has a shot at being the first quarterback drafted in 2022 after two great seasons at Liberty. He still needs to improve his throwing accuracy, but Willis has elite athleticism to help lead an offense.

25 out of 25

Tariq Woolen, BC, UTSA

Tariq Woolen, BC, UTSA

Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports Images

Converted from wide receiver to cornerback, Woolen is still very raw but offers major intrigue as a press corner with his 6-foot-3 height. It appears to be a day 3 development project.




Sports Grp1

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button