The Sun Belt Conference has never been considered elite, but every now and then it produces a top-tier prospect who flies under the radar.
This year, Jonathan Cyprien out of Florida International is the guy we've watched skyrocket up big boards across the league.
You may not have had the opportunity to see him play this season, but there are plenty of good reasons why the FIU star seems destined to make a huge splash in the NFL.
Name: Jonathan Cyprien
Birthday: January 1, 1990
Hometown: North Miami Beach, Fla.
High School: North Miami Beach High School
Major: Physical Therapy
Jonathan Cyprien was a standout athlete in the Sun Belt Conference for each of his four years at Florida International. He was named All-Dade County by the Miami Herald as a senior, but didn't receive many offers out of high school. He ultimately decided to take the scholarship from FIU to stay local rather than head north to play at Western Michigan.
2009: 12 games, 78 tackles, 1.5 TFL, 1 INT, 4 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles
2010: 13 games, 113 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 7 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles
2011: 13 games, 81 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1 sack, 1 INT, 9 pass deflections
2012: 12 games, 93 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 3 INTs, 8 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble
Jonathan Cyprien has been a reliable member of the Panthers' secondary since the moment he stepped foot on campus. As a freshman, he came in and played in every single game while earning the start for seven of those appearances.
As his statistics show, he was able to find a level of consistency in defending the pass, although he was rarely utilized in blitzing situations. Another point of interest is the fact that he played in every single game over his four-year career, a feat that not many athletes can put on their resume in this day and age.
Weight: 217 pounds
Arm Length: 31 3/4"
Hand Size: 10 1/4"
Vertical Jump: 38.5"
Pro Day Results
40-yard dash: 4.64 seconds
Bench Press: 18 reps
Broad Jump: 119.0"
Short Shuttle: 4.44 seconds
Three-Cone Drill: 7.01 seconds
Despite being limited at the combine due to a strained hamstring, Jonathan Cyprien has done all of the right things throughout this process, which has led to a significant rise in stock. He placed fifth amongst safeties at the combine in the vertical jump, while his 18 reps on the bench press only help to reaffirm his strength in the secondary. His 40-yard dash isn't all that impressive, but it was quick enough that it won't be considered a liability.
Jonathan Cyprien leaves FIU as its all-time leading tackler.
As a true freshman, he played in every game (including seven starts) en route to earning All-Sun Belt honorable mention.
He was named second-team All-Sun Belt Conference as a sophomore and junior and finally made the first team his senior season.
Cyprien has started every game since his sophomore year and is only the second FIU Panther ever to be invited to the Senior Bowl (Ty Hilton in 2011).
Jonathan Cyprien enters the draft as one of the hardest-hitting, most sought-after safeties on the board.
He is used to playing a lot of two-deep coverage, which casts some doubt on his ability to be a "true center fielder" at the next level.
Cyprien's also been criticized for his slow first step, and he has a bad tendency to fall for play action and get beat over the top.
He otherwise plays relatively smart football and can match up on receivers in the slot or use his athleticism to cover ground when positioned deeper in a zone set.
His aggressive nature as well as his ability to handle blocks and move through traffic make him a threat as a blitzer in the box.
He's played well against higher competition and seems to have the tools that would enable a smooth transition to the next level.