There was a time in high school when my friend Brian and I were fairly obsessed with NFL Mock Drafts. We spent many an April day in the computer labs studying players and positions, anticipating what team would select who come draft day.
Nothing got us more excited, though, then seeing some of the names of schools of potential draft picks. A few years ago, a player from Mars Hill College caught our eye – not because of his 40 time or his bench press reps, but because he went to a school called MARS HILL!!! Better yet, I think the Bungals ended up drafting him, too.
So who are some of the top players from schools you’ve probably never heard of? Here’s my list of this years potential draftees:
1. Mackenzy Bernadeu, OL, Bentley: When I saw the combination of “Mackenzy” and “Bentley”, I thought this guy was British. Then I saw “Bernadeau”, so I thought maybe he was French. In truth, he and the school, which is Division II, are both in Boston. So I already dislike him.
2. Jacob Owens, DE, Fairmont State: According to ESPN’s Draft Tracker, Owens runs a 4.9 40. Given that defensive ends in the NFL now are mostly predicated on speed, I don’t know if this “Fighting Falcon” will make it to the next level. But at least this school has something going for it – new West Virginia head coach Bill Stewart is an alumnus.
3. Zacrey Atterberry, P, Lindenwood: Atterberry averaged 41.6 yards per punt with a long of 72 for the NAIA school out of Missouri. The Lions compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference – I don’t even have a joke for that – and finished with a 10-2 record this year. If Atterberry wants to stay in the Heart of America, he’s going to have some difficulties, though – St. Louis Rams punter Donnie Jones averaged over 47 yards per kick last year.
4. James Thabuteau, CB, Truman State: The Bulldogs finished with a 6-5 record this year, giving up over 37 points per game, including 55 in one game and 71 in another. Still, they were able to defeat Dewey College, despite newspaper headlines to the contrary.
5. Dwayne Crocker, WR, Upper Iowa: Not to be confused with Lower Iowa. Shockingly, the school’s nickname is the “Peacocks”, apparently because the name “Hawkeyes” was already taken and peacocks are the second most common bird in the state. The school of 6,000 is located in Fayette, which is almost directly north of Cedar Rapids, south of Farmer Joe’s cornfield, and east and west of nothing.
6. Brandent Englemon, S, Michigan: Wait, they still have a football team???
7. Steve Allen, LB, West Texas A&M: He gets a special notice here because he has an unprecedented four “flags” on him on Draft Tracker, including age, bulk, mental and speed. A linebacker with no bulk or speed – basically, he’s not good. Plus, the last linebacker I heard of from West Texas A&M – former Brown Chaun Thompson – not only stunk, but we drafted him in the second round, too (thank you, Butch Davis!).
DeJuan Tribble, a cornerback from Boston College, also has four flags – bulk, character, durability and speed. This is basically a warning to NFL teams, “STAY AWAY FROM THIS GUY AT ALL COSTS!!!”
So there you have it. I'm already looking forward to the 2009 NFL Draft and some of the players - and schools - trying to make it big.