2010 NFL Draft: 10 Late-Round Prospects That Could Surprise
The 2010 NFL Draft has several prospects that will be taken in the sixth or seventh rounds, while others will be undrafted free agents.
Some of the most productive players at their respective positions were drafted in the last two rounds, if drafted at all.
Earnest Byner, Kurt Warner, Zach Thomas, Terrell Davis, Antonio Gates, and Priest Holmes are just a few of many in this category. Here are 10 players in the 2010 draft capable of having long, successful NFL careers.
CB Nolan Carroll, Maryland (6'0", 205)
Terps burner ran in the low 4.4 range at his pro day, but he’s been clocked in the high 4.3 mark too. Carroll was off many team’s draft boards after he didn’t participate in the combine while he was in the final stages of recovering from a broken leg that cost him most of last season. He’s a quiet, hard-working prospect, and teams such as Cleveland and Pittsburgh have already talked with him.
SS Aaron Webster, Cincinnati (6'2", 206)
This under-the-radar Bearcats strong safety ran a very impressive 4.49 at his pro day. His 21 bench press reps were also solid, and his speed suggests he has the tools to be a versatile defensive back if a team wanted to use him at cornerback, or in nickel packages.
ILB Boris Lee, Troy (6'0", 240)
Durable Trojans linebacker has the type of build with a low center of gravity that can be a destructive force on the field. He’s a tackling machine as noted by his team-leading 122 tackles his senior year. Lee was named to the 2009 All-Sun Belt Conference First Team.
ILB Mike McLaughlin, Boston College (6'0", 241)
When coaches and teammates describe McLaughlin, it usually includes a reference such as, “old-school,” “hard-nosed,” or “throwback.” He’s a personal favorite and I’ll be rooting for this tough, fiery Massachusetts native to be selected before it’s all said and done. He brings extra value as a capable long-snapper or perhaps, even as a fullback.
I see similarities to another former BC linebacker taken in the later rounds, Stephen Boyd, who went on to appear in two Pro Bowls.
OT Ramon Harewood, Morehouse (6'7", 355)
When you’re six-feet, seven inches tall and weigh almost 360 pounds, it’s hard not to be noticed on a college campus. But when somebody is this size at a college with an enrollment smaller than many high schools, you can bet one of the football coaches will be interested. After he was finally convinced to play, it wasn’t simply for a free ride.
Harewood, a Barbados native, earned an academic scholarship and was focusing his studies on applied physics. His gigantic frame combined with the fact he’s only played a few years of organized football—although he was an avid Cricket player—was enough to entice 20 NFL teams to send representatives to his pro day in mid-March.
FB John Conner, Kentucky (5'11", 245)
A one-time walk-on to the Wildcats program, Conner is now considered one of the best options at fullback in the 2010 draft. He’s regarded as a true fullback, capable of blowing up linebackers or grinding out short-yardage chunks when need be.
He also has soft enough hands to be an asset as a receiver out of the backfield too.
RB Curtis Steele, Memphis (5'11", 195)
JUCO transfer had over 1,200 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns for the Tigers last year. He’s an elusive, slippery runner with the jets to bounce outside and put his 4.3 to 4.4 range speed to use.
QB Tim Hiller, Western Michigan (6'4", 230)
Hiller is a tall and extremely intelligent quarterback from Parma, Ohio.
His outstanding junior season (36 TD and 3,725 yards) convinced a few scouts he just might be among the first few quarterbacks selected. But his senior season was nowhere near as productive.
With nice size to scan the field, impressive intelligence, and a top-notch work ethic, whichever team selects this four-year, 4.0 student should take their time to develop his skills and groom a solid future NFL starter.
DT Andre Neblett, Temple (6'0", 300)
On film, the two words that come to mind when watching Neblett are, “explosive” and “disruptive.” He was a key reason the Owls made it to a bowl game last season.
QB Rusty Smith, Florida Atlantic (6'5", 225)
This Owls prospect has the physical tools to be a successful starter someday in the NFL. Smith has an extremely strong arm, and a deceptively quick release—despite using a somewhat of an unorthodox throwing motion.
He holds several all-time Sun Belt conference passing records, including touchdowns and passing yards. Put Smith on the field with better talent than he’s accustomed to at FAU, and he could really shine.