Cecil Shorts III (Mount Union)
It's becoming more common to hear of people rising from Division II schools to make an impact in the NFL. However, it's difficult to name any players in the NFL that played in Division III schools. Ken Anderson, quarterback at Augustana, was a four time Pro Bowl player, but there was no Division III at the time.
If there was ever a player in Division III to take a chance on, it is Cecil Shorts III.
Shorts is a wide receiver out of Mount Union. He began playing wide receiver his sophomore season after the team's leader graduated. That player was Pierre Garcon of the Indianapolis Colts.
How did Shorts' career at Mount Union compare to that of Pierre Garcon's? Garcon averaged 66 catches, 1,121 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns in each of his three years at Mount Union. During Shorts' three years he averaged 82 receptions, 1,472 yards and 20 touchdowns (23 as sophomore, a league record).
Shorts is listed at 6'2” and 200 lbs. He runs a 4.42 in the 40-yard dash. He is projected to go somewhere around the fifth round of the draft.
I'm going to go out on a ledge and say this. If Shorts is drafted to the right team, with a decent scheme and an above average quarterback, he will go down as the greatest player to ever come out of a Division III school.
Dwayne Harris (East Carolina)
Dwayne Harris is not a number one wide receiver, and chances are he never will be. However, that doesn't mean he won't be an effective player in the NFL.
Harris lacks the size of an elite wide receiver. He is listed at 6'0” and 195 lbs, and both of those numbers are very generous. Most players who lack bulk make up for it with speed. Harris does not. His straight end speed is good, but nothing spectacular.
So why could he be a sleeper? Just because he isn't a lead wide receiver doesn't mean that he won't help teams out. Harris has the ability to be extremely effective in the slot. He has the acceleration and quickness to succeed in a position where he can utilize mismatches and won't likely face any press coverages.
Harris also plays with toughness, something needed from slot receivers. Despite his size, he has no fear going over the middle and rarely goes down on first contact.
Harris also has the ability to return kicks. He could be a very versatile player for many teams and could end up having a solid career. Although he will never be Jerry Rice, the team that selects him in the fourth round could get a great football player.