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Small Names To Watch Out for: 2009 NFL Draft Edition

Jabber HeadSenior Analyst IMarch 13, 2009

It’s that time of year again. The NFL Combine is over and pro days are underway. The rise and fall of players is certain at this period and draft boards are changing, but what about the small names?

Here are a few small school players to watch for come draft day that may open your eyes.

Chris Baker, DT, Hampton

Yes, Hampton. The school that produced Kendall Langford last season is now putting out a potential nose tackle. The transition of many teams to a 3-4 defense will put the big defensive tackles on many draft boards and Chris Baker is a name that everyone is noticing.

He’s 6′2″ and weighs in at 326 lbs. Baker ran a 5.03 40-yard dash at the combine and put up 24 reps of 225 lbs. He’s played in a 3-4 so he knows that system and is a solid prospect to look at in the mid to late rounds.

Brice McCain, CB, Utah

The other cornerback from Utah, Brice McCain ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash at his pro day, which was faster than any cornerback at the NFL Combine. Though measuring in at just 5′9″, McCain looked solid in positional drills and may have stole the show from Sean Smith this day. He has a 36″ vertical and put up 12 reps, not bad for a 181 lb. cornerback.

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Who’s my favorite?

Well, it’s a tough decision here between two San Jose St. defensive players and a running back. Jarron Gilbert and Christopher Owens are both very talented players on a never spoken of team.

Owens is the counterpart to higher ranked Coye Francies, but is no slouch himself. He is a physical "jam-at-the-line" type cornerback with a good nose for the ball. With the transition to 3-4 defenses occuring in the NFL, Gilbert looks like a promising five-technique to rush the quarterback and disrupt plays.

Liberty running back Rashad Jennings has skyrocketed his draft stock with great performances at the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine. He has a good mix of size and speed. He is definitely worth a look, along with Kory Sheets of Purdue who is a hard worker and hustles every play.

If you’d like to know more about a certain draft prospect, feel free to send me a PM and I will gladly give you the information that I have on the player.

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