2018 NFL draft: 15 FCS offensive prospects to know
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - With about 150 former FCS players on NFL rosters annually, teams are looking closer than ever at the quality across the subdivision.
And they're liking what they see.
The FCS has averaged about 18 selections per draft over the last decade, with dozens more signing as undrafted free agents. South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert leads the way in a top-heavy group of offensive prospects this year.
Following are 15 offensive prospects - listed alphabetically - to know for the seven-round draft April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas (projection is from Phil Steele small-school evaluator Josh Buchanan):
Jeremiah Briscoe, QB, Sam Houston State, 6-3, 220 (priority free agent)
A two-time STATS FCS Walter Payton Award winner for national offensive player of the year (2016 and '17). ... Passed for 4,602 yards and an FCS-record 57 touchdowns as a junior and 5,003 yards and 45 touchdowns as a senior. ... Former UAB transfer possesses gunslinger traits with a quick release and the confidence to throw downfield and into coverage to a fault. ... Worked extensively out of a shotgun at Sam Houston. ... Subpar performance at East-West Shrine Game might have ended chance to be drafted.
Martez Carter, RB, Grambling State, 5-6 1/2, 204 (PFA)
Carter could be viewed as a Tarik Cohen-style running back coming out of an FCS HBCU program. Too small to be a feature back, Carter could fill a change-of-pace role at the next level. ... A speedy big-play threat who can elude tacklers. ... Caught 61 passes over his final two seasons and can contribute on kick returns. ... Tends to carry too much weight, but outstanding when he's on his game. ... Named to the 2017 All-SWAC first team.
Jamil Demby, OG, Maine, 6-4, 319 (seventh round)
Having made 40 starts at left tackle in his Maine career, Demby is well-built for his projected transition to guard on the next level. ... Uses 10 3/4-inch hands to push through contact, but is working to improve the balance in his anchor. ... Fared well in one-on-one matchups at the Senior Bowl, but disappointed with only 17 reps on the bench press at the combine. ... Named to the 2017 STATS FCS All-America second team as a senior.
Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham, 5-8, 203 (PFA)
A three-time FCS All-American and the 2014 Jerry Rice Award winner as the national freshman of the year, Edmonds has the speed and shifty moves of a change-of-pace back. ... Was on pace after three seasons to become the all-time FCS rushing leader, but missed 4 1/2 games as a senior because of ankle and hamstring injuries. Finished as the Patriot League's all-time leader in rushing yards (5,862), all-purpose yards (7,374) and touchdowns (74). ... Led the FCS in rushing yards per game (163.5) as a junior.
Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa, 6-1 1/2, 210 (fifth-sixth)
Continued the momentum of his senior season (66 receptions for 943 yards and 12 touchdowns) by winning Most Valuable Player honors at the East-West Shrine Game. ... Although raw as a route runner, Fountain's natural athleticism allows him to separate from coverage and pick up yards after the catch. ... Adds to his versatility as a punt and kickoff returner. ... Named to the All-Missouri Valley first team as a senior.
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State, 6-5, 256 (second)
Generally considered the first FCS player who will be selected in the 2018 draft, Goedert has been projected to go as high as the first round. ... Has the agility and reliable hands of a wide receiver with a tight end's body. ... Was particularly dominant with 92 receptions as a junior and totaled 164 catches for 3,404 yards and 18 touchdowns in his final two seasons, when South Dakota State made its two deepest runs in the FCS playoffs. ... Biggest concern is his inconsistent blocking skills. ... Missed the Senior Bowl because of a hamstring injury.
Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond, 6-2 1/2, 222 (fifth)
Winning MVP at the Senior Bowl and a strong follow-up at the combine could propel Lauletta as high as the third or fourth round. ... Finished his Richmond career as the school record-holder for passing yards (10,465) and touchdown passes (73). ... Suffered a torn ACL in November 2016, but overcame it to win 2017 CAA Football offensive player of the year. ... Was a third-team STATS FCS All-American. ... Strong in the pocket or rolling out, the big concern is his arm strength. But he threw well at the combine. ... Noted for his high football IQ.
Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T, 6-8, 305 (fourth)
The athletic size and raw ability of Parker makes him one of the top FCS draft candidates. … In 48 career starts, he didn't surrender a sack, allowed only two quarterback hurries and committed just seven penalties. ... Boasts a lean, sturdy frame and has exceptional wingspan (measured at 84 7/8 inches at the NFL Combine). ... Won the MEAC offensive lineman of the year award in each of his final three seasons and made the STATS FCS All-America first team as both a junior and a senior.
Timon Parris, OT, Stony Brook, 6-6, 312 (fifth)
Seeking to become Stony Brook's first-ever NFL draft choice. ... Missed much of the draft buildup after suffering a fractured fibula in mid-October. ... Prior to the injury, Parris had started all 41 games of his career. ... Athletic for a lineman, Parris has emerging skills that can be shaped for the next level. Displays good movement, but must avoid getting upright in his technique. ... Named to the STATS FCS All-America second team after both his junior and senior seasons
Skyler Phillips, OG, Idaho State, 6-3, 318 (sixth)
Versatile offensive lineman who spent time at both guard and tackle positions at Idaho State and was viewed as a potential center - still his possible position at the next level. ... Suffered a concussion four games into the 2016 season and received medical hardship to return a year ago. ... Uses thick arms to power defensive linemen into the ground. ... Part of the 2014 Idaho State line that paved the way for a Big Sky-record 6,744 offensive yards. … Named to the 2017 STATS FCS All-America first team.
Greg Senat, OT, Wagner, 6-6, 302 (seventh)
One of the more intriguing FCS prospects because he played four seasons of basketball and only two of football at Wagner, but showed moldable talent for the next level. ... Played right tackle in his two seasons. ... Athletic with long arms, he is working to add bulk to his frame. Has added about 10 pounds since his senior campaign. ... Was the first player in Northeast Conference history to earn an invite to the East-West Shrine Game.
Maea Teuhema, OG, Southeastern Louisiana, 6-4, 315 (PFA)
Decided to forego his senior season to enter the draft, joining his brother Sione, a 2017 STATS FCS All-America linebacker at Southeastern. ... Maea spent just one season at left guard with the Lions, earning All-Southland first-team honors. ... Made 21 starts in two seasons at LSU before being dismissed from the Tigers program for what coach Ed Orgeron deemed "academic issues." ... Displays excellent power at the point of attack. ... Ranked as the nation's No. 1 offensive guard by Rivals as a high school senior.
Roc Thomas, RB, Jacksonville State, 5-10, 198 (sixth)
Former Auburn player has the moves and speed to be a change-of-pace back, if not a No. 2, at the NFL level. ... Spent his final two seasons at Jacksonville State, making the All-Ohio Valley Conference first team both times and earning the 2017 offensive player of the year award (with 1,065 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground). ... Willing to run between the tackles despite not having great size. ... Has breakaway speed and a nose for the end zone. ... Small hands (9 1/8 inches) are a concern.
Justin Watson, WR, Penn, 6-2 1/2, 213 (PFA)
Penn's career record-holder in receptions (286), receiving yards (3,777), touchdown receptions (33) and all-purpose yards (4,116). ... Runner-up for Ivy League offensive player of the year in each of his final three seasons. ... Physical receiver with good ball skills who is suited for the slot position. Was productive when Penn used him as a runner (7.7-yard average on 44 career rushes). ... Following a strong practice week at the East-West Shrine Game, Watson got a call-up to the Senior Bowl the next week.
Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State, 6-4, 221 (seventh)
Wieneke finished his career as one of the more productive wide receivers in FCS history. He caught a pass in a record 53 straight games and ranked second all-time in touchdown receptions (59) and third in receiving yards (5,157). ... A three-time FCS All-American, he also was one of the more honored FCS players academically in 2017. ... Runs all routes. Has excellent hands and good size to high-point passes over defensive backs. ... Had some disappointing tests at the combine with a 4.67-second 40-yard dash and nine reps on the bench press.
Updated March 20, 2018