If only FCS players were picked in the NFL Draft
That might be the case if NFL teams could only draft FCS players.
If an FCS-only draft took place this year, here’s how the first round could go on April 26:
1. Cleveland Browns: Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond – It’s tough to leave Dallas Goedert on the board, but ghosts of Weeden/Hoyer/Manziel/McCown/Kessler/RG3/Kizer demand the Browns fix their quarterback woes. Lauletta won the MVP award at the Senior Bowl.
2. New York Giants: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State – Big Blue is happy to scoop up the draft’s highest-rated FCS player.
3. New York Jets: Darius Leonard, OLB, South Carolina State – Those 14 tackles in the Senior Bowl look pretty good in Gang Green.
4. Cleveland Browns: Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T – To keep Lauletta safe, here’s a replacement for Joe Thomas.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State – A reach? Hardly when Jimmy G can be paired with one of the more productive wide receivers in FCS history. Wieneke’s 6-foot-4, 221-pound size doesn’t hurt, either.
10. Arizona Cardinals (trade from Oakland Raiders): Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State – It wouldn’t be an FCS-only draft without a Raiders’ trade. The Silver and Black drop five spots, nabbing nose tackle Rodney Gunter – the former Delaware State standout – in a deal with the Cardinals, who go for help in the secondary.
11. Miami Dolphins: P.J. Hall, DT, Sam Houston State – Hall’s 42 sacks and FCS-record 86 1/2 tackles for loss are hard to ignore. So, too, are the great pro day numbers.
14. Detroit Lions (trade from Green Bay Packers): John Franklin, DE, Stephen F. Austin – An intradivision trade is costly for the Lions, who move up six spots to get a much-needed pass rusher in Franklin, but give their No. 20 pick, former South Dakota State running back Zach Zenner and former Penn quarterback Alex Torgersen to the Packers.
20. Green Bay Packers (trade from Detroit Lions): D’Montre Wade, CB, Murray State – The Pack are still trying to get it right in the secondary.
21. Cincinnati Bengals: Danny Johnson, CB, Southern: Not afraid to challenge bigger receivers, Johnson is a perfect fit at nickel back.
22. Tennessee Titans (trade from Buffalo Bills): Darius Jackson, OLB, Jacksonville State – It’s time to go get the best available talent. The Titans surrender former Southern Utah cornerback LeShaun Sims to the Bills to move up three spots and nab the 2017 STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award winner.
25. Buffalo Bills (trade from Tennessee Titans): Joe Zema, P, Incarnate Word – In their trade with Tennessee, the Bills improve in two areas, including with an Australian import who led the FCS in punting average last season.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Dalton Keene, DE, Illinois State – Keene is a bit of a tweener, but the chance to move him around is attractive as well.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Andrew Ankrah, DE/OLB, James Madison – The Jags had the second-most sacks in the league last season, and adding the athletic Ankrah only adds more bite to an already formidable D.
Cleveland, you’re back on the clock to start Round 2 …
- AFC North
- Andrew Ankrah
- Arizona Cardinals
- Bilal Nichols
- Buffalo Bills
- Cleveland Browns
- Dallas Goedert
- Detroit Lions
- Green Bay Packers
- Idaho State Bengals
- Illinois State Redbirds
- Jacksonville State Gamecocks
- James Madison Dukes
- Jamil Demby
- Justin Watson
- Kyle Lauletta
- New England Patriots
- South Dakota State Jackrabbits
- Stony Brook Seawolves
- Tennessee Titans
- Timon Parris
- Weber State Wildcats