I watch what many might consider an “unhealthy” amount of college football. When you combine that with all of the time I spend consuming college football content via other media you can see why my children already know that they won’t get to watch Bluey on Saturdays ever. I was hoping to turn this “problem” into something useful for Eagles fans, so I started compiling a list of players, one from every Power 5 team plus some Group of 5 and FCS prospects too, that I think the Birds should at least kick the tires on come draft weekend. (where available, measurements are from the NFL Combine or school’s pro day)
Here are the next conferences of prospects to take a look at, the whole entire FCS!
Incarnate Word: WR Darion Chafin, 6-foot-1, 189 pounds (7th round/undrafted)
- 2022 stats: 70 catches, 1,244 yards (17.8 ypc), 18 touchdowns, long of 80; 1-of-1, 18 yards
- 2022 honors: 3rd Team FCS All-American; 1st Team All-Southland Conference
- Chafin did not participate in his team’s pro day due to a foot injury, so that will obviously need to be evaluated before selecting him, but he is an intriguing talent. I found myself struggling to describe him here, because he doesn’t appear to have any superlative skill…but while watching his tape, all he does is catch the ball when it’s thrown near him. It doesn’t matter if he’s got defensive backs draped all over him, he just catches the rock. It’s also worth noting that he wore No. 0 in college and that is now allowed in the NFL, thanks to a rule change that was proposed by the Eagles.
Jackson State: ILB Aubrey Miller Jr., 6-foot-2, 229 pounds (7th round/undrafted)
- 2022 stats: 117 tackles (12 TFL), 2 sacks, 6 passes defended, 5 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 touchdown
- 2022 honors: 2nd Team FCS All-American; SWAC Defensive Player of the Year; 1st Team All-SWAC; HBCU National Defensive Player of the Year; HBCU All-American
- Miller was one of two HBCU (historically black college and university) players at the Senior Bowl this year and he performed well in Mobile all week and then recorded seven tackles in the actual game. Miller started his career at Mizzou, after being a 4-star prospect coming out of high school, but transferred to JSU for more playing time. He is the kind of linebacker I love to watch. He’s always around the ball and plays like he was shot out of a cannon. He’ll start off as a special teams guy, but I could see him making inroads on the two-deep after a year or two in the NFL.
Lafayette: EDGE Malik Hamm, 6-foot-3, 246 pounds (undrafted)
- 2022 stats: 49 tackles (12.5 TFL), 8.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 3 blocks
- 2022 honors: 2nd Team FCS All-American (AP, Stats Perform); Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year; 1st Team All-Patriot League
- Hamm (no relation to me as far as I know) was a five-year menace in the Patriot League, making an all-conference team each year and winning DPOY twice. He ended his career with 32 sacks (school record; 4th in Patriot League history) and he was selected ninth overall by the Pittsburgh Maulers in the USFL Draft back in February. Hamm has the potential to be a nice rotational pass-rushing piece if he can add a little weight to his frame.
Missouri State: CB/KR Montrae Braswell, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds (undrafted)
- 2022 stats: 44 tackles (0.5 TFL), 3 passes defended; 12 kick returns, 364 yards (30.3 ypr), 1 touchdown, long of 98
- 2022 honors: 2nd Team FCS All-American (STATS); 1st Team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference (as defensive back and return specialist)
- An electric kick returner, Braswell ranked second in the FCS in average return. He returned a kickoff for a score in all three seasons he suited up for the Bears and also returned two picks for scores in his career. It seemed like teams finally wised up in 2022 as he didn’t record an interception at all, mostly because teams didn’t throw his way much. His future almost assuredly lies as a special teams ace, but his ball-hawking ability on defense could also be useful in a backup role.
Princeton: WR Andrei Iosivas, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds (3rd round)
- 2022 stats: 66 catches, 943 yards (14.3 ypc), 7 touchdowns, long of 65; 4 rushes, 10 yards (2.5 ypc)
- 2022 honors: 1st Team FCS All-American (Phil Steele); 2nd Team FCS All-American (Stats Perform, AP, HERO Sports); 1st Team All-Ivy League
- Iosivas is an athletic freak. He was a track star at Princeton (fastest-ever 60 meters in NCAA heptathlon at 2022 indoor championships) and an All-American wide receiver. He’s also a good jumper, both due to his size and ability in the heptathlon. There is certainly the question that many FCS players face, about leveling up in competition, but Iosivas has all of the physical traits an NFL team wants in a wideout.
South Dakota State: TE Tucker Kraft, 6-foot-5, 254 pounds (3rd round)
- 2022 stats: 27 catches, 348 yards (12.9 ypc), 3 touchdowns
- 2022 honors: 1st Team All-MVFC; FCS National Champion
- The Eagles have had great success drafting tight ends, well tight end, out of SDSU as that is Dallas Goedert’s alma mater. Looking at Kraft you can see some comparisons beyond them both being Jackrabbits. He has good hands, great size, is a tough and willing blocker, and is extremely athletic. Kraft performed well at the Combine, showing that the ankle injury he suffered in the first game of last season, which caused him to miss six weeks, is healed. This would be a luxury pick for the Birds, but he’s got a high ceiling and should be worth it if no one else jumps out at Howie Roseman in the third round.
Youngstown State: RB Jaleel McLaughlin, 5-foot-8, 192 pounds (undrafted)
- 2022 stats: 227 carries, 1,588 yards (7.0 ypc), 13 touchdowns, long of 68; 19 catches, 300 yards (15.8 ypc), 2 touchdowns
- 2022 honors: 2nd Team FCS All-American (coaches); 1st Team All-MVFC; MVFC Offensive Player of the Year
RB Jaleel McLaughlin (@Speedkills2k_) at Youngstown State’s Pro Day:— James Fragoza (@JamesFragoza) March 24, 2023
✅ 4.44 40-yard dash
✅ 17 bench reps (225 lbs)
✅ Weighed 192, listed at 183 last year
✅ Looked smooth in position drills
Cleveland #Browns were on-hand pic.twitter.com/Hfv1FkkxMU
- Over his entire college career (at FCS Youngstown State and D-II Notre Dame College) he accumulated the most rushing yards (8,166) of any player in NCAA history. While none of that was done at the highest level, obviously, it is still impressive to gain that many yards anywhere. His short stature might deter some teams from taking a look at him, but he is fast, strong, and has no problem running between the tackles. He’s a guy I’d like to see the Eagles bring to training camp and see what he’s got because he has the potential to be a real steal.