The NFL Draft is quickly approaching, but it would not be right if we did not fill you in on the top small school prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft. Since it is 2021, we are going to pick the top 21 prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, and give a little insight on each of them. Let’s have some fun, and get to know these Diamonds in the Rough before the draft.
1. Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State – I think everyone has heard of Trey Lance at this point. He is probably going to be the third pick in the NFL Draft, and we would not be shocked if the former North Dakota State gunslinger ends up a Niner. Lance was a very solid quarterback in his career, he has never lost, and has one career interception. While, his film is limited, being he has only played one year and one game, NFL teams love him. He should be a top 5 pick, and he will for sure be a first rounder.
2. Quinn Meinerz, OL, Wisconsin-Whitewater – Meinerz has blown up since the Senior Bowl, and rightfully so. To me is he is one of the best offensive interior lineman in the entire draft. The Division 3 prospect has everything you want in an offensive guard prospect. He is mean, has versatility, and is athletic. Check out his pro day, the kid is a machine.
3. Dillon Radunz, OL, North Dakota State – Dillon Radunz is a pretty athletic offensive lineman with great hips. He does a great job at slowing down pass rushers and faces quite a bit of studs in the Missouri Valley conference. He has the perfect frame at 6060 and 300 plus pounds.
4. Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa – Spencer Brown is strong as an ox. The massive offensive lineman from Northern Iowa can bench 500 pounds with ease, and is huge. He stands at 6’9 and weighs 321 pounds. He had a great Senior Bowl showing and is a guy definitely on the rise. Brown is a competitor and a gamer. Check out this video of him benching 500.
5. Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas – Robert Rochell is probably one of the most athletic cornerbacks in the 2021 NFL Draft. The small schooler from Louisiana can jump out a gym. He is a beast on special teams and stands at 6’0 tall. NFL teams are going to cherish his speed and versatility. He will be a draft pick.
6. Elerson Smith, EDGE, Northern Iowa – Elerson Smith is a big kid with a long body. He can turn an edge on offensive lineman and is very difficult to block. He had a great pro day jumping 41.5 inches for his vertical and an impressive 127 inch broad jump. The kid is explosive and is another player I feel should be a lock to be drafted.
7. Drew Himmelman, OT, Illinois State – Drew Himmelman is one of the only player on this list that has been playing in the Spring. We are hearing Drew is going to declare for the NFL Draft, and he is another player that should be evaluated. He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine. He too is a massive man with a great first step.
8. Michael Strachan, WR, Charleston (WV) – I am going to go on record right now and say it, Michael Strachan is the best small school wide receiver in the 2021 NFL Draft. YES, I have been a fan all year. He is a dog. The 6’5 200 plus pound wide out is a speed demon. He is could be an Olympic sprinter for the Bahamas, and is hoping to one day compete for his country. He is the Small School Randy Moss!
9. Kenny Randall, DT, Charleston (WV) – Yes, we have two small schoolers from Charleston, West Virginia back to back. You may not know of these guys because they flew so far under the radar, but they are special. Randall is an athletic freak. Check out his exclusive interview here with @DraftGuyJimmy!
10. Bryan Mills, CB, North Carolina Central – Bryan Mills is the top HBCU prospect in the NFL Draft. He is a solid player with great length. He was a very solid JUCO player who elected to come to North Carolina Central from California. He had a solid year last season and declared for the draft. He is going to be a solid player for some NFL team.
11. David Moore, OG, Grambling State – David Moore went to the Senior Bowl and truly helped his stock. The aggressive offensive lineman from Grambling State is a kid you need to remember. He may be a late round pick but he will make an NFL roster. Moore stands at 6’2 and weighs in at 315 pounds. He is a road grader, and NFL teams love that!
Bonus – Christian Uphoff, DB, Illinois State – Uphoff is a stud and he is going to likely get drafted. I am a super fan of his. He is a player we feel can dominate but the draft is stacked at defensive back.
12. Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota State – Johnson was invited to the Senior Bowl, and his stock is somewhat on the decline. I had him rated as a 4th round pick at the beginning of the year, but I think so many receivers have past him in the draft. He may be an undrafted free agent at this point, but he is still a decent wide receiver.
13. Chris Garrett, EDGE, Concordia St. Paul – Chris Garrett has a knack for getting after the quarterback. The 6’3 pass rusher does not have a slow button. He comes flying off the edge and does a great job at getting after the quarterback. He had tons of plays in the backfield for Concordia.
14. Zach Davidson, TE, Central Missouri – Davidson Is considered the top small school tight end prospect. He is super athletic and versatile. He has even punted in his college career. He reminds me a lot of Tanner Hudson the former small school tight end who went on to win a Super Bowl last season with the Buccaneers.
15. Mac MaCain III, CB, North Carolina A&T – They call him Mac, and let me tell you Franklin MaCain III is a dog for the Aggies. He has been one of the most solid defensive backs in the country and continually makes plays for NCAT. He is a growing on me and has become a sleeper prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Bonus – JaQuan Hardy, RB, Tiffin – The best small school running back. I highlight him here because I feel he will end up going undrafted. I love his overall skills though!
16. Brady Davis, QB, Illinois State – Brady Davis is the only other small school quarterback on this list besides Trey Lance. Davis is a great kid, whose pro day was cut short because of an irate coach at Illinois State. Pretty wild situation, but he deserves a ton of credit. Davis is a gunslinger that should get a shot in an NFL camp.
17. Kion Smith, OT, Fayetteville State – The 6’6, 295 pound offensive tackle is a beast and a super underrated prospect. He will be a steal for a team. He has great technique and I would not be shocked if he ends up getting drafted late. He stands at 6’6 and weighs 295 pounds. He should have been at a larger school because he is talented.
18. Nate McCrary, RB, Saginaw Valley State – The 6’0 running back from SVSU is a dog. He has been gaining traction after a terrific pro day. Look at his pro day below and you will be shocked he is not talked about more. McCrary has everything you want at the running back position.
19. Mike Boykin, DL, North Alabama – The former Louisville standout Mike Boykin is a player whose stock has been on the rise. He had a great showing at the CGS and his stock is trending upward. I like the kid, he has a great get off!
Bonus – Donnie Corley, WR, Texas Southern – The former Michigan State wide receiver is a big time playmaker. He can be an asset to an NFL team.
20. Sam Cooper, OL, Merrimack – Merrimack is a beast in the trenches. Cooper is a dawg who is going to get respect. NFL teams are on him and he is going to dominate. I feel he is a player that will shock NFL teams.
21. Alani Pututau, DL, Adams State – Pututau loves getting out there and hitting someone. He loves the 4-3 defensive scheme as well as the odd front 3-4. Controlled aggression plays a big part in his play style. Alani is a hard player to stop off the edge.
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