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NFL Draft Diamonds Small School Top 25 | Who is the next “BIG” Small School Offensive Lineman?

Small School Rankings Top 25 Offensive LIneman
Every year there is at least one big and nasty offensive lineman from a Small School that hears his name called. This year, there could be several!
  1. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa (6’7, 321 lbs)
    -While evaluating current Buffalo Bills tackle, Spencer Brown, many scouts were also drawn to the left side of the offensive line which Penning has been able to hold down very well. He sits atop our small school list with an excellent, very sought after frame with almost 35” arms. He also squats 625 lbs. which is actually a better number than his counterpart that was drafted in the 3rd round.

2. Matthew Waletzko, OT, North Dakota (6’7, 295 lbs.)
-Waletzko is a very athletic lineman with amazing length (36” arms) to keep pass rushers at bay. The North Dakota offensive line didn’t give up a sack until the 4th game of the 2020-2021 Spring Season. Waletzko gets off the ball very well, and anchors an offensive line that is very effective in the run game.

3. Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah, (6’7, 310 lbs.)
-Craig Forrestal was very excited after his podcast with Braxton Jones noting his energy and character. Jones was named an All-American for the 2020-2021 season as well as named First Team All-Big Sky being the best pass protector in his conference.

4. Isaiah Weston, WR, Northern Iowa (6’4, 210 lbs.)
-Weston is UNI’s top receiver and an excellent deep threat that can take the top off defenses. When healthy, he is the best receiver in the small school ranks. His size, athleticism and playmaking ability puts him head and shoulders above the competition.

5. Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State (6’4, 205 lbs.)
-Watson can be a deadly weapon on offense as well as on special teams as a return specialist. It’s not very often that a player of his size is used as the main returner. Yet, when you have a player who dominates with 4.45 speed, you have to have him on the field as often as possible.

6. Zyon McCollum, CB, Sam Houston State (6’3, 198 lbs.)
-McCollum is a steady pass defender who has 10 career interceptions going into the 2021 Fall Season. His size and speed matches up very well against receivers. He was able to shut down many opponents on his way to obtaining a National Title.

7. Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State (5’11, 210 lbs.)
-Strong has averaged a staggering 7.27 yards per carry throughout his career. He was an All-American and a finalist for the Walter Payton Award for the 2020-2021 Spring season. I love his quickness and vision. He’s always ready to make a cut and get down field. Strong is also really involved in the passing game as a receiver.

8. Jace Lewis, LB, Montana (6’1, 236 lbs.)
-Lewis is a former high school quarterback and walk-on that has turned into a stud on defense for the Grizzlies. Beginning as a special teams ace, Lewis has developed into a solid run stopper and the best small school linebacker.

9. Dai’Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls State (6’3, 200 lbs.)
-Dixon is a 2-time First Team All-Southland receiver and great target. He has excellent hands and always seems to come down with the big catch. Dixon now holds the Colonels program record for the most career touchdowns with 27 going into the 2021 Fall season, breaking Mark Carrier’s record of 24.

10. Sam Webb, CB, Missouri Western State (6’1, 200 lbs)
-Webb is a very aggressive press-man corner and the top D2 prospect on our board. He not only has the ability to make a good break on balls, but he’s also been a great contributor on special teams, having 2 blocked kicks in 2019.

11. Aron Johnson, OT, South Dakota State (6’6, 300 lbs.)
-Johnson has strong hands and drives through his opponents in the run game, setting up great plays for Pierre Strong. Although Johnson has experience at both tackle positions, I expect him to remain on the right side in the pros.

12. Mike Greene, DL, James Madison (6’3, 288 lbs.)
-Greene is arguably the consensus top Small School DL. He may lack ideal size, but most people know he’s legit. He has a great burst and is almost always wreaking havoc in the backfield. He translates very well as a 3-tech. Yet, he has the ability to be used in multiple different packages and schemes. Check out Mike’s interview with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.

13. Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State (5’9, 170 lbs.)
-Durant showcased his ability to track the ball very well coming down with 3 interceptions against Alabama A&M during the 2020-2021 Spring season. He plays a lot bigger than he is and has made a consistent impact in the Bulldogs’ secondary throughout his career.

14. Ferlando Jordan, CB, Southeastern Louisiana (6’0, 180 lbs.)
-Jordan’s ability to impact a game is evident whether he’s shutting down the receiver on his side of the field or making plays on special teams. He was named an All-American for the 2020-2021 Spring season after collecting two interceptions, six pass breakups and also leading the FCS with three blocked kicks.

15. Troy Andersen, OLB, Montana State (6’4, 235 lbs.)
-Andersen has been an intense athlete and versatile weapon for the Bobcats. He has gone from being a quarterback and running back to being a ruthless competitor as a linebacker. His size and quickness sets him apart as a prospect.

16. Cordell Volson, OT, North Dakota State (6’6, 312 lbs.)
-Volson is an aggressive mauler on the offensive line who uses his leverage well to bully his opponents. Volson did play some left tackle in the 2020-2021 Spring season after starting on the right side for all 16 games of 2019. His experience and versatility will open up doors in the NFL.

17. Jah-Maine Martin, RB, North Carolina A&T (5’10, 226 lbs.)
-Martin has been a vital part of the Aggies’ success which should continue as the team moves to the Big South Conference this fall. Martin is a fast, physical runner that can lower his pads and pick up tough yards. He set a school record with 23 rushing touchdowns during the 2019 season and might be able to break his own record this upcoming season.

18. Jack Cochrane, LB, South Dakota (6’2, 233 lbs.)
-Cochrane is a great linebacker that not only has the ability to stop the run but is great at dropping back in coverage. He’s a very smart player and team captain that racked up 106 tackles in 2019.

19. Tre Walker, LB, Idaho (6’1, 230 lbs.)
-We saw his teammate, Christian Ellis, make the leap to the NFL after a great career, and I expect the same out of Walker. He’s a special player that is always around the ball.  Not only did he tally up 138 tackles in 2019, but he was also used on offense as a RB.

20. Jequez Ezzard, WR, Sam Houston State (5’10, 190 lbs.)
-After having a nice outing at Howard University, Ezzard transferred to Sam Houston State where he made an immediate impact. He’s a very fast and dynamic athlete that put on a clinic as a return specialist and receiver. I truly believe that the addition of Ezzard gave Sam Houston State the spark they needed to go on and win the National Title.

21. Isaiah Chambers, DE, McNeese State (6’5, 250 lbs)
-Chambers was a highly touted recruit who made his way to McNeese State via TCU and Houston. During the 2020-2021 Spring Season, he was named All-American after collecting 7.5 sacks (3 of which came in a game against Northwestern State). His mix of size, power and explosion makes him a very good NFL prospect.

22. Liam Fornadel, OL, James Madison (6’4, 308 lbs.)
-Fornadel missed most of the 2020-2021 Spring season with a shoulder injury. Yet, don’t forget what JMU has been able to accomplish during his tenure. JMU is always in National Title contention, and Fornadel has been a solid fixture on their offensive line whether it be at right tackle or right guard. As a great run blocker, he was named an All-American in 2019. He’s a little small to be playing RT in the NFL, so I look for him to slide inside fairly easily.

23. Joshua Pryor, DL, Bowie State (6’4, 280 lbs)
-Pryor has been an absolute stud and solid team leader for the Bulldogs. He racked up an astounding 45 tackles for loss in 2 seasons (2018 & 2019). His tenacity makes him an unstoppable force on the defensive line whether he’s being a run stopper or pass rusher. He was named a Don Hansen First Team All-American in 2019 after a 13 sack season.

24. Sam Roberts, DT, Northwest Missouri State (6’4, 291 lbs.)
-Roberts offers great size and versatility for a DL. He played as a 3-tech and was a great asset on special teams having 3 blocked kicks in 2019. Roberts comes with a great set of pass rush moves and is also a very physical run defender.

25. Luis Aguilar, K, Northern Arizona (6’1, 200 lbs.)
-Aguilar is the best special teams player that the small school ranks has to offer. He’s a 2-time All-American with perfect size and strength for the position. In 2019, he led all of the FCS in 61 total touchbacks on kickoffs, and he also connected on a 57 yarder against Northern Colorado. He’s one of the most consistent kickers, and I expect him to get a solid opportunity at the next level.

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