Jan 18, 2014; Carson, CA, USA; Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh (28) of the American team runs for a touchdown in the first half of the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl game at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft 2014: Top Small School Players

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For most NFL fans, other than those in Denver or Seattle, they are looking forward to the next step. Outside of gaining building blocks in free agency most organizations like to build through the draft. Obviously, everyone knows all the big names like Manziel and Clowney, but the premise for this article is to shed some light on the small school players in this year’s draft that have the potential to be playmakers on Sundays.

Franklyn Quiteh, RB, Bloomsburg (5’10” 206 lbs.)

Franklyn Quiteh is a guy who really shined at this year’s NFLPA Bowl. He made the most of every carry that he got taking his first carry to the endzone and for the most part looked like the most effective back in that game. ‘Frankie Q’, as he had been nicknamed during the week of practice at the NFLPA Bowl, was an untouted product from the Pocono Mountains and plays like a hard nosed Pennsylvanian guy with a chip on his shoulder. In 2013 Quiteh completed his 3rd 2,000 yard season of his career with 2,145 yards and 29 touchdowns. In the process he took home the Harlon Hill Trophy as the most impressive player in Division II. The qualities that really jump out on Quiteh’s film are his quickness in hitting the hole, his supreme vision and awareness. His abilities can easily translate into many systems throughout the NFL. Look for ‘Frankie Q’ to be selected sometime during Day-3 or in the free agency period. NFL Comparison: Joique Bell, Detroit Lions

 

Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State (6’3″ 218 lbs.)

Janis had an outstanding performance during this year’s Senior Bowl practices. He wowed many scouts throughout the league and was the topic of conversation throughout the week. He has prototype size and build with the added capability of blowing the top off defenses. Janis throughout his career has on a few different occasions run 4.3 40-yard dashes. That sort of size and speed is extremely rare. Janis was an unpolished, raw product coming out of high school and came from a system that ran the ball on almost every play. Because of that he was almost completely un-recruited but found opportunity at SVSU, which is starting to become a D2 hub for NFL talent.  Janis lead the GLIAC this season with 83 receptions, 1,572 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also was highly decorated throughout his career earning AP Little All-America 1st Team honors, 2013 AFCA Division II Coaches All American Team, and 2-Time GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year. Janis is expected to be drafted sometime in the 5th round in May. NFL Comparison: Riley Cooper, Philadelphia Eagles

Pierre Desir, CB,  Lindenwood (6’1″ 195)

Desir is another guy who has really impressed throughout the all star game circuit. He is a long, athletic player with great fluidity and thrives in man to man coverage. What jumped out to scouts was his performance in 1-on-1 drills throughout the week of practice before the Senior Bowl. Desir is a consensus Division II All American who touts 4.4 speed to go along with that impressive frame. With the success of what has become the new prototypical corner (Sherman, Cromartie, Browner, etc) these long, tall, athletic cornerbacks are now the sought after commodities in the draft. Look for Desir to be drafted sometime in the 2nd round. NFL Comparison: Corey Graham, Baltimore Ravens

Jeff Matthews, QB, Cornell (6’4″ 225 lbs.)

Matthews put on a show during this year’s East West Shrine Game. He was highly impressive throwing the ball down the field which showed off terrific arm strength, he was incredibly accurate and efficient moving his team during drives and showed off very good vision for a FCS product. What scouts have been impressed with is how quickly and accurately he hits his receivers especially in the intermediate passing game. Matthews has a prototypical NFL frame at 6’4″ with the addition of pretty good mobility as well. As one of the more decorated players in Big Red history, Matthews broke 45 school and 17 Ivy league passing records as a four year starter for Cornell. Jeff should see some attention during the 6th and 7th rounds on Day 3. NFL Comparison: Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

 

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