Focus this week on Bethune Cookman, Morgan State, NC A&T, Wofford, Eastern Washington, and more.
Bethune Cookman (scatter games from the past)
Eddie Poole, WR, Bethune Cookman
The better of the two Rutgers transfers, Poole has certainly flashed NFL upside so far this season as the team’s best receiver. The 6’3 lanky target is a field stretcher who showcases great body control in air when attacked on vertical routes. While he could get more physical in the short area, as an edge receiver with downfield separation ability, he certainly will intrigue for the next level.
KJ Stroud, WR, Bethune Cookman
The “other” Rutgers transfer, Stroud seems to have the better, more complete NFL body but doesn’t get the targets, receptions or even the snaps to be as productive as Poole. He’s not all that explosive downfield to get separation, struggles to get free cleanly for inside releases, and doesn’t use his body well to allow for bigger throwing lanes. Still has the NFL body to get interest, but he’s certainly a project/concern as of now.
Alex Monroe, OT, Bethune Cookman
Monroe was surprisingly impressive for not expecting much coming into the season. He moves well for his 6’5 size, not overly sloppy in his build, and works hard to get outside on his kick slide. While he struggles to kick back inside against bull rushers at times and is a little stiff in his upper half, he has a good understanding of hand placement and his willingness to consistently fight for positioning is promising.
Anthony Woodard, DE, Bethune Cookman
Woodard lacks ideal bend to be an edge rusher, gets too wide in pursuit to be an effective weakside linebacker, and struggles to redirect at times to be an inside transitioning rusher as a 4-3 defensive end. But he can extend and hold the POA well on the outside, sets up rushing lanes for his teammates, and is rarely out of position as a run support defensive end. A fringe NFL talent unless he can get more separation as a rusher, he’s a big reason for any pass rushing success for BC.
Morgan State vs NC A&T
Travis Davidson, RB, Morgan State
Not projected to be all that productive this season, the well-built runner showed physicality, willingness to fight through contact, and some burst to get to the second level when there was an opening. He lacks great deep speed or open field moves as of now, but can likely fill a zone blocking scheme at the next level, though the NFL future remains to be seen.
Tony Mashburn, DE/OLB, NC A&T
Viewed as one of the better rushers in the MEAC, Mashburn’s role as a defensive end/linebacker tweener is a the focal point of the NC A&T defense. He disengages well with his technique, and keeps his feet through rushes with great balance. He does need to show more aggression and willingness to take chances as a rusher, as he’s the obvious pass rusher in the defense that needs to consistently bring pressure.
Mike Mayhew, RB, NC A&T
Surprised to find out one of the better FCS runners was benched in the pre-season in favor of a junior runner, Mayhew still flashes next level ability. He’s quick with great change of direction + lateral movement and a low center of gravity through contact. But he seems “over-active” and scattered in his vision as a runner, missing holes and openings by having too much motion in his running style and not exploding through contact. If he can improve that vision and contain his cuts, he could be a very good FCS runner and potentially have a shot in an NFL camp.
Other Small School Notes
-Wofford FB Eric Breitenstein ran for 300 yards in the team’s win over Elon. The 230 fullback has impressed almost every game this season thus far, and is making a case to be among the best fullback prospects in the country, regardless of levels.
-Former SMU transfer Kyle Padron has been benched at Eastern Washington in favor of a redshirt freshman. Don’t expect much NFL attention around him now, similar to how Bo Levi Mitchell, another SMU transfer, didn’t wow in post-season workouts either.
-Not quite draft eligible yet, but redshirt sophomore Isaiah Crowell ran for 127 yards and a touchdown. We wrote about Crowell’s transfer back in the summer when he left Georgia. Glad to see he’s doing well.
-Murray State quarterback Casey Brockman, a fringe NFL draft prospect, impressed over a mediocre Tennessee Tech team, going 32 for 38 and 381 yards with two touchdowns. He has talent at receiver that should hopefully help him progress and get NFL looks.
-As Craig Haley at the Sports Network points out, Old Dominion’s quarterback Taylor Heinicke “only” 360 yards this past weekend after going for 700+ and breaking the FCS record. I’m excited to watch more of Heinkicke this season to see if those numbers could eventually translate to the next level.
-Also from the Sports Network, they have bios on the Top 20 “Walter Payton Award Watchlist” members. Check out NFL prospects QB Brad Sorenson, WR Ryan Spadola, WR Aaron Mellette, (junior) QB Jeff Mathews, (junior) RB Tim Flanders, FB Eric Breitenstein, and QB Casey Brockman