Heading into the 2012 College Football Season I will be doing interviews with different Fansided bloggers, tonight’s interview is with Kyle Kensing of Saturdayblitz, one of Fansided’s best college football blogs. Though it’s not really an interview because Kyle just ran with a question–who are some under the radar players for the 2013 N.F.L. draft.
For those NFL fans who are not obsessive junkies for the college game, the draft invariably introduces names previously unknown.
Not subscribed to the College Game Plan? Worry not, and get the jump on fellow draftniks by studying these names with pro potential.
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
Brown returned to his home state after struggling at Miami, where he arrived as a highly celebrated recruit. Suggesting a player who had the hype Brown had heaped him on is a surprise is…well, surprising. But his time at Miami and a mandatory year sitting out at K-State dropped Brown from national consciousness.
A key contributor to the Wildcats’ 10-win campaign in 2011, Brown is back in the limelight. He emerged as a vocal leader on the K-State defense, something coordinators relish in an interior linebacker.
Dan Buckner, WR, Arizona
Buckner has similarities to another Arizona receiver who went late in the 2012 Draft, Juron Criner. Criner turned heads in Raider OTAs, and should factor into the Oakland offense despite being a fifth round choice.
Buckner has the potential of being another mid-round surprise – that is, if he does not move up draft boards. That’s certainly possible, as he’ll be the primary receiver option in the UA offense. He’s long, at around 6-foot-5, with considerable leaping ability. Buckner can be a consummate red zone threat.
Joseph Fauria, TE, UCLA
At 6-foot-7, 255 pounds Fauria is about as big a red zone target as an offense could want. Rob Gronkowski and
ron Hernandez have brought a new focus on tight ends as components of the passing game, and Fauria is a skilled player who could fill a similar receiving role.
Converting to the offensive system of an offensive coordinator with NFL experience, Noel Mazzone, will better showcase Fauria’s abilities.
Montori Hughes, DT, UT-Martin
Hughes is a big, physical defensive lineman who could make a quick rise up draft boards in the same fashion Memphis product Dontari Poe did last spring. Hughes is huge: 6-foot-4 and around 330 pounds.
He can also be compared to Kenrick Ellis, in that Hughes was in the epicenter of college football, the SEC, but dismissed from the Tennessee roster last year. Like Ellis, Hughes can remain on draft scouts’ radar with strong play in the FCS and pre-draft workouts. Unlike Ellis did, Hughes must focus on avoiding off-field issues to reach his potential. And that potential is sky-high.
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
This Estonian native could probably have been an Olympian in the discus or hammer throw had that been his focus. He was once a junior world record holder in the discus.
Obviously, he’s strong. And at 6-foot-8, 280 pounds of muscle Hunt has a physique like a Greek Olympian statue. He is also athletic, deceptively quick for his size.
Leon McFadden, CB, San Diego State
McFadden is a two-time 1st Team All Mountain West Conference selection and likely headed for a third nomination. A flypaper back in coverage, McFadden compensates for size (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) with speed and tenacity. He anticipates routes well and does not let a wideout beat him deep.
Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon
Mellette had a tough act to follow in Terrell Hudgens, a receiver who left Elon in 2009 the best pass catcher in NCAA history. Mellette has risen to the challenging by making his own name. He has prototypical possession receiver size and abilities.
Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah
The Packers snatched up Chattanooga quarterback BJ Coleman to be Aaron Rodgers’ understudy. Coleman was under much of the nation’s radar, plying his trade in the FCS, but his NFL potential was known to followers of the subdivision.
Sorensen is a similarly gifted quarterback. He has all the tools scouts love in a quarterback: size, a strong arm, ability to read a defense – Sorensen is a gem that could be the surprise of the 2013 draft class at quarterback.
Aaron Tipoti, DL, Cal
Cal has had a knack for producing early round defensive selections of late. Tipoti should emerge as the latest, a quick presence off the line who can get into opposing backfields. He lines up at tackle for Cal, but at 6-foot-2, 280 pounds has the athleticism to convert to end in a 4-3 if necessary.