SoCon Draft Hopefuls
By Matthew Osborne
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin. Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page
These four draft prospects certainly hope to be the next class of SoCon players to make it in the NFL.
The business of professional scouting is a year-long venture, requiring constant evaluation from experts who are trained to separate the future NFL stars from the average college players.
Although the 2012 NFL Draft is still fresh in the minds of many football fans, NFL executives are already well into the evaluation process for the 2013 NFL Draft, which will take place next April.
Led by Appalachian State WR Brian Quick, who was selected with the first pick in the second round, the SoCon had three players selected in last month’s draft. The other players selected were Chattanooga QB B.J. Coleman and Samford S Corey White.
As the SoCon continues to make a strong argument for being the top conference in FCS football, the league hopes that it can continue to develop future professional talent on the gridiron.
CBSSports.com just recently updated their position rankings for the 2013 draft, and the current rankings show four SoCon rising seniors who will jockey for draft positioning this fall.
Two of those four players – Appalachian State LB Jeremy Kimbrough and Furman TE Colin Anderson – ranked as the No. 31 prospect at their respective position, meaning that they would likely need to slightly improve upon their current draft stock in order to be drafted next spring. Anderson hauled in 40 catches for 696 yards and 7 scores last season, while Kimbrough tallied 105 tackles for the Mountaineer defense. Both players were all-conference selections.
Georgia Southern DT Brent Russell, who is a three-time first-team All-SoCon selection by the conference media, ranks as the No. 21 defensive tackle prospect in the 2013 draft. Last season’s Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Russell is a tenacious and relentless defender, who is capable of stopping the run and getting after opposing quarterbacks. Russell is just slightly undersized for an NFL defensive tackle, but his blend of quickness and power makes him a valuable commodity at the next level. He currently projects as a late-round prospect.
The gem of the SoCon’s 2013 NFL draft prospects, however, is undeniably Elon WR Aaron Mellette.
Following in the footprints of former Phoenix great Terrell Hudgins, Mellette absolutely terrorized defenses last season, finishing the year with 113 receptions for 1,639 yards and 12 touchdowns on his way to earning All-American honors. Possessing good speed at six-foot-three, Mellette currently sits as the No. 9 receiver prospect in next year’s draft. He is currently projected to be selected in the second or third round.
While the position rankings are certain to continually change throughout the 2012 season, these four draft prospects certainly hope to be the next class of SoCon players to make it in the NFL.
Regardless of which team you cheer for, these are players who you should keep an eye on this fall.