Philadelphia, PA – There is plenty of potential value among the Football Championship Subdivision's top offensive prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft.
Workout wonder Terron Armstead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff has shot up the draft boards and leads the depth among the offensive linemen. James Madison guard Earl Watford is a potential surprise in the mid to late rounds.
There are also plenty of wide receivers to go around with FBS transfer Da'Rick Rogers of Tennessee Tech a boom-or-bust type - think boom - and Elon's Aaron Mellette, Eastern Washington's Brandon Kaufman and Eastern Kentucky's Tyrone Goard offering excellent size and skill.
Stony Brook running back Miguel Maysonet is another interesting prospect for the later rounds.
Following are capsules of the top FCS offensive draft possibilities for April 25-27:
1. Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6-5, 306
Projected round: Third
The lowdown: A standout performance at the NFL Combine has led to Armstead moving up draft boards. His 4.71-second clocking in the 40-yard dash was a record for offensive linemen and emphasized his athleticism for the position. He's agile and has quick feet in moving forward to block targets and in pulling across the offensive line. He struggled against bull rushes at the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl, likely a reflection that he didn't face a high level of competition throughout college. He had interest from Big 12 schools, but as a late qualifier chose UAPB after it agreed to let him compete in track and field (field events) as well as football. NFL.com compares Armstead to Houston Texans offensive tackle Duane Brown; CBSSports.com says Joe Staley of the San Francisco 49ers.
2. Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech, 6-2, 217
Projected round: Third-fourth
The lowdown: Rogers is a junior-eligible prospect, having spent one season in the FCS after a rocky career (including positive drug tests) at the University of Tennessee, which dismissed him from the program last August. His maturity level may be questioned, but he has the production of a first-round receiver. He caught 67 passes for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns with the Vols in 2011. In his one season at Tennessee Tech, he had 78 receptions for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns. He has a physical style, shielding defenders from the ball and making it tough to tackle him in one-on-one matchups. He clocked 4.52 seconds in the 40 at the Combine.
3. Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon, 6-3, 217
Projected round: Fourth-fifth
The lowdown: Mellette has long been compared to former Southern Conference great Brian Quick, whom the St. Louis Rams selected out of Appalachian State with the first pick of the second round in last year's draft. Mellette is a possession receiver who is consistent, big and adept at catching balls in traffic. He's never been considered a burner with 4.54-second speed, but he's productive, having caught 296 passes and 42 touchdowns over his final three seasons at Elon.
4. Earl Watford, OG, James Madison, 6-3, 300
Projected round: Fifth
The lowdown: The fast-rising Watford has the skill set to develop into a consistent interior lineman on the NFL level. Having played in 43 career games (with 37 starts) at JMU, he is athletic and quick with a strong physique, able to both dish and sustain punches. He allowed only one sack and had 25 knockdowns as a senior, then performed well against a higher level of competition at the East-West Shrine Game. Lacking thickness, Watford needs to fill out his frame.
5. J.C. Tretter, OG, Cornell, 6-4, 307
Projected round: Fifth-sixth
The lowdown: After playing tight end for two seasons at Cornell, Tretter moved to tackle, using his athleticism to become the Big Red's first All-Ivy first- team offensive lineman since Kevin Boothe (New York Giants) in 2005. He's picked up on playing the line, relying on his balance and speed to keep opposing linemen at bay. But his strength is questioned (he arrived at Cornell at 237 pounds) and he doesn't have the arm length of most NFL tackles, so he likely will move to guard as a pro.
6. Kyle Juszczyk, FB/H-back, Harvard, 6-1 1/2, 248
Projected round: Fifth-sixth
The lowdown: Fullback is dying among NFL teams, but Juszczyk is second at the position to Florida State's Lonnie Pryor, according to CBSSports.com. Juszczyk was a highly productive tight end/H-Back at Harvard (125 receptions, 22 touchdowns), so he has terrific hands to go with his blocking skills. He is adept at picking up the tough yards after the catch. He impressed scouts during Senior Bowl week.
7. Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington, 6-5, 216
Projected round: Sixth
The lowdown: After setting the FCS single-season record with 1,850 receiving yards last season, Kaufman entered the draft early as a junior-eligible prospect. He's hurt by the depth in the wide receiver draft class. The combination of 6-foot-5 size and long arms allows him to extend high for receptions. He doesn't have a quick first step off the line of scrimmage, but he makes up ground with his long legs. He is especially dangerous in red-zone situations (33 touchdown receptions in 42 career games). NFL.com compares Kaufman to former Atlanta Falcons receiver Brian Finneran, the 1997 Walter Payton Award winner. Kaufman is a potential steal if selected in the later rounds.
8. Miguel Maysonet, RB, Stony Brook, 5-9, 209
Projected round: Sixth-seventh
The lowdown: What you see is what you get with the 2012 Walter Payton Award runner-up, who hopes to become the first Stony Brook player to be drafted by an NFL team. He's hard-nosed with little flash, instinctive with the ball and determined to get an extra yard with every carry. Comparisons to Washington Redskins rookie find Alfred Morris could have NFL teams not wanting to miss out on Maysonet, who ran a 4.45 40 at Stony Brook's pro day.
9. Tyrone Goard, WR, Eastern Kentucky, 6-4, 205
Projected round: Sixth-seventh
The lowdown: Goard could stand to add some weight to his frame without losing quickness, but it's hard to argue with his size. He combines it with long arms to grab high balls out of the air. He's a red-zone problem for defenders, but has been criticized for dropped passes and doesn't have the foot speed to be a deep threat. As a senior, he was slowed by a concussion and didn't put up superior numbers.
10. Rogers Gaines, OT, Tennessee State, 6-6 1/2, 334
Projected round: Seventh
The lowdown: Gaines has the physical style to back up his tall frame. He has long arms and his wide stance takes up space for onrushing linemen. He is still developing his technique, however, and figures to need time on an NFL practice squad. He is better in run blocking than pass protection, although he didn't allow a sack during his senior season at Tennessee State. He made an unconventional move for an FCS player by not playing in several all-star games to train instead for the NFL Combine.
TOP NFL OFFENSIVE PROSPECT BY FCS CONFERENCE
Big Sky: Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington, 6-5, 216
Big South: Miguel Maysonet, RB, Stony Brook, 5-9, 209
CAA: Earl Watford, OG, James Madison, 6-3, 300
Ivy: J.C. Tretter, OG, Cornell, 6-4, 307
MEAC: Xavier Boyce, WR, Norfolk State, 6-3, 215
Missouri Valley: Randy Richards, OG, Missouri State, 6-3, 310
Northeast: David Crawford, WR, Wagner, 6-3, 215
Ohio Valley: Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech, 6-2, 217
Patriot: Ryan Spadola, WR, Lehigh, 6-1, 204
Pioneer: Michael Rios, WR, Marist, 6-1 1/2, 210
Southern: Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon, 6-2, 217
Southland: Cordell Roberson, WR, Stephen F. Austin, 6-3, 210
SWAC: Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 6-5, 306