Football Championship Subdivision

(L-R) Bryan Bennett, David Johnson and Jaquiski Tartt
The FCS mock draft
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Craig Haley - FCS Executive Director
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - FCS players are often looked at as potential steals in the later rounds of the NFL Draft.

With the right scenario, that can happen in the first round, too.

The Baltimore Ravens still say, "Thank you, Joe Flacco."

This year's draft, to be held April 30 to May 2, is moving from New York to Chicago, but that's nothing if you want something completely different - such as a draft filled with only FCS players.

If NFL teams would forget about Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota - OK, some are doing that already - and mine the field only for the hidden gems of the FCS, then the first round would get very interesting.

Here's how it would go:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Samford, SS, Jaquiski Tartt - Safety is not a position of need, but Bucs coach Lovie Smith loves hard-hitters on defense, so the top- rated FCS prospect - called an "absolute missile" by NFL Network analyst Charles Davis - is a no-brainer.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars (trade from Tennessee Titans) - David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa - Fearing another team might trade up with Tennessee to get the versatile Johnson, the Jaguars flip-flop from No. 3 and surrender former Missouri State tight end Clay Harbor in the trade (there's no shortage of FCS tight ends because they also have Julius Thomas and Nic Jacobs).

3. Tennessee Titans (trade from Jacksonville Jaguars) - Davis Tull, OLB, Chattanooga- Johnson would have looked good in a Titans uniform, but Tull, the three-time Southern Conference defensive player of the year, is the popular pick, having starred collegiately within the state of Tennessee and showing terrific measurables in the draft buildup.

4. Oakland Raiders - Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary - The Raiders often throw in a surprise on draft day, but there's no need to here with McBride becoming an excellent addition to a subpar wide receivers corps. He's polished - what the Raiders need - and fast - what the Raiders always want.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (trade from Washington Redskins) - Bryan Bennett, QB, Southeastern Louisiana- All that talk about the Eagles trading up for a certain Oregon quarterback, well, it's happened. OK, so the trade wasn't with the New York Jets and it wasn't for that you-know-who Duck, it was for Bennett, who spent three years under Eagles coach Chip Kelly at Oregon before he flew south to Southeastern. To make the move, the Eagles deal away their first-round pick at No. 20 and their second-round picks this year and next year.

6. New York Jets - Lynden Trail, DE/OLB, Norfolk State - The surprises continue as Gang Green go all in on Trail earlier than he was expected to be selected. But the former Florida Gator provides a much-needed outside pass rusher who is both big (6-foot-7, 269 pounds) and versatile.

7. Cleveland Browns (trade from Chicago Bears) - Dezmin Lewis, WR, Central Arkansas - It must be the year of the draft-day trade. The Browns, sitting at No. 12, move up to get the 6-foot-4 Lewis, a standout at the Senior Bowl, to help make up for the loss of suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon.

8. Atlanta Falcons - MyCole Pruitt, TE, Southern Illinois - This one is too easy in the post-Tony Gonzalez age. The Falcons needed a pass-catching tight end, and there is none better than the sure-handed Pruitt.

9. New York Giants - Dean Marlowe, FS, James Madison - Big Blue fill a big hole at free safety with the heady Marlowe, who just happens to be from New York. Also, too easy of a pick.

10. St. Louis Rams - Robert Myers, OG, Tennessee State - The Rams need to beef up their offensive line and Myers, at 6-5, 326, is a good fix. He hails from the one FCS program that plays its home games in an NFL stadium.

11. Minnesota Vikings - Xavier Williams, DT, Northern Iowa - The fill-a-glaring- need selections continue as the Vikings give Northern Iowa its second first- rounder. Williams moves well for an interior defensive lineman.

12. Chicago Bears (trade from Cleveland Browns) - Deon Simon, NT, Northwestern State - It's clear why the Bears traded down from No. 7 because Simon is available and the 6-4, 321-pound nose tackle will plug right into their new 3-4 defensive scheme.

13. New Orleans Saints - Kyle Emanuel, OLB, North Dakota State - There's a good crop of pass rushers coming from the FCS level. The 2014 Buck Buchanan Award winner motored into backfields as a defensive end at NDSU, but he is converting to outside linebacker as a pro.

14. Miami Dolphins - John Crockett, RB, North Dakota State - Make it two picks in a row from the four-time reigning FCS champion Bison. The Dolphins sure like what they see in Fargo as they reunite Crockett with his former offensive tackle, Billy Turner.

15. Cincinnati Bengals (trade from San Francisco 49ers) - Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware - The Bengals, looking to improve their receiving and physicality, feel Boyle is just too good to be sitting on the board midway through the round, so they trade up from No. 21 to get him. The Bengals give San Francisco former Southern Illinois outside linebacker Jayson DiManche and their third-round pick.

16. Houston Texans - Zack Wagenmann, DE, Montana - Former Griz players are always found across the NFL and the pass-rushing Wagenmann is going down in program history as one of its more disruptive defensive players. He's even quicker without the long hair.

17. San Diego Chargers - Malcolm Agnew, RB, Southern Illinois - FCS running backs proved their worth in the NFL last year and the Missouri Valley Conference is the place to look to this year. Agnew's pass-catching ability also plays into the Chargers' offensive style.

18. Kansas City Chiefs - Antoine Everett, OG/C, McNeese State - A left tackle at McNeese, Everett provides steady play and versatility for a Chiefs team in need of offensive linemen.

19. Cleveland Browns - Zack Hodges, DE, Harvard - The two-time Ivy League defensive player of the year was listed as "almost famous" in ESPN draft analysis last year. He's ready to become a known quantity.

20. Washington Redskins (trade from Philadelphia Eagles) - Jacob Hagen, FS, Liberty- The Redskins would have loved to have had Hagen's FCS-high eight interceptions in their struggling secondary last season.

21. San Francisco 49ers (trade from Cincinnati Bengals) - Tye Smith, CB, Towson- Located a coast away, Towson football probably doesn't register with Bay-Area fans, but they'll quickly like Smith's cover skills.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers - Tevin McDonald, FS, Eastern Washington - The Steelers might have taken Smith if he was available, so the 49ers made a shrewd trade with Cincinnati. In McDonald, the Steelers get the younger son of longtime NFL safety Tim McDonald.

23. Detroit Lions - Derrick Lott, DT, Chattanooga - Talk about a pick for need, the Lions lost Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley from their defensive line this offseason. Lott, who started his career at Georgia, is a natural talent who simply needs to put it all together.

24. Arizona Cardinals - Kyle Loomis, P, Portland State - The Cardinals' big season in 2014 masked that they needed improvement at punter. Enter the FCS punting leader in both of the past two seasons, who is so good the Cards can overlook his age (27).

25. Carolina Panthers - Tyler Varga, FB, Yale - An offensive tackle was preferred, but the Panthers did well in adding Varga at this point of the draft. The Canadian will power between the tackles.

26. Baltimore Ravens - Neal Sterling, WR, Monmouth - From the same school that produced veteran NFL wideout Miles Austin, Sterling has prototypical size, strength and long arms.

27. Dallas Cowboys - Rodney Gunter, DT, Delaware State - Jerry Jones reportedly says "who?" when Gunter's name is first brought up in the Cowboys' war room ... and then refers to the versatile D-lineman as a "Blue Hen" after the selection.

28. Denver Broncos - Chad Hamilton, OG, Coastal Carolina - More draft picks have come from Coastal than all the other Big South schools combined.

29. Indianapolis Colts - Zach Zenner, RB, South Dakota State - It's not often a three-time 2,000-yard rusher goes this low. OK, never. The Colts believe they have a steal here.

30. Green Bay Packers - De'Ante Saunders, CB, Tennessee State - "Pop," a one- time starter at Florida, surely shouldn't have lasted this long. He will be motivated.

31. New Orleans Saints - Harold Spears, TE, New Hampshire - Maybe a reach, maybe not. The Saints need a tight end and Spears oozes athleticism at the position. He will be glad to move indoors after playing in New Hampshire weather.

32. New England Patriots - Nick Easton, C, Harvard - The Super Bowl champs keep it local, and it doesn't hurt that Easton was the top-ranked FCS player left on the board.

Tennessee, you're back on the clock for the first pick of Round 2 ...