Small-School Prospects Who Could Interest Ravens In 2016 Draft


Few teams around the NFL have filled out their rosters with small-school prospects as well as the Ravens.

Baltimore has drafted key players like Joe Flacco, Brandon Williams and Lardarius Webb over the years, and the team's personnel department digs deep in the scouting process to find some of those players that went overlooked by the big-time colleges.

The Ravens have drafted at least one small-school player in each of the last four drafts. Last year they selected three players from FCS Schools (Tray Walker from Texas Southern, Nick Boyle from Delaware and Robert Myers from Tennessee State).

Will they go that route again with some of their nine picks in this year's draft?

Here's a look at some of the small-school prospects who the Ravens could target:

OLB Matt Judon, Grand Valley State*6-foot-3, 275 pounds; 81 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, 20 sacks, 3 forced fumbles *

Judon was a man amongst boys last year playing in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. His 20 sacks were the most in college football and that earned him a selection as a Division II All-American. Judon is built like an NFL pass rusher and he is expected to be a mid-round draft pick. He is a developmental prospect who could be ready to be a situational pass rusher in his rookie year.

OLB Victor Ochi, Stony Brook6-1, 246 pounds; 16.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks

Ochi is known as a hard-nosed player who led the FCS with 13 sacks last year. That kind of production gets players noticed by NFL scouts, and the Ravens are in the market for more pass rushers. He doesn't have the ideal size that NFL teams want in their edge rushers, but plenty of undersized players have developed into quality pass rushers at the professional level. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah compared Ochi to veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney, saying "[Ochi] doesn't have that same juice, but, man, he knows how to rush the passer."

Safety Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee State*5-11, 216 pounds; 66 tackles, 4 interceptions, 6 passes defensed *

Byard was a defensive playmaker throughout his college career. The Conference USA product was a four-year starter who came up with 19 interceptions during his four years in college. He took a pair of those back for touchdowns and also has experience in the return game. The Ravens are on the lookout for playmakers, and Byard fits the bill. He could be a mid-to-late round pick who plays special teams early and learns from the veteran players around him.

CB Deiondre' Hall, Northern Iowa6-2, 199 pounds, 82 tackles, 6 interceptions, 4 passes defensed

Hall has the prototypical size that NFL teams want in their cornerbacks. He has a long, lean frame, and he also showed off good ball skills throughout his college career. Hall had 13 interceptions at Northern Iowa, and he played a combination of safety and cornerback throughout his career. He is a mid-to-late round prospect who could be a developmental prospect.

WR Paul McRoberts, Southeast Missouri State6-2, 202 pounds; 76 catches, 940 yards, 9 touchdowns

The Ravens got a close look at McRoberts at the Senior Bowl in January, where he had a chance to prove himself against prospects from much bigger schools. He is a good-sized athlete with solid speed, and he was a highly production player throughout his college career racking up 2,435 receiving yards. McRoberts also has experience in the return game. The Ravens are on the lookout for a mid-round receiver to develop, and McRoberts could fall into that mold.

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