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NFL Draft: 3 Small School Prospects Commit To NFLPA Bowl

The NFLPA Bowl is almost here, but commits keep coming in. Three of the new players committed are some more small school standouts.

The NFLPA Bowl is almost here, but commits keep coming in. Three of the new players committed are some more small school standouts. These players may not get the recognition of their high-profile counterparts, but that means nothing when it comes to talent and should not hinder them. Look at a player like Kansas City Chiefs’ star receiver Tyreek Hill. Coming from the University of West Alabama, no one thought he would be one of the league’s top wide receivers year after year. That is what is great about these showcase games. It gives players that you otherwise probably wouldn’t hear a chance to impress pro scouts and make a name for themselves. The players you are about to learn about exemplify this because statistically and talent-wise, they match up with the big school stars -- They just haven’t gotten the spotlight.

Running Back, Julius Chestnut, Sacred Heart:

If you’re looking for a wildly undervalued running back, then look no further than Julius Chestnut. Just look at this year’s accolades, and not much else needs to be said -- Multiple first-team All-American nods, NEC Offensive Player of the Year, three-time NEC Player of the Week, and a National Player of the Week. That’s not even considering that he finished third in votes for the Walter Payton Award(FCS Heisman) Chestnut led the FCS with 205 all-purpose yards per game and a school-record 171 rushing yards per game. Chestnut was a sensation since he stepped foot on campus, and there is no reason to believe things will be different in the NFL. He is a hard-working player and just an overall great talent, so it will be very exciting to see what he can do in the NFLPA Bowl when other all-stars surround him.

Wide Receiver, Lance McCutcheon, Montana State:

This is one of the more intriguing prospects on the entire roster. McCutcheon didn’t have much production in his career coming into the 2021 season, and then he exploded with 61 receptions, 1,121 yards, and eight touchdowns. One season usually wouldn’t be enough to excite, but when you add his prototypical size and athletic ability, he becomes more attractive to scouts. Standing six foot three and weighing 202 pounds, he will fit into most schemes and could quickly become a major weapon for an NFL team. Though he didn’t have the same college production, McCutcheon is comparable to Buffalo Bills Gabe Davis. Both are big-bodied receivers with a surprising amount of athleticism and pure receiver skills, making you dangerous in most offenses. Also, like Davis, if McCutcheon can get on a team with good receivers already there, it would help move his career along quicker.

Linebacker, James Houston, Jackson State:

After spending his first three seasons at the University of Florida and being a role player, Houston took a chance on himself transferring to Jackson State. This didn’t only work out for him in a major way, and it helped Jackson State and Coach Prime get to the HBCU Championship Game. Houston put together a monster season at outside linebacker, racking up 70 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss, and 16.5 sacks. These are incredible stats for a linebacker who primarily rushes the passer. He added seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and an interception. Even with his great stats, Houston will need to have a good week at the NFLPA Bowl because he is a little undersized for a pass rusher. If he can go and dominate other top-tier talents, it will go a long way come draft time.

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