College Football

FCS players with something to prove on pro day


STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - The pro days that will take place over the next month provide an important opportunity for NFL prospects who seek to make a final impression before the draft April 25-27.

They're especially key for FCS players who always feel they have to do more than their FBS counterparts.

On pro day, a prospect goes through NFL Combine-type measurements and testing, usually at a campus site. Many will get drafted, even more will turn heads to gain an undrafted free agent contract or rookie camp invite.

Here are 10 FCS prospects with something to prove with their potential opportunity in the NFL:

Devlin Hodges, QB, Samford

The 2018 STATS FCS Walter Payton Award winner, who holds the FCS record for career passing yards (14,584), had a disappointing performance at the Tropical Bowl. Undersized at just over 6 feet, he has to make all the throws with good arm strength. (pro day: Thursday)

Chidi Okeke, OT, Tennessee State and Cortrelle Simpson, WR, Richmond

The two FCS early-entry prospects who didn't get Combine invites (Northwestern State wide receiver Jazz Ferguson and North Carolina A&T defensive end Darryl Johnson Jr. did) seek to validate their forsaking a final season of eligibility was smart. (Tennessee State pro day: March 11; Richmond pro day: March 26)

Josh Buss, OLB, Montana

Buss was the Big Sky's preseason defensive player of the year, but he was set back by injuries and didn't play as well as junior linebacker Dante Olson. He always looks the part, but the testing and drills have to prove he's back to a top, healthy level. (pro day: March 12)

Ryan Fulse, RB, Wagner

As a senior, Fulse ranked No. 2 in the FCS in rushing and No. 1 in all-purpose yards per game. His all-around skill set will be under the microscope as he readies for a higher level of competition. (pro day: March 14)

Jacob Dolegala, QB, Central Connecticut State

There's a quiet buzz about Dolegala, who has undeniable size at 6-5, 230 and good throwing mechanics. But his passing accuracy overwhelm during his career and he has to show a higher level. (pro day: March 22)

Drew Forbes, OG, Southeast Missouri

Forbes has been overlooked in the draft buildup, so he'll be anxious to show off his skill set. It helps that SEMO's draft drought ended at 14 years last April when linebacker Kendall Donnerson went to the Green Bay Packers. (pro day: March 26)

Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison

A lack of size (5-11, 175) has followed Moreland around in the draft buildup, but one of two consensus 2018 FCS All-Americans had strong weeks at the East-West Shrine Game and Reese's Senior Bowl. The ball hawk (18 career interceptions) is suited for a nickel role, yet has surprising physicality. (pro day: March 26)

Jay-Tee Tiuli, DT, Eastern Washington

The Big Sky defensive player of the year was suspended for the FCS semifinals and championship game following a December arrest. He's since played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. But he must overcome the off-the-field concerns and show his agility and speed match the next level's. (pro day: April 4)

Donald Parham, TE, Stetson

The other consensus All-American besides Moreland is a physical specimen at 6-8½. He missed the Senior Bowl after getting hurt in practice that week. His strength and blocking skills are still being defined, and the jump from the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League is big. (pro day TBD)

Updated March 7, 2019

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