Georgia Southern jack-of-all-trades QB/WR/KR Jayson Foster Should be Drafted

The 2008 NFL Draft is here and players like Georgia Southern jack-of-all-trades QB/WR/KR Jayson Foster will be looking to hear their name called.  NFL Insider Lloyd Vance will be among the throng of media covering the event and he will have a full report of the goings on.

(Philadelphia, Pa) —  Hope will spring eternal around the country as NFL fans everywhere will celebrate the 2008 NFL Draft.  When it is all said and done 252 players will have a new destinations.

Draft day is always a special day for me, because it is an opportunity for football players to take the next step.  Sure some will have to wait a while over the weekend.  But the great thing about the event is former college players will get the opportunity to pursue their dreams of playing in the NFL.

The one player that I really want to see get an opportunity to play on Sundays is Georgia Southern do-it-all player Jayson Foster (see his awesome moves on YouTube).  Despite his smallish size this mighty mite is explosive, elusive, and speedy.  Foster  had a rather eventual college career as three different coaches bounced him around playing quarterback, running back, wide receiver and kick returner.   In 2007, college football’s ultimate utility man stepped under center producing 1,844 yards and passing for 1,203 as a senior, joining the rare 1,000 yards passing and rushing in the same season club.

Scored twenty-four total touchdowns plus passed for six more while winning the 2007 Walter Payton award in the FCS Division of college football. The first-team All-Southern Conference player is one of few players in the nation who has run, thrown and caught touchdown passes and taken back both punts and kickoffs for touchdowns. He definitely will get a long look in his rookie season as a “Slash” type return man due to his versatility and the success in 2007 of Joshua Cribbs (Cleveland Browns).  Had 50 catches for 661 yards and two touchdowns during his college career, which should help in his development as a receiver.  Also is the holder on field goals/extra points and is great on trick plays. 

People I have talked to say he is a quick learner who should have no trouble digesting an NFL playbook. Was exceptional at his Pro Day lifting 225 pounds an amazing 11 times, running a reported 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard, producing a 37-inch vertical jump, and not dropping a pass or punt despite a tricky wind.

 

 

This other NFL Draft hopefuls that I will have my eye on include:

University of Oregon senior quarterback Dennis Dixon (Rehabbing former Heisman candidate is expected to be a mid round pick)

University of San Diego senior QB Josh Johnson (Small college all-star is expected to be a 3rd or 4th round pick)

Florida State  redshirt junior QB Xavier Lee (Left school early and is expected to be a late round pick or UDFA)

Marshall University senior quarterback Bernard Morris (Hula Bowl MVP is expected to be a late round pick)

Midwestern University (TX) senior QB Daniel Polk (Small college do-it-all QB is expected to be a late round pick)

Kentucky Wildcats senior QB Andre Woodson (SEC passing machine is expected to be a 2nd or 3rd round pick)

Other Prospects:

Joel Armstrong, Rice senior (QB/WR)

Jabari Arthur, Bowling Green senior (former QB, now WR)

A.J. Bryant, Georgia senior (former QB, now WR)

Joe Dailey, North Carolina (QB/WR)

Omar Haugabrook, Troy State senior

Bernard Jackson, Colorado senior (former QB, now WR)

Bret Meyer, Iowa State senior

Lorne Sam, UTEP senior (QB/WR)

Brent Schaefer, Mississippi senior (QB/WR)

Sedale Threatt, Lehigh senior

Jeremy Young, So. Miss. senior

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Little Known 2008 NFL Draft Hopefuls: But Don’t Call Them Sleepers

(Philadelphia, Pa) — Every year around draft time I am asked whether it is by friends or on the radio to identify a “sleeper”.  Well everyone I am here to tell you that there are no longer true “sleepers” in the NFL Draft process.  Trust me, if you have talent the NFL will find you with their gaggle of scouts, assistant coaches, GM’s, and others scanning the country for players.  With the emergence of small school guys like Eagles RB Brian Westbrook (Villanova), Ravens DB David Pittman (Northwestern State), Colts DB Antoine Bethea (Howard), and many others the NFL finds players everywhere.  The entire NFL you can say is now taking a page from the old Pittsburgh Steelers scouting department from the ’70s where super scout Bill Nunn found several diamonds in the rough (John Stallworth, Mel Blount, and others) throughout the country that turned into major contributors to their dynasty.Some “if you build it, they will come” prospects to watch include:

  • San Diego QB Josh Johnson – The Oakland, California native is from the University of San Diego and not the bigger San Diego State. But Johnson (6’3, 215) is extremely well known going into the draft after a senior season where he tossed a school record 43 touchdowns (only 1 INT) while ranking first in the nation in total offense (4,040 yards) and broke the NCAA record for passing efficiency (176.7).  His post season has been even more noteworthy as he was the MVP at the East-West Shrine game and ran an eye-popping 4.55 seconds in the forty at the Combine.  At the Combine after his blazing time he was hurt by back spasms that affected his throwing, but at his March Pro Day workout he got redemption.  In front of about 20 NFL team evaluators including head coaches Norv Turner of San Diego and Carolina’s John Fox, Johnson threw the ball much better than he did at the combine hitting almost all of his throws in stride.
  • Delaware RB/KR Omar Cuff  – After a stellar senior season including rushing for an amazing 7 touchdowns versus William & Mary watch for this stick of dynamite in the NFL.  Cuff  (5-9 7/8, 195) amassed 4,363 rushing yards and a school-record 73 total touchdowns as Blue Hen and at his recent Pro Day he ran the forty in 4.55 seconds, had a 34-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 1-inch long jump, 4.12 short shuttle, 6.86 cone drill, and 16 reps at 225.
  • HBCU’s have notoriously been fertile grounds for the NFL and this year is no different.  Everyone knows about Tennessee State’s Domique Rodgers-Cromartie after the Senior Bowl.  But a new HBCU prospect announced his presence this week at Alabama’s Pro Day.  Little known Stillman College CB/KR Brian Witherspoon (5-10 3/8, 178) stole the show from his SEC counterparts. Witherspoon, who is also an All-American sprinter posted numbers of a 4.33 seconds forty, 40 inch vertical,  4.36 seconds in the short shuttle, and a cone drill of 6.86 seconds. Witherspoon is a fluid athlete with good change of direction and looked very good in corner and return drills.  His times in the forty and cone drill would have placed him with the Troy State potential top 15 pick Leodis McKelvin’s combine numbers. 

Other HBCU players to watch for include: Clark Atlanta University DE/LB Curtis Johnson  (6-3, 255), Bethune Cookman DB Bobbie Williams (6-0, 214), Jackson State WR Jaymar Johnson (5-11, 180, 4.41), Delaware State WR Shaheer McBride (6-1, 199, 4.50), Hampton University DE Kendall Langford (6-5, 294, 5.03), South Carolina State OL James Lee (6-4, 303, 5.30), Bethune Cookman LB Ronnie McCollough (5-11, 225, 4.65), Tennessee State DE Shawn Richardson (6-4, 299, 5.12), and Tuskegee University DB Johnathan Harris (5-10, 185, 4.44)

  • Every year there are former quarterbacks making their mark in the NFL at other positions — Think Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl return man Joshua Cribbs. This year UTEP QB/WR Lorne Sam (6’3, 215) is my number one conversion candidate. The jack-of-all-trades player transferred from Florida State looking to get noticed and he did producing numbers in 2007 of 12-19 for 144 yards w/ 2 TDs passing, 60 rushes for 339 yards w/ 3 TDs, and 42 catches for 589 yards (14.0 ypc) and 1 TD receiving. He followed his season up by shining at the combine catching the ball well in drills, posting 23 reps at 225 pounds (great for a receiver), and running a 4.55 in the forty. Another conversion candidate is the 2007 Walter Payton award winner from Georgia Southern QB/WR/KR Jayson Foster (6′, 170). Despite his smallish size this mighty mite is explosive, elusive, speedy, and went for over 1,000 yards passing and rushing in 2007.
  • TE Antonio Smith, Michigan State: The big tight end prospect (6-7, 260) is one of the most interesting stories this draft season. With the emergence of former basketball player Antonio Gates in the NFL, Smith is the latest former hardwood player trying to make the jump to the NFL at the surprising age of 32. The brother of current Cleveland Browns defensive end Robaire Smith certainly looked the part of an NFL tight end posting good numbers at Michigan State’s Pro Day with times 5.19 and 5.14 in the 40, a 32½-inch vertical jump, 9-foot, 7-inch long jump, and 18 reps in the bench press.

Sleeper Quick Hitters

— Virginia Tech OT Duane Brown – Everyone knows about Jake Long and Boise State’s Clady, but Brown (6’5, 310) should get noticed by the scouts.  He is a big tough and some say mean O-lineman that will fight you to the whistle.   He has a good punch coming off the ball, good footwork, and large wingspan.

— Eastern Kentucky OT Sean Dumford (6’5, 302) was impressive at Kentucky’s Pro Day outshining his SEC brethren by running a respectable 5.15 in the forty and posting 27 reps pressing 225 pounds.

— Washburn tall corner Cary Williams (6-1, 187) made the radar at the University of Kansas Pro Day producing a 4.43 forty, 32½-inch vertical jump, 4.34 short shuttle, 6.94 cone drill, 8 reps in the bench press, and looking smooth in drills.

— Weber State O-lineman David Hale (6-5 5/8, 310) followed up a solid combing by producing a 29-inch vertical jump, 4.63 short shuttle, 7.51 cone drill, and 25 reps at his Pro Day.

— Grand Valley State CB Brandon Carr (6-0, 207) ran the forty in 4.43, had a 35-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 4-inch long jump, 4.19 short shuttle, 6.80 cone drill, and ran well in drills at his workout.

— Chadron State RB Danny Woodhead (5-7 ½. 197) showed the big boys that he is ready by ripping it up at the Nebraska Pro Day. The record-setting small-school player  ran the forty in 4.38 seconds, had a 38-inch vertical jump, 10-foot, 1-inch long jump, 4.20 short shuttle, 7.03 cone drill, and 20 reps of 225.