By Dave Razzano, Playmaker Correspondent
Good college football players get overlooked or “missed” each year for a variety of reasons, including lack of size, a medical condition, or even lack of play time due to roster depth. This is what makes NFL Scouting fun, trying to find the next “late round steal” like the Saint's Marques Colston or undrafted gems like Wes Welker, Priest Holmes or Tony Romo. It is impossible to find the “perfect” player. They don’t exist. The following players all have some positive traits to their game but are being overlooked for one reason or another. Most of these players will go undrafted but they all have a chance to “make a team” and contribute if given an opportunity. Like legendary coach Bill Walsh always stated in Draft Meetings, “If they can do it once, they can be coached to do it again.”
1. David Ausberry - WO/H-Back - USC
The former “Five Star” recruit out of fertile central California is a “giant” on the outside at 6'3" and 240 lbs. Has been mainly a role player after being slowed by an injury in 2009 but this physical specimen is a natural as an H-Back projection due to hands and willingness to block.
2. Carl Moore - WO - Florida
Another former “Five Star” recruit who has underachieved. Was rated the #2 JUCO player in the Nation out of the “competitive” Golden Valley conference in California, where he grabbed 73 receptions, 1068 yards and 16 TDs before heading to Gainesville. Saw him play live in JUCO and looked like the next Calvin Johnson. The 6' 3", 215 pounder was slowed by an '09 back injury and subpar QB play. This is an ideal 7th round / free agent target. Had 41 receptions, 533 yards and 2 TDs in a short career for the Gators.
3. D. J. Smith - LB - Appalachian State
His career stats of 525 tackles and 38 Pass Break Ups is difficult to overlook. Same size as London Fletcher coming out of tiny John Carroll University. Doesn’t have the pure speed of Fletcher but is “all over the field” in every game he plays. These types never change. They overcome odds and play their way onto a roster.
4. James McGillicuddy - TE - Stanford
This kid is such a “sleeper” that his jersey number is wrong in the Stanford media guide. He is listed as #74 and actually wears #80. The 300 pound back-up OG is used as a short yardage and Goal Line blocker and can look absolutely dominant at the POA! Missed '06 and '07 with knee a injury but is healthy now. Excellent Free Agent as blocker only. Lacks AA to be anything else.
5. Adam Froman - QB - Louisville
The former JUCO transfer was injured after eight starts in 2010. Passed for 1633 yards with a 60% completion rate, 11 TDs and 4 INTs. Good size and speed at 6' 3" 225 4.60. Improved each week. Can avoid pressure and make plays on the move. Nice arm. A lot of tools to work with and develop. Same movement and skill set of Trent Green coming out of Indiana in mid-nineties.
6. Victor Aiyewa - OLB - Washington
Overshadowed by teammate Mason Foster but had an excellent year himself with 85 tackles and 23 Tackles For Loss. He is a “tweener” type who moved from DS to OB and needs to add size but make no mistake, he has a knack for finding the ball. All over field in Holiday Bowl vs Nebraska with 3 TFLs, 1 sack and 2 forced fumbles. These types overcome odds due to FB instincts and ability.
7. Donovan Edwards - OT - California
The long armed “kneebender” started only six games this past season but showed impressive feet and lateral range in some late season starts. Another former JUCO player who could surprise with development.
Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout and Playmaker Mobile correspondent with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).