The NFL Draft begins tomorrow in Dallas and for the second time in three years a Missouri Valley standout will be a first round draft pick. Carson Wentz stole the show in 2016 and it appears South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert will be the first FCS player selected tomorrow. Goedert has had an interesting run-up to the draft, starting with tweaking his hamstring at the Senior Bowl, to not running the 40 at the Combine or his Pro Day. Goedert’s size and athletic ability is what NFL teams are drawn to, NDSU fans can attest to that on what he did against the Bison and the rest of the league over the last two years.
Here are some other players that NDSU fans will know that are expected to be drafted this weekend.
Kyle Lauletta, QB – Richmond – NDSU fans may smirk seeing Lauletta’s name on this list after the tough night he had in Fargo in December of 2015. Lauletta was 12 of 26 for 176 yards, two interceptions and was sacked three times in the Spiders 33-7 loss in the FCS semifinals. Lauletta though really improved over the last two years, including an impressive win over Virginia. He was the standout QB at the Senior Bowl, throwing three touchdown passes in the game. He’s expected to go sometime on Day 2.
Daurice Fountain, WR – Northern Iowa – Fountain was a first team all-conference player this past fall, racking up 12 TD’s, including two against NDSU. Fountain has had a great run-up to the draft, he was named MVP of the Shrine Game and had a solid Pro Day. His ability to go up and catch the ball has been received well, he should be a second day draft pick.
Davontae Harris, CB – Illinois State – Harris was also a first team All-Valley player for Brock Spack’s team, who was a shutdown corner for the Redbirds. NDSU fans may not have recognized how good Harris is because frankly no one was throwing the ball the day NDSU played at Illinois State last November. Harris is quick, had a great Combine. He’s expected to be a Day 3 player.
Josey Jewell, LB – Iowa – It may be two years ago, but Jewell was a name that stood out to me from the Hawkeye game. Jewell racked up a team high 11 tackles in the game against the Bison and is one of the higher ranked linebackers heading into the weekend. Likely a late Day 2 selection.
Elijah Campbell, safety – Northern Iowa – Campbell in my mind was the best player on the field for the Panthers in the game in Fargo this past October. Campbell had two interceptions against Easton Stick, on his way to first team All-Valley selection. He had a great Pro Day and is on the radar of the NFL scouts, which could lead him to being a third day selection.
PJ Hall, defensive end – Sam Houston State – It was hard to recognize any Sam Houston defensive players in NDSU’s whipping of the Bearkats, but Hall’s athleticism is hard to miss. He has dominated the Southland Conference on the defensive side and his ability to get to the quarterback is what NFL teams like. Look for him to be an early Day 3 pick.
Those are just some of the names that will go this weekend, keep an eye on Jake Wieneke and Chris Streveler, two other names that could certainly be selected this weekend.