The NFL draft is always full of surprises. Players like Tom Brady, Shannon Sharpe, and Bo Jackson were all drafted on Day 3, and players like Warren Moon, Antonio Gates, and Kurt Warner weren’t drafted at all. This goes to show how difficult it is to predict the success of these college athletes, so while the names on this list may not be well known to you now, in the near future, they very well could be.
Josh Love – QB – San Jose State
This draft has a ton of great quarterbacks, which has resulted in Josh Love falling far under the radar, which is an absolute shame. In his senior season at San Diego State, he threw for 3,923 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Those stats are comparable to those of Jordan Love, Jacob Eason, and Jake Fromm, all of whom are much more highly touted.
The main reason why Josh Love isn’t receiving the same respect as the other quarterback prospects, is his age. He spent five years in college, as opposed to the three seasons that Jordan Love, Jacob Eason, and Jake Fromm spent, which means they’ll have more time to develop. Jordan Love had a rough season last year, but most people excuse that, saying that the talent around him did him no favors. If you’re going give that excuse to Jordan Love, then Josh Love deserves it as well. San Jose State only won 12 games through Josh Love’s four seasons as a Spartan, which shows the level of talent he was playing with. You can argue that he should’ve brought them more success through those four seasons, but with how historically bad San Jose State has been, it’s hard to blame him.
It’s unlikely that Josh Love will ever be a superstar in the NFL, but given the opportunity, he could surprise people. He went from not even being on scholarship at SJSU, to being one of the most decorated football players in the schools history. He’s fought through an unbelievable amount of adversity during his football career, which shows how dedicated he is. Given the opportunity, Josh Love could make a lot of people regret not knowing his name.
Jeremy Chinn – S – Southern illinois
Jeremy Chinn is a name not many had heard of before the draft combine. He played for the University of Southern Illinois, who aren’t known for producing NFL level talent. He had 16 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles over his four seasons as a Saluki. He didn’t make any huge jumps during his college career, which on paper, could be a cause for concern. That is until, when you watch the film.
He is a beast of an athlete. 6’3, 221 pounds, of pure heart and determination. He gives 100% on each and every play, which is usually something you’d say about somebody lacking in athleticism, but with Chinn, that’s not the case. He runs a 4.45, 40 yard dash, has a 41 inch vertical, and an 138 inch broad jump. He’s talented, and determined, and could be a huge acquisition for whoever drafts him.
James Robinson – RB – Illinois State
James Robinson is a beast of a running back. He’s 5’9, 219 pounds, and has great athleticism to pair with his physical profile. He has a very similar playstyle to Mark Ingram, but his combine numbers are actually far superior to that of Ingram. Robinson has Ingram beat in all but one event, that being the 40 yard dash, in which he is only 0.02 seconds slower than Mark.
In his two seasons at Illinois State, he produced 3,433 all purpose yards, and 31 touchdowns, in only 26 games. That means per game, he produced 132 yards, and 1.2 touchdowns per game. That is extremely impressive, but since it was done at an FCS school, it didn’t make headlines.
Alex Highsmith – Edge – Charlotte
Alex Highsmith could be a playmaker in the NFL. He has great size and athleticism, as well as being an incredibly talented football player. Last season for the 49ers, he produced 75 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 2 forced fumbles, and an impressive 15 sacks.
Going into his senior season at the University of Charlotte, he was receiving little to no interest from NFL scouts, but after his electrifying senior campaign, that was no longer the case. He made a very impressive jump, showing that has a ton of untapped potential, which, in the right situation, could be capitalized upon. He may not light the world on fire on day one, but if you give him time to develop, he could become something great.
Darrynton Evans – RB – Appalachian State
Darrynton Evans is a very enticing draft prospect. He’s great in both the run and pass game, and can make plays with the ball in his hand. He’s not an excellent blocker, and doesn’t have tremendous power, but that’s hardly an issue. He’s fast and elusive, and is great at making defenders miss, which are attributes that can be carried over to the special teams unit if need be. He’s very effective in the return game, and can make a difference there.
Last season he ran for 1,480 yards, and 18 touchdowns, as well as contributing in the pass game with 198 yards, and 5 touchdowns. He also had 3 special teams touchdowns throughout his tenure as a Mountaineer, showing that he’s willing to contribute on special teams as well. He was the 2019 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year, after leading the conference in both rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and both total yards from scrimmage, and total touchdowns.
He is a great back, who has the potential, and the ability to make the jump to the next level. He’s one of, if not the most underrated players in this draft, and could be a diamond in the rough for the team that drafts him. If your team drafts Darrynton Evans, you should feel fortuntate, as he’s one of the most special players in this draft.