The word in the scouting community on potential NFL prospects from the MAC as well as a few personal observations.

Ball State

–  Many are high on the next level potential of quarterback Keith Wenning.  While I think he’s a terrific college signal caller I just don’t believe Wenning possesses the size or arm strength to be anything other than a practice squad player in the NFL.

Bowling Green

– Bowling Green has produced a number of ultra-productive college wide outs who amounted to little in the NFL (Freddie Barnes anyone?).  Redshirt sophomore Chris Gallon is a prospect with the ability to reverse this trend.  He’s a smooth, big bodied pass catcher with reliable hands and terrific balance.  Unlike his predecessors at BGSU, who were as much a product of the system as they were talented pass catchers, Gallon has the ability to play at the next level and develop into a second wide out on the depth chart if he continues to improve on the field.

Buffalo

– I’ve written glowing reviews of linebacker prospect Khalil Mack since October of last year and feel he’s a legitimate to 75 choice.  Scouts stamped Mack in much the same manner moving towards the 2013 season.  Recently I was informed running back Branden Oliver is another UB player who has NFL scouts intrigued.  Oliver is viewed as a third down back/return specialist for the next level and at present time is getting late round consideration.

Central Michigan

– In 2009 I was blown away by the game film of Jake Olson, then starting left tackle at CMU.  He was a terrific pass protector who also dominated opponents run blocking.  At the time Olson graded out much better than Eric Fisher, who had not yet broken into the CMU starting line-up on  fulltime basis.  Numerous knee injuries over the next three years sidelined Olson and sapped him of flexibility and lower body strength.  He returns to the college field for a sixth season and should not be dismissed as a next level prospect.  Medical red-flags will be raised but Olson could significantly improve his draft grade if he plays well in 2013 and stays healthy.

Eastern Michigan

– Safety Mycal Swaim is getting a lot of pre-season love from scouts but its more for his measurabes than his football ability at present time.   Swaim, who transferred to EMU from Butte Junior College, collected 20 tackles in eight games last season.  He projects as a traditional strong safety but must elevate his game to live up to the late round billing he’s presently receiving.

Miami-Ohio

– I generously handed offensive lineman Josh Harvey a sixth round grade, which will surprise many.  Harvey is nice sized blocker that’s been effective at both left and right tackle.  He blocks with solid fundamentals, properly using his hands and making good use of angles.  His footwork and ability to slide laterally are also impressive.   He’s more of a finesse blocker and Harvey really needs to develop a nasty streak.  I could see him sliding into the late rounds for a team that will uses as a back-up at several positions on the offensive line.

Northern Illinois

–  I’ve been outspoken over my admiration for Husky safety Dechane Durante and his next level potential.  Durante missed five games with injury last season but when you revert back to the 2011 film, as well as the healthy portion of his 2012 season, he presented himself as a complete centerfielder with great range.   He offers a solid combination of ball skills and displays a willingness to stuff the run.  We will closely monitor Durante’s return in 2013.

Toledo

–  Another player I thought highly of prior to his injury was Toledo running back David Fluellen.  The productive ball carrier runs with a compact style, grinding it out on the inside while also possessing the agility to turn the corner.  Fluellen is also productive as a receiver out of the backfield.  He’s potentially the third man on the depth chart at the next level and could sneak into the late rounds if he’s back on his game in 2013.

Western Michigan

– With 80% of my BCS/Div IA film work complete I must admit Johnnie Simon is one of the most underrated and under appreciated safeties in the nation.  Simon is an instinctive defensive back who shows a lot of toughness in his game as well as a feel in coverage. He reminds of Antonio Allen, a seventh round pick of the New York Jets in 2012 out of South Carolina.  Simon is expected to move to linebacker this season, sort of similar to the hybrid linebacker/safety spot held down by Allen in college.