Ring the bell – the stock market is up.

The NFL Draft stock, that is, of some former FCS standouts who have stood out at college football’s biggest postseason all-star games over the last month.

The Senior, East-West Shrine and NFLPA Collegiate bowls are the biggest showcases, with the Hula, Tropical and the upcoming HBCU Legacy Bowl also a big draw for FCS players.

Hundreds of NFL personnel (plus USFL, XFL and CFL) attend the practices and games to evaluate candidates for the draft, which will be held from April 27-29 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Here are five FCS players who stood out during the three biggest all-star weeks plus some other notable performances:

Andrei Iosivas, Princeton, WR, 6-2½, 212

Everybody already knew about Iosivas’s separation from defenders – he was a collegiate track standout, running the fastest-ever 60 meters (6.71 seconds) in the NCAA heptathlon at the 2022 indoor championships – but during Senior Bowl week, he showcased his ability to maneuver to the catch point and complete receptions in tight spaces. Iosivas (pronounced Yo-see-vas), who secured the Ivy League’s receiving Triple Crown as a senior, will have a 40-yard dash worth watching at the NFL Combine.


Titus Leo, Wagner, Edge, 6-3½, 243

Wagner isn’t regarded as being an FCS pipeline to the NFL, but it’s had four former players at the next level since 2020, and its two-time Northeast Conference defensive player of the year appears next. Leo has signature size for an edge rusher, with both inside and outside moves to shed blocks and get into opposing backfields, and he showed it all off in Shrine Bowl practices, then with a sack in the game. Over his final two seasons, he had 32.5 of his 40 career tackles for loss.

Marte Mapu, Sacramento State, S/OLB, 6-2½, 217

The 2022 Big Sky defensive player of the year’s versatility has led to projections for both safety and nickel linebacker at the next level. In back-to-back weeks at the NFLPA and, following a call-up, the Senior Bowl, Mapu was instinctive against offensive schemes and exceptional in coverage. His four tackles in the NFLPA game belied his final two seasons at Sac State, when he totaled 141 stops and six interceptions. He was dinged up late in Senior Bowl week.

Cody Mauch, North Dakota State, OL, 6-4½, 305

Already regarded as the highest-rated FCS prospect in this year’s draft class, Mauch did the same as last year’s top FCS prospect, UNI tackle Trevor Penning: earn the National team’s offensive practice player of the week award in a vote of the opposing American team’s defensive linemen and linebackers. A tackle at NDSU, Mauch flashed his versatility as a guard at the Senior Bowl and was sometimes overpowering in moving defenders. A veteran of 56 games with 39 starts in his career, he likely solidified a second-round grade in a draft that isn’t as deep in O-linemen as last year.

North Dakota State has had 11 former players selected in the last nine NFL drafts (since 2014) – the most among FCS schools and tied for 63rd in Division I (the others are FBS). Offensive lineman Cody Mauch appears next in the 2023 draft. (AP photo)

B.J. Thompson, Stephen F. Austin, DE, 6-5, 238

When a player is earning a “freak athlete” label, he’s dropping jaws. The long (82.5-inch wingspan), athletic Thompson did just that as a pass rusher at the Shrine Game. Offensive tackles struggled to handle his burst during practices, so it wasn’t surprising Thompson had 1.5 sacks in the game. He helped himself considerably, perhaps by several rounds.

Other Notable All-Star Game Performances

Hula Bowl: Campbell DE Brevin Allen (six tackles, 1.5 TFLs, fumble recovery, then call-up to NFLPA Bowl); Montana CB Justin Ford (three pass break-ups)

Tropical Bowl: Princeton WR Dylan Classi (five receptions, 117 yards); Mercer QB Fred Payton (14 of 19, 191 yards; 16-yard TD run)

NFLPA Collegiate Bowl: Lafayette OLB Malik Hamm (three solo tackles, forced fumble, QB hurry, pass break-up); LS Robert Soderholm of VMI and Dalton Godfrey of South Dakota (Stats Perform’s first- and second-team All-Americans, respectively, formed a special duo; Soderholm doubled up his postseason at the Senior Bowl)

East-West Shrine Game: Jackson State WR Dallas Daniels (two receptions, 16 yards); William & Mary OT Colby Sordal (strong base, hand placement and lateral movement)

Senior Bowl: Chattanooga OG McClendon Curtis (terrific size at 6-5, 331 with excellent movement on interior); Florida A&M Edge Isaiah Land (sack, tackle for loss); Jackson State LB Aubrey Miller Jr. (American team highs with seven overall tackles and five solos)