To say 2024 NFL Draft prospects are ready to throw their weight around in the upcoming FCS season is only half the story.

The class of FCS draft prospects is strong in the trenches, particularly across the offensive line.

Josh Buchanan, a small school draft analyst for NFL Draft Scout and Phil Steele Publications, is annually out in front of the draft rankings, and it’s no different prior to the 2023 season.

Following are Buchanan’s early summer rankings, with comments about the draft prospects provided to The Analyst:


1. Kiran Amegadjie, Yale, Offensive Tackle, 6-5, 321

Preseason Grade: 3rd-4th Round

Notable: The left tackle on Yale’s 2022 Ivy League championship squad has strength and a disciplined style of play.

Josh Buchanan Says: ”With 36 3/4-inch arms, he has the length and feet to be a future starter and should be the top-rated small school prospect overall.”

2. John Pius, William & Mary, Outside Linebacker, 6-2, 230

Preseason Grade: 4th-5th Round

Notable: Junior-eligible prospect finished second in voting for the 2022 Buck Buchanan Award, which Stats Perform annually presents to the FCS defensive player of the year.

Josh Buchanan Says: “He could return for another year in 2024, but Pius is a highly productive pass rusher with a good size/speed combo that could vault him into the top-100 picks with another big year.”

3. Garret Greenfield, South Dakota State, Offensive Tackle, 6-5 1/2, 305

Preseason Grade: 5th-6th Round

Notable: Greenfield is one of two active players to have twice earned a postseason selection on the Stats Perform FCS All-America first team (Mercer all-purpose threat Devron Harper is the other).

Josh Buchanan Says: “The South Dakota State product has been a dominant run blocker and consistent pass blocker with the size and strength to be a solid NFL pro.”

4. Josiah Ezirim, Eastern Kentucky, Offensive Tackle, 6-5 1/2, 324

Preseason Grade: 6th Round

Notable: Considered a late bloomer with upside after spending his 2019 and ‘20 seasons at EKU as a defensive lineman, then shifting across the line of scrimmage.

Josh Buchanan Says: ”Ezirim is a former defensive player who could vault up this list and challenge for the top spot due to his size, upside, and freakish athletic ability.”

5. Jalen Travis, Princeton, Offensive Tackle, 6-7, 314

Preseason Grade: 6th-7th Round

Notable: Travis was not fully healthy during the 2022 season, making him a candidate for a steady rise among NFL scouts due to his excellent measurables and foot speed.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Travis was playing hurt last year, but if healthy in 2023, he has the physical tools to attract a lot of attention in the postseason.”

6. Thor Griffith, Harvard, Defensive Tackle, 6-2, 305

Preseason Grade: 6th-7th Round

Notable: With an overpowering, straight-ahead style, Griffith has racked up 22.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 20 career games.

Josh Buchanan Says: “He might not be rated high by many scouts due to lacking elite size, but he is strong as a bull, fast and has a high motor that should attract a lot of eyes from NFL teams this fall.”

7. Isaiah Davis, South Dakota State, Running Back, 6-0, 220        

Preseason Grade: 7th Round

Notable: Rugged runner handles contact and has surpassed 100 rushing yards in 16 of 31 career games (nine of 12 in the postseason), averaging 6.8 yards per carry overall.  

Josh Buchanan Says: “Davis is a downhill runner who is a little tight, but has the size/speed combo and production that scouts want to see.”

8. Ryan Flournoy, Southeast Missouri, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 197

Preseason Grade: 7th Round-Priority Free Agent

Notable: Showing a knack for yards after the catch, Flournoy had some mammoth games as a junior, including 10 catches for 256 yards against Eastern Kentucky.   

Josh Buchanan Says: “Flournoy is a super senior, but I almost had him in my draft projection last season due to his size/speed combo and ability to make big plays.”

9. Dylan Laube, New Hampshire, Running Back, 5-10, 207

Preseason Grade: 7th Round-Priority Free Agent

Notable: The versatile Laube gained 424 all-purpose yards in a win over Fordham to set the FCS single-game playoff record.

Josh Buchanan Says: ”The most fun player to watch on this list because Laube can do it all from the backfield, slot and he’s an elite return man.”

10. Sundiata “Sunny” Anderson, Grambling State, Edge, 6-3 1/2, 232

Preseason Grade: 7th Round-Priority Free Agent

Notable: Athletic edge rusher didn’t have a full season until 2022, when he broke out with 50 tackles, 12.5 TFLs and seven sacks in 10 games.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Anderson is a big, long edge rusher who is very raw, but he flashed a lot of potential in his 2022 breakout season.”

11. Myles Harden, South Dakota, Cornerback, 5-11, 204

Preseason Grade: 7th Round-Priority Free Agent

Notable: Had three interceptions and four forced fumbles, three of which USD recovered, before his junior season was ended by injury after six games.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Harden was a turnover machine in a season that was cut short by injury, but if he can stay healthy and run in the 4.4s – like expected – he is a name to watch.”

12. Jarveon Howard, Alcorn State, Running Back, 5-9 1/2, 200

Preseason Grade: 7th Round-Priority Free Agent

Notable: Syracuse transfer was a workhorse in his junior season at Alcorn State with 20+ carries in 10 of his 11 games.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Howard was the 2022 SWAC newcomer of the year with 1,275 yards, and was hard to tackle with his power and vision.”

13. Anim Dankwah, Howard, Offensive Tackle, 6-8, 362

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: The native of Ghana has a rapidly growing skill set – he didn’t play in high school until his junior year – and carries his massive size well.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Dankwah is another player who could really rise up the board, and he moves pretty well for being so massive.”

14. Mason McCormick, South Dakota State, Offensive Guard, 6-4, 305

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: Using a “super senior” campaign like his offensive line mate Greenfield, the consistent McCormick is a mauler who has made 42 consecutive starts.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Strong mauler who has the size and plays with the nastiness that NFL teams covet.”

15. Darius Cooper, Tarleton, Wide Receiver, 5-11 1/2, 190          

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: Junior-eligible prospect averaged 19.7 yards per catch in a breakout, 1,000-yard campaign.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Cooper is a big-play threat who really caught my eye with six catches, 117 yards and a touchdown in their game against national runner-up TCU.”

16. Zach Heins, South Dakota State, Tight End, 6-6 1/2, 260

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: Hauled in 53 passes and 10 TDs the last two seasons as the lesser-known half of a tight end duo with Green Bay Packers’ 2023 third-round draft pick Tucker Kraft.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Heins has been productive the last couple years and brings great size, and he should have his best year with All-American Tucker Kraft now gone to the NFL.”

17. Nick Correia, Rhode Island, Offensive Guard, 6-5, 330

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: Correia has brought a much-embraced nasty streak to the interior while making 37 consecutive starts.

Josh Buchanan Says: “A huge guard prospect who has been reliable, consistent, and has the power and mean streak you want in the run game.”

18. PJ Jules, Southern Illinois, Free Safety, 5-11 1/2, 193

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: SIU’s secondary is always talented, and Jules is excellent at keeping the play in front of him and wrapping up ball carriers.

Josh Buchanan Says: “He had his best year in 2022, showing he can tackle well (66 tackles) and make an impact in the box (four TFLs, 2.5 sacks).”

19. Cole Grossman, Montana, Tight End, 6-4, 225

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: Junior-eligible prospect enters the season with at least one reception in 26 straight games, catching 10 TDs in that time.

Josh Buchanan Says: “Grossman has a lot of upside as a former linebacker who enters his third full year as a tight end, bringing good hands and the ability to get open.”

20. Ty James, Mercer, Wide Receiver, 6-0, 200

Preseason Grade: Priority Free Agent

Notable: James, who logs a 20.7-yard average on 108 career catches, had 351 receiving yards against Samford, ranking as the fourth-highest total in an FCS game.

Josh Buchanan Says: “He has been a consistent big-play threat the last three years, but really opened a lot of eyes in the second half of last season.”