Best FCS Selections in the Last 10 NFL Drafts
FCS

Best FCS Selections in the Last 10 NFL Drafts

The number of FCS players selected in the NFL Draft has decreased over time, but that hasn’t stopped some of them from becoming exceptional picks, even big values when taken in lower rounds.

A review of the last 10 NFL drafts (2012-21) reflects 151 FCS selections, and plenty of All-Pro and Pro Bowl players.

Following are The Analyst’s choices for the best FCS selection by round plus three honorable mention choices (except in the first round due to only three overall picks), then a list of all the selections:

First Round

Best FCS Pick

2016: Philadelphia Eagles (No. 2 overall) – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

Since entering NFL, Wentz ranks 12th in passing yards (20,347), tied for 11th in touchdown passes (140)

All FCS Picks

2016: Philadelphia Eagles (No. 2 overall) – Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State

2019: Houston Texans (23) – Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

2021: San Francisco 49ers (3) – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State

Second Round

Best FCS Pick

2018: Indianapolis Colts (36) – Darius Leonard, OLB, South Carolina State

2018 tackles leader as NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year; All-Pro pick in all four seasons (three times on first team, once on second team)

Honorable Mention

2014: New England Patriots (62) – Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Highlight seasons: 7,788 passing yards, 47 TD passes while directing 49ers to appearances in Super Bowl 54 (2019 season) and 2021 NFC Championship Game

2016: Carolina Panthers (62) – James Bradberry, CB, Samford

380 tackles, 15 interceptions in six productive seasons, the last two with New York Giants

2020: Carolina Panthers (64) – Jeremy Chinn, SS, Southern Illinois

Two straight 100-tackle seasons to begin career; first player in NFL history to score defensive TDs on consecutive plays from scrimmage (versus Minnesota Vikings, 2020)

All FCS Picks

2012: St. Louis Rams (33) – Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State

2013: Atlanta Falcons (60) – Robert Alford, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

2014: New England Patriots (62) – Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

2015: San Francisco 49ers (46) – Jaquiski Tartt, SS, Samford

2016: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (39) – Noah Spence, DE/OLB, Eastern Kentucky

2016: Carolina Panthers (62) – James Bradberry, CB, Samford

2017: Kansas City Chiefs (59) – Tanoh Kpassagnon, DE, Villanova

2018: Indianapolis Colts (36) – Darius Leonard, OLB, South Carolina State

2018: Philadelphia Eagles (49) – Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State

2018: Oakland Raiders (57) – P.J. Hall, DT, Sam Houston State

2019: Indianapolis Colts (34) – Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Presbyterian/Temple

2019: Los Angeles Chargers (60) – Nasir Adderley, FS, Delaware

2020: Carolina Panthers (64) – Jeremy Chinn, SS, Southern Illinois

2021: Tennessee Titans (53) – Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State

haley-5-best-fcs-nfl-draft-picks-2012-to-2021

Third Round

Best FCS Pick

2017: St. Louis Rams (69) – Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington

Three straight seasons of 90+ receptions, highlighted by 2021 receiving Triple Crown (145 catches, 1,947 yards, 16 TDs), NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Super Bowl 56 MVP

Honorable Mention

2012: St. Louis Rams (65) – Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana

23 INTs, including four pick-sixes, with four fumble recoveries in eight seasons (2012-19)

2013: New Orleans Saints (75) – Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

Three-time Pro Bowler (2018-20) has allowed only four sacks in last four seasons (47 games); signed with Miami Dolphins in March

2016: Pittsburgh Steelers (89) – Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State

269 tackles and 26.5 sacks in career, including highs of 63 and 7.5, respectively, as 2021 Eagles’ Pro Bowler

All FCS Picks

2012: St. Louis Rams (65) – Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana

2013: New Orleans Saints (75) – Terron Armstead, OT, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

2013: Dallas Cowboys (80) – J.J. Wilcox, SS, Georgia Southern

2014: Miami Dolphins (67) – Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State

2014: Cleveland Browns (94) – Terrance West, RB, Towson

2014: Minnesota Vikings (96) – Jerick McKinnon, RB, Georgia Southern

2015: Arizona Cardinals (86) – David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa

2016: Pittsburgh Steelers (89) – Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State

2017: St. Louis Rams (69) – Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington

2017: New England Patriots (83) – Derek Rivers, DE/OLB, Youngstown State

2017: Arizona Cardinals (98) – Chad Williams, WR, Grambling State

2017: Denver Broncos (101) – Brendan Langley, CB, Lamar

2018: Oakland Raiders (65) – Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T

2019: Kansas City Chiefs (84) – Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois

2019: Jacksonville Jaguars (98) – Quincy Williams, SS, Murray State

2020: New Orleans Saints (105) – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton

2021: Buffalo Bills (93) – Spencer Brown, OT, Northern Iowa

Fourth Round

Best FCS Pick

2013: Baltimore Ravens (130) – Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard

Five of his six straight Pro Bowl selections with 49ers; five seasons of 30+ receptions with 229 overall

Honorable Mention

2013: Green Bay Packers (122) – J.C. Tretter, OL, Cornell

Current president of NFL Players Association has only one false start, 10 sacks allowed in 111 career games (90 starts)

2017: Chicago Bears (119) – Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T

All-around threat (4,289 combined rush/receive/return yards) when healthy; first-team All-Pro in 2018

2018: Buffalo Bills (121) – Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State

Co-holder of NFL playoff record for longest INT return (101); career-high 94 tackles, 5 TFLs in 2020

All FCS Picks

2012: Baltimore Ravens (98) – Gino Gradkowski, OG/C, Delaware

2012: Baltimore Ravens (130) – Christian Thompson, FS, South Carolina State

2012: Green Bay Packers (133) – Jerron McMillian, SS, Maine

2012: Dallas Cowboys (135) – Matt Johnson, SS, Eastern Washington

2013: Dallas Cowboys (114) – B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary

2013: Arizona Cardinals (116) – Earl Watford, OG, James Madison

2013: Green Bay Packers (122) – J.C. Tretter, OT, Cornell

2013: Baltimore Ravens (130) – Kyle Juszczyk, FB, Harvard

2014: Miami Dolphins (125) – Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty

2014: New York Jets (137) – Dakota Dozier, OG, Furman

2014: Baltimore Ravens (138) – Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB/FB, Coastal Carolina

2015: Arizona Cardinals (116) – Rodney Gunter, DT/DE, Delaware State

2015: Baltimore Ravens (135) – Tray Walker, CB, Texas Southern

2016: Tampa Buccaneers (108) – Ryan Smith, CB, North Carolina Central

2016: Detroit Lions (111) – Miles Killebrew, SS, Southern Utah

2016: Chicago Bears (127) – Deiondre Hall, DB, Northern Iowa

2016: Cleveland Browns (138) – Seth DeValve, TE, Princeton

2017: Chicago Bears (119) – Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T

2017: Los Angeles Rams (125) – Samson Ebukam, OLB, Eastern Washington

2017: Houston Texans (130) – Julie’n Davenport, OT, Bucknell

2018: New York Giants (108) – Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond

2018: Buffalo Bills (121) – Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State

2018: Arizona Cardinals (134) – Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham

2018: Los Angeles Rams (135) – John Franklin-Myers, DE, Stephen F. Austin

2018: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (144) – Justin Watson, WR, Penn

2021: Dallas Cowboys (115) – Jabril Cox, OLB, North Dakota State/LSU

2021: New York Giants (116) – Elerson Smith, DE, Northern Iowa

2021: Los Angeles Rams (130) – Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas

Fifth Round

Best FCS Pick

2012: Carolina Panthers (143) – Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina

486 tackles and 23 takeaways in 10 seasons with four different franchises

Honorable Mention

2013: Detroit Lions (165) – Sam Martin, P, Appalachian State

46.1-yard average on 605 career punts; ranked third in league (48.5) in 2016

2015: Baltimore Ravens (171) – Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware

One of the NFL’s top blocking TEs has been slowed by knee injury after averaging 27 receptions in 2017-19 seasons

2018: Chicago Bears (145) – Bilal Nichols, DT, Delaware

Strong 2020 and ’21 seasons (81 tackles, 22 QB hits, eight sacks) led to free agent deal with Las Vegas Raiders

All FCS Picks

2012: Carolina Panthers (143) – Josh Norman, CB, Coastal Carolina

2012: New Orleans Saints (162) – Corey White, SS, Samford

2012: Baltimore Ravens (169) – Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly

2013: Indianapolis Colts (139) – Montori Hughes, DT, UT Martin

2013: New York Giants (152) – Cooper Taylor, S, Richmond

2013: Detroit Lions (165) – Sam Martin, P, Appalachian State

2014: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (143) – Kadeem Edwards, OG, Tennessee State

2014: Detroit Lions (158) – Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton

2014: Miami Dolphins (171) – Jordan Tripp, OLB, Montana

2015: Minnesota Vikings (143) – MyCole Pruitt, TE, Southern Illinois

2015: New Orleans Saints (148) – Davis Tull, OLB, Chattanooga

2015: San Diego Chargers (153) – Kyle Emanuel, OLB, North Dakota State

2015: Arizona Cardinals (158)- – Shaquille Riddick, DE, Gardner-Webb/West Virginia

2015: Seattle Seahawks (170) – Tye Smith, CB, Towson

2015: Baltimore Ravens (171) – Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware

2015: Kansas City Chiefs (173) – James O’Shaughnessy, TE, Illinois State

2015: Baltimore Ravens (176) – Robert Myers, OG, Tennessee State

2016: Indianapolis Colts (155) – Joe Haeg, OT, North Dakota State

2016: Tennessee Titans (158) – LeShaun Sims, CB, Southern Utah

2016: Seattle Seahawks (170) – Cole Toner, OT, Harvard

2017: Detroit Lions (165) – Jamal Agnew, CB, San Diego

2017: New York Giants (167) – Avery Moss, DE, Youngstown State

2017: Atlanta Falcons (174) – Eric Saubert, TE, Drake

2018: Chicago Bears (145) – Bilal Nichols, DT, Delaware

2018: Cincinnati Bengals (151) – Davontae Harris, CB, Illinois State

2018: Buffalo Bills (154) – Siran Neal, SS, Jacksonville State

2018: Indianapolis Colts (159) – Daurice Fountain, WR, Northern Iowa

2019: Los Angeles Chargers (166) – Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State

2020: Houston Texans (171) – Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island

Sixth Round

Best FCS Pick

2018: Atlanta Falcons (200) – Foye Oluokun, OLB, Yale

462 tackles in four seasons with 192 in 2021, the seventh-most in history; new Dolphin has five INTs over last two years

Honorable Mention

2012: Arizona Cardinals (177) – Justin Bethel, DB, Presbyterian

In 10 seasons, has 135 tackles on special teams with three Pro Bowl nods (2013-15)

2012: Washington Commanders (193) – Tom Compton, OL, South Dakota

Has played in 123 games with 44 starts for six franchises; joined seventh team (Denver) in March

2016: New England Patriots (208) – Kamu Grugier-Hall, OLB, Eastern Illinois

Led Texans with 106 tackles, 13 TFL in 2021; member of Eagles’ Super Bowl 53 squad (2018 season)

All FCS Picks

2012: Seattle Seahawks (172) – Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State

2012: Arizona Cardinals (177) – Justin Bethel, DB, Presbyterian

2012: Oakland Raiders (189) – Christo Bilukidi, DE, Georgia State

2012: Washington Commanders (193) – Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota

2013: Green Bay Packers (193) – Nate Palmer, OLB, Illinois State

2013: Houston Texans (195) – Alan Bonner, WR, Jacksonville State

2014: Minnesota Vikings (184) – Kendall James, CB, Maine

2014: Miami Dolphins (190) – Matt Hazel, WR, Coastal Carolina

2014: Arizona Cardinals (196) – Walter Powell, WR, Murray State

2016: Los Angeles Rams (177) – Temarrick Hemingway, TE, South Carolina State

2016: Jacksonville Jaguars (181) – Tyrone Holmes, OLB, Montana

2016: Chicago Bears (185) – DeAndre Houston-Carson, FS, William & Mary

2016: Arizona Cardinals (205) – Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

2016: New England Patriots (208) – Kamu Grugier-Hall, OLB, Eastern Illinois

2017: Denver Broncos (203) – De’Angelo Henderson, RB, Coastal Carolina

2017: Tennessee Titans (217) – Corey Levin, OG, Chattanooga

2018: Los Angeles Rams (192) – Jamil Demby, OG, Maine

2018: Kansas City Chiefs (196) – Tremon Smith, CB, Central Arkansas

2018: Atlanta Falcons (200) – Foye Oluokun, OLB, Yale

2018: Baltimore Ravens (212) – Greg Senat, OT, Wagner

2019: Cleveland Browns (189) – Drew Forbes, OG, Southeast Missouri

2019: Minnesota Vikings (193) – Oli Udoh, OT, Elon

Seventh Round

Best FCS Pick

2014: Oakland Raiders (235) – Shelby Harris, DT, Illinois State

All but one of his 22.5 career sacks and 34 TFL have occurred in last five seasons; new Seahawk part of Russell Wilson trade

Honorable Mention

2013: Pittsburgh Steelers (223) – Nick Williams, DT, Samford

Two-year Lions’ starter had his best season with Bears in 2019 (42 tackles and six sacks)  

2016: New York Jets (235) – Lachlan Edwards, P, Sam Houston State

45.7-yard average on 376 career punts, including high of 47.9 with Carolina in 2021

2018: New England Patriots (243) – Keion Crossen, CB, Western Carolina

Best season was with Texans in 2020, collecting 34 tackles, including 12 on special teams

All FCS Picks

2012: Dallas Cowboys (222) – Caleb McSurdy, LB, Montana

2012: Green Bay Packers (243) – B.J. Coleman, QB, Chattanooga

2013: Kansas City Chiefs (207) – Mike Catapano, DE, Princeton

2013: Jacksonville Jaguars (210) – Demetrius McCray, CB, Appalachian State

2013: San Diego Chargers (221) – Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah

2013: Pittsburgh Steelers (223) – Nick Williams, DT, Samford

2013: Baltimore Ravens (238) – Aaron Mellette, WR, Elon

2013: Seattle Seahawks (241) – Jared Smith, DT, New Hampshire

2013: Detroit Lions (245) – Brandon Hepburn, ILB, Florida A&M

2014: St. Louis Rams (226) – Mitchell Van Dyk, OT, Portland State

2014: Miami Dolphins (234) – Terrence Fede, DE, Marist

2014: Oakland Raiders (235) – Shelby Harris, DL, Illinois State

2014: St. Louis Rams (250) – Demetrius Rhaney, C, Tennessee State

2014: Cincinnati Bengals (252) – Lavelle Westbrooks, CB, Georgia Southern

2014: Atlanta Falcons (255) – Tyler Starr, OLB, South Dakota

2015: Oakland Raiders (218) – Anthony Morris, OG, Tennessee State

2015: Jacksonville Jaguars (220) – Neal Sterling, WR, Monmouth

2015: New York Jets (223) – Deon Simon, NT, Northwestern State

2015: Atlanta Falcons (225) – Jake Rodgers, OT, Eastern Washington

2015: Buffalo Bills (234) – Dezmin Lewis, WR, Central Arkansas

2015: Tennessee Titans (245) – Tre McBride, WR, William & Mary

2016: Jacksonville Jaguars (226) – Jonathan Woodard, DE, Central Arkansas

2016: New York Jets (235) – Lachlan Edwards, P, Sam Houston State

2016: Indianapolis Colts (239) – Trevor Bates, LB, Maine

2016: Carolina Panthers (252) – Beau Sandland, TE, Montana State

2017: Oakland Raiders (231) – Jylan Ware, OT, Alabama State

2017: Tennessee Titans (236) – Brad Seaton, OT, Villanova

2018: New England Patriots (243) – Keion Crossen, CB, Western Carolina

2018: Green Bay Packers (248) – Kendall Donnerson, OLB, Southeast Missouri

2019: Cincinnati Bengals (223) – Jordan Brown, CB, South Dakota State

2019: Buffalo Bills (225) – Darryl Johnson Jr., DE, North Carolina A&T

2019: Washington Commanders (227) – Jimmy Moreland, CB, James Madison

2019: Oakland Raiders (230) – Quinton Bell, OLB, Prairie View A&M

2019: New Orleans Saints (244) – Kaden Elliss, OLB, Idaho

2019: Arizona Cardinals (248) – Joshua Miles, OG, Morgan State

2020: Chicago Bears (227) – Lachavious Simmons, OG, Tennessee State

2020: Dallas Cowboys (231) – Ben DiNucci, QB, James Madison

2020: Denver Broncos (254) – Derrek Tuszka, DE, North Dakota State