NFL teams have long found value in former FCS players, and the 2023 NFL Combine in Indianapolis provided them with an up-close-and-personal look at the next potential gems.
During the annual week-long event inside Lucas Oil Stadium, all 319 invited prospects could be evaluated through measurements and medical examinations, psychological testing, interviews and on-field workouts.
Following are results of the former FCS players at this year’s NFL Combine:
Thursday, March 2 (DL and LB)
Isaiah Land, Edge, Florida A&M
Height: 6 foot, 3 1/2 inches; Weight: 236 pounds; Arm: 32 1/2 inches; Hand: 9 1/4 inches
40-Yard Dash: 4.62 seconds; 10-Yard Split: 1.65 seconds; Vertical Jump: 34.5 inches; Broad Jump: 10 feet, 6 inches (positional rank: tied for eighth out of 58); Three-Cone Drill: 7.20 seconds; 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.56 seconds; Bench Press: 21 reps
Notable: Land weighed 11 pounds more than his listed weight in the 2022 season, an important addition to his lanky frame. He led the FCS in sacks and tackles for loss in 2021 while earning the Buck Buchanan Award as the national defensive player of the year.
What They’re Saying: “Land is a very natural, instinctive rusher with the get-off, counters and fluidity to stress some tackles. He doesn’t have enough sand in his pants to hold up against the run and teams might try him as a 4-3 outside linebacker with sub-package rush ability off the edge. Land might need a year or two on a practice squad to continue to develop.” – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
FAMU Pro Day: March 30
Friday March 3 (DB)
Myles Brooks, CB, Stephen F. Austin/Louisiana Tech
Height: 6-1; Weight: 201; Arm: 30 3/4; Hand: 9 1/2
Notable: As a press corner, Brooks’ size stands out. But it’s a small world: Brooks, who collected six of his nine career interceptions in the 2019-21 seasons at SFA, forced a fumble that a La Tech teammate returned for a touchdown when the two programs met in 2022.
What They’re Saying: “A perimeter man corner with good size and instincts, Brooks will need to prove he can continue his on-ball production against better competition. He will need to tighten up his technique, but he has the feet and feel to play press. Also, he does a nice job of competing against the route and fighting for positioning when the ball goes up.” – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Louisiana Tech Pro Day: March 14
Saturday, March 4 (QB, WR and TE)
Noah Gindorff, TE, North Dakota State
Height: 6-6; Weight: 263; Arm: 33 1/8; Hand: 10
Bench Press: 16
Notable: Gindorff was limited to the bench press as he’s been recovering from lower-leg surgery after having each of his final two seasons cut short by injuries. He had only 44 career receptions in NDSU’s FCS dynasty program, but 12 of them went for touchdowns.
What They’re Saying: “Gindorff is a really good athlete who consistently finds himself in advantageous situations on the field. He’s a do-it-all type of a guy, who can block and catch, play inside or out as a flex option.” – Emory Hunt, CBS Sports
NDSU Pro Day: March 31
Andrei Iosivas, WR, Princeton
Height: 6-3; Weight: 205; Arm: 32; Hand: 8 3/4
40-Yard Dash: 4.43; 10-Yard Split: 1.52; Vertical Jump: 39-0; Broad Jump: 10-8; Three-Cone Drill: 6.85 (positional rank: second out of 14); 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.12 (second out of 19); Bench Press: 19
Notable: Iosivas (pronounced Yo-see-vas) ran a solid 40 for a receiver of his size, and had exceptional times in the three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. He clocked the fastest-ever 60-meter heptathlon (6.71) at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Championships, then later in the year secured the Ivy League’s receiving Triple Crown as a senior.
What They’re Saying: “When Iosivas has the ball in his hands, his strength and acceleration make him a threat for chunk yards after the catch and has the hip fluidity and foot speed to make defenders miss. To check the final box, Iosivas’ hands are extremely strong—he finishes through contact really well and attacks the ball in the air.” – The Draft Network
Princeton Pro Day: March 21
Tucker Kraft, TE, South Dakota State
Height: 6-5; Weight: 254; Arm: 32 3/4; Hand: 10
40-Yard Dash: 4.69; 10-Yard Split: 1.59; Vertical Jump: 34-0; Broad Jump: 10-2; Three-Cone Drill: 7.08; 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.29; Bench Press: 23
Notable: The early-entry prospect from the 2022 national championship squad showed off his athleticism, using a solid 10-yard split (1.59 seconds) to indicate how he can get off the line of scrimmage into space. Following in the footsteps of former SDSU tight end and Philadelphia Eagles’ 2018 second-round pick Dallas Goedert, Kraft led the FCS with 65 receptions in 2021.
What They’re Saying: “Kraft has good measurables, but his frame is also incredibly strong, dense, and compact, and it translates extremely well in contact situations. He’s a very dangerous player in space. Kraft’s functional lateral agility helps, but even more valuable is his smooth long-strider athleticism and his ability to churn through tackles and impose his physicality on DBs.” – Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network
SDSU Pro Day: March 31
Sunday, March 5 (OL and RB)
McClendon Curtis, OG, Chattanooga
Height: 6-6; Weight: 324; Arm: 35-0; Hand: 10 1/4
40-Yard Dash: 5.24; 10-Yard Split: 1.85; Vertical Jump: 26-5; Broad Jump: 8-9; Three-Cone Drill: 7.70; 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.97; Bench Press: 25
Notable: Curtis has long been on the radar of NFL scouts, having played four seasons on the same Chattanooga O-line as Cole Strange, the New England Patriots’ 2022 first-round draft pick. He was named the Southern Conference’s top blocker last season.
What They’re Saying: “Curtis flashes power and nastiness in the run game, able to win at the point of attack and athletic enough to get out as a pulling blocker before landing blocks on the move at the second level.” – NFL Draft Buzz
Chattanooga Pro Day: March 31
Mark Evans II, OG/C, Arkansas-Pine Bluff
Height: 6-2 1/2; Weight: 303; Arm: 32 3/8; Hand: 10 3/8
40-Yard Dash: 5.44; 10-Yard Split: 1.9; Vertical Jump: 26-5; Broad Jump: 8-5; Three-Cone Drill: 7.75; 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.92; Bench Press: 19
Notable: While fundamentally sound and physical enough to win matchups as a college left tackle, Evans’ size will lead to a shift to the interior at the next level. He will be counted on to add quality weight during the transition.
What They’re Saying: “He demonstrates excellent mirror-blocking skills and hand placement in pass protection. In the run game, he puts his footwork to good use as a second-level and pull blocker, creating wide run lanes for the ball carrier.” – NFL Draft Bible
UAPB Pro Day: March 29
Hunter Luepke, FB, North Dakota State
Height: 6-1; Weight: 230; Arm: 31 1/2; Hand: 9 5/8
Notable: The three-time first-team Stats Perform All-American is still recovering from shoulder surgery after his senior season ended in mid-November. He finds the end zone, scoring 33 touchdowns in his NDSU career.
What They’re Saying: “He’s got a lot of the tools necessary to be a four-minute offense back as well as a traditional fullback. Because I’m a football junkie, and not because he wears the same number, his game reminds me a lot of former 49ers great Tom Rathman.” – Emory Hunt, CBS Sports
NDSU Pro Day: March 31
Cody Mauch, OL, North Dakota State
Height: 6-5; Weight: 302; Arm: 32 3/8; Hand: 9 3/4
40-Yard Dash: 5.08 (positional rank: tied for 10th out of 36); 10-Yard Split: 1.79; Vertical Jump: 29-0; Broad Jump: 9-0; Three-Cone Drill: 7.33 (second out of 22); 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.55 (fourth out of 25); Bench Press: 29 (tied for sixth out of 25)
Notable: The fan favorite Mauch had a strong finishing touch in his workout with his 40-yard dash and especially the precision of his three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. A veteran of 56 college games with 39 consecutive starts to end his career, Mauch had a 94 percent overall grade with no sacks allowed and only one penalty during the 2022 regular season.
What They’re Saying: “Mauch has good upper-body strength with heavy hands and an aggressive, attacking mentality that he uses to consistently jolt and displace defenders on down, double-team and kick-out blocks.” – Bleacher Report
NDSU Pro Day: March 31