While Army-Navy is the game that will garner the nation’s attention today, NFL scouts will be watching four college football playoff games featuring teams from the FCS, Division II, and Division III that possess some next-level talent.  We will see several of these prospects at the Senior Bowl or Shrine Game next month.

Illinois State vs North Dakota State

North Dakota State is in familiar territory, playing their way through the FCS playoffs. However, in uncommon fashion, the bulk of the game’s talent actually resides on their opponent’s roster – the Illinois State Redbirds.

James Robinson is the top senior prospect in this game and someone who receives a variety of opinions in the scouting community.  Robinson was a bit inconsistent during the season but has had two monster games in the FCS playoffs.  His pass-catching leaves much to be desired and he presently grades as a late-round pick.  We will see Robinson at the Shrine Game. PFN’s Scott Gorman also wrote extensively about Robinson earlier this season.

Devin Taylor has had a monster season, intercepting 5 passes and breaking up 18 more.  He’s a cornerback with nice size and outstanding ball skills who could make a big move up draft boards over the next 12 months.

John Ridgeway is a big, bulky nose tackle prospect with great explosion.

Illinois State vs North Dakota State

 
GradeRndFull NameSchoolPos#Yr
3.494-5James RobinsonIllinois StateRB254Sr
3.455thJohn RidgewayIllinois StateDT993So
3.356thDevin TaylorIllinois StateCB34Jr
3.00FAAdam SolomonIllinois StateT525Sr
2.95FALuther KirkIllinois StateS145Sr
2.88FABrady DavisIllinois StateQB14Jr
2.84FAZack JohnsonNorth Dakota StateT685Sr
2.81FADerrek TuszkaNorth Dakota StateDE915Sr
2.72FABen EllefsonNorth Dakota StateTE825Sr
2.62FAGabe MegginsonIllinois StateG595Sr
        

 

Minnesota State vs Slippery Rock

Our first look at a Division II playoff game has just one prospect of mention in this game – a quarterback sneaking up draft boards.

Slippery Rock QB Roland Rivers came into the season graded as roster fodder by scouts, but at this point, it would not be a surprise if he slides into the very late picks of the 2020 NFL Draft.  Measuring 6-feet-2-inches and 225 pounds, Rivers has the size, arm strength, and athleticism to compete at the next level.

His numbers this season are gaudy and includes completing 70% of his passes for 4,261 yards, 50 touchdowns, and just 6 interceptions.  Some team is going to draft this Rivers.

Minnesota State vs Slippery Rock

GradeRndFull NameSchoolPos#Yr
3.00FARoland RiversSlippery RockQB144Sr
2.69FAShane ZylstraMinnesota StateWR845Sr
2.68FAEric Glover-WilliamsSlippery RockCB74Sr
2.61FAEvan HeimMinnesota StateT695Sr

 

West Florida vs Ferris State

Often times during small school games just one team has next-level prospects, and that’s the case with this one.

Ferris State defensive end Austin Edwards has the size, growth potential, and upside to get late-round consideration if he checks off all the other boxes in the lead up to the draft.  He’s coming off a monster season which included 55 tackles, 16.5 TFL’s, and 10.5 sacks.  Though not a pure edge rusher, Edwards shows ability in all facets of the game.  We’ll see him at the Shrine Game.

West Florida vs Ferris State

GradeRndFull NameSchoolPos#Yr
3.03FAAustin EdwardsFerris StateDE85Sr
2.72FATyler AllisonFerris StateG685Sr

 

St John’s vs Wisconsin-Whitewater

We move to Division III where again, just one team has prospects that interest NFL scouts, including the highest-rated D-III player in the nation.

Ben Bartch entered the season graded as a priority free agent and has already accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl.  He’s a tall, lanky college left tackle that I project to guard in the NFL.  He’s strong, nasty, and works hard but many question his next-level athleticism.

Quarterback Jackson Erdmann is an accurate game manager who lacks a next-level arm.

St John’s vs Wisconsin-Whitewater

GradeRndFull NameSchoolPos#Yr
3.23FABen BartchSt. John’s – MinnesotaG784Sr
2.82FAJackson ErdmannSt. John’s – MinnesotaQB24Sr

 

Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s NFL Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365.