2011 NFL Draft: Top Small School Prospects

Kyle PlumCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2010

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 18:  Jerrel Jernigan #3 of the Troy University Trojans scores a touchdown over Donovan Fletcher #29 of the Ohio University Bobcats during the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on December 18, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Most players drafted each year come from the larger schools, but each year there is a group of underrated talents coming from schools people do not usually hear from. Some of the best steals in each year's draft come from these unlikely sources. Here are the ten of the best prospects for the 2011 draft...


1. Jerrel Jernigan,  WR Troy:  Jernigan is the quintessential slot receiver. He has tremendous quickness and hands.  H will probably go in the second-round, were he would be very good value. He is a similar prospect to Greg Jennings who was drafted in the second round.  

2. Kenrick Ellis, DT Hampton: At 6'5" 340 Ellis is the largest defensive lineman prospect. He is not particularly explosive, but he has terrific size and surprising quickness. He will likely go somewhere around the third round.  

3. Davon House, CB New Mexico St: Technically not a small school, but New Mexico State is not exactly a powerhouse either. House has been impressive his entire career and could be between a second or third-round pick.  

4. Cecil Shorts III, WR, Mount Union:  Shorts is a very quick player, and like Jernigan, is a very good slot type receiver. He could be a big steal in the fifth round, he has a similar style to Percy Harvin.  

5. Benjamin Ijalana, OG, Villanova: At 6'4" 320, Ijalana has good size, and despite coming from Villanova he will likely be a top five interior lineman in this year's draft. Third to fourth-round prospect.  

6. Muhamad Wilkerson, DT Temple:  Not from the smallest of schools. Wilkerson is only a junior, but he is worth mentioning because of his huge upside. He would be smart to return for his senior year because he could be a first or second rounder for the 2012 draft. 

7. Lee Smith, TE Marshall: Marshal has terrific size and could easily sneak into the fifth round.  

8.  Vincent Brown, WR San Diego State:  Brown is another very talented wide receiver from a smaller school. He has had a very productive career and could maybe sneak into the third round.  

9. Kevin Kowalski, C Toledo: He has average size, but good technique and quickness.  A top five center prospect worth a fifth-round selection.  

10. Mario Harvey, Inside Linebacker Marshall: Harvey is pretty short at under 6 ft., but he has good play making ability, and will be a late round choice.