Why I do declare.

2016 Matriculator Six

                After the 3rd round, the average NFL team "hits" on about one player out of 8-10 draftees.  In other words, in the average round, say 35 picks including compensatory picks, there are 3-4 players who are contributing starters.  Just as an example we looked at the 5th round in 2011 and 2012 for a baseline, and there were six players in those two years who have been good NFL players:  Buster Skrine, Pernell McPhee, Malik Jackson, Brandon Marshall (LB), Josh Norman, and the biggie, Richard Sherman.  In our Matriculator Six we choose 16 players drafted after the 3rd round who we think could become good NFL players.  If we maintain the NFL average we would hit on about 1.5 players out of our 16 each year.  Listed below are the players we hit on, by year.  As you can see, we were slightly above the league average in 2011 and 2012, but have blown every team out of the water in 2013, 2014 and 2015. An interesting sidenote is that although we include undrafted free agents on our list every year, we've never hit on one.

2011:  Buster Skrine and Julius Thomas.  Denarius Moore was a hit after his first two years but is fading fast and Roy Helu, Jr. has been a solid third down back.

2012:  Brandon Boykin, Bobby Massie and Jarius Wright.

2013:  Gerald Hodges, Earl Wolff, Jelani Jenkins, Zac Stacy, John Simon and probably Brian Schwenke because he still starts, though he hasn't been particularly good.

2014:  Martavis Bryant, E.J. Gaines, Bene Benwikere, Justin Ellis, Caraun Reid, Ross Cockrell and Devonta Freeman.

2015:  Jamison Crowder, Adrian Amos, Damian Swann, Daryl Williams, Grady Jarrett and Max Garcia.

16. Thomas Duarte- TE, Dolphins (7th round)

A skill set similar to former Dolphins Pro-Bowler Charles Clay.  He won't block much but could post solid numbers as a move tight end.

15. Josh Perry- LB, Chargers (4th Round)

Perry is a solid player who should become at least a two down player by 2017.

14.  Matt Ioannidis- DT, Redskins (5th round)

Ioannidis caught our eye at the Combine.  He's not flashy but will be a lunch pail type player who will find snaps particularly on running downs.

13.  Jordan Howard- RB, Bears (5th round)

A big, physical runner who should excel at frigid Soldier Field.

12.  Keyarris Garrett- WR, Panthers  (UDFA)

Something has to be going on with him that we don't know about.  He lit up the Combine and was the nation's leading receiver.

11. Daniel Lasco- RB, Saints (7th round)

Possesses an excellent all-around game, but is better in the passing game. Could become a high voulme receiver after learning the system.

10. Jeremy Cash- S, Panthers (UDFA)

As with Keyarris Garrett, there must be something (an injury maybe?) that we don't know about.  Cash was a star during his Duke career and capped it off with the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award.

9. Charles Tapper- DE, Cowboys (4th round)

A thick interior player who has flashed some serviceable pass rush skills.

8. Alex Collins- RB, Seahawks (5th round)

Not a great athlete, but a physical runner who should be able to withstand the NFL grind after posting three 1,000-yard seasons at Arkansas.

7. Deandre Houston-Carson- CB, Bears (6th round)

An old fashioned football player with excellent ball skills and sneaky athleticism.  At worst should become a Pro-Bowl special teamer.

6. Kenneth Dixon- RB, Ravens (4th round)

Not flashy, but an effective runner with good vision.  We wouldn't be surprised if he starts some games before the end of the season.

5.  Andrew Billings- DT, Bengals (4th round)

Projected as a first rounder by most pundits, he slid to the 4th round where he should be a steal.

4.  Pharoh Cooper- WR, Rams (4th round)

The Rams passing game has been anemic for several years, but Cooper and Goff could help to make it at least respectable.

3. Tajeh Sharpe- WR, Titans (5th round)

Don't be surprised if he is starting by 2017. He had nearly 200 catches his last two years at UMass.

2.  Black Prescott- QB, Cowboys (4th round)

Ahh, if he had only been born white.  He has high end leadership qualities and better college production than many of the first round tossers.  He's a Romo injury away from the starting job.

1. Jatavis Brown- LB, Chargers (5th round)

He flies off the screen when you scout him.  He's only 5'11", 227, but we think he will develop into a star.

2015 Matriculator Six

2014 Matriculator Six