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Published: July 19, 2013 at 10:59 a.m.
Updated: July 19, 2013 at 08:59 p.m.

Ten unheralded college football prospects to watch

After taking some time to dig into the 2012 college game tape and have a few conversations with my scouting buddies around the NFL, I came up with a list of 10 unheralded prospects to watch in the fall.

10 Photos Total

  • 1. David Fales, QB, San Jose State 10

    AP Photo/Alex Brandon

    1. David Fales, QB, San Jose State

    Teams in search of a cerebral quarterback with capable physical tools will quickly fall in love with Fales. The Spartans' star is one of the best "connect the dots" quarterbacks in college football, with a tremendous feel for working through progressions to hit the open receiver. Although some scouts question his arm strength, the fact that Fales displays outstanding accuracy, ball placement and touch on intermediate and deep throws could make him an ideal fit for a team running a West Coast offense. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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  • 2. Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State 9

    Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PRESSWIRE

    2. Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State

    The energetic redshirt junior has quietly emerged as one of top defensive ends in the country after racking up nine sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 2012. Measuring 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, Crichton flashes the ability to win with speed or power off the edge, while also displaying a non-stop motor that overwhelms opponents late in games. With another year to refine his technique as an edge player, Crichton could shoot up charts as one of the top pass rushers in college football. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PRESSWIRE)

  • 3. Mike Davis, WR, Texas 8

    AP Photo/Eric Gay

    3. Mike Davis, WR, Texas

    Scouts searching for a polished receiver with outstanding hands and ball skills will spend plenty of time in Austin poring over Davis' impressive game film. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior is a remarkable "jump ball" pass catcher with sneaky speed and quickness. He excels at winning 50-50 balls on vertical routes, but also dazzles as a playmaker on "catch-and-run" balls over the middle of the field. While he needs to continue to refine his skills as a route runner, Davis' raw talent and ability make him an intriguing prospect as a No. 2 receiver at the next level. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

  • 4. Morgan Breslin, DE/OLB, USC 7

    Steven Bisig/US PRESSWIRE

    4. Morgan Breslin, DE/OLB, USC

    Breslin's quick emergence from JUCO star to dominant Pac-12 pass rusher has created a buzz in the scouting community. Evaluators have been impressed with his explosive first-step quickness, burst and agility as an edge player. Moreover, scouts are smitten by his exceptional snap-count anticipation and closing burst. If Breslin can develop a counter move to complement his speed rush, he could entice a team as a hybrid 3-4 outside linebacker. (Steven Bisig/US PRESSWIRE)

  • 5. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State 6

    AP Photo/Eugene Tanner

    5. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

    The younger brother of former No. 1 overall pick David Carr, Derek Carr has developed into one of the top playmakers at the position. He displays A-plus arm talent, while also showing impressive accuracy, ball placement and touch on passes of all ranges. When given sufficient time in the pocket, Carr has routinely shown the ability to pick apart defenses with pinpoint throws to every section of the field. However, scouts have concerns about his ability to make sound decisions under pressure based on the number of forced throws and dropped interceptions that show up on tape. If Carr can make significant strides as a decision maker and avoid the hurried throws that lead to turnovers, he could surpass several bigger names as a legitimate franchise quarterback candidate. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

  • 6. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia 5

    AP Photo/Steve Helber

    6. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

    The changing dynamics of the NFL make offensive tackles with size, strength and movement skills coveted commodities on draft day. Moses certainly fits the bill with a 6-foot-6, 325-pound frame, but scouts wonder if the big man possesses the feet and hips to play left tackle as a pro. Recent history suggests that left and right tackles are viewed in nearly the same light, but Moses' potential as a blindside protector will ultimately determine his fate on draft day. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

  • 7. Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State 4

    AP Photo/John Storey

    7. Bene Benwikere, CB, San Jose State

    The growing trend of big, athletic pass catchers in the NFL has raised the value of cornerbacks with size, speed and ball skills. Benwikere checks the box in all areas as a 6-foot, 192-pound ballhawk with nine career interceptions. Most importantly, he is a terrific athlete with the agility and movement skills to excel in press or "off" man coverage. If Benwikere can tighten up his footwork and fundamentals while displaying more consistency in coverage, he could skyrocket up draft charts across the NFL as a potential No. 1 corner. (AP Photo/John Storey)

  • 8. Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia 3

    John Raoux

    8. Malcolm Mitchell, WR, Georgia

    It's hard to find a more impressive athlete than Mitchell at receiver. The junior standout spent time at cornerback before settling in as a receiver/return specialist. An electrifying pass catcher with exceptional speed and quickness, Mitchell is a home-run threat capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. He needs to master the nuances of the position, such as route running, but Mitchell is the kind of explosive athlete that every offensive coordinator covets in the lineup. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • 9. Bruce Gaston, DT, Purdue 2

    Dennis Wierzbicki/US PRESSWIRE

    9. Bruce Gaston, DT, Purdue

    The Boilermakers have developed quite a reputation for producing quality defensive linemen over the past decade. Gaston will carry on the tradition as an agile nose tackle with a relentless motor and untapped potential. At 6-foot-2, 305 pounds, Gaston has shown flashes of defeating blockers with speed and quickness, but is at his best when using his combination of size and strength to create penetration at the point of attack. While those efforts have yet to produce impressive sack numbers, his 5.5 tackles for loss and handful of pressures are considerable production for a one-technique. If Gaston can continue to make strides as a pass rusher, he could emerge as a borderline Day Two prospect in the 2014 class. (Dennis Wierzbicki/US PRESSWIRE)

  • 10. Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State 1

    AP Photo/Phil Sears

    10. Lamarcus Joyner, S, Florida State

    Joyner will not rank as a premier prospect on some draft boards due to his diminutive physical dimensions (5-foot-8, 195 pounds), but his relentless motor and overall toughness will make him a coveted commodity as a versatile defender. With 27 consecutive starts at safety, Joyner has impressed scouts with his terrific instincts, awareness and ball skills (six interceptions). Additionally, he has dazzled evaluators with his aggressiveness and physicality as a tackler. Factor in his contributions as a return specialist and potential as a special-teams ace, and Joyner is an underrated prospect destined to shine as a pro. (AP Photo/Phil Sears)

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