While most of the fanfare and conversation about NFL Draft prospects traditionally surrounds high-profile FBS programs, schools at the FCS generate high-end talent every year, and prospects from those schools should not be overlooked. Each week, the 33rd Team highlights a handful of FCS standouts from small schools around the country. Here are 5 players who caught our eye in Week 2.
(R-Jr.) Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
FCS All-American Decobie Durant had a standout effort against Clemson despite their huge defeat. He was PFF’s 5th highest graded FCS corner of the week at 80.0 with 2 interceptions. In coverage, he allowed just 34 yards on 9 targets good enough to earn him the second-highest coverage grade of the week.
Durant’s strong start to the season comes as no surprise as he’s thoroughly established himself as one of the top corners in the FCS. Last season Durant was the second-highest graded corner in the country which followed up another season in which he had a top 10 grade. For the 2021 season, Durant currently has the 5th best overall grade at 81.3 and an 84.3 coverage grade which is the third-highest. Expect Durant to continue performing at a high level throughout the season.
(Sr.) Lindsey Scott Jr., QB, Nicholls State
Senior quarterback Lindsey Scott fared well vs. the Louisiana-Lafayette defense on his way to over 350 yards and 3 TDs while adding 121 more on the ground. Scott was able to dominate over the middle of the field where he completed 70% of his passes and threw for 130 yards. His 13.0 yards per attempt in this area of the field was the highest mark for all QBs with over 2 passes. For the week, Scott finished as the 3rd highest graded FCS QB with both a top 5 passing and rushing grade.
(Sr.) Dai’Jean Dixon, WR, Nicholls State
Coming off a week in which he had 100 yards on 7 catches against Memphis, Nicholls State wideout Dai’Jean Dixon followed it up with an unbelievable performance this Saturday. He hauled in 14 catches for 198 yards, both of which are career highs, on route to leading his team in every receiving statistic for the second consecutive week. Dixon had the second-highest receiving grade this past week as well as the 4th highest overall grade.
Dixon feasted on intermediate throws (10-19 yards) where he compiled a perfect passer rating when targeted, 119 yards, and a receiving grade of 92.1 (1st). After this week’s bye, he’ll face off with North Alabama standout KJ Smith who has the second-highest cornerback grade in the FCS.
(Jr.) Devonnsha Maxwell, IDL, Chattanooga
The most dominant pass-rush performance of the week belongs to Chattanooga’s Devonnsha Maxwell.
The 2x All-SoCon defensive lineman compiled an incredible 4 sacks, no other FCS interior defender recorded more than 1. He also led FCS defensive lineman in tackles with 7. Maxwell earned a 95.2 overall grade, 12 points higher than second place, the highest passing rushing grade in the country at 92.2, and on only 40 snaps he had the second-most hurries of
the week with 3. Additionally, Maxwell had the highest win rate and PRP (pass-rushing productivity) of interior defenders with over 15 snaps.
(R-Fr.) Dontae McMillan, RB, Weber State
The leading rusher between all FCS schools this weekend was Weber State running back Dontae McMillan. In a 41-3 victory over Dixie State, McMillan rushed for 151 yards while averaging 9.4 yards per carry and forcing an FCS best 8 missed tackles this weekend. His explosive nature was on display as he had the most carries of 10+ yards with 5.
With 131 yards after contact, McMillan not only posted more than anybody, he was nearly 60 yards ahead of second place. Overall, the redshirt freshman finished the day with PFFs highest rushing grade and overall grade amongst FCS running backs at 92.7.