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 4.
(Sr.) PJ Barr, OT, Maine
The most impressive blocking performance in the FCS this weekend belongs to Maine offensive tackle PJ Barr. On 55 snaps this weekend, Barr graded out at 89.5 which was higher than any other tackle in the country. He allowed 0 sacks, hurries, or pressures which helped him earn the highest run and pass blocking grades this weekend. With Barr leading the way, the Black Bears rushed for 125 yards and allowed no sacks against division one Northern Illinois.
As a unit, the University of Maine’s offensive line tied UC Davis for the best pass-blocking efficiency over the weekend. In addition, they currently have the 8th best pass-blocking unit in the FCS at 78.7. After a bye this week, Barr will face off with Elon whose EDGE rushers, Trey Alsbrooks and Torrence Williams, are two of their highest-gradedAdam defenders.
(So.) David Hoage, EDGE, Northern Colorado
Despite not recording a sack, Northern Colorado EDGE David Hoage had one of the most impressive performances of the weekend. Hoage recorded an incredible 7 hurries, 9 tackles, and 1 QB hit on his way to the second-highest EDGE grade of the weekend at 89.7. He recorded the highest single-game run defense grade of any FCS player this season. Moreover, amongst EDGE defenders with at least 20 snaps this weekend, Hoage had the highest win rate at 20.0%.
His efforts helped hold Northern Arizona to 149 rushing yards on a putrid 3.1 per carry. Through the air, Northern Arizona wasn’t any better with 208 yards, on 5.6 yards per attempt, and no touchdowns. Hoage will have his toughest task of the season next week as he matches up with the FCS’ highest-graded offensive line in Montana State.
(Sr.) Lance McCutcheon, WR, Montana State
Montana State wideout Lance McCutcheon starred this weekend with 8 receptions on 11 targets for 161 yards and a touchdown. His speed was on constant display this weekend as he averaged 20 yards per reception and had the 4th best deep receiving grade in the FCS. On intermediate throws, McCutcheon had a 91.8 grade (second highest) where he recorded 82 of his 161 yards. McCutcheon also averaged 6.71 yards per route run with an average depth of target of 18.6. He had the best overall grade and receiving grade amongst FCS receivers this past weekend.
(Jr.) Isaiah Ifanse, RB, Montana State
The leading rusher in the FCS this weekend was Montana State’s Isaiah Ifanse. Against Portland State this past week, Ifanse was the top graded FCS running back with 216 rushing yards, 7.4 yards per carry, and 1 touchdown. He forced 13 missed tackles which was the highest of any FCS player in a game this season. Additionally, Ifanse’s 176 yards after contact, almost 100 better than any other player, also had the most runs of 10+ yards with 6. He helped his team regularly move the ball with 11 runs that went for a first.
This was Ifanse’s third game of the season with over 100 yards and first eclipsing the 200 mark. The junior is having the highest-graded season of his college career with a 78.6 overall grade.
(Sr.) Forrest Rhyne, LB, Villanova
In a road matchup against Penn State, preseason FCS All-American Forrest Rhyne had a standout day. He finished the day as the game’s leading tackler with 10 and chipped in two sacks and two tackles for loss. In coverage, he was only targeted twice while giving up 1 catch for 9 yards and earning a top 6 grade. Rhyne’s disruptiveness in the backfield earned him the top pass-rushing grade of the weekend. He’ll look to follow up his pass-rushing success next week against a top 5 pass-blocking unit in James Madison.