Round 6 and 7: Connor Harris, LB, Lindenwood and Riley Bullough, LB, Michigan State
The beauty of the late rounds is you can find talent in the last place you look. While athletes from the money printing larger programs, such as Ohio State and Alabama seem to always grab the headlines. Small schools have always seem to offer these diamonds in the rough that take the NFL by storm.
Whether it be a Mississippi Valley State wide receiver ascent to the pinnacle of the sport or a Jackson State running back breaking rushing records seemingly every year, small schools have given us greatness. Along with Jerry Rice and Walter Payton, greats such as Deacon Jones, Gene Upshaw and Chuck Bednarik not only defied odds, they became legends.
Lindenwood University’s Connor Harris seems to be the next small school hero to turn heads. During the 2016 season, Harris became the NCAA’s all-time leading tackler with 565. With ideal size and speed, Harris could be a player the Jets take a flier on to potentially fill a role in the future. Harris is the quintessential low risk, high reward player.
The NFL can never have enough Big Ten linebackers, and Riley Bullough fits that prototype. Bullough was able to play in all four years at Michigan State, becoming a focal point of the defense during the 2015 season, when he was able to provide 75 tackles. A few injuries during the 2016 campaign, Bullough will need a strong combine for late round consideration.