Good Value for the NFL: Indiana School Edition

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What Indiana Schools were represented at the combine?

Three schools represented Indiana at the 2022 NFL Combine. Notre Dame, after having an electric season at 11-2 had 5 players representing them at the NFL Combine, headlined by the best Safety in the Draft, Kyle Hamilton and quarterback Jack Coan. Indiana University had a rough season, but had 3 players representing them at the combine, headlined by senior wide receiver, Ty Fryfogle. Purdue had a really good season for their program and they had a pair of recruits at the combine, including Indianapolis’ own David Bell. Ten players is about average for Indiana, but there was definitely room for more, in my opinion.

What Indiana Schools Will Mean to the 2022 Draft?

Up to 10 players have an opportunity to be drafted into the NFL from Indiana schools this year. I think 8 will definitely be drafted, and the other 2 will have to fight for the seventh round draft position. Everyone in this draft has a good opportunity to make it at the next level, and these young kids from Indiana have the potential to change the landscape of the league. 

History of Indiana School Prospects?

Indiana Schools have put out a mixed bag of prospects over the last several years. Notre Dame has had the most players drafted since 2000 with 100 players drafted, most notably Quinten Nelson who is an All-Pro guard for the Indianapolis Colts. 24 players from the Indiana Hoosiers have been drafted since 2000, including Tracy  Porter who is famous for returning an interception for a touchdown against the Colts in the Super Bowl. Purdue has had 47 players taken in the NFL draft, most famously Drew Brees, who is statistically a top 5 quarterback of all time. Ball State has had eight players drafted as well, including Colts’ offensive lineman Danny Pinter.

Even though the draft is not an exact science, there are several players who have been actively bad in the NFL drafted from Indiana schools. Only about 30% of picks actually succeed at the next level and reach a second contract, but I think it is more important we highlight how good some players have been from Indiana. 

Cliff Avril, Defensive End, Purdue Boilermakers

Cliff was the 92nd overall pick in 2008, and was one of the most physically imposing players in the recent NFL seasons. He won a super bowl, had a season with 11.5 sacks, and made a pair of pro bowls. While retiring in 2017, cut his career short, his accomplishments on and off the field truly showed how great of a value he was for the Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions.

Harrison Smith, Safety, Notre Dame

Smith was taken 29th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, and has had an absolutely illustrious career. He has already played 10 seasons for the Vikings, and has led the team in tackles twice. He is a truly versatile tackler and can make many receivers and tight ends’ lives absolute hell. He is on pace to average 90 tackles a season over the course of his career. He signed a 4 year contract extension last season, and will most likely retire a Minnesota Viking. 

Trent Green, Quarterback, Indiana Hoosiers

Trent Green was truly great against all odds being drafted in the 8th round with the 222nd pick in the 1993 NFL draft. His college career was average, at best, but in the pros, he helped lead Kansas City back to relevance and even made two pro bowls along the way. He finished with almost 30,000 passing yards, and is one of the best late round picks of all time. 

Danny Pinter, Offensive Lineman, Ball State University

Pinter has been a blessing for the Colts, being the 149th pick in the 2020 draft. He has appeared in 29 games in his career and has been one of the best backup offensive lineman, and has been an amazing fail-safe for a team that always has injury issues. He caught his first career touchdown this past season and has an opportunity to make a long career in the NFL. 

Indiana Kids Mock Draft 1.0:

Every pick from an Indiana school can be broken down into 3 categories: Among the best, Middle of the Pack, Fighting for a spot. All of these players, in my opinion, should get drafted, and have a big opportunity to make an impact at the next level.

PICK 4 Kyle Hamilton, Safety, ND, Among The Best

In my opinion, Kyle Hamilton should be the number one pick in the draft. He is by far the highest upside safety since Ed Reed in 2004. Many people say you can’t take a safety in the top 5 of a draft, but when you have an opportunity to get a game-wrecker, Hamilton will do that. He only played 6 games in 2021, but was on pace for 80 tackles and 8 interceptions. His knee injury may make some teams shy away, and if he slips past the top 5, then a team is going to get the steal of the draft. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’4” 220 lbs 21 1 S, 1 Ovr 4.59 sec 30  38.0” 131.0”


PICK 15 George Karlaftis, Defensive End, Purdue, Among The Best

George flew up draft boards this season with some excellent edge work. The Athens, Greece native, really showed out this season for the Boilers, and was a big reason why the team finished above .500 for the first time in years. He will be a force at the next level, and has an opportunity to have a Ryan Kerrigan level impact at the next level, and may even be a top 10 pick if the dominos fall his way on Draft day. No chance he goes later than 25, and if he does, then he is certainly a steal.

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’4” 266 lbs 21 4 DE, 11 Ovr 4.70 sec 21 38.0” 121.0”

PICK 55 Kyren Williams, Running Back, ND, Middle of The Pack

Williams has been a very intriguing prospect out of Notre Dame since he averaged 5.4 yards per carry as a sophomore. While his per carry splits went down in 2021, he showed better athletic performances as a slot receiver, and as a pass-blocker. He will be one of the better running backs taken in this draft, but sadly, running backs are getting drafted later and later with every draft. Had this been 5 years ago, he would’ve been a top 10 pick, but will be great value in the second round. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
5’9” 194 lbs 21 2 RB, 41 Ovr 4.61 sec 24 32.0” 116.0”

PICK 71 David Bell, Wide Receiver, Purdue, Middle of the Pack

David Bell may have made a mistake working out at the combine. Going into the event, he was slated as a top 40 pick, but after a poor performance in the explosiveness drills, he may slip into the 3rd or 4th round. His career at Purdue can’t go understated, but he lacks the speed that it will take to separate from defenders at the next level and the height to go win 50/50 balls. He is still good in the open field, and I anticipate him being drafted in day two, but he will need to show out on his pro day. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’1” 212 lbs 22 13 WR, 64 Ovr 4.65 sec N/A 33.0” 118.0”

PICK 107 Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, DT, ND, Middle of the Pack

A productive senior year and a good showing at the combine helped out the Notre Dame grad quite a bit. He will probably take a year or two to develop fully, as he is a little undersized for a defensive tackle in the NFL. He is a good run stopper, but struggles bringing down physical backs, and may struggle some against the pass. He is athletic enough to get up and block kicks and knock down passes, so his ceiling is pretty good, and may be considered a steal if he continues on his trajectory. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’2” 262 lbs 22 14 DE, 111 Ovr 4.81 sec 21 29.0” 115.0”

PICK 147 Ty Fryfogle, Wide Receiver, Indiana, Fighting for a Spot

Fryfogle missed a golden opportunity to show off this season. After Whop Philyor left IU, Ty had a chance to show the NFL community that he was worthy of a second round grade coming into the season. Inconsistent QB play and a case of the drops may cost him millions, however. I think he will be a fine third or fourth wide receiver for a team, and has an opportunity to be a big playmaker for a team if given the opportunity. If he goes undrafted, it will be a travesty, but I wouldn’t be shocked.

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’1” 204 lbs 22 24 DE, 151 Ovr 4.53 sec N/A 39.0” 171.0”

PICK 153 Kevin Austin Jr., Wide Receiver, ND, Fighting for a Spot

With an excellent frame and a good season in South Bend, I look for big things to come from Kevin Austin. He had an excellent combine, with stellar interviews and a good 40-time. This receiver class is stacked, but he can fly with the best of them. He had a case of the drops in his biggest games, and he struggles with physical corners who play press coverage, but if he gets outside, goodnight. Going to be elite at the next level with the right system. Will be a steal in the 5th round. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’2” 215 lbs 21 21 WR, 161 Ovr 4.43 sec 21 39.0” 132.0”

PICK 154 Jack Coan, Quarterback, ND, Fighting for a Spot

Coan had a unique career in college. He started at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he struggled in the offense. Once he transferred to Notre Dame, he blended well with what the Irish were trying to do. He will probably never be more than a career backup, but players who are always ready like Brian Hoyer have made millions holding a clipboard and staying ready. He throws hard, but misses deep, but with a bad QB draft, he could easily go in the third or fourth round. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’3” 218 lbs 23 11 QB, 171 Ovr 4.90 sec N/A 33.0” 115.0”

PICK 171 Micah McFadden, LB, Indiana, Fighting for a Spot

The two-time defensive captain of the Hoosiers is going to be a difficult sell to most GMs. He is a little big for his 6’2” frame, and isn’t the quickest to the ball. Overall, he may struggle with the size and speed of the NFL, but his leadership on the field will make him an intriguing prospect in later rounds. Special teams may be his future in the NFL, but I think if he gets an interior role on a defense, he may be able to keep his spot, because his work ethic will shine brightly. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’2” 232 lbs 23 14 LB, 163 Ovr 4.79 sec 21 N/A N/A

PICK 196 Peyton Hendershot, TE, Indiana, Fighting for a Spot

If Hendershot could keep his head on straight, he would be a much higher pick in this draft. His off the field struggles, and multiple stupid penalties throughout the season really has made it difficult to justify drafting him. A 6th or 7th round pick isn’t a big price tag to pay for the physicality of this Tight End. He has slow speed but his blocking and possession is pretty nice. His speed isn’t elite, and his jump off the ball is nowhere near as quick as he needs to be. 

Height Weight Age Position Rank 40-Yd Dash Bench Press Vertical Broad
6’4” 255 lbs 21 17 TE, 211 Ovr 4.80 sec N/A 32.5” 117.0”

What to watch out for?

The New Orleans Saints have a former Notre Dame QB, and no definitive future for their quarterback, so I could see them going after Kevin Austin Jr to pair him with Ian Book. I also really like Karlaftis and think he has top 5 player abilities. To me, however, Kyle Hamilton is the best player in the draft. He will be exceptional for years to come, and will make whatever team takes him very happy. This draft is bad for quarterbacks, but the wide receivers are going to benefit immensely from a deep draft, I imagine David Bell could easily still sneak into the second round, because his potential is absurd. 

The future is bright for Indiana schools’ football programs, and these programs will continue to put out great value for the NFL and make teams better. 
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