The draft is obviously an exciting time for football fans across the country, who all hope to see their team improve with each selection they make. But some of the best talent can be found after the draft, in the overlooked players who've fallen between the cracks. As Saints fans, we've become accustomed to little-known players from small schools becoming top contributors and role-players for our team. Just ask Pierre Thomas, Lance Moore and Chris Ivory, all of whom never heard their name called on draft day. So which player will seemingly come from nowhere and surprise us this year?
Of course I don't know the answer to that question but while I was browsing the internet looking for cute kitty videos, I may have found a possible candidate. His name is Marc Schiechl and he's a DE/OLB from a small, Division II college called Colorado School of Mines. Originally, I discovered him thanks to this article from Football Outsiders, who think highly of him and his Division II all-time record 46 sacks, despite coming from a small school and being a long shot at getting drafted.
Schiechl wasn't invited to the Scouting Combine but garnered interest at this Pro Day and has private workouts and meetings scheduled with a few teams before the draft.
Check out his Pro Day results and compare them to those of other first round draft candidates being associated with the Saints right now.
Pro Day Results
Dates: 03/08/11/03/14/11@Air Force
40 Yrd Dash: 4.65
20 Yrd Dash: 2.68
10 Yrd Dash: 1.66
225 Lb. Bench Reps: 38
Vertical Jump: 35
Broad Jump: 10'05"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.50
3-Cone Drill: 7.18
He posted better or equal 40-yard dash, 20-yard dash, 3-cone drill, Vertical Jump and Bench Press numbers than Ryan Kerrigan, Adrian Clayborn and Akeem Ayers did at the Combine.
Does any of this mean he deserves to be drafted instead of these other players or even at all? Of course not. But it shows the presence of raw, natural talent. And as the guys from Football Outsiders note, the small school success of Pro Bowlers Jared Allen and Robert Mathis wound up equaling similar success at the NFL level. With the right coaching/development - we know the Saints possesses that ability - and a little time, Schiechl could be special at the next level.
Like Schiechl said himself...
"One," he said. "That's all you need. One team, one coach, one scout, just one person who believes in what you can do. That's all I'm trying to do, is find that one team that believes in what I can do, because I believe it....
...Again, I understand I don't need everybody to think it, just that one team."
Enjoy these highlight videos from Schiechl's junior and senior season's respectively, then discuss.