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2015 MAC Crootin' Football Draft: Round 5

NIU gets busy with three signees taken this round.

WR Steven Lee
WR Steven Lee
Student Sports

In Round 4 of the MAC Crootin' Football Draft, our first kicker was taken off of the board to go to Buffalo. Obviously, this is all fake and in good fun to celebrate the jobs done by the 13 respective programs to bring in these recruits with so much upside that we're going to be doing 15 rounds of this, but that's a pick that would be kicking other team's butts on the field for three-to-four years. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Anywho, let's see what dramatic scene we can make out of this one.

53. Eastern Michigan Eagles

OG- Ruben Carter (Toledo signee). Miami, FL (Florida State). 247Sports: 85 (0.8503)

Because if there was anybody that was going to take a transfer from a big time P5 program, it's going to be EMU. There's no other way around that. As long as this guy's pretend career at EMU doesn't go as half as bad as Pent State-then-LSU-transfer Rob Bolden's stint, Carter could end up bringing a lot of positives to the Eagle offense that it needs to be competitive immediately.

The thing about transfers is that they're expected to start right away. And coming from Florida State, well now we're just wondering if he strong. Last year's official Seminoles roster had Carter listed at 6-foot-4, 306 pounds. There are five offensive linemen on the EMU roster that weigh at least 300 pounds. Two of which are redshirt freshmen this year (Jeremy Hickey, Dakota Tallman). Darien Terrell, Andrew Wylie and Matthew Thornton all have this and next year left before their college careers would come to an end, and it'd be nice if the Eagles could have some immediate help on that offensive front. Who knows, maybe Reggie Bell could end up being a lethal weapon against the MAC with an offensive line that doesn't give up 35 sacks for 247 yards over the course of a 12-game season. -Alex Alvarado

54. Kent State Golden Flashes

WR- Steven Lee (NIU signee). Champaign, IL (Centennial). 247Sports: 78 (0.8179)

Steven Lee is a great value in the 5th round for Kent State and is a guy who I think was significantly under recruited. Lee can be a huge red zone target for the Golden Flashes and at 6-foot-3 look for him to link up with QB Colin Reardon frequently for some big plays. -Mike Karpinski

Check out Lee's highlights courtesy of Hudl:

55. Miami RedHawks

DE- Quinn Calcagno (Miami signee). Wheaton, IL (St. Francis). 247Sports: 83 (0.8100)

Both lines for Miami were all right, but were just missing that certain X-Factor. Pascale (Quinn) Calcagno could very well be the cog that's needed to make the machine run. At 6'6", 220 lbs, Calcagno is a lanky, quick, and nightmareish matchup for opposing weak side tackles. He has the instinct to be able to shed blocks quickly and effectively, and has great angle of pursuit on the ball on run defense, often stopping big runs and causing turnovers in his high school career. Calcagno is a top 50 prospect in the state of Illinois, according to 247, and was rated with three stars, ranking 81st in the nation at his position. A 4.68 dash at his size is pretty impressive, and personally, I was excited to keep one of the highlight recruits from the Miami class in Miami. -James Jimenez

56. UMass Minutemen

S- Carlos Pickett (Kent State signee). Brunswick, GA (Brunswick). 247Sports: 79 (0.8029)

One of the best DBs left on the board. While safety isn't UMass biggest need, I went talent over necessity here. Pickett is a good zone defender and has good strength for his smaller size. His best ability is run support where he is a hard hitter who attacks runners aggressively. With the Hardy pick in round one, Pickett will get a year of good tutelage and would have the opportunity to develop into a very nice safety down the road. -Max Moore

Here are Pickett's highlights courtesy of Hudl:

57. Akron Zips

QB- Jon Wassink (WMU signee). Grand Rapids, MI (South Christian). 247Sports: 80 (0.8174)

Over the past several years, I have seen what it takes to win the MAC and having a serviceable quarterback is definitely on that list. He's got great arm talent, which projects very well at the next level here at Akron. Wassink was one of the top QB prospects in the state of Michigan, and the way he grew in HS will continue at the next level here at Akron. You can never have enough QBs, especially when the battle is as open as it is here.

Wassink is a 3-star QB and committed to WMU over interest from Michigan and Michigan State. I know if Fleck believes in this kid and his potential, I should too. -Russ Johnson

58. Buffalo Bulls

OT- Ian Leever (Miami signee). Loveland, OH (Loveland). 247Sports: 85 (0.8339)

Once again I'm drafting for immediate need, but in OT Ian Leever I also for the first time in a few picks went for ceiling over immediate impact. Leever's the biggest and highest-rated offensive lineman left on the board, and at 6'6", 295 should be able to step into the two-deep as a freshman, especially considering that in real life he's graduated high school early and is already enrolled at his college and working out with the team.

Buffalo is losing 3 starters on the line, and while I intend to address that unit again next round, Leever is big enough to contribute as a freshman and still has room to put on bulk and improve over four solid years in Lance Leipold's run-heavy system. -Matt Gritzmacher

59. Ball State Cardinals

DE- Keith Key (Ohio signee). Columbus, OH (Bishop Hartley). 247Sports: 74 (0.7400)

If it seems like we're going heavy on the defense, it's because Pete Lembo is a wily genius on the offensive side of the ball and can turn water into wine. If we're going to focus on getting him the right pieces, it's going to be on defense. Key flies to the ball and makes plays sideline to sideline. He showcases impressive closing speed, and if we can give points for priorities, the reason he gave for choosing Ohio was "the business school." Sounds like an adult. He can play on my team. -Keith Scheessele

60. Ohio Bobcats

OT-Chandler Cotterman (Toledo signee). Anna, OH (Anna). 247Sports: 80 (0.8189)

Chandler Cotterman is a big, bulky tackle with room to grow. Ohio's plan would be to redshirt him, let a year's worth of a college strength and conditioning program transform him, and then unleash him on opposing defensive ends throughout the MAC. Ohio's O-line has been spotty the past few years, Cotterman is a good long-term piece that can help fix that. -Sam Smucker

61. Central Michigan Chippewas

CB- Obbie Jackson (WMU signee). West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield). 247Sports: 78 (0.7785)

Jackson played both sides of the ball in high school, and his receiver instincts have really helped him as a defensive back. He has the speed to keep up with anyone he matches up against, and he has consistently shown great positioning when the ball is in the air. Under former Defense Coordinator Joe Tumpkin, defensive back play was never great, so getting athletes like Jackson is of paramount importance for new Chippewa DC Greg Colby. -Max Lowe

Here are Jackson's HS highlights courtesy of Hudl:

62. Western Michigan Broncos

DT- Sam McKnight (Ohio signee). Cleveland, OH (Glenville). 247Sports: 84 (0.8400)

I know there are offensive linemen out there that I really need, but I think leveling the playing field with a defensive lineman would benefit me in this situation. Maybe not right away in 2015, but at least in the next two or three years, this could end up being a good pick, hypothetically.

Signed with Ohio, their second DL taken this round, Frank Solich really wants to be a defensive threat for years to come. McKnight, 6-foot-2 and 260 pounds, has good size to be a productive lineman in this conference, and wouldn't be a position to be forced to start right away either. In any case, I'll give him more help up front later. -Alex Alvarado

63. Toledo Rockets

WR- Sam Franklin (UMass signee). Crystal River, FL (Citrus). 247Sports: 84 (0.8478)

Over the past several years at Toledo, many talented WRs have come and gone: Sam Franklin is destined to be the next one. This past season, there were too many drops and that made getting talent at the skill positions crucial. Franklin is going to come in and compete right away, but not just at WR. His ability to get the ball in his hands also helped him immensely to get to the college level.

Franklin shocked most recruiting analysts when he committed to UMass over Kentucky and Indiana. He's expected to be an impact player as a freshman this fall. -Russ Johnson

UMass fans should be excited about Franklin's highlights courtesy of Hudl:

64. Bowling Green Falcons

OT- Nathan Veloz (NIU signee). Oak Creek, WI (Oak Creek HS). 247Sports: 79 (0.8263)

At this point in the draft, it was time to add some depth along the offensive line. And, where better to go for offensive lineman than the state of Wisconsin, right? I mean the Wisconsin Badgers and the Green Bay Packers are known for their tough, hard nose lineman with their hulking arms on display in short sleeves no matter what the weather. At 6' 4" and 310 pounds, Veloz fits that mold perfectly.

Veloz had drew interest from Big Ten schools Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He was listed as a 3-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. Scout had him listed as the number one offensive guard prospect in Wisconsin and the number 10 guard prospect in the Midwest. -Randy Carpenter

65. Northern Illinois Huskies

OT- Vincent Hughes (NIU signee). Franklin, WI (Franklin). 247Sports: 85 (0.8093)

Hughes is a great fit for the Huskies and I'm glad he's still here for the taking in round 5. This allows us to continue our pipeline for recruiting offensive linemen from the state of Wisconsin. Hughes actually turned down a grey shirt offer from Wisconsin late in the process and opted to stick with NIU. After redshirting, look for Hughes to be a glue guy on the offensive line for years to come. -Mike Karpinski


Eight offensive players taken in this round, five of which being linemen. Four future Huskies were taken through the first four rounds of this draft, but there were three more names called in here, two of which belong to that group of OL that I was just talking about.

Miami, Ohio, Toledo and WMU all had two players from their classes taken in this one. The Broncos still have the most signees taken in the draft, now with 10 (!!!) for their overall total. In second, Toledo and Miami are both tied with eight while NIU upped their total to seven. That seventh player surpassed BGSU who had six players taken in the first three rounds, but none since.

Round x Team 1 2 3 4 5
Eastern Michigan Helmet
Justin Tranquill Darrion Landry Nick Dillon Abdallah Jaffal Ruben Carter
kent state helmet
Kendrell McFadden Antwan Dixon John Keenoy Eric Assoua Steven Lee
miami helmet
Brandon Childress BoBo Jones Kezio Snelling Lou Grigoletti Quinn Calcagno
umass helmet
Eilar Hardy Chris Green Nathon Trawick Reche Thomas Carlos Pickett
Akron helmets
Deontai Williams Delano Madison Aaron Covington Jeff Christian Jr. Jon Wassink
Buffalo Helmet
Kwanii Figueroa Mitch Guadagni Torey Hendrick Morgan Hagee Ian Leever
ball state helmet
Juantez McRae Wesley French Shemar Moss Riley Neil Keith Key
ohio helmet
James Morgan Armani McNulty Maxwell Howell Sutton Smith Chandler Cotterman
CMU helmet
Billy Bahl Carter Masek Shadid Bellamy Matt Skibinski Obbie Jackson
WMU helmets
Kadeem Goulbourne Antonyo Sotolongo Chase Van Hoef Ulysees Gilbert Sam McKnight
Toledo Helmet
Tyree Jackson Davontae Ginwright DJ Brown Cameron Bell Sam Franklin
Bowling Green helmet 2011
Spencer Tears Junior McMullen Matt Domer Sekai Lindsay Nathan Veloz
Northern Illinois Helmet
Kevin Thurman Rolan Milligan James Gardner Kyle Pugh Vincent Hughes