Welcome to the fourth round of the MAC Crootin' Draft, friends! We're seeing a little more defensive players consistently throughout the first trio of rounds, and it's almost safe to assume that you could end up seeing more of the same in the fourth round.
If you've lost track of how these picks have shaped up so far, just check out the table at the very bottom!
40. Eastern Michigan Eagles
LB- Abdallah Jaffal (Ball St. signee). Dearborn, MI (Fordson). 247Sports: 79 (0.8109)
If defense is going to matter, then I'm going to have to make it show early. I also think that you need to get kids from the surrounding areas in Michigan, especially the impact players, is a great way of building your brand. Though Creighton offered 31 players, I believe, but only landed less than a handful. Fordson's a pretty good place to find talent, and Abdallah Jaffal is no exception.
I think Jaffal would work in EMU's 3-4 scheme with his outside game, thought it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up playing as an inside linebacker either. His size and offensive game could find him playing special teams fairly early as well. -Alex Alvarado
Here are Jaffal's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
41. Kent State Golden Flashes
DE- Eric Assoua (WMU signee). Washington, DC (St. John's College). 247Sports: 81 (0.8256)
When drafting for a team like Kent State, I really wanted to keep my picks balanced position wise for the first few rounds. Drafting Eric Assoua in the 4th round allows me to do just that as I now have a safety, wide receiver, offensive lineman, and now a defensive end. Assoua is an explosive pass rusher who can get to the quarterback quickly. In the fourth round, Assoua was too good of a value to pass up. -Mike Karpinski
42. Miami RedHawks
OT- Lou Grigoletti (CMU signee). Riverside, IL (Riverside Brookfield). 247Sports: 78 (0.7861)
Miami wants to establish a hard mouth offense that relies on a balanced attack. The first step into configuring that offense is beefing up the line.
Louis Grigoletti is one big smart cookie. Grigoletti had a 3.5+ GPA and when he was on the field, he makes a significant impact protecting the right side of the line. IN his high school tapes, Grigoletti is the requisite bully; he holds up the ends and is prone to pancaking them or throwing them down. Any O-Line needs a couple good men with that sort of toughness, and Grigoletti's frame has room to grow, which could make him a monster with some work. I mean, being 6'4" and 290 lbs. as a freshman ain't too shabby. With his size, I would start him at tackle, but a move to guard or even center could be possible, especially for someone as intelligent as this future computer scientist. It could be a bit of a reach to take him in the forth round, but there is a lot of potential with the CMU commit that I cannot let pass me by. CMU is O-Line U, so if they're interested in him, surely that has to mean he's a great prospect. -James Jimenez
43. UMass Minutemen
OT- Reche Thomas (UMass signee). Vero Beach, FL (Vero Beach). 247Sports: 83 (0.8419)
Thomas is one of UMass' real recruits as well. He's a dominant guard and has amazing size at 6-4, 330 pounds. He's a player that can come in and contribute right away. He has great strength and a devestating punch that makes him ideal at both run and pass blocking. He could benefit by adding some quickness to his game but overall he is a very solid offensive lineman. -Max Moore
Here are Thomas' highlights courtesy of Hudl:
44. Akron Zips
CB- Jeff Christian Jr. (Ohio signee). Cincinnati, OH (Colerain). 247Sports: 84 (0.8494)
With the fourth pick, whaddaya know another corner! I've added Jeff Christian from Cincinnati. It's crucial to have physical corners who are able to lock down in man-to-man coverage. Christian received 14 offers, but ended up signing with Ohio over Purdue, Minnesota, Georgia State and eight MAC schools. -Russ Johnson
Check out Christian's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
45. Buffalo Bulls
K- Morgan Hagee (Ball State signee). Plainfield, IN (Plainfield). 247Sports: 73 (0.7990)
If Buffalo had a competent kicking game in 2014, they likely top BG early in the season, Jeff Quinn would still be the head coach, and the MAC wouldn't have been able to cancel a late-season game against Kent State just because a driver ignored the weather reports. It would have affected the MAC East race.
I don't need to build a true fantasy team here, where everyone waits on the lower-yield players until later. As emphasized in my past picks, I need guys under the new coaching staff who can contribute immediately with one more year of a senior QB. Hagee is that guy as kicker. UB's departing Patrick Clarke at the position was a four-year starter, though he was terrible by the end, and it's one of the few positions a freshman can make an impact. Hagee is the top kicker on the board and Buffalo needs him. -Matthew Gritzmacher
KICKER! KICKER! KICKER! KICKER! courtesy of Hudl:
46. Ball State Cardinals
QB- Riley Neal (Ball State signee). Yorktown, IN (Yorktown). 247Sports: 85 (0.8337)
With the competition already underway for the starting spot, we thought it would be good to keep the pressure on Milas and Mann by keeping real-life BSU recruit Riley Neal in the mix for the starting spot. He won't likely get it this year or next, but it should be good to see how Neal develops. -Sam Barloga
Check out Neal's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
47. Ohio Bobcats
LB- Sutton Smith (NIU signee). St. Charles, MO (Francis Howell). 247Sports: 82 (0.8088)
Sutton Smith seems like a rock solid ILB prospect who would fit in well with Ohio's defense. The Bobcats have a good recent track record of taking lesser known, shorter prospects such as Smith and building them into All-MAC performers. After losing out on Chris Green and Junior McMullen, I felt that Smith was the best fit for Ohio at this point. -Sam Smucker
48. Central Michigan Chippewas
OT- Matt Skibinski (Miami signee). Livonia, MI (Churchill). 247Sports: 85 (0.8314)
O-Line U needs it's next pro prospect, and Skibinski is as good as anyone. Skibinski had offers from a plethora of MAC teams as well as Cincinnati, and it's not hard to see why. In addition to being a strong exterior line presence, Skibinski possesses surprising speed for his size, and he is a particularly good downfield blocker. -Max Lowe
49. Western Michigan Broncos
LB- Ulysees Gilbert (Akron signee). Ocala, FL (Trinity Catholic). 247Sports: 82 (0.8041)
This was a fairly easy pick for me if we're being honest. While we're on the subject, Gilbert is the absolute best part about Akron's signing class. He measures to be the perfect height and weight combo that you'd want in your linebacker, 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds. Before deciding to come to Akron, Gilbert was once a Cincinnati Bearcats commit, also being offered by UCF and USF.
But really, if PJ Fleck were going to make anybody 'elite', it might as well be somebody named Ulysees. -Alex Alvarado
Check out this stud linebacker's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
50. Toledo Rockets
OT- Cameron Bell (Toledo signee). Macedonia, OH (Nordonia). 247Sports: 82 (0.8382)
To go along with all these athletes, we needed to add someone to block for them. Insert Cameron Bell into that role. Being 6'8, and 330 pounds, he's pretty difficult to get around. If there's anybody that I want protecting my quarterback's blind side, it's this guy. -Russ Johnson
51. Bowling Green Falcons
RB- Sekai Lindsay (UMass signee). Melbourne, FL (Palm Bay Senior). 247Sports: 84 (0.8343)
If you like dreadlocks, this is your pick. Bowling Green already has senior running back Travis Greene with that look in hair styles, so that's why the pick of running back Sekia Lindsay here makes so much sense. They can use the same salon in town. Lindsay will pair with earlier draft pick Matt Domer to give the Falcons a formidable one-two punch in the backfield for several years to come.
LIndsay was rated a 3-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. He originally signed with Pittsburgh, but decommitted when head coach Paul Chryst left for Wisconsin. He had offers from numerous Power 5 conference teams, including Indiana, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Temple and South Florida. At 5'9" and 200 pounds, Lindsay's running style has been compared to that of Marshwan Lynch and has his own version of "beast mode." -Randy Carpenter
Just how good is he? Check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl:
52. Northern Illinois Huskies
LB- Kyle Pugh (NIU signee). Chicago Heights, IL (Bloom HS). 247Sports: 84 (0.8281)
Pugh is one of my favorite linebackers in this 2015 MAC class. Pugh actually held an offer from Syracuse before ultimately deciding on the Huskies in real life. NIU's defense can definitely use a high motor player like Pugh on their roster. -Mike Karpinski
WE'VE GOT THE FIRST KICKER SELECTED.
IN THE FOURTH ROUND.
OF THIS THING.
THIS. IS. #MACtion.
Aside from that, split again. Most of the offensive picks went towards bolstering their line. UMass and Akron both finally had their first signees called this round. Actually, UMass and NIU both all two of each selected from their respective signing classes while Ball State led the way with three taken this round.
WMU still leads with eight payers in their 2015 class selected through our first four rounds of the draft. We still have 11 more to do. BGSU did not have a signee taken this round, so they still sit with six players taken as Miami and toledo have both caught up to them.