After a third of the way through, we've seen some good talent be selected by our MAC teams that would all become immediate beneficiaries towards their respective offenses and defenses (and Buffalo's kicking game).But now we start to see some players be selected as long-term solutions rather than patching things up with a transfer-student Draft pick.
Let's take a look at how Round 6 plays out:
OT- Michael Yerardi (UMass signee). Suffield, CT (Suffield). 247Sports: 81 (0.8113)
One thing that I loved about UMass' signing class was its group of offensive linemen coming in to the program. Yerardi was not only one of the best linemen in the group, but one of the best overall prospects from the class. At 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, Yerardi already has the size to play right way in this EMU offense, and would also make for a great long-term plan to strengthen the line and add some serious depth at that position, something that needs more attention in my opinion. -Alex Alvarado
Check out Yerardi's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
LB- London Cloud (Ohio signee). Bedford, OH (Bedford). 247Sports: 76 (0.8058)
Cloud is another great value as I would consider him one of the top signees in Ohio's signing class. Cloud's physicality will be needed to help improve this Golden Flashes' defense. Overall, I have a nice balance of 3 offensive players to go with 3 defensive players thus far in the draft. Hopefully we can continue to build a solid foundation on the defensive side of the ball as well as finding a sleeper quarterback in the middle rounds. -Mike Karpinski
Check out Cloud's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
68. Miami RedHawks
OT- Jordan Steckler (NIU signee). Two Rivers, WI (Two Rivers). 247Sports: 75 (0.8095)
I'm shaking up the barrel a bit to see what's left, and I noticed a rather under-the-radar offensive guard was still available, which is perfect, since the line is still in the process of being rebuilt according to my checklist. The prospect I selected, who was from NIU's class, is a 3-star prospect who had nine offers on the table from various MAC teams and FCS squads, with some interest from B1G programs, including from an institution from his home state.
Jordan Steckler is a top-10 prospect in Wisconsin, and when you look at the tape, you can see why. Steckler is strong in the upper body, forcing his counterparts to stand up, rendering them useless. Steckler then uses all 296 lbs. of his tall frame to create gaps for the running back or give the quarterback time to make the play. Steckler is a smart football player with a mean streak, a la Louis Grigoletti from Round 3, and he has the skill set to play guard or tackle when he reaches the collegiate level. Steckler has the knack for creating gas in the run game, and for a teams that desperately needs to get their running offense going, this could be a pretty good fit for both parties. -James Jimenez
69. UMass Minutemen
WR- Elijah Ball (Ohio signee). Cincinnati, OH (Princeton HS). 247Sports: 81 (0.8330)
Enjoy Tajae Sharpe while you can UMass fans. The receiving core will be taking quite a hit after the 2015 season is over and Ball will help the Minutemen reload without having to rebuild. He's the ideal size at 6-foot-3 and could develop into a WR1.
He's not a burner but has enough speed to keep defenders honest. His quickness is much more impressive as he ran a 4.48 20-yard shuffle. Ball is one of my favorite pass catchers in the draft and I am jealous of what he could turn into at his real school, Ohio. -Max Moore
Here are Ball's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
70. Akron Zips
WR- LeVante Bellamy (WMU signee). Indianapolis, IN (Brebeauf Jesuit Prep). 247Sports: 83 (0.8619)
Russ Johnson picked this one for Akron. One of the top receivers from the state of Indiana, Bellamy ultimately picked to sign with the Broncos over seven other schools. At 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, there's not a lot of size here, but the speed definitely is.
71. Buffalo Bulls
OT- Joe Anderson (Ohio signee). Torrance, CA (El Camino College). 247Sports: 72 (0.7200)
Looks like I started a bit of an OL run last round. Here I keep it going. As I mentioned with my last pick, UB will be replacing three starters on the offensive line this season. (Otherwise, they return all eight starters.) Most of my first five picks have been players who I'd expect to step right in this year, and I was looking JUCO O-lineman all the way in the middle of the draft. In a question between Joe Alexander and Roubbens Joseph, I went with Alexander, who I don't know quite as well, because he's bigger at 6'6", 330.
Buffalo has a number of linemen that big on the roster, but none with two years of experience. I may still grab Joseph when he's available later, but even if I don't, in the last two rounds I've added two guys who should help out on the one area of weakness in the UB offense. -Matt Gritzmacher
WR- Cameron Lewis (Buffalo signee). Detroit, MI (Voyageur Consortium). 247Sports: 75 (0.8033)
Lewis played both sides of the ball as a high schooler in Metro Detroit. Lewis also started a few times at running back and can help with depth there as well. He's another value pick, but one that could bring a huge amount of upside in the speed and size he has. -Sam Barloga
Here are Lewis' highlights courtesy of Hudl:
73. Ohio Bobcats
OT- Conor Brumfield (Kent St. signee). Acworth, GA (Allatoona). 247Sports: 80 (0.800)
Conor Brumfield may not have the bulk right now to play tackle in the MAC, but his frame and raw ability should remind people of a recent MAC tackle drafted after entering college undersized. He'd need a lot of time to work on putting on weight the right way, but his natural athletic ability mean he could be a monster on Ohio's line. -Sam Smucker
RB- Breck Turner (EMU signee). Norwalk, OH (Norwalk). 247Sports: 85 (0.8299)
As a recruit, Turner received interest from over a dozen programs, and it is not hard to see why. During his senior year of high school, he averaged a video game like 232.9 yards per game and 32 touchdowns. While not the fastest running back out there, he has excellent down field vision and a great ability to make defenders miss tackles. Turner also has a lot of experience in returning kickoffs and punts, and his ability to set up teams with good field position may earn him some playing time right away. -Max Lowe
Just see how impressive Turner is in these highlights courtesy of Hudl:
OG- Ryan Mullen (Miami signee). Lake Villa, IL (Lakes Community). 247Sports: 81 (0.8008)
I haven't forgotten about that offensive line that I wanted to give more help. I wanted to stay somewhat balanced with my picks, which is why I went defense, defense after picking up Chase VanHoef in the third round. Mullen had four offers in total before signing with Miami, coming from Ball State, UConn and WMU.
Let's not ignore his size, which measures out to be 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds. It's fun to be optimistic about the future of offensive linemen, and with how many useful tackles that I might also want to scoop up later that are left, I had to go guard with this pick. -Alex Alvarado
76. Toledo Rockets
LB- Demetrius Colbert (Ohio signee). Cincinnati, OH (Colerain). 247Sports: 78 (0.8190)
Russ Johnson picked this one for Toledo. An incoming outside linebacker for the Eagles, Colbert was one of the more highly-rated OLB prospects left in the pool. One thing that I like about Colbert is that he can man down the defensive end position a little bit, but at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, it's probably best for him to stay at linebacker. And if he can become a serviceable linebacker in passing situations, then that'd theoretically help out Toledo immensely.
QB- James Pensyl (EMU signee). Tampa, FL (Land O' Lakes). 247Sports: 78 (0.7995)
At 6' 7" with a big arm, quarterback James Pensyl reminds people of another MAC quarterback that turned out to be pretty good....Ben Roethlisberger. Like Big Ben, Pensyl fits ideally into a pro-style offense but has surprisingly good mobility for a big guy. With the earlier picks at running back and wide receiver, this draft is shaping up to reload Dino Babers #FalconFast offense.
Pensyl originally committed to Oregon State but reopened his recruiting when head coach Mike Riley left to coach at Nebraska. Riley then did make an attempt to recruit Pensyl to become a Cornhusker but that didn't work our either. ESPN had Pensyl rated the 44th best quarterback prospect in the country, while Scout had him 57th. -Randy Carpenter
Check out Pensyl's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
RB- James Gilbert (Ball St. signee). Indianapolis, IN (Lawrence Central). 247Sports: 81 (0.8285)
The rest of the MAC better watch out. Gilbert reminds me a lot of the MAC Player of the Year last season, RB Jarvion Franklin. Despite being a little smaller than Franklin, Gilbert has a similar running style and could have a similar impact with the solid NIU offensive lineman returning this year.
Just how good Gilbert? Check out these here highlights of him courtesy of Hudl:
Looks like we're in another round where offense is becoming for a of a concern for teams, especially on the frontline with five offensive linemen being selected here.
Through six rounds, Miami and WMU are the only teams to have at least one of their real-life signees be taken in every round so far. WMU still holds the lead with, now with 11 signees selected while the RedHawks have nine signees that were taken in this draft. Ohio had a huge round with four signees taken, upping their overall total get bumped up to nine, tying with Miami. Toledo went without a signee picked this round, keeping their total at eight while Ball State is now tied with BGSU for six.