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2015 MAC Crootin' Football Draft: Round 9

Spoiler alert: no WMU signees were taken this round.

Mylik Mitchell

Sorry about there being a hiccup yesterday without this being published. I thought that we could all use a little break at halftime and reflect on the first eight rounds of this bad boy. Now it's time to see if we continued our ways of being more defensive-oriented, or if we start getting more aggressive about putting #points up on the board instead.

105. Eastern Michigan Eagles

S- Jeremiah Dadeboe (Buffalo signee). York, PA (Central Catholic). 247Sports: 84 (0.8400)

Without Pudge Cotton on the roster, I'm going to need some depth in the name category. Lion King can't hold the torch forever. Jeremiah Dadeboe is going to be the most fun last name that I'll have to read, write, say and type for the next four to five years. I'm banking on him playing in a limited role as a true freshman, and then I'll just create my own ways of getting him included in some discussions.


Only offered by Buffalo, Dadeboe could end up being a real steal, or at the very least blend in with the rest of the potential productive safeties from the 2015 classes. If we go back to the first round, I picked the best corner in Justin Tranquill to better the offense. I knew I could get a solid pick in a safety in these middle rounds without missing out on too much. Like I said, Cotton's already had his senior season and the Eagles are going to need more than just Jason Beck at safety for years to come. Beck had a promising freshman year last year, so maybe Dadeboe would be able to follow suit. -Alex Alvarado

Both courtesy of Hudl, below is his career football highlights and HERE are his volleyball highlights:

106. Kent State Golden Flashes

QB- Mylik Mitchell (Kent St. signee). Cleveland, OH (John Hay Campus). 247Sports: 82 (0.8200)

I have a weak spot for southpaw, dual-threat quarterbacks and that's exactly what Mitchell is. Mitchell has a big arm to go with his size (he's 6-foot-4) and running ability. After there was a huge run on QB's early on, I figured not many teams would be taking QB's later in the draft so I knew I could wait to get Mitchell. Mitchell will have some solid young receivers to throw to down the line as the Golden Flashes took speedy WR Antwan Dixon to go with a more prototypical WR in Steven Lee. The exciting part for Kent State fans is that Mitchell and Dixon will actually get the opportunity to team up in real life at Kent State. -Mike Karpinski

Check out Mitchell's highlights courtesy of Hudl:

107. Miami RedHawks

OT- Jack Driscoll (UMass signee). Madison, CT (Daniel Hand). 247Sports: 79 (0.8013)

Offensive tackle Jack Driscoll, apparently not to be confused with the author of Coach Potatoes Sprout and The World of a Few Minutes Ago Jack Driscoll, only stands at 6'5", 250 lbs., but has the frame to bulk up and really make his presence felt on an offensive line that was decent last year. While his measurables are pretty small for a prospect of his position, he is a beast in the weight room, where he benches 275 and squats 375. I've said this a thousand times already, but college will present an opportunity for him to bulk up and grow into his true frame.

After all, it was Driscoll's size that was a deterrent to most schools, as UMass and Army were his only D1 offers, certainly an indication of such thought. However, Driscoll's technique is sound, and he has enough of a first step to make his match-up hesitate. Driscoll has played other positions on both lines, so if tackle isn't his forte, then surely he can transition to another position and still contribute. -James Jimenez

108. UMass Minutemen

K- Michael Caggiano (UMass signee). Englishtown, NJ (Manalapan). 247Sports: 73 (0.7300)

Did I wait too long to take a kicker for UMass? Probably. If I had taken a kicker eight rounds earlier no one would have blinked an eye after the ineptitude of the position last year. While I missed out on the two three star kickers I think I found great value in Caggiano.

An actual UMass recruit, he was one of the best kickers to come out of the northeast this year. He has a very good leg for an incoming freshman and can handle kickoff and even punting duties if need be. UMass might have went to bowl game last year had they had just a decent kicker instead of a dumpster fire. -Max Moore

109. Akron Zips

OG- Bryce Harris (Toledo signee). Dayton, OH (Firestone). 247Sports: 74 (0.8031)

Akron has been keeping up with Bryce Harris for years, since he is literally in our backyard (Firestone HS is within 5 minutes of Akron's stadium and campus). Harris has the kind of explosiveness and power to make a big impact on the offensive line. -Russ Johnson

110. Buffalo Bulls

S- Jamil Sabbagh (CMU signee). Dearborn, MI (Fordson). 247Sports: 78 (0.8115)

Jamil Sabbagh is a safety. At this pick I was pretty much going BPA, and considering I was between Sabbagh and Stanback last round I was happy to have him still available here. He'll play in college as a free safety but got plenty of action on the offensive side of the ball at Fordson High, which helps him quickly recognize plays and make decisions on defense. He's the type of safety who's comfortable getting into the backfield but athletic enough to recover from lining up closer to scrimmage, and is excellent one he has the ball in his hands. He would be a valuable addition to special teams as a gunner and returner.-Matt Gritzmacher

Just how good is Sabbagh? Check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl:

111. Ball State Cardinals

DE- Michael Danna (CMU signee). Warren, MI (Warren De La Salle). 247Sports: 76 (0.8015)

He flew under the radar, and the three-star DE originally landed at Central Michigan. The Chippewas' coaches must have seen something from him to make sure not to pass him up. To me, he brings good size and helps with the fact that'll we'll need to start replacing our DL and OL after this season. He's another value pick that we hope pays off down the road. -Sam Barloga

112. Ohio Bobcats

QB- Conner Krizancic (Ohio signee). Mentor, OH (Minnesota). 247Sports: 79 (0.8029)

Conner Krizancic was a 3-star wide receiver coming out of college in the class of 2014 when he signed with Minnesota, but he transferred to get an opportunity to play quarterback again. Tall, lanky and quick on his feet, Krizancic is the type of mobile quarterback that carves up MAC defenses. Combined with James Morgan, Ohio suddenly has some dynamite talent at this position. -Sam Smucker

What was Krizancic like before he went to Minnesota? Check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl:

113. Central Michigan Chippewas

LB- Nick Faulkner (Kent St. signee). Canton, OH (McKinley). 247Sports: 76 (0.7881)

Faulkner received a lot of interest from P5 schools, so it's quite a boon for the MAC that he winded up in our conference. Faulkner played defensive end, tight end and outside linebacker in high school, but his size and stronger defensive ability indicates that he will likely end up at linebacker in college. Faulkner is one of the better pass defending linebackers in this draft class, and his ability to cover quite a bit of the field gives time for pass rushes to get to the quarterback. Faulkner also shows a propensity to escape blocks, and his tackling ability has consistently improved. Faulkner doesn't strike me as the type of player to see the field immediately, but given time and proper development he could make a big impact sooner than later. -Max Lowe

114. Western Michigan Broncos

TE- Alexx Zielinski (Miami signee). Brighton, MI (Brighton). 247Sports: 82 (0.7919)

Here's where my head was at when I made this pick:

"I want to improve the passing game. I want to improve the blocking game. Screw it, I'll get a tight end."

Zielinski made headlines on National Signing Day when he was Central Michigan commit, but announced that he'd be signing with the Miami RedHawks instead. Coming in at a 6-foot-5, 230 pound frame, bulking up about 10 pounds before he comes to campus. Obviously, having a good receiving option down in the red zone or on the goal line is absolutely necessary. The way I see it, there's no time like the present for the Broncos this season. They're riding a really good high from their impressive 8-win season last year, and with most of their offensive weapons returning, I'm going all-in with this draft (while being responsible about the future potentials). Even if Zielinski participated in a minor role for the Broncos, he's not the kind of guy you'd look back on and say "yeah, he definitely should've been redshirted." -Alex Alvarado

Check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl:

115. Toledo Rockets

OG- Ryan Mullen (Miami signee). Lake Villa, IL (Lakes Community). 247Sports: 81 (0.8008)

Mullen was a top 40-player in the state of Illinois, and a 3-star recruit. He committed to Miami over offers from Ball State, UConn and Western Michigan. Rare to see someone actually tell Fleck no and sign elsewhere in the MAC. -Russ Johnson

116. Bowling Green Falcons

DT- Nico Lautanen (BGSU signee). Mentor, OH (Mentor). 247Sports: 74 (0.7874)

Offense is pretty, but if you want to win in the Mid-American Conference you'd better have a dominating defense that can get after the quarterback. Bowling Green proved that in 2013. Well, defensive lineman Nico Lautanen should continue that tradition for the Falcons.

Lautanen comes from one of the most successful high school in Ohio at Mentor. The Cardinals finished a runners-up in Ohio last year in the big schools division. At 6'4" and 265 pounds, Lautanen has the physical ability to come in a play as a true freshman. Scout had him rated as the 84th best defensive tackle prospect in the entire country. -Randy Carpenter

Check out Lautanen's highlights courtesy of Hudl:

117. Northern Illinois Huskies

DE- Anthony Johnson (Kent St. signee). Pasadena, CA (Pasadena City College). 247Sports: 74 (0.7533)

Sleeper alert! Johnson is a guy who can help bolster a young and undersized defensive line. Johnson is a JUCO transfer, however he'll have three years of eligibility remaining and is a guy who can make an immediate impact for the Huskies. At this stage in the draft, unless you're drafting a kicker/punter, it's rare to be able to draft a guy who is capable of making an immediate impact. -Mike Karpinski

Will Johnson be an immediate impact in the MAC? You be the judge and check out his highlights courtesy of Hudl:


Wow, no Broncos taken this round, eh? Their streak of having players selected in each round has come to an end, but Miami's streak continues with a pair of players taken in Round 9 to up their overall total up to 13 while WMU stays in the lead with 15. Ohio had one player taken in this round, so they'll stay at second place with 14 players taken.

Led with three players from their signing class taken this round, Kent State had three after having only seven players selected through the first seven rounds and pick-less in the eighth. CMU, UMass and Miami all had a pair of players drafted while BGSU (first since the third round), Buffalo, Ohio and Toledo had one player from their classes had their names called.

As far as which side of the ball these players will be playing, it was about as even as it gets. Six of us went offense, six of us went defense, and UMass had to take a kicker because, well, you know.

UMass Kicker Gets Hugged By Vandy (Alex Alvarado)

Round x Team
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Eastern Michigan Helmet
Justin Tranquill Darrion Landry Nick Dillon Abdallah Jaffal Ruben Carter Michael Yerardi Alex Grace Michael Oliver Jerimiah Dadeboe
kent state helmet
Kendrell McFadden Antwan Dixon John Keenoy Eric Assoua Steven Lee London Cloud Donte Horton Jeff Hill Jr. Mylik Mitchell
miami helmet
Brandon Childress BoBo Jones Kezio Snelling Lou Grigoletti Quinn Calcagno Jordan Steckler Romello Ross Josh Corcoran Jack Driscoll
umass helmet
Eilar Hardy Chris Green Nathon Trawick Reche Thomas Carlos Pickett Elijah Ball Jordon Hardwick Derek Smith Michael Caggiano
Akron helmets
Deontai Williams Delano Madison Aaron Covington Jeff Christian Jr. Jon Wassink LeVante Bellamy Louie Zervos Dean Lemon Bryce Harris
Buffalo Helmet
Kwanii Figueroa Mitch Guadagni Torey Hendrick Morgan Hagee Ian Leever Joe Anderson Marcus Kelly Brandon Stanback Jamil Sabbagh
ball state helmet
Juantez McRae Wesley French Shemar Moss Riley Neil Keith Key Cameron Lewis Jonathan Hawkins Tyler Taafe Mike Danna
ohio helmet
James Morgan Armani McNulty Maxwell Howell Sutton Smith Chandler Cotterman Conor Brumfield Javon Hagan Clayton Glasco Conner Krizancic
CMU helmet
Billy Bahl Carter Masek Shadid Bellamy Matt Skibinski Obbie Jackson Breck Turner Daniel Crawford Mayne Williams Nick Faulkner
WMU helmets
Kadeem Goulbourne Antonyo Sotolongo Chase Van Hoef Ulysees Gilbert Sam McKnight Ryan Mullen Nick Potts Jake Johnson Alex Zielinski
Toledo Helmet
Tyree Jackson Davontae Ginwright DJ Brown Cameron Bell Sam Franklin Demetrius Colbert Jim Jones Jake Hilva Ryan Mullen
Bowling Green helmet 2011
Spencer Tears Junior McMullen Matt Domer Sekai Lindsay Nathan Veloz James Pensyl Paul Engram Justin Spencer Nico Lautanen
Northern Illinois Helmet
Kevin Thurman Rolan Milligan James Gardner Kyle Pugh Vincent Hughes James Gilbert D'Andre Smart Marcus Jones Anthony Johnson