Scouting the MAC: Akron & Ball State

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Ball State

Ball State may have the best next-level quarterback prospect no one talks about.

I like the long-term potential of junior signal caller Riley Neal and feel he’s someone who must be monitored.

He's a nice-sized pocket passer with next-level athleticism and the arm strength necessary to develop into a starter. Neal is patient and accurate and does a great job using all his targets. I presently grade him as a fifth- or sixth-round choice, but if he progresses as I believe possible, he could improve his draft stock by three rounds.

Corner Marc Walton flashes brilliance and makes a lot of plays on the ball. He'll measure under 6-foot but has a nice degree of upside potential.

Akron

When the 2018 draft rolls around, Akron will have had just a single player selected in the previous 10 drafts, a number that won’t change next April.

Senior Jovann Letuli is a large, wide-bodied blocker who is best in a small area and rates as Akron’s top senior prospect. He’s a powerful lineman yet is a bit one-dimensional in his game.

Junior linebacker Ulysees Gilbert is small but fierce and fast. He projects as a run-and-chase linebacker or a one-gap defender. Gilbert shows great speed in a straight line as well as laterally. He's terrific in pursuit and holds his own in coverage.

Quarterback Thomas Woodson has a next-level arm but sprays throws and needs a lot of technical work.

Running back Warren Ball is a wait-and-see prospect. The Ohio State transfer comes with terrific measurables but was injured last season and has been minimally productive on the field