In preparation for the 2014 NFL Draft, NFLDraftScout.com will profile the top draft-eligible prospects from FBS-level programs. This summer series will run until the start of the college football season.
NFL Draft picks the last five years: 6
2013 NFL Draft picks: None
The 2013 Owls class appears thin on NFL talent, but there are some intriguing athletes here who could emerge as versatile, depth competitors on an NFL roster if they're able to put together strong senior campaigns. The group is led by former Defensive End/tight end/long-snapper Cody Boyd (now an OT), and 2012 pre-season second-team ALL-BIG EAST (Phil Steele's) DT Levi Brown.
Top Temple prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft:
1. OT Cody Booth (6-5, 285, 5.07)
Originally recruited as a defensive end, Booth started all 11 games at tight end as a junior for the Owls, and assumed the long-snapping duties on both the field goal and punt teams. Now he's been moved to tackle, and and all indications from coach Matt Ruhle are that he will be expected to compete immediately for significant time on a line that enters the 2013 season with depth issues, due mostly to injuries. He'll be counted on to add about 50 pounds to his frame during this off-season though in order to hit a coach-implemented goal of 300 pounds, and will certainly have a lot to learn technique-wise in a short amount of time considering that this is his first go-round as an offensive lineman. While he did catch 19 passes as a junior, he was primarily a blocking tight end, exhibiting good technique when asked to seal the edge, and agility at the second level. If he's able to make the transition and ends up playing a significant role at tackle this year, NFL teams will certainly look favorably upon his ability to learn and adapt quickly, and he could earn draft stock as a late-round, developmental lineman or UDFA with substantial upside.
2. DT Levi Brown (6-2, 308)
As a junior, Brown compiled 27 total tackles, including 3.5 for a loss, and a half sack while starting 8 of 11 games at nose tackle. Brown flashes a quick first step, good awareness against the run, and a strong anchor. He lacks consistency though when coming off the snap as he has a tendency to lift his pads and expose his midsection, and often drives with his shoulder rather than extending his arms and establishing good hand-placement. He also looks a bit stiff when engaged as his lower half will lock up and he'll bend at the waist. If he can refine his technique by learning to use his hands more and by utilizing bend to get under his opponent, he could be a lot more disruptive, and could end up a late-round or UDFA consideration for NFL teams next May.
Other Temple prospects worth watching:
P Paul Layton (6-1, 215, 5.12)
Transferee from Albany, where he posted a career average of 41.0 yards per punt over three seasons. 2013 CFPA Watch List member. Graduated in 2012 and has one year of eligibility left.
DB Abdul Smith (6-0, 205, 4.62)
Primarily a reserve CB thus far in his career (2 starts in '12), Smith's size and physical style could get him looks as a potential developmental safety prospect down the road.
DT Kamal Johnson (6-3, 295, 5.14)
Athletic, physical lineman who appeared in three games as a junior (two starts) before being suspended indefinitely due to an arrest for an alleged assault of his girlfriend last September. Status with team is still up in the air.
QB/RB/H-Back Kevin Newsome (6-2, 231, 4.67)
Penn State transfer who has seen limited action in his career at QB, and has been converted to RB for his senior year, where his running ability can be featured. Versatility could be his ticket to an NFL roster, with a strong senior showing.
WR Deon Miller (6-4, 210, 4.69)
Big receiver with quickness and some ability after the catch. Can he become a primary target in his final season?