Kansas City Chiefs: Small-School Draft Targets

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Jan 24, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad offensive tackle Ali Marpet of Hobart (50) enters the field during player introductions before the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The North won, 34-13. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

Ali Marpet – OL – Hobart College – 6’4″, 307 lbs

Ali Marpet of tiny Division III Hobart College is widely considered the top, small-school prospect of the 2015 draft class. Marpet played left tackle at Hobart and was so dominant that he became the first offensive lineman in league history to be named Offensive Player of the Year. While he blew up the combine (4.98 40-yard dash, 4.47 20-yard shuttle, 7.33 3-cone drill, and 30 bench-press reps), his short arms and limited experience against elite pass rushers have most scouts thinking his best position in the pros will be guard or center (I can think of a certain team that could use some competition at center).

In THIS excellent piece by Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB there are several quotes about how Marpet has impressed everyone that he has worked with from trainers to prospects from the power conferences. At this point Marpet has gone from a Division III prospect that had a chance to be a mid- to late-round pick, to a guy that may not even make it out of the second round. In fact, some have even begun comparing him to the Dallas Cowboys’ outstanding rookie Zack Martin. While that may seem like a stretch, in the tweet below you can see the similarities in their make-up.

I don’t know if Marpet will be as successful as Martin was in his rookie season, but the small-school prospect is intriguing. I watched some of Martin’s tape at THIS link. I will admit that watching a guy dominate at left tackle in Division III games doesn’t exactly guarantee they will have success as a guard or center in the NFL, but you can see Marpet’s athleticism, physicality and competitive nature. Combined with the positive reports coming out of the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and his training center, it looks like Marpet is the real deal. I would have no problem if the Chiefs considered him with their second-round pick.