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2020 NFL Draft

9 under-the-radar draft prospects Browns fans should know

The Power-5 conference players typically draw the most headlines leading into the NFL Draft -- North Dakota State's Carson Wentz serving as the rare exception -- but today we're shining the light on those who haven't received that kind of exposure.

We're looking at players who shined when most of the nation wasn't watching. Importantly for them, though, plenty of NFL scouts were, and they'll be hearing their names called at some point during next month's draft.

QB Brandon Doughty - Western Kentucky

• The three-year starter threw a whopping 111 touchdown passes during his career with the Hilltoppers. His final on-field impression for scouts was a doozy, as he threw for 465 yards and three scores in Western Kentucky's bowl win over South Florida. He made headlines at the Combine when he said he considered himself to be the most accurate passer in the draft.

RB Kenneth Dixon - Louisiana Tech

• compares him to Thomas Rawls, a similarly off-the-radar running back who flourished in his first season with the Seahawks. Dixon scored 39 touchdowns over his final two seasons with the Warhawks and was a top performer in multiple drills at the Combine.

WR Rashard Higgins - Colorado State

• Higgins caught anything and everything thrown his direction over the past two seasons with the Rams, hauling in 239 receptions for 3,649 yards and 31 touchdowns. Higgins might need to put on some weight in the NFL -- he's currently listed at 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds -- but his track record is certainly enticing.

OT Joe Haeg - North Dakota State

• He's been lost in the shuffle because of all the attention Wentz has received, but he could very well be a rare Day 2 selection from the FCS. He excelled in a number of drills at the NFL Combine, showing off his athleticism, and has experience playing at both tackle positions.

A look at Browns Senior Writer Andrew Gribble's top nine under-the-radar prospects. (All photos by AP Images)

TE Ben Braunecker - Harvard

• The Browns could be in the market for a tight end to pair with Gary Barnidge, and Braunecker fits the bill of a physical blocker that would provide help to a team in both the running and passing game. Braunecker would be the first tight end in Harvard history to have his name called in the NFL Draft.

LB Tyler Matakevich - Temple

• He was at the center of the Owls' rise to prominence in 2015, as he took home the Bronko Nagurski award after piling up 138 tackles and five interceptions as a senior. Per, teams are wary of his athleticism but enticed by his production.

OLB Kyler Fackrell - Utah State

• He bounced back in a big way from a knee injury that derailed his junior season and piled up 15 tackles for loss as a senior. considers him to be one of the draft's fastest-rising prospects and compared him to Pro Bowl linebacker Connor Barwin.

S DeAndre Houston-Carson - William & Mary

• He played primarily at cornerback during his college career but made the move to free safety as a senior, and that's where he projects to be in the NFL. He's expected to find an immediate niche on special teams but could very well be the diamond-in-the-rough defensive back that seems to pop up in every draft class.

CB William Jackson III - Houston

• It's hard to classify him as under-the-radar anymore now that Mel Kiper Jr., and other draft experts are pegging him as a potential late first-round pick. He ran one of the combine's fastest 40-yard dashes, and NFL teams are always looking for a player with his kind of length, according to's Bucky Brooks.

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