There were three players from DII and DIII football programs picked in the 2020 NFL draft, with the first one taken in the second round. Here is what you need to know about the small school standouts:
Kyle Dugger, Safety (Lenoir-Rhyne) — Round 2, No. 37 overall
The Division II star was picked 37th overall by the New England Patriots, making him the fifth pick in the second round of the draft — and the first from outside the FBS level. Dugger caught the eye of New England scouts with his 237 total tackles with 10 interceptions during his college career.
The 6-foot-2 safety was the only DII player to be invited to the Senior Bowl this year and was the first player from Lenoir-Rhyne to be drafted in 20 years. Dugger was also awarded the Cliff Harris Award as the top Division II defensive player and was the highest DII draft pick since 1999. Despite missing time this past season due to injury, Dugger did return two punts for touchdowns against UVA-Wise.
Ben Bartch, Offensive Tackle (Saint John’s (Minn.)) — Round 4, No. 116 overall
Ben Bartch was the only Division III player taken off of the board during the 2020 NFL draft, as the OT out of Saint John's (Minn.) was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth round with the 116th pick.
Bartch impressed teams with his athleticism and versatility. Although he finished his career with the Johnnies as a left tackle, the 6-foot-6, 305-pound lineman played tight end his first two seasons with Saint John's.
Kyle Hinton, Offensive Guard (Washburn) — Round 7, No. 253 overall
The Washburn offensive lineman out of Peoria, Ariz. was the second Division II player drafted in the 2020 NFL draft. Picked up by the Minnesota Vikings as the 253rd overall pick in the seventh round, Hinton will look to be a formidable addition to the Vikings' offensive line. He was a four-time all-conference selection during his four years at Washburn and started the last 34 games of his career. Hinton also earned second team All-American honors in track and field by finishing ninth at the NCAA championships in the weight throw.