In the late rounds, due diligence may be enough. Not every team is going to watch all the grainy film on all the sub-division players -- the Bengals, with their two or three scouts, won't be looking under the cushions for change. In the late rounds, when searching for hidden value, there are two obvious ways to go -- the underrated big-school guy, or the diamond in the rough. When it comes to late-round value, Tim Ruskell's idea of a small school is San Diego State, so you know where he generally stands in that argument.
Still, two teams have worked out Norfolk State cornerback Don Carey, and the Seahawks are one of them. Actually, Seattle has done the visit AND workout, which means that Carey's probably been to the VMAC, and someone from the organization has seen him on his home turf. Based on all evidence, he's a smart, hard-working, versatile player who excelled at the Shrine Game and at the Combine. The Dolphins have also displayed specific interest, which gives me additional confidence in the idea of Carey -- Bill Parcells tends to hire scouts and execs who know defense. The Steelers, who have also shown interest, know a thing or two about drafting guys on that side of the ball.
The question is, how much do the four years of starts, and the 43 games, and the 10 interceptions, mean to this front office when they happened against Bethune-Cookman, Delaware State, and Florida A & M? Parcells drafted Hampton DE Kendall Langford in the third round last year, and was rewarded with a great rookie season from the unheralded player.
Ruskell's big-school bias is understandable, as is his preference for players who are as fully-formed as possible. But at some point, if you want to get the most out of it, the draft needs to be about the ability to see specific attributes in players who did things you like in situations you don't find favorable. Carey, with his personal and professional characteristics, might be the tipping point.