WEEK 2: Missouri Western vs Northwest Missouri State
When it comes to scouting Division II schools, it’s easy for many to dismiss the level of competition. But if you look closely, you’ll see that 49 D-II players made NFL rosters this season, with another 17 on practice squads. The top active roster position group is defensive backs, which comprise 13 of the players.
In a battle of two MIAA rivals, I was able to see perhaps the most impressive-looking cornerback of the season in Northwest State’s Chama Pierre, who stands just a shade under 6-1 and has greater than 33” arms – which is rare! When there’s talk about prototypical press corners, Pierre is what NFL scouts picture. The Lake Worth, Fla. native showed his speed and athleticism chasing down a kick returner who had broken through the pack. Unfortunately for Pierre, he suffered a knee injury early in the 2nd quarter, causing him to miss the rest of the game.
On the opposite side of the field, Missouri Western fields a team nicely comprised of seniors and upcoming depth. Protecting senior quarterback Wyatt Steigerwald is an all-senior offensive line, anchored by four-year starter Hayden Eatinger, who made first-team all-conference last season in his first year playing center. Eatinger – who started at guard during his first two seasons – is a broad-shouldered player with good length playing inside who displays the toughness and finish to have a chance getting into an NFL camp. Position flexibility is imperative for backup offensive linemen in the NFL so his experience playing three positions will bode well for his chances.