The NFL Draft that is coming this weekend is going to be more exciting this year than last year, as we have a hand-full of players that could be drafted out of the University of Washington.
Last year, UW had two members of their football program go pro (Daniel Teo-Nesheim and Donal Butler) while this year there will most likely be 3 or 4 players being drafted with the potential of 11 total and one could go in the top 10 picks.
Those 11 players looking to find a spot on an NFL roster are:
- Ryan Tolar- OL
- Austin Sylvester- FB
- Nate Williams- S
- D’Andre Goodwin- WR
- Cody Habben- OL
- Vonzell McDowell- DB
- Victor Aiyewa- LB
- Jake Locker- QB
- Dorson Boyce- FB
- Brandon Huppert- LB
- Mason Foster- LB
There are only 2 that anyone can say with 100% accuracy that will be drafted from the above list; Jake Locker and Mason Foster. Nate Williams is expected to be drafted and Victor Aiyewa could find himself picked up. A few of the others could find themselves on a practice squad or signed after the draft.
Let’s take a look at the 3 that should be drafted; Jake Locker, Mason Foster, and Nate Williams.
This one has been talked about, written about, debated, discussed, and everything else that can happen with Jake Locker before the draft. There are whole articles, newspaper stories, TV shows, and I hear their even making a novel to discuss where Jake Locker goes in the draft and how he will do in his NFL career. It’s getting ridiculous, so without going to far into it, here is what I am hearing/seeing on Jake Locker.
Projected Round: 1st
Best Team Fit: Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings
NFLmocks.com projection: 10th overall to the Washington Redskins
Mel Kiper Jr. (ESPN): 25th overall to the Seattle Seahawks
Todd McShay (ESPN): Round 2
Rob Rang (CBS): 10th overall to the Washington Redskins
My Thoughts: He is going in the first round, there is no question about it, there is just too much there for NFL clubs to be excited about and want on their team. He is going to be a great NFL talent, he will just need a year or two to continue to work on his accuracy and develop into the NFL game.
I spoke with fansided.com resident draft expert, Jesse Bartolis, from nflmocks.com.
Here is what he said about Mason Foster:
"Mason Foster, is best suited to me as a 4-3 linebacker. I think there are a few good options for Foster from middle of the second round until middle of the fourth round. In the middle of the second round the best fit is probably the Jacksonville Jaguars or St. Louis Rams. They both need linebackers.The Jaguars, specifically seem like a team that will be enticed by Foster’s leadership, production and work ethic.The Rams have absolutely nothing on the outside so they also make sense. A SAM linebacker is arguably their biggest need.The next option in the second round is the Giants. The Giants have publically stated they need help at the linebacker spot and Foster could be an option in the second round.I think in the third round Carolina (not likely) and the Titans are two good options.If he lasts until the fourth round he’s great value and could be picked by any team at that point."
Projected Round: 2-4
Best Team Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants
NFLmocks.com projection:67th overall (3rd round) to the Denver Broncos
Mel Kiper Jr. (ESPN): 4th or later
Todd McShay (ESPN): 49th overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Rob Rang (CBS): Not Listed
My Thoughts: Mason Foster is going to be a great player at the NFL level. While his intangibles aren’t through the roof like say Aaron Curry (see how well that worked out) he is amazing once the ball is snapped. He works hard, finds the ball, makes tons of tackles, and is just an all-around leader on the defensive end of the football. I would compare him with a young Lofa Tatupu who doesn’t have all those amazing combine type numbers but on the field is one of the best players out there.
Projected Round: 5-7
Best Team Fit: A team willing to let him develop and have some playing time on a special teams unit.
My Thoughts: Nate Williams is a good safety and given time to adjust in the NFL could really flourish.
If you are interested in looking at more mock drafts, scouting profiles, team mocks, etc. check out nflmocks website here.