Thursday, April 16, 2009

Terrapins in Draft

Heading into the 2009 NFL draft there are a number of Maryland players who are in good position to be selected. Two Terps that figure to be drafted in the early rounds are WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and CB Kevin Barnes. Heyward-Bey has been all over the board on various mock drafts and could go as high as the top ten or as low as the end of the first round. His physicals skills are well documented but his hands and route running might make him drop. Barnes has really done well since running a great 40 time at the combine and posting a great score on the Wonderlic test. His game film shows that he is a tough and physical corner who will fit in very well as a nickle back in the NFL.

After that offensive linemen Edwin Williams and Jamie Thomas figure to be in the 5th or 6th round according to projections. The offensive line underachieved all season but the running game was often impressive enough to give interior linemen like Williams and Thomas some NFL prospects. There is a long article about OT Dane Randolph and his chances of getting drafted next weekend. Randolph certainly looks the part at 6'5" and 300 pounds and the article points out that he has good speed and strength. The problem that Randolph has is that he is stiff in pass blocking and lacks the footwork and agility to pass block speed rushers. That is why he and fellow Terrapin Scott Burley won't get drafted.

Tight end Dan Gronkowski also has a chance to get drafted in the late rounds. Gronkowski is a good blend of blocking and pass catching but lacks the dynamic playmaking ability that teams crave in tight ends these days. He could get a chance with a team that needs a backup or runs two tight end sets regularly.

If all five players get drafted it will be the most Maryland players taken in the draft since 2004 when safety Madieu Williams led a group of five players taken after Friedgen's last ten win season.

No comments: